New Year in Taj style
Taj Samudra in Colombo welcomed the Year 2003 with style.
The center of
attraction was the Samudra Ballroom with the band DreamTeam setting
the tempo for all to dance their cares away to dawn 2003.
There was a
sinful spread of seafood, which was served on tables made out of
ice, which was a special attraction for guests. An exotic Egyptian
dance and air tickets and prizes galore were given away.
The North Lawn
had the much-acclaimed with band Friends giving a mind-blowing performance.
The band kept the crowd on the floor till the wee hours of the morning.
Airline tickets and many prizes were given away at the Lawn too.
The South Lawn of the hotel had something unique in the form of
an Indian Night, with a unique Indian Atmosphere. Food from all
parts of India and an Indian DJ. An all-lndian event with prizes
coffee shop was sold out with a Grand International Dinner Buffet
from around the World and a DJ was on the move.
the hotel's spokesman, all other outlets of the hotel were packed
to capacity including the Mix Bar. Golden Dragon, the Chinese restaurant
and ofcourse the much acclaimed Steak & Grill House.
The hotel Lobby
was full of people who ushered in the New Year 2003 in great style
at the Taj. At midnight there was a fireworks display by the hotel.
Charles : 'A Candle in the Wind'
In contrast to most in the entertainment field, the singer-song
writer Anton Charles Thomas and his 'Daham Pahana' group have come
forward to be like a candle to society. As they let go of their
desire for personal gain or glory they will be a light to others.
came from a business family once sang at hotels and pop shows. But
somewhere down the line something went wrong and he ended up in
a mess and a mud-hole.
It was at this
point that Charles experienced something like what happened to St.
Paul on the road to Damascus. The experience may not have been as
dramatic as Paul's but for Charles also everything changed - his
attitudes, vision and goals in life underwent a turnaround and transformation.
a solid spiritual foundation as a lay brother in the Kithudana Pubuduwa
movement Charles later was called by the Lord to lead a Jesus liberation
movement mainly for the young people of Sri Lanka.
more years of training, prayer and preparation, Charles and his
Daham Pahana community in August last year, launched a countr-ywide
mission through music and song to transform people from selfishness
to selflessness, from hatred to love and from war to peace.
show at the BMICH was like a Jordan Baptism for them. Every month
after that Charles and the Daham Pahana community went to different
areas with their music and song to lead people from a life of darkness
and double dealing to light truth and inner liberation.
A high point
of his mission took place recently when Charles and Daham Pahana
community held a musical crusade for peace at the Sugathadasa Indoor
Stadium. The packed congregation of more than 5000 included the
veteran Bishop of Chilaw, hundreds of priests and nuns, Speaker
Joseph Michael Perera, Minister John Amaratunga, several MPs and
members of Provincial Councils. Rukantha Gunatilleke, Chandralekha
and other top entertainers joined Charles and the Daham pahana group
for four hours of praise and worship through music and song.
clad Charles may not have educational or theological degrees. But
with and through the power of a personal relationship with Jesus
and an anointing of the Holy Spirit the young Charles preached a
challenging liberative message for about one hour as the Bishop
and the congregation listened awe struck by the power of God flowing
from a simple village boy.
Quoting a well
known Gospel story - the landmark encounter between Jesus and the
woman from marginalized and deprived cast - Charles showed how the
Lord was so humble that He was ready to learn an important lesson
even from a woman who had been cast out from society. From this
Charles underlined the need for all people to be ready to learn
from the lives and virtues of others however small they may be considered
in society. The theme for all was " Lord teach me how to learn
from others," in contrast to our distorted human nature which
often drags us to teach others instead of learning from them.
of the musical crusade was the testimony given by Prof. Carlo Fonseka,
the eminent dean of the faculty of medicine. He spoke of the veteran
musician Stanley Peiris and the last show for Stanley in September.
At that show Charles had written and sung on behalf of the cancer
stricken Stanley a song of faith that deeply touched the life of
song of faith was titled "Jesuni, mata oba viswasai, Oba mage
Jeevithayai" It was a dying man making a proclamation of faith
in Jesus as his life and his every breath. Stanley virtually died
with that song of faith. But it gave new life to thousands including
the eminent medical professor.
the show Charles stressed that his role in the mission was like
that of John the Baptist - to decrease and die so that Jesus Christ
might increase. Charles spoke of the imagery of a mason constructing
a sky scraper. As the building grows bigger and taller the mason
looks smaller and gradually fades away. To give light to others
a candle must die to the self. Charles Thomas was clearly doing
it and that is why he shines as one of the brightest stars as he
sings the songs of liberation for Jesus.- Louis Benedict
Indian Orange Street at Lankan Rock
By Sanath Weerasuriya
Orange Street' the winner of last year's Indian
Rock Festival will be featured at 'The Levis Great Sri Lankan Rock
2003' to be held in Colombo at the Viharamahadevi open air theatre
on February 8.
This is the
event focused on providing a platform that would not only encourage
Sri Lankan artistes to perform in India, and vice versa.
All bands who
have original songs are eligible to enter this competition and they
should submit their demo tapes before January 31. The selected five
bands will be on stage, with 'Orange Street' at 'Great Sri Lankan
Rock Festival' on February 8
of this contest will be flown to India to take part in 'Levis Great
Indian Rock Festival 2003' in Delhi on February 22 and 23
was formed by Anirban Chakraborty and Saibal Basu in 1994. Both
of them had just fallen out of their respective local bands in Delhi
at that time. Saibal was already an acclaimed guitar player both
in the live and studio circuit while Anirban was gaining popularity
in the college circuit as a frontman and a singer at the same time.
They met through
common friends and got to know each other better as they found a
common ground in music. Together they decided to write music and
form a band, the aim was to play their own songs. This was rare
at the time when the industry was dominated by artistes and bands
a few drummers they finally found the perfect sound in Ashwani Verma's
playing at a Delhi University College concert.
were few and so they decided to take on Neel who was from the same
college band as Anirban.
The band in
place, they started writing their own music for the next six months
before taking on the road for the live circuit. Fortunately it took
them just a year to make a strong statement about doing original
music as the first break came with their debut release of the single
"Over'n Under" in the first Great Indian Rock compilation
album. It was featured as the 'first' track on the album which gained
immense popularity and word spread like wildfire within musicians
all over the country for their originality and skilful song-writing
1995, Orange Street had made a mark in the Indian Rock music circuit
forever, the result of which is evident till todate. Every performance
of Orange Street has the audience demanding for "Over'n Under"
the only band to be featured six times in the Great Indian Rock
compilation album projects. Accordingly, their songs like 'Saint
Sinner' (1996), 'Candywalk' (1997), and 'Sneak Preview' (1998) went
onto becoming huge hits among their fans and fellow musicians. The
Orange Street repertoire was getting widely acclaimed and bigger
with every release and performance.
saga at SLBC
born Australian entertainer Robin Foenander was in Sri Lanka for
a very short visit recently.
Robin has been
on the air already in the 'Saturday Club' of the Commercial Service
of the SLBC. He will be featured on Rupavahini soon.
stay in Sri Lanka Robin was featured at Mahaweli Reach Hotel, Kandy,
Confifi Group Hotels in Beruwala, Keells Group Hotels in Bentota
and at Colombo Hilton.
shows Harold Fernando of the SLBC presenting his two disc awards
to Rob for his number one hits on SLBC.
Together' and 'Spend my life with you' hit the top in SLBC charts.
Meanwhile Gary Ellis, his singing ally will be in Sri Lanka for
a series of performances in April