Source: Pam Ayers  I have always admired the work of this wordsmith of renown, have read her poetic accomplishments over many years and feel proud to introduce her via eLanka right now. Ladies & Gentlemen, here she is, with an ode to a “bug” that we would all like to smash underfoot. I give you Pam Ayers.           Desmond Kelly.          (Editor-in-Chief) eLanka.     Pam Ayers Ode to Corona Virus   I’m normally a social girl I love to meet my mates But lately with the virus here We can’t go out the gates. You see, we are the ‘oldies’ now We need to stay inside If they haven’t seen us for a while They’ll think we’ve upped and died, They’ll never know the things we did Before we got this old There wasn’t any Facebook So not everything was told. We may seem ...

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. “This will only affect the top two per cent of earners. It is a balanced measure that is about sharing the load so everyone is doing their bit to help our country rebuild after our fight against the Covid-19 virus,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. “It is also about keeping a lid on debt while ensuring we can maintain our investment in health and education. For 98 per cent of earners there won’t be any change.” It’s important to remember too that this is for individual income. So if a couple together earn over $180,000 but individually earn less than that amount, then there is no change at all to the amount they have to pay. The new rate will apply from 1 ...

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[og_img] HAPUTALE Upper Uva spreads out from the mountains of Idalgashinna, Ohiya and the Horton Plains, the peaks of Hakgala and to the cone of Namunukula and Poonagala Source:Daily Mirror Haputale, as a destination in Uva Province, has enormous attractions to cover as a traveller. Last week, in the Daily Mirror Travel, we published the most sought-after Water Falls in the District of Badulla. Today, we look deep into the colonial city of Haputale, which is one of the favourite destinations of the Province. With the elevation of 1431 m (4695 ft) above the sea level, Haputale has a rich bio-diversity dense with numerous varieties of flora and fauna. Haputale is surrounded by hills covered with cloud forests and tea plantations. Perched at the southern edge of the Hill Country, the plantation community in Haputale clings to a long, narrow mountain ridge with the land falling away steeply on both ...

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Sam Rajiah one of the most senior planters from the era of  European planters, now 94 years, lives in retirement in his own private tea property at a spot called ‘Ottakade” on the road to Haputale from Bandarawela, just 15 minutes’ drive from the latter town. We have known Sam and Ranji his wife from the days Sam was manager at Spring Valley, Badulla, in the seventies when I was stationed in Badulla General Hospital as a surgeon. Since then, our friendship has grown, that every Christmas season we have visited, spending a few days with them, ever after, even after leaving the country living in Singapore and presently in Sydney, Australia. They still live a planter’s life, like the days when European planters were dominating the PD positions in the plantations. His circadian rhythm still works, getting up early and doing a visit in his property ordering his labour ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/235847/eight_col_RNZD2094.jpg?1594340171 The government is allowing isolation facilities to be overbooked so full capacity is reached even if there are last-minute cancellations or no-shows. Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas The government has been using 32 hotels to house people for their 14-day stay in managed isolation after entering New Zealand. In early November, those who were keen to come back to New Zealand for Christmas were warned about available spaces filling up. Just three days later, it was announced all spots were fully booked, up until Boxing Day. It led Air Commodore Darryn Webb, who heads Managed Isolation and Quarantine, to add 100 extra rooms between 13 and 23 December, to accommodate more people. Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins today said the supply of rooms was enormously constrained by the number of hotels they were running. To ensure there were no empty rooms from cancellations, they were overbooking the hotels, he ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/249669/eight_col_Willie_Jackson__073A8299.jpg?1606268192 The government has set a new 5 percent procurement target for Māori businesses in a bid to support the Māori economy post Covid-19. Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson. Photo: ©VNP / Phil Smith The aim is to encourage public service agencies to spend 5 percent of the approximately $42 billion it uses annually on goods and services through Māori businesses. Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said it would encourage public service agencies to cast their net wider when awarding contracts, and agencies would be monitored to ensure they were meeting the target. “They are obliged to reflect on what they’re doing, and we’re actually asking for reports along the way in terms of what’s happening, and they’ll be monitored by MBIE and TPK,” he said. “This is all new but we want to work with the different agencies and it’s not about pulling out the big stick, at the ...

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png Māori enterprises are in line for greater opportunities to do business with government agencies under an initiative to spread the benefits of the economic recovery.  The Ministers for Māori Development and Economic and Regional Development have announced a new target to encourage public service agencies to cast the net wider when awarding contracts.  “The government spends $42 billion a year on procurement of goods and services. We are looking for more ways to use this buying power to accelerate the economic recovery for Māori businesses,” said Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson.  “This approach will support Māori businesses to participate in our economic recovery as we build back better. “The new five percent target for public service contracts for Māori businesses is an important step towards a more inclusive and prosperous society. It honours a Labour Election Manifesto commitment to better support whānau Māori enterprise.  “Small and medium businesses face ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Arankele1.jpg A ruined meditating structure of Arankele Source:Sundayobserver Kurunegala or Hasthihaliyapura was a royal capital for over half a century. It boasts of numerous historical sites venerated by generations of Buddhists and other communities, built by kings in the bygone era. These magnificent monuments are testimony to a proud ancient grandeur, bearing a historical, artistic and cultural identity. The archaeological site set up in the recent past and the ruins of the site belong to the early Anuradhapura period. Strewn in different areas of the precincts are remnants of large stone tablets on stone pillars. There are a few natural rock caves lying on the slope of the mountain once dwelled by monastic bhikkhus for meditation. Some interesting features are the interior walls carefully plastered with clay, the stone doorways at certain entrances, and stone walls cut to divert rainwater getting inside. Walking under the green canopy of wooded trees ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/250455/eight_col_000_8WB4NN.jpg?1606932962 Details of a New Zealand rollout of Covid-19 vaccines are being kept heavily under wraps, and are due to be announced soon. File photo. Photo: AFP While it has has yet to be approved here, speculation about a possible scheme has already begun – and with trials ramping up around the world, a Covid-19 vaccine could be on our shores early next year. New Zealand’s hopes are being pinned on two vaccines – Pfizer BioNtech and Janssen – the former having just received authorisation in the UK for rollout. Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today that work to approve a vaccine was under way, but it was preferred that clinicial trials be finished first. Dr Bryan Betty from the Royal College of General Practioners said doctors would likely be able to order stock through a central repository. However, that was not without risks – this year, GPs faced ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/200905/eight_col_Geothermal_1610.jpg?1562545733 Contact Energy Limited has been convicted and fined $162,500 over a major incident at its Wairakei geothermal field, impacting on the Huka Falls and Waikato River in February 2019. Contact Energy’s geothermal field in Wairakei. Photo: 123RF Judge David Kirkpatrick released his sentence for the company’s unlawful discharge of geothermal fluid and sediment in the environment yesterday from the Taupō District Court, arising from an investigation by Waikato Regional Council. The investigation focused on the Contact Energy’s large geothermal power plant at Wairakei, north of Taupō. At the plant, the company’s process was to transfer used geothermal fluid through long sections of steel pipe back into the earth. On occasion, the pressure built up requires release from the pipe system, with alarms activating at Contact’s control room to ensure this is safely managed. However, when the alarm was triggered in February 2019, after excess pressure was automatically released, it ...

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