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“It was towards the close of 2006 when I got admission to the university. As for student associations, I was on board within the first few months. Outdoor activities is my cup of tea most of the time, when I get bored with studies. I was the only Sri Lankan in many student associations. But I did not play an integral role in any of the societies until the following year.”
When they formed Sri Lanka Society (SLS) first, Thipun and co., precisely had no idea of their risky future. Nobody was there to fund them save their own university administration. SLS comrades, however, rolled up their sleeves to celebrate February’s Independence in 2008, with their own funds.
Knowingly or unknowingly they were on their mark to position the Sri Lankan culture in Malaysian foreign university domain. Over the course, Thipun chalked up marks for expert handling of public relations, and was coordinating with Sri Lankan students of other foreign universities and branches in Malaysia and Singapore, with much enthusiasm.
“Constitutionally I was not still eligible for SLS’s presidency,” Thipun grins and goes on, “I was only a few months old at INTI. Many of my colleagues were much senior than me. But still they entrusted me with the job of public relations. My senior batch mate Ishara Pathirana was given the presidency.”
Thipun and his comrades at SLS badly wanted to establish the Sri Lankan position in Malaysia’s society. It was a touching scene of Sri Lankan students all over Malaysia gathered at one place to celebrate their motherland.
“Sri Lanka was just another country to many of them. Speaking of previous associations, none of the societies had the Sinhalese participation.
Many Malaysians have the wrong impression that Sri Lankans are only Tamils. SLS has a balanced composition of all ethnic groups. We could change the general view that Sri Lanka is a war-ridden country with no culture left over.”
At first SLS did hardly have funds. But within a few months they came to the fore and many were willing to support the existence of SLS. The Independence celebration was to be followed by many events of minor scale, and the major event - Sri Lankan Night - stole the show on March 15 last year.
Which was graced by Sri Lankan students all over Malaysia and Singapore.
“We cannot just forget those who had helped us. First Dayani Pathirana and her husband Hemadasa for their brilliant dancing performance. The ex High Commissioner Shanika Dissanayaka gave us official sponsorship.
Sri Lankan Airlines, Zam Gems and Laksiri Cargo should also be mentioned for their assistance. We were lucky to get hold of Pan Pacific Hotel, Asia’s best airport hotel for our venue. For cultural events we could get a great deal of support from two temples, Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields and Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Sentul.”
The basic target of the Sri Lankan Night was to exhibit traditional richness of the country’s culture.
SLS gradually became known among the other student bodies. They were finally relieved of funding issues they had earlier. Things went smooth with Thipun too. He became the President of SLS for his unsurpassed organising capacity.
He could finally bridge the link between Malaysia and Sri Lanka. What was lesser known to the university circle, Thipun took efforts to reverse. Sri Lanka was no longer another tiny spot in the world map for the Malaysian student community.
The high success of the previous Sri Lankan night has brought SLS a positive faith on a 2009 night. “We think of having it in mid-March like last time,” Thipun said, “we are getting ready these days.”
Apart from being the president of Sri Lankan Society, Thipun is also the Vice President of International Students’ Society. Thipun has one more year to go.
“I am a very outgoing guy. What I detest most is to get stuck inside. I don’t believe in being ivory towers. We should get along with different communities, and show them what our community is. If I have done enough to convince my culture to foreign communities, then that’s it. I am happy.”
One fine day I dropped at the General Hospital of Kandy to see an ailing friend who was warded in a compact ward. While indulging in an intimate discussion with him, he drew my attention to a non assuming young man who was engrossed in a sketching spree of pencil portraits of the inmates of the ward.
P. Padmasiri Ranaweera who was involved in this discipline is an up and coming young artist, a third year undergraduate of the University of Aesthetic Education Colombo.
Glancing through some of the pencil portraits he has so far executed, I realised that he possess an abundance of creativity and objective accuracy.
His lightening pencil portraits, drawings and related paintings reveal keen observation, precision and balance. His line work moves effortlessly with a certain amount of rhythm. It is quite interesting to note that he is equally free not only with the medium of oil paintings but with other mediums as well. The portraits he has done in oil are remarkable the way he has handled his medium.
Alliance française de Kandy will sponsor his maiden solo exhibition, ‘Portraits’.
The opening ceremony will take place on January 23 at 6.00 p.m. The Chief-Guest will be Prof. Athula Senaratne, Department of Geology, University of Peradeniya. The Exhibition will continue till the February 2.
