Carol Services

Merry An Singers
At a time when eating, drinking and merry-making tend to become the focus of the ‘The Season,’ the rings in Christmas, the season of Peace and Goodwill, most appropriately with a Carol Service on December 1, at St Andrew’s Scots Kirk Colpetty 7:15 p.m.
Traditional lessons and Carols will be interspersed with music presented with dynamics so distinctive of this 26 year old choir. The choir of over 50 will be made up of the Senior Choir and many outstanding junior singers from the Mary Anne School of Vocal Music This will be the 11th annual Service in which the choir has been associated with Scots Kirk.

L. G. Singers
On Friday, December 7, at 7 p.m., the L. G. Singers will begin their Christmas season with an evening of carols at Bethel Chapel of the Seventh-day Adventists, Alfred House Gardens, Kollupitiya. They will be presenting 20 Carols during the programme.
You are cordially invited to attend and rejoice the celebration of the season of God’s grace and peace and goodwill towards men.

St. Peter’s Sing Along
The annual Christmas Sing Along of the OBU of St. Peter’s College, Colombo will be held on Saturday, December 1, at the College Hall from 7:30 p.m. onwards.
Cosmic Rays will be the band in attendance at the event compeered by Radley Stephen.
For children under 6 years, entrance is free while the tickets have been priced at Rs. 500/= for others.


www.jwt.lk engages surfers in cyberspace

JWT Colombo re-launched its website at a simple function on November 1. Nasser Mohammed, Associate Vice President & Director, who completed 25 years of service at JWT, pressed the button that re-launched JWT Colombo into the digital age.
CEO, JWT Co. Colombo, Thayalan Bartlett speaking at the ceremony stated, “A website does not do justice if it does not engage and then commence interacting with surfers in a manner they appreciate. Unfortunately in Sri Lanka most websites are content heavy and serve as monologue sites. The need of the hour is dialogue with interactive capability and this site breaks new ground. He congratulated a dynamic team spearheaded by Ashraff Jainudeen and supported by Chandini Rajaratnam, Johann Latiff, Dinesh Kanagaratnam and Suminda Gamage .


The first ever Gavel Club in SA formed

University of Kelaniya Gavel Club operating under the Career Guidance Unit is an affiliate of Toastmasters International, a leading movement devoted to making effective oral communication a worldwide reality.
The club was initially formed as the The Speechcrafters’ Club in 2004 and was chartered as The University of Kelaniya Gavel Club.
It was instituted with the guidance of Director of Career Guidance Unit, University of Kelaniya, Dr. Kapila Seneviratne, Charter President, Serendib Toastmasters Club, Sujith Bandulahewa and Patron, D. U. Mohan forming the first Gavel Club in South Asia.
The Club with its limited number of resources managed to organise an Inter University Best Speaker’s Contest in year 2005. It was the first ever, “Inter University Best Speaker’s Contest” in the history of Sri Lanka.
Today the Club has gained recognition in the Toastmasters community and serves a major role in improving communication skills within the university community under the guidance of the Career Guidance Unit of University of Kelaniya, with immense support from Prof. M. J. S. Wijeyaratne (Vice-Chancellor), Mr. Ajith Medis (Director of the Career Guidance Unit), Dr. Kapila Seneviratne (Senior Treasurer of the Club), Mr. D. U. Mohan (Patron), the English Language Training Unit (ELTU) of the University of Kelaniya and committed members.
Toastmasters can turn our Graduates into bubbles of pride, not just put them aside, not let them be children that cried.


Thanksgiving Mass

A Thanksgiving Mass was held at Fatima Church Maradana on October 6 to celebrate Russel’s 19th anniversary which was conducted by father Indrajith.
The theme was “Nothing Is Impossible With Jesus”.
Mr. and Mrs. Russel Perera and family with the entire staff.


SLFA assists junior schools

Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship Association (SLFA) distributed school uniforms among the students of Ottukulama Junior School and Sembukkuliya Junior School in Puttalam District under their Education Development Project.

