SL wins Herchel Smith Scholarship to Harvard

A Sri Lankan teenager, Himandri Rusiru Kariyawasam, after completing her medical degree at Cambridge University, has been selected for the coveted Herchel Smith Scholarship to the prestigious Harvard University, this year. She has been successful in a wonderfully strong list of candidates.

This is to be followed by her selection for the Clinical Medical (second BM) at Oxford University in 2009.
Himandri Rusiru has a studious approach and is committed to achieving excellence in all that she does. She obtained full 600 marks in Biology at the Advanced Level Examination in 2005 becoming the top pupil in the United Kingdom, beating 10417 other candidates. She has been awarded the Silver Medal in the British Biology Olympiad 2005. She bagged 5 ‘A’ grade passes for Chemistry, Biology, German, Philosophy and Advanced Mathematics at the Advanced Level Examination in 2005.

Himandri Rusiru, a student of Croydon High School, Selsdon where she excelled in her studies, was awarded the Scholarship Trust Sixth Form prize for academic excellence. Besides she is a past pupil of the Dhamma School at The Thames Buddhist Vihara, Selsdon. She took part in various cultural activities including Kandyan dancing under guidance of the late Mrs Lanka Bandara. She makes valuable contribution to music and ballet dancing too.

She is the younger daughter of Dr. Vidya and Dr. Ayomi Kariyawasam of Goldaming Surrey in England and is the granddaughter of the late Mr. U.G.P. Kariyawasam and Dr. Tilokasundari Kariyawasam and the late Dr. S.P. Ranasinghe (Yatiyana Vedamahatmaya) and Mrs. S. Ranasinghe of Minuwangoda.


The annual Cannonball Run

By Promodh Gamage
The annual Cannonball Run, which is totally a unique experience, is scheduled to be held on March 27 from 4:30 p.m. onwards at the Galle Face Hotel.

The inspiration behind the event emerges from an incident that occurred during the 1840s, when the Galle Face Green was used as a Practice Ground by the British Royal Artillery Company, presently known as the Ceylon Gun Lascars.

Accidentally, on a practice run, a 30lb cannonball had struck against the masonry bridge on the seaside road and gone completely off course. It had hurled its way through the roof of the Galle Face Boarding House (the present Galle Face Hotel), thundered through the ceiling and finally rolled down into the drawing room, leaving a solid groove in the brick and chunam floor, and awakening the sleeping boarders.

The unexploded cannonball had then rolled under a chair and remained there until British Governor Sir Colin Campbell arrived to investigate into the incident.

“Galle Face Hotel is all about tradition, and this is a step that we have taken to keep the spirit of tradition alive. With this annual Cannonball Run, we are trying to embark on the revival process,” said the Galle Face Hotel General Manager Rajiv Khanna.
The Cannonball Run, which is being organised for the second time, takes place annually. Two individuals chosen from the British High Commission and the American Embassy will race each other from the original cannon perched on the Galle Face Green, to the hotel.

The title ‘The Champion of the Cannonball Run’ will be presented to the first person who touches the cannonball. The title of the winner of the race will remain valid for the next year.


Old Royalists - In Memoriam!

The first in a series of memorial ceremonies organised by the members of Association of Old Royalists’ 1962 Group, whose motto is ‘Friends-Forever’, was held at Mallika Elders’ Home, Bambalapitiya, Colombo, on Friday 29th February 2008.

The Almsgiving and Dhamma sermon were in memory of their departed former principals, deputy principals and headmasters (namely Messrs. Dudley K. G. de Silva, S. E. Dias, C. P. de A. Abeysinghe, E. C. Gunasekera, Vijitha Weerasinghe, W. Jinadasa, A. F. De Saa Bandaranaike, H. D. Sugathapala and H. P. Jayawardena) and also former teachers, too numerous to be mentioned individually, who taught them “of books and men and how to play the game”, during their career at Royal (from 1956 to 1969), and in memory of their twenty classmates, who are no more.

Immediate family members of those departed, as well as former teachers who are living to this day, were invited to participate in the ceremonies. At the end of the religious ceremony, it was a fitting re-union dinner, where those present, were extremely happy, about this event, as some of them met each other, after 40 years.


