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
“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 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.
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
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
The English classes were conducted free to uplift Sri Lanka’s future
Best Speaker Contest (Finals) - 2007
Grade 1: 1. Purindu Paranavithana, 2. Ahamed Musharaff, and 3. Shakil
Grade 2: 1. Dinani Sathwari, 2. S. Priyan Kawshal, and 3. Viruni
Grade 3: 1. Denver Marlon De Hoedt, 2. Amanda Rashini, and 3. Sethma
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
Grade 8: 1. T. N. Jayaweera, 2. Kaushi Fernando, and 3. Niyomi
Grade 9/10/11 : 1. Amila Madushanka, 2. Rasha Sabar and 3. Subodha
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.
Holy Family Convent, Kalutara.