A Celebration of Books

Kandy Books launched its 16th publication Creative Expressions 2, a collection of ten short stories and ten poems edited by Nimal Sanderatne at the Orient Club on November 18. It is a sequel to the first volume of Creative Expressions, Fourteen Short Stories published in 2004. The stories and poems are of diverse themes, styles and forms of expression.

The authors in Creative Expressions 2  are of varied backgrounds and the themes and styles are markedly different. The ages of the authors too vary from a teenager to several septuagenarians. Two writers are from Canada, and three are expatriate Sri Lankans living in Australia, England and Canada .  The ten short stories are by Jean Solomons Arasanayagam, Sarath Edirisinghe, Leonrad Graholm, Sriyani Hulugalle, Leela Rani Jayasinghe, Jessie Kaplin, Asoka Perera,  Valentine Perera, Ransiri Meneke Silva and W.A.Wijewardena.

 It includes ten Poems by Paravathi Solomons Arasanayagam, Sriyani Hulugalle, Nalini Jayasuriya, Chandima Rajapathirane, Ranjini Wickremaratne Rebera, Asoka Perera and Nayani Weragoda.
 The Celebration of Books was attended by a very large and distinguished gathering that viewed the 16 books published by Kandy Books in the space of three years.
 Nalini Jayasuriya’s Letter From Ingy 2007, a book of poems for children will be published this month.


Girl at the Ferry to be launched

Edmund Jayasuriya, who earlier published his memoirs as the Assistant Government Agent in the Anuradhapura District both in Sinhala and English (Vev Bendi Rajje Savariyak - Sojourn in Lake Country), has now written a Sinhala novel Thotupoledee Hamuvu Yuvatiya, (Girl at the Ferry), which will be launched at the National Library and Documentation Services Board, Independence Square, Colombo 7 at 4 p.m. on December 5.
The event will be presided over by Prof. Kusuma Karunaratna. Prof. Sunanda Mahendra and Dr. Praneeth Abhayasundera will address the gathering.

A well-known literary critic and translator, Jayasuriya’s translation of Totagarnuve Sri Rahula Thera’s Selalihini Sandesa won for him the State Literary A ward for the best English translation in 2003.


Sony BRAVIA launched

The launch of Sony BRAVIA on November 15
The Sony BRAVIA range of LCD televisions epitomise the revolutionary technological prowess of this renowned brand name. Each series of the BRAVIA range has been specially developed to cater to a wide variety of needs.


The launch of Sony BRAVIA on November 15



CUP art competition


The donor Rajiv Dissanayake, Director, CUP, U.R.Jayaweera Bandara, Selecting winners, S.A.Dissanayake, Jagath Kariyakarawana, and Director, CUP, N.T.A.Dissanayake participated in this event



An art competition to design a calendar for the year 2008 was held for the children residing in Kalinga Watta, Polhengoda organised by the CUP on November 4.


An evening of Romanian folklore

On the occasion of the National Day of Romania and the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Romania and Sri Lanka an evening of Romanian Folklore will be held on December 5, at Royal College, Main Hall, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Baraganul, an ensemble from Calarasi, Romania will perform. The event has been organised by the Embassy of Romania with the support of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.


“Giving back to the community” Proud winners of the 2007 Youth in Philanthropy Award

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto was the select venue when the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Greater Toronto Chapter held its 2007 National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon witnessed by a 1300 strong crowd on November 15. It was a grand affair complete with bells and whistles to usher in a handful of fundraisers whose commitment to excellence went far beyond the normal call of duty. The Master of Ceremonies was well known City TV Anchor Gord Martineau who evidently has been associated with this event for the last eleven years. AFP is an association of professionals throughout the world working to advance philanthropy by enabling people and organisations to practice effective and ethical fundraising. The core activities through which AFP fulfills this mission include education, training, mentoring, research, credentialing, and advocacy.

With this backdrop, two young siblings Sanjay and Sofia Sugumar were honoured by the organisers for their voluntary donation of $2,033.05 in small change – to the Rouge Valley Centenary Hospital, the hospital where they had been born. In October 2006 the brother and sister donated all of the contents of their baby-bottle shaped piggy bank in an effort to give back to the community and the country that had given their family so much.
Upali Obeyesekere


IOM upgrades facilities at St. Michael’s College, Batticoloa

St. Micheal’s College, Batticaloa with a student population of over 3,000 and 100 teachers is one of the oldest and reputed schools in the district which dates back to 1873.
To improve the existing educational and extra-curricular facilities of St. Micheal’s College, IOM with funding from the European Commission provided furniture, musical instruments for the school western band, a photocopier and a duplication machine. To instill the habit of reading in students, IOM also assisted in setting up a library in the school.

