16th September 2001
Anura Lokuhetti, Director- Operations of the Confifi Group has been invited by the Universal Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA) to address the 35th world congress, which is to be held in Tunisia from October 28 to 1st November 2001.
The topic assigned to him is "PROVIDING CLIENTS' SECURITY IN TOURIST DESTINATIONS THROUGH COMMUNITY PARTIClPATION."
Mr. Lokuhetti will be identifying ways of linking the local communities so as to aleviate these problems through building better relationships and trust.
The speaker is also a firm believer who thinks with the natural resources that Sri Lanka has, tourism can be the biggest foreign exchange earner for the country.
He is also a member of the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates' Association & the President of the Beruwela Hoteliers' Association.
According to UFTAA secretariat around 800-1000 leading travel airline and hotel representatives from all over the world are expected to attend this congress. UFTAA represents 114 national associations and additional affiliate members based in a total of 121 countries. UFTAA has a consultancy status with UN, NGOs, ECOSOC and works closely with other world bodies such as UNESCO, WHO etc. for a sustainable and responsible tourism. UFTAA is also a affiliate member of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) in the business council
This opportunity for Sri Lanka Tourism comes at the correct time where Mr. Lokuhetti can use the time allotted to him to create an awareness to the right audience which consists of all the leading tourism sector personalities in the w orld.
Udaya Nanayakkara, the immediate past president of the Travel Agents' Association of Sri Lanka (TAASL) who is also a board member of UFTAA will be representing Sri Lanka at this congress.
The HCIMA - Sri Lanka has acknowledged the services provided by Dr.Chandi Jayawardena, a Visiting professor of the Ryerson University Toronto, who is the HCIMA Ambassador for the Caribbean and South America Zone, and Saman Rajapakse, GMof the Villa Ocean View Hotel, Wadduwâ, the Immediate Past Chairman of the Sri Lanka International Group of the HCIMA in promoting "Hospitality Management Excellence" internationally.
The HCIMA based in UK and operating in more than 100 countries through its International groups with a total membership exceeding 23,000 professionals, is the world's leading such organization for the hospitality industry.
Dr. Jayawardena has been elected a Member of the International Council of the HCIMA, UK and Vice Chairman of its International Development Committee. Saman Rajapakse has been appointed HCIMA Ambassador for the South East Asia Zone, and as a Member of the International Development Committee (IDC).
Dr. Jayawardena who was appointed for the Caribbean and South America Zone was the Founder Chairman of the HCIMA Sri Lanka Chapter and of the Jamaican Chapter.
Saman's association with the HCIMA goes back to 1977, initially as a Student Member and in course of time was awarded his Fellowship.
"Itu Devi Vimana" is a telefilm that deals with marriage and its importance to society.
The morale in the film is that if a man sees the correct path and treads the same, nobody is needed to guide and help him.
Aravinda played by Sriyantha Mendis is a middle class engineer who leads a simple and sober life in the city. But his wife is a publicity seeking fashionable lady. They separate leaving their two year old daughter Anusha depressed and she continues to live with the father. The other family depicted in this story is a couple working in an office in the city. The husband Reginald (Ananda Wickremage) an accountant is a drunkard and a gambler while his wife Radhika (Achala Alles) works as an executive officer. An invisible character Gilman, a businessman influences this family and succeeds in breaking it up. Hence, their son Channa is boarded in a school hostel.
This drama develops around the two broken families. One day Aravinda meets Radhika at a police check point unexpectedly. The story goes on depicting numerous frictions and experiences in life. Aravinda and Radhika understand each other well and agree to become loving parents to the two children. The other principal artistes in the cast are Mahendra Perera, Janaka Kumbukage, Kusum Renu, Senaka Perera and Srinath Maddumage.
Itu Devi Vimana is directed by Sumana Wanninayake and produced by Rimensi Fernando while the script is by R. M. U. Rathnayake and the music has been directed by Ranjith Balasooriya. Dinu Chamikara and Pubudu Manjula have handled the editing. The film is telecast every Saturday at 9 pm on Swarnavahini
'Bahu Barya' director Udayakantha Warnasuriya is making arrangements to film "Bahu Buthayo", based on a different theme.
Bahu Buthayo relates a story of a female demon living in a remote village being compelled to work for a witch doctor (Kattadiya) who keeps the demon under his bondage. Once freed from bondage she turns to be a beautiful girl and comes to the town.
