Sales Manager, Sri Lankan Airlines, Isabelle Proust, Manager, DMC – LSR Lanka Sport Reizen Francois Souman, Mesnil Voyages, Catherine Steinmetz, Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau in France, Ruvan de Alwis

French travel agent wins one-week luxury stay in Sri Lanka

The year 2008 started really well for Catherine Steinmetz of the French Travel Agency - Mesnil Voyages (Paris area) – an agency that belongs to Thomas Cook network. She just won a luxury stay for two persons in Sri Lanka in one of the most beautiful hotels of the island!


Ministers meet

Community and Social Inequity Eradication Minister and Leader of UPF, MP P. Chandrasekaran with Indian Panchyati Raj, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister, Sri Manishanker Iyer in New Delhi


Presentation of credentials

Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Palestine, Dr.T.Jayasinghe at a discussion with Palestine President, Mahmoud Abbas after the presentation of credentials
Kalyani Jayasinghe and advisors of the President were present at the discussion


Marvell Sarvodaya Vocational Training Centre launched

One of the most prestigious and established vocational training centres in the Eastern and perhaps Northern Provinces, The Marvell Sarvodaya Vocational Training Centre was officially opened in Satturukondan, Batticaloa by Founder, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, Dr. A.T.Ariyaratne, on January 23.
The Guest of Honour was Ambassador, United States of America, Robert Blake. The funding for the construction of the Centre was provided by the Marvell Charitable Fund and Give2Asia Tsunami Recovery Fund of the USA.


Lions Club cycle race commemorating 60th Independence Day

A cycle race (Standard) covering a distance of 115 km is to be held on February 4 to mark the 60th Independence Day, as a part of the Sinha Swarna Udanaya Celebrations of Lions Club of Pannipitiya Central.

The race which starts from Pannipitiya YMBA premises, consists of five rounds covering Kottawa, Delkanda, Boralesgamuwa, Maharagama, Erewwala and Rathmaldeniya areas. It is organised jointly by the Maharagama Police and the Maharagama Sports Club under the supervision of the Colombo District Cycling Association.

The event is sponsored entirely by UN Trade Centre, Nawinna and valuable cash prizes will be offered to the first 20 competitors. For further details call 4308702, 0773-525234.


Aloka Pooja

Chairperson, Swadeshi Industrial Works Ltd. Amari Wijewardene, CEO, Nuwan Wimalana and Marketing Manager, Chaminda S. Jayasinghe Arachchi, at the ceremonial lighting up of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya in the presence of members of the Buddhist clergy of the temple, Swadeshi sponsored the Aloka Poojawa for the 9th consecutive year


January 29 and 30
La Chasse Au Lion A L’arc (documentary) by de Jean Rouch (80 minutes, 1965) in French Englishs Subtitles, at the Allaince Française, at 3 p.m./6:30 p.m.

“Only the Songhay hunters, a hereditary caste, are entitled to kill lions. The herdsmen are permitted only to throw stones at lions to chase them away. The Peul people consider that the lion is an absolute necessity for a herd, and they are capable of identifying lions who live alone by the tracks they leave behind.”


January 29
There’s Something About Mary (1998, 119 minutes) at the American Centre, Colombo, at 6 p.m.


The new Thiruthani Buddhist Temple is ready for opening

A new Buddhist temple at Thiruthani, Tamil Nadu constructed on a block of 1 acre land donated by the Tamil Nadu businessman, Chakarawothy Naidu on the initiative of MP, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardana is ready to be opened for the devotees. Sri Lanka Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, P. M. Hamza, has also inspected the temple site.

