Celebrating Avurudhu in Canada
Sri Lankan communities celebrated the Sinhala and Tamil New year on
April 19 at the Vrittania Park, in Ottawa, the capital of Canada.
W. J. S. Karunaratne, the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Canada,
Senator MacHarb, Paul Dewar, Member of Parliament of Canada representing
Ottawa Central, and George Grande, Co-Chair of the Canadian Friends of
Sri Lanka Group, were among the distinguished guests who attended.
A large number of Canadians of Sri Lankan origin representing all ethnic
groups of Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Malay and Burgher communities were
seen celebrating the New Year. The highlight of the celebration was the
cultural show, in which the children of Sinhala and Tamil families
living in Ottawa performed traditional dances in addition to
participating in dramatic rituals and traditions.
The High Commissioner and the other speakers focused their New Year
Messages on reconciliation, unity and harmony among the various ethnic
groups in Sri Lanka and wished prosperity and peace for the people of
Sri Lanka. The event was organised by the Sri Lanka Canada Association
of Ottawa. Susantha Mohottaala, the President of the Association also
addressed the audience. Stephen Harper MP, Prime Minister of Canada, in
his message commended the Sri Lanka – Canada Association of Ottawa for
their efforts in organising this special celebration and for their
continued commitment to fostering unity within the community.
Sri Lankans in Beijing celebrate Avurudhu
Sri Lankans living in Beijing and neighbouring provinces, totalling
around 200, rallied round the newly formed Sri Lankan Association to
celebrate Sinhala / Hindu New Year last Sunday (April 20) at the Sri
Lanka Embassy premises. Foreign diplomats of Asian countries, Chinese
officials who served in Sri Lanka and Chinese friends of the community
also joined in to celebrate this event.
The celebrations began with the singing of the national anthem and
lighting of oil lamp by special invitees. Traditional New Year rituals
were performed and kiribath and sweetmeats were served. The New Year
Message of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was read in all three languages.
The entire programme was conducted in four languages, (Sinhala, Tamil,
English and Chinese). Traditional customs, games coupled with viridu,
cultural items performed by the children etc., added colour to the
The Prophet Day – public function
The Prophet Day (Seerathun Nabi) meeting organised by the Sri Lanka
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at will be held at Ahmadiyya Jubilee Hall,
Periyamulla, Negombo today (April 27) at 4 P.M. The key-note address
will be delivered by Moulavi A.B. Musthaq Ahmad on the topic ‘Holy
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – an Ideal Model for Mankind.’
Galadari Hotel welcomes
Galadari Hotel was delighted to welcome one of its VVIP guests,
Stefan Pfeiffer, pioneer General Manager of the former Galadari Meridian
Hotel and the Lanka Oberoi. Pfeiffer arrived in Sri Lanka to attend the
ex-Oberoi Employees Get Together 2008, which was held at the Galadari
Hotel last Saturday. Pictured is Pfeiffer being welcomed by General
Manager, Galadari Hotel, Sampath Siriwardena
Sri Lanka Tourism to participate at the 14th ATM in
Sri Lanka Tourism delegates headed by the Deputy Minister of Sri
Lanka Tourism, Faiszer Musthapha, will set off for Dubai on May 6, to
attend the 14th annual Arabian Travel Market (ATM 2008) held at the
International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The ATM is the industry’s leading travel and tourism exhibition
dedicated to unlocking business potential within the Middle Eastern and
Pan Arab regions.
Sri Lanka Tourism, attending the event for the fifth consecutive year,
will participate in the intensive meetings, seminars, press conferences
and social networking opportunities along with key market players from
The theme of the Sri Lankan stall this year will be ‘Ceylon Tea.’ The
stall will also display gems and jewellery and demonstrations of
handicraft making. The highlight of the exhibition will be the
performance of Channa’s dance troupe.
A tactical promotional offer ‘Middle East Kids Go Free’ by SriLankan
Airlines (for every adult ticket purchased, one child will be offered a
free flight) will also be launched.
Having seen the potential of the market, Sri Lanka Tourism will open the
Tourism Promotion Office in Dubai next month with an officer in-charge
for the Middle East region. Beginning of this year, Sri Lanka Tourism
tied up with Al Jazeera TV channel to promote the destination.
The outbound tourist from the Mid East region has increased for the last
few years. The highest performer between January and March this year was
the Middle East, which registered an increase of 80.6% in comparison
Of the 294.6% growth from the region in March this year, Iranian
tourists formed the major portion with arrivals of 1,300 during the
month. These arrivals were the result of the operation of nine charter
flights supported by Sri Lanka Tourism.
