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Wild Asia: The animal world

by Susitha R. Fernando

(August 31, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) ‘Wild Asia’ to bridge a unity between the man and the beast is a popular television programme among all ages of groups telecast every Saturday from 6.30 pm to 7 pm on Rupavahini channel.

Directed by Pathmalata Abeysinghe, an experienced TV programme producer and announcer has become extremely popular among many an audience and the programme has influenced many to think about the nature and the animals around them. This has been aptly proved with the number of letters received daily.

The programme aims to be a voice to the animals. "Though there are many programmes to highlight issues related to human rights there is hardly anyone to speak on behalf of the animals living around us. And the programme aims to take an initiation to love our animals and protect them," said programme producer Pathmalata Abeysinghe.

And it also aims to highlight many good qualities that are lost among humans yet protected among the animals. "We have a very dedicated team to work with us and the main message we want to convey through this programme is to teach this society to love nature and love our animals and accept them as a part of this world," Pathmalatha said.

"And we must realize that the animals too have a share of our food and it is our responsibility to share the food with them," the director added.

Wild Asia is the official media for the animal. And when shooting, the crew had come across many dangerous incidents. However we have a firm belief that we will be protected by nature.

A concept by Mrs. Abeysinghe herself, 'Wild Asia' was initiated with private funds including property she had mortgaged.

Later National Lotteries Board chairman Upali Liyanage who realized the importance of the programme came up for sponsorship, she said with gratitude. And we are also thankful to the present chairman who agreed to continue this programme.

"There are animal related programmes like Wild America and Wild Africa but there are no programmes under the title of 'Wild Asia" said Mrs. Abeysinghe describing the programme title.

"Though Asia has got a large number of unique species in the world, they were not highlighted in the media," she explained. The Wild Asia team works closely work with the Wildlife Department and its employees who have become a great support to the success of the programme. So far the programme has featured national parks Sinharaja, Udawalawe, Yala and Wasgamuwa, Bundala and many other sites like Horton Plains. The programmes on the underwater in Hikkaduwa, Rumassala and Batticaloa seas have become very popular. The team is ready to cover East and North Provinces as soon as possible.

Arun Dias Bandaranayake's interesting and attractive presentation has added to its popularity and the others in the team include Anura, Jayantha, Deepthi, Norbert, Vajira Perera, Hashini, Pasan, M. R. Fernando, Somadasa Suriyarachchi, Deegalla, Nuwan and Ranul Thanthililage.

Pathmalatha: Power behind the programme

The powerful force behind Wild Asia programme is Pathmalatha Abeysinghe Bachelor of Fine Arts at Kelaniya University. Pathmalatha is an experienced radio announcer. She is the first female announcer who covered international sports meets like Comonwealth Games, Paralympics from abroad.

A trained teacher, Mrs. Abeysinghe is also the writer of 'Sirilaka Diya Eli' (Waterfalls in Sri Lanka), a book about the waterfalls in Sri Lanka. She also has produced a number of educational programmes for children in radio and miniscreen.

Wild Asia Club

Due to much demand, Wild Asia Club an organization by a young and old group who love nature is to be formed. The club aims to protect animals unique to different areas by the members in that particular area. Through the club the members will be able to collect information with regard to the animal s to share with others.

And those animal lovers in spite of age barriers are invited to forward their application with a bio-data to Wild Asia Club, Post Box 06, Pannipitiya.

And at the 10th International Book Fair in BMICH, Wild Asia Club has prepared to reserve a stall to avail souvenirs of 'Wild Asia' which is demanded by many through letters. The entire proceeds is directed to get equipment for the programme.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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