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Giving body and soul to poverty

Giving body and soul to poverty

Let it keep, the moment when Katherine Boo found herself lying on the floor with a punctured lung and three broken ribs in a spreading pool of Diet Dr. Pepper. Rewind, see her tripping over the unabridged dictionary, her body breaking as it met the floor. Keep rewinding, back over a decade to the beginnings [...]

Taylor-made: Sri Lankan Tea

Taylor-made:  Sri Lankan Tea

The tale of Taylor and tea is an often-told one. The sesquicentennial being celebrated this year dates from when James Taylor supervised the planting of tea plants on Field No.7 at Loolecondera Estate, 34 km southeast of Kandy. This was not the first planting of tea in the country and the date seems to have [...]

Swaying in the water: A new species

Swaying in the water: A new species

She would tuck up her pants and wade barefoot into the mud of numerous tanks (wewas) dotting the Polonnaruwa district in search of the abundant Kekatiya (Aponogeton) trying to decipher whether the usual description both in Sri Lanka and the world of a particular species fit the image. Kekatiya, a group of freshwater plants, had [...]

Old world charm enriched by old school employee

Old world charm enriched by old school employee

With nine younger siblings to be fed, 16-year-old Marasinghe Mudiyanselage Piyadasa from Wewathenna, Bandarawela, could not be a carefree adolescent. As the Loku aiya the family responsibilities weighed heavily on young Piyadasa’s shoulders. It was 1968, when the young lad climbed the little hillock leading to the imperial Bandarawela Hotel to seek his fortune. “The [...]

Koneshwaran: Picturesque temple that has withstood currents of history

Koneshwaran: Picturesque temple that has withstood currents of history

Many people describe Trincomalee as the Jewel of the East. The many faceted town is now the preferred destination for locals who choose to take a break. Trincomalee is known to the modern world as one of the finest natural harbours in the world, but the origin of its name and fame from pre-historic times [...]

Cycling through Mannar

Cycling through Mannar

The wind swept through my hair, tugging and tousling it. Droplets of water sprayed my skin. I could taste the salt. There were occasional thuds and jerks as the boat battled with waves. We were on a navy gun boat, speeding towards Bird Island. We approached one of the islands that form Adam’s Bridge, a [...]

Themes, styles and translations come under microscope

Themes, styles and translations come under microscope

“We live amidst a problematic society. These problems range from globalisation, to racism, to politics etc. To me personally the best way to portray these issues is through short stories,” Professor Piyaseeli Wijemanna told her audience at the Galle Maritime Museum. The first ever Sinhala Day organised by the Fairway Galle Literary Festival took place [...]

Dining with Dunlop savouring the food she loves to cook

Dining with Dunlop savouring the food she loves to cook

“What is the most disgusting thing you have ever eaten?” Fuchsia Dunlop is taking questions, and it’s the first thing someone wants to know. I wonder for a moment whether a chef working in any other culinary tradition (Dunlop’s specialty is Chinese food) would be asked such a question and if she ever tires of [...]

Enjoying writing, telling stories that were not told

Enjoying writing, telling stories that were not told

“If you see the way they does hold on to rum bottles like is com- munion. Like is holy. Like is they saviour. The way they does crawl all up inside hard liquor. Girl, if you see them wring out Johnny Walker bottle. Squeeze in every drop. Knock back wray and nephew just like real [...]

Many an outstanding woman stepped out from her gates

Many an outstanding woman  stepped out from her gates

Let us consider an impressive list of women professionals from all spheres of work in Sri Lanka:The current sixth citizen of the country, the first woman Public Trustee of Sri Lanka – Attorney Tharangani Keenawinna Dissanayake;  the first woman president of the Institute of Engineers of Sri Lanka – Eng. Lanka Hathurusinghe; the first woman [...]

Rain water harvesting brings relief to parched lands

Rain water harvesting  brings relief to parched lands

A father of three, K. Raveenthiram from Alankerny in Kilinochchi used to walk nearly two kilometres to get drinking water from the only well found in the area. It wasn’t easy to pay for the water which was ‘sold’ off a bowser during the worst times of drought. “I’m a poor farmer and it was [...]

70 years ago we all flocked to see‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’

70 years ago we all flocked to see‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’

Seventy years ago… Year: 1947 Month: January Date: 21 Venue: Kingsley Theatre, Kotahena Event: First Sinhala film is screened under the patronage of senior minister D.S. Senanayake and Mrs.Senanayake. The film was an adaptation of a popular Sinhala drama, ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’ (Broken Promise) by the Minerva Theatre Group in Negombo headed by B. A.(Aloy) W. [...]

