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SRI LANKA: ENVIRONMENT, NATURAL RESOURCES & BIO DIVERSITY

Buddhism was brought to Sri Lanka on Poson Full Moon Poya day by Arhat Mahinda Thero, special envoy of King of India. One of the earliest messages on the rights of nature including Environment Conservation and Human rights was delivered by Arhat Mahinda to Sri Lankan King Devanampiyathissa. Protection of nature became a tradition after this incident in Sri Lanka. "O' great King! the birds of the air and the beasts on the earth have an equal right to live and move about in any part of this land as thou. The land belongs to the people and all other beings and thou art only the guardian of it."

It should also be noted here that Lord Buddha, whose perching have influenced the culture and civilization of Sri Lanka, has also delivered several messages on trees, forests, animals and natural environment 25 centuries ago. One of the common messages of the Lord Budda says, "The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demand for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life activity: it affords protection of all beings, offering shade even to the axe man who destroys it."

The Eppawala Phosphate Deposit - A Unique and a Troublesome Resource

Gems, Pearls & Minerals

The historical chronicle of Sri Lanka, the Mahavamsa, records that gemstones were among the gifts of Sri Lanka's king, Devanampiyatissa, to Emperor Ashoka of India. The Mahavamsa also records that the Buddha visited Sri Lanka to settle a dispute between the Naga King Mahodera and Prince Chulodera over a throne studded with gemstones. The Buddhist monk, Fa-Hien, reports on the mineral abundance of the land when he visits Sri Lanka.The Venetian traveller, Marco Polo, reaches the shores of Sri Lanka. He writes: "The island produces more beautiful and valuable rubies than are found in any other part of the world. Likewise sapphires, topazes, amethysts, garnets, and many other precious and costly stones. The king is supposed to possess one of the grandest rubies that ever was seen, being a span in length and the thickness of a man's arm, brilliant beyond description, and without a single flaw."

Waterfalls in Sri Lankan BIO DIVERSITY & OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES

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