Bogollagama meets US Secretary of Defence

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama met US Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates on the sidelines of the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore on June 3.  Commander, US PACOM, Admiral Timothy J. Keating, US Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia, James Clad, and US Deputy Under Secretary of Defence for Asia and Pacific Affairs, Department of Defence, Richard Lawless were associated with Secretary Gates, while Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Donald Perera, and Director General, Public Communications, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ravinatha Aryasinha were associated with the Minister.


Dayan presents credentials

New permanent representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Dayan Jayatilleka presented his credentials to the Director-General of the United Nations Office Sergei Ordzhonikidze, at Geneva, on June 6.


Deshamanya Dr. P.R. Anthonis Scholarship Awards – 2007

Deshamanya Dr. P.R. Anthonis Scholarship Awards – 2007 organised by the Board of Trustees and the Dayaka Sabha of the Vajiraramaya, Bambalapitiya was held at Vajiraramaya on Saturday, May 19. Vice Chancellor University of Colombo, Prof. Tilak Hettiarchchi and senior media personality, Kalakeerithi Edwin Ariyadasa graced the occasion as the chief guest and special guest speaker.


Eastern Province National Heroes’ commemoration ceremony

Eastern Province Governor, and Northern Province Acting Governor, Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrema, addressing the gathering at the national heroes’ commemoration ceremony held at the Trincomalee District Secretariat premises recently.


Indulge your father at MLH

This Father’s Day pamper your father to an extravagant Father’s Day lunch at the Governor’s Restaurant, Mount Lavinia Hotel. Take a dip with him in the pool or simply spend some quality time with him by the Indian Ocean on Sunday June 17.
Enjoy dinner vouchers, a chance to win original Polaroid sun glasses, raffles, glasses of special wine and many surprises. Take time to show him your love, gratitude and admiration this Father’s Day at the legendary Mount Lavinia Hotel. Call 2715521 ext 430 for further information.


Correspondence courses in Hindi

Central Hindi Directorate, New Delhi invites applications from non-Hindi speaking Indians, foreigners, Indian nationals / settlers residing abroad, for admission to Certificate and Diploma Correspondence Courses in the Hindi language in the medium of English, Tamil, Malayalam and Bangla and the Advance Diploma Course in Hindi for the year 2007-2008 session.
Forward the duly completed applications to Central Hindi Directorate, New Delhi (India) before June 25, 2007. The course will commence on July 1.
For applications and further details, contact: Indian Cultural Centre (ICC), No. 133, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 04, on Tel. No. 2500014.



