Digital Lifestyle Home at the Deyata Kirula

Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel presented Digital Lifestyle Home at the Deyata Kirula exhibition which was held at the BMICH from February 7-11.
The stall consisted of automated home appliances such as IPTV, M3 Mobile Eye along with equipment with personal features such as chatting, facebook, producing and recording music and online gaming.


Computer Programming through VB.Net launched

Computer Programming Through VB.Net by Priyantha Navarathne was presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently.
Navarathne published his first book titled Unseen Side of the Computer in 2004 and this has been his second book.


Mystique of Sigiriya launched

Mystiques of Sigiriya, the English translation of Sigiri Gee Siri written by the Speaker, W.J.M. Lokubandara was launched on February 1, at his official residence.
The book was officially presented to the First Lady, Shiranthi Rajapaksa along with Prof. Ashley Halpey, Leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickramasinghe, Minister of Export Development and International Trade, G.L. Pieris, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene, Rauf Hakeem, R. Sambandan, U.S. Embassidor, Robert O. Blake, Sri Lankan High Commissioner of India, Aloka Prasad, Archbishop of Colombo, Rev. Oswald Gomez and Supreme Court Judge, Shirani Bandaranayake and other distinguished guests. (SS)


Philipinaya launched

Philipinaya was launched by the Sri Lanka Philippines Friendship Association.
From left to right: Director of Education, School Library Division, Ministry of Education, Kapila Kasthuriarachchi, Consul General for Philippines in Sri Lanka, William John Terrence Perera, newly elected President of the Sri Lanka Philippines Friendship Association and Chief Guest of the occasion, Ananda Samarasinghe, Minister and Consul General of the Philippines Embassy in Dhaka who overlooks Sri Lanka, Alex V. Lamadrid, at the launch of Philipinaya, the first ever book about the Philippines written in Sinhala, at the SSC recently



60th Independence Day Celebrations at University of Oxford

Sri Lanka Society at the University of Oxford officially celebrated the 60th Independence Day on Sunday, February 3. It was held at the Goodhart Room of University College, the oldest of the Oxford Colleges, amidst a large gathering comprising of both Sri Lankans and distinguished foreign guests.


Musical Talent Search - Malay Mega Star 2008

The second consecutive Musical Talent Search organised by the Colombo Malay Cricket Club (founded in 1872) the premier Cricket Club in Sri Lanka, will be held on Saturday, February 23, commencing at 4 p.m. at the Padang Complex, Kew Road Colombo 2, to harness the talent and skills of the youth.
The Talent Search will be in three categories:
b) Solo
b) Duet or Trio
c) Group or Band
Contestants can perform songs in any language.
Over 100 participants will compete in the various categories. The winners of each category will be given valuable gifts and trophies and the Best Performer will be judged as the ‘Malay Mega Star.’


Zahira annual dinner dance and teachers’ felicitation

The annual dinner dance and the teachers’ felicitation ceremony organised by the Past Prefects Association of Zahira College was held on February 8, at the Trans Asia Hotel. 17 teachers were felicitated for their service rendered to the College.


Corporate Law Conference 2008 February 28, Hilton Colombo

Association of Corporate Lawyers Sri Lanka consisting of approximately 400 Lawyers employed in the corporate sector in Sri Lanka will hold its annual Conference titled, Corporate Law Conference 2008, at the Hilton Colombo, on February 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva will grace the occasion and the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Nihal Jayamanne will be the Guest of Honour. The technical sessions of this year’s conference will focus on Company, Banking and Labour Laws.
For details refer the association’s website www.aclsrilanka.com


Musleh Maoud – The Promised Reformer Day – Public Meeting

The second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad is called Musleh Maoud – the Promised Reformer, in accordance with the prophecy by God, revealed to the Promised Messiah Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Islam, on February 20, 1886, in which he was told that he would be blessed with a holy spiritual son. To mark this event, Ahmadi Muslims all over the world celebrate February 20 as Musleh Maoud Day.
To mark the event, a public meeting will be held on February, 20, at Ahmadiyya Jubilee Hall, Periyamulla, Negombo, at 4 p.m.


SCATS Sri Lanka appoints new office bearers

SCATS Sri Lanka, the country branch of one of the key Sri Lankan social and welfare institutions in Australia, held its Annual General Meeting (AGM), at hotel Trans Asia last week.

