September 7
Exhibition of art by Asanga Padmal, at the Lionel Wendt, Colombo 7.

Until September 15
Ocean and Climate, an exhibition of posters by the French Institute for Research and Development, at the Alliance Française Auditorium, 11 Barnes Place, Colombo 7.

Public talk

September 7
Thought And The Divisive Process, organised by the Krishnamurti Centre, Sri Lanka, at the Study Centre, 208 Baddagana (North) Duwa road at 10:30 a.m.

Book launch

September 7
Heart of Silence, a selection of English poetry written by veteran journalist and critic Elmo Fernando, at the Kalutara Children’s Library Auditorium, at 4 p.m.
G.A.Matupema will review the book and recite some of its poems. Senior Journalist Siri Abeysekara will talk on Elmo and his society. The event is organized by 3-G Literary Movement in Kalutara.


September 9 & 10
La Möme by Olivier Dahan (2006, 140 minutes) at the Alliance Francaise, 11 Barnes Place, Colombo 7, at 6:30 p.m.


Who this Aba?
Who this Aba is an open seminar organised by the Swarna Sanka Foundation on Aba directed by Jackson Anthony.
Thursday, September 11
3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Mahaweli Kendraya, No 96, Ananda Kumaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 7
Dr. D. B. Nihalsinghe, Somaratne Dissanayake, Sunil Mihindukula
Nilar N Kasim


Nayana Karunaratne wins Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

Nayana Karunaratne, one of the most well-known faces in the Asian hair and beauty industry was recognised as the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2007, at the awards ceremony organised by the Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce on August 26, 2008. She was also the winner of a gold medal for the Business category.


After tsunami: The survivors’ views

After tsunami: the survivors’s views, an exhibition of photography will be held from September 18 to 30 at the Alliance Francaise Auditorium 11, Barnes place, Colombo 7. An exhibition of photographs presented by Jérémy Villy, Philippe Benassi and María Heredero Jiménez in collaboration with ‘Vues D’un Monde’ (Views of a World), a young cultural association that has already implemented numerous projects on global photographic meetings since 2004. Their joint vision is based on the knowledge of the ‘other’ acquired through subjective photographic representations. One of the association’s goals has been to expand into new projects focusing on interactions between development cooperation and artistic expression. For this purpose they have submitted this project to the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation and Development (AECID) in 2006, which has become their first partner in this kind of projects in Banda Aceh (Indonesia), and now they have the opportunity to implement it in Sri Lanka.


Urban Changes

Exhibition: Urban Changes co-ordinated by the two Sri Lankan participants
Venue: Goethe Hall, German Cultural Centre
Date and time: September 14 to 22
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Goethe- Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai organised a photography workshop in 2007 with a special focus – to capture and present images of India through the lenses of well-known young photographers from the South Asian region, including two from Sri Lanka: Jagath Dheerasekera and Alefiya Akbarally.
The workshop was conducted by Berlin-based photographer Andrea Kuenzig. She also curated the exhibition comprising selected images from the body of work created by the participants.
The exhibition Urban Changes primarily focused on the development of urban and rural structures and changes in the era of globalisation, using photography as an art form and a medium of juxtaposition.
Participants: Alefiya Akbarally, Jagath Dheerasekera (Colombo) Clare Arni, Vivek M, Mahesh Shantaram (Bangalore) Sohail Abdullah (Karachi)
Urban Changes can also be viewed online at www.goethe.de/urbanchanges.


Open Day at Goethe Institute

An Open Day will be held at the German Cultural Centre, 39 Gregory’s Road; Colombo 7, on September 13, at 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The special guest from Switzerland: an expert on German language and entertainment, Brigitte Schär will be present. Trial courses, entertainment programmes, quizzes and prizes to win are open to all. A special German food festival and the opening of the new photo exhibition: Urban Chances will take place at 6 p.m.

The Goethe Institute, with its Headquarters in Munich, Germany is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach.

It promotes knowledge of the German language abroad and fosters international cultural cooperation and conveys a comprehensive picture of Germany by providing information on Germany’s cultural, social and political life.


