Review: Lack of team effort hurt Sri Lanka Cricbuzz Sri Lanka were one of the favourites heading into the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, but for the first time since 2003, Sri Lanka failed to make it to the finals of the grand event. Finalists in 2007 and 2011, this year's World Cup presented the two ...
A Gala evening at the Waterview; A magnificent tribute to our cricketers
The Sri Lankan world cup cricket team was treated to a grand reception at the Waterview Function Centre at the Bicentennial Park, Homebush on the 5th March. The event was organized by Sri Lanka Cricket, Sydney.
More than 700 guests packed the venue to give a rousing reception to Angelo Mathews and his team when they were greeted on arrival by President SL Cricket Sydney Chanaka Senanayake and his committee and escorted to the hall by two promising young cricketers from Sydney, Yushan Gunawardhana carrying the Sri Lanka Flag and Nilanka Abbey carrying the Australian flag, and dancers from the Vidhunaratne Dancing School.
Our cricketers were accompanied by past national team members of no mean repute, and part of the 1996 world cup winning team, and now part of the team as coaches, Marvan Atapattu, head coach and Chaminda Vas, bowling coach.
Another celebrity who attended was Asanka Gurusinghe, another member of the world cup winning team.
The formal proceedings of the evening began with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by Vice President SL Cricket Mohan De Silva and senior members of the Team, Patron Sri Lanka Cricket Sydney Prof Siri Kannangara and committee of Sri Lanka Cricket, Sydney.
A special word of recognition is due here to Professor Siri Kannangara who besides having been the medical consultant to virtually all cricket and other sports teams from Sri Lanka to visit Australia as long as one can recall, and a medical doctor accompanying several Australian Olympic teams and Soccer teams, had been and still is, one of the very ardent supporters, and above all, a friend of Sri Lankan cricketers, always on hand to be of some help to them.
A feature of the evening was audio visual presentation of a message from the Prime Minister of Australia, where he wished our team the best of luck in their journey towards the World Cup. No doubt this would be a great fillip to our team.
On behalf all those present, the Sri Lanka Cricket Sydney Inc honoured three outstanding performers of Sri Lanka cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tilekeratne Dilshan with special awards in recognition of their outstanding contribution to Sri Lanka Cricket
The unprecedented gathering of over 700 stood in unison and acknowledged with rapturous applause echoing the sentiments of the team manager Michael de Zoysa, the son of the famed Sri Lanka cricketer Lucien de Zoysa when he said “We did not come to Australia to leave without the World Cup”.
The organisers of the event had ensured that the full team and officials from Sri Lanka sat among the dinner guests, freely interacting with the throng of cricket fans. Many photos were taken and many autographs were signed and no doubt they all would have been loaded to Facebook pages instantaneously bringing hundreds and thousands of fans all over the world into this memorable event.
Russell Arnold, cricket commentator par excellence, and the co compere for the evening arranged a novel feature for the occasion by inviting the senior members of the team, all previous Sri Lankan captains of some form of ICC cricket at some stage or the other, led by the current captain Angelo Mathews, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga and Tilekaratne Dilshan to the stage and providing an opportunity for any guest to ask them questions.
Many questions were asked and the responses were deftly handled by all four cricketers in good humour. The answer that got the biggest applause was when Kumar Sangakkara responded to a question about being a good speaker, saying what matters was what one does on the field and not what and how one spoke! Later in the night, when team manager Michael De Zoysa called the team to leave in time and be ‘early to bed and early to rise’ for the practice sessions scheduled for the next morning, the throng present stood to cheer the team to wish them the best for the coming matches in the series.
The co-compere, Duke Ramachandran conducted the auction of cricket memorabilia, the grand raffle and drew the attendees on to the dance floor to dance and prance to the rhythm of band the Redemptions. A magnificent function, thanks to Chanaka Senanayake, the President Sri Lanka Cricket Sydney, Inc. the SLSC Committee and especially the event co-ordinators, Manjula Arachige and Senanie de Silva
In their speeches, both the President of Sri Lanka Cricket Sydney Chanaka Senanayake, and Senanie de Silva, the Co Event Coordinator of SLCricket Sydney mentioned the importance of the role played by their sponsors Tri Star Sports, Wolvert apartments and Novel Tea and said their gratitude for their assistance.
SL Cricket, represented by Vice President Mohan de Silva, conveyed to the SL Cricket Sydney President & Committee his gratitude for orgainsisng this function, and also conveyed that of their President Jayantha Dharmadasa.
Senanie De Silva in her vote of thanks, made special mention of the wonderful efforts of the Waterview staff on duty in doing a very difficult job of serving a three course meal to some 710 guests within a short space of time, and Associate Sales Director Gilbert Khoury, Lisa Saba Event Co-coordinator and Event Manager of the Function Mathew for all their help and great service.
Senanie also thanked Radika of Orange Blossom Florists for the beautiful floral arrangements, Joint Coordinator Manjula Don Arachchige and his graphic designer wife Deepika of Digital Copy Centre for doing a great job with the Souvenir to mark this special occasion. Senanie also thanked the band, Redemptions, which played some superb music and had many a toe tapping and itching to get on the floor and dance. Last but not least, Senanie thanked all those who made it to the function and encouraging our cricketers to do their very best in all the matches ahead of them.
Mr. Aswin De Silva assumes duties as the Chairman of National Savings Bank – eLanka is pleased to provide the following press releases from Sri Lanka and we wish Mr Aswin De Silva all the very best!
Mr. Aswin De Silva, a Senior Finance Professional assumed duties as the Chairman of the National Savings Bank (NSB) on 04th March, 2015.
Mr. Aswin De Silva’s diverse banking experience expanding well over a decade includes several senior managerial positions at American Express. These include areas of Finance, Credit and Corporate Banking. He also worked as the Country Manager at Amex Travel related services, in Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Mr. De Silva is also the recipient of the Prestigious Chairman’s Award for Quality at Amex. Mr. De Silva has also served at Associated Motorways Co. as the Group Finance Director and as GM/CEO at Ceylinco Savings Bank. Immediately preceding this appointment as the Chairman, NSB, he has served in the Senior Managerial capacity in the corporate sector in Sydney, Australia.
Mr. De Silva is a Fellow Member of the Institute of the Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL), a Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and FCPA (Australia).
The duty assuming ceremony took place at the NSB Head Office , Kollupitiya on 4th of March, 2015 in the presence, Hon. D. M. Swaminathan , Minister of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs and the newly appointed Directors , Mr D L P R Abeyaratne , Post Master General , Mr K M M Siriwardane , Director General, Department of Fiscal Policy , Mr. Bradley Emersion , Mr Wasantha Batagoda and Mr. Suranga Naullage . Mr. Dhammika Perera , GM /CEO and the senior management of NSB and special invitees too witnessed the event .
Thomians in NSW gather to celebrate ICC World Cup, Australia vs Sri Lanka
The STC OBA Committee, fresh from their successful hosting of the annual Royal-Thomian cricket ‘Carnival’ in Sydney, sat down to plan a suitable reception for the old boys who had travelled to Sydney to witness the ICC World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Australia. The chosen venue was the favourite watering-hole of many nationalities; the renowned Blue Elephant restaurant, located in Pennant Hills, in the salubrious shire of Hornsby.
Veteran presenter, dynamic Compere and ‘true-blue’ Thomian Duke Ramachandran, delivered a hearty welcome to an elite group present on the occasion. These ‘men and gentlemen’ had distinguished themselves at STC in years gone by, in their chosen sports. Randolph Morrell – Captain of First XI cricket; his team-mate L.S Perera (UK); Nihal Dias-Abeysinghe and Robin Labrooy (NSW); cricketers from a more recent era: C.P Richards (Sri Lanka); Saliya Ahangama (Victoria); Rugby greats Suraj Jayawickrema (NSW), Y.S De Soysa (Sri Lanka) and Niranjan Sunderaj (NSW) and boxing star Jeffery Wambeek (Sweden).
We were also privileged to have Mr Mohan De Silva, Vice President of the Sri Lankan Board of Cricket attend the event.
The organisers were pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming response from the OBA fraternity, both visitors and NSW residents. They came as it were, out of the woodwork(!), to meet old friends; to catch-up and reminisce. President Masefield and his band of merry men - Eksath, Richie, Rex, Indi, Duke, Kumar, Bob, Prabha, Shamilal, Nalin and Nihal had spared no effort to ensure the evening’s success.
Masefield delivered a “President’s” welcome, outlining the aims and objectives of the Association and the challenges facing it. He encouraged Thomians “near and far” to join the OBA and to share their talents with the global Thomian community. The “Family Night” scheduled for June 2015 was given a special ‘pitch’, particularly to residents of suburban Sydney. Masefield then introduced each member of the 2015 committee to the party, adding his sincere thanks to them for their service. This was indeed a nice touch.
Duke Ramachandran regaled the gathering with a selection of anecdotes drawn from his time at STC. Memorable sporting moments featured in the monologue. A riot of ‘story-telling’ ensued! Many friends were meeting for the first time in 40 or 50 years! But the years fell away as the ‘ties that bind’ strengthened with each passing hour, in the nurturing shade of the “Blue-Black-and-Blue’.
The only song sung that night was the College Anthem – “Thomians young and Thomians old”. It evoked many memories of battles won and lost, neither of which mattered now. We were just happy to be among contemporaries and heroes from our past. One such hero shared his thoughts with sincerity and simplicity. “And so”, he said, “I cannot quite understand how and why I am recognised by younger old Thomians in the way they choose to recognise me. I never knew what influence I was exerting when I was just being me at college.”
Senior Thomian introduced by MC Duke as ‘Warden’ Milroy delivered the after dinner speech which one could only term as a ‘masterpiece’ of literature. Articulated and delivered with mastery of a well seasoned orator Milroy entertained the guests with a narration which took Thomians down memory lane. Studded with snippets of incidents peculiar to THE ‘school by the sea’ Milroy reminded the gathering that Thomians are a special breed with inherent potential to make a difference. His speech was the highlight of the evening.
Each generation is blessed with heroes, particularly in the Sporting arena. They remain thus for years…until, with time, they too will fade away. But as long as they are around, they stand as tall and heroic as the day we first encountered them; and when they are gone, the memory’s fragrance lingers……………
Owning your second property is easier than you think
By William de Ora
Most people understand what it takes to become a homeowner. After all, it’s what most Australians aspire towards. However, taking the next step and purchasing a second property or thinking about becoming an investor can be a challenge for some.
