Compiled by
Chamindra Wickremasinghe
e-mail: chamindra@nation.lk

Gateway to Kandy

The first copy of the illustrated edition of Gateway to Kandy is being presented to the author Prof. Anuradha Seneviratne in Kandy by the publisher, Vijitha Yapa. 160 page book details the history of Kandy and its environs and the temples and historic places associated with the Kandyan Kingdom. The beautiful photographs were taken specially for the book by Vijitha and Lalana Yapa. This is the first of seven books by Prof. Anuradha Seneviratne


Induction of SLAAS General President – 2009

January 12
The ceremonial induction of Prof. M. J.S. Wijeyaratne as the General President of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science
Venue: SLAAS Auditorium, 120/10, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7
Time: 5 p.m.
Speaker of the Parliament, Dr. W.J.M. Lokubandara and Chairman, National Education Commission, Prof. A.V. Suraweera will be the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honour.


Music workbook for beginners launched

A workbook for beginners in Western music titled Elementary - Theory For Beginners In Western Music, was launched recently. Probably the first of its kind, the book is a timely publication, filling a void felt by beginners studying Western music.
Compiled by Nimali Weeraratna (Dip LCM, ATCL) and Prema Ratnayake (LTCL),
the book is based on the syllabus of the Institute of Western Music & Speech (IWMS).
The workbook will be useful for beginners in Western music with its simple approach, exercises and specimen exam papers.
For more details contact: Nimali Weeraratne on 0112-716816/0112-737414


Free distribution of exercise books by CUP

A free distribution of exercise books was made for the children of Sri Nandasara Sunday School by the Children’s Upliftment Programme (Guarantee) Limited (CUP), on December 28. This donation was made by W.K.Wilegoda and the CUP Officials, N.T.A.Dissanayake – Director, S.Ediriwickckramasuriya – Director, Harsha Gomes- Member, Ashoka Wijethunga, and Gayan Karunarathna were present at the event.


Movies (January 13 and 14)

Movie: Chacun Cherche Son Chat (1995, 96 minutes)
Producer: Cédric Klapisch
Venue: Alliance Francis Auditorium, No.11, Barnes Place, Colombo 7
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Chloe, a young woman, is going on holidays. She entrusts her beloved cat to Madame Renée’s care. But one day Madame Renée (an old lady of the neighbourhood) can not find the cat. Chloe starts searching the neighborhood... This is the pretext for the exploration of a quarter of Paris and its inhabitants.

January 13
Movie: An American in Paris (1952, 113 minutes)
Venue: American Centre, No 44, Galle Road, Colombo 3
Time: 6 p.m.
A musical starring Gene Kelly as a young American painter in Paris who falls in love with a Parisian (played by Leslie Caron). Released in 1951, the film won Academy Awards for best picture, best screenplay, best art direction, best cinematography, and best costume design. The American, Jerry Mulligan (Kelly) is involved with a wealthy older woman (Nina Foch) when he falls in love with Lise Bouvier (Caron), a young French girl. The two try to forget their attraction because Bouvier is already engaged to one of Mulligan’s musician friends, Henri Baurel (Georges Guetary), but the American ends up with the girl. The film concludes with an 18-minute ballet number designed by Gene Kelly, who received a special Academy Award that year for his versatility as a performer and for his contributions to the art of dance in film. Won 6 Oscars, another 3 wins and 7 nominations.


Deaf School Past Pupils’ Association, Ratmalana celebrates 60 years of excellence

An Educational Workshop organised by the Deaf School Past Pupils Association, Ratmalana and sponsored by the Deaf Link, will be held on Sundays 11th and 25th January 2009 at the Stanley Hall, the School for the Deaf, Ratmalana commencing at 10 a.m. on these two days. The lighting the oil lamp and a dancing item done by the present pupils from the School for the Deaf, Ratmalana, will be held at the opening ceremony on Sunday, January 11. The programme will be as follows:-
Sunday, January 11
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Opening Ceremony Session 1 – Health and Good Life
1 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Session 2 – Pre-marriage counseling
Sunday, January 25
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Session 3 – AIDS and HIV
1 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Session 4 – Human Rights
President and Chairman, Diamond Jubilee Organising Committee, Shivantha Vivekanandan stated that the Deaf School Past Pupils’ Association, Ratmalana was founded in 1949 and the Educational Workshop is one of the events that are planned to celebrate the 60 years of excellence in 2009.
The School for the Deaf, Ratmalana produced many distinguished past pupils and he appealed the other past pupils to join the association to make it grow from strength to strength.
He thanked the management of the Deaf Link, Mrs. Marice Wijeyaratne (Principal), the members of the Parent-Teachers’ Association and the Deaf School Past Pupils’ Association for their valuable help to make it a success.