At a ceremony organized by the school development society of St Michael’s College, IOM handed over the equipment to the school authorities and to the Zonal Office of the Department of Education on November 5.
The project is funded under IOM’s Voluntary Assisted Return and Sustainable Reintegration programme.


US DV Lottery ends today

The 2009 DV Lottery Programme ends today, and interested applicants should be sure to apply before the deadline.  The DV Lottery, or greencard lottery, allows randomly selected applicants to immigrate to the United States on an expedited basis, provided they meet all the criteria.  A person may only enter the lottery if he or she has:  1) citizenship of a qualifying country (Sri Lanka and the Maldives both qualify); and 2) either a high school equivalent education (Six GCE O-Levels including compulsory subjects) or work experience within the past five years in a profession that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform. 

The lottery registration period ends today. The lottery is conducted entirely by electronic means over the internet.  Paper entries will no longer be accepted.  The State Department has established a website for the submission of entries, which can be accessed at: www.dvlottery.state.gov.  Please be aware that this is the ONLY website for the DV Lottery, and that entering the lottery is completely free.  An applicant may only register ONCE; more than one entry will result in automatic disqualification.  NO FEE is charged to enter the Diversity visa Programme.


Centenary celebrations

The bells of St. Mary’s Bambalapitiya will ring out joyfully on December 9 at the festive Mass to herald the commencement of its centenary celebrations.
Three days of Novenas followed by Vespers on December 8 will usher in the feast of the Immaculate Conception which in turn will signal the dawn of the Jubilee year. This is the most significant milestone in the history of this church to date.
To commemorate this event the Parish is preparing a year long programme of religious activities. Chief of which are a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, A Retreat in Chakkuladi at the Divine Retreat Centre and the arrival of Father Augustine and his team from Chakkuladi to conduct a retreat in the parish.
The parish is also organizing a second collection every fourth Sunday to help three disadvantaged groups in our society namely; the prisoners who are in jail for minor offences because they cannot pay their fines, rehabilitation of drug addicts and the poor patients who are unable to pay for their medical needs. Meanwhile there will be a simple ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the new Parish Hall Complex at 8:30 a.m. on December 8.


Latvia Day celebrations

“The Latvian people assisted in the reconstruction in affected areas in the aftermath of the tsunami, with funds utilized for preschools and (will always be happy to) reach out a hand to the Sri Lankan people to assist. Whenever necessary they share will all European nations a deep fund of goodwill towards this beautiful island,” he stated.



Lyn de Alwis,

Conservationist, Environmentalist par excellence Courtesy Gajah, official journal, IUCN Asian Elephant Specialist Group

On November 22, 2006, an icon of wildlife conservation, passed away quietly and unknown to most. For many people, who knew him, professionally, Lyn de Alwis symbolises the various achievements and benchmarks he set in the national and international zoo and wildlife conservation forum. For the people who knew him personally, Lyn leaves behind a gulf that will never be bridged and a yearning for an era never to come back.

For most people, Lyn de Alwis was either the Zoo Director or the Wildlife Director or both, since he was the only person to hold both positions, simultaneously. Chief among his achievements are to further wildlife conservation in Sri Lanka as well as globally. Lyn provided the leadership for the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) as well as the Dehiwala Zoo. Long before South and Southeast Asian countries, Lyn, with the help of the World Wildlife Fund and the Smithsonian Institute, led the DWC to conduct scientific research, bringing Sri Lanka to the forefront of international conservation. Lyn was Director DWC from 1965 to1969 and from 1978 to 1983. During his Directorship in the 1960s, Lyn managed to convert almost all the intermediate zones into National Parks, i.e., in 1967 and 1969, the Wilpattu West Intermediate Zones into the Wilpattu National Park and in 1969, the Yala Intermediate Zone into the Yala National Park. During the same time, he also established special elephant control units to attend to the increasing human-elephant conflicts in the Hambantota and Anuradhapura regions. In 1970, he got an amendment made to the Fauna & Flora Protection Ordinance, to include jungle corridors for the free movement of elephants between wildlife reserves. In 1978, he got a Cabinet Paper passed to establish one-mile wide buffer zones to wildlife reserves. In addition, during his tenure, the Department conducted the first capture and translocation of elephants.
His noteworthy contributions, during his second tenure at the DWC in the 1980s, were the designing of a system of protected areas for the Mahaweli River Development Project.

As Zoo Director, he established the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, a unique concept even at the time. Additionally, Lyn established the Zoo Development Fund and the Zoo Welfare Society for the zoo staff. Lyn designed the Singapore Zoo as well as the Night Safari. As Chairman, Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG), Lyn paved the way for the international conservation forum to gain access to countries such as Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia and Vietnam that were closed to the outside world. Lyn personally penned and edited the newsletter of the AsESG, later becoming the journal GAJAH.