Ask yourself this question:would you be willing to invest some time to find out how you could own a second property, especially if I were to say that it’s easier than you might currently think it is? If you have said “yes” then continue reading because here are some things for you to consider.
Look beyond your local area Recently I met with a Sri Lankan man who said he wanted to buy two properties. However, the reason why he hadn’t done anything about it was because the market was too expensive. For the purposes of this article let’s refer to this man as Asoka.
Upon further discussion I found out that Asoka’s viewpoint about the market was limited to his knowledge of the Sydney market. It’s fair to say that because his home is in Sydney, then his comfort zone was to look at buying his investment properties in the Sydney market.
Creating an investment property portfolio does not mean you are limited to only one market. Australia is your market. Therefore, open your mind to understanding what might be going on in other states. For instance Melbourne and Brisbane may offer you some very good opportunities.
Mindset & professional assistance If you are looking to get started in property investing, there are two points to consider if you want to avoid making some costly mistakes. They are both based on the premise that investing in property requires a different mindset, and that it is important to seek professional advice.
1. It is essential to recognise that property investing is not a hobby, nor is it just a nice thing to do. To become a successful investor, you need to treat the whole process as if you are running a business. If you were a business owner you would conduct a business analysis for any major decisions you had to make. Well the same is true for property.
2. Working with a team of professionals or specialists who know how to calculate the capital growth, cash flow and tax implications for the property you are about to invest in, as well as provide you with an understanding of the projected after-tax cost and rate of return is what your property analysis process will focus on.
The benefits of a property analysis In working through a property analysis process with Asoka he was surprised to learn is that he could afford to purchase his two investment properties. By learning about other markets, he realised that he could purchase a quality property within a 30-kilometre radius in Melbourne and Brisbane and that the equivalent property would cost him twice the amount in Sydney.
The next benefit for Asoka was to learn how to overcome his challenge of how he could afford to pay the mortgages on anything more than his home. The truth is you won’t be paying off the second mortgage by yourself. The rent and the tax rebates could cover all the payments for the second property. This is why it is important that you get property advice from the relevant professionals rather than trying to figure things out on your own.
Not only that, as a homeowner Asoka had already done the hard work through saving for a deposit and building the equity in his home. Accessing the equity in your own home helps you to kick-start your property investment portfolio. It allows you to invest in property, without the need to come up with a cash deposit.The bottom line is you could possibly own an investment property without having to put any cash out of your pocket.
Building an investment property portfolio is not some new fad. Therefore, my conversation with Asoka focused on the fact that if he did nothing simply because he didn’t know what to do, or how to go about it, or who to speak to, would only end up costing him in the long term.
The good news for Asoka is that by choosing to seek support he discovered that owning a second property could become a reality and it was far easier than he thought it would be.
If you have questions you can email William de Ora on: William@IPNA.com.au or phone on 0414 834 733. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
William de Ora is the founder of IPNA – Investment Properties for New Australians. He was born in Sri Lanka, and is a best selling co-author of three business books.
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The Traditional NSW Royal Thomian Derby at Doonside in Sydney Cnr Knox and Eastern Roads January 26th 2015 – Australia Day.
Australia day dawned in Sydney with a blanket of grey all over the city and suburbs. In what is typically Australia the Sunday had been a scorcher with fire bans in force. So many were somewhat surprised to wake up the next day to grey skies and an intermittent drizzle a good English summer’s day! The temperature was an almost freezing 22 degrees not ideal for summer shorts. Later in the day most of Sydney was rained out. Ironically the rain God’s showed their respect for the local Royal Thomian that was played at Kareela Reserve as players, Umpires and supporters braved the sporadic drizzles to attend the match.
Picture : STC Open team
2015 was the STC OBA’s turn to organise the match. The Royal and Thomian OBA’s had met a week before to flesh out some of the details in the lead up to the big day. Eksath Perera in the last days of his office as President of the STC OBA in NSW had discussed, in committee, the feasibility of inviting Thomian cricketing legend Barney Reid to grace the event as Chief Guest. Barney to his credit accepted with a wonderful mixture of gratitude and boundless enthusiasm. He arrived on the day draped in a full suit, College tie and Straw hat cutting a rather elegant presence as he moved around talking to Royalists and Thomians. Many in the crowd remembered a ground record that Barney created in his first match on the college grounds; 8 wickets for 2 runs against St Sebastian’s at Mount Lavinia.
Three matches were played on the day on two grounds. Each age group reflected their levels of agility and fitness. The classics batted, bowled and fielded more by lunging and plunging at thin air. The Masters were a tad more focused and agile but visibly displaying cracks and flat spots to indicate that they were preparing for their transition to the Classics team. The open game was the most professional exercise in as close to school boy tradition as possible. No favours were asked for or expected. The lads all played with plenty of focus and purpose. The watching crowd was entertained to some wonderful batting, bowling and fielding.
Picture : RC Open Team
There was a great display of sportsmanship displayed by both sides. Early in the classics game star Thomian striker Randolph managed to find a good enough reason to stop for a quick forty winks midway during a run. As soon as Randolph hit the deck the Royalists in a show of great sportsmanship immediately went to his aid ignoring an opportunity to run the batsmen out. Luckily for all Randolph recovered to continue his epic innings of 12 magnificent runs.
The captain of STC Classics game Randy Morrell made this comment “My lasting memory of this match is my tumble and injury and the Royalists very generous gesture of not running me out ! The very special Umpiring by our Chief Guest , Barney Reid , and this must be a first for this or any Competition anywhere in the world , and the weather which held out , and this was an achievement of its own , considering what went on in the rest of Sydney !
Picture : Masters Teams
Special thanks to those who came from “far and wide” Melbourne and Brisbane David Garth and Sri Bhawan to help us out.
Unfortunately on the day we were found wanting but not from lack of trying !”
The awards ceremony at the end of the day displayed the true spirit of friendship and mateship between Royalists and Thomians. The battles fought and finished on the field the men and women swapped tales of new and old. Many were the friendships that were rekindled on the day. Eksath conducted proceedings in a timely and professional manner introducing each award winner and inviting them to receive their respective awards presented by Barney Reid. DayaThayananthan the President of the Royal OBA was gracious in his vote of thanks to Graham Masefield the reigning President of the STC OBA in NSW for the organisation and operation of the big match by the STC OBA. Eksath thanked Barney and enlightened the audience, if it was ever needed, about the vast contributions the five Reid brothers had made to Thomian history. PrassanaKariyawasam thanked the players from both schools for their participation to uphold tradition and create history. He thanked the supporters for making the effort to be present adding colour and glamour to the occasion.
Picture : Classics Team
Barney spoke with passion and respect about Royal resilience and Thomain grit briefly touching on his experiences as a player for STC and as a coach for STC. He spoke with passion and down to earth sincerity and so endeared himself to an appreciative audience and supporters from both schools. Such were the memories kindled by Barney’s fine speech that when the Old Boys of both schools stood up to sing their college songs it was lusty, full of spirit and passion. In a wonderful display of mateship many were the Royalists who lent their voices to the Thomian anthem as were Thomians who did the same when the Royalists sang. The audience was moved to observe how Barney gently positioned himself between two Royalists, his big arms draped on their shoulders, belting out the Royal anthem; neither a word nor note was missed – such is the Royal Thomian spirit it simply uplifts and empowers. The day ended with the enthusiastic and passionate singing of the Thomian and Royal College songs.
Estoperpetua Disceautdiscede Pictures of the days happening can be viewed at the following Gallery Link
Nalika Padmasena has won the Premier's Harmony Award for her outstanding work helping women suffering from family and domestic violence. Photo: Edwina Pickles
For Sinhalese migrant Nalika Padmasena her work helping women from culturally diverse backgrounds to speak about domestic and family violence, helped to ease her own homesickness.
Arriving from Sri Lanka during the unrest of the mid-1990s, Ms Padmasena took her mind off her own troubles by helping other women to open up and get help for an issue which has long been considered taboo in many cultures.
Her dedication was recognised on Thursday night when Premier Mike Baird awarded her the prestigious Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Harmony Award in front of more than 1300 people at the annual dinner at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse.
Mr Baird said the award recognised the work she has done "to inform female migrants of their legal rights while providing safe environments for them to speak out about domestic violence".
It is the fourth annual harmony awards and dinner and this year six people were also recognised for their contribution to multiculturalism with medals.
The Youth Award was won by Sarah Yahya for helping Mandean refugees, the Youth Encouragement Award by William Ho for advocating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights. The Lifetime Community Service Award was won by Ruben Amores, the Arts and Culture Award by Paroula Galelis-Thurban for championing the understanding of Greek culture through language and dance. John Kutte Moi won the regional communities award for representing the African community in Wagga Wagga and Jim Feng won the Economic Participation Award for enhancing collaboration between Australia and China establishing a technology investment committee.
Minister for Communities and Citizenship, Victor Dominello, said the Harmony Dinner is an opportunity to showcase the rich heritage of our many multicultural communities and celebrate shared values.
Ms Padmasena told Fairfax Media that because migrant women are quite often isolated from their own families, it can make it even harder for them to talk about what they may be going through.
"One case that sticks in my mind is a woman who never spoke at all. She would come and attend our group but would not say a word."
Eventually, with help, the woman felt safe enough to reveal the horrendous physical and psychological abuse she had suffered over many years. She told Ms Padmasena she was so isolated she was not even allowed to socialise with other people. Her hobby of traditional craftmaking was also banned by her then husband who would destroy any craftwork he found.
Ms Padmasena said the work she undertook was "very emotional" and she understood the isolation felt by migrant women having arrived in Australia with just her husband and no other family.
"In a way helping them was a way of dealing with my own homesickness. I missed my country a lot," she said.
Sunday leader, Digestive Benefits Of Fermented Foods
By Dr Harold Gunatillake FRCS, AM (Sing), FICS, FIACS, MBBS
Early records show that Chinese workers ate acid-fermented vegetables while building the great wall of china, Japan traditionally serves pickled vegetables with their meals. pickled onions, aubergines, cucumber, mustard, vinegar, and all that go into the fermentation of pickles. Pickling is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine (salt water) or vinegar. The pH drops to about 4.6 or lower in pickling which is sufficient to kill most bacteria .
