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Sri Lanka Telecom announces the launch of its 2014 Calendar – “Medicinal Plants of Sri Lanka”

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the national telecommunication service provider proudly announces the launch of its latest calendar for the year 2014 on the theme “Medicinal Plants of Sri Lanka”. The 2014 calendar depicts drawings of 12 varieties of medicinal plants that have been widely used for medicinal purposes for over thousands of years.

SLT has been continuously promoting and advocating the preservation of the rich heritage of our country for the benefit of future generations. One of the ways in which this is being done is via the CSR theme of “Preserving heritage for tomorrow”. The company produces calendars and complementary items, and has been carrying out a wide range of initiatives with the aim of educating the public, especially the younger generation on the importance of conserving our heritage for tomorrow since 2003.

With the main theme “preserving heritage for tomorrow”, the company produces calendars and complementary items to encompass diverse fields such as nature, arts and culture each year. Some popular past themes include: Endemic birds of Sri Lanka (2003), Endemic orchids of Sri Lanka (2005), Kolam masks of Sri Lanka (2006), Endemic fresh water fish of Sri Lanka (2007), Gok Art (2008), Endemic Butterflies of Sri Lanka (2009), Heritage of Sinharaja (bio-diversity) (2010), Re-discovering hidden heritage (2011), Drums of Sri Lanka (2012) and Rush and Reed Craft of Sri Lanka (2013).

The 2014 calendar focuses on Medicinal Plants of Sri Lanka. Through art work this calendar depicts 12 selected medicinal plants found in Sri Lanka as well as information on their habitat, general features, characteristics and therapeutic uses. Some of these plants are endemic to Sri Lanka while others have been brought into the country and cultivated. The calendar contains a wealth of information that is of great educational value and interest for a wide audience that includes the general public, collectors and students. As always, the calendar was produced after much research and hard work by SLT with advice and insights from a reputed resource person. The resource person for the 2014 calendar was Dr. Pathirage Kamal Perera who has specialized in Pharmacology, Immune Medicine and Clinical products Development and is also a Senior Lecturer/Researcher at the Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, and the Head of Department of Allied Sciences. The drawings for the calendar were done by Parami Vidayarathane, while design and production was undertaken by an in-house team at SLT.

Majority of the medicinal plants featured in the calendar are used for the preparation of Ayurveda medicines. Although these plants have been used for medicinal purposes for over a thousand years, with the spread of western medicine, knowledge on these plants and their uses have not reached the younger generation of today. However, Ayurveda, as a form of medicine, has steadily grown in popularity over the years, both in Sri Lanka as well as across the globe due to people becoming increasingly health conscious and switching back to traditional forms of medicine. However, the lack of knowledge on some these medicinal plants, such as Wanaraja and Duhudu, which have been included in SLT Calendar 2014 have brought them to the verge of extinction and are today red-listed by the IUCN. . Therefore, SLT saw this as an urgent need to raise awareness on these plants and highlight their importance to the public in order to educate them and help preserve these plants for posterity.

Special Attention: Please consult a qualified Ayurvedic physician prior to using any of the plants depicted in the SLT Calendar 2014 for medicinal purposes.