Come March, Country Roads will be back

“Country Roads”, the popular three-decades old concert of country western and folk music, is back on the road again in Sri Lanka with popular local and foreign acts. This time the show, held almost every year since 1988, is part of three events organized by the Country Music Foundation (CMF) to celebrate its work with [...]

Festival to bring on the jazz blues once again

Festival to bring on the jazz blues once again

Colombo will welcome global music fans to jazz-centric celebration, where fans of all types of jazz-related music – blues, traditional and contemporary jazz and much more,  rub shoulders with aficionados of the genre. The concept behind the Mercedes Benz Colombo Jazz & Blues Festival is a music event that promises to combine the talents of [...]

Domus Lankan edition dedicated to Tilak

Domus Lankan edition dedicated to Tilak

The December-January issue of the architectural magazine Domus has dedicated its Sri Lankan edition to architect and designer Tilak Samarawickrema. The edition features  Samarawickrema’s work over the span of 50 years from his early work in Italy right upto his recent retrospective with a comprehensive look at the many facets of his contribution to the [...]

Pen portraits that needed to be written and read

Pen portraits that needed to be written and read

He has done it again!  ‘Soaring Spirits and Shooting Stars’ the second book to be published last year, by author Lakshman Ratnapala, is as interesting and evocative as his first book ‘Flickering Fortunes’, published in February of the same year. This second book contains primarily pen portraits of 14 men who have had a significant [...]

Ven Ajahn Brahm to conduct a meditation retreat for the Sangha

Venerable Ajahn Brahmavamso will conduct a residential meditation retreat exclusively for monks and nuns at Bandarawela from January 21. Around 200 members of the Maha Sangha, including monks and nuns are participating in the ten-day retreat. The world-renowned meditation teacher has conducted several retreats in Sri Lanka where both the Maha Sangha and the laity [...]

Titus’ unique art on display

Titus’ unique art on display

Veteran artist Titus Perera will hold his next exhibition in Kandy at the E.L. Senanayake Children’s Library from January 28 -30. Elleperumage Titus Perera hails from Kandy from an artistic family. His elder brother Dr. Stanley Perera excelled as a musician in Calcutta India. His inherent talent, ambition and discipline helped him to reach the [...]

National Trust lecture on medicinal plants

Dr. Nimal Karunasiri will deliver the National Trust monthly lecture on ‘Herbal Medicinal Plants’ on Thursday, January 26 at the HNB Auditorium, 22nd Floor, HNB Towers, 479 T.B. Jayah Mawatha, Colombo 10 at 6.30 p.m. Dr. Nimal Karunasiri, Former Commissioner of Ayurveda, and also former Director General of the Department of National Community and Water [...]

Unresolved mystery of fake moonstones

Dr. Donald M. Stadtner will deliver this month’s lecture of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka ( RASSL) tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the Gamini Dissanayake auditorium, No 96, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 7. The lecture will be on ‘A Sri Lankan Moonstone:  Fakes, Fortunes and Unsolved Cases’. ‘A true work of art is but [...]

Odissi dancer Guru Sri Bichitrananda Swain to perform here

Odissi dancer Guru  Sri Bichitrananda Swain to perform here

As a part of 68th Republic Day Celebrations of India, the Indian Cultural Centre, High Commission of India, Colombo will present an Odissi dance recital on Wednesday,January 25  at 7 p.m. at the Bishops College Auditorium, Colombo. The dance recital, “Taal Taranga”, will be performed by Rudrakshya Foundation of India, led by eminent Odissi Guru [...]

Letters

Letters

Discrimination, lack of courtesy, sadly appear to be commonplace in society After thirty long years, I visited the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens last Sunday. I expected large crowds and a long wait to get an entry permit as we were there at 10 a.m. but was pleasantly surprised that there were no queues. The visit to [...]

Appreciations

Appreciations

LAKSHMAN KANDANEARATCHI Saluting a great comrade and the LSSP in its heyday Lakshman Kandanearatchi breathed his last in the United Kingdom recently, but the memories that he left behind amongst his friends and family will certainly live forever. As a   schoolboy at Vidyakara Vidyalaya – Maharagama, he was introduced to left politics through K.M.P. Rajaratne [...]

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