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Events


Guru Nandana Upaharaya

Lak Uruma Arts Foundation in pursuance of its firm commitment to the fostering and promoting of the indigenous arts and artistic talent in the country, presents Guru Nandana Upaharaya, on May 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the John de Silva Memorial Theatre as a felicitation to veteran dancer, Guru Nandana Balasuriya.
Nandana Balasuriya holds a degree in Performing Arts and has spent most of his life as a teacher imparting his knowledge unselfishly to generations of young dancers. He was responsible for introducing some of Sri Lanka’s distinguished artists to the stage, who have made a name for themselves in the field of arts today. Mr. Balasuriya has made a significant contribution to the world of dance and theatre in Sri Lanka. All the professional artists who will feature in this performance were introduced to dance by Mr. Balasuriya.

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Rivira TVS Cricket Pena

The winners of the Rivira TVS ‘Cricket Pena’ were chosen at Rivira Media Corporation recently. From left are Advertising Manager, Rivira Media Corporation, Asanka Peiris, Deputy General Manager, TVS Lanka, Viraj Adhikari, Deputy General Manager, Vinod Lalwani and Deputy Editor, Rivira, Sisira Paranathanthri. (Pic by Nissanka Wijerathne)

Office Bearers

Patron – Lt. General GSC Fonseka RWP, RSP, rcds, pac Commander of the SL Army
Vice Patron – Maj. Gen SV Panabokke, KSV. Brig T. S. B. Salley, Lt. Col. DW. Hapuarachchy, Lt. Col. WMU Gajanayake
President – Maj. Gen. AMB Amunugama, KSV
Vice Presidents - Brig VKB. Weerakoon. KSV, Mr. Mervin Perera
Secretary – Lt. DAR. Jayatunga
Asst. Secretaries - Mr. KL Bandusena, Mr. BD Gunasingha
Treasurer – Mr. WD Perera
Asst. Treasurer - Mr. GJM Tilakaratna
Executive Committee - Brig JB Galgamuwa, KSV, Brig. Athula Jaysinghe, KSV, Major DAN Ghanapala, Capt. AP. Gunapala, Capt. AU Hemachandra, Capt CJ Wickremasinghe, Capt. RNW. Nilaweera, Mr LP Karunarathna Mr. PDLP. Jayatillake, Mr. MY Joharan, Mr. RAD Sudharshana, Mr. LTB Perera, Mr. W Sirisena, Mr. HDB Peiris, Mr. BDJ Cyril, Mr. A Wijedasa, Mr. SLB. Rosa, Mr. WA Wimaladasa, Mr. MS Karunatillake
Internal Auditor - Lt. Col. AM Thilakaratne.

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Old Anandians’ felicitation programme

One of the Past Presidents of the Old Anandians 75-80 Group, Isuru Samarasinghe, who was appointed President of the Ananda College Old Boys’ Association, will be felicitated by the Old Anandians 75-80 Group, at a dinner, on May 26, at Fingara Club, at 7 p.m. onwards. Tickets are available with Thusitha and Kushmi Food Centre outlets.

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Loans for people in Hambantota

MP for Hambantota District and Chairman Janasuwaya Development Foundation, Sajith Premadasa, has embarked on an integrated development project to uplift and enhance the livelihoods of communities living in the Hambantota District.
Sajith Premadasa (right) is seen handing over documents to one of 50 recipiients who received loans in the Tissa Division of Hambantota District. Each loan amounts to Rs. 250,000

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Remembering Sir Ernest de Silva (1887 - 1957)

