Arranging flowers for all occasions

By Lakna Paranamanna
“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” - Emma Goldman.
Flowers play an important role in a human’s life. For every occasion, starting from the birth of a baby, a wedding, a funeral, and other special moments in our lives, we celebrate such events with flowers. With time, using flowers for household décor became a trend, giving rise to a new breed of artistes specialsing in floral décor.

Floral Splendor organised by the Shi-En Ikebana and Floral Art Society of Sri Lanka, showcased the talents of some of these experts. The event was organised in order to enable those specialising in floral décor to both participate and to gather the latest knowledge on the trends and styles of floral designing.

This year the Society had invited a florist from UK, Derek Armstrong, to conduct a workshop and impart his knowledge and expertise on the latest trends in floral arrangements to local florists. Derek has been a floral designer for more than 30 years. “I travel around the world, demonstrating and teaching. Flowers can be used for all purposes, to add colour and enhance the beauty of a house or a work place or any occasion for that matter,” said Derek.

He said that he also arranges flowers for all types of occasions like private parties or larger functions. “I am hoping to educate the participants of the work shop about some latest trends in the floral designing field. Also I am hoping to teach them some designs where they can blend the European styles with the flowers that will suit the climate and the weather here,” added Derek.
The occasion was given added colour with a bridal show and was graced by the Ambassador of the United States of America. Robert O’ Blake.


Photographic contest and exhibition

The photographic competition and exhibition organised by the Sri Lanka Theweni Esa Photographers’ and Journalists’ Society will be held on April 25, 26, 27 and 28 at Shirley Corea Hall, Colombo Road, Chilaw.

The competition is opened to all photographers and is divided into five categories: Open Section, Digital Section, School Section, Amateur Section and Members’ Section. Competitors can submit 10 photographs for each section and all the competitors will be awarded a certificate of participation, while valuable prizes and certificates will be given to the winners. April 15 will be the closing date.

The principle sponsor is Millers Ltd., the importers and distributors of Kodak films in Sri Lanka and co-sponsor is Epson Deberg Company.

For application forms contact Exhibition President, Sri Lanka Theweni Esa Photographers’ and Journalists’ Society, 71/A, Colombo Road, Chilaw. Phone: 0717-727084, 0777-727084.


‘INTROSPECTION,’ an exhibition of paintings by Anitha Haputantiri is being held at the Alliance Française Colombo Auditorium, 11 Barnes Place, Colombo 7, until April 30


Queen pays tribute to Lankan professor

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II congratulated Professor Mohan Munasinghe on sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change. From historic Westminster Abbey, London, he had the unique honour of delivering a special message on climate change and sustainable development, to commonwealth citizens in 53 member countries, at the recent 2008 Commonwealth Day celebrations. Professor Munasinghe is Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (OPCC), Geneva, Chairman of the Munasinghe Institute of Development (MIND), Colombo, and Honorary Senior Advisor to the Government of Sri Lanka. Mrs. Sria Munasinghe, Vice Chair of MIND was also present.


Sri Lankan choir in New Delhi

The Neemrana Foundation has invited soprano Menaka de Fonseka Sahabandu and mezzo soprano Peshali Yapa to play Frasquita and Mercedes in their forthcoming production of the opera ‘Carmen’ by Bizet. It will take place at the Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi on April 17, 18,19 and 20th. The Foundation has further invited Menaka Singers under the direction of Menaka de Fonseka Sahabandu to join the chorus of this production.

The Neemrana Foundation which was founded by Francis Wacziarg in India,. will be producing ‘Carmen’, as its third opera production after ‘The Fakir of Benaris’ and ‘The Pearl Fishers.’ The aim of the Foundation is to promote western classical music in India, train local talent through classes and workshops, and build up an opera repertoire for performances, in India and abroad.
‘Carmen’ by Georges Bizet is an opera in three acts, and is one of the most popular and most performed operas in the world. 60 Indian and Sri Lankan singers, seven dancers and 20 French artistes will come together for this Indian premiere, under the guidance of French conductor Claire Lavacher, and directed by Patricia Panton, resident producer and director of the Monte Carlo opera.

The invitation for the Sri Lanka choir was initiated by the huge success of ‘The Pearl Fishers’ opera, in which Director Patricia Panton was impressed by the talent shown by the Sri Lankan singers, who were directed by Menaka de Fonseka Sahabandu. This is the first time, a Sri Lankan choir has been invited to perform in an opera abroad.