President meets Bahrain Minister
President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his meeting with the Bahrain State
Labour Minister, Dr. Majeed Bin Mohiseen Al Alavi
Islamic conference of Shazuliyya Tharikka
The Islamic conference of Shazuliyya Tharikka is scheduled from May 2
to 4, at Ummu Zaviya, Colombo.
Here, President of Ummu Zavia Al Haj Macky Hashim is pictured addressing
the press conference held at Holiday Inn Hotel, Colombo. Chief Imam of
the Zaviya Kaleefa Moulavi, Abdul Hameed Bahji and Chinafort Mosque
Federation Secretary, Al Haj A.A.M Saheed are also in the picture.
Painting Installation, Video Art, an exhibition organised by the
Visual Arts and Design and Performing Arts Unit, University of Kelaniya
will be held until May 4, at the Barefoot Gallery, 704, Galle Road,
Presenting Kassapa in a new light
Homage to Beauty, the latest book by Siri Gunasinghe, presents Kassapa
in an entirely new light as a help to his father in administration and
questions the widespread view that he murdered his father.
Prof. Gunasinghe, a Sanskrit scholar and the well-known authority on
history of art who pioneered study of the temple murals, is a writer who
broke new ground in poetry and fiction and directed the award winning
movie Sath Samudura. His book on Sigiriya will be launched on Monday,
April 28, at the National Library Services and Documentation Board (NLSDB),
14, Independence Avenue, Colombo 7. The book is published by Vijitha
The author Siri Gunasinghe, Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria,
Canada is a B.A. University of Ceylon, Docteur d’Universite de Paris, D
Litt (Peradeniya), D Litt (Jayewardenepura). He is the author of a
number of publications on history of Buddhist Art of Sri Lanka and
India. He divides his time between Canada and Sri Lanka.
The book advances some innovative insights on Sigiriya that challenges
many existing interpretations of well-known authorities. Sigiriya, the
palace in the sky of King Kassapa I (5th Century) is widely regarded as
a magnificent architectural and garden complex found anywhere in the
civilised world. UNESCO accorded it World Heritage status. This
fascinating royal residence has been thought of as a fortress providing
Kassapa refuge from his vengeful brother.
Kassapa was a family man whose love for his two daughters was so much as
to name the famous Isurumuniya and other monasteries after himself and
the daughters. The book characterises Kassapa above all as the greatest
known royal aesthete of ancient Lanka.
Notwithstanding the Mahavamsa and other authorities, Siri Gunasinghe
argues that Sigiriya has to be viewed as Kassapa’s place of pleasure
where he sojourned from time to time. It is also the author’s considered
view that the Sigiri paintings are not imitations of the Ajanta murals.
The 24 pages of colour photographs are by Vijitha and Lalana Yapa, whose
photographs have appeared in many prestigious publications including the
Far Eastern Economic Review, International Herald Tribune, Financial
Times UK and Gulf News Dubai.
Sri Lankan community organisations in the UK under the direction of the
Sri Lanka Educational, Cultural and Welfare Foundation felicitated High
Commissioner Kshenuka Senewiratne with the award of the title
‘Deshabhimani Seva Bhusana’ on the completion of her tour of duty as
High Commissioner in the UK. The award was conferred on the occasion of
the Sri Lanka New Year celebration attended by over 5,000 members of the
Sri Lankan diaspora.
The award was presented to the High Commissioner by the Ven Galayaye
Piyadassi Maha Thero, Chief Sangha Nayake of Great Britain in the
presence of Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Agriculture Development
and Agrarian Services. Several British Parliamentarians including the
Mayors of the Boroughs of Harrow, Brent and Barnet also graced the
April 27 – May 4
May 2 to 21
Research and Sustainable Development, an exhibition of posters, at the
Alliance Française Auditorium, 11, Barnes Place, Colombo 7.
Until May 30
Introspection, an exhibition of paintings by Anitha
Haputhanthri, at the German Cultural Centre, 39, Gregory’s Road, Colombo
A documentary on Bismillah Khan by Juhi Sinha, at the Indian Cultural
Centre, 133, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 4.
Tuesday, April 29 & 30
Délits Flagrants by Raymond Depardon (109 minutes, 1994, at 3
p.m. / 6.30 p.m. in French with English Subtitles, at the Auditorium de
l’Alliance Française, 11, Barnes
Place, Colombo 7.
The Simpsons Movie, (87 minutes, 2007), at 6 p.m., at the
American Centre, 44, Galle Road, Colombo 3.