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World Affairs








The extraordinary powers of 

Dr. White performing a miracle
course of treatment on a patient


More Review Articles...

Easter and its message

Onset of rain brings disease
in its wake

Snakes are also a part of
the eco system

Embrace Hatha Yoga and
lead a fuller life

Newer technology to fight
modern day ills





By Ranee Mohamed

Dr. R. Eliyantha Lindsay White is a childhood friend. It was in 1990 that I heard of his extraordinary powers from a family member. There were gasps of amazement at that time, but skepticism took over, giving way to indifference and Eliyantha remained in the close company of his friends.

The rat-race existence overtook us all and we forgot about Eliyantha.

Eliyantha was the youngest, hailing from a family immersed in love and compassion. His mother was known in Kalubowila for the meals she fed the poor. "Have a plate of rice from her and you will remember that meal for the rest of your life," was the claim. And everyone longed to have a meal from the Whites' residence, and everyone did.

Every morning around 4.30 a.m. his mother and a few other members of the White family used to go to the temple everyday. Little Eliyantha was taken along, whether he felt like visiting the temple or not.

"It was at that time that I felt strange whisperings and a strange power," he said. As his mother and other members of his family engaged in Bodhi Poojas and reverence, Little Eliyantha had more sacred experiences that he felt too scared to talk about.

The great power

"But I was in Sunandaramaya in Kalubowila everyday. I had a friend who would go with me and I spent a long time - thinking, meditating and experiencing that great power that was reaching out to me.

"It was at this time that I met a friend who suffered from a cancerous condition in his leg. I was at the  temple. My thoughts were with my friend and I was asking the power reaching out to me to help my friend. I was in deep thought about my friend and I felt myself moved by his condition and his suffering," recalled Eliyantha.

What happened next was witnessed only by Eliyantha and his friend. A power from the universe reaching out to him, whispered to him that there is medication for his friend and that they ought to get a container. The young men had obtained a container and Eliyantha had held it out and watched it fill. The medication from the universe was for his friend with the cancerous condition and when he did consume it, the condition disappeared, the leg healed and the friend led a normal life thereafter.

Eliyantha was aware of his great powers, but he kept it to himself. In the love and warmth of his good mother and father, the young man continued his life of love and compassion, dedicating his life and interests to the Buddhist temple in Kalubowila.

Free of charge

It was at this time that young Eliyantha White felt the need to use his power to give solace to people in distress. But the only condition from the power from  the universe was to treat people free of charge.

"My intention was never to make money out of  my ability and I continued to give solace to the sick, ailing and the distressed," said Eliyantha.

From the time Eliyantha began to use the power gifted to him  through loving kindness, he began to heal and console thousands of people. He began to see people at Eeyamporuwa Temple in Madiwela and thousands thronged there  in search of Eliyantha's ability which was heightened with love and compassion

"There was a time when he treated 1200 people a day. He never charged one cent from anyone and people who met him had their problems erased from their lives," said a person who had sought his help several years ago.

Then came a time when Eliyantha White could not walk on the streets nor attend to his personal matters without being thronged by people. "When he stopped his visits to the temple there were 51,000 people on the waiting list," said a well wisher. But what mattered was that Dr. Eliyantha White had taken away the woes and suffering of  670,000 people.

"It was miraculous, it was unbelievable and it was divine. He was able to get us help and medication from the universe and we watched as he picked it up and gave it to us," said a woman  who had watched Dr. Eliyantha at the temple. "This is not just what I have seen, there are thousands who have seen this happening. It is the experience of thousands of people, they have all seen Dr. Eliyantha's connection with the universe, they have all witnessed the love on his face and the compassion, and more importantly, what he is able to do for us," said the woman.

But today, Eliyantha, a doctor of ayurveda is focused on helping people with medical problems. "It is also called Nila Sashthraya. When someone sits before me with an ailment I can study his reports and feel his system, but what is more important is that I can see a light, as small as a welder's sparkle and I  begin to hear and sense the medication for his ailment," said Dr. Eliyantha.

Many claims

There are several claims of this nature made by various people, but none that have so vehemently endorsed the claim by practical cures. From VVIPs to clergy, from school children to ministers, from lawyers and judges  to medical doctors, they all line up to speak of their experiences with Eliyantha Lindsay White.

"I have absolutely no doubt about his capabilities. He treated me for four days without a fee or reward and I am now totally cured," said a lawyer who went on to say that his experience with Dr. Eliyantha is remarkable.

Meanwhile a doctor with an MBBS qualification says, "My father was suffering from backache for nearly 30 years following trauma to the spine. It was a backache that affects his day to day activities. He sought treatment from several physicians and had only temporary relief.

