Please help Dilakshi

Request for donations for a surgical operation on a baby girl suffering from leukaemia
Dr. Lakshman Obeysekara, the Cancer Specialist of Karapitiya Teaching Hospital has detected that Dilakshi Sansala (four years), the daughter of Indragith Rajakaruna of Sri Lanka Army and Sandamalee Anomananda of Jayasena Mawatha, Wellabada, Boossa, Galle is suffering from leukaemia. The opinion of the doctors is that she can be cured by a Bone Marrow Transplant Surgical operation. Over three million rupees is required to perform the operation at the Apollo Hospital Chennai, India. The parents kindly expect assistance to collect this amount as they have been informed to pay the amount before March 5, 2008.
A savings account (number 4199827) has been opened in the name of Dilakshi Sansala in the Bank of Ceylon, Bazzar Street Branch, Galle.



Veteran film actor Ravindra Randeniya was appointed as the Adviser on Film Development by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees recently


Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

UK theatre company 1927’s multiple award winning theatrical cabaret, Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea cleverly combines live music, performance and storytelling with film and animations.

The show has been compared to the award winning West End production Shockheaded Peter, and previous Edinburgh Festival productions, the Clod Ensemble’s Greed and Vanishing Point’s Lost Ones that toured Sri Lanka.

Date: February 29 and March 1
Time: 7:45 p.m. sharp
Venue: British School Auditorium
Admission: Tickets are available at the British Council from February 15


  Independence Day celebrations


Sri Lankan Ambassador to Indonesia, Maj. Gen. (retired) Nanda Mallawaarachchi (second left) Pakistan Ambassador to Indonesia, Maj. Gen. (retired) Ali Baz (left), Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Cambodian Ambassador, Khem Bunneang (right), Indonesian Special Presidential Adviser and former Foreign Minister, Ali Alatas (second right) and Attorney General Hendrman Supandji (third right) lighting the traditional oil lamp, at the residence of the Sri Lanka Ambassador commemorating 60 years of Independence in Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo organised the 60th Anniversary of Independence Day Celebrations in a grand manner at Rissho Kosei-Kai, a renowned Japanese religious institute situated in the central Tokyo. Many Japanese nationals and Sri Lankans living in Japan took part in the celebrations at the invitation extended by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Japan, Ranjith Uyangoda.

Chairman, Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary League, Housei Norota, Representative of the Government of Japan on Peace Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka, Ambassador Yasushi Akashi, Ambassador of Sri Lanka , Ranjith Uyangoda, Jagath Ramanayake, Anton Ampalavanar and Nilam Alawdeen lighting the traditional oil lamp


FrenchConXion on concert

A Rock concert by FrenchConXion will be held on February 29, at 7 p.m. at the Alliance Française Auditorium with an authentic French Crêpes stall.
Tickets will be on sale at the Alliance Française de Colombo reception desk 11, Barnes Place, Colombo 7, from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Limited number of tickets)


TCK Principal wants life to go on

By Mariks our Kandy correspondent
Trinity College Principal Rod Gilbert recalled the deaths of the seven baseball players of D.S.Senanayake College, who lost their lives due to a bomb blast at the Fort Railway Station, during his speech at the school’s Prize Giving, held at the school hall recently.

Gilbert highlighted the concerns for security of children who attend school. “Our school Prize Giving comes at a time when security officers at our gates have to examine every person coming through,” he said. Gilbert however, stressed the fact that life had to go on despite the troubles in the country. He also recalled a conversation he had with a friend who had reminded him how Sri Lankans had pursued life with the same enthusiasm when the Japanese bombed the country and during the insurgencies in the 70’s and 80’s.
Old Trinitian M.V.M Mushin, a Ryde Gold Medallist, graced the occasion as Chief Guest.


Sri Lanka Alert website launch

Launch of the Sri Lanka Alert website and the distribution of their first publication took place on February 13, at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall – Committee Room D.

Sri Lanka Alert consists of a Group of Professionals, renowned for their unwavering commitment to preserve the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka and protect the interests of the Nation. The Board of Management of Sri Lanka Alert includes among persons in the caliber of H. L. de Silva President’s Counsel, Professor G.H. Peiris, Gomin Dayasri Attorney-at-Law, Neville Laduwahetty, Major General Lalin Fernando (Retired), Hope Todd and P. T. Hussan.