‘Boeing Boeing’ in Colombo
Marc Camellotti’s hilarious Comedy ‘Boeing Boeing’, which has been turned into a movie by Hollywood and Bollywood is now on its way to Colombo! ‘Boeing Boeing’, a Silent Hands Productions drama will hit the Lionel Wendt on January 23 and 25 at 7 p.m.
Bernard Lawrence is an American architect stationed in London, England. A playboy, he has devised an ingenious system for juggling three different girlfriends: by dating stewardesses who are assigned to international routes on non-intersecting flight schedules, only one woman is in the country at any given time.
He has their comings and goings timetabled with such precision that he can drop off his American Airways girlfriend for her outgoing flight and pick up his inbound Deutsche Air girlfriend on the very same trip to the airport - while his Air France girlfriend is in a holding pattern elsewhere.
With help from his long-suffering housekeeper Bertha - who swaps the appropriate photos and food in and out of the apartment to match the incoming girlfriend - none of the ladies are aware of each other’s presence in the apartment. They regard Bernard’s’ flat as their “home” during their London layovers.
Bernard’s life is turned upside down when his girlfriends’ airlines begin putting new, state-of-the-art aircraft into service.
These faster airplanes change all of the existing route schedules and allow the stewardesses to spend more time in London.
Most alarming for Bernard, his three girlfriends will now all be in London at the same time. Robert Long, an old friend with whom he has not had much contact with, complicates Bernard’s life even further when he arrives in town and is unable to find a hotel room.
He insists on staying in Bernard’s apartment for a few days. When he sees Bernard’s living situation, Long finds it impossible to move back to the Provinces that he came from without having a bite of this wonderful and exciting way of life-much to Bernard’s dismay. Don’t miss this fun-filled production come alive at the Lionel Wendt for it will be a sure treat for those on the look out for a good laugh.
Bundles of talent emerge with Muthu Pabalu
Muthu Pabalu, a programme to launch a book comprising essays and drawing of grade two students of Sangamitta Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo, was held at the school premises recently under the patronage of principal V. E. Jayaweera and the teachers of the school. Around 300 grade 2 students from seven classes took part in this event which was instilled under the new education programme to develop young talent.
“This book was introduced to the students as a means of bringing out the innate talents within them. I wish to thank the teachers and all those who worked towards making this event a reality for the students,” said Principal of Sangamitta B.V., V.E. Jayaweera.
“Each student has her page in the book along with a photograph of herself, essay and a drawing to go along with the essay, though each of the books have the same essay by the student, we requested them to have the drawing done over and over again so that each of the books has original drawings instead of photocopied versions,” explained S.M. Malkanthi, the teacher of grade 2- Lilly.
No doubt, it was a treat to see the students in all their glory as they presented their work to their eagerly waiting teachers and parents.
Creative and unique
Creativity has no boundaries. Those who have an inborn creative streak are not afraid to experiment whatever they can lay their hands on and come up with new and unique creations.
D.H. Salaman Silva belongs to this rare group. The 68 year old who hails from Harumalgoda, Habaraduwa, had stumbled upon his skill to make objects oozing with creativity with regiform. According to Silva forming these creations had become a hobby as well as an occupation.
He makes astoundingly real looking vegetables, fruits, statues of animals, wall hangings, plants, flower bouquets etc and the prices of the products ranges from Rs. 20 to Rs. 1000. Most of his creations are exported as well as there is a high demand for his creations abroad. “Hotels, guest houses and restaurants buy a bulk of the stock.
Foreigners are fascinated by the creations and make it a point to stop by and buy a few to take with them to give away as presents to their loved ones.
Some of my creations are sold at fairs too and both young and old alike show interest towards my work,” Silva expressed his views on his creations.
Silva’s creations take form with regiform, a small saw and different shades of colours. He says that one of his banana combe can be kept among real bananas and no one will notice the difference. Apart from making creations from regiforms Silva’s time is spent on farming.
Events at ICC
The following event will take place at the Indian Cultural Centre in January. Admission to all the programs is free on first come first served basis except for the January 25 program.
January 20 (6 p.m.) - Film:
The Oneness of Creation
(1) Cosmopolitan Indian In Ancient Times
(2) In Medieval Times (Documentaries in English)
January 22 (6 p.m.) - Film:
(1) Back to Gondwanaland
(2) Of Melodies Divine (Documentaries in English)
January 25 (6.30 p.m.) - A cultural troupe from India will perform at the ICC to celebrate the 60th republic day of India. The event is sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi. Admission by invitation.
