Prominent Islamic Scholar Hussain Yee to Speak in Sri Lanka
Ustaz Hussain Yee, a well-known figure in the Islamic world and a regular
lecturer in the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Europe will be delivering a
series of lectures from November 11 to 13, at the BMICH Banquet Hall and
Committee Hall A.
Malaysia based Yee, majored in Hadith Studies from the Islamic University of
Medina in Saudi Arabia. He continued at the University of Damascus in Syria for
two years. Subsequently, he joined the Muslim Welfare Organisation, Perkin, in
Malaysia. Ustaz Yee has also studied under one of the great scholars on Hadith
of his time, Shaikh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al Albani. He is currently the Founder
President of Al-Khaadem a non-profit organisation operating in Malaysia. Hussain
Yee embraced Islam at the age of 16 in 1968.
The topics for the three day lecture series are: Purpose of Creation (November
11), The role of a Muslim in a Multi-Cultural Society (November 12) and
Investing in the Hereafter (November 13). The organisers have arranged separate
seating arrangements for ladies. Entrance for the lecture series is free of
charge. The lectures are scheduled to commence at 6:45 p.m.
The programme is organised by The Happiness 365 Foundation, a non profit
registered charitable organisation incorporated in 2005, in memory of Marhoom
For further inquiries on the lecture programme e-mail:
Ikebana demonstration by Masumi Jackson
The fascination of the art of Ikebana lies in the beauty of the flowers and
plants used as materials for the arrangement which could be done by anyone at
any time, in any place with every material - roots, barks, branches, wild
In Japan there are over 200 schools of Ikebana. Masumi Jackson is the Executive
Master of the Ichiyo School of Ikebana, the President of Ichiyo School of
Ikebana of Australian Chapter as well as a member of Ikebana International since
Masumi has held many exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops in many
countries. This year she had a demonstration for the Floral Society Melbourne.
The Shi-En Ikebana and Floral Art Society of Sri Lanka with the courtesy of the
Embassy of Japan is organising a Demonstration by Masumi Jackson to be held at
the Tourist Board Auditorium, on November 12, at 5 p.m.
It will be a great opportunity for all flower arrangers, especially Ikebana
Lanka Flora, an exhibition of flowers and plants featuring a number of latest
items will be held today at the Viharamahadevi Park, in grand scale.
At at Lanka Flora you can purchase carbonic manure, chemicals, pesticides,
flower pots, agricultural implements which cannot be excluded when beautifying
the garden, at very cheap prices.
Don’t lose this valuable opportunity!
Sarvodaya shines at film festival
Sarvodaya shined at the film festival organised by the Italian Buddhist
Association together with Sri Lankan embassy, when Nishantha Preethiraj’s
documentary was selected the best among the many.
The film festival was based on the rebuilding of the nation after the 2004
tsunami catastrophe. Sarvodaya Media Coordinator Nishantha Preethiraj directed
the documentary ‘Waves of Compassion’ based on the movements Sarvodaya initiated
to rebuild the nation.
The documentary vividly brought out the assistance Sarvodaya bestowed to the
community choosing 12 different categories. The script was written by Ishankya
Kodituwakku and Nishantha Preethiraj while Shirash Machado voiced the
Ajith Weerakone handled the camera and supported with the basic editing. Final
editing was done by Dhanushka Chathuranga. It was a presentation of Sarvodaya
Preethiraj was awarded a sculpture done by the famous architect Ruggero Lend and
a cash prize of 500 euros. The award was presented on August 31 by the Foreign
Affairs Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Mad About Money
Club of Colombo East presents Ashvin Gidwani’s play Mad About Money, featuring
Mumbai’s renowned theatre and television personalities like Amar Talwar, Jayati
Bhatia, Smita Bansal, Gaurav Sharma and Kavita Rathod, at the Hotel Cinnamon
Grand on Wednesday November 14 (dinner theatre) and Thursday November 15
(theatre with heavy snacks).
