Royalists to build a bridge of friendship to Jaffna

Sri Lanka is in the midst of re-building the country and is taking steps to provide prosperity to its youth and society at large. In keeping with the nation’s ideals for progress, the Royal College Union which has been in the forefront of fostering peace and community service, during civil-war era, has taken the lead in yet another initiative, to endow the youth of the North with essential supplies that will enable them to start reaping the fruits of peace.

With the aim of building a bridge of peace, a group of Royalists young and old, rallied under the Blue and Gold flag, and set off on a mission to Mallakam Kulamangal Roman Catholic School - Jaffna on 18th of Feb 2011 with gifts for its 200 school children to make their school-life happier and more comfortable.
On the request of Major Ramanayake, a past Royalist posted in Jaffna, to befriend the boys and girls of this selected school, the Principal of Royal College, Upali Gunasekera, readily agreed to action this worthy cause.
The project was initiated by the 51 Division Commander Major General Janaka Walgama RSP USP psc under the civil military coordination projects in 51 Div area and coordinated by Lt Col Rohan Silva Civil Affairs Officer 51 Div, Lt Col Sarath Amarasinghe Civil Affairs Officer - 513 Brigade and Lt Col Janith Bandara - Commanding Officer 16th Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment, and Major Ramanayake.

The Royal College Union joined forces with Royal College and collected essential school supplies, such as books, uniform material and sporting gear to the value of one million Sri Lankan rupees.
Representatives from Royal College included M. Kanapathipillai, M Y.M. Jayasooriya, and students of the Buddhist Society, whilst the Royal College Union was represented by Mahesh Nanayakkara, Harshana Adhikari and Ajith Rajapakse.
At a simple ceremony in Jaffna the gifts were donated, which resulted in life-long friendships, being established, which would no doubt help in strengthening the initiatives in furthering peace and reconciliation.


Evening of classical music

Sunday, March 20
Alliance Francaise de Colombo will present an evening of classical music by the famous Japanese pianist Mrs Chiho Akaishi and Mrs Otsuka (Soprano).
Mrs. Menaka De Fonseka Sahabandu one of the best classical musicians in Sri Lanka will perform as the guest artist for the evening.
Mrs. Chiho Akaishi hails from Shikzuoko, a city in between Nagoya and Tokyo. She teaches piano music at the Shikzuoko University and Junior College and is a regular classical music concert performer in Japan. Her performance for the evening will feature F Chopin’s Nocturnne, Valsc, C Debbusy - Arabesque, Eric Satin, Gabriel Urbain Faure, W Mozart-Rondo, CPE Bach-Sol fe getto, US Bach-Concerto per cem valo and Hirai (Japan) - Sakura.
She has studied classical piano music at the Kunitachi College of Music from where she graduated. She has accompanied many famous vocalists and instrumental solo players and played the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann., Chopin, Mendelssohn, Debussy and so on. She has also accompanied choirs and played religious music on the organ.
Since 1997, every year she has held a concert titled ‘Classical Music & Ceylon Tea’ in Shizuoka, Japan.
Mrs Chihoko Otsuka is an accomplished soloist and is a graduate from the Famed Tokyo Art University where she trained as a classical vocalist. She is a native of Shizuoka Ken, Japan and has performed in numerous operatic roles and song recitals over the last 23 years in many countries. She has sung the ‘Le Nozze Di Figaro’ of Mozart and ‘Carmen’ of Bizet and performed oratorio music of Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart to audiences in Japan and Salzburg, Austria. Her oratory talent is not confined to classical music but includes Gospel Music Performances as well. She has performed together with Chiho Akaishi for nearly a decade.
These two artistes’ love of music and performing shines through on stage and is sure to provide and evening of enjoyment.
Mrs. Menaka De Fonseka Sahabandu, who is no stranger to the classical music audiences of Sri Lanka will also perform. Menaka who holds a Fellowship from the Trinity College London for Voice and Piano and a Licentiate from the Royal Schools of Music for Voice and Piano has a teaching career spanning 25 years and is one of the leading piano and singing teachers in Sri Lanka. She is the founder and director of Menaka Singers, a mixed choir consisting primarily of singers trained by her.
Entrance is Free and limited. Invitations are available at Alliance Francaise de Colombo from Monday, March 14, at No.11, Barnes Place, Colombo 7.
Venue: Alliance Francaise Auditorium, No.11, Barnes Place, Colombo 7