Sri Lanka Alert is a ‘Think Tank’ to promote a common understanding among all Sri Lankans on the role of foreign intervention and its threat to peace, human rights in its proper perspective, development and national unity as well as to safeguard the sovereignty, prevent secession and preserve the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.


Musleh Maoud public meeting

Chief Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaath, Sri Lanka, Moulavi A.B. Musthaq Ahmad delivering the key-note address, at the public function held to mark the “Musleh Maoud” – The Promised Reformer Day - on February 20, at the Ahmadiyya Jubilee Hall, Periyamulla, Negombo.
A.H. Nasir Ahmad, National President, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaath Sri Lanka also seen in the picture.


Architect Ulrik Plesner’s Works

The exhibition, Architect Ulrik Plesner’s Works will be held from February 24 to 27, at the Goethe-Hall 39, Gregory’s Road, Colombo 07, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
The exhibition was designed and organised by the architect, Ismeth Raheem.


AWPA holds sterilising clinic

The Animal Welfare and Protection Association (AWPA) held a sterilising clinic at their shelter in Kahathuduwa recently.
A total of 58 animals were neutered and sterilised with anti rabies immunizing also being done concurrently.


Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of a two-day UN General Assembly thematic debate on “Addressing Climate Change: The United Nations and the World at work”


MA Course in Political Science inauguration

MA Course in Political Science with Thematic Emphasis on ‘Democracy, Conflict and Governance’ offered by the Department of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Colombo and in collaboration with the University of Oslo, Norway and the University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia was inaugurated on February 14, at the Senate Hall, College House, University of Colombo.

Among the distinguished guests attended were the Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Government, Argiadipa Subandhi, Second Secretary, Indonesian Embassy in Colombo, Prof. Gamini Samaranayaka, Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC), Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama, Vice-Chancellor, University of Colombo, Prof. Amal Jayawardene, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Prof. Kristian Stokke, Prof. Plle Turnquist and Silje Vevante from the University of Oslo.



My Father

Inestimably you’re the pride of perfect of fatherhood
I recall down memory lane ever since my happy childhood,
Unending nostalgic memories engulfed in my aching heart
Par excellence you played, the seven stages, heavy part.

Admirable sterling qualities adorned many a generation
Fathomless, yeoman service, decades in the field of education,
Legend in your time, irreplaceable, outstanding journalist
Disciplinarian, morally incorruptible, devoted veteran linguist.

Teaching career for seventy five years in dedication
Memorable name from eighteen to ninety three sans agitation,
Gifted brilliance, rare calibre, an epitome of simplicity
An old Richmondite under Rev. Small, devout Buddhist exemplary.

Significant milestone in life, inimitable nonagenarian
Ninety three fruitful years, a selfless humanitarian,
Honourably enriched many illustrious the laborious long way
Without you they’d have all lost their hey day.

Regardless of reward meritorious deeds, in silence for charity
Genuine integrity expecting only unity in true harmony,
Unwavering memory power, kindled among us filial love
I feel you still bless each one of us from far, far above.

It hurts me as it did twenty long years ago
To recall the numerous happenings you’d to undergo,
Our parting so sorrowful as each day slowly dawns
Missing you for countless days, so lonesome I still mourn.

Your legacy of spirituality will live forever in our hearts
Numerous memories enmeshed in silver and gold will never part,
Imprinted in sands of time, seeds of your righteousness
Divine heart, soaring tolerance and forgiveness.

This is my humble tribute, a payment, a huge debt of gratitude
To be born your daughter in Sansara, I wish in my solitude,
By virtue of myriad meritorious deeds performed in Sansara
May my loving father attain the supreme bliss, Nirvana.

Kumari Kumarasinghe Tennakoon


Benedict Dodampegama

He believed in the beauty of life

It was late September in 1979 when I was serving the Rubber Control Department in Fort as a clerk that I received my first phone call from Benedict Dodampegama – illustrious journalist and film critic.

His phone call to complement me on my first cinematic effort Hansa Vilak no doubt brought me immense joy; his invitation to join him during the lunch hour at the American News Service in Colpetty, which he served, to discuss Hansa Vilak further added to my curiosity.

“Hansa Vilak was one of the best movies I have seen. If you need anything at all from the US, feel free to ask.” Little did I know at that juncture that our first meeting, his first few words to me, would be the foundation for a lifelong friendship. For me, he was a friend, a mentor and a father whose memory I will always cherish.