The X-rays taken of the spine also showed age related changes, bridging osteophytes and reduced bone densities. Recently one of my cousins introduced my father to Dr. Eliyantha Lindsay White while explaining the miracles he has performed. After a brief course of treatment administered by Dr. Eliyantha my father improved rapidly, and within a few days he is now able to carry out his day to day work comfortably. Amazingly he could gain full range of movements in the spine. I didn't expect cessation of the disease process such rapidly. It is a miracle!" says this doctor of the Western system.

Thousands benefited

Similarly there are thousands who have benefited from Dr. Eliyantha Lindsay White's gift from the universe. Admirable is the fact that Dr. Eliyantha keeps his source of income apart from his gift from the universe. "I keep the way I earn my living separated from my cure and consolation," he says, determined not to make money out of his gift from the sacred precincts of the Buddhist temples and the love and compassion from his heart.

Today, Dr. Eliyantha Lindsay White says that he is indebted to the President for spearheading a plan to help thousands of patients with cancer, cardiac ailments and other conditions. "President Mahinda Rajapakse has personally intervened to obtain a link for me to get the herbal ingredients to prepare the cures. I am truly grateful for his help and for his kindness." said Dr. Eliyantha Lindsay White.

"I want to help people for as long as I can," says Dr. White as his loving kindness lights up his face. The list of people Dr. White has cured are far too long and far too varied to be cited here. His cures, his ability and his thinking come as a refreshing change in today's world.

Sins of past births

Dr. Eliyantha Lindsay White says that our ailments and our woes are due to the sins of past births. "We hear people say that he or she is doing so much wrong, yet continue to live happily. The fruits of such wrongful action may not come in this birth, may not come in the next birth, but it will certainly come, in some birth." he says.

He goes on to say that the ailments that afflicts us are due to our wrongful actions in the past births. "There are some people who are ill in some way or the other almost everyday. There are people who virtually live on drugs and always carry them in their office bags or have them in their drawers - all these afflictions are caused due to past bad karma. I believe that ailments like arthritis are due to harm done to animals in the past. Breaking limbs of animals in this birth or in the past will cause the same suffering in the wrong doer in some birth.  We may live without an ailment for 20 days and be ill for 10 days - this is the balance chart and is formed by the good and the bad we have done in the past," says Dr. White.

"I know for certain that what we do will certainly come back to us, be it good or bad," says Dr. White.

In today's world of robbery, murder, cheating and killing, Dr. Eliyantha Lindsay White's warning is a reminder that nudges us to be more conscious about and more loving towards living beings around us - to be aware of how much pain, heartache and tears we may cause them, before we ill-treat or hurt them.


Easter and its message

What does Easter signify? The Bible says God created the universe and all that is in it. He then fashioned man and blew into him His life and he became a living soul. He was Adam. Then God made Eve. He handed over the world and all its assets to Adam and his wife, Eve, to enjoy. In doing so he stipulated that they should be obedient to God's Word and that they should not do anything on their own against the Word.

He warned the punishment for disobedience would be death - spiritual as well as physical. In the Garden of Eden, Satan, also referred to as the serpent, beguiled Eve and through her, her husband, into disobeying God. This broke their relationship with God and sin entered into them. They thereby brought themselves under the rule of Satan. They lost God's blessing and bounty, and brought themselves under God's curse. The chaos in the world today is due to Satan. He is proud, stubborn, angry, selfish, wicked and deceitful.


There is much evidence to show Satan is ruling the world. Soon after Jesus was baptised in the River Jordan He went to the wilderness. There Satan confronted Him and claimed the world belonged to him and that he was prepared to transfer his authority to Jesus if He would fall down and worship him.

It will be noticed that while Jesus refused to bow down and worship, He however did not contest Satan's right over the world. This was because Jesus knew that Satan had deceitfully acquired right over the world from Adam and Eve. Further, in at least three different instances Jesus refers to him as 'The Prince' of this world.

St. Paul calls him 'the Evil God of this world' and St. John in his epistle states 'that the whole world is under Satan.' In St. John's Gospel, Jesus calls Satan a thief with three main objectives - to steal (mankind's peace, joy, health, success, prosperity, etc.), kill (through disease, accidents, violence, suicides, etc.) and destroy (natural disasters like cyclones, floods, earthslips, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions as well as man made disasters such as fires etc.).

St. John's Gospel Chapter 13 Verse 2 tells us it was Satan who put it into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus. Judas instead of rejecting the suggestion, turned it over in his mind and finally, Verse 27 says, Satan entered into him.

Born with sin

Due to Adam and Eve's rejection of God's Word and rule, and accepting Satan's word and rule, all mankind today is diseased. We are born with a sinful nature. Even very small children exhibit anger, jealousy etc. Romans 3:23 says: 'All have sinned and came short of the glory of God.'