Sri Lanka Study Circle – Office-bearers

The Sri Lanka Study Circle (SLSC) which met recently at the YMCA Forum Hall, Colombo Fort elected the following office-bearers.

Patron: Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs W D J Seneviratne
President: D J M Rajasekera
Vice Presidents: S Mahendran, L D B E Balasooriya
General Secretary:
K A Thavarasa
Hony. Assistant Secretaries:
N W De Silva, A A Kingsley
Hony. Treasurer: Anton Rodrigo
Editor: N Muthukrishnaswamy
Committee Members:
R Illaiperuma, H G P Jayasekera, M I Ali, K A P Rajakaruna, Tissa Jayaweera and R K Kadiragamar

SLSC meets every Saturday at the YMCA Forum Hall, Bristol Street, Colombo Fort, starting at 9 a.m.
Sessions are open to the public.


Ven Nanda appointed Sinhala Dictionary Editor

Ven Akuretiye Nanda, the reputed Buddhist monk has been appointed as the Editor-in-Chief to the Sinhala Dictionary.
After having his primary education from Vidyaloka College, Galle, Ven Nanda entered Kelaniya University. Fromthere, he obtained his first graduation, post graduation, masters and Phd. He read for his post graduation at the University of Manchester.
Joining as a sub-editor to the Sinhala Dictionary in 1983, he worked under Prof. D E Hettiarachchi, D J Wijeratne, P B Sannasgala, Wimal Balagalle and Winnie Vitharana, Ananda Abeysiriwardana.
He was the Vice Chancellor of the Pali University from 1997-1997. Ven Nanda is the Chief Prelate of Western Province.


All Ceylon Women’s Buddhist Congress

2600th Sambuddhattva Jayanthi Programme

All Ceylon Women’s Buddhist Congress (ACWBC) which was founded over 60 years ago by Mrs BS Jayawardena and a group of dedicated women has been making a significant contribution over the years to the social and spiritual uplift of Buddhist women in Sri Lanka. One of the special projects which has been recently initiated is the 2600th Sambuddhattva Jayanthi Programme. The highlight of this programme is the construction of a special building in the ACWBC premises on the Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7, to be named “2600 Sri Sambuddhattva Jayanthi Building”. Plans are underway to lay the foundation stone on the Vesak full moon day of 2011.

As part of the fund-raising activities for the Sambuddhattva Jayanthi Building Project, a Vegetarian Lunch was organized on the January 30. A New Year Fair (Pola) will be held on Sunday, April 3, at the Congress premises on 400 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7. Well-wishers are requested to donate any goods to be sold at the Pola. Donations will be most appreciated.

A full programme of ten days of social and religious activities is being scheduled to be held in the Vesak month of 2011. The programme begins with a Buddhist sermon on Saturday, May 14 to be followed by a medical camp with the participation of Western as well as Ayurveda specialists on Sunday, May 15. On the 16th will be a Bodhi puja around the sacred Bodhi tree in the premises. A sil programme will be conducted on the Vesak Poya day on the 17. A dansala to be held in front of the ACBC premises will be serving biscuits and coffee to all those visitors to the Bauddhaloka Vesak celebrations. The ceremony for the foundation stone laying for the Sambuddhattva Jayanthi Building will take place on the 18. A Bhakthi Geetha programme will be organised on the 19th with the participation of inmates of ACWBC Homes, Executive Committee Members and the Office Staff. On the 20, a visit to the Cancer Hospital has been scheduled where the patients will be given a treat. The inmates of the ACWBC Elders’ Home will be taken on a tour of Buddhist religious sites and temples on the 21st. The 2,600th programme will conclude with a Buddhist sermon and a meditation session on the 23rd.
In addition to the ten day Sambuddhattva Jayanthi programme, the ACWBC has started a Poya Day Sil programme for male inmates in the Welikada prison. An eye camp is also scheduled to take place at Srisubodhi vihara in Obeysekera Pura in the next few weeks.
The ACWBC welcomes the participation of members of the public in these activities.


