TV Times
9th September 2001
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'Fiela's Child' 

In Africa a child wanders too far into the Knysna Forest. He never returns..................

Nine years later, two government officials, working on a census, find a white child living with a coloured family in the mountains on the other side of the forest. They take him away from the stricken Fiela, who has brought him up, and give him back to his 'original' family.

Whipped into using a new name and calling strangers 'ma' and 'pa', Benjamin is so stunned that he cannot cry and waits for Fiela to reclaim him. But Fiela, powerless before authority, never comes. So Benjamin has to grow up before he can go in search of the truth.

For years the helpless youngster, and then young man, is mercilessly exploited and ill-treated. He also falls deeply in love with the young woman he believes to be his sister. All the while faithful Fiela moves heaven and earth to win back her God-given child.

A mother's love finally triumphs.

Cast includes Fiela...... Shaleen Surtie-Richards, Ellias..... Andrew Rossouw, Barta...... Lida Botha, Benjamin Sr... David Minnaar and Benjamin Jr...... Jan Ellis.

On Swarnawahini at 9.30 pm

Gloria Estefan - Caribbean Soul

After 15 years of making hits albums, performing to sellout crowds and bringing the musical vibes from the Hispanic Caribbean to the world, epic superstar Gloria Estefan has once again found a way to outdo herself. 

Gloria's latest Spanish language disc perhaps can be best described as a splendid fusion of Caribbean beats powered by some of the most passionate vocal performances yet from a global superstar who pioneered a mix of Cuban rhythms from the Caribbean with other grooves from South America and North America.

Caribbean Soul boasts of a scintillating array of Caribbean hybrids that expertly melds sounds from Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Panama. Gloria points out that on the lovely mid-tempo entry, there is a Mexican writer, a Colombian arranger, and the song has a Dominican melody line with a Cuban percussive son base. This in a nutshell what her album "Caribbean Soul" has been and what this musical will be.

A musical extravaganza to the discerning music lovers from the two time Grammy Awards winner in the Latin Music categories alone.

Sunday, September 9, at 10.00 pm on MTV

Confifi Vacation for deserve readers 

By Sanath Weerasuriya
With the massive response from our readers for the TV Times-Confifi Vacation Voucher Competition last week, the second leg of the competetion will come alive this week.

Sunday Times readers can look for their well deserved holiday with this competition called Confifi Vacation Voucher Competition. This will enable our ardent readers to win eight Confifi Vacation Vouchers (a gift for any occasion), which will enable the winners to enjoy full-board weekend package for two at all six hotels of the group. To enter this competetion all you have to do is to answer three simple questions given below in the coupon and post it to the address given below. 

The address is Vacation Voucher Competition No. 2, C/o TV Times , Sunday Times, No.8, Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo-2. The winners of the competition no:1 will be announced next week. Senders are requested to send entries on post card only. 

All the entries must be originals from the Sunday TV Times and no photocopies or faxes will be entertained. All correct entries will be drawn by a panel of judges. The entries should reach the above address by September17 , the latest. The decision of the judges will be final and the names of the winners will be announced in The Sunday TV Times accordingly.

This week we feature Riverina Hotel . A two-hour drive from Colombo along the scenic pearl-fringed beaches is the tropical sea resort renowned for its beautiful beaches, brilliant sunshine and boundless blue water. At Hotel Riverina the airconditioned luxury guest rooms and suites command a spectacular view of the vast Indian Ocean.

Riverina, known to be the largest resort hotel along the southern coast with 200 rooms located in the "Golden Mile" in Beruwela, boasts of satellite TV, in-house movies, hot water, mini bar & IDD facilities in the rooms.

Opportunities for indoor and outdoor activities abound, not the least of which are a variety of water sports, snooker/billiards, gym, tennis and other indoor games. 

In the evenings, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, one could dine on an appetizing array of food of international and

Sri Lankan cuisine and then adjourn to the lounge bar or discotheque.

What really makes the Riverina Hotel special is that it has something for everyone. If you are a computer addict, it has a cyber den and for kids a mini club and more than anything, the hotel symbolizes feelings of warmth, comfort, beauty and tranquility.

The restaurants have a variety of choices, the bar is cozy and there is wining and dancing for those who want it. 

Animated programmes are the favourite of many. Theme nights are another attractive feature of the hotel. Conferences for anything up to 250 pax could be held and the hotel will take care of all the planning and take off the stress from you.

The latest addition to the Hotel Riverina is the Ayurveda Villa.

In this villa you have a shelter from stress. A hideaway for rejuvenating and an idyllic retreat to relax and be rested to ''wellness'', Ayurveda is renowned for its ability to promote general well-being and revitalization, to delay the aging process, to promote a healthy life and diet and to achieve a new zest for life under a regeneration regime. All these while you are on holiday.

In the hotel's restaurant a separate buffet contains the specially prepared Ayurveda dishes.

This family concept hotel is managed by Confifi Group. Riverina gives an unique concept for hospitality, where there is always something special for everyone.

TNL musical fiesta

A Grand Musical Fiesta and Awards Ceremony titled 'Savanata Gee Madhu 200 - Star Spangle' will be held at the Elphinstone Theatre, on September 15 at 6 pm.