Time has passed in the blink of an eye. An exact half a century has passed since the death of the man, considered the greatest Philatelist in Sri Lanka’s history. He is a man who should be looked upon, especially by every Sri Lankan, with great esteem. He indeed was none other than Sir Ernest de Silva who was also a Cambridge-educated 20th century local philanthropist, business magnate and public figure. Looking back at his life, even fifty years later, it is a well known fact that ‘honesty’ indeed happened to be his best policy. In fact, he was renowned for his high level of integrity and honesty.
De Silva served as the Chairman of the Senate of Sri Lanka. He was a wealthy and powerful polymath, who made many a contribution to Sri Lankan society. His contributions include vast amounts of philanthropy. He served as the first Chairman of the Central Bank, as well as its Governor. He was to be named the first Sri Lankan Governor General (Head of Government, Armed Forces and Representative of the King; Head of State). De Silva was a respected individual in the Sri Lankan society.
In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to state that de Silva was one of the richest South-East Asians of the Twentieth Century. He inherited and purchased vast lands of tea, rubber and coconut, as well as vast amounts of land, in prominent areas of Colombo. He owned 46 Acres (7360 Perches) of land in most prominent areas of Colombo, worth approximately Rs.40 Billion today. This land was mainly in the Colpetty area, which is now regarded as one of the most expensive places in Sri Lanka, in terms of land. One such property was the famed 1000 acre (4 km²) Salawa estate, which was used as a rubber plantation. He resided in one of the most exclusive properties in Sri Lanka, the Sirimathipaya Mansion, which was equipped with horse stables and tennis courts.
Born in 1887 at ‘Royal Palace’, to one of the most affluent families of Ceylon, de Silva’s parents and grandparents were very wealthy and owned a lot of land all over the country. Young de Silva married Lady Evadne De Silva, a philanthropist herself, who later became the first female member of Senate. One of his daughters married Construction Magnate, U.N.Gunasekera, whose philanthropy rivals his own, making the lineage one of the most prominent traditionally rich families in South-East Asia. The lineage is used as a standard for traditionally-rich families in Sri Lanka, as it is one of the richest, oldest, and most prominent.
Philanthropy
Having funded a vast number of projects, de Silva made every possible contribution to provide free education as well as scholarships to local students. Among his various projects were the building of two major schools, the ever famous Devapathiraja Vidyalaya in Rathgama and Lakshmi College. Sir Ernest and his wife, Lady Evadne funded the inaugural orphanage in Ceylon, in the form of a donation of nine acres in Katunayake. The temple ‘Veluvanaramaya,’ was also the brainchild of de Silva. Another actuality that should be deeply appreciated by us Sri Lankans, is the fact of him presenting lands, buildings and funds to numerous orphanages, hospitals, schools, social service bodies, temples and hermitages without fanfare or publicity.
A strong Buddhist
Being a gentleman who was a strong and faithful Buddhist, de Silva contributed much to the advancement of Buddhism. One such instance was when he purchased an island in the year 1905 and offered it to Ven. Gnanatiloke, the Famous German Monk, in order to start a hermitage, named Polgasduwa, purely for Buddhist monks. Thus, de Silva was instrumental in putting Sri Lanka on the world maps of philosophy and religion. He also served as President of the Young Men’s Buddhist Association (YMBA) and the President of the Kalutara Bodhi Trust. These verities make me recall an occasion in the recent past where former Sri Lankan President, the Late Ranasinghe Premadasa, stated that ‘if there was a Buddhist Temple or school that Sir Ernest did not help, it was not in Sri Lanka’.
Hobbies
Apart from his highly charitable and sociable lifestyle, de Silva had a central passion, which was stamp collecting. His Sri Lankan collection is said to have been world-class, second only to the collection of King George V. He even gained fame for owning the ‘Penny Black,’ the world’s first stamp.
In keeping with his charitable ways, he donated the money gained from the sale of the Mauritius One Penny, (1847) stamp, considered to be the most expensive stamp in the world, which was valued at $3.8 million in 1993, towards the construction of the YMBA building, to his relative, Sir Cyril de Zoysa.
De Silva also gained recognition for being one of the best Sri Lankan billiards players of his time. He had played rounds with the then world champions in his mansion and club. Having served as the President of the Ceylon Turf Club, de Silva maintained a high level of integrity in the sport.
Recognition
After he was knighted in 1946, by King George VI, for his services to Ceylon, Flower Road, where he resided, was renamed Sir Ernest de Silva Mawatha and in addition, a stamp was also issued in the honour of this stamp collector.
As he was perhaps the most respected and wealthiest Sri Lankan of his generation, de Silva was asked to be the first Sri Lankan Governor General, equivalent to the Head of State (President), which he declined, due to personal reasons. He was one of the first Asians to have owned a Rolls Royce.
De Silva was also a very close comrade of the late Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was his batch mate at the University of Cambridge. Nehru also visited his friend in Sri Lanka in the year 1930.
Demise
Sir Ernest De Silva, died on May 9, 1957, almost ten years after Sri Lanka gained independence, a cause he strived for. His funeral was attended by many state officials as well as leaders. Then Premier S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, at de Silva’s funeral oration, stated about the loss the nation had to bear due to this death. He also thanked the late philanthropist for his services to Sri Lanka adding that he was a ‘true gentleman, in every sense of the word’.
May he attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana.
Shanika Ratnayake

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Conserving our cultural property

It is our national responsibility to conserve our cultural property which has a proud history of its own. The Abhayagiri and Jetavana stupas in Anuradhapura, are listed as World Heritage Sites. Including these two, at the moment, Sandagiri Dagaba in Tissamaharama, and a number of ancient sites in Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa are being conserved by the Central Cultural Fund (CCF) with the expectation of conserving the country’s national heritage for the future generation.
The conservation of the Jetavana stupa was completed recently and the conservation work of its stone terrace is underway. Apart from that, the CCF has started conservation work of the Abhayagiriya stupa and the Tissamaharama Sandagiri dagoba. In order to complete this noble and national task, a budget proposal of more than 1200 million rupees has been estimated.
Those who wish to offer voluntary service at the conservation sites, may contact the Manager of Abhayagiri Vihara Project (Tel. 025-2222351) or Project Manager of Jetavana Project (Tel. 025-2224718).

