Just around the riverbend | Daily News

Just around the riverbend

Thilini Wikramasinha, Yehali Sangakkara, Hiranya Malwatta  ( river team photographer), Eduard Hempel developer of Tamba Villas / Logistics and Transportation sponsor,  Dr SinhaRaja Tammita Delgoda – Director / Producer and Launch Co-lead of the film, Kumar Sangakkara, Shanika Daluwatta Production sponsorship: Shanika Daluwatta Weerasundara – Teqlaa Solutions, Production Sponsor
Thilini Wikramasinha, Yehali Sangakkara, Hiranya Malwatta ( river team photographer), Eduard Hempel developer of Tamba Villas / Logistics and Transportation sponsor, Dr SinhaRaja Tammita Delgoda – Director / Producer and Launch Co-lead of the film, Kuma

Unveiling of the short film ‘In Search of the Malwatu Oya’ a journey to the heart of the agriculture-based civilization of Sri Lanka was held at the National Film Corporation amid a large gathering of invitees.

This was an event dedicated to the children of the country’s irrigation civilization with profit of the event channeled to fund scholarships for children of farming families. (Educate Lanka:https://educatelanka.org/)

The event was sponsored by Hayleys Agriculture. It was an evening devoted to the Malwatu Oya River, making history by discovering its foundations that had never been explored before.

A team of passionate individuals who are professionals in diverse fields, having common interests have boldly gone on an expedition to an extent where no one has gone before, exploring the river and its past glory. Their experiences and findings on an irrigation civilization that had existed for centuries were shared via the documentary.

The second largest river in Sri Lanka, Malwatu Oya is also the most historic lying at the very heart of the country’s ancient past. The river is of enormous significance to the story of civilization of our beautiful island.

Insightful speeches and a series of classic songs devoted to the theme of ancient Anuradhapura, to the Malwatu River and its vicinity was in store for the audience to enjoy and to rethink of the value of their Motherland.

Poems about Malwatu Oya composed especially for the event were read and songs that harmonizing with the theme sung to enthrall an audience.

Music at the hands of the best people touches the core of our hearts. Dr Nilanka Anjalee Wickramasinghe being a passionate vocalist rendered a series of songs from her husky and velvety voice while poems on Malwathu Oya were read by Thilini Wickramasinghe.

The screening of ‘In Search of the Malwatu Oya’ documentary that followed brought memories of agricultural heritage of our country that had been nurtured for centuries.

Washington, USA based Teqlaa Solutions Company CEO Shanika Weerasundera the sponsor of the documentary speaking at the event said, Sri Lanka has enormous resources in abundance but very few people make use of them.

“The very heart of a country and its people is connected to its culture and history. Sri Lanka being one of the oldest living cultures in the world has a rich message for the world. We intend to tell the story of Sri Lanka to the rest of the world in a more meaningful and memorable manner. As Sri Lankans living abroad we could uplift our Motherland by way of bringing knowledge, investments, educating children, creating jobs, supporting art or helping tell the story of our country. The search for Malwatu Oya connected me with my roots in a compelling and extraordinary way”, she said.

The mastermind of the project, scholar, author Dr Sinharaja Tammita Delgoda who is the director, producer and launch co-lead of the documentary also addressed the gathering. He said search of Sri Lanka’s ancient past is a voyage of the mind, body and soul.

“Sri Lanka will always be an agricultural land and a farming society. We depend on water and we survive on irrigation”, he said.

Dr Delgoda said, “Sri Lankans living in the west keep telling their relatives, how well they are doing while neglecting their homeland. In contrast, moved by a deep feeling towards her country and its culture, Shanika Weerasundera is passionately committed to uplifting her motherland. She made this short film a reality. This is an innovative way of showing our country to the world.”

Cinematography of this remarkable documentary is by Hiranya Malwatta. Dr Delgoda commended the editing and cinematography of the documentary. Malwatu Oya being the 164 kilometer long river in Sri Lanka ranks as the second longest river in the country, with a great historic significance. It connects the city of Anuradhapura, which was the capital of the country for over 15 centuries, to the coast of Mannar.

The last person to explore Malwatu River was the Englishman Robert Knox in 1679. The aim of this new expedition is to start where the Knox’s journey ended at Arippu, where the river flows into the sea. The voyagers would row up the Malwatu Oya in canoes. As they travel they would document the story of the journey through a series of audio-visual programs, this particular one being the first.

Over the next year the team hopes to trace the course of the river by boat, all the way to Anuradhapura, a journey which has never been attempted in the modern time.


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