Reverend Father Lucien G. B. Fernando – Master and mentor

I begin this tribute to Rev. Lucien G. B. Fernando by regretfully stating that the results in mathematics at the Ordinary Level examination has been deteriorating over the last few years. It is a strange way to begin a tribute, you may say. But the juxtaposition is very well intended. Because I strongly feel that the absence of teachers of Father L.G.B. Fernando’s calibre is the reason for this national failure.
Lucien G. B. Fernando was an old Thomian. He had his entire education at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. He secured a 2nd Class Upper for his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Peradeniya, and applied for a post of assessor at the Department of Inland Revenue. But his destiny took a right turn with the invitation he received from Reverend Father Canon R. S. De Saram, the then Warden of S. Thomas’ College to join his alma mater as a teacher. While teaching at S. Thomas’ he went to Rippon College in England for higher studies in theology. This was with the view to becoming a priest. During his stay in England he also obtained a Masters Degree in Western Classics at the University of London. The all-rounder became an associate of the Royal College of Organists in London; a skill which he exhibited at the highest levels during his years as a priest. His organ recitals were of high standard and his live performances were greatly appreciated particularly at Christmas and Easter. He had the rare opportunity and the honour of performing with an orchestra before Queen Elizabeth II in Calcutta as well as when the Queen visited Sri Lanka. From London he moved to the Bishop’s College in Calcutta for further studies in theology and upon his return to Sri Lanka he was ordained as a deacon at the Chapel of Transfiguration at the St. Thomas’ College on May 29, 1959. He was ordained as a priest in 1962.
To me and many other Thomians who had the privilege of being his students, his worth is endless. He taught mathematics, Greek and Latin and he taught all three subjects equally well. He had an exceptional ability to teach mathematics. This is where I would like to refer back to the point with which I opened this article; that more students in Sri Lanka are failing in their basic mathematics today not because the students lack intelligence, but because teachers lack the ability to teach the subject. Mathematics unlike any other subject cannot be given as notes for students to memorise. The principles and the concept of mathematics have to be clearly taught so that the students are able to apply them in any deduction process. Teaching mathematics is therefore a process which enlightens the student. This is something Rev. L.G.B. Fernando grasped well and imparted well. Unfortunately, the teachers of today approach mathematics the same way they approach subjects like social studies, religion or health. Teachers have not learnt the correct way in teaching mathematics and the students are the final losers as a result. But I do know that our students can grasp the concepts of mathematics if the knowledge is imparted the correct way. We did; because Rev. L.G.B. Fernando was a true master in maths. He also served on the national committee which set the O/L maths paper. He first taught us in grade eight and we developed so fast, thanks to his ability to teach well. He raised us to such a level that we were able to finish answering the three hour mathematics paper in two and a half hours and even go over our answers a second time. At the G.C.E Ordinary Level examination, out of 33 students in our class, 25 got distinctions.
Another salient feature of mathematics is that it is not a static subject. It has to tackle new concepts in the world. However the basics are very much intact. What we need in our syllabi today is the venue to delve into the fundamentals of geometry, algebra and trigonometry. But sadly, full components of these are pretty much absent in today’s mathematics syllabus which is totally unfair by the student. Unlike the years when we were in school, today’s students can absorb and comprehend more given the exposure and access they get to the rest of the world. Particularly a subject like mathematics can provide the space and opportunity for children to think independently and apply the learning on their own. It is only then that our children will be able to benefit from the intelligence that mathematics gives. Rev. L.G.B. Fernando knew this and we were prepared to get that intelligence. And I strongly believe that that is what is required in our education system today. Or we run the serious risk having generation so students who lack basic intelligence. And I reiterate the fact that we need more masters of the calibre of Rev. L.G.B. Fernando.
But Rev L.G.B. Fernando was much more than a master; he was a mentor to all of us. He lived down De Saram Road where I live. In the evenings when we played cricket on the road, he usually return home in his blue Simca car. He certainly did not approve of us spending so much time on play, but he did not utter a word when we met him on the road. However, the following day we knew that there would be hell to pay. He would simply ask us a question related to our studies and when we failed to answer, he would always puts things into perspective saying, “I will tell your parents that they are just wasting their money on you and that all you need is a bat and a ball.” Fearing this talk, which was torture to us then, we used to pay attention to the sound of his car coming down Beach Road and clear the road accordingly. But he was always smarter than any of us boys. He decided to come down the road on neutral gear just to catch us in the act so that he could correct us the following day. Not only was he dedicated to his work, he was more dedicated to OUR education and OUR future.
For masters such as Reverend L.G.B. Fernando, there was no private life. He dedicated his whole life to his students. He taught subjects, disciplined us, and groomed us to face society with confidence. The disciplining and grooming was done by example. He was smart in appearance, clean and proper in his attire, respectful in his speech and honest and open in nature. He was a master we all feared but deep within that fear we have unknowingly grown awe for him. Today we see in contrast that he had all the hall marks of a great teacher and a holistic educationist. And that is why we grieve his death even today, 22 years after his demise. And one and only one phrase come to my mind; Esto Perpetua– thou art forever.
S.V.D. Kesarralal Gunasekera


Outstanding performance of a Sri Lankan

Asirini Hansika Perera following a four-year degree course on Tele Communication Engineering in Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia, became the most outstanding student of the First Year Examination held in 2006.
This award was conferred on her by Head of Computer System Engineering of the RMIT University, Dr. Arvind Sherma.
Hansika, who 20 years old is an old-girl of Musaeus College and Gateway International College. She is the only daughter of Nimal Perera and Sriya Perera of People’s Bank.