ITU Secretary General to visit Sri Lanka

The Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Dr. Hamadoun I. Toure will be in Sri Lanka from September 6 to 8. This is the first visit of Dr. Toure as the Secretary General of ITU to Sri Lanka. He will be here on an invitation extended to him by the President. This visit has been facilitated by Director General Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), Priyantha Kariyapperuma.

During his visit Dr. Toure will grace the GSM Association (GSMA) Asia Pacific conference which will be held in Sri Lanka, as a Special Guest of Honour. Sri Lanka holds the current chairmanship of the GSMA.
Dr. Toure will meet the President to discuss the development of ICT in Sri Lanka. The Secretary General has commended the development of the telecommunications industry in Sri Lanka, especially the initiatives in the ICT sector under the leadership of the President. This is one of the reasons which prompted him to accept the invitation to come to Sri Lanka.

A ceremony will be held at TRCSL in honour of the visiting Secretary General where the staff of TRCSL will meet him. TRCSL will work closely with ITU in its endeavour to develop the telecommunications sector and also facilitate the launch of Sri Lanka’s first satellite in honour of late Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

Dr. Hamadoun Toure assumed duties as Secretary General on January 1, 2007. Prior to that, he has served as Director Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of ITU from 1998 until 2006.

Dr. Toure is committed to make ITU an innovative, forward looking organisation adapted to meeting the challenges created by the new ICT environment and to spearhead the Union towards implementing the resolutions of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

As Director BDT from 1999 until 2006, he played a significant role in the WSIS process by launching numerous projects based on partnership building with international organisations, governments, civil society and the private sector.

ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technologies. As the global focal point for governments and the private sector, ITD’s role in helping the world communicate spans over three core sectors: Radio communication, standardisation and development.

ITU is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and its membership includes 191 Member States and more than 700 Sector Members and Associates.

TRCSL Director General Priyantha Kariyapperuma expressed that the visit of the Secretary General will further strengthen the long standing relationship between ITU and Sri Lanka.


Chaos, congruence and collaboration

Theertha International Artists’ Collective presents Six Degrees of Separation: Chaos, Congruence and Collaboration, an exhibition celebrating art exchange through the South Asian Artists’ Network (SANA) by Red Dot Gallery and Theertha International Artists’ Collective. The participating artists are Anura Krishantha, Koralegedara Pushpakumara, Pala Pothupitiye, Pradeep Chandrasiri, Sarath Kumarasiri, Thisath Thoradeniya.
The exhibition will remain open from September 4 to 17, at Gallery Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


The 4th National Conference on Buddhist Studies

The 4th National Conference on Buddhist Studies was held recently at the All Ceylon Women’s Buddhist Congress. There were participants from all the major Sri Lankan university departments of Buddhist Studies. In addition, there were participants from other disciplines, especially medical faculties who had researched on Buddhist therapeutic practice. The Inaugural Address was delivered by Professor Emeritus Y. Karunadasa, present Visiting Professor in Buddhist Studies at the University of Hong Kong on “The Buddhist Psychology of Ideologies”. The Guest of Honour was Prof. Emeritus N.A. Jayawickrema, the doyen of Pali and Buddhist Studies in Sri Lanka.

Thirty research papers by Buddhist scholars from universities, medical professionals relating to a variety of disciplines were presented in both English and Sinhala. The conference was organised by the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka in association with The Buddhist Times Trust and Bodu Sahana Aramudala and the Conference convener was Dr. Hema Goonatilake.


De Mazenod English Institute revives three months residential course

The De Mazenod English Institute initiated by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate Congregation, in Sri Lanka 15 years ago, will recommence on Sunday, September 14, with a new batch of 60 students who will follow the three months long Residential English Immersion Course at Katuwapitiya, Negombo.

The blessing and the house warming ceremony of the new building of the De Mazenod English Institute at Katuwapitiya, Negombo will be held on Monday, September 8. Very Rev. Fr. Clement Waidyasekera OMI, Provincial of the Oblates of Colombo Province, will preside over the blessing ceremony.

