Les Caméléons to perform

Once more on December 13 Alliance Française de Colombo will offer a wonderful evening of music in partnership with the Embassy of France and Hotel Taj Samudra featuring the jazz band from France, Les Caméléons.

Coming all the way from Lyon, France, Les Caméléons is composed of four new Orleans jazz style lovers: Samuel Petit (piano), Christian Genin (tuba), Jean-Baptiste Perez (saxophone) and Max Cotineau (drums).

“Les Caméléons” has a unique style combining a jazzy music style from New Orleans with French jazz influence and even a little Creole touch. In their shows they always deliver the energy of jazz, faithful to their spirit prevailing in United States in 1930s to 1950s. But they have also adapted some of the most famous pieces of the French variety repertoire to give them a jazz touch; they even came out with a CD called “Brassens en Jazz” to offer a new version of Georges Brassens songs whose songs had become standards of the French variety music.

The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Upper Crystal Room.


50th Anniversary at the Bar

Anton Fernando of Horton Place, Colombo 7 will complete 50 years of practise as a lawyer on December 11. He was enrolled initially as a Proctor and later as an Advocate of the Supreme Court. He commenced his professional career as an assistant at M/s F. J. & G. de Saram. Thereafter he started practising at Panadura and in the Courts of Horana and Moratuwa where he acted for the Magistrate on several occasions. He holds a Masters Degree in Law from the Faculty of Law Colombo. He has been a visiting lecturer in Company Law. He was a Past Vice President of the Bar Association for the Kalutara Zone and a Past Chairman of the Legal Aid Commission.

He followed a programme arranged by the British High Commission on Human Rights, visited Legal Aid Board, Amnesty International, Lord Chancellor’s Office, Citizens Advisory Bureau, Article 19, Crown Court and other Human Rights organisations in the U K.

He was also a Council member of Pax Romana an International Organisation of Catholic Professionals and he has attended several Council Meetings abroad.

He is a consultant to a number of BOI Companies. He is a Life Member of the OPA, Medico Legal Society, Royal Asiatic Society and the Founder President of the Christian Professionals’ Union and the Chairman of World Express (Cmb) Limited.
He has written four books: A Guide to Human Rights and The Humanitarian Law, A Right to Religious Freedom, Constitutional Guarantees for Minorities, The Anti Corruption Laws.

He was educated at Holy Cross College and at St. Joseph’s College. He is the brother of the Tax Consultant, Stanley Fernando, Iris Mendis and Consultant Economist - UNCT AD (retired), Dr. Annesley Fernando. His son Shanil Fernando is an Attorney- at- Law.
The Panadura Bar Association will unveil the portrait of Fernando at the Law Library Panadura shortly.


Mayors meet

Mayor of Matale, Hilmy Mohamed (second from left) during his recent visit to United States to attend a conference on global warming with the Mayor of Los Angeles, Anotonio Villaraigosa, in San Fransisco
Pleasantries between the two cities, Los Angles, Seattle and Matale were exchanged at a reception. The Mayor of Seattle, Greg Nichols (extreme right), was also present.


Pakistan donates SVU

High Commissioner for Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Shashad Aslam Chaudhry donating 13 Heavy Duty Sewing Machines worth more than Rs. 1 million to the Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Air Marshal Roshan Goonatilake and the Chairperson, Sri Lanka Air Force Seva Vanitha Unit (SVU) Nelun Goonatilake, in the presence of the SLAF SVU membership at a ceremony held at the AFHQ on December 1.


