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Colombo International Book Fair

Sri Lanka’s largest annual book fair

September is the literary month declared for the purpose of promote reading to make the world full of erudite people. Reading enriches the knowledge of people leading to an enhanced thought process and this makes their lives better.

The Colombo International Book Fair (CIBF) is held annually in mid-September at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo, Sri Lanka organised by Sri Lanka Book Publishers’ Association.

It is Sri Lanka’s largest book fair as the country’s all book publishers, importers and sellers take part in this book fair with large bookstalls. A large crowd of visitors from all parts of the country flock to the book fair to purchase books necessary for their various purposes like academic, religious, professional and personal and this gives a glimmer of hope that the reading habit is alive and well. This book fair is more popular among the readers of all walks as bookstalls of all publishers, importers and sellers of books in Sri Lanka can be found in one place and also essential due to the fact that big discounts are given on almost every book sold at this massive book exhibition. 

Last year the book fair was held for the 22nd time from September 18 to September 27 followed by special COVID19 safety measures set out by the government. But unfortunately, this year the book fair could not be held as a result of the lockdown of the country imposed to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

The Literary Month

Sri Lanka boasts a rich literature. The Sinhala language is the island’s most spoken language, history of which dates back to thousands of years. It is of course a rich language with a rich literature fostered by great works of writing, poetries, plays, etc. When it comes to the literary month, it is reading, it is books. Indeed, reading makes a full man. Reading is one of the first skills that one can get. It is also a skill one can find indispensable throughout life. In fact, it would be very difficult to live if one was illiterate, even if one can speak the given language.

Reading is a hobby of many, sometimes an addiction. Books are read for the purpose of gaining knowledge, but it would be a gloomy world if that was the only task for books.

Hence, people read for pleasure and personal enrichment. People can read books, magazines and newspapers, which all help them to learn more about the world.

Reading is very synonymous with books, magazines and newspapers. A book is the best medium that carries people to another world. Millions of books are published in hundreds of languages each year around the world. Fiction or non-fiction, a book can help people to leap through time (even to the future) and it is much better than watching a movie because the mind’s eye has to imagine what is going on between the pages.

Books function as a medium of storing knowledge. Print books have been in use for long but it has evolved into the digital medium in the form of e-books that most of the new generation make use of, rather than print books. E-books are getting popular because of their inherent advantages such as convenience to refer and store. American writer Bob Brown predicted that the printed book was bound for obsolescence. Ironically, he predicted this in a printed book, the only medium available then. In his book The Readies, he said the time has come “to rid the reader of the cumbersome book”. He envisioned a “machine that will allow us to keep up with the vast volume of print available today and be optically pleasing,” which is exactly what an e-reader is. It can hold as many as 3,000 books and even store audiobooks which no one saw coming back in 1930.

Kaudulla National Park

With strict health and safety measures, Sri Lanka has opened its door to international tourists after 1 ½ year of closure imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, tourism in Sri Lanka has begun to revive after being severely hit by the pandemic.

If you are visiting Sri Lanka around these few months, there is a lot you could explore. One such nice place is Kaudulla National Park which is more popular for elephant seeing.

Located 197 kilometres away from the capital Colombo, Kaudulla National Park is one of the attractive national parks in the country. The Park is visited by thousands of tourists coming from around the world annually. 

The national park is enriched with historic irrigation tanks including the Kaudulla tank constructed by ancient kings of Sri Lanka. These tanks are the reason behind the park being inhabited by a variety of wild animals and birds.

The vegetation of the park represents the country’s dry evergreen forests, cultivations and grasslands surrounding the main tank area. The community of phytoplankton in the Kaudulla tank includes blue-green algae, Microcystis spp. and diatoms such as Melosira spp. Manilkara hexandra, Chloroxylon swietenia and Vitex altissima are the dominant tree species in the forest surrounding the tank. Bushes such as Randia dumetorum, and Calotropis gigantea and grasses such as Imperata cylindrica, and Panicum maximum are abundant in some areas.

Meanwhile, the faunal species recorded in the park include 24 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 160 species of birds. In the drought period, Sri Lankan elephants move to the Minneriya tank to drink and feed. Around the month of September the elephants move to the Kaudulla tank in search of more water and food. Sri Lankan sambar deer, Sri Lankan axis deer, chevrotain, wild boar, Sri Lankan leopard, and sloth bear are other mammals that can be spotted in the park. Kaudulla National Park is also one of the sites in which the grey slender loris is reportedly found in Sri Lanka.

Large water birds such as spot-billed pelican and lesser adjutant visit the Kaudulla tank to feed on fish. Fish species in the tank include the freshwater Oreochromis mossambicus. Fejervarya pulla is an endemic amphibian to Sri Lanka that inhabits the National Park. Freshwater turtles, Indian flap-shelled turtles and Indian black turtles are the noteworthy reptiles found in this park.


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