Benedict Council of Management for 2009/10

St. Benedict’s College 150th O.B.U. AGM was held on June 21 and the following Office Bearers were elected for the year 2009/2010.
Patron: Most Rt Rev Dr Malcolm Ranjith, His Grace the Archbishop of Colombo (Ex- officio)
Vice Patrons: Rev Bro Provincial Visitor and all Past Directors of St Benedict’s College, Elmo Perera, Eric Motha, Gamini Kannangara, Felix Dias, Dudley Thambinayagam, Gamini Edirisinghe, Nimal Perera, Neil De Silva, T Easwaran, J.P. Perera
President: Director St Benedict’s College, (Ex-officio) Rev Bro Granville Perera F.S.C
Vice Presidents: Sub-Director, St Benedict’s College (Ex-officio) Rev Bro Janaka Fonseka F.S.C., Melville Perera, Randolph Perera, Emil Kronamberg, Lalith Madapulli, Gratien Fernando, Ravi Irugalbandara
Hon General Secretary: JoachimMotha
Hon Treasurer: Anton Leon
Hon Assistant General Secretary: Darrel Ludowyke
Hon Assistant Treasurer: Krishan Rodrigo.
Hon Assistant General Secretary – Membership: Stephen Corera
Hon Assistant General Secretary – Overseas: Patrick Rodrigo
Hon Assistant General Secretary – Social: T. Valentine
Hon Assistant General Secretary – Sports: Stanley Rayer
Council Members: George Ranasinghe, Anjelo Canjamanaden, Brian Tissera, Kennedy Machado, Rohan Dilip Perera, Kelum Caldera, Kenneth Dabrera, Dixon Pereira, S. A. Peter De Croos, Yogendran Dev, Elmo Lawrence, Chandra Bastian, Loxley Dharmaratne, Jude Sanjeev Mohan, Melville Pollocks, Jeremy Babapulle, Ramesh de Rozairo, Ashan Stanislaus, Shehan Gabriel, Chaminda Mutugala, Shehan Patterson, Denham Perera, Samitha Perera, Beonest Fernando
Hon Auditors: Nihal Hettiarachchi of Messrs Nihal Hettiarachchi and Company Chartered Accountants


35 Originals Prints - Photographic exhibition

July 2 - 23
35 Tirages Originaux (35 Original Prints), a photographic exhibition by Robert Doisneau will be held at Alliance Française de Colombo, No.11, Barnes Place, Colombo 7.

Robert Doisneau is one of France’s most noted photographers. He is best known for his street photography, his most famous example being ‘Kiss in front of the Palace of City Hall’ (1950). But he took thousands of photographs striving to capture the pulse of Parisian life. Doisneau liked nothing better than to walk the streets never knowing what sights he was to encounter.

His talent lay in his ability to capture a moment of poignancy, absurdity or just plain strangeness. Doisneau’s work contained a distinctive sense of humour as well as a deep empathy for his subjects.

Robert Doisneau was born in 1912 in Gentilly in the Val-de-Marne near Paris. He studied engraving and lithography and went to work at lettering and advertising photographs in 1930. He began working for André Vigneau in 1931 as his cameraman and then joined the Renault factory in Billancourt in 1934 working as an industrial and advertising photographer.
Doisneau was fired in 1939 for being consistently late and joined the Rapho Photo Agency taking some of his first professional street photographs. With the outbreak of the Second World War, however, he was called upon to serve in the French Army for a year before working for the résistance until 1945.

At the end of the war he joined the Alliance Photo Press Agency but returned to Rapho a year later. In 1949 he joined Vogue as fashion photographer where he remained for three years before going freelance. Robert Doisneau died in 1994.
“I’ve never examined why I make photos. In truth it’s a hopeless struggle against the idea that one will die. It’s something I’m more prepared for because one shouldn’t think that every action is temporary and momentary. I try obstinately to stop this time that is passing.” Robert Doisneau.


Latino dancefest party at Hilton

July 4
The Latin American dance champions from Thailand will burn up the floor along with other accomplished dancing duos at the Blue Elephant, Hilton Colombo. The DJs will also be on hand.


New website for climate change

www.climatesuccess.org is a website sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) showcasing case studies of companies and local governments from around the world that have reduced emissions of climate changing gases while achieving economic success.
The site acts as a resource for others that are active in developing low carbon solutions by providing examples and inspiration.
This is another proactive step by the UK Government as part of their campaign to raise awareness about climate issues in the run up to climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009.


Blake calls for resettlement

Ambassador Robert Blake, new Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia and Central Asia said at the hearing of the Congressional Subcommittee on South Asia, today that Sri Lanka won an “important victory in the North” when it defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Assistant Secretary Blake, testifying before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, called on Sri Lanka to quickly resettle the 300,000 internally displaced persons in the North and to hold provincial elections. “The action the Sri Lankan government takes now,” Assistant Secretary Blake said, “in the aftermath of the war, with respect to both humanitarian relief and political inclusion for minorities, will be important to securing an end to terrorism and a lasting peace.”
During the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Gary Ackerman (D-New York) said that, “I think the United States should offer its assistance to relieving the suffering of the displaced as much as we can and, while fully respecting the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, should encourage true national reconciliation.”

Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the U.S., met with Blake at the U.S. State Department a day before the hearing to congratulate Blake on his confirmation to his new post by the U.S. Senate. The Ambassador and Blake spoke about the Humanitarian issues in Sri Lanka, particularly resettlement of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and plans for redevelopment and elections in the North.

Secretary Blake urged not only the speedy resettlement of the IDPs, but also a political process that gives the Northern Province a voice in the national government. He noted that the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution would do that, but that the amendment has to be fully implemented.

