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A stroll through the Forbidden City (Pics)



The most majestic palace in the People’s Republic of China is located in the center of its capital, Beijing.

This palace is also known as the ‘Palace Museum’.

However, this place, which is now known as the Palace Museum, was referred to as the ‘Forbidden City’ in the past.

The Forbidden City’s history dates back to more than 600 years.

The palace was built between the period of the Ming Dynasty which was in power from 1368 to 1644 BC and the Qing Dynasty which was in power from 1644 to 1911.

The Forbidden City was the home to 24 emperors of China.

The construction of the palace began by the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Yongle, in 1406 and was completed in 1420.

Fourteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty ruled the empire from the palace until it was taken over by the Manchus in 1644.

Chinese history says the Manchus moved the capital to Shenyang for a few months after they conquered the palace.

The Forbidden City later fell to the hands of the Qing Dynasty and has been home to 10 emperors of the Qing Dynasty ever since.

The city was the seat of the Qing dynasty until the last emperor abdicated in 1912 following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

Considered to be the world’s largest imperial palace, it is said to be three times larger than the Louvre Palace in France.

The Forbidden City which is 7,750,000 square feet in size has been completed with the contribution of a million laborers.

It consists of more than 90 palace quarters and courtyards, 980 buildings and over 8,728 rooms.

The architects have designed it in a way that birds are unable to roost on the roofs of the Forbidden City.

The spaces between the tiles on the high roofs have been widened in order to retain the cleanliness and splendor of the city.

It is said that the colors of the Forbidden City are based on Feng Shui, and therefore, yellow and red colors can be seen often.

Buildings of European and Arabian architecture are also located within the premises. 

It was said that part of the old collection at the museum is still in Taiwan as a result of removing some national treasures from the Forbidden City during the Japanese invasion in 1933.

Following the end of World War II, part of the collection was returned from Taiwan, but some of the artefacts are kept in the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

Many people here believe that a visit to the Forbidden City is incomplete without a visit to Jingshan Park.

If you wish to see just how enormous and majestic the Forbidden City is, you must visit the nearby Jingshan Park where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire complex from top of a hill.

(Kelum Shivantha reporting from Beijing, China)

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President’s fifty-year milestone (pics)




President Ranil Wickremesinghe was felicitated last evening in completing 50 years since taking oaths as a lawyer at a gala event at the Shangri La Hotel in Colombo. 

Speaking at the occasion, the President said he practised law for five years and then joined the ‘chambers’ of President J.R. Jayewardene, where he then became a lawmaker. 

Picture shows the President last night in a good mood with his wife Professor Maithri Wickramasinghe.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva who joined the occasion said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has never worked for self promotion but to strengthen the parliament.

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China’s Diesel donation arrives in SL (Pics)




The Oil tanker “Super Eastern” carrying 10.6 million litres (9,000 metric tonnes) of diesel donated by China has arrived at the Colombo Port.

The fuel is donated for farmers and fishermen in remote areas of Sri Lanka.

Tweeting, the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka said that the Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong today (27) boarded the oil tanker and handed over the diesel donation to Sri Lankan farmers & fishermen through related Sri Lankan ministries.

Distribution will start soon under a mutually agreed modality, the embassy adds.

(Pics Courtesy : Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka / Fisheries Ministry)

Related News :

Chinese Diesel donation to reach SL tomorrow

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‘Beaver moon’ lunar eclipse (Pics)




People watch as a full moon rises before a total lunar eclipse in Stanwell Park, Australia (Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA)

A beaver blood total lunar eclipse stunned skygazers across the world yesterday (08).

The reddish lunar lunar eclipse visible from North America to the Pacific but not in Europe.

The eclipse’s totality, where the Moon is entirely in Earth’s shadow – lasted between 10:17 and 11:42 GMT.

The next total lunar eclipse will been seen in on March 14, 2025.

The following is a selection of the lunar eclipse as it was seen across the world.

A composite image of the total lunar eclipse, in which the moon is completely covered by the Earth’s shadow, seen from the city of Gwangju, south-west South Korea (Photograph: Yonhap/EPA)
The eclipse is visible in Kolkata, India (Photograph: Piyal Adhikary/EPA)
The moon rises above Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar (Photograph: Thein Zaw/AP)
The blood-red moon passes over the Empire State Building in New York City (Photograph: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)
The Earth’s shadow starts to cover the moon, as seen through Christmas lights at a public square in Caracas, Venezuela (Photograph: Matias Delacroix/AP)
The moon seen behind a corner tower along the outer walls of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China (Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/AP)
The lunar eclipse rises over the Australian Parliament House in Canberra (Photograph: Getty Images)
A total lunar eclipse is seen over the roof of Sensoji temple at Asakusa in Tokyo (Photograph: EPA)
As seen from Central America, from San Salvador, El Salvador’s captal (Photograph: Reuters)

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