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DateLine Friday, 12 October 2007

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Teen

Talented teen who tops it all

There is a Sinhala saying that in a daughter one expects beauty and in a son one expects intelligence. One moment with Pabasari Koliyabandara, 18, will prove that she is a girl who possesses intelligence and talent to match her beauty.

She had displayed her skills in various areas both in education and in extra curricular activities such as in literary competitions, debating, music, dance, sports, guiding and compering.

Daily News Teen had the fortune to encounter this talented teenager after she won the second place from the all island range in the title for best compere at the Union Neth Hamuwa.

“It is an awesome opportunity for schoolchildren to display their talent. Our school took part in the dancing competition but we were disqualified because the competition required 10 students to present the dance and only eight were present but as soon as the teachers became aware of the category for compering, they encouraged me to take part. I entered the competition in my dancing kit and make up! It was an opportunity I got by chance,” she recalled while bursting into giggles.

Hailing from Gunnapana, Kandy, and educated at Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy, Pabasari is the eldest in


Pabasari with her award and certificate after winning the second place for best compere at the “Union Neth Hamuwa”.
Picture by Palitha Gunasena

 the family. Her brother, Nipuna, is a student at St. Sylvester’s College, Kandy. Her father, S. M. Dharmawardena, is a retired Air Force weapons training instructor and her mother, Rohini Elipitiya, is a teacher at Pillawala Maha Vidyalaya.

Pabasari had been a compere at the children’s cultural programme since 2004. She got the opportunity to take part through her Daham Pasala in Sangamittaramaya, Gunnapana, where they had a separate society called Muthuhara.

“Every village has such a society for children. We had to fill an application form to become members. Then Kapilani Sil Matha advised me to take part in the competitions related to the society,” she expressed.

Pabasari won first place in compering at district level in 2003. Next she took part in the all island competition and clinched first place in the finals.

“The category that I was put in was titled as the senior section. This was made up of students from year nine to 13. I was one of the youngest and I felt a bit nervous. I could not believe that luck was on my side as they announced that I am the winner,” Pabasari exclaimed.

Her first moment before a camera arrived soon after. What kind of emotions did Pabasari feel as the camera lights turned on?

“A mixture of excitement and fear. I have done a lot of compering in front of live audiences at school but it is a completely different feeling in front of the camera. They gave me the chance to present the whole show by myself. My nerves could not handle it. I made a lot of errors but everyone on the set encouraged me.”

Pabasari’s first experience before the camera proved to be memorable. She soon recognised which camera is switched on and turn her attention to that lens as she conducted the programme.

Gone were the fear, nerves and hesitation and she soon proved to be a natural at the job.

“The programme demands us to include new and interesting slogans to go along with the theme, “Let us build a world of beauty”. These slogans are used to grab the attention of the viewers,” Pabasari explained.

“Muthuhara celebrated its 25th anniversary recently. I compered the programme in English dressed as a fairy.”

Pabasari had also excelled in guiding. A President’s guide since 2005, she was chosen as the leader to represent the Sri Lankan team, which took part in the World Jamboree at Staffordshire, England.

She had won many events in the sports sector related to chess and athletics and had been an active member in the school Kandyan dance and low country dance troupes. She had also taken part in singing performances and had brought pride to her school as a member of the Sinhala and English debating teams.

Pabasari, who is the vice president of the school’s Media Unit, is pursuing her studies in Bioscience.

“My ambition is to become a doctor but I wish to proceed in both the medical and media fields,” she said adding that extra curricular activities are equally important as studies.

“I believe that we attend school not only to proceed in studies. Aesthetic activities are essential to brush up skills. They help to build self confidence.”

Her advice is to take part in aesthetic activities while organising one’s daily routine according to a timetable.

“Do not take up more work than you can handle. Love what you are doing and put your heart into all the work you take part in. Finish what needs to be done today. Do not leave it for tomorrow because tomorrow never comes,” she said with a note of wisdom adding that she had passed her GCE O/L with nine As and one B.

Premakeerthi de Alwis and Anoma Wattaldeniya are Pabasari’s favourite comperes. Meeting them had been a highlight in her life.

“I wish to express my gratitude to my parents, my school and all my friends who had been behind me in my success.

Our principal, I. Vithanachchi and my school dancing teachers, Amitha Jayalath and Lumbini Werage have advised and guided me throughout these years. I am also very grateful to Udantha Kamal Gunathilake, the director of Muthuhara and Lalitha Siribaddana, its creator.

Being in the Muthuhara family is of great importance to us. We met many past members of the programme at the 25th anniversary programme and we were overwhelmed with admiration for them.

There were doctors, teachers and engineers. Being a member of the Muthuhara clan is a mark which is a cut above the rest,” Pabasari said.


Best Speakers

Winners with Kanishka Jayasinghe, chief guest Mohan Lal Grero, founder Lyceum Group of International Schools and the Mohan Lal Grero Foundation and Kumari Grero, Coordinating Principal, Lyceum Group of International Schools.


Winners with Kanishka Jayasinghe, chief guest Mohan Lal Grero, founder Lyceum Group of International Schools and the Mohan Lal Grero Foundation and Kumari Grero, Coordinating Principal, Lyceum Group of International Schools.

The Best Speaker Contest final round and free English classes awards ceremony organised by Lyceum International School in collaboration with the Mohan Lal Grero Foundation was held at the Lyceum International School, Nugegoda main hall.

From about 25,000 students from the 62 English Langauge training centres, about 121 were selected for the Best Speaker final competition.

Students from Grade 1 to Grades 9, 10 and 11 participated in this competition. Rs. 10,000 and a gold medal were awarded to the students who came first, Rs. 5,000 and a silver medal for the second and Rs. 3,000 and a bronze medal was awarded to the students third in the competition.

The English classes were conducted free to uplift Sri Lanka’s future generation.

Best Speaker Contest (Finals) - 2007

Grade 1: 1. Purindu Paranavithana, 2. Ahamed Musharaff, and 3. Shakil Doole.

Grade 2: 1. Dinani Sathwari, 2. S. Priyan Kawshal, and 3. Viruni Ruwanya.

Grade 3: 1. Denver Marlon De Hoedt, 2. Amanda Rashini, and 3. Sethma Umandi Balasooriya.

Grade 4: 1. Tharushi Kothalawela, 2. Prabodhika Umashee, and 3. Wathma Dewmini Keerthiratne.

Grade 5: 1. Tharindu Seneviratne, 2. Binesha Sanduni, and 3. Viranjani Danesha Perera.

Grade 6: 1. Maheshi Taneeka, 2. Narthana Kavindi, and 3. D. M. Amali.

Grade 7: 1. Lahiru Yashodara, 2. Chanchala Gayathri, and 3. Rishani Yashodha.

Grade 8: 1. T. N. Jayaweera, 2. Kaushi Fernando, and 3. Niyomi Erandika.

Grade 9/10/11 : 1. Amila Madushanka, 2. Rasha Sabar and 3. Subodha Samarasinghe.


Happy Teachers’ Day

Thank you seems to short
a word to express our gratitude
to someone who has taught us
the way that you have

Words are insufficient
to show our appreciation
for your kindness, patience
and devotion to teaching

What we have leant from you
Will give us guidance and strength
Throughout our life
and we want you to know that
our gratitude will be lifelong.

Natasha Jayakody,
Holy Family Convent, Kalutara.

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