The President Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship Association Retd Gen. Weerasuriya and Press Counsellor of Pakistan High Commission, Suriya Jamal distributed uniforms among the students along with the Project Director, M.N.Naphiel, and General Secretary of Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship Association, Ashraf Roomi.


Sri Lankans to participate in international folklore festival

Sri Lanka has been invited to participate at the 19th International Folklore Festival to be held in Thailand in celebration of the 80th birth anniversary of the King of Thailand.
The Folklore Festival will be held from November 20 to 27 in the Northern City of Lampang(close to Chiang Mai) at which 15 countries with over 500 participants together with nearly 1000 local artistes will participate.
This international event is organised by CIOFF the arm of UN promoting folklore.
Sri Lanka will be represented by a team led by Tilak Fernando and 24 selected members of the Hillwood College Dance Troupe from Kandy.
The team will also participate in the annual ‘ Loy Krathong’ festival held to coincide with the full moon day in the month of November where lighted decorative floats made from banana leaves are floated on waterways.


Presentation of Credentials – Ambassador Poland


Ambassador Poland, C.F. Chinniah, presented his Credentials to President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczynki, on October 30.




Japanese business delegation in Lanka

Galadari Hotel warmly welcomed a Japanese business delegation organised by the President of LK Enterprises Co. Ltd. of Japan, Lester De Alwis.
They had number of successful discussions with representatives of the tea trade, hospitality and gems and jewelry for future collaborations.
During their stay they also called on Prime Minister, Rathnasiri Wickremanayke.


Bunka Awards for five Sri Lankans

2007 Bunka award winners: Sharmini Rajadurai, Thumindu Kithsirimevan Dodantenna, Darshana Pradeep Ratnayake, Nilar Cassim and Damitha Abeyrathne with the Cultural Affairs Minister, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka, Kiyoshi Araki, at the award ceremony

14th Bunka (Cultural) Awards organised by the Japan Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund was held on November 10, at the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation TV Studio.
Bunka Awards are presented annually by the Japan Sri Lanka Cultural Fund, which was established in 1993, on the initiative of the Japanese Solidarity Association and the Japanese Commerce and Industry Association in Sri Lanka.



The Kadirgamar Legacy

The legacy remains. The man has gone to the great beyond. Many men of learning and distinction have paid tribute to Lakshman and his contribution to the land of his birth.

Somehow, the tributes do not seem to capture the humanity and the stature of this man who, more than anyone else; has helped to shape modern Sri Lanka.

He is associated with Oxford, that elite school of learning. With the Privy Council; he joined the Law Lords who determined cases from the colonies, in the rarefied atmosphere of the Temples of Justice. He adorned the intellectual property organization in Geneva, Switzerland and advanced complex arguments in the quest of preserving the intellectual property rights of the world. He enlightened judges of the Supreme Court, with polished, persuasive arguments.

Lakshman, however, summed up his own life, when the Oxford Union paid a rare tribute to him by unveiling his portrait. It was a star studded gathering of the greatest Oxford Alumni. He paid a tribute to Oxford, but a greater tribute to his country when he said “The icing on the cake may have been at Oxford, but the cake was truly baked in my island home in Sri Lanka.” This brought tears to the eyes of all those Sri Lankans present.

That symbolized the quintessential Lakshman Kadiragamar. He was home grown; alive to the tremors and the aspirations of his troubled country. He was not a tribalist and said as much when he was interviewed by ‘Hard Talk.’ There was one thing foremost in his mind. The preservation of the sovereignty of his country. To do this, he marshaled all the attributes that his Maker had given him .The mesmerizing ability to persuade, jewelled phrases and a complete mastery of the English language.
Lakshman Kadiragamar had to meet Colin Powell the Secretary of State of America. He was advised by the embassy officials that he must not see him alone but with his aides.

Lakshman went alone. Colin Powell started the conversation by telling him “Lakshman, we island people have special problems that only we understand.” Lakshman immediately figured out that this was a reference by Powell to his origins in the Caribbean Island of Barbados. Powell went on “I remember visiting your island with Richard Nixon and the strongest memory that I have of your island is the beauty of that magnificent Banyan tree that adorns your President’s garden.” For a brief moment, Colin Powell forgot matters of state and continued talking about the Banyan tree.