Later she gets friendly with two journalists and then the film follows the attempt of these two media men to get rid of this demon turned into a beautiful girl.
Udayakantha' is planning to introduce a new face for the lead female role in Bahu Buthayo. The director invites aspirants to write to 98 A 1/1 High Level Road, Kirulupana or e-mail him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
He also is ready to use different make-up, techniques and computer technology in his latest directorial effort. Shooting is to start in November.
By Susitha R. Fernando
The maiden directorial attempt of award winning teledrama Director Inoka Sathyangani is now being given the final touches to her film "The Wind Bird" (Sulan Kirlli). Editing is over and the dubbing is done using digital technology which has been used in a few of the latest Sri Lankan films which are yet to be released.
The film for which the script was written and directed by Inoka herself will make its entry to silver screen from the small screen. Inoka was awarded with the "Sumathi" and "Unda" (OCIC) awards in 1996 and 1998 for her single episode telefilms. Winning the Best Young Director award for her serial teledrama "Uruma Laddo" at the Sumathi Award in 1998 she even proved her talent in the mini screen.
Speaking on the novel experience Inoka said: "Most of our films come down in the international film festivals and even are not selected due to the poor technology in sounds. The technology used in this film along within a few other latest Sinhala films have the international standard with stereo sound systems and if content and the rest is good we can easily compete in the international arena,"
The central figure of the story is a girl who had come all the way from the village in search of a job in a garment factory. Isolated in a complex society the story discusses the social and human problems she had to face. The story based on a true event focuses on the issue of abortion through a tragedy faced by a girl due to an unlawful pregnancy.
"In a country where sexual education becomes a secret at both school and social level the film is designed to look at the fate which over takes society of a girl caught up in midst of her youthfulness and sex ", Inoka said talking on some what controversial and exceptional theme of her direction.
Filming of "Sulan Kirilli" was done in the locations in and around Colombo.
The young director hopefully awaited the release her film to coincide with the International Women's Day as it portrayed a crucial problem women had to face. Meanwhile Inoka is writing the script for another film to honour an invitation.
While Linton Semage, and Damitha Abeyratne play the lead roles, Jayani Senanayake, Liyoni Kotalawela, Buddadasa Vithanarachchi, Radha De Silva, Bandula Vithanage, Senaka Wijesinghe and child actress Pramudi Karunaratne also do some major roles.
"Sulan Kirilli" is one of the three films produced, under the 100 percent loan scheme operated by the Film Development Fund of the National Film Corporation.
After a 13-years absence from the tele scene the director of 'Suseema'- a popular teleplay in the late 1980s is to return to the scene once again with a story woven around the insurrection in 1989 and 1990.
Rohan Welivita in his second attempt intends to call the new effort "Pembara Ma Puthanuvane" based on true incidents of those times.
Rohan plans to have an entirely new cast. He is searching for a person aged between 30-35 years to play main male role of a journalist and a girl aged 25-30 years to play the main female role.
He is determined to give opportunities to around 500 newcomers to play both male and female roles of different age groups ranging from 8 months to 80 years.
Those interested may apply with a recent photograph to No. 33, Hospital Road, Galavila Watta, Homagama.
Eurofly-Alitalia group resumes its weekly flights on Wednesdays from Milan to Colombo from September 12, 2001.
Eurofly discontinued flights into Colombo after the attack on the International Airport Katunayake on July 24, due to the high cost on insurance levied on Aircraft and passengers. Since then Sri Lankan Airlines cancelled all their flights to Rome and Milan.
Eurofly is the only direct flight from Milan into Colombo.
Eurofly will carry Italian tourists and Sri Lankans who work in many parts of Italy.
Eurofly will also resume its cargo operation to Europe and USA on its weekly flight.
Alitalia is the national carrier of Italy and Eurofly is fully owned subsidiary of the Alitalia Group.
Exchange & Finance Investments Ltd is the general sales agent is Sri Lanka for Alitalia and Eurofly.
With the relaxation of the travel advisories of the United Kingdom, Germany and serveral other countries, it is expected that the winter season can be recovered to some extent. The Sri Lanka Tourist Board with the support of the indusry will launch strong campaigns in the leading markets to woo as many tourists as possible during the coming winter season.
According to the Tourist Board statistics,in August 2001, only 15,717 tourists arrived in Sri Lanka, which is a decrease of 54.3%, compared to the corresponding month in 2000.
