10th December 2000
Amara Gee Sara Staged last week in Colombo aimed to deal with two issues.
One was to celebrate the maestro's 73 birthday and the other idea behind the programme was to raise funds to help the "Amaradeva Trust Fund" started by Ameradeva Foundation to assist the young music talent in the country to take up serious study of music in recognised eastern musc acadamies in India and other foreign countries.
Born in December, 1927 in Moratuwa, W. D. Albert Perera, the name he was born with could handle the violin with exceptional skill. He had been practising this instrument under his father's guidance even as a toddler, and as a teenager it was almost like a toy in his hand. Later he assisted Ghouse Master, who was an accomplished music director with his film work. Dr. E. Sarachchandra who pioneered a revival of traditional music through research programmes over the radio and on stage was hunting for young talent to further his activities in the field.
He discovered the talent in the young magician and christened him with a new name 'Amaradeva' which fitted him without a blemish.In his difficult and long journey the magical musician had made himself a name among all those dealing in music and fine arts.
'The Pepsi Millennium Star 2000, the talent contest has thus far attracted a varied age group and produces a high standard of Talent. The stage performance of the contestants is guided and groomed by Ms. Dalreen Suby.
The Finals on December 22 is an event that promises an evening of entertainment for the entire family. The Millennium Park Talent Search will be an annual event and offers an exciting opportunity for a rising STAR.
The prizes include a Return Air-Ticket to Bangkok with accommodation, Mega Cash prize Gift vouchers, Free Registration and a Free term of Computer study for the Winner of the Senior and Junior Category. Trophies will be awarded to the winners of the Junior and Senior category and the 1st and 2 Runner-up courtesy of the Millennium Park, Pepsi and TV Times.
"Experience" the excitement at Millennium Park this Christmas and be there for the semi-finals on December 8 and 17 from 7.30 p.m. onwards.
Ayesha Gunesekera, a well known, singer-musician, now residing in Arizona, USA will be back for re-union New Year's Eve at the Grand Oriental Hotel on December 31.
Once known as Mighty atom, who was one of the original members of the 'Dream Team' will be re-united with her band after nine years to rock the fans for just one night before she leaves for the States on January 9.
More detals about her visit will be in the next issue of TV Times.
Berjaya Mount Royal Beach Hotel won "The Professionals" award for outstanding service from Lawson International Holidays, based in the United Kingdom.
The presentation was made by Nicholas Lawson, Managing Director of Lawson International Holidays at a ceremony held at the Kensington Hilton Hotel, London on November 16 during the recently concluded World Travel Market.
The award was received by Nath Wijesundera, Director of Sales on behalf of Berjaya Mount Royal Beach Hotel.
Lawson International Holidays is the official staff Holiday Firm for British Airways and is Europe's leading provider of travel industry holidays. In October this year, Lawson International Holidays merged with Grand Adventures Tours and Travel Publicity Corporation (GATT) of USA, the world's largest seller of travel to the airline and travel professional market, bringing together the two largest interline travel companies in the world. Berjaya Mount Royal Beach Hotel is one of Lawson International Holidays preferred hotels and winning this prestigious award is certainly a recognition of the high level of service provided to its guests.
By Sanath Weerasuriya
'The Lodge' in Habarana is quite different from other hotels in the 'Cultural Triangle'.
Swimming pool facilities, A/C rooms, posh dining area, wild life excursions, are the common sales points of the hotels in the Cultural Triangle. But the 'Lodge' has something more with extra weight. The trees.
The main attraction of the hotel is the greenery despite the dusty and dry weather in North central province.
Most of the trees were saved in the area, when the hotel was built nearly eighteen years ago.
The General Manager Suraj Perera explained and said that they all came from the Mahaweli area now under water.
The 'Lodge' located amidst the gigantic trees of the Habarana jungle in 27 acres of land overlooking the Habarana wewa has come to be known as "A Hotel that became a park". Designed by architects Pheroze Choksy and Ismeth Raheem in 1980, inspired by the aura of the nearby 2nd Century B.C. forest hermitage of Ritigala with its dressed stone paved pathways, it is most conducive to meditation and contemplation. The Lodge gardens portray the ornamental landscaping style with many of the trees having been root balled from the Mahaweli reservoir areas (during the time of the Mahaweli project) and replanted in the Lodge gardens.
The Lodge gardens boast over 1,627 trees of 104 species. The gardens are a genuine natural habitat with rock squirrels, monkeys, numerous birds and porcupines a common sight.