Rated as one of India’s best and most serious contemporary playwrights writing
in English’ by the International Herald Tribune, Mad About Money is Mahesh
Dattani’s debut into Mumbai theatre arena.
Mad About Money is a light comic drama about human relationships in this life
and the life after. The story revolves around the Mehta family and how
Hasmukhbhai tries to control the entire family even from his grave... with some
hilarious situations and outcomes.
Celebrating Wesley Muthiah
joined the Lanka Sama Samaja Party as young labour officer, Wesley migrated to
London and took to teaching. He remained one of the loyal and staunch supporters
of the left movement in this country and was regarded by left activists here as
one of our men in London. The turmoil in the country and its repercussions were
felt far and wide. As remnants of the once powerful LSSP and the CP regrouped
within the Lankan diaspora world-wide, Wesley remained one of the key persons
that helped to consolidate and develop this solidarity that rose above the
ethnic divide. Though Jaffna Tamil by birth and upbringing he remained to the
last an all-Lankan internationalist.
A meeting to celebrate the life, work and dedication to Left Movement of Wesley
Muthiah will be held at the N.M.Perera Center at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13,
organised by the Social Scientists’ Association (SSA). This meeting will be
chaired by Prof. Tissa Vitarana and the speakers are D.E.W. Gunasekera, Dr.
Carlo Fonseka, Vasudeva Nanyakakra, Selvy Thiruchandran, Siritunga Jayasuriya
and Silan Kadirgamar.
Please help Sewwandi
Sewwandi Harshika Kumari Samaeaweera of 67, Sri Sarananda Mawatha, Thudugala,
Dodamgoda, Kalutara – South is a kidney patient. According to expert medical
advise, it could be rectified only by a Renal Transplant, an expensive procedure
that has to be done as soon as possible. His parents expect to perform the
Implant at the Apollo Hospitals by Consultant Nephrologist, Dr. Surjit Somaih.
The estimated cost is around Rs. 700,000. The parents are still far short of the
target, hence earnestly seek the goodwill of public assistance. The
contributions could be remitted to Bank of Ceylon-Kalutara: Account No. 5783778.
The Apollo Hospitals Reference No is 263558. For further details please contact
the parents on 034-2281583, 072-4782496, 072-4707472.
A truly remarkable human being
I cannot think of a greater vocation than that of a dedicated
and committed teacher. Vijitha Weerasinghe was one of those of that noble
profession, whilst giving it a new dimension. There was almost every thing a
good teacher has to have in Mr. Weerasinghe of Royal College, who departed us
I made his acquaintance as the Sectional Head of Royal College, when I was in
Grade 10 in 1971 and since then, I had the good fortune of being in touch with
this great man. In fact, I am still wondering whether he was a man or more than
that. I have heard some teachers in College saying that “Viji”, as he was
affectionately known, is a God living amongst us. Knowing you very well Sir....
one cannot contest that saying. You were a gem of a man, a glittering
personality, who always accepted things as they came by. Your noble, gentle,
kind and compassionate ways worked with 99% of the students, leaving only 1% for
somebody else to deal with.
Your commanding personality, intellect, ability, brilliance and understanding
were a rare combination. You always stood for others and I personally know, how
you saved some of the students who were in deep trouble in their personal lives.
In the week my son was born, I met Mr. Weerasinghe and told him, “Sir, I have a
son now and wish to make him a Royalist.” I further told him that I don’t like
to hoodwink the school I studied in, by submitting fabricated documents nor have
the capacity to buy a Colombo 7 house. Having said that, he wouldn’t give me the
opportunity, at the expense of another Royalist’s chance. He made a note of my
professional background. Next week, he calls me to say that there is an
Automobile Club in College and asked me to help them. With my employer’s
permission, I spent one and half hours every week with the members of the
Automobile Club of Royal College, instructing them on the subject. This helped
me immensely, to admit my son to Royal College, through the old boy’s category.