Romans 6:23 declares the wages of sin is death. However, God in His infinite love and mercy wanted to free man from this curse. He therefore sent His only Son Jesus, who was born of a virgin through the Holy Spirit, into the world. Jesus came both to redeem us from the curse and also to reveal God to us.

Jesus said: 'He that hath seen the Father,' and 'I and my Father are one.' To the question 'Whom is God like?' the answer is 'Like Jesus.' The Bible tells us that Jesus took all our sins, weaknesses and diseases upon Himself, as our substitute. He paid the wages of our sin through suffering and dying on that Cross in our place. It is the Bible's claim that Jesus died for all mankind without exception. He died without protesting because He knew He came to fulfill the Father's Will.

The story, as we know, does not end there. The triumphant Christian claim is that after paying the supreme penalty of death, Jesus broke the bonds of death and the grave, and rose again and is alive for evermore. Colossians 2:15 declares that through Jesus' resurrection Satan and all the spirits that he controls have been exposed and defeated.

Good news

The good news is that if a person recognises his sinful nature, repents of his wrong ways, is willing to forsake his wrongful ways, seeks God's forgiveness and invites Jesus Christ into his life as his Lord and Saviour, then his sins will be forgiven and forgotten and God's divine life will enter into that person.

When that divine life, the Holy Spirit, is granted Lordship that person's whole nature and personality changes. The Bible says: 'If any man is in Christ (under the Lordship of Christ) he is a new person altogether. His past is finished and gone and everything is made fresh and new.' (2 Corinthians 5.17).

To a reasoning mind this may not seem clear. It may even appear fantastic. But as the Bible says, spiritual things have to be spiritually discerned. The experience of a new life in and through Christ is acquired by faith. All this is possible only because of Easter.

- Pastor Bertram Casinader


Onset of rain brings disease in its wake

By Shezna Shums

Cases of viral fever have been reported from many parts of  the island, especially from areas where there have been heavy rain. Studies conducted by the Epidemiological Unit of the Ministry of Health show that viral fever is common after heavy showers. However at present the likelihood of an epidemic is unlikely according to medical sources.

Medical officers at the Epidemiological Unit say that there have been isolated cases of viral fever reported from some districts following the recent showers.

"When we receive information of such cases, the Medical Officers of Health (MOH) in these areas immediately send blood samples of the patient to the Medical Research Institution (MRI) for investigations," said the doctor. Once the blood samples are tested then we study the results to see if it is a viral fever, dengue, chikungunya or some other type of fever.

"But there is no danger of an epidemic at this point in time. If the investigations reveal a mosquito borne disease we immediately carry out awareness programmes in the affected areas," explained the medical officer.

The viral fever can spread through both air and water. The symptoms of viral fever however differ from person to person.

Medical assistance

The medical officer noted that if a person is suffering from persistent fever and any other symptoms he/she should seek medical assistance without delay.

Some patients suffering from a viral fever may experience headaches and body aches.

Earlier this year a viral fever was reported from the District of Anuradhapura soon after a minor flood.

With the present heavy showers in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa health officials have been urging the public to be careful with the food and drinks they consume.

National Coordinator, Dengue Control Unit, Ministry of Health, Dr. Lakshmi de Silva says that although there is no danger of an epidemic people should be careful about their surroundings, more so due to the present inclement weather, both during the day and night, as there is a possibility of rain water collecting in open receptacles which then become mosquito breeding places.

"Such breeding grounds should be destroyed to prevent mosquitoes freely breeding during this spell," said Dr. de Silva.

Apart from the dengue virus that could spread following the rains there is also a threat of Chikungunya. Symptoms of Chikungunya include high fever, joint and muscular pain, headaches and body aches. These are also some of the symptoms of the dengue virus.

Mysterious fever

Previously a mysterious fever was affecting people in the Kuruwita area. Following blood tests it was identified as Chikungunya and in some cases dengue. The symtoms reported included suffering from fever, vomiting and arthritic pain in the limbs. The patients had been from Kahawatta, Kuruwita, Godagawatte and Pallebedda as well as some other places in the Sabaragamuwa District.

Initially flu like symptoms had been reported by those affected in Sabaragamuwa which were later identified as Chikungunya and dengue.

Last month the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) reported that there had been a large number of Hepatitis A patients, especially from the Colombo North area.

These patients were from  Mattakuliya and were living close to a large garbage dump. During heavy rains the rotting garbage posed further health risks.

