Avrudhu at Trans Asia
at the Trans Asia Hotel was celebrated in grand style at the auspicious
time of 6:52 p.m. on Sunday April 13. The hearth was lit in the lobby,
and most of the resident guests both local and foreign participated in
the ceremony that followed thereafter. To the blowing of the conch shell
and beating of the Kandyan drums, the guests together with Sri Jayana –
master of traditional dance forms of Sri Lanka and General Manager Neroy
Marso lit the oil lamp amidst the large gathering who had assembled in
the hotel’s lobby after which a table laden with kiribath,
accompaniments, fruit and sweetmeat were enjoyed by all.
A helping hand...
Sajith Premadasa, MP for Hambantota District and Chairman of the
Janasuwaya Development Foundation, has initiated many development
projects to upgrade and enhance infrastructure and livelihoods in
The latest project to be implemented in this regard is the provision of
savings books to children from low income households in the Hambantota
District in order to improve the savings habit of low income families.
The picture illustrates the provision of such savings books and other
school equipment to 390 children from the Middeniya zone of Katuwana
division of Hambantota District by Premadasa at a cost of Rs. 500,000
sponsored by well-wishers and donors from the UK.
‘Paradise in Tears – Journeying through History and
A photographic expedition and virtual tour from British colonial
times through social, political and conflict history into the 20th
The evening of April 2 marked the inauguration of the photographic
exhibition ‘Paradise in Tears – A Journey through History and Conflict’
and the launch of the Sahajeevana Centre for Co-existence website, by
the Foundation for Co-Existence (FCE).
The first segment of the event was an exhibition of a unique collection
of over 470 pictures by Victor Ivan, beginning in 1815 during the
British Colonial period. The photographs retrace the history of Sri
Lanka’s Independence, and record some of the episodic events which have
woven through our social and political movements during the 60 years of
The exhibition was an opportunity to look back at the past by exploring
the important events which have shaped the history of the country, and
was the start of something that is hoped will grow much larger. FCE
believes that it is through an understanding of the past, and a
preservation of those memories, that we can have a positive impact on
the future. This venture was possible through the patronage of the USAID.
The website, launched simultaneously with the exhibition, enabled guests
to take a virtual tour of the Sahajeevana Centre, visit its exhibitions,
use the library resources as well as purchase peace relation
The site features a ‘Wall of Peace’ to make pledges, interactive games,
and a peace education section for students. The website also contains a
peace forum for all visitors of the site who could contribute their own
content – including photos, text, videos and audio files. This endeavour
was realised through the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy.
The unending disharmony between communities, in addition to the
volatility of the peace process, was a stimulus to create the
Sahajeevana Centre, which incorporates the values of co-existence and
peace building. The chief target groups for the centre are the youth and
school children, who are often unaware of the history of the conflict
and efforts at reconciliation. The aim is to initiate a centre that can
be accessed by anyone at any time, whether in Sri Lanka or abroad.
The ultimate task is to carry the message of co-existence as achievable
and interpretable by all, irrespective of cast or creed. In future, FCE
plans to take elements of the permanent photographic exhibitions to the
districts through the creation of a mobile, multifunctional venue for
exhibitions, screenings, and interactive sessions using multimedia
materials, workshops, library, and peace education initiatives.
The aim of the exhibition was to create awareness on the 200 years
between the gradual movements towards independence, and the overdrawn
struggle for sustainable peace. The fervent wish of the FCE and the
organisers was the united acceptance of the lessons learnt through this
historical journey, and the eventual renaissance of a paradise that
weeps no longer.
For further information and for viewings, please contact the Sahajeevana
Centre at 37/35, Buller’s Lane, Colombo 07 on 5755266, or e-mail your
queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. To make pledges and visit the virtual
centre, log on to
American soul and hip hop artistes tour Sri Lanka
American Embassy in Colombo and Jazz at Lincoln Center, present American
soul and hip hop artistes The Maya Azucena Band at two great shows
titled ‘The Rhythm Road’, in Sri Lanka. Performance dates are Monday,
April 28th at 6:00pm, at the Galle Town Hall in Galle, and Wednesday,
April 30th at 6:30pm, at the New Town Hall in Colombo 7. Entrance to
both shows is totally free! Passes for the Colombo show can be picked up
at the American Center, 44 Galle Rd, Colombo 3 or at the performance, on
a First Come, First Served basis. For more information contact, The
American Center on 249-8100.
With musical influences ranging from Earth Wind and Fire to Ella
Fitzgerald, the MAYA AZUCENA band bridges the genres of soul, hip-hop,
world and funk music. Through their ‘raw soul’ sound and progressive
lyrics, the band seeks to uplift communities worldwide. Best known for
riveting tracks and spirited live performances, Azucena and her band
recently released their album, Junkyard Jewel, to wide acclaim.
The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program me is a partnership
between Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) and the U.S. Department of State.
The programme is designed to foster cultural exchange with audiences
worldwide. This season, 6 jazz quartets and 4 urban music ensembles will
tour regions, such as Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the
Middle East. International activities include public concerts, master
classes, lecture-recitals, workshops, jam sessions, media outreach, and
collaborations with local musicians.
