From the Cradle launch

A museum of folk culture was always close to renowned Sri Lankan novelist Martin Wickramasinghe’s heart. The collection of objects of folk culture acquired by him during his lifetime has been the nucleus that initiated the Martin Wickremasinghe Museum of Folk Culture at Koggala. The Museum has been established in close proximity to the house in which he was born. It houses one of the largest collections of folk culture artefacts in Sri Lanka. Over the past 25 years, the Martin Wickramasinghe Trust has made the Museum the growing repository of artefacts from our folk culture, to remind the people of Sri Lanka of the living roots common to all of us that have continued to nourish us from the past.
From the Cradle is a high quality publication featuring glimpses of Sri Lankan folk culture portrayed at the Museum. It is profusely illustrated through the lens of award-winning photographer, Sarath Perera.
The book will be launched on May 29 at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo.


Maris Stella College Day

This year, the Old Boys’ Association of Maris Stella College, Negombo will celebrate the College Day, and its 78th Anniversary, on June 2. The celebrations will commence in the morning with sports activities organised by the Maristonian Sports Association. The highlight of the evening celebrations will be the Holy Mass at the College Chapel, followed by the R. I. Fernandopulle Memorial Oration, delivered by Prof. Carlo Fonseka, a distinguished old boy of the college, on the topic, ‘Stop Worrying And Start Living.’ The celebrations will end with fellowship and dinner, at the YMCA International Hotel, Kurana, Katunayake.
All are welcome for the mass and the oration at the College premises. Old boys are to make reservations for the fellowship and dinner early. Dinner tickets are available with the committee members and reservations should be made before May 29.


Programme for the day

08:30 a.m. - Hoisting of the
National Flag
08:45 a.m. - Official opening of events
by the Rev. Bro. Provincial
09:00 a.m. - 20 Over (20-20) cricket match
Present boys Vs. Old boys
10:30 a.m. - Volley Ball - Present
boys Vs. Old boys
0:00 p.m. - Basketball - - Do -
02:30 p.m. - Hockey - - Do -
03:30 p.m. - Football - - Do -
04:30 p.m. - Prize distribution and
end of sports activities.
06:00 p.m. - Holy Mass at the
College Chapel
07:00 p.m. - R. I. Fernandopulle Memorial
Oration, at the College Hall
by Prof. Carlo Fonseka.
08:30 p.m. - Fellowship and dinner, at
YMCA International Hotel,
Kurana, Katunayake


The Last Born

The Last Born, Rohan Hopman’s exhibition of paintings, held at the Lionel Wendt Gallery was a display of his early and contemporary paintings, portraying diverse concepts.
Rohan began painting as a hobby when he was a child. This hobby was nurtured and encouraged by his family and friends, and slowly developed into a passion. Influenced by the works of famous painters like Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh, he developed a genre - a unique blend of tone and colour in oil and water-colours. A self-taught artist, who experiments with colour, he makes his paintings pleasing to the eye, with careful and apt combination for the relevant subject matter.
Among the paintings are attractive, authentic and luscious village scenes: women bathing at the river, farmers with their cattle and carts, a village family going to market, children nestled around their mother, villagers on a tractor journey, and beggars with their miseries expressed on their faces.
His paintings display his talent to depict foreign landscapes - massive brick arched bridge in deserted but natural setting, and a mill by a river are some of the attempts.
Paintings of animals like elephants and leopard, paintings of Buddhist priests, abstract paintings of women, add to his efforts to touch a variety of subjects and techniques through his paintings.
Rohan Hopman has contributed, to the art scene of Sri Lanka in his own inimitable way.


Family brunch

Hilton Colombo has something new for the entire family! Every first Sunday of the month is ‘Family Brunch’ at the pool side, starting from June. The first family brunch is on June 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. A day of fun and entertainment awaits you with puppet shows, face painting, magic show, cartoon characters, and a special play area for kids.
Executive Chef, Rohan Fernandopulle and Pastry Wiz Gerard Mendis have compiled an extravagant brunch with a kiddies buffet as well.