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Appreciations

J. Lionel Silva

J. Lionel Silva was a veteran scout who held many important positions in the Scout Movement of Sri Lanka during his long and distinguished service. I met him for the first time at the Royal Primary School (as it was called then), during one of his visits to the school’s Cub pack.
I was an inexperienced Cub Scout leader at that time, helping one of the Cub packs in the school, whereas Lionel Silva was the field commissioner of scouting in charge of the Western Division of Sri Lanka. The way he taught my little Cub Scouts a proper “action song’ (appudy gasamin rawume yamin) remains fresh in my memory to date.
Later I met him again as a trainer of Scout leaders. Lionel Silva was then serving as a staff member of the 20th Cub Wood Badge Course held at the Mirigama Government Training College in which I was a participant.
In 1985, he invited me to follow the Assistant Leader Trainers’ Course held at the Cardinal Cooray Centre, Negombo, which he conducted. Since this course, I had more opportunities to work with him in Scout activities at national level.
I must state that Lionel Silva always encouraged young Scout leaders like me, to further their knowledge in scouting, and helped juniors to climb up the ladder. When he became the deputy chief commissioner, I was able to help him in several jamborees held in Sri Lanka, and I treasure those experiences.
He possessed the rare gift of being able to select the correct person for the correct job and to get work done most efficiently. He always trusted his subordinates and never interfered with their work, whilst managing to maintain strict discipline.
Owing to the sudden death of Chief Scout Commissioner Rex Jayasinghe, almost two weeks before the SAARC Jamboree, J. Lionel Silva was forced to handle the massive responsibility of organising the entire jamboree, which he did with great skill, despite the limited time.
He was the first to introduce the signaller badge for Cub Scouts, using the Morse code and the semaphore. During his tenure as chief commissioner, he realised the need of Cub Scout literature, and got the Mowgli Stories from Rudyard Kipling’s ever famous Jungle Book translated into Sinhala and made them available to Cub Scout leaders.
Most of us who are senior members of the Scout Movement think of him with immense gratitude for his technical knowledge, correct guidance and advice.
On a personal level, I always thought of him as an honest man who called a spade a spade, even at the cost of his own popularity. Most of us who worked closely with him considered him a veteran in the field, with unsurpassable knowledge and also appreciated his fine human qualities.
Lionel Silva lived a full life of a Scout. As a schoolboy, he had been a Cub Scout, a Junior Scout and then a Rover Scout. As an adult, he was a Scout leader, field commissioner, badge secretary, headquarters’ commissioner, national training commissioner and deputy chief commissioner, before completing his long and distinguished service in the capacity of chief commissioner.
Lionel Silva passed away on May 16, exactly a decade ago, after a brief illness. On the 10th anniversary of this great Scout’s demise, I take this opportunity to pay a humble tribute by penning a few words in appreciation of a great Scout who was also my guru.
May his soul rest in peace!
- Hema Handunnetti

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Film

May 22
Broadcast News (132 Minutes), at the American Centre, at 6 p.m.

May 22 & 23
Peau d’hommes, cœur de bête by Hélène Angel, (1999 – 97 min), in French with English subtitles, at the Alliance Française, at 3:30/6:30 p.m.

May 23
The Congress Dances by Erik Charell (1931 - 97 min) at the Goethe-Hall, German Cultural Centre, Colombo 7, at 5:30 p.m.

May 24
Merry Heirs by Max Ophuel (1933 – 86 min), at the Goethe-Hall, German Cultural Centre, Colombo 7, at 5:30 p.m.

May 26
Annie Hall by Woody Allen (1977), at the Russian Centre, at 5 p.m.

Drama

May 20
Yes! Hon. Minister! a comedy by Ray Cooney - directed by Jehan Bastian at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 7.

May 26 - 27
Agni, an operetta written and directed by Premasiri Khemadasa, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 7.

May 27
Charandas by Parakrama Niriella’s, at Nalanda Theatre, Minuwangoda, at 3:30 p.m./6.30p.m.

Exhibitions

May 20 - June 6
Journey Through Colours, an exhibition of paintings by Antonella Regi, at the Barefoot Gallery Colombo 3.

May 20
An exhibition of paintings by Palitha Jayasekera, at the Lionel Wendt Gallery, Colombo 7.

May 22 – 24
An exhibition of paintings organised by Asian International School, at the Lionel Wendt Gallery, Colombo 7.

