Mirror Magazine


Shining the light for others
By Ishani Ranasinghe
Music is a talent that can be shared. Suresh David shares it with everyone to bring peace into other hearts and make them happy.

"Shining Light" is his new album released after a lapse of several years since his debut album 'Son of Man'. "This album speaks about Jesus Christ because He is the shining light. We can also be the shining light through Him and set an example in the world we live in," says Suresh who is currently in Sri Lanka on holiday.

Suresh started composing at the age of 15 when he got his first guitar from his mother. "I have no training, but after a certain incident in my life I was really disappointed and just took the guitar and began playing," Suresh says explaining how he got started. "Then it just came. Until then, I had never realized that I had the talent within me."

Suresh, who currently resides in England, released his first album in 1980. The album, which was recorded in Nigeria, contained his well-known hit "Daddy". Later, Suresh went to England for higher studies and became interested in the hotel trade where he now works as a front office manager. Singing with other bands in England he says that in the future he might get together with a local band for a concert.

His new album contains 17 originals that are mainly gospel songs, and also includes the 80s super hit "Daddy". The album, which was recorded in India, has songs from the different eras. "I composed all the songs in this album about 20 years ago," says Suresh. "People wanted me to re-release 'Daddy' again and the new version is more mellow."

"I always dreamt of doing a gospel album and this is a dream come true," he explains. He believes that God has given him a talent that he feels should be used for His glory. He also mentioned a special song in the album "Land of God"; a song of peace and the hope that peace will last in this country.

What the future holds for him is not that clear but he hopes to release a commercial album in another two or three years. "I just need the right backing for it," he says.

Suresh hopes to send 'Shining Light' to the United States to be sold at a few Christian organisations. His hopes for the album are simple. "I hope that people are inspired by my album. I want peace and happiness to be brought into their lives through my songs"

"Shining Light" is available at Torana, Back to the Bible, United Christian Book Shop (Basement Bible Society), Mabroc, Colombo 04 and Pragna, Bambalapitiya.

Abans brings you the best brands
Almost all of Sri Lanka's housewives and career women, who run their households, are familiar with this name: Abans.

The Abans group has many business interests; cellular phones, cleaning services, advertising, export business, a travel company, and the agency for MacDonalds in Sri Lanka.

Armed with 85 retail outlets, and island wide sales and service centres, Abans has certainly come a long way from the time it started as a small shop on Galle Road, where household goods such as blenders and floor polishers, were sold with a guarantee.

"It was quite difficult to get started. At that time there was no open economy, therefore I had to buy my goods from British and American sales and sometimes from people who had bought household appliances from abroad when they returned," says Mrs. Aban Pestonjee, the Managing Director for Abans. "I wanted my customers to place their trust in my goods, as that was important. Each item came with a guarantee, as I would get down the spare parts."

She was driven by two principles. One was the fact that she never took no for an answer when the big companies in the UK were not so keen on sending the items to her, and the other is the fact that she had a desire to give the customer value for money.

However, things changed in 1978, with the introduction of the open economy, she added.

"Afterwards I managed to get everything which I wanted such as the big UK brands like Electrolux, Belling and Hoover.

The rest of course is history Today with LG, the leading Korean brand at the forefront, Abans are agents for many household brands from the international market.
- Thiruni Kelegama

A festival of the performing arts
Thousands of young amateur performers seeking the experience of public performance and a chance to be rated by an expert international adjudicator will have such an opportunity later this year, at the Sri Lankan Festival for the Performing Arts.

Organized by the Institute of Music, Speech and Speaking Skills, the three-month long multi-disciplinary festival will be open to soloists, duets and groups throughout Sri Lanka, including the north and east, the festival's Organizing Directress Kamini Perera said.

The festival is affiliated to the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance and Speech.

A British adjudicator will judge performances, and performers will receive mark sheets, certificates and medals.

"An important aspect of this festival is that the overseas adjudicator travels around the country over three months viewing performances in all major towns and cities," Mrs. Perera said. "This provides an opportunity to many performers who cannot afford to travel to Colombo to participate in such events."

She said all performances in Colombo and the provinces are open to the public at a nominal entrance.

The festival builds up to a grand final performance in Colombo for the exceptionally talented participants who will receive trophies and special awards.

Participation in the festival is by Class based on age groups. Entries for the festival close March 14, and performances are scheduled for May, June and July of this year.

Applications will be accepted for performers in music (oriental/western instruments, solo or choral singing) speech and drama (choral speaking, story telling, news reading, bible reading, prose and sight reading, public speaking, mime, improvisation, creative writing or acting of a poem or drama) and dancing (classical ballet, freestyle, jazz, tap, folk, national, character and modern, drumming and oriental or western dancing).

Public performances are due to take place in Colombo, Gampaha, Chilaw, Negombo, Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kegalle, Kurunegala, Kandy, Bandarawela, Diyatalawa, Badulla, Hatton, Ratnapura, Matugama, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Vavuniya, Jaffna, Trincomalee and Batticaloa.

"Festivals are very popular in the UK and have been the starting point for many professional performers of music, dance and drama," Mrs. Perera said. "The objective of the Sri Lanka Festival for the Performing Arts is to encourage and facilitate the development of the performing arts in the country."

Performance at a festival such as this provides participants an opportunity to gain confidence as stage performers and also to compete with other performers in the same discipline.

As the festival is conducted annually, it also provides a continuous assessment of the particular art form in which each competitor takes part and his or her development becomes to gauge, she added.

The Sri Lankan festival is registered as one of the international festivals in the yearbook of the British and International Federation of Festivals.

The IMSSS is an examinations unit providing island wide examinations in speech and drama, speaking skills, writing skills, pianoforte and theory of music to a set syllabus. Examinations are conducted throughout the year at centres all over Sri Lanka.

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