Of course, I am just one out of thousands of Royalists who have received such
assistance from Mr. Weerasinghe.
This wonderful personality had time for everyone. To me, he remained the same
delightful person, at times hilarious but, never malicious. That is why he
became a legend at Royal College.
Sir, have a nice and pleasant journey; we pay our tribute to a truly remarkable
Final farewell to one of Royal’s most
The sounds of the Last Post struck by a bugler of the Royal
College Cadet Band heralded the final farewell to one of Royal’s most
illustrious sons –Vijitha Weerasinghe, affectionately referred to as Viji.
The casket containing his mortal remains began to slide on the rollers and into
the crematorium chamber, after which the doors automatically closed. All the old
boy mourners present, joined by the Principal of Royal College, Upali Gunasekera,
members of the staff, the present young Royalists and even their parents, broke
into the Royal College Anthem in harmony, with music from the cadet band.
They lustily sang the refrain and with the sounds of “learnt of books and learnt
of men and learnt to play the game” resonating through the air, the words
epitomised the very values that our late guru imbibed in us – his charges.
A few minutes previously, when the cortege with his remains entered through the
gates of the General Cemetery at Kanatte from the Elvitigala Mawatha entrance
that day (November 3), a thin drizzle broke out like a blessing, depicting the
proverbial mal warusawa (rain of flowers).
Later, the first whiffs of smoke emanating from the chimney of the crematorium
indicated that the fire was engulfing the casket within the chamber. As if by
some hidden signal, the skies opened out at this very moment, shedding a giant
heavenly tear for this genial and greatest of Royalists who had spent three
score and 13 years in the service of his alma mater.
“They don’t make giants of this calibre any better!” So it was with Viji, who
was a colossus and legend of our times. Personally, it was my privilege to have
first come under his tutelage in 1959, a year after I entered Royal College. The
greater joy was when, many years later, my two sons also passed through his
hands at Royal when he was Deputy Principal.
September 17 was a very special and significant day. It was Viji’s birthday and
it was on this day that he became an octogenarian. Coincidentally, it was also
our present Principal, Upali Gunasekera’s birthday.
The Royal College Union (RCU) had laid out a simple, yet wonderful party in
celebration for the dual ‘birthday boys,’ with Gunasekera turning 46. As I
entered the RCU premises, I peeped into Viji’s room. He greeted me with his
perpetual smile and said, “Hello Branu,” to which I replied, “Sir! I came here
not only to wish you but also to kiss you on this birthday,” which turned out to
be his last.
Having lived a full life of eight decades, he did not have any regrets. To grow
old does not take talent or ability, rather the idea is to grow up by always
finding opportunity in change. This he demonstrated amply by his very actions.
He was a storehouse of knowledge and it was my good fortune that we were able to
carry a column by him, entitled ‘Down Memory Lane,’ in issues of the RCU
newsletter when I was Editor of the Royal Times. Thus, I was able to chronicle
for posterity, his days as a student both at Royal Primary and College, a
teacher, the Deputy Principal and thereafter, in successive issues of the
Viji displayed tremendous courage to the very end. He was the eternal fighter,
not wanting to give up even in the last stages. During the final days at the ICU
of Asiri Surgical, he survived a cardiac arrest, a heart attack, kidney failure,
and a punctured lung, besides other complications! These were as a result of a
fall on that fateful Sunday morning of October 28.
As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end,” and so it was that
after such a gallant fight, the warrior breathed his last on October 31, around
1:15 pm. He died the same way he lived – at peace with the world and his fellow
In one of the many chats I had with Viji at the RCU office, I recall these words
which still keep echoing in my ear. He once told me, “Branu, remember that the
elderly usually don’t have regrets for what they did, but rather for things they
did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets. So make sure
that you have no regrets later on in life.” Golden words indeed, which I shall
carry to my grave.
