Reflections on Karunaratne Abeysekera
REFLECTIONS: A musical concert, "Sandawata Rantaru" will be staged at
the BMICH on the September 30 to commemorate Karunaratne Abeysekera,
popular announcer and lyricist.
This concert will be organized by the OBU of Nalanda College which is
the alma mater of Abeysekera.
"During the concert, 25 songs written by Karunaratne Abesekera will
be sung by 30 popular artists," said. Hemantha Prematillake Principal of
Nalanda College and Chairman of the OBU.
Mr. Prematillake said this concert has been organised to honour a
reputed old Nalandian who was a dynamic and popular radio announcer
popularly known as "Karu Aiya" who also rendered an incomparable service
to the field of music in Sri Lanka.
"Karunaratne Abeysekera invented a new linguistic vocabulary not only
for the art of announcing and songs of literature but for wider use. He
too maintained a cordial relationship with his alma mater from the day
he left the school right upto his demise," the Principal said.
"We are organizing this concert not merely for he was an old
Nalandian but he is an old boy who rendered a yeoman unite to the songs
of literature. Our first test cricket captain Bandula Warnapura is also
an old Nalandian so is. His excellency the President of Sri Lanka. We
decided to honour Karu Aiya who is also a renowned Nalandian," said
Major General Sheaman Kulatunga, Deputy Chief of Staff Sri Lanka Army
and Vice President of OBU Nalanda.
Vocalist Latha Walpola who said in that it is appreciable that such a
concert has been organized by the Nalanda College to reflect on the
exemplary life of Karunaratne Abeysekera.
She said that she has sung about 550 songs for the films and more
than half of them have been written by Karu Aiya.
Daya Abeysekera, brother of Karunaratne Abeysekera said that Henry
Jayasena, Stanley Jayasinghe, Gunadasa Amarasekera and Ridgeway
Thilakaratne are his contemporaries at Nalanda. All of them have reached
heights in one field or the other.
"I remember Karu Aiya singing Virudu which added colour to an
Ananda-Nalanda big match. He was known for his inimitable style of
Virudu. He was a poet and a member of "Aganuwara Tharuna Kavi Samajaya."
His world was Nalanda College and the Broadcasting Corporation and
nothing else. The following vocalists will sing songs of Karunaratne
Abeysekera at the musical concert of "Sandawata Ran Taru".
Nanda Malini, Latha Walpola, Victor Ratnayake, Sanath Nandasiri,
Malkanthi Nandasiri, Priya Sooriyasena, Edward Jayakody, Dhanapala
Udawatte, Ishak Beg (songs of Mohideen Beg), Priyankara Perera (songs of
J. A. Milton Perera), Ranil Mallawarachchi (songs of Milton
Mallawarachchi), Susil Fernando (songs of M. S. Fernando), Priyantha
Fernando (songs of C. T. Fernando), Sisira Senaratne, Indrani
Wijebandara, Chandrani Gunawardena, Sujatha Attanayake, Ranjani Perera,
Mohan Raj, Indrani Perera, Dayaratne Ranatunga, Amara Ranatunga, Narada
Dissasekera, Haroon Lantra, H. R. Jothipala's songs (Thilakasiri
Fernando) and other singers.
In this media conference, the following personalities also shared
their views. Deleepa Abeysekera, son of Karunaratne Abeysekera, Kingsley
Ratnayake, Director Sirasa Programmes, Premasiri Nanayakkara, Secretary
Nalanda OBU, Dr. Athula Gamage, Chief Organizer, Nalanda OBU, D. U.
Amarasinghe Tressurer, Indrani Abeysekera, beloved wife of Karunaratne
Abeysekera who graced the occasion was among the other large member
participants at this most fitting event.
The splendour of Tamil culture and its endurance
SPLENDOUR: Jaffna, a land rich in culture and a salubrious milieu is
what today called the Land of war. There are very few revelations on the
cultural beauty of this land. There are more to discover and explore.
Even though this culture which is bound by many traditions, customs
and rituals is abided by the indigenous inhabitants of the land, they
are ignorant of the actual meanings and purpose of following these
The culture which was brought from the Dravidian culture of southern
India is still being followed but whether everybody understands their
deep underlying meanings is still a question. The customs are still
being sustained because it is a must and a tradition.