For centuries humans used methods of fermentation to preserve food long before they invented fridges and ice cubes for the purpose. Native Americans buried from sauerkraut in Russia to cheese in Baghdad and vegetables in earthen pots, these foods have been valued for hundreds of years.Today there is a surge in the popularity of fermented foods, such as fermented vegetables, but also fermented sweet ice teas, like kombucha or its milky equivalent, kefir.
Then, spices and salt became popular to preserve food especially in the sailing boats during long periods at sea. History tells us that Portuguese sailed all the way to Serendib (Ceylon) to purchase spices like cardamoms, cinnamon and others to use mainly for preserving food, mainly animal products.
Today, fermented foods are becoming popular for its benefits in enhancing the gut flora- bacteria that are friendly, keeping our guts free of disease producing microbes. Infact, they encourage the growth of “good’ microorganisms, while preventing the growth of spoilage-causing microorganisms. Fermented foods ranging from sauerkraut to yogurt have become a boon to the gut to benefit not only to feed the friendly bacteria but also possibly for allergies and even weight loss.
Bacteria or yeast feeds on the natural sugars in our foods. These microorganisms create compounds such as lactic acid or alcohol which facilitates to preserve the foods. The Lactic acid produced during food fermentation promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the small gut.
Lactic acid also enhances food digestibility and increases vitamin C and vitamin A levels. Lactic acid seems to remove toxins from the gut, too. If you have chronic digestive problems like IBS, or Acid reflux symptoms among others, it is not possible to cure such diseases through medication. Today, it has been found that a balance between beneficial bacteria and disease-causing bacteria in the gut can relieve most symptoms of digestive problems. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods. Sour milk products have been a part of the diet among our ancestors, since the collecting of milk from animals began. In Sri Lanka, the southern part of the coastal region is famous for curd, which is purely a fermented treat. The saying goes that there is always a place in the stomach for curd and honey, even when it is over-filled with food. What this means is that curd has a beneficial effect for digestion of the rice and curry meal.
Yogurt Yogurt is simply milk or cream that is cultured with active live cultures of bacteria. These bacteria prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that cause diseases in your gut. It is also referred to as a pro-biotic. It is also considered a natural antibiotic. Eating a cup of plain low sugar yogurt daily is beneficial to maintain a healthy flora in the gut.
Probiotics According to the adopted definition by FAO/WHO probiotics are: “Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host. The most common types of bacteria used as probiotics are Lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria, and certain yeasts and other bacilli may also be helpful”.
(Prebiotics are a special form of dietary fibre found naturally in foods including whole grains, bananas, garlic, onions)
The difference between having antibiotics and pro-biotic for gut bacterial infections is, that the former will destroy the good beneficial germs, whilst the latter will nurture the healthy bacterial flora. Eating yoghurt regularly can help restore your good bacteria levels. Yoghurt is also beneficial to individuals having lactose intolerance, as the active live cultures reduce yoghurt’s level of lactose.
Early records show that Chinese workers ate acid-fermented vegetables while building the Great Wall of China. Japan traditionally serves pickled vegetables with their meals. Pickled onions, aubergines, cucumber, mustard, vinegar, and all that go into the fermentation of pickles. Pickling is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine (salt water) or vinegar. The pH drops to about 4.6 or lower in pickling which is sufficient to kill most bacteria.
Antimicrobial herbs and spices such as mustard seed, garlic cinnamon or cloves are often added.Pickle or Achcharu as it is called, considered popularly ‘rice pullers’ and served with meals in most homes in Sri Lanka. The older the pickle, more mature and seasoned it is, the better its quality and benefits. Koreans seem to ferment cabbage and was considered a most beneficial healing agent since early humans. Korean dish kimchi; soybeans into miso are other Korean fermented foods.
Beer drinkers should be happy that beer is an alcoholic beverage produced by saccharification of starch and fermentation of the resulting sugar. Beer also is flavoured with herbs or fruit, and should be considered a friendly drink to the gut. It is the oldest fermented beverage. Beer should be sipped whilst enjoying a meal, which is more beneficial and friendly to the gut and digestion of food – just one drink.
Help low acidity in the stomach Gastric juice is mainly composed of acid (hydrochloric acid). Fermented foods help to correct the acid balance in the stomach. When the production of hydrochloric acid by the stomach lining is low, fermented foods help increase the acidity of gastric juices. On the other hand, when the stomach produces too much acid, fermented foods help protect the stomach and intestinal lining.
When you do not have much of an appetite for food, adding fermented pickled foods creates an appetite by increasing the acid juice in the stomach.
It is beneficial for a balanced functioning of your gut, to eat a small portion of traditional fermented foods on a very regular basis, may be daily with your rice and curry, or in your sandwich.
Chronic constipation. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which helps to transmit nerve impulses. This action, increases the movement of the bowel, and can help relieve constipation problems. Fermented foods also increase the production of all enzymes, such as those secreted by the pancreas, stomach and small gut and act as digestive aids. It is suggested that 95% of serotonin neurotransmitters and feel-good hormone come from the gut rather than from the brain and further 85% of our immune system is manufactured in the lining of our gut. Keeping and maintaining a healthy gut by consuming fermented foods encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms.
Fermented foods helps diabetes The acids in fermented foods — lactic and acetic acid – block carbohydrates from entering the blood and turning into blood sugar, reducing spikes. And these benefits can carry over to the next meal.
Fermented foods are lower on the glycaemic index than non-fermented foods. This helps the diabetics to maintain a healthy weight because fermented foods are low in carbohydrates and prevent blood sugar spikes. Eating chutneys, pickles, and other fermented foods daily is good for you. So, to be healthy, introduce fermented foods into your daily diet. Sip a chilled glass of beer with your food.
When I was invited to write an article on the Royal-Thomian by the Editor of ‘The Nation’ my thoughts went back to a Big Match supplement I was involved in a long time ago. That was in 2007. ‘The Nation’ came out with a special supplement. I remember it as the best Big Match supplement ever though I say so myself, having been part of that project. A bit of braggadocio, true enough, but that’s part and parcel of the Royal-Thomian, an event where there’s a bit of everything coming together to make a splendid entirety.
What is the Royal-Thomian? Someone might say ‘one of about 100 big matches played in the months of March and April’. That someone would have to be ignorant. Sure, there are dozens of big-matches, but by and large the term has been robbed to get a bit of reflected glory. Sure, they all have cycle parades, papare bands, fancy dresses, souvenirs, flags and other frills. But there is only one Big Match. The Royal-Thomian. It was the first and it is ‘the only’.
It is not just three days of cricket between teams from two prestigious schools with long histories. It is in fact a week long feast of fun and frolic. When it comes to size (however you want to measure it) nothing compares with the Royal-Thomian. Talk of tradition, rivalry, entertainment, sportsmanship, spectacle and all round class, and you’ll note that nothing can beat the Royal-Thomian.
There are books that can be written about the Royal-Thomian. It is special to all Royalists and all Thomians for a countless number of reasons. This is why accounts of the Big Match tend to be ever fresh even though it has been played annually for almost a century and a half now. No, it’s not because of technological advances adding a bit more color and more pleasing sounds. It is because the Royal-Thomian is an anything-goes kind of event.
I could recall the ‘unforgettables’ of the particular year, talk of the cricket, the outstanding performances, the euphoria over victory and the bite-your-lip-and-bear of the defeats. But this time, the one thing that stands out is the unspoken gentlemen’s agreement, ‘what happens at the Royal-Thomian stays at the Royal-Thomian’.
That was one place where we could be truly free, regardless of the constraints and limits we encountered day in and day out elsewhere. We were free not just to be who we are, relive our schooldays etc., but more than that to rant and rave over anything and everything. Name, status and other distinctions matter very little. Outside the SSC, it seemed, there were some who could abuse and get away and others had to shrug, grin and bear. At the Royal-Thomian it was different. You were free to speak your mind. It was like an oasis in the middle of a freedom-of-expression desert. Things have changed quite a bit since of late, I am sure both Royalists and Thomians would agree. Today you can criticize anyone, anywhere. Inside the SSC and outside. In fact you can be in the Government and still criticize it, almost as though you are in the Opposition.
Every year, for example, you would see the then Leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe spending some time in the Mustangs, Colts, Stallions and the Stables where he would be welcomed and his arrival announced to anyone who might be listening. Every year he would be the recipient of a bit of praise and the target of mischievous banter. Every year, he would respond with some choice observations relating to the two schools, lacing it all with political references that invariably prompted laughter and cheers. And then he would leave and everyone would get on with whatever they had been doing.
This year it will be different because he won’t be introduced as ‘the permanent Leader of the Opposition’ by some mischievous Thomian.
This year things are different outside the Royal-Thomian as well. This is the first time that Sri Lanka has a President and a Prime Minister from the same school, the former from Polonnaruwa and the latter from Kurunduwatte. In the larger political framework, one can argue that the Royal College attended by Ranil Wickremesinghe is but a branch of the Polonnaruwa school. We can argue until the last ball has been delivered on Saturday and well into the post-match revelry about who is whose subset, but one thing is clear: there are way too many Royalists in the Cabinet. I am sure this will be pointed out to Ranil when he makes his rounds at the Big Match this year.
He will be told, for example, that he could learn a lesson from the Royal-Thomian. The longevity of the encounter can be attributed to the fact that Thomians indulged Royalists year after year after year for almost a century and a half. Thomians will also argue that Royal’s biggest achievement is getting the opportunity to play against St Thomas! They will say that if he wants to go the distance or play a longer innings to keep with the metaphor of the moment then he badly needs Thomian support. They will remind him that without St Thomas’ College there won’t be a Royal-Thomian. Ranil will no doubt shoot from the hip and also hit his mark as he has on such occasions.
This is what is quaint about the Royal-Thomian. Politicians, whatever their persuasion, are indulged. They are not treated as larger than life personalities. Politicians for their part leave self-importance at the gate and behave like any other Old Royalist or Old Thomian. I might add that it is unlikely that any politician of any importance would feel as safe anywhere else.
In a sense the general understanding of what’s ok and what’s not that so defines the Royal-Thomian is something that is sorely lacking in the overall political culture of Sri Lanka. Perhaps only a Royalist or a Thomian could inscribe these tolerant, benign and cheerful ways of interacting with ‘arch enemies’ into the overall political culture. For those who are at the match and might be reading this or those who are taken to the SSC by the words and pictures on these pages, it won’t really matter. The Royal-Thomian is an equalizer. It lifts you up. And, if this is your choice or a product of your choices, you can go horizontal too. Your day, your match, your options. It is almost a different country.