The air is pure and filled with the songs of exotic Sri Lankan birds. Some people do come for 'birdwatching' and to spend the night by the lake on a tree top.
This sounds mad but believe me it's facinating and romantic. The lake was tranquil and beautiful and it is out of the world for lovers specially at the sunset hours. Apart from the scenic beauty, the 'Lodge' provides 53 chalets with 150 rooms with A/C balcony or terrace, hot and cold water, and with absolute privacy.
The Lodge is the first resort hotel in Sri Lanka to get ISO 9002 certificate and is now working towards theISO 14,000 top grade certificate from the ISO', said the Manager Suraj Perera.
For those with a penchant for history, the Lodge is a splendid base from which to explore the ancient cities of Anuradhapura (58 kms), Dambulla (25 kms), Sigiriya (24 kms), Polonnaruwa (43 kms), Ritigala (18 kms), Medirigiriya (Watadage) - 52 kms and Aukana (32 kms) - all of them within the heritage classic sites of the Cultural Triangle. And for those with serious environmental concerns Habarana Lodge provides a living laboratory exemplifying eco-friendly practices. In a seven-acre farm adjacent to the Hotel are a piggery and a dairy, vegetable and fruit plantation, a plant nursery and importantly a recycling plant where all water used in the Hotel precincts undergoes a purification and aeration process, the water being later used for gardening. In fact, the Habarana lodge was the first to start this type of processing.
All garbage is sorted out in a material recycling facility where glass, plastics, tin etc., are collected separately for recycling and reuse wherever possible, while landscaping waste such as grass, leaves etc., is converted into compost to be used as manure. The dairy and piggery wastes are collected in a bio-gas plant for conversion to gas and all waste paper too is recycled for use.
There is also an Ayurvedic Herbal Centre catering for aroma therapy, herbal oil massages, foot treatment, treatment of sinus related ailments and ayurvedic facial treatments. Nearly all the herbs required are grown in the special herbal garden of the Hotel.
Olympic style swimming-pool, outdoor floodlit tennis for both day and night cycling, fishing, boating, elephant safaris and jeep safaris to Minneriya and Kaduwela are some of the attractions at the 'Lodge'.
In adddition, there are exotic theme nights to be enjoyed along with excellent food. As the restaurant is an open plan one, it facilitates a lot of 'show-cooking' and a la minute cooking where food comes straight off the pan to the plate. The choices and options for dining are staggering to say the least. The a la carte menu is vast and the daily buffets offering lavish choices of both Eastern and Western cuisine ranging from Indian to Chinese to Continental are sumptuous to say the least. An interesting feature is that there is a daily Curry Corner so that both local and foreign guests could sample typical, authentic Sri Lankan cuisine which include freshly caught tank fish and delicious indigenous vegetables such as Jak, Batu, Kos, Polos, Winged beans, Malung etc.
Children too are catered for with music shows, a kiddies park, monkeys, rock swimming and birds. Both adults and children could derive much pleasure and entertainment from acrobats, oriental dancers, snake charmers etc.
Confifi Group got their sixth member hotel to the family in Sri Lanka last week, when they signed Emerald Bay Hotel in Induruwa, to be under the Confifi umbrella.
Confifi management services has signed up with Emerald Bay Hotel with effect from December 1, to manage and market the property of 31 rooms. The hotel will be marketed as an All Inclusive property which includes all meals on full board and local alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. This concept is very popular in the Mediterranean countries and in Europe and fast catching up in amongst the Sri Lankan clientele.
The unspoilt and unpolluted Induruwa beach is considered to be one of the best beaches on the South Coast which is just 90 minutes drive from Colombo. In keeping with their vision "The Ultimate in hospitality experience" Confifi group hotels promises guests patronizing Emerald Bay Hotel a fun filled and an active based holiday with plenty of recreation and entertainment.
The hotel has a well equipped bar, restaurant and a swimming pool by the beach with all rooms facing the sea. Confifi group owns and manages seven properties with a total of 730 rooms including their overseas venture in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Emerald has 25 non-A/C rooms and 6 A/C rooms with direct access to the beach.
The rooms have a delightful view of the ocean, and a pleasant terrace where guests can watch the golden evening sun sink gently below the waters.
The ideal place for a quiet relaxation holiday and Confifi boasts as "probably the best beach on the South Coast".
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