Pre-school inauguration


MP for Hamabantota District and Chairman, Janasuwaya Development Foundation, Sajith Premadasa at the inauguration of a pre-school in the tsunami housing complex at Siribopura, Hambantota which was built at a cost of Rs. 1.2 million funded by Firmenech International, a multinational company involved in fragrances and perfumes and facilitated by Rotary Club of Colombo


Symphony Family Christmas Concert today

The Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka will celebrate the season with its popular Family Christmas Concert today, at 7 p.m., conducted by Manilal Weerakoon, at the Ladies’ College Hall. The Symphony Christmas Concert was held December 7.
Top of the bill at the Family Concert are well known Christmas Songs for the audience to Sing Along with the Orchestra and combined Choirs – The Menaka Singers, Past Choristers of St. Benedict’s College and Friends, 45 young voices in all. The Concert will also feature Johann Strauss’s famous Waltzes ‘Tales from the Vienna Woods’ contrasted with Waldteufel’s exotic ‘Espana’ Waltz and a highlight will be a Medley on Rodgers’ Hammerstein’s ever-green ‘Sound of Music.’
The Concert is in aid of Sunera Foundation.


Central Bank Recreation Club

At the Annual General Meeting of the Central Bank Recreation Club, on September 20, the following Office Bearers have been selected for 2007/2008.
President - S. H. A. M. Abeyratne
Vice Presidents - L. Y. Dharmasena, Maj. Gen. (Retd.) S. Wanigasekera
Hony. General Secretary - M. Madigasekera
Hony. Asst. Secretary - S. J. A. Handagama
Hony. Treasurer - P. Gedarawattege
Hony. Asst. Treasurer - C. A. Ariyadasa
Hony. Auditor - P. V. L. Nandasiri
Executive Committee - Capt. K. A. S. H. Karunatilake, W. G. S. S. J. Keerthiratne, U. P. Alawattege, A. R. K. Wijesekera, H. P. A. I. Ariyasinghe.
Games Secretaries - P. Amarasinghe (Cricket), P. V. P. S. Perera (Badminton), G. S. C. Dahanayake (Athletics), D. Wilathgamuwa (Netball), A.W. Mohottala (Swimming), P. H. J. Mendis (Football), G. A. S. Asoka (Volleyball), G. P. Weerasena (Basketball), F. J. Fernando (Elle), K. G. V. Vijithakumara, W. P. G. D. S. D. Senanayake (Indoor Games)
Social Secretaries – K. Gunatilake, G. K. Kulathilake
Publicity Officer – A. S. K. Hewavitharana.


In memoriam

To mark the fourth anniversary of the passing away of Ven. Gangodavila Soma Thera and the eighth annual convention of Janavijeya Foundation a series of religious ceremonies will be held in Matugama town on December 26, at 3 p.m.
The sermons will be delivered at the following temples and schools in the area - December 24: Pannila Sailabimbarama temple, Sri Sudharshanarama temple – Matugama; December 12, Alms giving at Maharagama Sri Vajiragnana Dharmayathanaya to more than 100 Buddhist monks; December 15, Bopitiya, Seelawansarama Library, December 16, Kalupahana Sunandarama Temple, December 19, Dodamgoda Isurupura Sri Dharmayathanaya, December 21, Narawila Abhayaraja Pirivena.
All devotees attending the ceremony are requested to be dressed in white costumes. A documentary film on the life of Ven. Soma Thera will be shown after every sermon.


Vatican Deputy Mission Head at St. Lawrence’s carols

St. Lawrence’s Church, Wellawatte, would hold its annual Christmas Carols and Nativity play at the church premises on Sunday, December 16 from 7 p.m. onwards.
Accompanied by a popular band, the choristers and students from the Sunday school would stage their performance.
Vatican Deputy Head of Mission Rev. Msgr. Baudouin Muankembe would be the Chief Guest at the event. On Saturday, December 15, a Christmas party would be held for the children.


From “Himuw Arane” of BBC

Amara Divi Sara, the biography of Visharada W.D.Amaradeva is to be serialised over the BBC World Service to mark the 80th birthday of the veteran musician and singer. The discussion forum of Himuw Arane comprised Professor K.N.O.Dharmadasa, Ratna Sri Wijesinghe, Professor Carlo Fonseka, and W.A.Abeysinghe. (the programme was recorded recently in Colombo). Several contemporary artistes including musicians, and composers, participated in the programme that would be on the air weekly.