CMC investigations had revealed that people living in Mattakkuliya and the surrounding areas have been forced to use contaminated water. Some households are not even aware of the state of the water they use.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus. Although not usually as serious as other types of viral Hepatitis, Hepatitis A causes inflammation of the liver, seriously compromising its functions.The usual cause for the spread of Hepatitis A is consumption of contaminated food and water.

Medical personnel advise that the public should practice good hygiene by washing their hands before cooking or before touching food and drink.


Snakes are also a part of the eco system

Snakes come in search of rats and frogs
that are attracted to rotting garbage

By Risidra Mendis

Encounters with snakes are a common occurrence among people in Sri Lanka. No matter where we maybe, avoiding encounters with snakes is easier said than done. A country like Sri Lanka that abounds with  paddy fields, forests areas and shrub lands are prone to snakes looking for warmth and protection. Snakes generally take cover among the overgrowth and shrubs.  

But like all other animals snakes too are a part of the environment and need to be protected in order to sustain the balance in the eco system. Killing a snake when we encounter one is not the best solution to prevent snake bites and deaths resulting from snake bites. Prevention is and has always been the best option to avoid snake bites.

Many species

Sri Lanka has recorded 96 species of snakes, of which 51 are endemic. Of these, five - the Cobra, Russel's Viper, Indian Krait, Ceylon Krait and the Saw Scaled viper - are listed as poisonous snakes.

Speaking to The Sunday Leader Zoologist Dilan Peiris says that in Sri Lanka most snake bite victims are bitten by the Russel's Viper and the Cobra. "The Ceylon Krait rarely bites, but a person can die if bitten by this snake. Snake bites from the Hump Nosed Viper are also recorded but this snake is not deadly poisonous.

"Out of the 1000 odd snake bites recorded  in the country every year, 800 are caused by the Russel's Viper. However the death rate of snake bite victims is around 200. Due to the availability of anti venom many snake bite victims have recovered after these deadly bites," said Peiris. 

Garbage dumps

According to Peiris, snakes are attracted to garbage dumps in home gardens. "Many people don't pay much attention to the garbage getting collected in their back gardens. People also have the  habit of throwing their left over food and waste in their back garden and forget to clear it. The rotting garbage attracts rats and frogs. Snakes get attracted to the scent of rats and frogs and come in search of them," Peiris explained.

According to Peiris most snakes eat rats and frogs and the best way to prevent snakes from coming into your home garden is to prevent the collection of garbage. "If you have a garden make sure there are no areas where snakes can hide."

"Some people have the  habit of piling tiles and planks of wood in their gardens for later use. Some gardens have spaces close to the walls where a snake can hide. Snakes have a tendency to hide in places where it is dark and warm. If you have a garden make sure to keep it clean and tidy to avoid attracting snakes," Dilan said.

Hiding places

Piling of books and papers in your home is not advisable as this can attract snakes. "Snakes have a habit of hiding among papers and books in houses. Precautionary measures such as carrying a torch when moving around at night and treading heavily while walking on dark roads can prevent a person from getting bitten by snakes.

The heavy thuds from your feet scare away the snakes and prevent the creatures from coming to the road or path that you are using. The Russel's Viper comes out at night but is also known to come out in the daytime in paddy fields and areas around them. The Cobra usually comes out during the day, but is now known to come out at night as it prefers to avoid human contact," Peiris explained.


Embrace Hatha Yoga and lead a fuller life

Nanda Siriwardene

Shihan Nanda Siriwardene, guru of Hatha yoga, has transformed and changed lives. Everyday, he breathes in and breathes out yoga, he thinks yoga and he lives yoga, and warns us that fashionable gymnasiums with young instructors, fat blockers and happy walks down Independence Square are not the ways to fitness and fight fat... The proven way to complete fitness is Hatha yoga he says. One can start it at 65, for age is no barrier and the postures will only help ward off the ailments and pain, claims this Yogi.

By Ranee Mohamed

Nanda Siriwardene sits opposite me. His muscles ripple, his hard body and his youthful looks arouse amazement and envy. This Fifth Dan, Black Belt, instructor of  Martial Arts - the maestro of Kyokushin karate is also the revered guru of Hatha Yoga.

 The  average person may go to office everyday or run a business but Nanda Siriwardene's life is about  wellness and well-being. His hundreds of students revere him. Many long to be like him. But for Siriwardene the path has been long and hard, and he has emerged the victor. Today,  he is so totally dedicated to his job - promoting wellness and physical fitness in others and the side effects are not stress and tension, but total well-being in his own self.

His home near the Kohuwala Police Station is an aerobics sweatshop, but here too Nanda Siriwardene winds himself in different, difficult asanas. Passers-by stare in disbelief, yet they know that if one man can do it, so can all others.