The following Office Bearers were elected.
President: Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon
Vice Prsidents: Dalton Kahawela, W. M Bandara
Secretary: Tilak Alahakoon
Treasurer: Ananda Weerasinghe
Asst. Treasurer: Mervin Rodrigo
International Relations President: Gamini Perera
Media Secretary: Daya Lankapura

In addition, a new Executive Committee consisting 20 members was also appointed.


Educational Course in Theatre Education

The Course in Shakespearean Drama and Theatre-In-Education has been conducted by the Shakespeare Centre Sri Lanka since its inception in the year 1990. Applications are being called for a new batch of students for 2008-2010.

The course will be conducted in Sinhala as well as in English and it will be carried out in parallel to the Sinhala productions as well as the English productions of Shakespearean plays. Applicants competent and interested in both languages are requested to apply separately for the two productions. The course will be facilitated by a talented dramatist with foreign exposure in the field of Shakespearean theatre.

Those who wish to participate in the course (conducted free of charge) and acquire an extensive knowledge in Shakespearean dramatic works and the art of acting in general, may submit the detailed applications addressed to: Asangi Jayasinghe, Secretary (Projects and Implementation), Shakespeare Centre Sri Lanka, No. 327, Darley Road, Colombo l0.



Mario Thamul Shamendra Fonseka
A Friend in Deed

Mario, a former student of St. Anthony’s College Wattala, passed away in January 2008, after a sudden stroke at his home.
My classmates and I at St. Anthony’s College missed a dear and a good friend indeed. Born in 1962 in the month of October at Wattala, Mario Fonseka was 45 years old when he was called to rest with Jesus.

His passing away was lamented by all his classmates, colleagues at work, foreign friends and acquaintances. Mario had a distinguished academic and professional career. He was a very friendly and a good hearted person. He never failed to help his village community at any given time. He was a devout Catholic in his parish at Meegoda.

My own association with Mario at a personal level was short, since we left college in 1981. After leaving school he was involved in private business and, in addition, he was attached to the NGO called ARSHOFF.

His 16 year old eldest son Lasith Shehan Manoj Fonseka studies at St. Peter’s College, Colombo 6, and he is in grade 10. His 9 year old youngest son Niranjan Mahesh Fonseka studies at Christ the King College at Pannipitiya in grade 4.

Mario’s wife Menaka Priyanganee [nee Rupasinghe], is a devoted house wife, winning scores at all home needs in caring for her loving husband and two sons. Menaka married Mario on January 23, 1992 and was the apple of his eye until his untimely death.
Mario leaves behind his sweetheart wife Menaka, and adorable sons Lasith and Niranjan, not forgetting his loving parents Alex and Tita Fonseka.

May he rest in peace!
Langston Jansze


Upali Phillip Wijewardane
Patriotic Business Tycoon, Entrepreneur, Social and Religious Reformer

Over 25 years ago, our patriotic, charismatic and fearless business tycoon, entrepreneur, social and religious reformer and potential presidential candidate in 1989 presidential elections disappeared in midair over the Indian Ocean, in his own Lear Jet plane from Malaysia to Sri Lanka. This was a political business conspiracy, as he was very powerful in business activities in Malaysia where he had cocoa, rubber and palm oil plantations which were detested by Chinese businessmen as they were loosing business in Malaysia. In Sri Lanka, he gave his knowledge and experience to resuscitate poverty stricken youths by organising vocational training centres and educational training centers for them to obtain employment in foreign countries with his assistance and funds. He did not take anything from the country, but gave his wealth for the rehabilitation of the community economically, socially, culturally and religiously.

Some politicians of Sri Lanka, who wanted to exploit the nation’s wealth once in power, did not like his popularity and rising political prowess to take over the country for development. On February 13, 1983, he and his associates were destroyed in midair with the connivance of enemies in Sri Lanka and Malaysia, through a bombed attack on his plane, sending shock waves through Sri Lanka as well as the entire world.