Blake also said that other measures to promote national unity are under consideration. Specifically, he mentioned a proposal to form an Upper House of Parliament made up of provincial representatives, and the conclusion of the All Party Conference. Those measures, he said, “would help to achieve political reconciliation.”
Ambassador Wickramasuriya said that Blake’s confirmation as Assistant Secretary of state for Central and South Asia is a positive development for Sri Lanka, which Blake knows well. Blake served as U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives from 2006 until just last month, when he took up his new post in Washington.

“Ambassador Blake has seen the situation in Sri Lanka change dramatically during his service there,” Ambassador Wickramasuriya said. “He knows what Sri Lankan citizens have lived through, and the challenges that we face in the years to come. He is a fair-minded person who understands what it will take to ensure lasting peace and reconciliation.”
During his meeting with Ambassador Wickramasuriya, Secretary Blake noted that several thousand elderly and disabled IDPs have been allowed to leave government welfare centers, that aid group access to the centers was improving, that restrictions on coastal fishing in the north had been lifted and that two non-governmental organization forums in Colombo and Vavuniya have been established to explore civilian protection and humanitarian issues.


Symposium on British genocide in SL

June 30
A symposium of contemporary relevance on ‘The 1818 British Genocide in Sri Lanka’s Wellassa’ organised by the Royal Asiatic Society will be held at the Mahaweli Centre No. 96, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 7 at 5 p.m.
Speakers: Former Professor of History, University of Ruhuna, Prof. M.U. de Silva;

Former Director General of Goverment Archives, Dr. K.D.G. Wimalaratna; Attorney-at-law, Prasanthalal de Alwis
The speakers will utilise 19th century British documents to show how the War of Resistance against the British rule was put down by the British in a most brutal, genocidal manner in one of the darkest pages of global colonial history. And using 21st century international legal doctrines, they will present a case for compensation from the present British government for genocide of the people of Uva-Wellassa.


Sri Lanka Sumithrayo completes 35 years

On the June 14 this year Sri Lanka Sumithrayo completes 35 years of dedicated service to the lonely depressed and suicidal of this country. From humble beginnings in June 1974, in a little room located in Deans Road, Maradana, the first of the Sumithrayo Befriending Centres was set up by the founder Mrs. Joan de Mel. The organisation has grown over the last 35 years to include eleven Befriending Centres situated islandwide, a Drug Demand Reduction Programme and a Rural Suicide Prevention Programme that works in over 70 villages in two of the most suicide prone provinces of the country.

The primary objective of Sumithrayo is the prevention of suicide and to alleviate human misery. The organisation is volunteer-based, the volunteers remaining anonymous wherever possible. They are chosen for their qualities of compassion, being non-judgemental and common sense with a good balance of head and heart. They are well trained in the art of providing emotional support to the depressed and despairing and being very discreet. Those who turn to Sumithrayo for help can be assured of total confidentiality and may remain anonymous if they wish to.

The Sumithrayo Befriending Centres are open every day of the week for varying hours depending on the area they are located in. Those who feel the need to talk confidentially to someone may visit the centres in person or contact them on the telephone, email or even write to them. Services provided are free of charge.

Sadly, Mrs. Joan de Mel, the founder of Sri Lanka Sumithrayo passed away on December 27 last year. Together with her late husband Bishop Lakdasa de Mel and Dr. Chad Varah, the founder of The Samaritans in the UK, she set up the first Sumithrayo Befriending Centre in Colombo. Both the founder of the Samaritans and the founder of Sumithrayo are no more, but the legacy they have handed down to us is perennial. It is imperative that we safeguard this legacy that embodies selflessness and that which offers no material reward.

At Sumithrayo we ask ourselves if we have to change our attitude before pointing a finger at someone else – and this realisation alone is a huge step forward. We accept people for who they are and respect their views even if they contradict our own.
One feels great joy in giving of one’s talents, expertise and time, wanting nothing in return. Nothing can match a human kindness that turns a troubled soul to tears of joy. What binds us? What keeps us coming here week after week? The answer is simple. We come not for ourselves but for others – but unknowingly, unwittingly we change our values and perceptions along the way thus gaining and growing within ourselves.

“The cure for all ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows and crimes of humanity, all lie in that one word ‘love’. It is the divine vitality that produces and restores life. To each one of us it gives the power of working miracles, if we will.”

Lydia M. Child. (1802 – 1880)
Sri Lanka Sumithrayo


 Public talk

June 28

How Does One Learn About Oneself? Recorded public talk by J. Krishnamurti, organised by Krishnamurti Centre, Sri Lanka at Anula Nursery School, 310, High Level Road, Colombo 6 at 9: 45 a.m.

Child patient needs your help

Five-year-old H.A Lakshan, at 134/1, Delgoda, Akurumulla has been taking treatments for his disabilities from birth. Now he is improving and capable of speaking only one or two words. The doctors treating him in the children’s hospital say that he needs regular in-door treatments and physiotherapy in hospital. Therefore, the parents seek public help. Donations can be made to People’s Bank, Delgoda, Account No.118-2-0016-0005214. For more information call 0602149350.



July 1
Le Cinquième Elément by Luc Besson (1995, 95 minutes) at 6:30 p.m. at Alliance Française, No.11, Barnes Place, Colombo 7.
In the 23rd century, Korben Dallas, an ex-special forces agent who now practises as a down-and-out cabbie, finds himself caught in a struggle to defy a prophesied evil form destroying the Earth when a mysterious woman falls into the back seat of his cab.