Laebeema - Nolaebeema to be launched
W.A. Abeysinghe’s latest book Laebeema - Nolaebeema will be launched at Dayawansa Jayakody Book Exhibition Hall, Colombo 10 on January 20.
Laebeema - Nolaebeema is the authentic Sinhala translation of Chingiz Aithmathov’s novel ‘To Have and to Lose’. Written against the World War II, the author depicts how an ordinary lorry driver changes his destiny. The translator is a well-known writer and an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.
Mani Ratnam’s ‘Ravan’ not based on ‘Ramayana’?
Mani Ratnam’s much-talked about film “Ravan”, starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, is not based on the epic “Ramayana”, said a source.
“The film has nothing to do with the epic ‘Ramayana’. It’s an urban story,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Ratnam is trying to keep the story under wraps and is taking precautions while shooting. First he shot the film in the jungles of Kochi and now he is stationed in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. – Bollywoodworld
A ‘Big’ musical gift
A Philadelphia museum has received a musical gift for children and “Big” kids alike.
The 16-foot (4.9-meter) walk-on piano Tom Hanks played in his 1988 film “Big” will be on display next month at the city’s Please Touch Museum.
The instrument is a gift to the children’s museum from a couple in suburban Merion who bought it after the movie’s release.
Philadelphia, Monday, AP
‘Gloom’ Bright ideas through darkness
Lanka Chamara Kokuhennadi who produced ‘Sri Lankan Karaoke’ and Thala Bhawana recently launched his latest production ‘Gloom’ stage drama recently. Lanka as a Creative Director of well known advertising company Master Minds International, has created various modern productions related to Music, Dancing and Drama.
Expressing the views about his efforts to the Daily News Lanka said “I always give priority to add comprehensive entertainment in my every production. Let it be an activity related to Advertising, Dancing or Drama related activity. I always concentrate that ultimate winner should be the audience at the end of my production. Then only I would gain satisfaction about my efforts.
This very reason has brought me success throughout my journey of producing stage dramas.” “Modern technology and facilities such as stage management, lighting and rotating-sets are aplenty utilized in my productions. I always believe every production contained the distinctive quality of entertaining the audience with satire while preserving the aesthetic aspect of the drama.
These productions were created concerning the present day human mentality. These facilities used save you time and money. I gained the experience of using these facilities effectively as I am in to event management, production of exhibition stalls and conducting advertising campaigns.
These features were to be seen in my past productions of ‘SriLankan Karaoke’ and Thala Bhawana too.
“I assume these facilities are very rarely used due to lack of knowledge,” he added.
Commenting on the plot he revealed, “Gloom carries a theme of widely discussed incidents pertaining to the present day families as well as the women who are morally vulnerable in principles and practice.
The drama intend to accomplish carrying the message of malpractice that less opportune women have to experience when they hang out in society. I had no intention to criticize any distinct segment of men in the society.
But, my attempt was to eradicate by highlighting the deception or injustice these women undergo. Every member of this society has the right to live according to their willingness. It is a matter of discussion if, we are to wipe out the subject from the society.”
“The cast comprises strong young characters who are blended with promising talent. They are a bunch for the future of modern stage plays. Priyanwada, Chamara, Chaturi
and myself play a major role within the cast and student of University of Aesthetic
play as the rest of the cast. They showed versatility with their performance capturing
the heart of the audience. Lighting was handled by Prabath of Punchi Theatre while Chandradithya handled the stage management.
The lyrics of the songs played were taken from the book ‘DELA’ which was presented by me in November last year. Precisely, I was greatly pleased with the share everyone involved gave in. I believe, ‘Gloom’ will be recognized at the State Drama Competition for its efforts.” he concluded.
Lanka C. Kokuhennadi, is a versatile Creative Director in the advertising trade and he encompasses talent in stage drama and dancing productions, music and writing. He carries a bright future in the field as he has slowly but surely gained immense experience with his productions in the past. Daily News wishes him success in all his future productions.
Priyantha begins work on Sanda Hithuvakkarai
Young director Priyantha Samarakoon, who had contributed to a number of tele creations had begun work on his maiden teledrama Sanda Hithuvakkarai.
