There was a lot of hype and hysteria on radio and in the newspapers
about the Supremes and the Drifters. Tickets were bought according to a
box plan which clearly showed the main hall of the BMICH. On September 4
we entered the compound and there were no signs to show the concert was
in some backwater behind the main building.
People all dressed up, helping mothers and grandmothers, had to walk
quite a distance. At the entrance they were checked from top to toe.
And we finally entered a makeshift tent, which at first glance looked
like a battery farm. There were no elevated seats, just a sea of heads
and you did feel sorry for those who paid Rs. 10,000 and ended up in the
The Supremes came and screeched their way through the songs. The band
was good, their sound was good but the voices gave us earaches.
Thereís no point going on at a Sri Lankan audience to show enthusiasm
and sing and clap along. If the music and the sound is not right and if
the entertainer does not have the appropriate personality to get the
crowd going... no way!
And who was this compere who asked the audience if they had not had
enough curry that morning as they were not showing much interest in the
show. He desperately needed to learn the finer points of compering.
Even before the Drifters were off the stage, the comperes barged onto
the stage and started thanking the sponsors.
We were a kindergarten audience that it had to be mentioned over and
over again. Once would have been enough since it had already been
drilled into us by the media as to who the sponsors were for the
We are indeed grateful that they gave us this opportunity to view
these artistes, however absurd the prices were. It was ridiculous having
30 rows of Rs 10,000 and in the end complementaries were handed out to
people who couldnít appreciate this type of music anyway. What a farce
indeed. Dear sponsors and organizers, just be aware that we Sri Lankans
are not that starved for entertainment that we are ready to fork out
money for inconvenience. We are promised one thing and given something
else and the comperes have the audacity to blame the audience.
The Drifters were professional and enjoyable but judging by the
amount of people walking away at different times, it was obviously a
mixed audience thanks to too high pricing of tickets and handing out of
complementaries to those less affiliated with the music of the Drifters.
J M L EKANAYAKE,
The law to totally ban begging in public transport systems, imposed
several months ago seems to have become ineffective. Commuters really
appreciated the decision to protect travellers from being harassed by
undesirable characters inside public transport.
Most bus conductors in private and CTB services allow this menace to
continue. On September 3 I had to travel by private Bus No. NB 8188
Route No 02 from Galle to Colombo. Surprisingly up to the end of the
journey more than 10 persons boarded and alighted at various places to
beg, sell lottery, books, toys and a group of young women to collect
funds in aid of a charity. All these took place in a peak time fully
packed bus. The conductor, watched from far end whilst the helpless
passengers were pestered.
Apparently there is a University Don, who asks his young undergrad
charges not to read, write, talk or study English. I donít blame him,
for complete ignorance of a language (or anything else for that matter)
is far better bliss than a nodding acquaintance with it. To illustrate
what I mean, I am sending you this copy of a letter I received from my
sonís English tuition master.
In 1981, when my son was 11 years, I sent him for English lessons to
a well-known tutor. I was a little remiss, I am ashamed to say, about
inquiring into the English the boy was being taught. That is until I
received this letter from his English tutor one day.
Thank you very much for your letter dated 3.11.81 I received it today
after about two weeks delayed. So how are you and your lovely son? Also
it is my obligation to thanks you for your great kindness presenting
that letter on behalf of my cousin. He went there for the treatment
after about five days latter with your letter and is now okayed. My
brother says that his eye effect is much better than earlier and he also
thanked to you. That Doctor had been given him some oilment and eye-dropp.
We bought it from one of the leading Farmacy from Borella. That day at
your residence your wife said with me tht you are hopping to shifted the
place for a new house at Nawala area. I am also with you and it is
pleasantful news for me. Please inform me the date of opening as I am
also hopping to come to the event. With every success for you, your
darning wife, son and dater Your faithfully,