May 25 – 27
An exhibition of paintings organised by Vibhavi Academy of Fine Art, at the Lionel Wendt Gallery, Colombo 7.

Public talks

May 20
Truth Is The Catalyst To End Conflict, organised by the Khrishnamurti Centre, Sri Lanka, at the Public Library, Colombo 7, at 10.30 p.m.

Concert

May 25
Esraj recital by Lecturer, University of Visual and Performing Arts at the Indian Cultural Centre, at 6 p.m.

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ARIES
With your lagna lord Kuja (Mars) in the 12th house and Ravi (Sun) and Budha (Mercury) in the 2nd, this week is somewhat unfavourable for you. Haste in your day- -to-day activities will lead to accidents. Heat related ailments of head and feet and injuries due to cuts are foreseen. Beware of accidents while traveling. Relatively a good week for those engaged in education; somewhat favourable for romance too. Expenditure will match income.
TAURUS
With Ravi (Sun) and Budha (Mercury) in the 1st house with lagna lord Sikuru (Venus) in the 2nd expect a favourable week ahead. You will be energetically engaged in household and employment activities. Clerical work will bring gains. A favourable week for purchasing land, houses. Home-front happy and peaceful.

GEMINI
Lagna lord Budha (Mercury) in the 12th house with Ravi (Sun) and Sikuru (Venus) in the 1st will see you facing a week of mixed fortunes. Will attend parties and picnics and incur high expenditure. Refrain from unnecessary romantic affairs. You will face obstacles and neglect educational activities. Even though your income will improve, so will your expenses.

CANCER
A week of mixed fortunes for you, with Ravi (Sun) and Budha (Mercury) in your 11th house and Shani (Saturn) in your 1st. You will face varied obstacles in education and yet try to emerge successful. Those doing higher education will enjoy success. Much gains from documentation or clerical work. Expectations of foreign travel will materialise.

LEO
With lagna lord Ravi (Sun) in the 10th and Kethu in the 1st, yours will be a week of mixed fortunes. More energetic than usual in your workplace. Will obtain superiors’ assistance and thus their praise. Help from your sisters or female acquaintances. Increase in income for those involved in business. Inheritance indicated from maternal side. Beware of ailments of the chest.

VIRGO
Lagna lord Budha (Mercury) with Ravi (Sun) in your 9th house and Kuja (Mars) in the 7th portends a week of mixed fortunes. You will be inclined to spend on the less privileged, the ailing and clergy. Will spend more time on religious affairs. Improved income from employment. A week of improvement for those involved in the arts or in business. Minor upheavals in marital life indicated.

LIBRA
A favourable week for those in Libra, with Ravi (Sun) and Budha (Mercury) in the 8th and Sikuru (Venus) in the 9th. Minor obstacles in your career and other means of income. Others will try to prevent your inheritance from paternal side. You will take up foreign travel. Success for those engaged in higher education. Minor disputes indicated in marital life. Beware of stomach ailments.

SCORPIO
Lagna lord Kuja in the 5th with Ravi (Sun) in the 7th indicates a week of balanced fortunes. You will take decisions in marital affairs and it will prove to be favourable. Progress for those involved in education. Will be successful in interviews and exams, with the assistance of elders and scholars.

SAGITTARIUS
Somewhat of an unfavourable week for you with lagna lord Guru (Jupiter) in the 12th and Ravi (Sun) in the 6th. Obstacles indicated in your livelihood and career. A week where you will have to be careful with your associates. Will incur high expenses on the education affairs of your son. Beware of phlegm, urine related and stomach ailments.

CAPRICORN
The week brings mixed fortunes according to your planetary positions. You will exert all efforts in acquiring land/property and in developing them. Not a very successful week for students and those facing exams or interviews. Results will not match your efforts. Good week for your brothers. Income favourable.

AQUARIUS
A week more favourable to you with Ravi (Sun) and Budha (Mercury) in the 4th house and Shani (Saturn) in the 6th. Career and other income will improve. Increase shown in your capital too. Rise in income for those involved in the industrial fields. Fortunate week for purchase of land, property and construction work. Minor afflictions of head and stomach indicated.

PISCES
Ravi (Sun) and Budha (Mercury) in the 3rd house and Kuja (Mars) in the 1st brings a favourable week ahead. You will put in extra effort in your work. Your haste will result in falls, bruises and accidents. Special success for those engaged in education. Favourable for purchasing, constructing or renovating houses/property.

Rahu period

Sunday: 3.53 to 5.23
Monday: 6.53 – 8.23
Tuesday: 2.23 – 3.53
Wednesday: 11.23 – 12.53
Thursday: 12.53 – 2.23
Friday: 9.53 – 11.23
Saturday: 8.23 – 9.53
(Applicable both day and night)

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