The king, who was captivated by the melancholic music and the moving
performance of the famous lutist "yalpadi", rewarded him a land. It was
the hard work of this lutist that developed the barren land to a
cultivatable land. Later, this lutist went and brought his friends and
relatives from India to settle. The name "Yalpanam" comes from the words
"yal" which is the lute and "yalpanam" means the land of lutists.
The year begins with the celebration of "Thai Pongal" to express the
gratitude to the Sun God for a prosperous harvest and to bid farewell to
the months of autumn. The rice from the harvest is cooked with the
joyous cry "pongalo pongal" at the time of its boiling and offered to
the God to bless with a flourishing future.
This unique festival pays tribute to the Sun god, "the provider of
energy". The floor is cleaned with cow dung mixed with water. On the dry
floor a beautiful Rangoli or "kolam" is drawn near which the earthen pot
is placed to cook the harvested rice. Sugar canes are used to decorate
around the earthen pot. The boiled rice is first offered to the god and
then shared among the relatives and the neighbours.
The following day is called the "mattu pongal" which is celebrated to
thank the cow. In the early days when technology wasn't developed, cows
were used to plough fields which used to be an immense help to the
farmers. In return to this, farmers felicitate the cows on this day.
Sivarathiri which means Shiva's night is a long night with a day long
fast devoted to eulogize and attest his power as superior and eternal
after a dispute between his sub-ordinates Brahma and Vishnu as to who
was the superior among the two. The Tamil New Year begins in the month
of April when Sun enters the Zodiac of Aries after the vernal Nor.
Following a head bath early in the morning, people go to temples to
get the blessings of the Almighty wearing new clothes. The first meal
for the year, usually milk rice is cooked and shared among relatives and
neighbours. A practice called kaiveshesham is given by the head of the
family to mostly children for luck to flourish throughout year.
In order to guard and protect her and her living quarters, Parvati
the beloved spouse of Lord Siva created Lord Ganesha. This day is
celebrated as Vinayagar Sathurthi. After a pooja, Kolukaddai, a sweet
cake made up of jaggery, coconut, green gram and flour are offered to th
e clay figure of Lord Ganesha.
Navarathiri, Nine nights is celebrated to extol the three Goddesses,
Thurga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The gods of energy are worshipped by
fasting and feasting during these nine nights. First three days are
devoted to Thurga the goddess of power and energy, the second three days
are dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity and
Saraswathi, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom is worshipped on the
last three days.
Following these nine auspicious nights, on the tenth day, Vijaya
dasami is celebrated which is denoted as "the day of victory". This is
chosen as the ideal day to commence new ventures in learning whether it
is fine arts or any other studies for successful accomplishments.
Deepavali, the festival of lights is celebrated to highlight the
victory of good over the evil or light over the darkness. Lord Vishnu,
the preserver of earth, takes the form of Narasiman to destroy
Narahasuran, a ruthless king.
The king realizing his blunder orders the people to celebrate the day
of his death which is until now celebrated as Deepavali.Sooran Pore, is
the day when lord Murugan destroys Suran who used his invincible powers
and his gift of immortality for his ruthless acts. Murugan who was
created by Lord Shiva with all supreme powers to raze
the evil, destroys Suran. Suran takes the form of a rooster and a
peacock to serve Murugan after his extermination. This titanic battle
between Murugan and Suran is dramatized in all the temples on the 6th
day of the fast and the victorious idol of Murugan is carried back
jubilantly into the temple.
A ten day long festival is celebrated between the months of
December-January called Thiruvembavai to worship and praise Lord Shiva.
The famous Thiruvasaham, an anthology of hymns written by the great
author and Saint Mannikavasagar is choired verse by verse in all the
temples during these ten days.
Creative, capturing, and meaningful
Sarasi Iresha Manamperi
Pradeepa Indunil Rajakaruna
COMPETITION: Independent thinking is essential for art. Developing
the intellectual mind should be encouraged at an early age. Books open
up a world of fantasy, interaction, knowledge and creativity, weaving
diversity into the minds of children. The Children's Creative Writing
Competition, held in April, organized by Room to Read Sri Lanka, is a
program targeted at increasing the variety and quality of trilingual
children's story books.