Sriyantha Mendis, Nilmini Thennakoon, Buddhadasa Vithanachchi, Pramudi Karunaratne, Sarath Karunaratne, Ferni Roshani, Gamini Jayaratne, Kusum Perera, Gamini Abeysinghe, Jagath Muthukumarana, Samadhi Laksiri, Ayodhya Dhakshika, Deepal Liyanarachchi, Gayan Jayawardena, Jayatileke Herath and Jagath Manusiri make up the cast while the teledrama introduces Sunil Ratnayake, Binura Halwathura and Teron Wickramasuriya to the small screen. Chief Minister of Western Province, Reginald Cooray will also portray a significant role in Sanda Hithuvakkarai.
The story is based upon the rural backdrop of a village. It centers on a woman who works for the pottery industry.
The tale focuses on the theme of unwavering courage and will and traces the plight of the hard working woman and her daughter.
The Muhurath ceremony of the teledrama was held at Bellanvila Rajamaha Viharaya recently. Speaking at the event director Samarakoon said that he hope his creation will bring a new light to the monotonous teledrama scene which is unfolding on television channels.
“The teledrama has all the ingredients to make it a successful creation. I wish the director well in his endeavours and am glad to be a part of this unique creation,” Minister Cooray stated while actor Sriyantha Mendis pointed out that in an era where teledramas are all taking a certain direction, Samarakoon had stepped forward to take up the challenge of presenting a meaningful creation to the public. “He aims to nurture the industry and leave an inspiring and positive point for the future creators to pick up from,” he said.
“The script has a unique touch which is far a cut above the rest. We will all get together to do justice to this creation and revive the story,” Buddhadasa Vithanachchi added.
The 30 episode teledrama will begin shooting from January 22 in locations in Mathugama and Naebada.
The script is by Lal Wasantha Karunaratne while the assistant director is Anula Mudugamuwa.
Make up is by Ranjith Mathakaweera, art direction by Disna Dilantha Jayasinghe and the assistant art direction is by Jeewantha Batagallagedara and Madhusha Patabandige.
The production manager is Henry Permaratne and Kasun Muthukuttige. Thilak Ranjan is the cameraman and is also in charge of the lighting.
Priyantha Samarakoon will produce Sanda Hithuvakkarai on behalf of Samaraseya Tele Films.
Realist painter of rural America, Andrew Wyeth dies
US realist painter Andrew Wyeth, whose paintings depict rural life in America, has died at his home in Pennsylvania at the age of 91, a spokeswoman from a museum that has an extensive collection of his work said Friday.
Wyeth had been suffering from a “slight illness” and died in his sleep in the early hours on Friday at his home in Chadd’s Ford near Philadelphia, Lora Englehart of the Brandywine River Museum told AFP.
US President George W. Bush mourned the passing of the artist, who “captured America in his paintings of his native Pennsylvania and Maine.” Born on July 12, 1917 in Chadd’s Ford, Wyeth, the youngest of five children of muralist and children’s book illustrator Newell Convers Wyeth, was home-schooled by his parents — including in art. He held his first one-man show of watercolors, one of his favored media, at a gallery in New York when he was 20. The show was a sell-out.
His best-known paintings include “Christina’s World,” featuring a Wyeth family neighbor at their summer residence in Maine, and the Helga pictures, a compilation of tempera and dry brush paintings, watercolors and pencil studies of a Chadd’s Ford neighbor, German-born Helga Testorf.
From 1971 to 1985, Wyeth created more than 240 works featuring Testorf without telling anyone, including his wife.
Washington, Monday, AFP
Canada’s gift to Obama: 49 songs
Canada’s CBC public radio has plans to teach US president-elect Barack Obama a little more about his northern neighbor, with an inaugural compilation of 49 Canadian songs.
Some “49 songs from north of the 49th parallel” are to be chosen on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Friday.
Obama’s “playlist could definitely benefit from some Canadian content, especially given the depth of our musical offerings — spanning a wide variety of genres and representing our culture from coast to coast,” CBC mused on its website.
Judging from the top 100 songs listeners can vote from on the radio’s website at cbc.ca/obamasplaylist, Obama will get an eclectic earful.
The list includes “Night Train” by famed jazz musician Oscar Peterson, folk rock singer Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” “The Hockey Song” by Stompin’ Tom Connors, as well as a song by leading indie rock group Arcade Fire and some French-language selections.
“One of the best way to know Canada is through the depth and breadth of our artistic expression,” CBC Radio executive director Denise Donlon said in a statement.