Siriwardene speaks with love, respect and great reverence of his master of Kyokushin karate, Masutatsu Oyama. Siriwardene is Sri Lanka's branch chief of Kyokushin karate.

 Today, however it is not about his 25 years of  martial arts that he speaks out. He speaks out about yoga - the Hatha Yoga he began in 1974 which he says has changed his life and the lives of all those who come to him.

"Yoga means unity. It means connecting with the universe. It enables one's mental and physical self to tune up and draw strength from the universe," said Nanda Siriwardene. And Siriwardene has been connecting to the universe with world famous gurus as Dr. Babu Sri Kanth. Having been at  the B.K.S. Aiyanagar Institute in India, and with Swami Maharasta and several other gurus, Siriwardene is an authority on this revered art.


Nanda Siriwardene said that when one passes youth, one needs to take care of his or her organs. "Violent exercise that tax the heart ought to be avoided." He went on to warn about the impact of violent exercise and haphazard, unguided jogging and running, and the strain it can have on one's knees. It can have a devastating impact on one's joints, especially on the knees.

"Hatha Yoga on the contrary cures ailments. It cures arthritis, back pain and diseases caused by stress. It soothes one's very being," said this respected guru of yoga. 

The pillars

"Hatha Yoga is a deep-rooted subject. It is a science, its is a philosophy and it is an art. It involves asanas (postures) and breathing techniques. It involves prana yama. It means prana plus ayama meaning stretching the energy, extending the exercise with air. Hatha Yoga develops both the mind and body and involves eight pillars, namely Yaama,  Niyama (self concentration and discipline), Asana (postures),  Pranayama (breathing techniques),  Prathihara (determination),  Daharana (dedication), Dihana (meditation) and Samadi (deep meditation).  

"Hatha Yoga is not about complicated postures. There are three stages to choose from - for the beginner, for the intermediate and for the advanced Hatha Yoga. I have students who are 60 years old. There are no barriers to Hatha Yoga. It is for total wellbeing and it is for all," said Siriwardene, showing the equipment that he uses for some of the asanas.

"In fact Hatha Yoga is ideal for those ageing, for it is for both mind and body. We see many senior citizens in temple, they are in search of purity of mind. Meditation is common among the ageing. Hatha Yoga gives strength of mind and mental clarity till the last stages of life," explained Siriwardene.

Yoga for all

"But this does not mean that yoga is only for senior citizens. In fact the younger one begins, immense are the rewards. If one begins yoga at a younger age it slows down the process of decay. I am ageing, but my body does not show it, my body, just like anyone else's is deteriorating but the process is very, very slow," said a confident Siriwardene.

"Hatha Yoga slows down ageing and adds a radiance," assures this guru of Hatha Yoga.

Siriwardene who went on to say that the mind is the secret of physical strength and well-being added that this is why one must protect one's mind with Hatha Yoga.

Many systems

"Do not forget however that there are many systems of yoga. Some meditate with a few postures (asanas) and this is called Raja Yoga. Some others do so with love and compassion and also give away one's possessions and call it Bhakthi Yoga, which is akin to being closer to the deities. Yet others use their wisdom - through meditation they find truth and get connected, and thus call it Gnana Yoga.

"There are others who try to ascertain their origin, happiness and the reasons why some are born without limbs, eyes and are deprived in various ways and call it Karma Yoga," explained Nanda Siriwardene.

"Today however there are many kinds of yoga shops everywhere. This is why one must be careful. Yoga ought to be practiced under the guidance of a qualified guru," advised Siriwardene.

Yoga guru Nanda Siriwardene said that our modern lives have given us many ailments and one ought to give priority to oneself before anything else. "Physical well-being is of great importance. Lord Buddha has said  Arogya Parama Laba, which means  good health is a great profit," said Nanda Siriwardene who strives to achieve good health for all beings and has unknowingly benefited from his compassionate gesture.


Newer technology to fight modern day ills

By Ranee Mohamed

The ills of today are wide and varied and almost every affliction is spurred by this rat race existence. Stress, hypertension, cardiac disease, obesity and even hair loss that affect a larger section of our society are a result of  fast living, overworking and self neglect. And it is in this backdrop that four new machines spring into focus.

Brought to Sri Lanka by Healthwonder, the blood circulatory massager, hypertension apparatus, Acupoint Treasure and Fat Sport Expert  may at first sight appear compact, but for the kind of work they do, they have also been awarded and appreciated worldwide.

As a result of both American and Chinese expertise, these newest technologies are now in Sri Lanka and come as a welcome and easy cure.