This dynamic group of musicians will hold workshops and master classes
for young Sri Lankan musicians in both Galle and Colombo, sharing their
musical abilities and experience of the music industry. The band is:
Maya Azucena (Vocalist), a Brooklyn native, sees her music as a voice,
of and for the people. Recently named Best Alternative Artiste of the
Year by Allhiphop.com and nominated by soultracks.com as Best Female
Vocalist of the Year, Azucena has shared the stage, with such legendary
artists as, Robert Flack and has toured extensively in the U.S. and
Europe and won two Croatian GRAMMY awards, for her collaboration with
Croation superstar Gibonni earlier this year.
Ivan Katz (Drums), a Manhattan native, has been playing drums for 20
years, and specialises in soul, hip-hop, reggae and dance beats. Katz’s
unique style results from immersion, in the sounds and vibrations of New
York City. He has shared the stage with reggae superstars, including
Toots Hibbert and Sugar Minott.
Bruce Mack (keyboards) is a multi-instrumentalist and educator, working
in the genres of R&B, funk, jazz, experimental music, and hip-hop. He is
the leader of the abstract/expressionist band Tricky Dilemma, a senior
member of the collective Burnt Sugar, and also plays with the Arkestra
Chamber. He is committed to music education for children, and currently
oversees a special initiative at The Door, in New York City.
Christian Ver Halen (Guitar) is originally from Chicago and has been on
the New York music scene, for over six years as a guitarist, songwriter
and producer. He has performed at all the major venues, in the city and
has toured the U.S. and Europe. As a leader of the group ‘The Rooftop,’
Ver Halen released the critically acclaimed album A Live Shot in 2006.
100% of the album’s sales are donated to Music Rising, a non-profit
organisation, specifically aimed at, assisting musicians affected by
SriLankan staff bring ray of
sunshine to elders home
of SriLankan Airlines took their trademark warmth and caring to the
Helpage Day Care Centre for Elders in Ratmalana recently, when they
spent the day with 65 elderly members of the community.
The airline’s staff had a full day of activities with inmates of the
Helpage Day Care Centre, which is a place where elderly persons, men and
women, spend the day while their family members go off to work. The
programme included a variety of entertainment, fun and games, with gifts
for all. They took with them a 4-member calypso band which was in
attendance throughout the day.
Comedy skits were provided by a local “Charlie Chaplin” and another
3-member team, who also gave a display of drama and a rendition of
songs. There were also games galore for the elders - from musical chairs
to passing the pillow, and some innovating new games in which everyone
participated with gusto.
“SriLankan pays great respect to the traditions and customs of Sri
Lanka, and respect for our elders is a very important custom,” said
Nilanthi Perera, a member of the organising committee.
Asian regional accreditation workshop at OSC
On April 11, the Overseas School of Colombo hosted accreditation
workshops for teachers at fully accredited international schools from
the Asian region.
The Overseas School of Colombo is the only fully accredited school in
Sri Lanka with accreditations through the Council of International
Schools, UK and the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges,
Teachers and school leaders from the Asian region attended the workshops
in the school’s auditorium, along with the teachers from OSC, which
allowed them to gain certification as members of school accreditation
teams. The workshops were run by Margaret Alvarez who is head of the
regional accreditation office in Singapore.
OSC is one of a growing number of schools that has the stamp of
excellence that comes from international accreditation through the
Council of International Schools. Schools have to meet stringent
standards with their curriculum, governance, financial transparency,
buildings and grounds, teacher qualifications and professional
development and community life.
During their last accreditation five years ago OSC gained high ratings
for the quality of teaching, campus facilities, supportive governance,
transparency of finances (not for profit school) and positive community
atmosphere. However, OSC was advised that an internationally accredited
school should have a sports facility of higher quality. As a direct
result OSC is completely rebuilding its sports hall to match the other
impressive facilities at its Battaramulla campus.
Festival of Peace
On 14, 15, 16th March a Peace Convention Festival of peace and
blessings for the nation was held by Jesus Lives Evangelical Ministry at
the Race Course Grounds in Colombo 7. Large numbers of people
participated and received divine peace, blessings and healing. The
divine messages were delivered by Prof. Evang. M. R. Rajendram and Bro.
Christy Vincent Rajendram. Many pastors both foreign and local and the
Parliament member & Human Rights activist Mano Ganeshan, Deputy Mayor
Hon. S. Rajendran, Colombo North UNP Organiser Lilantha Perera, Westem
Provincial member C. P. Y. Ram and former Mayor of Kotte Somadasa
participated in this Peace Convention, on 21st March. A Good Friday
procession and service was held at the Boys Industrial Grounds at
Soirée des Etudiants
Soirée des Etudiants will be held at the Auditorium de l’Alliance
Française on April 26, at 6:30 p.m. featuring DJ MAX. Tickets by
reservation only. Contact the secretary on 2694162 Ext. 22