Outstanding Grade 5 scholarship student gets cash award

Central Tennekumbura Y. M. M. A. Kandy, donated a scholarship of a cash award of Rs. 10,000.00 to Umar Hatthab Fathima Fasrin, a student of AI- Aqza National School, Kalpitiya, who scored third highest, at the 2007 Grade 5 Scholarship Examination in the Tamil Medium.



Fathima with the Treasurer of the Association, S. M. Hussain, JP, Secretary, Grand Jummah Mosque Tennekumbura, A. L. Aboobucker Alhaj, President, M. S. Rakeeb and Life General Secretary, Mohamed Nagoorpichai



Drip irrigation system inauguration

Agriculture Minister, Hemakumara Nanayakkara and the wife of the Indian High Commissioner, Nandini Prasad inaugurating the drip irrigation system last month, at Labuduwa School of Agriculture.
The project was initiated by Nanayakkara and the equipment was jointly donated by Jain Irrigation Company of India and their exclusive agents Jinasena Company (Pvt) Ltd of Sri Lanka


Diploma in Buddhism for Buddhist monks


Union of Myanmar Ambassador in Sri Lanka U. Tin Oo Lwin, MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardana with Rajamaha Viharaya, Jaffna Chief Incumbent Rt. Rev. Dr. Brakmanawatta Seevali Nayake Thero at the discussion held to obtain more opportunities for Sri Lankan Buddhist monks to obtain scholarships to study in international Theravada Buddhist universities in Myanmar at the Embassy in Colombo recently. The Ambassador has agreed to extend his fullest cooperation and assistance





Handloom and handicraft exhibition

The Western Province Industries Department, under the directive of the Western Provincial Sports, Youth Affairs, Rural Development and Rural Industries Ministry, held a handloom industries and handicraft products exhibition at the National Art Gallery in Colombo. The exhibition was declared open by Industrial Development and Ranaviru Welfare Minister Kumara Welgama. Next to the Minister is Western Provincial Sports and Youth Affairs, Rural Development and Rural Activities Minister Gamini Thilakasiri, as Welgama inspects the products


Youth Development Centre inauguration

The centre was constructed at a cost of Rs. 3,000,000 and provides free English language education and information technology skills (international computer driving license) for educated unemployed youth of the area and surrounding villages that were affected by the tsunami.
The cost of equipment was funded by assistance from the Norwegian Government and support for the construction of the centre was extended by Hino Hinzenhofen, a philanthropist from Germany.


National Civilian Bravery Awards 2008 – Invitation for applications

Applications are invited by the Foundation for Civilian Bravery for the following awards for selfless acts of saving others. The applications will be evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges.
1. Lord Budal Gold Medal (Gold Medal for Civilian Bravery)
This award will be presented to a citizen who, voluntarily disregarding risk to his or her own life, displays courage in saving or attempting to save another whose life is in imminent danger of being lost, such as by fire, flood, mine accident, or like disaster.
2. Silver Medals of Civilian Bravery
Citizens whose acts, even though not equal to the heroic act of the recipient of the Lord Budal Gold Medal, fall within the description in the above paragraph are eligible to be awarded the Silver Medals of Civilian Bravery.
General conditions
1. Applications will be received until February 29.
2. The period applicable for the heroic acts is January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007.
3. Information may be forwarded by the candidate or by another on behalf of the candidate.
4. The applicant is responsible for providing proof of the veracity of the rescue under consideration.
5. The past recipients of Gold and Silver Medals of Civilian Bravery are not eligible to apply.
6. The decision of the panel of judges for selection shall be final.

Applications are available from:
Kasun P. Chandraratne
Foundation for Civilian Bravery
137 A, Siri Siddaththarama Road
Telephone & SMS: 0385670050


Sucharitha Office Bearers 2007/2008

The 26th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Sucharitha Viyparaya Limited was held under the patronage of Vice President, Sucharitha Viyparaya Limited, Sajith Premadasa.
The following Office Bearers were elected for 2007/2008.
President: Hema Premadasa
Vice Presidents: Sajith Premadasa, Dulanjalee Jayakody Premadasa, B.V. Sugathapala, Gamini Jayaratna, Ariyasiri Arangallage
Secretary: Vijitha Kadiragonna
Assistant Secretary: G. B. Mallawarachchi, Siripala Hettige
Treasurer: Maira De Silva
Assistant Treasurer: D. S. Gurusinghe
Managers: H. M. Khemadasa, L. B. M. De Silva, Shantha Kadiragonna
Auditor: R. K. Piyadasa



The Pearl Fishers

January 9 to 11 at the BMICH



Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Chairman Sunil Sarath Perera’s Vidyuth Madhyopadesha Vigrahaya was launched on January 2 at the Foundation Institute Auditorium. The book was officially presented to Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena


Dr. Sarath Kongahage, Buddhadasa Withanachchi, Sriyantha Mendis, Jayani Senanayake and Devinda Kongahage, lighting the traditional oil lamp at the launch of the tele-drama, Sadisi Tharanaya at the Fingara Cricket Academy, Nugegoda. The tele-drama was produced by Dr. Kongahage and directed by his son, Devinda Kongahage

Oshadha Weerarathna presenting his book, Buddhi, to Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena at the launch on January 2 at the Media Ministry Auditorium



Madam Elina Jayewardene

I write this tribute with a great sense of gratitude to a lady par excellence whom I have revered, and served loyally during the period I was with President J. R. Jayewardene as his Protective Officer.

My memories and experiences with President Jayewardene are many. They are most rewarding and unforgettable. I would venture to mention one simple incident which, if I did not would be an act of ingratitude to this great lady, Elina Jayewardene.
It was on March 1991, that my wife Rameena (now deceased) and son Zulki made a courtesy call at ‘Braemer’.