To have known Viji has certainly enriched my life. His demise is an irreparable
loss to Royal College and the old boy fraternity. His wife Gladys has lost a
wonderful and loving husband, his children a caring and dedicated father, their
spouses a dear father-in-law and his grandchildren a doting ‘seeya.’ Farewell,
Sir! May your journey through Sansara be short and devoid of obstacles and in
the fullness of time, may you attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana.
– Branu Rahim
Sir A.W.M. Ameer – a humane person, unassuming
Six years have passed since Al-Haj Deshabandu, Sir Abdul W.M.
Ameer left us, but his presence is still felt strongly when we are engaged in
our day to day activities. He is still remembered very much among his friends
and well-wishers in Sri Lanka and abroad due to his outstanding simplicity and
friendliness. He was fondly called “Abdul” by his friends in Europe and the
Being a close friend of the late Dr. T.P. Amarasinghe, barrister and
educationist of our country, Sir Ameer, along with him, was instrumental in
promoting Sri Lankan culture in the U.S.A. in the early ‘50s both of them,
together with some others founded the English Speaking Union in Sri Lanka to
promote the English language among Sri Lankans.
He had travelled widely on business as well as to attend many international
meetings and conferences. He was the founder of the International Islamic
Institute in 1966 and rendered yeoman service to humankind. Whenever dignitaries
and professionals came from other countries, Sir Ameer, unfailingly, welcomed
and hosted them in his own hotel (Hotel Ranmuthu) and introduced them to various
communities, including politicians. As he was the most senior Consul General
representing the Dominican Republic in Sri Lanka for nearly 43 years, he
maintained good relations with diplomats and consuls in our country and abroad
and this made him very popular among the diplomatic community. He was
responsible for getting certain privileges for the honourary consuls during his
tenure as Dean of the Honourary Consular Corp.
Sir Ameer founded the Sri Lanka-Latin America-Caribbean Friendship Society (SLLACFS).
He was the President of the All Ceylon Moors’ Association, Vice-President of the
Moor Islamic Cultural Home and the President of the Colombo Central Rotary Club.
He was also a founding member of the Indonesian Hajaji Memorial Society. Through
all these societies and associations he served his fellow-countrymen.
The Muslim community, especially from the North, cannot afford to forget Sir
Ameer’s services rendered to them by founding the Refugee Relief Organization (RRO)
when they were forced to leave their homes. He was a regular visitor to the
refugee camps not only in the North Western province but also in the border
villages of the East, to keep them away from the pinch of hunger. On these
visits he took us along as well.
Hotel Omar Khayyam and Hotel Ranmuthu, of which he was the owner, became venues
for many activities such as meetings and functions of all communities. He was
very helpful to the associations of media men. He was instrumental in the
formation of the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum which now counts members from all
over the island.
Sir Ameer took a keen interest in national issues when the country was embroiled
in ethnic violence. His sole vision was to create peace and harmony among all
the communities in his country. He started a number of Quranic (Madrasa) schools
in and out of Colombo.
As his successor and Honorary Consul, I have had the opportunity of meeting high
officials in the Dominican Republic, who still treasure memories of the late Sir
Ameer. I had the rare opportunity, way back in 1989, to be present at the
function together with Madam Nayeema Ameer, at which Joaquin Balaguer, the then
Dominican President conferred on Sir Ameer the Knighthood, the highest award of
the Heraldic Order of Christopher Columbus, granted to those who have
distinguished themselves for outstanding services to humanity and for
meritorious services to the unity and development of the people of the Americas.
The late Sir Ameer was amiable and unassuming and always dedicated to his area
of work and he was much benevolent towards all those who sought his assistance.
Being his son-in-law, I feel fortunate to be associated with him for nearly 15
years during which I learnt much from him which is still helping me in my work.
May the Almighty Allah grant him Paradise (Jannathul Firdhous)!
Honourary Consul for Dominican Republic
ARIES – Mesha
Lagna lord Kuja (Mars) in your 3rd house with Ravi (Sun) in the 7th delays
marriage proposals for the unmarried. Disruptions indicated among young lovers.