 Rev. Fr. Dennis Iddamalgoda OMI, MA, the Executive Director of the Institute told The Nation that the members of the OMI congregation celebrate their 160-year presence in Sri Lanka, this year. The congregation has added teaching English to their missionary activities to help students awaiting the results of the GCE AL and OL exams. The youth of today can now turn for help to this Institute with confidence, as the dedicated staff will guide them to acquire proficiency in English.

  “We had no building of our own all these years to run the Institute. We moved from one place to another looking for spacious building to provide facilities to students following the course. But now we have a building of our own, as Rev.Fr. Tissa Balasuriya OMI, founder of the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) at Maradana has donated the ancestral home of Balasuriya family at Katuwapitiya, Negombo to the OMI Congregation. We are thankful to Fr. Balasuriya for donation and to Fr. Provincial for giving the house to run the Institute”, Fr. Iddamalgoda said.

 “I started the Institute with the approval of my congregation in 1993 using a building attached to the OMI Mother House at Mattakkuliya, Colombo. Though we had to move from one place to another place, we continued our services without interruption. We are happy to note that with the support of brothers-priests of the OMI’s and the De La Salle Brothers, over 1,500 students had gone through our training. Some of them do extremely well in Sri Lanka, and some others have migrated to overseas looking for greener pastures to better their future.”

He added, “Scientia Locupletat” – ‘Knowledge Perfects’, is our motto and the three months immersion program calls for hard discipline, long hours of concentrated studies. The course is not mere learning English but it is English and Life education program. directed towards character formation, moral and spiritual development, while drawing out the best in each one who undergoes immersion course to give them the strength to face challenges in their future life.”

The Oblate Fathers and Brothers have served the Catholic Church from 1847, almost from the very inception of the OMI Congregation founded by St. Eugene De Mazenod.
E. Weerapperuma


Toastmasters celebrate 25 years in Sri Lanka

The Colombo Toastmasters Club celebrated 25 years of service in Sri Lanka and South Asia at a gala ceremony and banquet on the evening of Sunday August 24, 2008 at the King’s Court, Trans Asia, Colombo. The special occasion was graced by Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal as the chief guest. Toastmasters District Governor for Sri Lanka and India Arunasalam Balraj and the entire Toastmasters community in Sri Lanka were present at the event, as were distinguished members from the community.

The highlights were the recognition of 24 past Presidents of the Colombo Toastmasters Club, the installation of the 25th President Yukthi Gunasekara and the Executive Committee, and the cutting of the Silver Jubilee Anniversary Cake. In his inaugural address, President Gunasekera announced the theme for his term in office – “Creating people of value for our nation’s progress,” and urged the business community to support the Club to provide public speaking training on an honorary basis to key government officials and the best and brightest high school students in the country.

The Colombo Toastmasters Club (The CTC) is the first Toastmasters Club to be founded in the South Asian region, encompassing India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. For 25 years the CTC has lived up to its promise of being a training ground for fledgling leaders to sharpen their public speaking and leadership skills. It has also provided yeomen service to uplift the public speaking skills of Sri Lankans through aggressive growth of the Toastmasters movement in India and Sri Lanka with the spawning of new Clubs in both countries, initiating community outreach programmes like the Speech Craft Programme and the Youth Leadership Programme, and the holding of signature oratorical contests – the Junior Public Speaker (for those under 18 years) and the All Island Best Speaker (for those over 18 years of age). Today, the Colombo Toastmasters Club is the undisputed leader in public speaking in Sri Lanka, if not the entire South Asian region.

The Colombo Toastmasters Club counts as its alumni/members entrepreneur industrialist Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean, the father of advertising in Sri Lanka, late Deshabandu Reggie Candappa, and corporate training Guru Haleem Ghouse.

The Club has trained over 600 members in public speaking and leadership skills. Furthermore, the Club’s community outreach programmes – the Youth Leadership Programme and the Speech Craft Programme – have unleashed the communication and leadership skills of more than 1,500 high school students and corporate executives. In making such contributions to Sri Lanka’s progress, the Colombo Toastmasters Club has become truly a national asset.