Loans for people in Hambantota

MP for Hambantota District and Janasuwasa Development Foundation Chairman Sajith Premadasa has embarked on an integrated development project to uplift and enhance infrastructure and livelihoods of all communities in the Hambantota District.
Premadasa is seen handing over documents to one of the 49 recipients, in the Angunakolapelessa AGA Division of Hambantota District, who received interest free loans. Each family was provided with Rs.5000 and the total project cost amounted to Rs. 245,000.


Samarasinghe meets Akashi

Japanese government Representative for Peace Building Trust, Yasushi Akashi and Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe exchanged views regarding the problems in the north and east on the terrorists’ activities and human rights problems taken by the government in the interest of innocent Tamil people in parliament recently.


Export development programme

Arrangements are being made by the Export Development and International Trade Ministries to launch a district level programme to develop the export income, with a view to spread out the benefits to the rural areas.
Under this programme, Export Development and International Trade Minister, Prof. G. L. Peiris, together with Agriculture Development Minister, Maithripala Sirisena, recently inspected the fruit and vegetable farms in the areas of Polonnaruwa, Siripura, Maguldamana, Ulhitiya and Girandurukotte.
The picture shows the Ministers inspecting a pineapple cultivation farm at Maguldamana area. Deputy Minister Siripala Gamlath also participated on this occasion.


Kalaeli Mangalya

The Kalaeli Mangalya of 15 students of Kelaniya Sri Dharmaloka Central College will be held at 7:30 a.m. today. The Chief Guest on the occasion will be Senior Lecturer, University of Fine Arts, Ariyaratne Kaluarachchi.



Gamananthya, an exhibition of paintings by Wasantha Kumara will be held on June 21, at the Badulla Provincial Council premises.



The Alumni Association of the University of Peradeniya (AAUP) will present AlumNite, a variety show, at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, at the E.O.E. Pereira Auditorium, Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya. All are welcome.


Royal Flora

A grand opportunity for plant lovers! Royal Flora, the grand plant show featuring exotic flowering, foliage, fruits and herbal plants, accessories, fertilizers, as well as birds, fish, old stamps and coins will be held from June 15 to 17 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Viharamahadevi Park.


Visakha Geeta Natakaya

Visakha Viyalaya presents Visakha Geeta Natakaya, a Sinhala operetta, on Friday, June 22 and Sunday, June 24 at the Jeramias Dias Hall, to commemorate the school’s 90th anniversary.
First performed in 1959, Visakha Geeta Natakaya is a production of the renowned dramatist K. B. Herath.
The cast includes 60 actors with Nethmi Adikari as Visakha and Madushani Seneviratne as Migara. Music is by Ranjith Balasuriya, the costumes have been designed by a past Visakhian Suvineetha Perera and make up will be by Buddhadasa Galappathi.



June 19
Brokeback Mountain (135 minutes), at the American Centre, at 6 p.m.

June 19 & 20
Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a documentary film by Charles Picq (150 min – 1999), in French with English subtitles, at the Alliance Française, at 3:30/6:30 p.m.


June 17
An exhibition of paintings by Thusitha Priyanakara, at the Lionel Wendt Gallery, Colombo 7.

June 22 – 24
An exhibition of photographs organised by the students of Vibhavi Academy of Fine Art, at the Lionel Wendt Gallery, Colombo 7.