This musical fiesta is organised to mark the telecast of 200 episodes of "Savanata Gee Madhu" weekly musical programme over the TNL TV.

An array of over 50 leading vocalists, musicians and actors are billed to participate in the show for which admission will be free.

Two bands, 'Saman and the Clan' and 'Promises' will be in attendance while Channa Wijewardena's and Rajini Selvanayagam's dance troupes will present the dance items.

Radio and TV announcer Srimath Indrajith Liyanage who has presented the 'Savanata Gee Madhu' program since inception in 1997 said the programme, which had been a platform for alternative ideas and views has been well received by TV viewers.

Pilgrims hold up film shooting

Location shooting at Kataragama Devale of the film 'Nahi Werena Verani', based on the story of Kataragama beauty queen Premawathi Manamperi has been stopped due to the pilgrims at the devale premises.

Director Dharmasiri Wickremaratne has written the script from the original case record of the Manamperi killing that came before the court later. The story revolves around Premawathi Manamperi, who faced an inhuman death during the 1971 insurrection. Premawathi was the eldest daughter of a ten member family. 

The film is to depict unfortunate incidents surrounding her death. She was subjected to rape by several army personnel and dragged nude on the public roads of Kataragama before being killed.

The main role of Premawathi is played by Sangeetha Weeraratne, while the role of Army officer Lieutenant Wijesuriya is played by Sanath Gunathilake. Veteran actor Joe Abeywickrema also plays a major role of Army General in the film. 

The film produced under the project film fund of the National Film Corporation.

Chandrasiri has touch of success

By Susitha R. Fernando
Jayantha Chandrasiri is one among the few gifted film directors to have attempted to present some thing new on the teledrama screen. His efforts have been exceptional in quality and content. 

Handling exceptional themes was nothing new to him and all his teledramas were far away from the formulaic story line. 

Having produced some very successful plays like 'Athth', 'Mora' and 'Oththukarayo' for the stage Jayantha's directorial attempts for the mini screen have displayed its own uniqueness in the plot, narration and direction of them. 

His first teledrama 'Weda Hamine' (Woman Doctor) was on the theme of man's fight against the deadly disease cancer. 'Dandubasnamanaya' was a teledrama that captured hearts of the TV audience achieving top rating during the period it was telecast. While 'Akala Sandaya' portrayed a man travelling along the time span-past and future-and his latest 'Rejina' was the first Sri Lankan teledrama that touched on the theme of love between an alien and a human being. All these have won awards at festivals like 'UNDA' and 'Sumathi'. 

Jayantha having been constantly successful on stage and small screen hopes to achieve recognition on the silver screen with the release of his maiden film 'Agni Dahaya' a film depicting a destabilised Lanka politically in the late seventies. Portraying the human relationships of people living in an up-country village it dissects qualities like love, hatred and other emotions of man. 

"Although we have excluded these people who belong to the heritage of this country it is from them that a rich history has sprung up. And they were people of noble achievements" said Jayantha speaking on his latest work. 

Jayantha Chandrasiri through his efforts had tried to depict our traditional culture and arts which have been sidelined and kept away from the people. Responding to the question he said "there are certain backward and negative points in our traditions and customs but positive perspectives. We cannot speak on either politics or arts forgetting this great history". 

"Most remarkable quality of our customs, traditions and lifestyle is that it could withstand the pressure of global influences in the future too" he added. 

Chandrasiri had displayed outstanding ability in getting his cast to give of their best in the roles assigned to them. In 'Agni Dahaya" too for Jayantha had selected young and talented actors for the lead roles. Some of them are Yashoda Wimaladharma, Jackson Anthony, Kamal Addararachchi in addition to Sanath Gunathilake, Buddhadasa Withanarachchi and Gamini. 

When asked about the entry of young directors into the scene and the international recognition they had brought to the local cinema Jayantha said "Young film directors who entered the cinema recently had displayed lot of talent and had displayed qualities to show that they are equal to anybody in the field. The remaining talented young men among us are unfortunately have not either been given proper recognition or provided with opportunities to gain exposure in the international cinematic field".

"The other reason is that we have not yet developed a cinematic tradition in this our country", he claimed.

One man show: 'Charitha Hathak'

The popular Sinhala stage play 'Charitha Hathak' is scheduled to go on boards at the Elphinstone Theatre on September 9 at 3.30 and 6.30 pm. 'Charitha Hathak' features unique performances by Wilson Gunaratne playing seven different characters with seven defferent voices.

The play Charitha Hathak, a comedy is directed by Wilson Gunaratne. The play involves 7 different characters (as the name suggests!) and revolves around a particular flight which has been stranded before take-off. This is a very unique play as the 7 characters are all dramatised by one actor (Wilson Gunaratne), each having a different personality, and more interestingly - a different voice.

Wilson is no stranger to comedy. He's been involved in popular television programme such as Nonawaruni Mahathwaruni, and the current TV series Kathura. However, unlike some of the programmes, Charitha Hathak is not politically motivated.