The blood circulatory massager is comparatively large and even larger are the functions and the benefits of this 'total cure' wonder machine. "This machine has been invented by a Chinese team in consultation with American doctors. One is required to stand on it for seven and a half hours, both in the morning and evening. The machine begins to stimulate you as it begins to vibrate and this process causes blood circulation to travel spirally. It is proven that the machine reduces cholesterol problems and has eliminated the need for bypass surgery," said its importer.

He went on to say that it has also been clinically proven that the machine reduces and controls sugar levels, soothes arthritis, haemorrhoids and reduces weight. "Standing on this machine for 15 minutes gives one a workout that is equivalent to running or jogging for five kilometres," pointed out the introducers of this machine to Sri Lanka.

Another small rounded apparatus that can fit into a ladies handbag, was described as a wonder equipment that can bring down blood pressure. "Merely combing your head several times with this machine will reduce hypertension. It is also good for low blood pressure. After using this machine for two weeks, patients found that their pressure had been reduced without the use of medication.

"But the use of this machine does not mean that one has to give up one's medication," explained the duo. This small apparatus seems to be a wonderful companion for if one is feeling sleepy, all one has to do is to stop the car or stop the work one is doing and merely comb one's head several times and one is awake and revived again.

"This is a magic machine, it also fights stress and stops falling hair. Moreover, it has been found to improve hair growth on balding persons under 40 years of age," said the importers of this machine.

Another hand held piece of technology called the Acupoint Treasure has truly emerged as a treasure for the illnesses of the modern world. This compact machine has been recognised not only as a beauty machine but also as a curer of over 38 illnesses and ailments.

"Remove the jade covering at the end and it becomes an acupoint equipment that stimulates pressure points to cure migraine, helps to stop smoking, alcoholism, cure back pain,  arrest knee pain, cure kidney ailments,  stop premature greying, control and cure  optic problems and stop hair loss.

"The beauty of this hand-held apparatus is that a piece of jade affixed to its acupoint will transform it into a cosmetic appliance, giving the user the beauty secrets that jade gave Cleopatra. The jade affixed at the end of the acupoint will eliminate dark circles and dark patches in the skin," said the men behind this machine.

The Fat Sport Expert is the third machine that has come to Sri Lanka to fight fat. It is aptly called the 'little doctor of fitness.' "Put the switch on and attach it onto one's abdomen and stomach for five to six minutes a day and one will see the fat melt away," said the representatives of  Health Wonder. They went on to say that this machine can be used indoors and without any side effects whatsoever just like its other new 'colleagues.' They also warned that the use of this produce will entail loss of energy causing the user to be hungry and thus recommend the intake of a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables.

These four new machines have been honoured with product honours from WHO and ISO 9002. Further information about this wellness technology can be obtained from 0714 067 174 and 0777 783 969.


 A trip to the salubrious hills

For the first time, I packed my bags and went off to the hills without Caveman. We girls resolved not to take any snacks along, since food was to be our last priority. Alas! Although the spirit was willing, the flesh was weak. We left at dawn after a prayer. We stopped for breakfast at a rest house by a river. Everything tastes so much better when you're in good company! Most of them had brought along their favourite pillows and gently snored their way through the rest of the journey.

Our bungalow was in a most picturesque spot overlooking a lake. Some people were scared to sleep alone and wanted to share rooms. I had a whole huge room and bath to myself! Then we all trooped outside, breathed in the pure air and agreed that this was the life!

Next we got down to the most important things on the agenda, namely, menus and venues. In our extensive shopping list, meat, cauliflower, strawberries and home baked bread were frequently mentioned.

Check out the menus

After that, we all piled into our vehicles and hit various places in and around town and checked out their menus. So what? Our time was limited, and we wanted to go to the very best places. One very grand place could only offer a measly piece of chocolate cake, a muffin, one sandwich and a cuppa for high tea! Sacrilegious!

Their offer was very firmly rejected by one and all. And so on we went, until we were satisfied that we were going to be well and truly fed.

I knew that American Idol was showing that night, and though my friends thought I was totally batty, I pleaded with them to delay dinner so I could watch it. On entering the exclusive club, we were informed that some in-house guests were occupying the television room and we couldn't go in. "Okay!" I said, "Please let's go elsewhere and watch!"

At which point a whole host of managers and staff emerged from various dark corners they had been lurking and hastily informed us that there were several other televisions we could watch. So we all trooped into a bar and seated ourselves expectantly.

Wailed out loud

To my horror, they couldn't tune it to the correct channel. "But I came here because I was told they had cable," I wailed out loud. Then voila! The barkeeper hastily obliged and we settled down to watch. Well, everyone agreed it was worth watching.

Then we had our gourmet dinner that ran into several courses and was served by white-gloved stewards. Heavenly! We retired to the lounge and sat by a roaring fire and had coffee before heading back.