Yes, that’s one way of answering the question, ‘What is the Royal-Thomian?’ In short, it is a different country. A different country in the sense of a different way of being and seeing which, if expanded, can turn the larger nation around. Whatever is wholesome about the Royal-Thomian can be projected to encompass the entire country. Just the wholesome parts, it goes without saying. -
Australia and New Zealand will host the ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2015
14 Feb. 2015 vs England at the MCG 21 Feb. vs Bangladesh at the Gabba 28 Feb. vs New Zealand at Eden Park 4 Mar. vs Afghanistan at the WACA 8 Mar. vs Sri Lanka at the SCG 14 Mar. vs Scotland at Bellerive
20 Mar. Quarter Final 3 at Adelaide 21 Mar. Quarter Final 4 at Wellington 24 Mar. Semi Final 1 at Eden Park 26 Mar. Semi Final 2 at SCG 29 Mar. FINAL at MCG
Meditation Even if you manage to sit with your mind open to meditation for a 5 minutes it can help you immensely. Meditation not only clears your mind, but also helps in stabilizing and streamlining your thoughts.
Obesity is not a disease
Professor Campbell says that "obesity does not always appear to cause medical consequences". She says in up to 30 per cent of people, obesity itself isn't a disease.
A 2012 study done by scientists at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital notes that in most people, obesity and insulin resistance coexist. Insulin resistant people are more likely to be obese. However, the study showed that was not always the case. "A unique group of obese individuals... exhibited better insulin sensitivity than expected" for their body fat levels, it said.
Professor Campbell, who worked on the study,tells Fact Check that "one third of people who are obese don't have metabolic problems, and it doesn't necessarily make you sick".
She says by calling it a disease "we actually burden the ones that, as far as we know, are fat by our definitions, but have no obvious consequence, and we shouldn't necessarily medicalise them".
Sri Lankan lady in chic costume. She is married and having three kids
This pen will help diabetics monitor blood sugar levels
WASHINGTON: Ballpoint pens filled with high-tech bio-inks can be used to draw sensors directly on the skin to help detect glucose levels in diabetics, scientists say. The research leads to an era when anyone will be able to build sensors, anywhere, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego.
The team has developed high-tech bio-inks that react with several chemicals, including glucose. They filled off-the-shelf ballpoint pens with the inks and were able to draw sensors to measure glucose directly on the skin and sensors to measure pollution on leaves. Researchers envision sensors drawn directly on smartphones for personalized and inexpensive health monitoring or on external building walls for monitoring of toxic gas pollutants.
The team used pens, loaded with an ink that reacts to glucose, to draw reusable glucose-measuring sensors on a pattern printed on a transparent, flexible material which includes an electrode.
Fermenting is the new food trend
Fermenting is an ancient 8000-year-old practice, responsible for delights like kimchi, natto, sauerkraut, chutneys, yoghurt, wine and cheese.
Gillian Kozicki with her homemade kombucha.
But as science reveals more about the benefits of good bacteria, which fermented foods contain, we are seeing a surge in its popularity.
There are also probiotic pills and drinks (the arguably beneficial Yakult, for instance). Even fermented supplement powders (I've been experimenting with The Beauty Chef's Inner Beauty Powder and am a firm fan) have hit the market. But, the real rage is DIY versions; fermented vegetables, but also fermented sweet ice teas, like kombucha or its milky equivalent, kefir.
The idea of populating the body with health-giving bacteria as well as the connection back to the process via DIY made sense to Kozicki. She has "had a kitchen bench covered in ferments ever since" and now runs courses in how to make your own.
The demand for courses is skyrocketing, she says, and her skin and energy levels have improved and her inflammation has gone. "More, the things that were bad went out - the cravings for potato chips and chocolate went and as I started to feel better then I started to exercise," she admits, ackowledging that the introduction of fermented foods is just one component of nourishing our bodies to better health
Are you somebody that cannot do without a few cups of coffee throughout the day to keep you going? If so, you may be cheered to hear that a new study has suggested drinking three to five cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of clogged arteries and heart attacks.
President's Media Division recently announced that the former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Chris Nonis has been appointed as the Presidential Advisor on international affairs.
A new variety of mango will be cultivated in 5,000 acres in the North Central Province in the Yala Season. The project will be implemented on the directives of North Central Province Chief Minister Peshala Jayarathne, sources said. Five hundred mango plants called Tom and Jeshy will be cultivated at the first stage. Farmers are able to earn over Rs. 10,000 from one mango tree in a season.
Feeling light as a feather, free-flying and a bird's view of the scenery below make up what the paragliding experience is and Sri Lanka recently became acquainted with this exciting sport. The sport allows for a safe way to soar above land in the air. The tropical climate of Sri Lanka provides the perfect wind conditions for paragliding and the scenic views.
After months of anticipation the first leg of the Girl Power Inter School Old Girls Sports meet flaged off recently at Independence Square, when 'Old Girls' from Holy Family Convent, Ladies', Methodist, Musaeus Colleges, St Paul's Milagiriya and Visakha Vidyalaya competed in the first-ever race of its kind.
David Martil, Captain of Sri Lanka Golf team of Ca, presents Trophy to the Indian Team Captain, Col. Vinod Chhabra. The Indian Golf team beat the Sri Lankan team 7 to 5 at the 4th annual Golf challenge held at Simi Hills Golf course, on February 21st, 2015. The tournament was match play, 24 in each team, playing in pairs. The 5 winning Sri Lankan golf pairs were, Mohan Chandramohan and Denham Emersley; JD Jitendran and Naresh Moonesinghe; Jonathan Mather and Dr Roy Rosario; Tony Fernando and David Meija and Dr Naj Nagendran and Jason Liyanage. David Martil Captained the Sri Lanka team with Mervyn Peris as his Vice Captain. The tournament was sponsored jointly by Golf India USA and the SLAGC of Ca.
Sri Lanka Woos UK Travellers For Weddings and Honeymoons
With a view of developing a new product segment for UK travellers, Sri Lanka Tourism took a strategic decision in partnership with the industry to showcase Sri Lanka as a premium travel destination in the UK's original and largest wedding event at the National Wedding Show in London recently.
Yoganathan Elected to National Academy of Engineers
Ajit Yoganathan, who helped start, cultivate and grow one of the nation's leading biomedical engineering departments at the Georgia Institute of Technology, was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional honors accorded an engineer. And in typical fashion, Yoganathan says it's always been about the work. Yoganathan's research deals with experimental and computational fluid mechanics as it pertains to artificial heart valves, left and right sides of the heart, and congenital heart diseases. His work involves the use of laser Doppler velocimetry, digital particle image velocimetry, cardiac Doppler ultrasound and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to non-invasively study and quantify blood flow patterns in the cardiovascular system.
The Dynasty Residences in Kandy Will Be Completed in Early 2016
The Dynasty Residence apartment project, being built on the banks of the Mahaweli River in the ancient city of Kandy, promises to be the first and last of its kind. Construction of the much-anticipated project is now underway and heading towards a speedy completion set for April 2016 or sooner.
Founder and Chairman of GVR Lanka Ltd., Mahasen Samaravijaya, stated: "As the developer and the promoter of this project, I am so excited to see that my dream of creating a luxury residential apartment and a star-class hotel next to each other is finally coming true. This project was founded by two Sri Lankan-born, US-based entrepreneurs, Mohan Chandramohan and Mahasen Samaravijaya.
In Sri Lanka for little under a month, Kumar presented 'A Culinary Journey with Kumar Pereira MasterChef All-Star - Australia' on two consecutive nights with two seatings per night at the Mews on 10 and 11 March. The Sri Lankan fusion menu promised 'a multicourse meal comprising a selection of entrées, mains and desserts that give a taste of traditional Sri Lankan favourites with a contemporary twist'. Kumar is the brother of Manik Pereira of Pership.
When Chinese and Indian Leaders Visited Ceylon (1957)
Zhou Enlai addresses Parliament. Speaker H.S. Ismail and Vice Premier He Long are seated. In 1957. Under the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna banner, SLFP Leader S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike had won a landslide victory over the UNP in April 1956 and formed the Government. He announced that the Government would follow a non-aligned policy in foreign affairs. Leaders of neighbouring countries were invited to visit Ceylon. Within four months in early 1957, the Prime Ministers of India and China were in Colombo as State guests.
Indian Prime Minister greets the crowds in Colombo in 1957.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today discussed with her Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera, the possibility of resuming ferry services between the two countries. The service between Colombo and Tuticorin was operational in 2011 but had to be suspended as it was not found to be commercially viable. The ferry service between Rameswaram and Thalaimannar came to a halt in the 1980s.
SAMSON A. PEIRIS, loving husband of Anula, and father of Ravi, Ralph, Dinusha, Priyanthi, Shalini and Rehana, brother of late Samathapala Peiris and Hema Fernando, father-in-law of Kush Lalwani, Gabriel Gnanapragasam, Niranjan Jayawardana and Matthew Baker, passed away at his home in Colton California. Born in Moratuwa, he was proud to be a Sri Lankan, as he spoke of his many affiliations. Sam Peiris was very popular among the Sri Lankan community in Los Angeles. He revered the Buddhist Temple and participated in many events from dances to community gatherings. He had a jovial presence about him and was always hospitable to all he met. Sam Peiris emphasized the importance of education to his six children who all became degreed professionals. He led by example. Sam Peiris was a renowned Engineer who was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the United States with supporting scholarships to the United Kingdom and Germany. He studied at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and became a Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Alabama, specializing in Structural and Design Engineering. Sam worked as Chief Engineer at the Ceylon Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (CISIR) before moving to USA where he held different positions in the field of Structural and Design Engineering at Rust Engineering, Black & Veatch, Jacobs Engineering and Martin & Peltyn Inc, just to name a few. Many of you will remember him when you see the Brooklyn Bridge in Las Vegas, Nevada, a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, uniquely designed by Sam Peiris. His wife, six children and nine grandchildren whom he doted on, will carry on Sam's legacy. He will be sorely missed. Burial services will be held on March 14, 2015 at Forest Lawn Covina Hills, 21300 Via Verde Drive, Covina, CA 91724 at 2:00 p.m. Viewing hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Dr. Rohan Wickramasuriya (82)
Dr. Rohan Wickramasuriya, Rony to all who knew him, passed away on January 19, 2015, barely a week short of his 82nd birthday. Rony was born in his parental home Carlton in Tangalle in 1933, the son of Charles and Riseena Wickramasuriya, he was one of a family of seven boys, the others being Carl, George, Nihal, Wimal, Sunil, & Tissa.