It was a great loss for Sri Lanka, the day Lyn passed away. For the hundreds of people out there, who knew him - they lost a colleague, a friend, a peer. For his immediate family – they lost their patriarch. For me, personally, I lost a mentor and a friend. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka did not value nor appreciate Lyn for what he had done and could have continued to do for its wildlife conservation. Lyn was a monument as well as a foundation stone of Sri Lanka’s conservation forum and will continue to be so, through the people whose lives he has touched.

Ravi Corea
President, CEO Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society


Wing Commander Denzil Fernando

The cruel hand of fate snatched Wing Commander Denzil Fernando from our midst, an officer and gentleman par excellence, admired by his peers, respected by his subordinates and all who knew him. He passed away in Brighton U.S.A. on November 5, 2007. His family and friends; are yet baffled by his untimely death and overwhelmed by a profound sense of grief.
“Death, ruthless death, how fast you throw fatal darts on those whom we adore”

Uncle Denzil, a contemporary of my father while serving in the Sri Lanka Air Force and later in the Royal Oman Police; was a close friend of my father and our family. We associated closely with his family and I knew him since my childhood. This appreciation is with a deep sense of gratitude, while being deeply saddened by his demise. When my father and mother were completely shattered, consequent to a motor traffic accident in which I sustained serious injuries and was lying between life and death for days; Uncle Denzil and Aunty Premanie were a tower of strength and comfort. My parents were virtually devastated and overcome with despair, but Uncle Denzil continuously rekindled their faith, imploring them to trust in the Almighty. Until his untimely demise, he meticulously followed up my recovery and rehabilitation. While in the Royal Oman Police in the Sultanate of Oman, Aunty Premanie and he showered us with hospitality and kindness. My sister and I enjoyed Aunty Premanie’s delicious meals and the company of his daughters Sheolie and Dinali. Denzil was happiest in the tranquility of his home with his wife and daughters.

He was a rare personality, whose exemplary and ethical conduct and religious convictions, left an inedible mark on me. The hallmark of his character was his patent simplicity, modesty and religious piety. He was my ‘role model,’ the perfect human being. He inculcated high ethical and moral values in his daughters and guided their academic pursuits. Sheolie who obtained a degree in Public Health from Harvard University, is now a third year student at George Washington Medical School, while Dinali is a physician at the prestigious Mount Sinai hospital in New York. Though I knew Uncle Denzil’s achievements, it was only when I attended his memorial service at St. Theresa’s Church that I realized his impressive record in the Sri Lanka Air Force. The eulogies so eloquently delivered by Wg. Cmdr. Roshan Biyanwila and Wg. Cmdr. E.H. Ohlmus, portrayed his impressive service record and admirable personal qualities. Listening to the significant and remarkable record of achievements, I found it difficult to understand his simplicity and humility.

While Aunty Premanie lost an adored devoted husband; Sheolie and Dinali an affectionate mentor and friend. My father and our family lost an irreplaceable friend.

He left us cherished memories which will linger forever. Those of us who now feel the impact of his loss must derive inspiration and comfort from the legacy he left behind.
(From the tree of life each leaf must fall…
the green, the gold, the great, the small…
Each one in God’s own time, He will call…
With perfect love, He gathers all.)
May he rest in peace
Roshantha Fernando




December 4 & 5
Intervention Divine by De Elia Suleiman (92 minutes, 2002) in French with English subtitles, at 3 p.m./ 6:30 p.m.

December 9
An exhibition of paintings by Muhanned Cader, at the Barefoot Gallery, Colombo 3.

Lobby sale

December 3
Lake House Book Shop, at the Liberty Plaza, Colombo 3.

December 4
Little Women, at the Liberty Plaza, Colombo 3.

December 7
Uthum Pathum, at Liberty Plaza, Colombo

December 8
Dress Point, at Liberty Plaza, Colombo 3.


December 2
Hilton Colombo’s Kiddies Carnival, at the Sports Centre Car Park, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
There will be loads of fun activities with fun bouncers, merry-go-round, giant wheel, cup and saucer, candy floss, lot’s food and drinks. For more information call the Food and Beverage Office on 2492012. Tickets are available at the Special Events Desk from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The students of Buddhist Ladies’ College and BLC International proudly presents Nirmani, a variety entertainment show on December 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the John De Silva Memorial Hall. The event featuring dance, drama and songs will provide an enjoyable evening. All parents and well-wishers are welcome. Tickets are available at the gate.









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