Save Ravana Ella from Litter Monkeys
Posted on August 8th, 2012

-By Jay Deshabandu

During my latest visit to our mother land, Sri Lanka in July this year, I had an opportunity to see, once again, the Rawana Ella located in Ella, Wallawaya. Amazing range of scenic views with a wide range of lush green trees on mountains, fruits, beautiful flowers and birds were a magnetic charmer to both my mind and eye. The road that lead to the Ravana Ella from Wellawaya was well maintained and the drive was pleasant and pleasurable up to the Rawana Ella.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Rawana Ella is the work of God. It is a real beauty. The water fall gushes down over many stairs looking cliffs in the background of amazingly beautiful mountains and valleys. It is believed to be the widest fall in our country. On top of the fall, there is the RawanaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s cave which is about 4,500 feet above sea level. The Ravana Cave is the legendary place where the king Rawana kept Sita.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ However, amidst these wonderful beauties, there were many pilgrims as well as foreign and local tourists. Through a little chat with some of the pilgrims, I learned that some of these pilgrims wereƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  on their way to the northern parts of the country after participating in the annual Kataragama Esala festival of traditional rituals. I was amazed and shocked at their uncivilized behavior. Some were under the influence of liquor dancing to a loud drum beat and a snake horn. Some were putting plastic bags and other garbage all over the place near the Rawana Ella. Some were even cooking near the Ella and dropping the waste curry water and other thrash right on the ground while cleaning their pots. I thought peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s behavior should have been different and civilized especiallyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  after worshiping their favorite Gods in Kataragama. At that time I thought their visit to Kataragama is a disaster for the beauty of the Ravana Ella. And, the Gods in Katragama would not reward them for their behavior against the nature!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ What is more shocking to me was there were two police officers nearby who were not interested in protecting the area from litter monkeys.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I heard the police officersƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  talking to an innocent looking motor cyclist about the fines related to his registration certificate. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The actual fine is about 5000 rupees, but .ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ ; they were negotiating the fines!

Photo by Dharmasiri Weerasinghe

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ On another trip during the same week, I went to Bamabara Ella, which is about a few kilometers from Beragala. The Bamabara Ella is believed to be the tallest water fall in Sri Lanka. Due to the drought, there was very little water stream falling off the huge cliff. The down below the fall there was a little pond about 4 feet deep. Again, the area is strikingly beautiful in the background of high mountains and valleys, lush green trees, flowers and birds. Luckily, the pilgrims couldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t come here by buses; because, there is no motor able path near to it; and, one has to go on foot and be able to climb in order to go to the foot of the fall. I thought it was good because then it is automatically protected from litter monkeys. However, I saw some broken glasses and bottles near the fall.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ But again, it is shocking to learn from the nearby villagers that some idiots intentionally throw cigarettes or ignited materials in order to catch fire on the dry straws which usually get collectedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ to a foot high from tall pine trees. In the fire, all animals, perhaps some innocent people, on the ground would die.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Again, I heard that some people in the area intentionally put fire to the straws due to land or other communal disputes. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ An intentional act that ruins our natural resources should be condemn and considered as a criminal act because it has a direct impact on all beings on the planet. The water falls could easily get dry and people in the area would be with little or no water to do anything.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I hope Uva provincial council take this matter seriously, and put more security men around the Rawana Ella, and Bambara Ella; and, issue spot fines to prevent it from being littered by monkey bugs.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Further, special attempt should be made to reduce man made forest fires. There should be many forest rangers to catch people in the act!

2 Responses to “Save Ravana Ella from Litter Monkeys”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    The BITTER truth is Tamils (mainly from upcountry and Batticaloa) trying to colonize this area and they burn the forrest. This happens in other parts too.

    A curse!

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    Litter anywhere = looks of Poverty & Disease. They ought to start an Anti-Litter Campaign in the Uva Province and fine those caught scattering litter. Also provide some dust bins in favored tourists spots.

    Raising awareness about the need for cleanliness begins in our Lankan homes and schools.

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