Wing Commander Anthony Maurice Fernando

He left an indelible mark

It is with profound sorrow that I pen this appreciation on the demise of Wing Commander Anthony Maurice Fernando who breathed his last on November 16 in Brighton, USA. He left an indelible mark in several fields of activity in the Sri Lanka Air Force and Royal Oman Police, which he enriched and adorned with great competence and grace.
A dear friend, he left behind a void which never can be filled. His greatest attribute was his love and respect for all people and his patent humility and simplicity.

Denzil was born on July 11, 1939, the eldest in a family of 11. He was brought up by his parents in a deeply religious and disciplined environment. From his childhood he was exemplary in his performance whether at home or school.
He received his education at St. Anthony’s College, Katugastota and St. Joseph’s College, Colombo. On successful completion of his GCE Advanced Level examination, he chose the profession of arms as his calling and enlisted in the Royal Ceylon Air Force as a flight cadet on April 27, 1959. On completion of his initial flying training and being awarded “wings,” he was promoted as Flying Officer in August 1961.

Excelling in his flying and administrative duties, he was promoted as Flight Lieutenant in 1965. Apart from his superior flying skills, his superiors identified in him the essential requisites of a trainer. He was selected to pursue a qualified instructors’ course at Royal Air Force Tern Hill in 1961. On graduating as a qualified flying instructor he was nominated for a command and staff college course at the same institution, evidently grooming him for command.

Given his performance in varied positions of flying training and in command of flying squadrons, he was promoted Squadron Leader in 1971. During his illustrious career, he served as a flying instructor, standardisation officer and acting commandant of the Air Force Academy China Bay while commanding the Number 2 Squadron.
He was later appointed Officer commanding the Standard Examination Unit and Command Rating Examiner and also as acting Base Commander. He was promoted Wing Commander in 1976.

On completion of 21 years in service, he retired on April 30, 1980. He later joined the Royal Oman Police as an Air Operations Officer. While in service he was decorated in recognition of his services and awarded ‘The Oman Peace Keeping Medal,’ ‘10th Anniversary Medal,’ ‘Glorious 15th National Day Medal’ and the ‘Order of the National Emblem.’
Denzil married Premanie on December 28, 1970. Their marriage was a tremendous success. He adored his two daughters, Sheolie and Dinali. Their home was an abode of peace, love and affection.

Denzil zealously guided and fashioned their careers and today Sheolie, after graduating from Harvard University with a degree in Public Health, is presently a third year medical student at the George Washington Medical College, while Dinali is a physician attached to the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. They are both married to professionals.

Denzil was an unassuming person, never given to ostentation and bragging. His integrity was beyond question and he adhered to a code of professional rectitude. In retirement his life revolved around the family and religious activities.
Denzil was a wonderful friend who reached out to his friends, particularly in times of distress. With his demise I have lost a dear friend. I thank God however for the gift of Denzil’s friendship. I thank God for his life. I will not say farewell because I know we will meet again. May the turf lie gently over him and may he rest in peace.
Rex Fernando



He rendered a great service to the nation

It was saddening to learn of the demise of a patriotic, charismatic, illustrious, fearless and friendly gentleman and politician with sterling qualities and agriculturist, planter and first air pilot of Ceylon who came to Ceylon as a solo air pilot from London Airport after his studies in England. He was also a great sportsman, excelling in motor - racing.

James Peter Obeysekara hailed from Batadola Walawwe, Attanagalle in the Gampaha District. He was educated at Royal College, Colombo 7. He excelled in his studies and entered Cambridge University London, England for his academic studies.
He excelled in his studies and got though the B.A. (Cantab) with Honours and M.A. (Honours) and qualified as a Barrister-at-Law too. As he was interested in motor mechanism engineering, he qualified in aeronautical engineering and obtained an air pilot licence from British authorities.

The Obeysekara family dynasty hails from the Royal Portuguese family. His ancestor, Fernandez, who belonged to the Portuguese Royal Family in Europe, came to Ceylon then as Captain of the Royal Portuguese Navy to Galle Harbour to inspect the activities of the Portuguese administrators in Maritime Provinces of the entire southern province of Ceylon then.
He fell in love with the resplendent island on his inspection visits and decided to stay. He looked out for a fertile large land in Kathaluwa in the Ahangama area of Galle District. He then constructed a walawwe, which was known as Atadahe Walawwe, since he grew 8,000 coconut plants there.