Montreal, Monday, AFP
Prathiba Praba It’s all about team spirit
Prathiba Praba, a talent show to enhance the togetherness of the employees of Link Natural Products (Pvt) Ltd. was held at the company premises recently. Around 350 employees took part in this event.
Competitions for writing essays and poetry along with drawing posters and painting, group singing, dancing and staging short dramas were held throughout December 2008 and the first, second and third place winners were chosen to showcase their creations at Prathiba Praba.
The employees were divided into eight groups and everyone got a chance to show their colours in the category of their choice.
Enhancing team spirit was the key objective of the program and it also provided a memorable and enjoyable experience to them.
Tennyson brings ‘Tarzan the Baba’
Ace comedian Tennyson Cooray’s latest entertaining stage play ‘Tarzan the Baba’ will be staged at the Elphinstone Theatre on January 25 at 3.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. All proceeds from this drama ticket sale will go directly towards making a definite change to a better tomorrow for our future generation.
“ECOLOGI” a volunteer team of Schenker, Sri Lanka has come forward to assist the future generation in a small scale with an Environmental friendly project aimed at creating awareness amongst the Business community and its stake holders on how to achieve the lowest C02 emissions by intelligently combining all modes of transport.
It will conduct workshops on Ongoing Environmental Issues such as Noise Pollution, Value of Recycling or lack there of, Ambient Air Quality etc.
It also plans to develop and provide necessary facilities to a village that lacks proper waste management, drinking water and to educate them about maintaining good environmental practices. With a view to fulfill its Corporate Social Responsibility, DB Schenker Sri Lanka (part of the third largest logistics provider in the world) instigates its very own environmental project called “ ecoLOGI” .
It also intends to Bridge the gap between Ecology (environmentalism) and Logistics by intelligently combining all modes of transport to achieve the lowest levels co2 emissions.
The first fund raising event toward this community development project was held last week which saw contributions from over 50 leading business conglomerates that included Brandix Group, Hirdaramani Group, Expo Lanka Group and others. According to its organizing committee which consist a group of volunteers, they intend to hold ongoing workshops on various environmental issues such as:
Value of Recycling, natural resource management, Noise Pollution, Ambient Air Quality etc., with the help of a leading Integrated Environmental services provider SGS.
From a Global perspective, DB SCHENKER has been constantly finding ways to reduce carbon emissions and generate lower levels of greenhouse gases. They also have the distinction of operating the first paperless Airfreight shipments from Singapore, Germany, Canada, Australia, Korea, Hong Kong and the UK.
DB Schenker which belongs to the prestigious DB ( Deusch Bahn -Germany Rail) group believes rail transport are far more preferable to both trucks and aircraft for domestic movements.
“While many goods must be brought to the consumer via roads, the railways’ ecological advantages in long distance transport are undeniable” according its sources.
Akalanka excels as the Dancing Star
Sirasa TV’s much hyped about reality television show, ‘Sirasa Dancing Stars’, season two, concluded at a glamorous evening of dance and music held at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC) on January 17 with cricketer Akalanka Ganegoda and his dance partner Shashila emerging winners. Akalanka beat model Chulapadmendra and choreographer Kushani Sandareka to bag Rs. 100, 000 along with the winner’s trophy.
Each finalist had to present two dance acts each during the finals while the jury comprising Ravindra Randeniya, Rosy Senanayake and Sabitha Perera along with guest judge Channa Wijewardene commented on their performance. The highlight of the function is probably the distribution of the trailers of the Sirasa’s maiden movie production, ‘Dancing Star’, which casts a bulk of those who took part in ‘Sirasa Dancing Stars’, season one.
According to director Susara Dinal the movie is based upon the reality television show while it flows along the themes of romance and youth talent. Actors of the movie lead by Shiroshi Romeshika (who was introduced to movie through the film) and Dushyanth Weeraman performed to the dance tracks from the movie.
Key players of season one Nilanthi Dias, Hashini Goangala and others also presented a number of dance items. Another specialty included in the events line up was when all the participants who had taken part and had been eliminated from season two got together to dance to songs included in veteran actress Malini Fonseka’s films.
This performance was meant as a mark of tribute to the actress who recently brought fame to the Sinhala cinema industry and the country through her pivotal performance in Prasanna Vithanage’s Akasa Kusum.
“‘Dancing Star’, the movie, is set to hit theatres in early February while fans can expect ‘Sirasa Superstar’ season three to unfold soon,” Dinal stated.