Prophet Muhammed’s Birthday Celebrations in Galle

Holy Prophet Muhammed’s (Sal) Birthday Celebrations organised by the Galle Muslim Cultural Association (Inc) for the 45th year concluded with a public meeting and prize distribution ceremony on Thursday 20th March 2008, at the Al Bahjathul Ibraheemiyah Arabic College Hall, Galle Fort, at 3.45 p.m. under the Chairmanship of Alhaj Zakir Sally President, GMCA. Co-operatives Minister, M. Najeeb Abdul Majeed, was the Chief Guest and Sheik Alavi Moulana was the Guest Speaker. The winners of the oratorical contests in all vernacular languages, also addressed the gathering.


Floral Splendour

Floral Splendour, a floral demonstration by internationally acclaimed Derek Armstrong (Chairman of the National Demonstrators’ Committee of National Association of Flower Arranger Societies (NAFAS UK) organised by the Shi-en Ikebana and Floral Art Society will be held on March 31, at the Bishops College Auditorium. Part of the proceeds of this demonstration will be donated towards helping Thalassaemia patients.


Naa Mal Uyana marks 17 years

The introduction of South Asia’s greatest rose quartz mountain range located in Sri Lanka’s largest Naa forest and dating back 550 million years to the prehistoric age, marks 17 years on March 28. The mountain range was introduced by the President’s Environmental Award recipient and founder of the National Ironwood Forest (Jathika Naa Mal Uyana) Venerable Vanavasi Rahula Thero, who also spearheaded the campaign for its conservation.
A simple ceremony will be held to commemorate this introduction on March 28 and 29, at the National Ironwood Forest.


YMCA All -Island oratorical contest

As part of the 125th Anniversary Celebrations of the Colombo YMCA, an All-Island Oratorical contest will be organised by the Membership Department. The winner will be awarded a gold medal, while the second and third will be awarded a silver and a bronze medal respectively.

The contest is open to all regardless of age or sex. The subject for the contest is: “The most potent cause of the degeneration of Sri Lankan society is the open market economy”. The contestants may speak for or against the subject.
Entry forms are available at the Colombo YMCA reception counter. Entries will close on 28th March 2008.


Sri Lanka Army National Service Regiment Association Office Bearers 2008/2009

Patron: His Excellency President of Sri Lanka
Vice Patrons: Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Commander of Sri Lanka Army, Commandant of Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force, Brig. Ivan Samarawickrama CCS, Major N. M. Weerasuriya (Degree on Military Affairs in Royal Military Academy, England)
President: Sunil Kumara Munasinghe, LLB (Ceylon)
Vice Presidents: Dr. S. Bhawan, Sri Skandarajah Bcc. Msc, Dsc & Phd (U.K), Major, W. L. Bogestra (Diploma in Plantations Industries), Major, A. R. Weeraratne (Bsc Economics), Capt. Sarath D. Wijesinghe, LLB & LLM (U.K.), Capt. Ramsey Lewke S. Ratwatte (Estates Owner and Planter), S. N. Wickramaarchi (Business Executive), Capt. Nevill Fernando (Hotelier/Inns Keeper), Capt. Lionel. D. W. Siriwardane (Buisness Executive)
General Secretaries: Capt. L.B. Lanka Jayaratne (Diploma in Plantations) Estates Management Consultant/Estates Visiting Agent & ECO/Tourism Services.
Asst. Secretary: Capt. G. D. de. Silva (Social Services Executive)
Treasurer: Capt. S. Wickramanayake (Estate Owner/Planter)
Welfare Officer: Capt. E. M. P. de. Abeysekara (Security Consultant)
Committee of Management: Major S. L. Wijewardane, Major D. U. H. Kodagode, Capt. J. D. R. R. Jayakody, Capt. N. Senanayake, Capt. K. A. H. M. Wimalasena, Capt. A. G. W. Giragama, Capt. W. N. Suriyabandara, Capt. S. Yatawara, Capt. D. Weerakoon, Capt. U. B. Wernga.
(Capt. L. B. Lanka (Wilbawe) Jayaratne), General Secretary,



Ian Mervyn Dias Jayasinha

The death of Ian Dias Jayasingha, was undoubtedly an irreparable loss to his close friends and loved ones. I had a nice friendship with him, for over three decades.

He as a Journalist and as a creative writer, showed a distinctive flare for writing, who as a visionary single-handedly spread his noble message of bringing all the people together, as one family, eschewing narrow and parochial distinctions.

Our deep-rooted friendship was nurtured, as both of us found common ground as ardent lovers of classical literature, in which pleasant and rather seductive embrace, we were always mildly intoxicated, ensuring the satiation of our senses, with an elixir of happiness.