I thought this would be more appropriate to pay this visit when my son equalled the Wicket Keeping Record for taking the highest number of wickets in a series (1990-91) at the Royal Thomian Big Match.

My son wore the college blazer for this occasion and was introduced to President and Madam Jayewardene. As a true Royalist, President Jayewardene was happy to hear of my son’s achievement, and asked for his blazer. He was keen to wear it. I helped him to put it on. Reminiscing about his own cricketing days, he showed us his Cricket Colours on his blazer.
Madam Jayewardene who was also happy about my son’s achievement surprised us all by presenting my son with a sovereign gold coin. It was a day to remember.

Her gift is a treasure which will be preserved in high esteem by our family for a long time.
It is not surprising that Mrs. Elina Jayewardene has a heart of gold.
May her loving soul Rest in Peace.

Ibrahim Hamid
Retd. Senior Suptd. of Police


Kailasapathy and his interest in theatre

Professor Kanagasabapathy Kailasapathy died aged 49 in 1982. During his lifetime, Professor Kailasapathy carved a niche for himself as a great Tamil scholar, not only in Sri Lanka and South India but also in the West.

As an academic he has several well-researched articles and more than 10 books to his credit. Oxford University Press published his magnum opus Tamil Heroic Poetry, a book based on his doctoral thesis, conducted under the guidance of Professor George Thomson at the University of Birmingham.

Prof. Vithiananthan, a respected Sri Lankan academic, stated that Kailasapathy’s comparative study of early Tamil poetry with Greek epics was a long-felt need which “Kailasapathy made it a reality.”
Kamil V. Zavabil, an oriental scholar from the Eastern Europe, introduces Kailasapathy in one of his books thus: “Marxist literary critic and historian, scholar, creative writer…”

Following his death, a fair amount of writings appeared about his contribution to comparative studies, literary criticism and journalism, with no serious effort being undertaken to put to perspective his involvement and interest in theatre.

Kailasapathy had his early education in Malaya and came to Ceylon (as then known) to pursue his secondary education. He attended Jaffna Hindu College for three years from 1948, where M. Karthigesan was a member of the teaching staff. This scholarly teacher, during the same period, functioned as the secretary of the Jaffna branch of the Ceylon Communist Party.

Karthigesan found in the boy from Malaya a prodigy and discussed with him a range of literary subjects including Shakespearean plays, Greek theatre and Russian creative writers, which would have been highbrow stuff to another child in his early teens.

To prepare for the University Entrance Examination Kailasapathy joined Royal College, Colombo. During this period the Radio Ceylon (as then known) Tamil service was broadcasting dramas and Kailasapathy wrote several scripts. He continued writing radio drama even as an undergraduate, and the number of scripts he wrote, according to his biography, was in the range of 40.

Some still recollect the popularity of the Shakespearean play The Tempest, which was written by Kailasapathy as a radio drama in Tamil and serialised for several weeks.

During Kailasapathy’s time at the University of Ceylon, the environment was congenial for him to develop his love for theatre.
English Department Head Professor Ludowyk made it a point to see that the Ceylon University Dramatic Society produced at least one English play a year. Professor Sarachchandra was experimenting with different techniques to usher in a renaissance in Sinhala theatre. Similarly two Tamil professors, Kanapathipillai and Vithiananthan, who were Kailasapathy’s lecturers, strained every nerve to keep the Tamil theatre active.
Kailasapathy, during his undergraduate days, acted in four plays, including Sundaram Engai and Durohigal, based on Kanapathipillai’s script.

In the early 1960s, Vithiananthan produced a play based on an episode from the epic Mahabharata. On this occasion Kailasapathy, as a relatively young member of the academic staff, assisted Vithiananthan in the direction and production.
Kailasapathy returned to Sri Lanka in mid 1960s on completion of his post-graduate studies at Birmingham University. As an academic, with vast knowledge on various forms of art, he gave young producers every encouragement, accompanied with constructive criticism.

In several books authored by him and various articles he wrote to newspapers, one cannot avoid coming across frequent reference to theatre. In one of the books while discussing Akalya, a beauty, according to legend seduced by the Lord of the Celestials, Kailasapathy refers to a technique of linking new themes to ancient literature or past incidents.

In his book Thamil Naval Ilakkiyam (studies in the Tamil novel), Kailasapathy deals in detail with some early Tamil novels by Mathaviya where past gives way for new society. A detailed study of the writings of Kailasapathy shows that his writings were studded with his observations about Tamil plays, both in India and Sri Lanka, including folk theatre. In his doctoral thesis submitted in 1966 he mentions Kuttu, a form of folklore, which encapsulated, among other things, ‘dance and dramatic performance.’

His interest in theatre remained with him until the very last. He followed the evolution of the play, based on the script written by his friend Subair Ilankeeran, which was to be performed on December 10, 1982 at the cultural festival, associated with the centenary celebration of the great Tamil poet Bharathi’s birth.

However, Kailasapathy passed away four days prior to the performance, despite the yen of the organisers that he should grace the occasion as the chief guest, a disappointment documented in his biography written a decade after his death.
Bhagavdas Sriskanthadas



January 8 & 9
Babel Oued City by Merzak Allouache (93 minutes, 1994) in French with English Subtitles, at 6:30 p.m.
Venue: Alliance Francais, Colombo


January 10
Conference on the exhibition of photography by Marc Blanchet, at Alliance française Auditorium, at 6:30 p.m.

Public talk

January 6
At The End Of Sorrow Is Passion, organised by the Krishnamurti Centre, Sri Lanka, at the Study centre, Beddagana, Duwa Road, Kotte, at 10.30 a.m.


January 7 – 10
An exhibition of photographs by Marc Blanchet, at the Alliance Française Auditorium.







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