Recipes From Roma
Chilled Green Pea and Mint Soup
Ingredients. 6 cups chicken Stock 1 small onion with 6 cloves stuck into it. 2 cloves Garlic 1 teaspoon Tarragon 2 packets frozen Green Peas Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste 3 cups heavy Cream OR Plain Yoghurt Finely chopped fresh Mint Leaves
Method. Put Chicken stock, Onion, Garlic, Tarragon and Peas in pot and cook till Peas are just tender. Remove and discard onion. Add Salt and Pepper as desired. Blend till smooth. Add heavy Cream OR Plain Yoghurt and serve well chilled with a generous sprinkling of Mint.
Happy St.Patrick's Day. Enjoy serving this with your Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner. email me with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Roma's Shrimp Curry is a Big Hit!
Roma's shrimp curry recipe in the last issue of GOOD NEWS was tried out by many. Above is photo of the curry made by one person "It tasted great and it was so easy to make" said Rani Perera of Canoga Park, California.
Diabetes, a disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood, is more common than ever before. In Sri Lanka, diabetics have more than quadrupled in the past two decades. Not only are more people being diagnosed with diabetes, they’re also developing the disease at younger ages. Due to economic reasons, most people find it difficult to purchase a glucometer, which is in the price range of Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000, and further every test strip costs over Rs 25. Testing daily blood glucose level, even just once, would cost a diabetic Rs 700 per month. In most developed countries a Medicare system helps the people for them to undergone a series of blood tests with no cost. In Sri Lanka the very basic tests costs over Rs 1,000 per item. As a consequence, people do not bother to undergo annual routine tests as a preventive measure, unless they are ill and a doctor prescribes them relevant diagnostic tests. Studies have shown that eating rice in bulk for the main meal can lead to increased insulin resistance. The spicy curries are stimulants and appetizers to eat more rice. In addition they indulge in “rice pullers’ meaning pickled delicacies for added taste. Insulin resistance (also called Insulin Resistance Syndrome) means your cells have become less sensitive to the effects of insulin, the hormone secreted by the pancreatic gland which helps glucose (from food) to enter cells where it is turned into energy. This provokes the pancreas to over-compensate by working harder and releasing even more insulin. In simple terms, this combination of insulin-resistance and insulin over-production leads to two common outcomes: diabetes or obesity combined with high cholesterol and increased rates of heart disease. In the early stages there are no outward physical symptoms of insulin resistance. A glucose-tolerance test, which measures insulin and blood-glucose, can help verify if a person is insulin resistant. But many people who are insulin resistant produce enough quantities of insulin to maintain near normal blood-glucose levels. Most or all people in Asian countries, including Sri Lanka, eat rice as their main meal. For breakfast too, foods like indiappams (String hoppers), rotties, are cooked using rice and wheat flour, causing further insulin resistance. Even for dinner, most families eat hoppers, paratas and other foods prepared with flour. Another issue with high carbohydrate intake in addition to insulin resistance is obesity caused by increase size of fat cells in the body. Anything that works to transport more glucose into fat cells will lead to the conversion of more fatty acids into triglycerides and more storage of fat (i.e. weight gain). The easiest and most effective way of achieving this fat storage environment is to eat carbohydrates. The body breaks carbohydrates into glucose, causing blood glucose levels to rise and making glucose widely available for it. Furthermore carbohydrate breaking down into glucose causes releasing insulin and insulin facilitates fat storage. So, eat carbs and you gain weight easily and highly. Avoid carbs and the body can burn its own fuel – that means your body fat – i.e. weight loss. How to improve Insulin Resistance? People who are predisposed to insulin resistance, or those who suffer from a lesser form of insulin insensitivity, can help alleviate the problem by taking positive action, as follows: •Follow a balanced healthy diet plan, which follows the guidelines as contained in the Low Glycaemic Index Pyramid. In general, this entails reducing your intake of refined carbs and sugary foods, while upping your intake of healthy carbs from fruits, vegetables and beans. Good quality monounsaturated fats, lean protein and lower-fat dairy foods are also valuable elements in the diet. Data from the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study suggests that cutting back on refined grains and eating more whole grains in their place can improve insulin sensitivity. • Introduce regular physical exercise into your daily lifestyle. Gradually build up to 30-45 minutes of physical exercise per day. • For best results, consult your doctor before embarking on any dietary or fitness programme. Complications Most people are unaware of the disabling complication that they can get through negligence and ignorance in controlling these diseases. That’s alarming because the risks of complications from this common disease – which include heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputation – become greater the longer you have diabetes. But there’s good evidence that rigorous blood sugar control can delay or even prevent the development of debilitating long-term complications. Such tight control is now possible thanks to innovations such as high-tech monitoring devices, improved medications, and nearly painless insulin injectors. Diabetes is an expensive disease to cope with in developing countries. Most people cannot purchase the convenient insulin pens. One pen is over Rs. 1,000 and it contains injectable doses to last maximum only about a week. The poor need to visit the local hospital or the diabetic clinics daily for their soluble insulin shots and for checking blood sugar levels.
Trying to lose weight? Water revs up metabolism and helps you feel full. Replace calorie-filled beverages with water, and drink a glass before m eals to help you feel fuller.
Drinking more water helps amp up metabolism - especially if your glass is icy cold. Your body must work to warm the water up, burning a few extra calories in the process
Water Boosts Your Energy
If you're feeling drained and depleted, get a pick-me-up with water. Dehydration makes you feel tired.
The right amount of water will help your heart pump your blood more effectively.
And water can help your blood transport oxygen and other essential nutrients to your cells
Lower Stress with Water
About 70% to 80% of your brain tissue is water. If you're dehydrated, your body and your mind are stressed.
If you're feeling thirsty, you're already a little dehydrated.
To keep stress levels down, keep a glass of water at your desk or carry a sports bottle and sip regularly.
Build Muscle Tone with Water
Drinking water helps prevent muscle cramping and lubricates joints in the body.
When you're well hydrated, you can exercise longer and stronger without "hitting the wall."
Drinking water helps you to lose weight. Cold water drinking increases your metabolism
Pistachios are rich source of energy; 100 g of nuts contain 557 calories. In addition, they are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of antioxidants. Regular consumption of pistachios in the diet helps to lower total as well as bad LDL cholesterol and increases good HDL cholesterol levels within the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in dietary-fiber, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
They are rich source of many phyto-chemical substances that may contribute to their overall antioxidant activity, including carotenes, vitamin E, and polyphenolic antioxidant compounds. Research studies have been suggestive of that these compounds help the human body remove toxic oxygen-freeradicals and thus, protect the body from diseases, cancers, as well as infections.
Pistachios are an excellent source of vitaminE, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol; contain about 23 g per100 g. vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, essential for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin; offer protection from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
The nuts are packed with many important Bcomplex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
These nuts are the storehouse of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. 100 g nuts provide 144% of daily-recommended levels of copper. Copper is an essential trace mineral that is required in neurotransmission, metabolism, as well as red blood cell (RBC) synthesis.
Editor’s note: These nuts are calorie dense- go slow on eating if you have a weight problem.
Make the Right Choice as far as Carbs are concerned
Think of carbs as raw material that powers your body. You need them to make sugar for energy. They come in two types: simple and complex. What's the difference? Simple carbs are like quick-burning fuels. They break down fast into sugar in your system. You want to eat less of this type. Complex carbs are usually a better choice. It takes your body longer to break them down.
Ama Dance academy proudly presents another dance extravaganza to Melbourne art lovers celebrating their dance academy 10th anniversary. Another one of a kind event that will take Melbourne's breath away. At the Besen Center, Burwood.
Nalika Priyadharshi Padmasena - awarded the prestigious Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Harmony Award
KURUNEGALA-BORN Nalika Priyadharshi Padmasena, who encouraged women from culturally-diverse backgrounds to open up about family and domestic violence issues, has been presented the prestigious Stepan Kerkyasharian AO Harmony Award.
NSW Premier Mike Baird, who presented the award to the humble mother of one during his Harmony Dinner at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse earlier this month, said she is a great example to the community.
“Ms Padmasena worked in legal services at Toongabbie after arriving in Australia from Sri Lanka in 1995,” Mr Baird said.
“She chaired the Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association and volunteers at the Sinhalese language school at North Parramatta in her spare time.
“Women in Australia enjoy many rights that women in other countries do not. “Tonight we recognise the work she has done to inform female migrants of their legal rights while providing safe environments for them to speak out about domestic violence.
“I’m proud to offer Ms Padmasena this award “I’m proud to offer Ms Padmasena this award, which comes a week after I announced that if re-elected, the NSW Government would trial a scheme to allow suspecting women to access information on whether their partner has a history of violence.
“We live in one of the most multicultural states in the world and I would like to congratulate all winners of tonight’s Multicultural Community Medals for the contributions they make to ensure our society remains peaceful and harmonious.” Ms Padmasena said: “I am very happy to get this award and I can now see a difference in how women are talking more about domestic violence and also reporting it.
“The important thing is how we respond to this and provide them with the services they need.”
Ms Padmasena has worked to promote justice and human rights by providing forums for culturally-diverse communities to discuss family and domestic violence issues.
Her involvement with the Religion and Family Harmony project has facilitated discussion between religious and community leaders to develop solutions to local issues Ms Padmasena has held various positions, including treasurer of the Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association, and chairwoman Auburn Community Development Network Currently she is the Chairperson of Boronia Multicultural Services at Toongabbie and treasurer of Toongabbie Legal Centre.
Minister for Communities and Citizenship Victor Dominello said the Premier’s Harmony Dinner, now in its fourth year, was a celebration of cultural diversity — the state’s greatest economic and social asset.
Steven Croft: Sri Lanka is the reason why I play cricket
Lancashire's Steven Croft
Lancashire are enjoying a 10-day pre-season training camp in Sri Lanka – and new vice captain Steven Croft admits he would not be where he is today if it wasn’t for the cricket-mad country.
Croft and his Red Rose team-mates are preparing for the new season in the sweltering heat of Colombo, a place where the 30-year-old all-rounder once called home. In 1993, Croft’s father accepted a job in the city and took Steven with him.