Commemorating the 2550th Samurthi Jayanthi, MP, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardana, organised a Baratha Dharma Yatra from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu under the patronage of the three Supreme Maha Nayakas and Maha Sangha in 2006. A Bo sapling from Sri Maha Bodhi has been planted in the Thiruthani Buddhist temple.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Brakmanawatte Seevali Nayaka Thero
Chief Incumbent, Nagadeepa Viharaya and

Hon. Vice President,
Baratha Dharma Yatra


Singapore Sling Week

Until January 31, at the Lobby Bar, Galadhari Hotel


My Earth, My Love

My Earth, My Love, an exploration of history through arts, on January 30, at the Bishop’s College Auditorium, at 7 p.m. It is presented by Ratan Thiyam’s Chorus Repertory Theatre, Imphal with the support of the Insian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
My Earth, My Love is a complex weaving together of episodes of violence and destruction in human history across time and space to illuminate a concern for peace


Vibrant Pakistan – Sharing Excellence

Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and the Pakistan High Commission organised the three day trade exhibition, ‘Vibrant Pakistan – Sharing Excellence’ in Colombo from January 11 - 13. A number of top Pakistani companies showcased their products representing various sectors as textile, auto machinery, construction material, food items, garments, jewelry etc. The exhibition was opened by Minister for Export Development and International Trade, Prof. G.L. Peiris.


Laying of foundation stones at Gouthama Vihara

Foundation stones for the proposed cheithya, the alms hall and the Saman, Patthini and Natha Devala of Sri Gauthama Vihara at Dabare Mawatha, Narahenpita will be laid on Monday, January 28, at 4 p.m. Several distinguished invitees will attend the ceremony, organised under the directions of the Temple’s Chief Incumbent Shastrapathi Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera.


Unima Organisation

Office Bearers 2008

Election of Office Bearers of the Sri Lanka branch of the International Unima Organisation was held at the Traditional Puppetry Museum at Devananda Road, on December 30.

The following office bearers were elected
President : G. Indika Gamini
Vice Presidents: Sunil Abeygunawardena, Vipula Gamvari
Executive Secretary: Sarath Abeygunawardene
Secretary: K.A.Luxmi Karunaratne
Treasurer: Chrishanti Rosmaley
Executive Committee: Sumedha Jayapala, Gamini Wikalasiri, Gamini Wijesiri, L.P.Bandula, G.K.Chinthaka, L.P.Violet



Nalin T. Wickramaratne

Writing an appreciation is always a much easier task when it is someone you know and, happens to be a friend, but when it happens to be one’s own brother, the task is much more difficult because there an emotional tie is involved.

Nalin Wickramaratne was born on December 17, 1950 as the elder child of the late Malathie and George Wickramaratne and would have been 57 years this year, but he did not live to pass that milestone. In the afternoon of November 25, he dropped his two daughters at classes, returned home and went to take a shower in the bathroom and the next thing we knew, was that he had collapsed dead! Needless to say, the entire family and all those who associated him were devastated by this shocking reality of the impermanence of life that Lord Buddha preached to us.

To his wife Devika he was dutiful husband. To his daughters Bhagya and Asangi he was their best friend and confidante. He was the strength behind every activity they engaged in, whether it was in school in their studies or in sports. It was his pleasure to spend as much time with them as was humanly possible. The void left by his sudden death cannot be expressed in words, but the training and understanding he gave the family, will pull them through this traumatic experience.

Nalin was my elder brother by two years. He was not just a brother to me but my closest confidante and friend during the entire duration of our lives until his untimely death. Ours was an extremely close bond of absolute friendship and understanding, no matter whether it was during a period of trial or happiness. The two of us were extremely fortunate to have had parents and an uncle who inculcated sound human and moral values in us and taught us the value of being of service to one’s self and to those around us. From the time he and I were 8 and 6 years old, we worked together at Shramadana camps, to help the socially outcast communities of Rodhiyas, Kinnerayas and Veddahs when our late maternal uncle Mr. D. Ariyananda Abeysekera started the Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka, with his first work camp at Kanatholuwa in 1958, which was a Rodhiya village. Our school holidays from then on, were mostly spent in such villages helping others with our small mite. It is from such a small age that we were made to understand the inequalities of suffering, life and society, as well as to learn to be considerate of others less fortunate than us. Our late mother, having been a teacher both in boys/girls schools gave us an ongoing training and education programme of different and varied types of social problems and our education in life was not merely restricted to book knowledge. This is something that both my brother Nalin and I cherished throughout our lives and for which we are/were ever grateful. Many are the times when the two of us would sit down for a chat and discuss the value of the training we received at the hands of our elders.