Japan supports Mannar Bridge reconstruction

The Japanese government has agreed to extend its development assistance towards rebuilding the Mannar Bridge, and its causeway, with a view to enabling the main Mannar island to be re-connected to the mainland, based on the Tokyo Declaration on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka in 2003.
The government of Japan has funded approximately US$ 95 million by way of project assistance for the development, and welfare of the north, and the eastern areas of Sri Lanka, after the year 2002. It includes ‘PEACE Project’ for the rehabilitation of irrigation facilities, ‘MANRECAP Project’ for the community development of conflict affected communities, non-project grant aid for tsunami rehabilitation, etc.
Approximately 40,000 people living in the Mannar island will be directly benefitted by this project by way of safe, smooth and increased inward and outward movement of people, and essential commodities. It will also facilitate the resettlement of IDPs from a humanitarian aspect. In this context, the Mannar Bridge could be seen as a ‘Peace Bridge,’ which would help the restoration of livelihoods of the conflict affected people, and communities in Mannar.
Under the preliminary designs, which were also funded by the government of Japan, the bridge will be reconstructed with a span of 157.1 m in length and 10.4 m in width, and improve the causeway up to 3.14 km in length, and 11m in width on the Medawachchiya–Mannar–Thalaimannar (A 14) Road.
The existing bridge and the causeway have been the only access roads to the Mannar island from the mainland. The existing bridge is now in an unstable state; a weak temporary bailey bridge of narrow width causing immense hardship to the people, and their daily transportation. IThe grant funds which will be utilized for reconstruction works of the bridge and the causeway, amounts to approximately Rs. 1,650 million (Japanese Yen 1,836 million).
The reconstruction work is expected to be completed in 2010. The Road Development Authority, under the supervision of the Highways and Road Development Ministry will implement the Project.
The signing of Exchange of Notes pertaining to the above grant took place recently, at the Ministry of Finance and Planning between the Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka, Kiyoshi Araki, and Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dr. P B Jayasundera.


Lions 306 BII Convention

Vice Governor-elect, Lion P. Jayarajan greeting the incoming Governor, Lion Mahesh Pasqual, at the Lions 306 BII Convention


USAID vocational schools project

A tsunami reconstruction project from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will construct or rehabilitate 10 vocational schools in the East and South and help young Sri Lankans acquire skills to lead them towards rewarding careers in a fast-growing sector of the economy, according to US Ambassador Robert Blake.
Ambassador Blake was speaking at the signing of a US $5.4 million agreement between Access Engineering Ltd. and CH2M Hill, USAID’s prime contractor for USAID’s US $50 million Sri Lanka Tsunami Reconstruction Program (SLTRP) to construct five of the schools in the tsunami-affected South. Last week, USAID funded another contract to construct four similar schools in the east.
“I’m very excited about this project,” Ambassador Blake said. “Training young people in vocational trades promises to boost both family income and the health of the southern coastal economy.”
Managing Director Dilshan Ferdinando represented Access Engineering at the ceremony, which also included Vocational Training Authority Chairman Gen. T.W. Ponnamperuma, USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn, and CH2M Hill Chief of Party Teny Mittal.
The schools will teach trades in high demand by the Sri Lankan workforce, such as masonry, plumbing, welding and carpentry, in Hikkaduwa, apparel in Koggala, plumbing and appliance repair in Talalla, small engines in Tangalle, and hotel skills in Ahangama.
The school in Ahangama is special for another reason: it is designed to be an environmentally-friendly ‘green’ school certified by the US-based Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the worldwide certification for sound environmental design. With a sister school in Samanthurai, Ampara District, Ahangama will be the first LEED-certified schools constructed in Sri Lanka.
USAID will also supply the schools with all necessary items such as furniture, tools, sewing machines and other commodities to make them fully functional. Construction will begin immediately and be completed by June 2008.


RID programme

Industrial Development and Ranaviru Welfare Minister, Kumara Welgama recently engaged in a field tour in order to obtain the necessary lands required for the factory being constructed in Embilipitiya, under the Regional Industrial Development Programme (RID). The picture illustrates the Industrial Development Minister showing the plans of this industrial estate, which is being constructed close to the Embilipitiya Paper Corporation, on a land of 100 acres, to Textile Development Minister Jayatissa Ranaweera.
Additional Secretary of the Industrial Development Ministry, R. Y. D. Piyathilake and some department officials too participated at this occasion.


OSC 50th anniversary celebrations

To mark its 50th anniversary, the Overseas School of Colombo (OSC) has organised a charity ball on June 9, at the Grand Ballroom, Hilton Colombo. The charity ball is focused on raising funds for the Rehabilitation Center for the Communication Impaired (RCCI). All celebrations throughout this year have been similarly focussed on raising funds to construct permanent facilities for the RCCI, and its differently-abled children.


STEPS launched

The launch of the programme, Skills Through English for Public Servants (STEPS): Strengthening management capacity in the North and East of Sri Lanka was held on May 17, at the British Council, Colombo. The Chief Guests were the British High Commissioner, Dominick Chilcott and the German Ambassador, Juergen Weerth.
STEPS is a four week intensive, residential course for professional government and non government staff, supported by the German Technical Cooperation’s (GTZ) Performance Improvement Project, on behalf of the German Economic Cooperation and Development Ministry, and the British Department for International Development.
Participants came from the northern and eastern provincial councils, provincial ministries and local authorities, as well as their central government counterparts, and the NGOs they work with in the north and east.
Senior Adviser, Performance Improvement Project, GTZ, Walter Keller-Kirchhoff, Country Director British Council Sri Lanka, Gill Westaway, HRD Consultant GTZ, Psyche Kennett, Regional Director British Council, Rod Pryde, Deputy Director and Teaching Centres Manager, Duncan Wilson at the launch.


