3rd June 2001
By Sanath Weerasuriya
'Colombo Out of Control' (COC) the newest concept in concert with 'Bathiya and Santhush' will come alive at the western lawn of the St. Joseph's College Indoor Stadium on June 16.
With the recent inflow of international acts into Sri Lanka, the ability of Sri Lankan talent with the international trend have begun to question.
According to Bathiya and Santhush, Colombo, Out of Control will be their answer to the above question.
COC will feature Bathiya and Santhush along with new band "R&T", Dushyan and Ranidy Lankage.
The show will begin at 7.00 p.m. and after the opening act with other artistes "B&S" will perform for about two and a half hours at a stretch nonstop.
"We are having this show specially for our fans and it will be energy packed show with lot of new gimmicks", Bathiya said.
There will be free give-away T-shirts, cassettes and CDS of Bathiya and Santhush.
"We use a lot of new lighting effects and like most of the musical concerts they won't be on at the stage only. Some of the effects will be on the audience too", Santhush explained.
The tickets are priced at Rs.1000/-, 300/- and 200/- available at all interact clubs of Colombo schools. COC is a presentation of Interact 3220 together with Groove Entertainment Solution and Shan productions.
Main sponsor of the show is Commercial Bank. Arena, Dandex Plus and Australian College of Business and Technology are the other co-sponsors.
TV Times and Yes FM will be the media sponsors. The part of the proceeds of the show will be channelled in for children's fun.
By Sanath Weerasuriya
For years, Bandarawela has been a popular health resort but today it is no longer considered as a place for rest and relaxation.
With the time, everything changes and Bandarawela, the city of 4250 feet above sea level too, has changed its spots. Few years back visitors came to Bandarawela for sheer relaxation but now it has added more adventure into its life.
Bandarawela has become the base station for excursions around Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Southern and Central Provinces. Orient Hotel, the flagship hotel of Bandarawela, is situated in the salubrious setting close to the town centre.
Orient Hotel General Manager Rewatha Hettiaratchy is the brain behind this new concept of 'adventure city - Bandarawela'.
"Bandarawela is a unique place. Though, most people think it as only a holiday town, it is the best base station in the hills for excursions. Can anyone believe Bandarawela is situated midway on the route between Yala Wild Life Sanctuary and Kandy?" he said. Yala in the Southern Province and Kandy is exactly two and half hours drive from Bandarawela.
"I am very serious about this idea and I always educate the guests who visit our hotel. World famous waterfalls, national parks, gardens, temples and other tourist and archaeological attractions are just a couple of hours drive from Orient Hotel. So it is possible to visit these places, while staying at Orient in Bandarawela", he explained.
When I visited Bandarawela recently I had the opportunity to experience some of the popular places within the range of two to three hours drive.
The beautiful Diyaluma and Dunhinda waterfalls are 21 km and 28 km away from the hotel.
The tallest in Sri Lanka, Bambarakanda falls is just one and half hours drive and world famous 'Horton Plains' and 'World's End' too are almost 90 minutes drive from the Orient Hotel. Yala National Park, Bundala National Park and Uda Walawe National Park are 2 to 2 1/2 hours drive from Bandarawela.
"On the way to these parks, many ancient cities, popular places such as Rawana Ella, Tea Estates, Maduru Oya, Poonagala and ancient temples can be seen", Rewatha said.
Hakgala Gardens and Nuwara Eliya are just half an hour away. Famous Elephant Sanctuary Handapangala and the rock 'Buduruwagala' neither far nor near from the hotel. The world famous Rawana Cave and Ancient Dowe rock temple, where King Walagamba was hiding are just 20 minutes drive away from the centre of attraction.
Lipton's Seat on the Haputale mountain, Pilkington point both on Poonagala, which are considered as 'Mini World's Ends' are just half an hour drive from the Orient. Adisham Monastery in Haputale and the famous railway loop at Demodara are 20 minutes away from Bandarawela. Bogoda Bridge is too about 30 minutes away.
"Kataragama or Mahiyangana is just three hours away and can be your day's trip. A visitor can't go to all these places. But according to individuals' choice, guests can travel to at least half of these places in just two days with a good guide", Rewatha explained. "Orient Hotel arranges safari jeeps or vans with experienced drivers on request with mid-day meals for those who love excursions", he added.
Orient Hotel started in 1971 by late Fred Perera as a few roomed guest house has developed into a top class hotel it is today.! Orient, the biggest hotel in Bandarawela, has 50 rooms with attached toilets, hot and cold water, TV, telephone and 24-hour room service and mini bars in 25 rooms. Now the hotel is under the guidance of Rohan Perera, the Chairman/ Managing Director.
The latest additions are Karaoke Bar, Night Club with live music on special weekends, and Billiard and Snooker room. Orient Hotel is framed by Haputale, Diyatalawa range on one side and Idalgashinna and Ohiya mountain tops on the other sides.
The town overlooking Poonagala range with the railway station below makes a beautiful scenery from the southern side of the hotel.
According to the manager Ayurvedic treatment centre is to be the next addition to the hotel.
Theme nights, B-B-Q nights, bon-fire and camping are some of the other attractions of the hotel.
"These events we arrange during weekends, holidays and during the season. We get a lot of overseas tour groups and we act on their requirements. Some like good food, some want to travel and some need rest", Rewatha said. Orient Hotel is also a popular venue for wedding parties and conferences.
According to the manager, weddings and other parties can go up to 200 pax. Conference facilities at Penthouse can go upto 50 people and 60-75 people can be accommodated on theatre style at the lounge.
