bags two more awards
Pandit W. D. Amaradeva
continues to add on to his tally of awards. Last week he received
the medal of Arts and Letters - "Officier de l'ordre des Arts et Lettres",
a medal of honour created in France to grant official recognition
to outstanding artistes. Amaradeva was awarded the medal to honour
him for the service he has rendered to the world music heritage.
The award came
just after a week when he, along with Dr. Lester James Peries was
recognised by Eagle Insurance Company with the presentation of the
'Eagle Award of Excellence', given to outstanding artistes who are
symbols of excellence. There was a mutual exchange of pleasantries
between the two at the presentation. While accepting the award, Lester
referred to Amaradeva as "the great legend and national treasure of
Sri Lanka" while Amaradeva described Lester as "a human wealth whom
the country is fortunate enough to possess". This was the first time
that the 'Eagle Award of Excellence' was being awarded and in selecting
Lester and Amaradeva as the first recipients, the Company was recognizing
"the best in the country".
As to the French
medal of Arts and Letters, it marked the opening of a cultural week
organized by the French Embassy and the Alliance Française in collaboration
with the Trans Asia Hotel titled 'A little bit of France in Colombo'.
The week coincided with the popular French "Fete de musique" (Music
Day) of June 21. Launched in 1982, this festival started to expand
internationally in 1985, carried along by music lovers around the
globe. It also happens to be the first day of summer, giving the sign
for the summer festivities to start soon.
A radio journal
Many years ago,
during the heyday of radio when there was no television and there
was only a single radio channel (Radio Ceylon), an interesting publication
hit the bookstands every month. Titled 'Tarangani', it was a handy
journal carrying selected talks, dramas and other features, which
were broadcast over the radio. Neatly printed, it was released by
Radio Ceylon at a nominal price and was extremely popular at a time
when there were hardly any interesting publications in Sinhala.
As it often happens
with such publications, 'Tarangani' disappeared after some years.
Though there have been sporadic attempts to release publications of
this type, they were short lived. A fresh attempt has now been made
by Lakhanda radio and ITN to release a regular journal. 'Lakhanda'
is the title given to it and the inaugural issue (dedicated to Pandit
Amaradeva who reached 75 recently) is already out. The editorial note
to the first issue laments the absence of a regular publication and
claims 'Lakhanda' is "an attempt to publish an academic journal in
place of a souvenir full of advertisements". The publishers are not
quite sure about the frequency. "It may be bi-annual, annual or even
once in two years,” they say. "What is required is to keep something
behind for the reader or the listener.”