Book Buzz

Book Buzz is a series of literary activities focusing on local and international contemporary writers. This time, The British Council is featuring the two famous writers, Vivimarie VanderPoorten and David Blacker.
David Blacker, the author of A Cause Untrue was short listed for the Gratiaen Prize in 2004. He was the winner of the State Literary Award for Best English novel in 2006, and is currently long listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Vivimarie VanderPoorten is a senior lecturer at the Department of Language Studies, Open University of Sri Lanka. She published her first collection of poems, Nothing Prepares You in February 2007. Her poetry has appeared in many local and international journals.
Book Buzz will be held on Thursday, May 31, at the British Council Hall, Colombo, at 6 p.m. Admission is free of charge on a first-come-first-served basis.


The Last Two Minutes

The Last Two Minutes, a drama presented by Sunera Foundation will be staged on May 27, at the Galle Town Hall, at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and on May 29 and 30, at the Bishop’s College Auditorium, at 7:15 p.m.
The Last Two Minutes is directed by Kalasuri Rohana Deva and choreographed by Ramani damayanthi. Music is provided by Janaka Fonseka. The Last Two Minutes thrilled audiences, at the Biennale of Theatre and Psychiatry in Northern Italy last year, where it won a special Jury Award.
This time, the Sunera Foundation will be showcasing the creative talents of some of the members of its performing arts workshops, for those who have been traumatised by the tsunami.
In its Tsunami Theatre Outreach project (T-TOP) which functions in six districts, Sunera utilises the performing arts to provide a therapeutic benefit to hundreds of children who were traumatised by the 2004 tsunami.
This project is funded by Deutsche Bank, Global Fund for Children, East-West Centre Hawaii, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, The Force of Nature Foundation and Siege Social Jules.
Tickets are available at the performance venues.


The Last King of Scotland

International Centre for Ethnic Studies Colombo presents The Last King of Scotland by Kevin Macdonald (120 minutes), on May 29, at 5:30 p.m. at the ICES Auditorium, 2, Kynsey Terrace, Colombo 8.



Organised by the Sri Lanka Women’s Conference Kurunegala a workshop on ‘Anticorruption Awareness’ will be held on Sunday, May 27, at 9:30 a.m., at the Paramount Hotel, Kurunegala.
Former High Court Judge, Gamini Wattegedera, Retired District Co-ordinating Chief of the Conciliation Board, Lalitha Amarajeewa, Retired Municipal Commissioner, Ananda Jayathilaka will deliver speeches.



Priyanthi Fernando of Prenita Fashions, Colombo’s exclusive fashion brand, presented Summer, a fashion show, on May 11, at her boutique premises.
The show featured a wide variety of fashionable and trendy cotton, polka dotted, heavily sequined, and striped sarees in vibrant colours, along with jewellery from Colombo Jewellery Stores.


The Art Of Forgetting

The film, The Art Of Forgetting by Lisa Kois highlights the personal stories of people, whose lives have been altered by war and political violence. The film uses the power of memory to break through the silence, and statistical anonymity that characterises dominant discourses of war. People are telling their stories through largely unstructured interviews.
The film producer, Lisa Kois is a human rights lawyer and author, originally from the United States of America. She has been living and working in Sri Lanka since 1996.
The Art of Forgetting will be shown on May 30, at the German Cultural Centre, at 5:30 p.m.
After the screening, the floor will be open for professional discussions.



May 28
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam by Sanjay Leela Bhansali (118 Minutes), in Hindi, at the Indian Cultural Centre, Colombo 4, at 5:30 p.m.

May 29
The Front Page (105 Minutes), at the American Centre, at 6 p.m.

May 29 & 30
Satin Rouge by De Raja Amari, (2001 – 100 min), in French with English subtitles, at the Alliance Française, at 3:30/6:30 p.m.


May 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.

May 30
Simply The Best presented by Elizabeth Moir School, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 7.


May 27
An exhibition of studio pottery by Monty Senerath Kolambage, Gayan Karunaratne and Ruchira Mashal of Vibhavi Academy of Fine Art, at the Lionel Wendt Gallery, Colombo 7.

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

Public talks

May 27
Can The Mind See Choicelessly Its Conditioning, organised by the Khrishnamurti Centre, Sri Lanka, at the Anula Nursery School, 310, H.L.R. Colombo 6, at 9:45 p.m.










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