After a heavy breakfast, we virtuously voted to skip lunch and have high tea. Time was running out! We had to have strawberries and cream, stewed rhubarb and tree tomatoes with custard.and..we plotted and planned when we could have all of it.

Then we visited a farm, and ordered fresh vegetables and herbs. We marched into the main market and caused a very big commotion buying meat, vegetables and fruit. The vendors looked slightly bemused as we dashed around exclaiming, "Ooooh! So fresh and lovely!" Of course, the "Soooo cheap" part of it we kept to ourselves!

Zillions of jackets

Then someone reminded us there were jackets just by the marketplace. Off we raced, where everybody tried on zillions of jackets. I was told that the claret coloured one looked simply divine on me and I absolutely had to get it. I just couldn't resist a smart black number too, although Caveman eyed them doubtfully and said, "I hope these are the only two you're planning to take on our trip?" As if two jackets are enough!

Then we went to a Fransiscan Convent and bought wine, jam and sauce. We sampled a bottle of wine before our splendiferous dinner (into which we had crammed all the missing items on our menu). Then we danced, sang, learned the salsa and jive, and giggled like schoolgirls until early morning.

After yet another heavy breakfast and a prayer, we set off, stopping to pick up our strawberries. We had decided to have a very light snack at lunchtime, but after it vanished in a trice, we were forced to order more. Seriously! So replete but happy, we returned home. Caveman actually unpacked my bag.

 Oh! The only item on the agenda we had no time for was Scrabble and Snakes and Ladders. Maybe next time!

- Honky Tonk Woman


The Honours Handbook For 2008

Another year is well on its way through the calendar and the university year has started as well. The University of Notre Dame opened its doors to the new and returning students for the first semester of 2008 the week before last and today had their usual commencement parade down High Street in Fremantle. This is probably the first parade Fremantle sees each year now.

It's not just the start of a new phase of life for a whole fraction of domestic and international first year students, it is  also a less than wonderful return to the world of textbooks, early morning classes and exams and nowhere near enough time to do those wonderful necessary things like sleep late, play computer games or go out partying or clubbing for the rest of the student body.

The rest of the student body bar the handful that are doing postgraduate work, internships or are involved in honours research - they are all going mad.

If you are one of this group for the last two or three months, you would have been going absolutely crazy as you tried to decide on a thesis topic, tried to narrow it down to a research question, tried to figure out how you would answer it and more importantly tried to organise supervision, enrolment and ethics paperwork. And just because you might have finished this part of the honours year, does not mean it's one less thing to worry about.

A fellow honours student confessed at the workshop this week: "I had to start again - my initial topic was not going to work. So I am now two weeks behind."

Over the next six months, you will get back aches from spending too long sitting down reading, writing, researching. You will get headaches from straining your eyes over fine print, computer screens and microfiche. You will become extremely stressed, your friends, flat-mates, family and partners all wavering between genuine encouragement for you and genuine fright at how emotional you get. Some of them will resign themselves to the fact that they are not going to get any sleep till it's done simply because you will wake them up at all odd hours so you can tell them what you just discovered or you can belabour and brainstorm over a particularly difficult part of the project. And worst of all they will have to resign themselves to the fact that they will no debut throughout all this, by mere association with you, be forced to learn something about a subject they have absolutely no interest in.

In fact, what you do decide to do for your research topic is likely to be something that you and only you are interested in. At a stretch your supervising professor might be somewhat interested or knowledgeable about some obscure microscopic detail of your project that they might use later in their own research but unfortunately this is all your own obsession. And obsession is putting it mildly. I was told by my supervisor and the dean of my college and that you need to be obsessed to do honours - you need the obsession because it is often

the only thing that keeps you going throughout the process  - the only thing that makes you want to finish it. If you can say things about your association with the subject that err slightly on the normal side of possible loony bin certification, you are on the right track. Well with that in mind, I nominate a friend who is so obsessed with Thomas Peel and the politics surrounding his life in Western Australia that she is sure that his spirit hangs around her.

So you have to be prepared for the inevitable film of haziness that clouds of people's eyes when you start talking about what you are doing for your honours. Even your fellow honours students and coordinators will start to do this - in my case they already are. To them and most others, if they cannot follow it or understand it or just don't care, they are not likely to be interested and are very likely to label it as "boring" - never mind the ramifications it might have in the future for research in your field.

The other thing you must be ready for is the depreciation and deterioration of your social life. It suffers from the tertiary education system's version of "let's not disturb the honeymoon couple" syndrome. This is when as soon as you start a new romantic relationship of any sort and at any level of seriousness, your friends give you a wide berth because they assume that you won't have any time for them because you want to be with your newfound flame. And they do this without consulting you purely out of good but stupid intentions. The exact same thing happens with honours: "But you'll be busy." said someone today. Well, one is never too busy to talk for a few minutes at the very least.