As a child, Nalin was by no means ‘a saint’- innumerable were the mischievous episodes between the two of us but, those helped us to strengthen our bonds of friendship and understanding as we grew into adulthood. It helped us to grow up as responsible and duty conscious adults. As brother and sister, I can proudly say that we never ever fought over petty and mundane material things. Ours was a relationship of understanding and friendship, which I sincerely hope other brothers and sisters will also learn from.

In his professional life, as was amply demonstrated during his funeral, he was able to rise up above petty relationships and become a leader to all those who he worked for, whether they were his superiors or his juniors. He left an indelible impression of efficiency, high moral standards and justice among all those who worked with him both at Ceylon Tobacco Company and at Triposha and the reactions of the staff were a spontaneous show of the respect which he commanded rather than demanded.

There is no doubt that his sojourn in Samsara will be short and that he will attain the Supreme Bliss of Nirvana!
Ramani D.Wickramaratne


Amila Fernando- helpful and God fearing

The sudden death of my beloved cousin on 25th June 2007 at a comparatively young age of 51 years, was like a bolt from the blue, and was a shock to each and everyone, who knew him well.
It is really hard to think of him as being no more, and tragic that a humble God fearing person of his calibre had to leave us so suddenly forever.

I recall how he organised a pilgrimage to Madhu on the occasion of Dr Jayalath Jayawardena, MP, presenting a bullet proof glass security covering to the statute of Our Lady of Madhu, during the time he was attached to the Asoka Glass Company.

Amila was loved by all his relations dearly. He always went out of his way to extend a helping hand to his relatives, neighbours and friends, specially at times of tragedy. He was the first to arrive and offer all assistance irrespective of the time or the hour. Because of his noble qualities, he attracted a wide circle of friends and the record crowd, rarely seen at Koralawella, who came to pay their respects to him was ample testimony to his sterling qualities.

He was an old boy of St Sebastians College, Moratuwa and loved his alma mater, extending his services to his school in his own humble way, whenever his assistance was required.

I remember him as a 3 year old, when he was our Page boy at my wedding, in year 1959. Amila came from a well known business family of Koralawella, at the time ( V. L. Fernando and Sons) and being the youngest of a family of three brothers and two sisters, he was the apple of his father’s eye, the late Mr. V. L. Fernando and his mother ‘Curvert Mamma’, as we lovingly called her.

Amila was an essentially a family man, a jewel of a husband to his wife Damayanthi and a loving and a caring father to his three children. Arundhi. Dilini and his only son Rashendra.

It was a familiar sight to see Amila accompanied by his entire family receiving Holy Communion at Sunday Services, where he always made it a point to say, ‘hello’ to his fellow parishioners.

One of the last acts Amila performed was the grand party, organised by him, which brought all our relations together to meet his cousin Neela who had returned to the island for a short holiday from Canada. I’m sure, all of us will remember it for a long time.
Amila was loved in life, and let us not forget him in death. May his soul rest in peace.

F. R. Tony Silva



January 29
Madhura Jawanika, at the Tower Hall, Colombo 10, at 3/7 p.m.

Public talk

January 27
Looking Is Neither Conscious Nor Unconscious, organised by the Krishnamurti Centre, Sri Lanka, at the Anula Nursary School, at 310, H.L.R., Colombo 6, at 9:45 a.m.


January 27 - 31
Loot From The Loft, at the Barefoot Gallery, Galle Road, Colombo 3.