Mr. Hettiaratchy is an experienced hotelier. He took over Orient about four years ago and according to all sources, the development and improvement of the hotel during his time, has been tremendous.
He is a hotel school graduate from Lesroches Hotel School in Switzerland with about 20 years hands on experience in the trade.
Orient Hotel has a staff of nearly 50 mostly, most trained by Hettiaratchy himself.
What radio programme is devoted to improving lives, serving the community and putting your voice on the air? It's called 'Social Thought 89.2' and it is the brainchild of the team behind Lite 89.2!
Lite 89.2 is the sister station of TNL Radio, which already runs the highly successful and unique social action concept - TNL, Action. Why duplicate the format on Lite 89.2? "Well", says the Project Coordinator, "when we saw what a huge audience the station had, and how interactive and socially conscious they were, we realized they would be the perfect people to bring about positive change in our country!"
In the past Lite 89.2 and TNL have worked together on "Radio Aid Day" in aid of the Cancer Hospital, Maharagama and an anti-child abuse programme, but this month Lite 89.2 was ready to go out on their own!
Dulux - Committed towards a cleaner, safer and healthier environment, and Social Thought 89.2 present "A Wish List for the Environment". "This programme gives listeners a chance to express their feelings about the environment. They can write to us with a list of 10 things they would like to change or improve about the way we treat our environment", explained the coordinator. The lists can then be sent to Social Thought 89.2, 52, 5th Lane, Colombo 3, faxed to 301082 or e-mailed to socilite firstname.lastname@example.org .
And that's not all, the writers of the best lists will receive prizes from both the station and Dulux and will also get the chance to be part of the station's special programme to commemorate World Environment Day on June 5, 2001.
Any final words from the Lite 89.2 team? "We'd just like to thank all the people who have already written to us - the response has been phenomenal! And if anyone else would like to 'make a difference' tune in to Social Thought 89.2 only on Lite 89.2!"
By Susitha R. Fernando
Another popular teledrama director, Sudath Rohana is busy with the pre production work on his maiden effort for the silver screen.
With a script based on N. T. Karunatilake's novel "Ulu Gedara Arachchila" Sudath is scouting for right locations in addition to the places he had selected in Kalawewa, Tambuththegama, and Kaltota around the country.
The story revolves around certain incidents that took place in the 1930's in Lanka, though not of historical importance. The maiden directorial effort of Sudath will depict the traditional living style of Sri Lankan people in the early stages and how their cultural pattern changed with the arrival of the British and the problems people had to face here with regard to the land as a result.
Though the film still remains untitled, Sudath who plans to engage a talented cast has made arrangements with Joe Abeywickrema, Jackson Anthony and W. Jayasiri to play the key roles.
Sudath Rohana is an award winner for script writing and direction in 1997 and 1998 at the Sumathi Tele Awards. This award winning teleplay director and script writer presented some of the popular teleplays like "Bedde Gedara", "Yuga Wilakkuwa", "Wana Wadule Wasanthaya" and "Wikum Siha Kathandara" which have been filmed based on several short stories by Martin Wickremasinghe.
Having started his career as an assistant director in the film "Viragaya", Sudath Rohana speaking on the maiden attempt in the silver screen said "though involved in the small screen my main interest is the cinema,".
Mahakanumulle Vajira Thera's maiden film on an ethnic issue had been brought to a standstill allegedly by a gang of thugs and members of a political organisation while the film was being shot.
The short film of "An unfinished story"(Asampurna Kathawak) written and directed by the Ven. Vajira Thera appears to have disturbed the members of the "Sihala Urumaya." He claimed Members of a students' union had stormed the campus premises and compelled the location shooting to be stopped.
The group also had threatened the monk to stop directing the film.
The film deals with the tragic story of a Tamil youth, who had come from the North in search of higher education and a safer life in Colombo.
The film portrays the plight of this student made to undergo humiliation and racist insults which the Thera claims every Tamil experiences, he said "This was my aim
The Thera however said he had to face numerous difficulties because he stood for the rights of the minorities in the country and added that he had received permission from the university authorities for the filming within the varsity premises and some of the staff had even condemned the intrusion. The group threatened him not to continue with the direction of the film and ordered him to hand over the completed film.
The group claimed that by directing the film on this issue the Thera had done something unbecoming of a monk. They had taken the script of the film from him and destroyed it. Fearing for the safety of members of the film crew at this moment he had left the location and sought protection of the police.
The recently graduated talented monk, has excelled as a poet, lyricst and was even won an award as a playwright He has been awarded the Asian Critics award for the screen play of the film.
The prestigious Fifth circuit has been assigned to Cinema Entertainment (Pvt.) Limited in the latest distribution of film circuits.
The first film screened under the new management was Prasanna Vithanage's "Anantha Rathriya" which is running at the moment. The films to follow are Chandran Ratnam's "Poronduwa", Benette Ratnayaka's internationally acclaimed "Aswesuma" and Lester James Peiris latest direction "We Kande Walauwa".
The cinemas included in this category are Colombo Regal Borella, Lido Odeon in Mt. Lavinia, Regal- Negombo, Contras Dalugama, Nayomi- Gampaha, Anura- Panadura, Princess- Galle, New Cinema- Matara, Regal- Kandy, N.L.T. Kurunegala, Milano- Kegalle, Priyangi- Homagama, T. P. Kaduwela, Chandra Avissawella, New Lichavi- Aluthgama, Chitra- Kalutara and Sagara- Chilaw.
The fifth circuit distributor comprises three shareholders, namely Liberty Cinemas, Ceylon Theatres and Cinemas.
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