'Me Mage Sandai' spins to the top

Talented film director Asoka Handagama has put Sri Lankan cinema on the international film screen by winning rave reviews at the Cinefan Asian film festival held in New Delhi recently "This is My Moon" (Me Mage Sandai).

Twelve films were selected for the competitive round from countries like Iran, India , Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey for the festival. 

Jury of the festival was headed by renowned Sri Lankan film director Ms. Sumithra Peiris and included noted film actress Sharmila Tagore from India. 

"The whole jury unanimously decided that it was an outstanding film and due to novel presentation and film language deserved to come to the top at the festival" Jury president Ms. Sumithra Peiris told the TV Times. 

Some of the films screened at the festival were award winners at internationally acclaimed film festivals. The Netpac Jury award was won by the Philippine film 'Demons' directed by Mario O' Hara. Awards for the best actor and actress were won by Indonesian and Malaysian films. The festival was organised by Cinema film magazine of India.

Computer aid to Diyatalawa

Dennis Jones, a British war veteran who served in Diyatalawa during the war, visited the area recently.

He gifted a personal computer to Aluthwela South Vidyalaya, a poor school in Diyatalawa area.

The presentation took place at the Orient Hotel in Bandarawela. The gift was received by W.M.T.B. Wijekoon, Principal of the school and was handed over by Mr. Rifai, the operations manager of the local travel agent in the presence of Rawatha Hettiarachechi, the GM of the Orient Hotel and Manager, Adventures Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.

Fly a Kite

By Naveen Jayawardena
The Asian Festival of Kites organized by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Urban Development Authority and the Lions Club of Moratuwa is to take place at the Galle Face Green on the 23rd of this month.

The history of kite flying dates back thousands of years. Historians believe that it probably originated in China like many of its contemporary inventions. But it was the Japanese who started using kites for recreational and religious purposes. 

Kite flying has become a popular leisure activity in Sri Lanka during the recent past. The previous Galle Face Green had been a hot spot for many kite flyers on holidays.

It was in 1970 the first ever National Kite festival was held. It was on the same venue and was organized by the Moratuwa Jaycees along with the Ceylon Tourist Board. It had occupied a regular place in thier calendar thereafter. In 1976, the Lions club of Moratuwa joined the festival. Except for the last few years, it had taken place each year in September or October. 

Organizers claim the Asian Kite Festival to be the biggest of its kind ever to be held on Sri Lankan soil. Though it faced a few setbacks after the attack to our international Airport, it had been an encouragement to the organizers to receive confirmations from 60 participants. Many locals are expected at the event making it more colourful and competitive. The foreign participants are from Japan, Korea, Thailand, Pakistan and India. Many exciting prizes have been arranged in various categories. Among them are the largest kite and the most creative. A presidential award will be given for the 'Best kite in the festival'.

The festival is followed by the opening of the Galle Face Green to the general public. The kite festivity comences at 1.00 pm on the 23rd and there will be additional entertaintment following the awards presentation like a fireworks display and a martial arts show.

Mahan: New star in the skies

At a time when many airlines considered Sri Lanka as a risk zone, Mahan Air thought differently. 

The private airline based in Iran started its Sri Lankan trips on August 30. Currently they fly between Colombo and Dubai twice a week. 

Mahan Air began its journey in 1991. 

Ever since it has been expanding and improving its service as a passenger service and in cargo operations. 

Adding Airbus A-300 have been one of its successful leaps. Today the airline flies to destinations in countries like UK, South Korea and Thailand. 

The General Sales agents of Mahan Air in Sri Lanka is Silver Wings who handles both cargo and passenger. Destinations are expected to increase according to the response. 

Airlines had been the backbone of Sri Lankan tourism. A classic example was evident after the unfortunate attack. But Airlines like Mahan Air helps to keep the flame of hope burning for tourism in Sri Lanka.

'Thambapani' differs from the rest

Thambapani is a new addition to the growing number of restaurants in Colombo, It promises to serve you something really different from the other places.

According to the restaurants owners, Micky and Romayne Wickremasinghe, the Thambapani serves traditional Sri Lankan food as the main course but that is where it's commonalty with other restaurants ends.

The menu at the restaurant covers food of different communities living here It includes some of the food items from people that colonized the country such as Portugal.

The food is served at the restaurant cooked in a manner that it exposes the range and richness of Sri Lankan food. In the preparation of its food, the chefs at the restaurant ensure that the authenticity of the flavours are retained.

The food at the restaurant is handled by a chef with the experience at a five star hotel. This ensures that the food served is indeed special.

The proprietors of the hotel also personally supervise the cooking to ensure that customers are served the best food. The presentation of the food is also attractive, with lots of colour and creation.

The restaurant also serves a selected number of wines that blend perfectly well with the food served there.

The interior of the restaurant is also quite classy with aesthetic but simple decorations with a very Sri Lankan feeling to it.. There are also tables laid out in the garden for those who enjoy their meals in the open. It is indeed a place for enjoyment of food and drink.

The food is also good value for money and all these together make dining at the Thambapani an enriching experience. The restaurant is a long time dream of Micky and Romayne whose inspiration and hard work made it a reality. 

The restaurant is situated on Duplication Road close to the British Council.

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