Western Infirmary Private Hospital celebrates World Kidney Day

The Western Infirmary Private Hospital in Borella, the only special care hospital locally dedicated to diagnosing and treating kidney disease, dialysis and kidney transplantations, conducted a free preventive kidney screening clinic on March 13 to mark the World Kidney Day. This is the third consecutive Free Kidney Screening Clinic that the Western Infirmary Pvt. Hospital held on the World Kidney Day.

The theme for this year is ‘Amazing Kidneys.’ This programme was organised under the guidance of Prof. Rezvi Sheriff, Consultant Physician and Nephrologist and the first Sri Lankan Councillor elected to the International Society of Nephrology.
The Free Kidney Screening Clinic was declared open by Dr. Chula Herath, Consultant Physician and Nephrologist of Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital and President of Sri Lanka Association of Nephrology and Transplantations. The guest of honour at the event was Dr. Ariyarani Gnanathas, Consultant Physician, National Hospital, Colombo and Head of Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo.

Dr. Gnanathas, delivering her speech explained the importance of kidney diseases. Dr. Chula Herath delivering a speech explained the serious problems that the people in North Central, North Western and Uva Provinces facing, due to an unknown chronic kidney problem.

He explained that investigations are being conducted to find out the cause for majority of the people living in these provinces, getting kidney failure. There is no clear answer emerging yet after five years of research.


Enhanced hospitality training at Hilton Colombo

During the last year, the Hilton Colombo has achieved success in several training programmes, designed to offer every team member, the opportunity to develop their full potential. Training programmes available to Hilton Colombo team members include, those offered by the Hilton Hotels coveted online Hilton University, as well as courses such as the Hilton orientation programmes, the Management Training Programme and modules specifically geared towards specialist hotel functions, such as Revenue Management, Finance and IT.

The Hilton Colombo’s Radcliff Fernando and Duminda Botheju were recently recognised, as the team members completing the highest number of e-learning courses for the year 2007, at the globally renowned Hilton University. The Hilton University provides its people learning and development opportunities, to develop their careers and realise their full potential. Accessible, international and contemporary, it puts the development of Hilton Hotels employees, at the heart of the group’s business strategy. The University was launched in February 2002. With this, Hilton joined the growing number of international companies that have established a corporate University. Hilton, however, is one of the very few companies in the hospitality industry to have embarked on such a project. Many of the facilities are in partnership with European Hotel Schools, which provide a truly unique opportunity, for the hotels’ team members.


Biography of Lakshman Jayakody

As a Politician and a Parliamentarian for a period of Forty Years, a performing artiste of the Tower Hall Tradition, and as a Cultural Ambassador, Lakshman Jayakody’s life story is being written by Ranjith Amarakeerthi Palihapitiya.
He is requesting our readers to kindly send any untold stories and information, photographs, and any other documents pertaining to the above subject, if they are in possession, of such material.
Ranjith Amarakeerthi Palihapitiya is from Meda Keembiya in Galle and could be contacted on (Tele Phone 071-6010099).


Diyawadana Nilame lauds YMBA

Colombo- YMBA All Island Dhamma Examinations Annual prize awards for the winners of November 2006 examinations were successfully held at the Colombo YMBA auditorium Borella on 19th January 2008. Diyawadana Nilame of Dalada Maligawa Kandy Pradeep Nilanga Delabandra graced the occasion, as the Chief Guest and the welcome address was made by President of the Colombo YMBA Prasanna Goonethilake.

Diyawadana Nillame in his speech, commended the Colombo YMBA for the remarkable contributions made by the Association, in conducting the All Island Examination annually, initiated by the late Sir D.B. Jayatilaka, in his capacity as founder President of the Colombo YMBA in 1920, with 374 candidates. President of the Colombo YMBA, Prasanna Goonethilake, in his speech mentioned that, the Colombo YMBA was very successful in conducting the All Island Dhamma Examination, a task carried out continuously since 1920 (a short break from 1971 to 1979 when the government took over the YMBA, but handed back the functions to the Colombo YMBA shortly). A dedicated permanent staff employed by the Colombo YMBA, under the Dhamma examination branch consists of a Chief Examiner, Deputy Examiner and 18 others who worked on this gigantic task, to ensure the smooth conducting of the examination. Even with facilities afforded by the Government, the Association had spent over Rs 6.0 million annually, to conducting these examinations.


A meeting with Ranil

British Parliamentarians Andrew Love, Andrew George, Dr. Ashok Kumar and Steve met the Leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe, on April 1