BHC greeting card competition

In December 2010, the British High Commission (BHC) in Colombo organised the annual Season’s Greeting Card Competition.
Held for the second consecutive year, this was an annual event with a two-pronged objective: Recognising the creativity and artistic talents of differently-abled children in Sri Lanka and developing a seasonal greeting card to be used by the BHC.
In November 2010, the BHC invited seven schools for differently-abled children located outside Colombo to send it drawings by their students on the theme ‘My Wish for Sri Lanka.’
“We received over 50 entries, from which a panel of five judges at the BHC chose the top three,” said Mark Gooding, Acting High Commissioner. “BHC staff then voted for their favourite drawing. Since the entries were all so colourful and attractive, we had quite a task choosing the winner!”
The winner of the competition was Chanuka Sandaruwan Herath, a 9-year-old boy from Sandagala Special School in Uhumeeya, Kurunegala. Chanuka, who has a permanent hearing deficiency, joined the school three years ago. According to his teachers, he has a real talent for art and craft activities. The first runner-up was Rangika Jayasinghe, an 18 year old girl from the same school, while the second runner-up was Nivanthika Indeewari (14 years) from the Rohana Special School, Matara.
Dominic Williams, Second Secretary, Political and Public Diplomacy at the BHC visited the Sandagala Special School recently, to award Chanuka with his certificate and prizes. The BHC also presented a high-tech fax machine to the school.


IYV 10th anniversary

The year-long international campaign is aimed at better understanding, promoting and supporting volunteerism. Annually, the volunteer sector contributes enormously to the global economy. Sadly this contribution often goes unnoticed.
IYV+10 will focus on promoting and recognising the work volunteers are doing and the impact they have on society through the diversity of volunteerism initiatives worldwide. Through IYV+10, the United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) in Sri Lanka is supporting national volunteerism coordination structures. An IYV+10 Steering Committee was established in Sri Lanka last December. It brings together representatives of civil society, academia, national and international NGOs, the National Youth Services Council, government, the private sector, media, all bound by a comprehensive and inclusive volunteerism vision and agenda during IYV+10 and beyond.
A range of activities in Sri Lanka throughout 2011 will showcase the diversity, breadth and depth of volunteering and offer the chance to recognize volunteers and mobilize many more among the diverse groups in society.
“Our focus is to celebrate the great diversity of volunteers in Sri Lanka and to this end we work to mobilize volunteers among the youth to create a volunteer force or V-Force, everyone is encouraged to join in” says Fadhil Bakeer Markar, the National Coordinator IYV+10.
As a first step, the Sri Lanka IYV+10 Steering Committee is asking volunteers to send their volunteers’ stories, photos and videos of volunteers in action for the recently launched Sri Lanka IYV+10 website www.IYV10SRILANKA.com.
“Considering the tremendous volunteering spirit in this country, I think we will receive many inspiring stories” says Sonia Josserand-Mercier the UNV Programme Officer in Sri Lanka. “I am impressed by the diversity of volunteerism in Sri Lanka, from school children acting as traffic wardens, to young people helping the poor, or corporate employees supporting those in needs through a wide range of CSR programmes.” she adds.
The Sri Lanka IYV+10 Steering Committee is also currently planning a Volunteer Forum (V-Forum) to bring together representatives of a variety of stakeholders including volunteer-involving groups and representatives of corporations involved in CSR programmes. “This forum will provide a platform for a fruitful dialogue about volunteerism expressions between groups who may not often have the opportunity to meet” says Kirby de Lanerolle, Executive Advisor to the Ministry of Social Services and Co Chair to the IYV+10 Steering Committee “The idea is to share, inspire, foster partnerships to bring volunteerism to the heart of responsible citizenship and mutual support towards a national agenda.”
The year will culminate in two United Nations General Assembly Sessions dedicated to volunteerism in December 2011 and the release of the first-ever report on the State of the World’s Volunteerism.


