India Uncut

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Time to change the time

The BBC reports that Sri Lanka is changing the timezone it is in, shifting from six hours ahead of GMT to five-and-a-half, the same as India. The report says:
It will be Sri Lanka's third official time change in 10 years and will take the country back to where it stood in 1996.

Some of the country's Buddhist clergy are rejoicing at the prospect of a change because they say Sri Lanka's "old" time fitted better with their rituals.

They believe a decade living in the "wrong" time has upset the country's natural order with terrible effect.

The Venerable Gnanawimala says the change moved the country to a spiritual plane 500 miles east of where it should be.

"After this change I feel that many troubles have been caused to Sri Lanka. Tsunamis and other natural disasters have been taking place," he says.
Don't you just love it? Just as Indian Airlines changed its name to Indian, Sri Lankan Airlines should change its name to Spiritual and put The Venerable Gnatlikename in the cargo of one of its aircraft -- that way he'll always be on a Spiritual plane, comprendre?

Later in the BBC report, Arthur C Clarke is quoted as complaining against this move. He says:
If you're trying to make international calls and you don't know quite what the time is, it's very inconvenient to you and to the person at the other end.
Yes, that's the same chap who wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey."

I can imagine him calling a friend in England and the friend saying to him, "Arthur, this is much too late to call me, I had already gone to bed. What do you think I am, a young boy?"

And then Arthur looks at his watch, realises that the timezone has changed, and curses The Venerable Gnashingteeth under his breath. And we really can't have that, can we?

(Link via email from Bongo P'o'ndit, who also blogs about it here.)

Update: Arzan tells us all about daylight-saving time here, while Thennavan foresees a Y2K-type problem in the years to come.
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