Lakshman came back home, obtained a photograph of the Banyan tree and sent it with his compliments in the diplomatic pouch to Colin Powell. Today, it occupies a very special place in Colin Powell’s collection. Those are the delicate human touches of Lakshman Kadirgamar. He never forgot to be human, because he realized that it is human beings that affect the destiny of nations. Colin Powell became his friend and he could see him without much protocol.

He was a busy lawyer, appearing in the most controversial commercial cases. An old friend, a village Headman, came to see him one day and wanted legal advice on a case in Kurunegala. He wanted Lakshman to recommend a lawyer. He was surprised when Lakshman told him “I will come for your case” and he made a pro deo appearance for his old friend. That was the extent of his humanity to a very old friend.

His most enduring contribution to the Buddhists of Sri Lanka was his ability to persuade the UN to declare Wesak as a day of international significance to the whole world. This is a Buddhist country where the majority of the people practice the teachings of the Buddha.

No Buddhist leader was able to sanctify Buddhism in this way.
He belonged to that elite of the most eloquent speakers in English. He had very little in common with the JVP, the uninitiated would say, but it was to Lakshman that the JVP turned to for advice to resolve their problems. He took them on the path of the emerging world, gently dissuading them from old doctrines. When Somawansa Amarasinghe and Wimal Weerawansa came to see him he had all the time in the world for them, when the discussions were over, he walked them to the street and saw them in to the three wheeler.

Unlikely as it may seem, the JVP had the highest confidence in Lakshman. He did not talk down to them, he did not lecture to them. He initiated them in the need to understand other doctrines.
The present government would have been enriched by his presence. He had the ability to persuade even the most intractable foe. He was appointed an MP by Chandrika Bandaranaike, to her eternal credit. He gave her his utmost loyalty in all matters, but found it difficult to compromise on the sovereignty of the nation. He was sidelined at the end.

Men are judged not by what the rich and powerful say about them. The true measure of greatness is the tribute paid to them by the vast masses of the people, by those who live in mud huts and palm thatched houses, far removed from the rarefied corridors of power that Lakshman walked, to further the cause of his country .The tomb of the unknown soldier draws many million mourners in the United Kingdom much more than the kings and queens who ruled the Court of St James!
At his funeral, a man from Ruhuna, with tears in his eyes made this immortal inscription in the book of condolence. “We believe in Samsara. May you, in your journey through Samsara be reborn in our sad and troubled land, to serve us just one more time!”
That is the Lakshman Kadiragamar that the people of Sri Lanka would like to remember, the mesmerizing advocate who spoke to the world.
Malinga H Gunaratne.


Winston Rodrigo the journalist on an unending quest for truth!

Veteran journalist Winston Rodrigo left this world on September 18 after seeing 72 summers. He passed his youth at Dehiwela and had his secondary education at St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya.

He joined the old ‘Times of Ceylon’ as a rookie journalist and made his way up till he became the Director of the Colombo Plan publications. He then went to Kuwait to join some cousins and worked for ten years at the National Bank of Kuwait as their publications officer. The Gulf War saw him go underground for a while. When the war ended he returned to Sri Lanka.

His little nest of rooms in Dehiwela was full of books. He passed his time reading, searching for Truth. Winston was not called to family life. He had a wide circle of friends and they, along with his books, completed his life.
He was not a church-goer, though not averse to occasional conformity in going to church. But he was a deeply spiritual and religious man, searching for the ultimate truth.

He was always fascinated by the mystery of the destiny of the Universe and his own destiny, the eschatological problem, the Last Things. What happens to me after death? Do I continue and endure in some form or not? What is the ultimate fate of this earth and of the Universe?
He sought for answers through Freud, Astrology, the Sai Baba cult, the theory of the Israeli journalist Drosnin, called the Bible Code, that the destiny of the Universe and, indeed of individual persons, is encoded behind the Pentateuch text.