Until June 20
The artwork produced in the Theertha International Painters’ Residency 2007 by Kuzana Ogg (USA), Ruchika Wason Singh (India), Kingsley Gunatilleke (Sri Lanka), Chamari Thapaswarage (Sri Lanka), Lasantha Chandana Kumara (Sri Lankan), at the Theertha Red Dot Gallery, Pita Kotte, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Book launch

June 19
The book, Batahira Balaya Saha Lankawe Iranama (The Power of the West and the Fate of Sri Lanka) by Deeshi Hithaishee National Movement will be launched at the Mahaweli Centre, Colombo, at 4 p.m.


Your lagna lord Kuja (Mars) traverses your first house with Ravi (Sun) in the 8th which promises a peaceful and successful life in career and at home. You will work with extra will throughout the week and will reap the rewards. Literary and documentation work will bring sudden windfalls
Your lagna lord Sikuru (Venus) is in your 3rd house with Ravi (Sun) in the 3rd bringing you a week of mixed fortunes. Success depends on your wise decisions. Windfalls indicated in documentary and clerical transactions. Your children will enjoy success in educational activities.

According to your planetary positions this week, you will earn public respect and due recognition. A week where you will witness an increase in your income, and face a generally successful period. Good for those engaged in clerical or office work; you will receive assistance from your superiors.
Ravi (Sun) in your 12th house and Kuja (Mars) in the 10th brings you a ‘mixed-bag’ week of fortunes. You will enjoy improvement and recognition at your work place, but expenses will be high. Favourable for those expecting employment opportunities. Specially favourable for those engaged in educational activities.
Lagna lord Ravi (Sun) in your 11th house and Kethu in the 1st brings you a week of mixed fortunes. You will exert more effort at your place of work and engage in social work. Cheques, currency and deed transactions will bring favourable results. Young ones should beware, as upheavals indicated in romantic affairs.
Ravi (Sun) and Budha (Mercury) in your 10th house and Sikuru (Venus) in your 11th at the beginning of the week will bring you a very favourable period. Expectations fulfilled for those expecting employment. Expect promotions or favourable change in your career. Those engaged in romance, especially the younger ones will undergo heart aches.
A favourable week indicated for those in Libra; with Ravi (Sun) and Budha (Mercury) in the 9th house and Sikuru (Venus) in the 10th. ‘Lady Luck’ will smile on those expecting to go abroad for higher education. A favourable period for those planning overseas pilgrimages as well. Be cautious as your spouse will be faced with the possibility of accidents.
Guru (Jupiter) in your 1st house and Ravi (Sun) in the 8th indicates a week of mixed fortunes. You will face minor obstacles in your career. Losses indicated through documentary work. A week wherein you can overcome all obstacles, and forge ahead in all your pursuits.
Lagna lord Guru (Jupiter) in the 12th with Ravi (Sun) and Budha (Mercury) in your 7th house brings you a week of mixed fortunes. Success in competitive transactions along with your partners. You may have to take some harsh decisions in family life. Take extra care of your children as their stubbornness and hasty decisions may lead to problems for them.
This week will bring you mixed fortunes. Your spouse will suffer from phlegm related or stomach ailments. You too will tend to be afflicted by urine related or stomach ailments. Documentary or clerical transactions will prove profitable to you. Beware of chest and heart ailments.
Your lagna lord Shani (Saturn) in the 6th with Ravi (Sun) in the 5th house indicates a specially favourable for those engaged in higher education. You will excel and succeed in exams and interviews. Your children too will be successful. A week where you will work with extra will and confidence.
Your planetary positions indicate a week of mixed fortunes. If you are engaged in educational pursuits, you will face success. Chances high for parental inheritances. Favourable for cash or cheque transactions. Foreign trips on pilgrimages indicated.


Rahu period

Sunday: 3.56 to 5.26
Monday: 6.56 – 8.26
Tuesday: 2.27 – 3.57
Wednesday: 11.27 – 12.57
Thursday: 12.57 – 2.27
Friday: 9.58 – 11.28
Saturday: 8.28 – 9.58
(Applicable both day and night)









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