Then you have to deal with the detractors: "Why do you want to do honours anyway?" or "Why are you wasting money on yet another year that you don't need?" You can't spend or waste any time trying to explain to these people that doing Honours is not decided on a needs basis necessarily - that you don't do it because you might need it or it might be helpful for a job or career later on. Trust me, these people are not the sort of people who'd understand. You do it because you want to, because the topic interests you or more likely because you walked into the supervisor's ever so carefully planned and sprung trap of "Oh, you spotted this - why don't you write a thesis about it?".

Honours year is a very good tool for weeding out the wheat from the chaff of your social circle. Those who don't understand and keep bugging you about not doing it, about graduating and so on are to be dropped immediately. These are people who have now clearly demonstrated that over the years you may have known them, they clearly know nothing whatsoever about what motivates or drives or interests you as a person.

If they don't know it's because they don't care enough to bother. The ones you should keep are the ones who patiently sit and listen as you alternatively expound your theories to the universe via them and then sob bitterly on your shoulder when Excel and SPSS refuse to do the nice pretty algorithm calculations you desperately need them to do on your data. They are the ones who will keep replenishing the magic surfaces of your desk/lounge/coffee table/beside table with the god-sent gifts of soft drinks/chocolate/chips/coffee/anything else likely to be considered a caffeine laced stimulant. The ones who deal with the bills with only gentle nudges to remind you that you really need to give them another hundred bucks for the power bill before the electricity is cut off and you lose that latest draft of your thesis you have worked so hard on. They are the ones who insist on you sleeping or getting out of the house into the fresh air on weekends.

And hopefully at the end of it all, come September when you hand the final draft in or October when the actual final "this is it" copy goes in, the final presentation is done and you can collapse and refuse to talk to anyone for weeks. Of course, this is when everyone insists that you celebrate and try to drag you out of bed (or wherever you collapsed).

And then that is  when you have to wonder and find out for yourself, if it was really all worth it. I will  let you know in October.

- Marisa Wikramanayake



Wan discussion

Caller: Hello, can I speak to Annie Wan?

Operator: Yes, you can speak to me.

Caller: No, I want to speak to Annie Wan!

Operator: Yes I understand you want to speak to anyone. You can speak to me. Who is this?

Caller: I am Sam Wan. And I need to talk to Annie Wan! It's urgent.

Operator: I know you are someone and you want to talk to anyone! But what's this urgent matter about? 

Caller: Well... just tell my sister Annie Wan that our brother Noe Wan was involved in an accident. Noe Wan got injured and now Noe Wan is being sent to the hospital. Right now, Avery Wan is on his way to the hospital.

Operator: Look, if no one was injured and no one was sent to the hospital, then the accident isn't an urgent matter! You may find this hilarious but I don't have time for this!

Caller:  You are so rude! Who are you?

Operator: I'm Saw Ree.

Caller: Yes! You should be sorry. Now give me your name!

Operator: That's what I said. I'm Saw Ree. 

What they really mean

DILIP VENGSARKAR - When you rearrange the letters: SPARKLING DRIVE

PRINCESS DIANA - When you rearrange the letters: END IS A CAR SPIN

MONICA LEWINSKY - When you rearrange the letters: NICE SILKY WOMAN

DORMITORY: When you rearrange the letters: - DIRTY ROOM

ASTRONOMER: When you rearrange the letters: - MOON STARER

DESPERATION: When you rearrange the letters: -A ROPE ENDS IT

THE EYES: When you rearrange the letters: -THEY SEE

A DECIMAL POINT: - When you rearrange the letters: I'M A DOT IN PLACE

AND FOR THE GRAND FINALE: MOTHER-IN-LAW: When you rearrange the letters: - WOMAN HITLER

Rest for a while

When her recently deceased husband's will was read, a widow learned he had left the greater part of his fortune to another woman.

Furious, she wanted to change the inscription on her spouse's tombstone.

"Sorry, lady," said the stonecutter. "I inscribed 'Rest in peace' on your orders. I can't change it now."

"Very well," she said grimly. "Just add, 'Until We Meet Again.'" 

Labour pains

A man speaks frantically into the phone, "My wife is pregnant, and her contractions are only two minutes apart!"

"Is this her first child?" the doctor queries.

"No, you idiot!" the man shouts. "This is her husband!" 

No agreement

Two cannibals just finished a big meal and one turns to the other while rubbing his stomach with his fist and says, "You know, I just ate my mother-in-law, and she still doesn't agree with me!" 


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