Dodampegama’s life brimmed with the ecstasy of good cinema, literature and art. His recollections of Peradeniya days inspired by literary legends such as Professor Sarathchandra amused me. His substantial knowledge on cinema widened my horizons. He often shared with me his fond memories of Martin Wickramasinghe, Dr. Lester James Peries and G.B. Senanayake.

The making of Sandeshaya with Dr. Peries, inspired by an incident in history which he read in a book at the Lake House library, was one among many such tales. A voracious reader to match Dodampegama has never crossed my path. He could exhaust five books per night, yet Tolstoy and Dostoevsky remained his firm favourites.

Generous in his praise, Dodampegama never failed to criticise constructively. In the aftermath of Suddilage Kathawa, whilst stepping out of Regal Cinema, he walked up to me and said, “Dharmasiri, all that is illustrated on stamps should not be illustrated on a canvas.” I appreciated him even more than I did before.

Reading the script of my short film Kantharaye Sihinayak in 1980, Dodampegame firmly believed that it was worth exposing to international cinema. Manalkadu, which was about 10 miles away from Point Pedro, was his choice of a location for the movie. It was my first trip to Jaffna and the journey was very much akin to Gulliver’s Travels!

A man who believed in the beauty of life, he was robbed of it in his sunset years. I remember visiting him at Durdan’s Private Hospital, his generous smile which always sprang from the deepest corner of his heart, greeting me, concealing the pain he was going through.

His last words to me still echo fresh. “You know Dharmasiri, that I have hardly spared any book. But there is one book I have not exhausted and that is the book I’m reading now.”

Awaiting his final call, he looked at life philosophically. It’s been four years since he left us – a true friend to many, he was a loving husband and a doting father. May we cross our paths again in this Samsaric journey!
– Dharmasiri Bandaranayake


Jayantha Fernando

A man who had an indomitable spirit

Jayantha (Kithsiri) Fernando passed away after a long illness bravely borne and was laid to rest on February 7, in the presence of many Maristonians, young and old.

Jayantha studied at Maris Stella College, Negombo. He was one of the very few in his class to enter the University of Colombo, graduating in Physical Science. He worked for the C.W.E. and eventually reached the highest echelons of its management. In later years, he taught English at a leading institute in Negombo.

Jayantha’s simplicity, amiable ways and sense of humour created for him a wide circ1e of friends. Quite naturally, he was a popular choice for the Presidency of the Parent Body of the OBA of Maris Stella College in 2006 and 2007. He led the OBA with dedication and commitment in 2006 and I recall how he assiduously followed it on prospective sponsorships for our annual dinner dance. It was a relentless pursuit until he had a positive response. Unfortunately, his second term in 2007 was dragged down by his debilitating illness.

He was a man with an indomitable spirit. Despite the severity of his illness and the painful medication he was going through, he continued to direct the affairs of the OBA even from his sick bed. The last time I met Jayantha was when he presided over our OBA Ex-co meeting on May 25, 2007. We adjourned for fellowship to the Lagoon View Inn. I sat with Jayantha on the verandah of this Inn overlooking the Negombo Lagoon. We talked of the moments of fun, joy and laughter we had shared for over 20 years at the various events that brought us Maristonians together. Charles Fernando - arguably the oldest living Maristonian and Jayantha, backed by the guitar strumming of Gladstone Dias led us in our boisterous session of song and dance, spirited by the Waters of Scotland!! Jayantha’s lusty rendition of the perennial favourites of C.T. Fernando and Priya Suriyasena’s ‘Mage Lamada’ will remain etched in our memories forever.

A warm hearted and gentle human being, Jayantha always appeared happy and contended. He seldom complained about the vagaries of life. Deep in his heart he could never overcome the trauma and sorrow of the tragic and untimely loss of his only son. But he reconciled himself to his destiny with a sense of stoic acceptance. He lived his life according to his college anthem. He was noble and gentle: in all that he did. He was faithful and true to God and to neighbour. He faced life’s trials bravely. To Jayantha, “Life was nothing but an occasional burst of laughter rising above the interminable wail of grief.”
May his soul dwell amongst the righteous!

Merrick Gooneratne
Past President OBA
Maris Stella College.


 Book Launch                         

February 27
Letters to Ingy by Nalini Jayasuriya, at the Indian Cultural Centre, at 6 p.m.


February 27 - 29
An exhibition of paintings by Mari Alles Fernando, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 7.

March 1 - 31
Rencontre Avec Les Mots, an exhibition of posters, at the Alliance Française Auditorium.


February 24
Thala, Channa Upuli dance concert, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, at 7:30 p.m.