Those having romantic affairs and those married will face disputes.
Those involved in business will incur losses. Children of those under the sign
of Mesha will be afflicted by illnesses. A week of mental unease.
TAURUS – Vrushaba
Your lagna lord Sikuru (Venus) is in the 5th house this week with Ravi (Sun)
in the 6th. Even though you will exert yourself this week, it will yield poor
results. The young involved in romantic affairs will suffer mental agony.
Injuries indicated to your face or teeth. Delays in purchase of property or
construction of house. Children may face illnesses. take extra care of them.
GEMINI – Mithuna
Your lagna lord Budha (Mercury) indirectly in your 4th house with Ravi (Sun)
in the 5th portends chest related illnesses for you. So take good care of your
health. If you are involved in construction of your house, delays are indicated.
Loss indicated in business activities. Romantic affairs will bring pain of mind.
A week where you will be in haste.
CANCER – Kataka
Ravi (Sun) in the 4th house Kuja (Mars) in the 12th brings you a lot of
problems related to land and property. A week where you will stay away from
home. A bad week for your brothers and elders. You will not be able to make use
of your talents. Decrease in income for those in business. A fairly good week
LEO – Sinha
Lagna lord Ravi (Sun) in the 3rd house will help you to improve relations
with your neighbours. You will receive assistance and help from others. You will
successfully handle your construction matters. Industrial and agricultural
ventures will bring in wealth. Undue pressure due to your spouse’s illness.
VIRGO – Kanya
Lagna lord Budha (Mercury) is indirectly in your 1st house with Ravi (Sun)
in the 2nd bringing you sudden wealth and profits. Will receive an inheritance
from paternal side. Business activities will bring in special profits. Those
involved in the industrial field too will enjoy special profits. Improvement in
career indicated. Treatment of phlegm related and inherent ailments will eat
into to your finances.
LIBRA – Thula
Ravi (Sun) in your 1st house and lagna lord Sikuru (Venus) in the 12th house
will make you spend a sizable amount of your wealth on illnesses. You will
suffer incessant sinus and head related ailments. Your savings will decrease.
Loss indicated in business and through documentation. But those in the
agricultural sector will face a fair rise in income.
SCORPIO – Vruschika
Your lagna lord Kuja (Mars) is in the 8th house with Ravi (Sun) in the 12th
will increase your spending this week. You will be called to spend on the
illnesses of your father or elderly relatives. Conflicts indicated between
spouses and disruption of peace at home. Disputes indicated with your superiors
at work, so take care not to clash with them.
SAGITTARIUS – Dhanu
Ravi (Sun) in your 11th will increase your income this week. Even though
disputes are indicated in career, you will be able to maintain your income at a
fair level. No a very good week for those in business. Shows decrease in
profits. Unnecessary relationships will disrupt family peace. Good for foreign
CAPRICORN – Makara
Ravi (Sun) traversing your 10th house brings a week of mixed fortunes for
you. Progress indicated in career. Your sincerity to your superiors will tend to
make them help you. Those in clerical or office related careers will face
improvement in finances. An especially good week for foreign travel.
AQUARIUS – Kumbha
Ravi (Sun) in the 9th house this week will bring obstacles in your higher
studies. Obstacles in the purchase of vehicles and or construction of your
house. Stubborn activities of your children will bring you pain of mind.
Career matters will be satisfactory. Illness will disrupt marital happiness.
PISCES – Meena
Ravi (Sun) traversing your 8th house causes conflicts with your superiors in
career this week. Desist from any arguments or clashes with them. Family life
will not be satisfactory either. Land transactions will work in your favour. A
good week for purchase of land. Favourable for foreign travel. success in higher
Sunday: 4.00 to 5.30
Monday: 7.00 – 8.30
Tuesday: 2.30 – 4.00
Wednesday: 11.30 – 1.00
Thursday: 1.01 – 2.31
Friday: 10.01 – 11.31
Saturday: 8.31 – 10.01
(Applicable both day and night)