He then wanted to change his name to a Sinhala name. He met a Buddhist priest known as the Koratota Chief Priest and wanted to change his name as ‘Your Leader.’ The Chief Priest, considering his nobility, named him ‘Obeysekara,’ which means ‘Your Leader.’
He married a noble lady of royalty from the Kodagoda Walawwe of Seneviratne Dissanayake, who migrated from the Kandyan Province. He settled down in Kathaluwa Atadahe Walawwe and brought up very illustrious children to serve the nation and country for generations.

S.C. Obeysekara (Jnr) entered Royal College, then Colombo Academy, Colombo 7. He excelled in his studies and entered Cambridge University, London for higher studies in law.
He qualified as a Barrister-at-Law and came back to Ceylon to practice law. He bought large extents of land in Gampaha and Colombo, and planted coconuts which were enjoyed by many generations later. He entered the Legislative Council and State Council to serve the nation under British Colonial periods 1796/1947.

His descendants – Sir Foestor Obeysekara, Sir James Peter Obeysekara, Sir Donald Obeysekara, J.P. Obeysekara (Jnr), Fedrick Wimaladharma, Obeysekara P.C. Danton Obeysekara, Asoka Obeyasekara, Indrajit Obeysekara and Stanley Obeysekara (Attorney-at-Law) – are all Cambridge Blues who excelled in studies, boxing and other sports.

J.P. Obeysekara (Jnr) also rendered great services to the nation and country politically, economically, socially, culturally, educationally, agriculturally, industrially, health services, administratively, judicially and also militarily.
Since the demise of late S.W. R.D. Bandaranaike, founder of SLFP and Prime Minister, of Ceylon 1956/1959, there was a great vacuum in the Attanagalle electorate of the Gampaha District, which was filled by him by contesting the Attanagalle electorate at the 1960 March parliamentary general elections, which he won.
He won the 1960 July parliamentary elections too under the leadership of Sirimavo Bandaranaike. He was appointed as Deputy Health and Finance Minister.

J.P. Obeysekara married a very outstanding lady from the Dassanayake family, known as Shiva Dassanayake Obeysekara from Dassanayake Walawwe, Mirigama.
I came to know J.P. Obeysekara very well when he was contesting the Attanagalle electorate and visited my mother’s home at Veyangoda to get my support. Our deepest sympathies to his beloved wife, children and relations. May he rest in peace.
– Capt. L.B. Lanka Jayaratne, Irangani Senerviratne, B. Jayaratne, Weligama



December 11 & 12
Y aura-t-il de la neige à Noël? by De Sandrine Veysset (90 minutes, 1996) 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.

Memorial lecture

December 13
The 17th Kanchana Abhayapala Memorial Lecture organised by the Sarvodaya Legal Services Movement, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the BMICH Committee Room ‘B’. Speaker: Editor, Resurgence, UK and Director, Schumacher College UK, Sathish Kumar. Title: Humanity And Earth-Balancing Human Rights With Nature’s Rights.


December 12
3rd year commemoration of the tsunami disaster and handing over of houses at Konesapuri, Trincomalee, at 9:30 p.m. organised by Caritas Sri Lanka – SEDEC in collaboration with Caritas Trincomalee – EHED.


December 14
Pink Party – Ladies Night organised by Real Radio, at the Tramps, Galadari Hotel, from 9 p.m. to 12 midnight featuring Real Radio DJs. For more information call 0773405154 / 0716902257.


December 9
Colombo In Bloom, at the Viharmahadevi Park. A lecture will be held on ‘How to Maintain a Successful Garden by Sarath Jayasekara and Wasantha Polwaththage, at 4 p.m.

Food festival

December 10 – 20
Strawberry Dreams, at the Hilton Colombo.
Until December 22
English Pies, at the Echelon Pub, Hilton Colombo.








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