Ian, who was educated at S. Thomas’ College, worked over twenty five years at Lake House, as a journalist. He also had the good fortune of living in USA for sometime, and he appeared twice on Florida TV, reading Dylan Thomas and his poems.
Looking back, touching a surfeit of fond memories, without being overtly, nostalgic, are rather difficult or even impossible. Ian was indeed a cheerful and jovial personality ,who would have been a cynosure of all eyes, in any social gathering, enlivening it with full of banter and echoing, and re-echoing laughter, vibrating its spell to no end.

He, being an epitome of fun and frolic, lived a full life, spreading in his own way, the gospel of universal love.
Ian, as a poet was a lover of humanity, though to the circle of his intimate friends, he showed a streak of unconventionality, extolling a nature friendly, bohemian lifestyle.

To me, he will always remain as an inspiration, who was always very generous in appreciating my writing, specially my poetry, without which, I must now get used to carry on, knowing his spirit will always, be with me, bestowing me guidance, thus ushering me to a higher pedestal.

I, who was a recipient of your love and enviable attention, take this opportunity to thank you a lot for the friendship I had with you. I will now miss your bubbling laughter, specially when the music was reaching its crescendo, and also for being the host, who never got tired of serving us with savoury food, which as a whole, made each step of our life lighter and bearable.
Ranjan Amarasinghe


Mrs.G.R Jaleel

How do I express my appreciation towards a lady whose inspiration means more to me, than words can even say? Adequately it cannot be done, but I will make an attempt however feeble, it may seem.

I wonder what went through our teacher’s mind, each time, she walked in to a class room of 12 year old hooligans well equipped with paper rockets, pellets, balls and other such destructive objects. This is a group to which I ardently belonged. My memories go back to the days, when I was found to be the leader of a class chalk fight which was promptly reported to Ms. Jaleel. As I stood frozen to the floor, wondering ,what was to be my fate, she walked in and found me standing, as innocent as, a lamb. However, I believe it was me, she expected to find standing there, rooted to the ground, as there was not a single look of surprise. A twitch of her lips gave away, what she found to be a humorous situation, but I knew that this would not buy me a free pass, as Ms. Jaleel strongly believed in discipline. Hence the 12 year old ‘imp’ was given a due punishment. The amazing thing about her was that she appreciated our antics, and accepted us, for who we were, and never held our wrongs against us. Her ability to understand and discipline her students with a gentle, yet firm hand, made her an exceptional educator. The education she provided, stretched far beyond the limitations of a text book, or the four walls of a class room. The knowledge she imparted was to help us face the test of life, and help us on our journey, beyond the gates of our dear old alma mater.

As I grew up and out, of being the ‘Tom Boy’ of the class as she liked to call me, she never let me stray too far out of sight. She was one who saw, some hidden potential within me, which I was unaware. Now I believe that, she took it upon her self to help me, live up to my true potential, and guide me through it all. She never took ‘no’ for an answer, and to her ‘I could do it all’. Sometimes, I even wondered if she had mistaken me for someone else, as she would urge me to take on challenges, I had never dreamt of undertaking. But now I realised that she did indeed take me to be someone else, and that’s the person, I was to become. What she has taught me, will never be forgotten, and will continue to be an integral part of the, woman, I am today. The faith she had in me will always drive me, although she may no longer be, among us. She is still alive in our hearts. Each time I feel, I can’t face up to challenges, life throws my way, I hear her voice and see her smile of assurance, encouraging me to go on and take up the role, I was born, to play. Even today, I strive to live up to the expectations she had of me, expectations she made clear to me, even at the very end. I will do my best to uphold the faith she had in me, and for all that she was, and I will always be thankful to her.
Tehani R



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

March 27 - 29
The Path of Compassion, an exhibition of photography on Buddhism and heritage, at the Indian Cultural Centre, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


March 23
An exhibition of paintings by Olivia Bonnal Sansoni, at the Barefoot Gallery, Galle Road, Colombo 3.


March 27 – 30
Samurai, the latest production by the experimental Mind Adventures Theatre Company, at the British Council Garden, at 8 p.m.

  Public Talk                                                                                                     

March 23
The Problem of Self –knowledge is The Problem of Looking, organised by the Krishnamurti Centre, Sri Lanka, at the Anula Nursery School, H.L.R. Colombo 6, at 9:45 a.m.


March 25
Concert by Pradeep Ratnayake and Thibault Cauvin, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, at 7 p.m.

March 29 & 30
Irsha by Kapila Palihawadana, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 7, at 7 p.m.