Due to ocean currents, his remains could not be traced in the Indian Ocean.
He hailed from a very outstanding patriotic, cultured and religious family. His father was D. Walter Wijewardane of Sedawatte Walawwe, Kelaniya and Basnayake Nilame of Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya. After it was destroyed by invading Portuguese in 1505, they resuscitated the 2560 year old Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya with their funds. His mother, Anula Wijesinghe of Godawakanda Walawwe, Kamburupitiya was a descendant of Morawakkorale Royal Tikiri Kumaraya who later became King Wijayabahu (1) of Sinhalay with Polonnaruwa as his capital and reunited the island of Sinhalay by driving out South Indian Tamil invaders. Upali Phillip Wijewardane was educated at Royal College, Colombo 7. He excelled in studies, sports and horse riding. He entered the University of Cambridge, in London, with his cousin late D. R. Wijewardane’s son Ranjith Wijewardane. He came back to his motherland, Ceylon then and joined the British owned Lever Brothers (Ceylon) Ltd. as Management Trainee with stiff competition, but he was selected on his own merits. He assimilated all aspects of industry, commerce, marketing, manufacturing, processing, packaging, advertising, personnel management, industrial relations, welfare services and management which he did very well to the surprise of the European management.

As Europeans were the administrators of the company, he had an unpleasant problem when he went on leave after finishing his assignment, to attend his sister’s wedding. The Anoja Wijewardane Wijesundara wedding. As soon as he got back the European directors found fault with him for not submitting the relevant programme envisaged in business industry development. He made it clear that he left everything on his table and went on leave. It was not available and could not be traced either. Upali Phillip Wijewardane himself searched and found it under the office tray. He pulled it out, threw it in his face and utterly dejected went home never to return again.

He was thinking very deeply about starting his own business industry. As a child, he had observed how his beloved mother Anula Wijesinghe Wijewardane processed milk toffee with cadjunuts for the family evening tea. He learnt the recipe from his mother by observing the manufacture with an eagle eye. He launched a small micro industry by purchasing machinery with his funds and commenced operations with his family servants in one of the rooms at Sedawatte Walawwe, Kelaniya. He manufactured toffee and marketing was done through the advice of Ananda Tissa de Alwis Advertising Company Ltd. The late Mr. Ananda Tissa de Alwis took Upali round schools/colleges during lunch time, showed him the youngsters who were coming out and remarked this your market for Delta toffee, which was very successful in the entire island of Ceylon then. Upali approached the late Mr. Solomons, Director/General Manager of People’s Bank for a loan for the development of his industry.

He assessed Upali Wijewardane’s capabilities as he proposed to take a large loan for construction of factory, installing machinery for production of goods and services to the consumers. He embarked on the electronic industry, motor industry, consumer industry, manufacturing of soaps, printing industry, agriculture, plantations, travel, tourism, airlines and newspapers which are popular as ‘Divaina’ and ‘The Island’ managed under the Upali Group of Companies.

When the UNP, came to power in 1977, he was appointed Director General/ Chairman of the Greater Colombo Economic Commission, known as BOI today. He was responsible for establishing Katunayake Free Trade Zone, Biyagama FTZ and Koggala FTZ for production of goods and services for export. He established a cocoa factory to manufacture chocolates in Malaysia.

It is very appropriate to print a stamp in honour of Upali Phillip Wijewardane for services rendered by him to the nation, politically, economically, socially, culturally and religiously for the benefit of the country.
May he be born among us till he achieves Nibbana in his journey through Sansara.
Capt. L. B. Lanka, (Wilbawe) Jayaratne) Secretary General
Freedom from Poverty Campaign of Southern Province/Matara



February 19
The Tuskegee Airmen (1995, 111 minutes) at the American Centre, Colombo 3, at 6 p.m.


February 19
Ankur by Shyam Benegal (3 hours) in Hindi with subtitles in English, at the Indian Cultural Centre, at 5:30 p.m.


February 19
Biographic Film, Chagall, A La Russie, Aux Anes Et Aux Autres by F. Lévy Kuentz (2003, 55 minutes) in French with English subtitles, at the Alliance Française Auditorium, at 3/6.30 p.m.


February 23
My Fair Lady, at the Russian Centre, at 5 p.m.



February 22
Violine Recital by Sangeeth Shasthrapathi, Mahinda Senevirathne, at the Indian Cultural Centre, at 6 p.m.


February 17
An exhibition of paintings by Wasantha Perera, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 7.

February 22 – 24
An exhibition of visual art by the students of Vibhavi Academy, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 7.


February 24
Pradeepanjalee by Pradeep Ratnayake, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, at 7:30 p.m.


February 17
Bugsi Malone by Jerome de Silva, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 7.