A mad keen Blackpool football fan, the game of cricket had rarely registered on his radar. Out in Sri Lanka, he had little choice but to get into the game.
“There’s not much football going on out there, but cricket is everywhere, and that’s where I got into cricket really,” he said.
“They are cricket-mad out here, and any bit of spare land is taken up by a game.
“There can be as many as five games going on just one bit of land. They just love it.
“I was a mad footballer, and I don’t think I’d even picked up a cricket bat before I went. So I thank my dad for getting me into cricket that way.
“I lived out there for three years, 1993-1996. I went to school at Colombo International High, and I’m looking forward to going back to hopefully see a few familiar faces.”
One familiar face Croft will be catching up with is also no stranger to Lancashire fans – Championship-winning all-rounder Farveez Maharoof. “We are going to catch up with Roofy while we’re out here,” he said.
READ: Andrew Freddie Flintoff hits out at Lancashire “He’s very popular in our side, and we’re really looking forward to seeing him. I’m sure he’ll show us a few nice places that we didn’t know about.
“He fitted in really well with the side in 2011. There’s no bones about it, we didn’t have a lot of cash to spend, but he came over and wanted to get back into the international side.
“It’s an ideal opportunity to come over when your national side is also touring, and it’s the same with Peter Siddle this time.
Farveez Maharoof during his time at Lancashire
“With the Ashes later in the summer, there’s a bit of extra on it for him.
“Roofy got his call-up, and we were delighted for him because he gave his heart to Lancashire. He was really popular and fitted in well.
“He was an overseas player, but you just took him for one of the lads.
“He always asks if we need someone, and if it came about it would be great. His skills in Twenty20 are up there.
“It would be nice one day to see him in a Red Rose shirt again.”
The new committee of the Sri Lanka Association of NSW proudly promoted the Sri Lankan dance company from the Chithrasena dance Academy of Sri Lanka.
Mr Arun Abey, an entrepreneur & a member of the Sri Lanka Association, initiated the task to showcase Sri Lankan culture & heritage to a wider audience outside Sri Lanka.
The results are outstanding. Arun reports that the well known critics have given an excellent “Thumbs up” for this performance. Here are, some of the reviews by some well known critics, about this performance.
Deborah Jones of The Australian said: If there is a more immediately captivating dancer than Thaji Dias, I have yet to see her, or him…In the first solo, Dias reeled her audience in effortlessly with divinely articulated wrists, rippling shoulders, jaunty strides around the stage, the deepest and plushest plies and her warm, direct gaze. She is an artist of exceptional individuality
Bill Stephens of Canberra Critics Circle while also commenting on Thaji, then went on to commend the whole troupe: Her beautiful face serene and smiling, completely in the moment, and dancing with all the grace, skill, security and showmanship of a classical ballerina, Thaji Dias was truly mesmerising.
With these reviews it is fair to say that this performance was a great success.
You will be able to read all about it in the inside pages of this issue.
Back to work ...
After a short holiday break at the end of the year, most members of the new committee are back at the bench. SLA hosted the Chithrasena Dance company performers for a sumptuous dinner, as the first event of their new term of office. The committee hopes to follow this up with HSC high achiever recognition and the Seniors day. Updating of the 2002 constitution with necessary amendments is another high priority task of the committee. We also hope to run a series of information sessions on topics of special interest to our members and the community
Editorial - Australians of Sri Lankan Heritage ?
The first objective of Sri Lanka Association of NSW is stated as ‘To provide a common meeting ground for persons of Sri Lankan origin and to integrate with the Australian community on a multi-racial basis’. However there has been some recent debate about who the SLA represents and how we should describe our membership. In particular, it has been suggested that the SLA is best described as representing ‘Australians of Sri Lankan Heritage’. However, it is fundamental to the aims and objectives of the SLA that all Sri Lankans living in New South Wales should be welcome to membership and representation, regardless of their citizenship or migration status. This includes anyone with Sri Lankan roots living in New South Wales.
To understand who we are, it is helpful to look back at the history of Sri Lankan migration to Australia. There were very few Sri Lankan migrants in Australia prior to the 1950s. Then, in 1966, the Australian government made a watershed policy announcement which began the gradual dismantling of the White Australia Policy. The environment following these changes prompted many Sri Lankans of European heritage to find their way to Australia. Hence, the first wave of migrants to arrive here were Burghers, descended from the Dutch and Portuguese who colonised Sri Lanka.
From the 1970s onward, political upheavals in Sri Lanka prompted people with English education and professional backgrounds to look to the world outside Sri Lanka for greener pastures. A massive influx of migrants from Sri Lanka occurred in the late 1980s and the 90s. Many people discovered the opportunities in Australia and during this time roughly 2000 to 3000 persons arrived each year to resettle.
There is no single way to describe the experiences of these many Sri Lankan migrants. Some embraced the culture of their new home with ease, while others found it more difficult to integrate. Many of us, who have lived in Australia for years, or decades, still find our hearts in Sri Lanka.
If we look at the profile of our current SLA members, and more broadly at Sri Lankans in New South Wales, we discover an interesting mix. We are: Sri Lankan citizens, Australian citizens, dual citizens, Permanent Residents, for a start. Presently we also have a large student population and those seeking migration for family reunion. On top of that, the number of Sri Lankan nationals visiting Australia, and granted temporary entry, is about 14,000 per year since 2009. (Country profile report—Sri Lanka).
These individuals may not be Australian citizens, but they are equally entitled to representation by the SLA. It is not enough to say that we (SLA) are representing ‘Australians of Sri Lankan heritage’. The SLA does not seek to draw lines along differences in our membership,but rather seeks to galvanize our diverse community. The Sri Lanka Association of NSW is dedicated to the interests of all persons living in New South Wales from Sri Lankan heritage. So, however you identify with your Sri Lankan heritage, we value your participation and contribution in the SLA community.
Hema Perera - Editor
The heralding in of the New Year has also seen the appointment of a new committee for 2014/2015, in this 42nd year of the Sri Lanka Association of NSW. I am honoured to represent you, the Sri Lankan Community of NSW, as your President. The committee is comprised of a diverse group of people, ranging from those who have served in previous committees to the youth, all of whom are eager to initiate programmes that will benefit this Community.
Although the Association’s roots had a social purpose in connecting the small group of Sri Lankan migrants in NSW, it has evolved into a multifaceted organisation with focuses on education --and community service. Even though the Association has changed throughout the years, one thing has remained constant – the Sri Lanka Association of NSW has and always will remain an organisation that is open to all Sri Lankans and friends of Sri Lanka.
Ultimately, the Sri Lanka Association of NSW belongs to you, the membership. Therefore, I urge you to get involved and participate with your friends in the activities, programmes and events that are planned this year. We would also love to hear from you- whether you’re a new member to the Association or a longstanding one; and we welcome any suggestions or comments you may have.
Finally, I would like to thank the outgoing President, Mr Rajan Wijey and his committee for a job well done. I hope to see many of you at the events organised by the SLA and look forward to the year ahead! Ruwan Walpola—President, SLA NSW
An Eminent Sri Lankan of Pre-independence era–Ananda Coomaraswamy -
By Thiru Arumugam
“The artist is not a special kind of person; rather each person is a special kind of artist” Ananda Coomaraswamy.
Sir Muttu Coomaraswamy (1834-1879) was the first Ceylon Tamil Knight. He was a lawyer and Member of the Legislative Council of Ceylon. He was the first non-Christian Asian to be called to the English Bar. He married a wealthy English lady, Elizabeth Beeby, who was a Lady-inWaiting to Queen Victoria. They had one child, Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, who was born in Colombo in 1877.
Fig 1– Ananda Coomaraswamy (1877—1947)
Ananda grew up in England where he studied at the University of London, graduating with first class honours in Geology and Botany. He returned to Ceylon and in 1903 was appointed as the first Director of Mineralogical Surveys. In 1904 he identified the mineral Thorianite and his work on this subject led to the award of a Doctor of Science degree from the University of London.
He called it Uraninite in an article in Spolia Zeylanica and then followed an extended correspondence with double Nobel Prize winner Madam Curie about its radioactivity. She suggested that it be called 'Coomaranite' but he declined the honour.
After a few years he moved to India and studied Indian and South-East Asian Arts and Crafts, Religion and Metaphysics. He later wrote books on Buddhism such as 'Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism', 'Elements of Buddhist Iconography', 'The origin of the Buddha Image' and 'Hinduism and Buddhism'. He described his work as 'research not only in the field of Indian Art but at the same time in the wider field of the whole of traditional theory of Art and of the relation of man to his work, and in the fields of comparative religion and metaphysics to which the problems of iconography are a natural introduction'.
Encyclopaedia Britannica describes him as a 'pioneer historian of Indian Art and foremost interpreter of Indian culture to the West'. He set about dismantling Western prejudices about Asian Art through an affirmation of the beauty, integrity and spiritual density of traditional art in Ceylon and India. He was fluent in 36 languages, where he defined fluency in a language as the ability to read a scholarly article without referring to a dictionary. Anthony Ludovici the famous British writer and philosopher says of Coomaraswamy "Thanks to his command of Greek, Latin and Sanskrit, he was probably the greatest scholar of his age in the Scriptures of both East and West, and was therefore a formidable exponent of the philosophical and ontological foundations of his cultural doctrines". He refused to join the British armed services in World War I on the grounds that India and Ceylon were not independent and he was exiled from the British Empire and a bounty of 3000 Pounds placed on his head by the British Government.
He moved to USA in 1917 together with his extensive art collection. He was appointed Curator of Indian and Oriental Art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and worked there for the next thirty years until he retired in 1947. His entire private art collection was transferred to this Museum and the Asian collection there is described as 'among the finest in the Western world'. The Museum's Catalogue lists 1419 artworks as originating from the Coomaraswamy Collection. Even today the Head of this Section is designated as the 'Ananda Coomaraswamy Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art', and the Ananda Coomaraswamy Annual Lecture is held every year.
In 2002 James S Crouch published 'A Bibliography of Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy'. Crouch says that 'this book documents the remarkably productive career of one of the great minds of the 20th century'. The book describes in detail American, English and Indian first editions of 95 books by Coomaraswamy, plus descriptions of a further 96 books containing contributions by him and details of more than 900 contributions by him to periodicals and newspapers. What a prolific writer! No wonder it took Crouch 20 years to complete the Bibliography which runs to 430 pages. It is not surprising that Ananda Coomaraswamy has been described as the 'most distinguished Sri Lankan of our time'. Outlines of two selected books out of the 95 books by Coomaraswamy are given below.