Muharram Celebration

An Islamic New Year (Muharram) Celebration organised by the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the Borella Ahadiyya School was held at the Nagorodaya Auditorium, Colombo recently.
Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development Minister A. H.M. Fowzie distributing cash award to Ahadiyya Staff member, Zahara Niroose. Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs Director Y.L.M. Nawavi, Presidential Advisor A.H.M. Azwer, ITN Director Hashim Omar and Ahdiyya School Vice Principal Ruzaik Farook are also in the picture.


Janasuwaya project expands

Sajith Premadasa, MP for Hambantota district and Chairman of the Janasuwaya Development Foundation has initiated many development projects to promote infrastructure development and livelihood enhancement of all communities in Hambantota district. Presently, the project is being expanded to cover the rest of the country.


200th Birth Anniversary Commemoration of Louis Braille

Inventor of the Braille Medium Communication

Commemorating the 200th birth anniversary of Louis Braille, inventor of the Braille Medium Communication, Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped has organised a series of programmes.
English and Sinhala Braille reading and writing competitions have already been conducted at Colombo, Galle and Sanjagala. Oratory competitions and debates will be conducted at the University of Colombo, Mass Communication Faculty on January 13, especially for undergraduates. Short drama competition for students of schools for the blind will be held on January 30, at the Holy Rosary Convent, Slave Island, Colombo 2.

Life story

Louis Braille (1809-1852), the French genius inventor, talented musician, beloved teacher and astute businessman, was born sighted and accidentally blinded himself at the age of three in Coupvray, his home town. He was sent to Paris where he attended one of the world’s first schools for blind children. There, at the age of 12, he began to work tirelessly on a revolutionary system of reading and writing by touch. Braille’s passion to improve life for the blind was the driving force behind his creation of a code of raised dots that gave blind people the gift of literacy for the first time.

His collaboration on the invention of the raphigraphe, a precursor to the dot-matrix printer, is further testimony to his creativity and innovativeness. Its purpose was to enable blind people to write letters which could be read by their sighted friends and family.
He was a brilliant musician who taught music to blind students at the school and played the organ at several churches in Paris. It is, therefore, no surprise that, having invented the literary braille system, he also devised the braille music notation which is still in use. As Helen Keller has very correctly said: “We, the blind, are as indebted to Louis Braille as mankind is to Gutenberg.”
The President’s message

The following is the President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s message on the occasion of the 200th birth anniversary of Louise Braille.
A person with impaired vision himself being realised the importance of a method of reading for the visually handicapped, and after much experimenting produced the Braille System, which is now accepted worldwide for teaching and leaning in this important segment of society. Braille has opened the way for wider education of the visually handicapped and for their successful rise to important positions in society.

My government has, in keeping with its policy of helping those with disabilities, taken action to provide a monthly payment of Rs.3,000 to a family that has a person with a physical handicap.
We greatly value the role of the visually handicapped, who participate in the development activities of our country. On this occasion, I call upon all to extend their fullest cooperation to the visually handicapped among us, treat them as equals and help them live in our society.


Public lecture

January 11
Public lecture titled ‘Is There A Way Out Of The Crisis In The World?’ organised by the Krishnamurti Centre, Sri Lanka, at the Anula Nursery School, 310, High Level Road, Colombo 7, at 9: 45 a.m.

Pandora’s Box

January 18 – February 9
Pandora’s Box, an exhibition by Cora de Lang, the fourth of the six exhibitions of
the Theertha Pradarshana Wasanthaya organised by the Theertha International Artists Collective
Venue: Red Dot Gallery, 36 A, Baddegana Road South, Pitakotte
Gallery Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.