Youth movie

A Bug’s Life

Saturday, March 19
Year : 1998
Running time : 95 minutes
Venue: American Centre Colombo, 44, Galle Road, Colombo 3
Time: 3:30 p.m.


Embrassez Qui Vous Voudrez

Friday, March 18
Genre : Comedy
Director : Michel Blanc
Year : 2009
Duration : 99 minutes
Leaving behind her two–time husband and rebellious teenage daughter, bourgeois housewife Elizabeth takes a holiday at the upmarket seaside resort of Le Touquet. Joined by her single–mother pal Julie and with a couple of neighbours tagging along, a series of mistaken identities and adventures make it a vacation to remember.
Venue: Alliance Française de Kotte, 139, Jawatte Road, Colombo 5
Time: 6 p.m.


Personal Velocity

Tuesday, March 15
Year : 2002
Running time : 86 minutes
Actors : Kyra
Parker Posey
Director : Rebecca Miller
Three very different women. One daring leap of faith. Kyra Sedgwick (Something to Talk About), Parker Posey (Best in Show) and Fairuza Balk (Almost Famous) star in this completely compelling (The Hollywood Reporter) drama about three women who set out to change their lives. Winner of the 2002 Sundance Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, this passionate, poignant and bracing film delivers a muscular punch (Screen International)! Delia (Sedgwick) escapes from an abusive husband. Greta (Posey) risks everything on a new career. And Paula (Balk) takes flight after a tragic accident.
Venue: American Centre Colombo, 44 Galle Road, Colombo 4
Time: 6 p.m.


Health camp

Today (March 13)
A free health camp organised by the JICA Alumni Association of Sri Lanka
Distribution of over 1,000 pairs of spectacles after examination of those who referred to obtain spectacles by eye specialists, cataract operations and blood sugar tests are also some of the services offered.
Venue: Siripura Maha Vidyalaya, Dehiattakandiya, Polonnaruwa


Today (March 13)
Lawasia, Business Law Conference
Venue: Hilton Colombo


Until March 20
Thailand Shopping Festival 2011 will be a platform for buyers and sellers of Thai products. The event is being organised to boost up the business of companies of Thailand. The event will provide a golden opportunity to the companies of Thailand to attract new customers for their business growth as well as to expand their business in new areas. The event Thailand Shopping Festival 2011 will provide an opportunity to the visitors to know about the products of Thailand as well as about Thailand because they will get a chance to communicate with the people of Thailand.
Venue: Sri Lanka Exhibition & Convention Centre, Colombo

Public talk

Today (March 13)
Who Does The Mind Always Cling To The Known? organised by the Krishnamurti Centre, Sri Lanka
Venue: Anula Nursery School, 310, High Level Road, Colombo 6
Time: 9:45 a.m.

March 20
Learning That Transforms Consciousness, organised by the Krishnamurti Centre, Sri Lanka
Venue: Public Library, Colombo 7
Time: 10:30 a.m.

March 27
To Live a Life That is Whole, organised by the Krishnamurti Centre, Sri Lanka
Venue: Anula Nursery School, 310, High Level Road, Colombo 6
Time: 9:45 a.m.


Until March 15
Signspeak, a performance by the
nATANDA Dance Theatre
Venue: British School Auditorium,
Colombo 5
Time: 7:30 p.m.


Today (March 13)
Embrace Me, an exhibition of paintings by Pathum Vithanage
Venue: Lionel Wendt Art Gallery,
Colombo 7
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


March 16
City Zero, a Russian film
Year: 1988
Duration: 97 minutes
Venue: Russian Cultural Centre,
Colombo 7
Time: 6 p.m.