"Our competition was given free publicity through national papers as
well as electronic media. We received nearly 2,000 entries from school
children all over the island. The Book Development Committee, made up of
seven members including Professor J.B. Dissanayake and Sybil Wettasinghe,
chose the winning entries," said H.P. Mahesh Pathirathna, the Program
Associate of Room to Read Sri Lanka.
Rahul Rajendren, 15 of Highland College, Hatton, won first place for
the children's story he wrote in the Tamil medium. Titled "Forever young
sapu", this story encourages its readers to protect their natural
Sarasi Iresha Manamperi, 10, won first place for her story "Spiky
save the Day", written in the Sinhalese medium. This story carries the
theme that one should not judge others on their appearance. Sarasi is a
student of Swarnapali Balika Vidyalaya, Anuradapura.
Two winners were chosen for first place in the category for stories
in the English medium. They are Pradeepa Indunil Rajakaruna, 15 of Girls
High school, Kandy, and Ganithri Navoda Wickramasinghe, 13 of Musaeus
College, Colombo. Pradeepa's story, "Baby fish goes to school", is based
on friendship and kindness while Ganithri's "A message from the sun" is
about protecting mother nature.
The winners were given a certificate, a cash prize and a plaque
whereas their school libraries received a donation of 200 books. Eight
additional participants received merit certificates along with a school
bag and books as prizes.
"We looked for creativity, humour and a meaningful social message
when we judged the stories. Facts like a word limit of no more than four
hundred words and the entries being suitable for children between five
to ten years were also considered. We are hoping to publish the winning
entries around mid October. Once published, the books will be given to
government schools for free," said Pathirathna.
Commenting on the role that Room to Read had played on behalf of
providing education for underprivileged children in developing
countries, Pathirathna said that this program had been focusing on a
number of countries besides Sri Lanka.
Currently, they have been involved with India, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal
and Vietnam in a variety of program areas: School Room, Reading Room,
Room to Grow, Computer and Language Room. Room to Read Sri Lanka
encourages young writers to send in their work for illustration and
publication as their motto is "World change starts with educated
Aspiration call for youth
Aspirations Youth Club is a unique network of young dynamic leaders
which draws resources, funds, and talent from over 90 prestigious
universities world over.
Aspirations Education launched the Aspirations Youth Club on August
11 at the Adyapana exhibition held at BMICH. Response of youth towards
the opportunities the club offered was great. The club was pioneered by
Deepamala Abeysekera, Nadeen Kumarasinghe and Sasith Bambaradeniya under
the vision and guidance of Ajith Abeysekera.
The fundraiser for this event was the Beach Rugby Carnival at Mount
Lavinia Beach, on September 3. This was an entertaining event where 14
Teams participated and Kings Youth won the Championship.
There is no hierarchy in the club and your ideas will take
precedence. Call Nadeen on 0785257660 or register on line at www.
Think about us
This is not a traditional play which consists a beginning, mid, or an
end. Almost all the characters combines with the experience personally
audience had under gone. The most attractive feature of the play is that
you meet a character runs throughout the drama who does not respond for
any happenings .
Who is he?
"Think About Us" stage play directed by M. Safeer and Udeni Alwis,
will go on boards of "Tower Hall Theatre" at 07:00 p.m. on September 20.
Oliver at Russian Centre
Oliver - winner of six academy awards including Best Picture in 1968
will be screened at the Russian Centre in Colombo on September 30 at
Young Oliver (Mark Lester) is an orphan who escapes the cheerless
life of the workhouse and takes to the streets of 19th Century London.
He is immediately taken in by a band of street urchins, headed by the
lovable villain Fagin (Ron Moody) his fiendish henchman Bill Sikes
(Oliver Reed) and his loyal apprentice the Artful Dodger (Jack Wild).
Through his education in the fine points of pick-pocketing. Oliver makes
away with an unexpected treasure, a home and a family of his own.
Let Oliver steal your heart. Be at the Russian Centre to view Oliver
which includes songs such favourites as "Consider Yourself", "Where is
love" and "As Long as He Needs Me," starring Ron Moody, Oliver Reed,
Harry Secombe, Shani Wallis and Mark Lester as Oliver.