Tuesday, 18 January 2005  
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Nimal Mendis composes tsunami song

From Ivan Corea in London

Nimal Mendis is one of Sri Lanka's outstanding singer/songwriters. His is one of a handful of Sri Lankan musicians who 'made it big' in the west in the 1960s and 1970s.

Nimal Mendis was 'discovered' by Radio Ceylon - the radio station really ruled the airwaves in the 1960s and Mendis was an 'original find' by Radio Ceylon - they ensured his song 'Kandyan Express' became a national hit. Radio Ceylon plugged all his songs in the 1960s and 1970s making him a popular artiste in South Asia.

He was so moved by the tsunami which struck Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004 that he has composed a song - he is donating all proceeds from it to the President's Fund in Sri Lanka.

He is a composer with dual nationality of Sri Lanka and Britian. At present Nimal Mendis is living in France. He had 22 songs recorded in Britain in the sixties and appeared on the popular TV show "Top of the Pops" in 1968 with my own song "Feel like a Clown".

It was with his singing partner Sandra Edema as Ranee and Raj. It was a guest appearance and here again he is among a handful of artistes from Sri Lanka who appeared on the BBC's 'Top of the Pops' television program at the height of the program's popularity in the Swinging Sixties.

One of his songs "Master Sir" has been a popular song in Sri Lanka for many years. He also wrote "Ganga Addara" for the late Vijaya Kumaratunga, who was assassinated in 1988. He has written these and many other popular film songs for our country's foremost filmmakers Lester and Sumitra Pieris's .

The two songs mentioned are still played often in Sri Lanka. In the 1970s his songs reached a new audience in London when they were aired on BBC Radio London's 'London Sounds Eastern' radio program.

Following the destruction and horror of the tsunami that struck Sri Lanka Nimal Mendis composed a new song. It is based on the unprecedented sadness that the entire island of Sri Lanka is experiencing.

The song will be translated into Sinhala and also to Tamil. Nimal Mendis needs sponsorship for a recording of this song by an organization who could do it like the Band Aid effort by British artistes that collected a huge sum of money for charity. He does not want anything for the song. Money collected should be sent to the President's Fund directly. (copied below)

To contact Nimal Mendis: Tel: ( 0033 ) 5 45 65 17 66 - [email protected] His son ( Paulmarie Mendis ) contact details: in London. Tel: (0044) 207 272 5748 - [email protected]

In Sri Lanka - Varadatta Aravinda - mobile: Tel: (00941) (0) 777 749420 - [email protected]

Tsunami relief in Sri Lanka

- The President's Fund details:

Name of the Account: "President's Fund for Disaster Relief"

Bank: People's Bank - Headquarters Branch Account Number: 204 100 190 136245

Type of the Account: Current Account Swift Code: PSBKLKLX

Sort Cord: 204-7135 Online Transfer: Facility not available

The composition by Nimal Mendis:

1st Verse:

Oh see the foam

The foam-crested wave

Everyone is dying

No one to save

Rising terror thirty feet

Crashing on the shore

Rolling horror on the land

Destroying door to door

Did you need the tsunami

To leave war behind

To come together

Love each other

My child I cannot find.


Tsunami Tsunami

Can I forget this day

My hand has lost its grip

My child is washed away

Tsunami Tsunami

From the bottom of the quake

Why have you done this?

Hundreds and thousands to take

The sea speaks to you man

The sea speaks to you

I'm cleansing your sins man

And all of your motherland.

2nd verse:

I was watching the sea gull

Diving for the fish

It caught the swimming eel

Out of the deep

I remembered the bullet

Past my ear with a swish

I grabbed my child, saved ourselves

With one mighty leap.

Give me an answer

You transgressed the law

What is in your mind now

My child is no more.


Words and Music by Nimal Mendis










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