The cumulative tourist arrivals for the first 8 months of this year also recorded a slight decrease of 0.7% over the same period last year. The drop in arrivals was mainly due to the incident at the BIA, Katunayake during the last week of July.
Western Europe showed a decrease of 66.2% compared to the same month last year. Arrivals from the major markets of this region such as UK, Germany, France and Italy decreased by 73.8%, 75.6%, 38.7% and 43.7% respectively.
Tourist arrivals from East Asia and South Asia also recorded decreases of 19.3% and 24.3% respectively.
Restaurant Karlstein, is the latest addtioin to the city's restaurant chain. Roland Metzlaff Jorg and Reiner Zeller two leading German hoteliers started this project in Mount Lavinia mainly to cater authentic German food to the Sri Lankan clientele.
They said that they have travelled everywhere in Asia to select the most suitable location for their restaurant project.
'Our choice was Sri Lanka' said Jorg Zeller, Chairman of Restaurant Karlstein, the first authentic German restaurant in Sri Lanka.The official opening of Restaurant Karlstein in Mount Lavinia took place recently amidst a host of VlPs, Diplomats, distinguished guests and leading personalities in Sri Lanka's travel trade.
Speaking to 'the TV Times, Roland Metzlaff, the chief chef and the main man of the restaurant said that although there seems to be a decline in tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka on account of the incident at the BIA , he was optimistic that Sri Lanka's travel industry will soon boom once again .
'I have nothing to fear about our investment on Restaurant Karlstein, because I believe this is only a temporary setback. Ours is a BOI project. Zeller said
The Restaurant Karlstein is already a popular place. They have organised theme nights for Saturdays, where the guests are requested to stick to dress code. The coming Saturday, September 22 will be 'The Trip' Night with smart casual. "Black Night" will be on September 29, where the guests in black will be allowed inside.
A live band and a DJ will be in attendence for tha dance loving diners. Restaurant Karlstein offers a variety of delicious and speciality German original cuisine and also European cuisine. Chefs by profession, Jorg Zeller and Roland Metzlaff, have visited Sri Lanka since 1975, no less than 30 times on holiday and business.
During these visits they have travelled extensively in Sri Lanka but never experienced any danger or problems. 'Though the war has become the major problem, the Lankan people are always with a smile and ready to help. I think they are the best lot in the whole world for hospitality' he said.
By Tania Fernando
'Dancesport' the much talked about competition in the dance circle was held last Sunday at the Hilton, for the seventh consecutive year, and was organized by Footwork.
The competition which started at 6.45 pm ended only at 11.15 pm with twenty-four couples taking part in this annual event. There were couples from Malaysia, Singapore and Hongkong too particpating.
The first part of the competition was the ballroom section for all contestants, which was reduced to six couples. Wajira Ranasinghe and L K H Gayanthi won the freshers modern and novices modern in the ballroom section, while Saliya Perera and Manjula Siriwardene won the open waltz, open Viennese waltz and open modern waltz. The Novice Modern was won by Sunny Tan and Annie Peng from Singapore.
The second half of the competition was the Latin American dances. The winners in the freshers Final was Yohan Dharmapriya and Shanuki de Alwis, Prizes for Novices and Beginners Latin American went to Mohamed Nafaiz and Tharanga Fernando and the open Cha Cha to Yohann Jurie and Michiko Chiba.
The Amateur Latin American had just two couples Tee Soon Thiong and Chie Siew Lan from Malaysia and Yohann Jurie and Michiko Chiba, and the latter won the competition having done an excellent job.
With 24 couples the organizers got six couples at a time on the dance floor. The floor space was insufficient as such, during the acts you could see one couples elbow on another couples head.
I felt that the organizers could have had preliminary eliminations and then brought in the finalist, and given them more time on the floor.
At the time of the prize giving, most often you could see those in charge of handing out the gifts being unsure as to who should get what, and was in the midst of the floor trying to make a decision.
Although the compeer said that there would be an interval of just 15 minutes, it took more than half an hour for the spectators to return to their seats. Even the refreshments served were not organized and after having stood in a queue for nearly 10 minutes guests were told that they should move to another queue.
The final performance was by Markus Homm and Charlotte Egstrand, who were also two of the judges at the competition. They performed the Waltz, Samba, Cha-Cha, Rumba and the Jive. There was a change of costume by Charlotte for every dance. Charlotte and Markus have been Danish dance champs twice and were placed 5th at the World Dance Championship.
Their performance definitely left the audience of 650 spellbound till the end.
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