Medieval Sinhalese Art
This was Coomaraswamy's first major book and it was published in 1908. The full title of the book is "Medieval Sinhalese Art: Being a Monograph on Medieval Sinhalese Arts and Crafts, mainly as surviving in the eighteenth century, with an account of the structure of Society and the status of Craftsmen". It has 340 pages with 55 plates consisting of multiple photographs and 153 illustrations. The photos were selected from over 1000 relevant photographs taken by his English wife Ethel Mary Coomaraswamy (nee Partridge) on glass plate negatives which was the technology of the day. To avoid going cap in hand to Publishers begging them to publish his book, Coomaraswamy did the next best thing and bought the ailing Essex House Press. Using his considerable inherited wealth he bought a small church called Norman Chapel in Broad Campden in Gloucestershire. He used part of the premises as his residence and moved the machinery of Essex House Press to the rest of the building. Hand printing of the book started in September 1907 and was completed in December 1908. The layout of the book, which is a work of art in its own right, and the printing of the 425 copies were supervised by him. Copies of this first edition are quite rare in Australia, only two copies are traceable in libraries open to the public and the estricted access copy in the New South Wales State Library is numbered No. 313 of 425 copies. Coomaraswamy believed that in traditional societies there was no distinction between fine arts and other arts nor between religious and secular arts. He says in the book that rural arts and crafts are "the only true art discoverable in Ceylon today. In a few years it may be gone for ever.
I have tried to make a picture of it, before it is too late". The reason for its probable disappearance he says is that " In Ceylon as in India, the direct and indirect influence of contact with the West has been fatal to the arts.
The two most direct causes of this adverse influence have been the destruction of the organisation of state craftsmen, following British occupation and that this occupation "has driven the village weaver from his loom, the craftsmen from his tools, the ploughman from his songs and has divorced art from labour". Among the subjects discussed and illustrated in detail in this 340 page large sized (35 by 27 cm) comprehensive study of the subject are: Elements of Sinhalese Design and Ornament; Architecture; Woodwork; Stonework; Figure Sculpture; Painting; Ivory, Bone, Horn and Shell work; Metal work - Iron, Brass, Copper and Bronze; Gold and Silver; Jewellery; Lac work; Earthenware; Potter's songs; Weaving; Embroidery; and Mat Weaving and Dyeing. As a typical example of an illustration from the book, Fig 2 shows Bherunda Pakshaya, the double headed eagle represented in the flag of the Three Korales. This form also appears in wood and ironwork, in brass trays and plates, and also in jewellery.
Bronzes from Ceylon, chiefly in the Colombo Museum
This book was first published in 1914 by the Colombo Museum as the first in a series of Memoirs of the Colombo Museum. It has 31 pages of text followed by 189 photographic reproductions of bronze sculptures, including a few from Coomaraswamy's private collection. Some of these sculptures he says are 'of spiritual and aesthetic rank nowhere surpassed'. Among the Buddhist Bronzes, eleven images of Buddha are illustrated. The largest of them is a 55 cm high sedentary statue and Coomaraswamy dates this as 5th or 6th century. It was found in Badulla and was presented to the Museum by G FK Horsfall, possibly a Government Agent. Coomaraswamy says that 'The existence of a Mahayana cult in Ceylon is abundantly supported by the discovery of many images of Bodhisatvas and Mahayana feminine divinities in Ceylon'.
By far the largest of the Bodhisatva images is the 46 cm high bronze, probably of Maitreya, discovered in 1898 near the Thuparama Dagoba in Anuradhapura. Also illustrated are four small images of Avalokitesvara. The largest of the Hindu bronzes are the eight images of Siva as Nataraja, all were found in Polonnaruva. The largest of these is nearly a metre high and is shown in Fig. 3.
However, Coomaraswamy does not rate these too highly and says that 'they are inferior as works of art to the best of the Buddhist images, the best images of Saiva Saints in Ceylon and the two splendid Natarajas in the Madras Museum'. There are also eight smaller size images of Parvati, Siva's consort. There are seven images of Saiva Saints and Coomaraswamy describes the image of Sundara Murti Swami as having 'a touching quality of suddenly arrested movement and breathless wonder, and is one of the most remarkable works of all Indian art'.
Also illustrated is the stunning bronze of the Goddess Pattini, nearly five feet (1.5m) tall. Coomaraswamy dates this as 7th or 8th century. It was found in the east coast of Ceylon and presented by Governor Brownrigg in 1830 to the British Museum in London where it is a prized exhibit. Coomaraswamy says that it 'is a most striking work; the face strong and thoughtful, and the modelling of the body and limbs most admirable'. Since it has spent nearly 200 years in London, it is about time that it is returned to its country of origin.
EMBRACE THE PINK SARI PROJECT
By Ajith Karunarathna
Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer with 38 females diagnosed per day. Research shows that Sri Lankan and Indian women in NSW aged 50 – 74 have one of the lowest rates of participation in the Breast Screen NSW program which is run by the Department of Health.
The Pink Sari Project is a means of bringing everyone together to support a common cause – increasing breast screening (and thus breast cancer survival) in women from the Indian and Sri Lankan groups. Communities play a major part in the implementation of all the strategic approaches to ensure their members benefit and lives are saved.
Visit the website: www.pinksariproject.org. Join in the conversation on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thepinksariproject. Listen to a presentation by Nirmala Pathvanathan, Associate Professor, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute: http://youtu.be/Lf5lAd3bOVI
Dr Palu Malaowalla, GP in Rosehill and Breast Cancer Survivor - see link to watch her story
Indian and Sri Lankan community members and Pink Sari Project organisers at the Breast Screen Information Forum
Did you know these facts about Sri Lankan Migrants?
Fact 1 - Despite having a relative high educated and literate population, Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product per capita is less than a seventh of Australia’s.
Fact 2 - Around 1.8 million Sri Lankans are working abroad and remittances from Sri Lanka’s international diaspora account for 7 per cent of its gross domestic product.
Fact 3 - A summary measure of wellbeing is the Human Development Index (HDI). Sri Lanka rates well relative to the rest of South East Asia with a HDI of 0.72 compared to the regional average of 0.56. Internationally, Sri Lanka currently ranks 92 out of 186 countries.
Fact 5 - In August 2013, 63000 Sri Lankan-born people were working in Australia—32 per cent professionals, and 20 per cent clerical and administrative workers.
Fact 6 -A total of 5390 Sri Lankan nationals were granted a permanent visa through Australia’s Migration Programme and Humanitarian Programme in 2012−13, with the Skill Stream accounting for 76 per cent of the visas granted.
Fact 7 - In 2012-2013, 3228 Points Tested Skilled Migration visas were issued to Sri Lankans. The main occupations of those granted a Points Tested Skilled Migration visa were accountants, software and applications programmers, and ICT business and systems analysts.
Fact 8- In family Migration category, Sri Lankan nationals accounts for 1.5 per cent (883 grants) of the total grants. This was 11 per cent higher than the 794 visas granted the previous year, but it represented a 12 per cent fall since 2009–10.
Fact 9 – In Student Visas category, Australia is the second most popular tertiary study destination, behind the United Kingdom, for international students originating from Sri Lanka. In 2010, 20 per cent of all Sri Lankan international tertiary students chose Australia. As at 30 June 2013, 4170 Sri Lankan Student visa holders were in Australia, representing 1.4 per cent of all international students in Australia.
Fact 10 - Visitors Visa - In 2012–13, the number of Sri Lankan nationals visiting Australia continued to increase. A total of 16 421 Visitor visas were granted, up by 12 per cent on 2011–12 and 34 per cent higher than the number granted (12 253) in 2009–10. Tourists accounted for 92 per cent of all Sri Lankan visitors.
Fact11 - Permanent residents departingIn 2012–13, 321 Sri Lanka-born permanent residents indicated at departure that they were leaving Australia permanently, with around 17 per cent indicating that they intend on returning to Sri Lanka. Of these emigrants: around a third (35 per cent) were professionals, with managers accounting for another 21 per cent, the largest proportion were emigrating from New South Wales and Victoria – 41 per cent and 35 per cent respectively
INDEPENDENCE 1948 – AND THE COLONIAL HANGOVER
By Hugh Karunanayake
February 4 1948 was the date on which Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was granted “dominion sta-tus "by its Colonial overlord Great Britain. Till then Ceylon was a colony of the British. What was described as “independence’ was a change in status vis-a vis the metropolitan power Great Britain. Officially it was called the grant of “dominion status” .to Ceylon.– It is important to remember that “dominion status ” did not confer sovereign power to the island. Neither did the change of status denote a transfer of power. In fact by 1950 (two years later) His Majesty the King of England was still the King of Ceylon, the Governor General of Ceylon continued to be appointed by the King and had the power to ap-point. or remove the Prime Minister .of the coun-try, the national anthem was “God save the King” the official language was English, and the national flag was the Union Jack! A Parliament consisting of a House of Representatives and a Senate exist-ed from 1947 with its legislative powers subject to concurrence and tacit approval by His Majesty.
In fact the British approved Constitution of Cey-lon required the appointment of six Members of Parliament in addition to those elected by the peo-ple. Two of the appointed members in the House of Representatives in 1947 were appointed to rep-resent British interests. Although the island had a Supreme Court that name was a misnomer and the Court not really Supreme, the Privy Council in England had the power of revision of any decision of the Supreme Court. In fact in 1964 sixteen years after the country was granted “independence” the Privy Council in England overruled a decision of the Supreme Court of Ceylon by which the Supreme Court had deter-mined the guilt of persons charged with conspir-ing to overthrow by force a lawfully elected gov-ernment. There were an Imperial Light House Service and Military bases in Katunayake and Trincomalee outside the control of the govern-ment and subject to direction by the United King-dom.
Imperial Honours by which the Queen granted Knighthoods and other honours to her “loyal sub-jects” also continued until such vestiges of coloni-al rule were removed by the 1956 government of SWRD Bandaranaike. Thus in essence the coun-try did not enjoy sovereignty till the fetters re-stricting its independence were removed .
This occurred through a process culminating in the Constituent Assembly of 1972 which made a self declaration of independence through the for-mal establishment of an independent republic. This process which led to the achievement of total political independence was marked by events that formed the “process’ such as the adoption of national flag in 1950, the adoption of a National anthem in 1951,becoming a member of the UN in 1955, the adoption of National languages in 1956 and the national acquisition of the military bases in 1958.