All these theories did not fully satisfy him. He used to discuss these problems with me. Towards the end of his life, he was coming round to the acceptance of consciousness, the inner awareness of Self in the Mind and the Heart of humans, as the enduring principle.
Rev. Dalston Forbes OMI


Elina Jayewardene – An inspiration to wives of all politicians

The demise of this gracious lady who was once our First Lady has left a void that can never be filled. She was the epitome of incomparable dignity and impeccable elegance; an inspiration to wives of all politicians.
She was a tower of strength to her husband throughout their married life and he never failed to pay her a tribute. She had quiet strength, and never failed to give him good advice, but was content to be in the background, backing him to the hilt, but never flaunting herself in a flamboyant fashion.

Born as an only child to extremely wealthy parents and being educated by governesses and not sent to school perhaps contributed to her being an extremely private person. Despite her lack of formal schooling, she was well read and could converse on a wide variety of subjects.

I had the privilege of getting to know her when I was very young and so many happy memories of times spent with her are there in the recesses of my mind! I recall being chaperoned to my first dance by the Late President and Mrs. Jayewardene. She was very kind to me and was always loyal and there for anyone she was fond of.

We shared a love of dogs; to us dogs were pets and not watch dogs, there to be petted and cuddled and to be part of the family. I recall an occasion when we attempted to make milk wine together; neither of us had done so ever before. The efforts were disastrous and her son, Ravi came into the kitchen and said it smelt like an arrack tavern. Ravi too, has inherited his shunning of publicity from his mother and never flaunted or made use of his position as the Late President’s son.

Later on, after my marriage, there was an attempt spearheaded by an upcountry politician who is no more to influence President Jayewardene to replace my late husband as an UNP organiser, saying we were Dudley Senanayake loyalists.
When my husband went to meet the Late President, he told him, “You owe your appointment to Mrs. Jayewardene; she came up to me as I was leaving the house and told me to see that you get the nomination.”

She had a deeply ingrained sense of justice, hated unfairness and was a woman of strong principles and values. She never hesitated to tell her husband what she thought; was honest and fair in judgement and deeply aware of the difference between right and wrong.

Again, when attempts were made to try to influence the late President against the Late President Premadasa, she stood firmly behind the latter and resisted any attempts to dislodge him from becoming President. This sense of loyalty to those she cared for, to her husband and politically to his party, right through her life was one of her most lovable qualities.
She was always very fond of the present UNP Leader, and being a private person herself, understood him and his natural reserve. She would get very angry when she felt he was unfairly criticised.

Today, the Seva Vanitha Movement is made much ado of by many. The work still goes on, but with a great deal of publicity. There are few who are aware that this was her brainchild. She was determined to do something for women working in government service and for their children. She worked privately on the Late President and he set the wheels in motion.
I was just a Deputy Minister’s wife, but she wanted me too to be on the committee of seven who helped to draft the constitution, choose the motto and the logo. Later on, I was on the working committee too; she headed the committee with dedication, discipline and was always forthright in her decisions and judgement.

It was a pleasure to work with her and we started crèches, English classes, helped out in hospitals and so on. The first Women’s Affairs Ministry was started at this time too, and I have no doubt that the Late President Jayewardene did so at her urging. The Peter Weerasekera Home for Children was one of her favourite charities, and I too helped out with raising funds for it at her request, for which she never failed to thank me and show me her appreciation in numerous ways.
She is one who is respected by one and all; from all walks of life and from all sides of the great political divide. Even when her husband was President, one or the other of them would often answer the phone, and always had time to lend an ear when needed.

The Late President would always come to the door with her to see visitors off. This kind of old world courtesy is lacking now and we are the poorer without these people to whom courtesy and good manners were a way of life. Elina Jayewardene was one of a kind and there will never be another quite like her. A real lady in every sense of the term.
A perfect woman, nobly planned, to guide, to comfort and command.
Ilica Malkanthi Karunaratne










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