The creation of a Republic in 1972 and the change from the anglicised name of Ceylon to a more indigenous name Sri Lanka completed the process. It is also important to remember that in 1948 the country was a plantation economy, dualistic in character with a surplus creating urban sector and a rural sector functioning below subsistence level . The economy largely driven by the output from plantations were largely in the hands of Brit-ish companies and so were the major Agency Houses which managed the production, and ex-port of plantation produce. What were described as “the commanding heights of the economy” were therefore mainly British owned and con-trolled for many years after independence. The administration of the country before and after 1948 was through the Ceylon Civil Service estab-lished by the British in the 19th Century which was replaced by the Ceylon Administrative Ser-vice fifteen years after independence in 1963.
One of the major criticisms of the Ceylon Civil Service was that its structure and traditions stood in the way of the transfer of real political power to the people. of the country. In fact India with its Indian Civil Service was such a hindrance to the modernisation of India that it prompted Ja-warhalal Nehru to foresee in 1934 that “no new order can be built in India so long as the spirit of the Indian Civil Service pervades our administra-tion and our public services”. Thirty years later when he was asked what his greatest failure was he replied by saying “I could not change the administration; it is still a colonial administration”. Although it could be said that the Ceylon Civil Service did not have the same all pervasive influence over the body politic,
it could be surmised that the Ceylon Civil Ser-vice did have a stifling effect on the emergence of a political culture that could lead to a more ef-fective political transformation.
The grant of independence occurred 67 years ago and in retrospect could be difficult for people of today’s generation to understand the nuances of the anglicised culture which pervaded the country at the time. Perhaps the accompanying photo-graph taken at the main function associated with the grant of independence in 1948 may capture to some extent part of the essence of the colonial hangover of the time. It shows the Inspector General of Police Sir Richard Aluvihare standing smartly to attention and saluting the Governor General on his entry. Such a spectacle would be impossible to imagine in modern Sri Lanka.
While the grant of “dominion status” was a sig-nificant step towards the achievement of mean-ingful political independence, it also commenced the “process” through which a new political consciousness was created. .It well could be claimed that the new, confident, modern Sri Lanka was in fact conceived in 1948.
Chithrasena Dance Company through the eyes of Sydney Audience – By Arun Abey
Dance Co tour to Australia, which was short but very successful. Dancing for the Gods as Arts Hub’s Lynne Lancaster said was: A vi-brant, energetic and exotically colourful way to open this year’s Sydney Festival. But to understand how remarkable this success was, it’s worth providing some background to the tour.
Imagine being a choreographer where your studio is like an old-fashioned shearing shed – a simple floor with a tin roof and no sides. And that you are working in one of the hotter, more humid climates in the world. Well, that is the workplace that Heshma Wignaraja voluntarily returned to after a decade of studying and working in dance in the USA. Despite the many financial and material comforts of life in the USA, being away from her famous dance family, founded by her grandpar-ents Chitrasena and Vajira, caused Heshma to realise how much she loved and missed the world of Sri Lankan dance to which she had been born.
So she and her husband Arjuna returned home to take on the challenge of continuing the family legacy, with limited financial and human resources. The company was and is still recovering from the devastating loss of its headquarters which combined the family home and dance studios a few decades ago, following the death of its then major patron. In 2013 we embarked on the idea of a return trip to Australia and after a lot of work, last July, Heshma learned that the Company had been chosen to perform in the prestigious Sydney Festival 2015. While she had a pro-duction Dancing for the Gods, that had been performed in Sri Lanka to great acclaim, Heshma wanted to polish what she saw as still a rough diamond. The end result was a reworking of the entire program, that had its international premiere in Sydney. Through about a dozen trips to Colombo over the past couple of years, I had the privilege of watch-ing the production evolve. I perform my day job with people with whom I share a strong work ethic. But our work ethic pales com-pared to what I saw in Colombo.
From the initial choreography in the incredibly hot and humid ‘shearing shed’, to frenzied months and months of hard work, interspersed with private performances in the same shed to test the ideas, to the stage of the York Theatre at the Seymour Centre in Sydney and the Play-house at Canberra Theatre Centre, I saw Heshma take on the mantle of a slave driver.
But the slaves were willing ones. In fact, they seemed to love it. Her seven dancers, led by her cousin Thaji and accompanied by 4 mag-nificent drummers, responded wonderfully. Her other cousin Umi worked frantically to put together all the materials required for the tour. The result was that 43 years since their last visit to Australia, the Company was again warmly welcomed by Australian audiences and critics with rave reviews. To provide some flavour of these: Deborah Jones of The Australian said: If there is a more immediately captivating dancer than Thaji Dias, I have yet to see her, or him…In the first solo, Dias reeled her audience in ef-fortlessly with divinely articulated wrists, rip-pling shoulders, jaunty strides around the stage, the deepest and plushest plies and her warm, direct gaze. She is an artist of excep-tional individuality.
Bill Stephens of Canberra Critics Circle while also commenting on Thaji, then went on to commend the whole troupe: Her beautiful face serene and smiling, completely in the moment, and dancing with all the grace, skill, security and showmanship of a classical ballerina, Thaji Dias was truly mesmerising…. Each dancer is superbly trained, each step so pre-cisely polished and executed, that it’s possible for even the most uninitiated observer to soon recognise and admire the movement and its execution, and even variations to the original, as dancer and drummer challenge each other in later sections.
The Company has been working on expanding its number of dancers, using scholarship pro-grams largely funded by HSBC in Sri Lanka as well as by individuals. Akila Palipana is the youngest and newest member of the troupe under this program and it was gratifying that the experienced eye of dance critic Michelle Potter of The Canberra Times observed of him:
I found his stage presence powerful, I loved his sense of rhythm and his clean precise technique and my eye was particularly taken with the way his whole body was involved at every moment, whether in stillness or ac-tion.
The Guardian’s Madhvi Pankhania felt: The choreography is both enchanting and mysti-fying in other places within Dancing for the Gods...... The poise that shapes the company and the way they dance reveals an impres-sive discipline – as engaging to watch as these narratives are to work out.
Jill Sykes of the Sydney Morning Herald said: Their commitment to the traditions of their country and their craft shines through their performance and invests it with warmth and integrity. Heshma’s overall success in continuing her family’s ability to link an ancient tradition to the contemporary stage was best summed up by Michelle Potter’s comment: Dance in Sri Lanka dates back thousands of years and has its roots in ritual. In its current manifestation by Chitrasena Dance Co, it is a contempo-rary performing art that continues to honour that past. It has lost none of the ritualistic feeling, but through energetic choreography, compelling performances, evocative lighting and beautifully designed and made cos-tumes, it becomes an exciting 21st century art.
For those of you who want to learn more, I have either attached or at the bottom of this provided links to some of the full reviews.
One of the most gratifying events during the tour was the Lecture-Demonstration Work-shop, which was followed by a Master Class. The event was quickly sold out, caus-ing the Company to put on a second Master Class. The range of participants was diverse including students of Sydney Dance Compa-ny, led by teacher Ian Castenetto as well as Australians of Sri Lankan origin, belonging to Dinesh Perera’s Sankha Ridma Dance Ensemble. The cultural interchange and the enjoyment that the participants gained from this was wonderful to witness first hand. And truly in keeping with the spirit of the Sydney Festival.Bringing the Company out here for such a successful tour, after the long gap of 43 years involved a lot of support from a number of people to whom the Com-pany and I will always be grateful.
The list is too long to name individuals, but the role of the Sydney Festival, with its a magnifi-cent team, was of course paramount.
The Canberra Theatre Centre also did a re-markable job in supporting the one night per-formance there. The Sri Lanka Association, HSBC Sri Lanka, ozlanka, the Dilip Kumar Group, the Cinnamon Hotels Group, Barefoot Sri Lanka, the Canberra Committee, and the Nilgiris and Blue Elephant Restaurants respec-tively are all owed many thanks. And much gratitude as well is owed to my personal friends and father who sacrificed a lot of time and effort in supporting this project.
Going forward the Dance Co faces challenges and opportunities in continuing its proud tradi-tion. Funding, particularly of dance students and productions is one, which needs to expand to provide the company with more depth. If you are interested in sponsoring a dancer or supporting the Company in other ways, do let me know. Do also follow the Company’s pro-gress via its Facebook Page. Artistically Heshma’s goal is to continue to evolve Sri Lankan dancing into a classical dance form, while remaining true to its traditional roots. Jill Sykes alluded to this potential when she contrasted Sri Lankan dancing to what she sees as the richer classical dance forms of In-dia. I am not sure that Jill’s comparison to a different dance genre is entirely valid. But the underlying opportunity to continue to innovate while remaining true to the tradition will be an exciting artistic challenge which will provide ongoing stimulation for the current generation and beyond.
But these are for the future. For the present, I feel grateful for the chance to develop a close relationship with such warm, extraordinarily committed, talented, yet humble, artists, who have become part of our extended family. And whose motivation is to produce something that inspires for both the gods and humans a sense of universal beauty and joy. The love, skill and sacred respect in which they hold their dance form meant that they succeeded in this goal. The joy of seeing it will live with us for a long time, but hopefully we will not have to wait another 43 years to experience it again.
Stars of the Chithrasena Dance Company
A vibrant, energetic and exotically col-ourful way to open this year’s Sydney Festival. Lynne Lancaster Arts Hub, Dance critic On the left– Heshma & Arjuna Wignarajah Picture Below:
Principal Dancer Thaji Dias (Right) Grand daughter of Chithrasena & Vajira Upeka Chithrasena—Managing Director(left) Upeka is the daughter of late Dr Chithrasena
President (slansw) Ruwan Walpola with some performers of the Chithrasena Dance Company.
Yes, it is time for our Annual Luncheon once again & this time we have a huge special attraction!
We will through the very kind auspices of Norreen & Roger Wright have as our Special Guest Fr Dilan Perera OMI - The Director/Superior of St Vincent's Boys Home in Maggona.
Other details are as per the attached flyer & may I suggest you get in early for your tickets as we are expecting the many new friends/donors we have acquired throughout last year to patronise & support a cause that offers them such varied opportunities!
Commonwealth Youth Forum An inspiring performance from the Commonwealth Youth Forum currently taking place in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Full praise to the persons who planned and choreographed this performance!