Financial Times

More work for struggling musicians


Sri Lankan musicians, struggling during war-time due to a shortage of work, are exhilarated as the ‘have fun’ feeling has returned. “When there is a crisis in the country, entertainment is the first to be affected. When this ends, entertainment is the first to take off,” noted veteran musician Sohan Weerasinghe.

Mr Weerasinghe, well-known in the music industry, said he expects hotels to be filled during December with Colombo having probably the ‘best ever’ New Year celebrations. “There is a feel-good feeling and a ‘have fun’ feeling,” he said adding that more people want to ‘party’ and have fun.

“Earlier a company would be reluctant to have a musical or entertainment event saying it’s not right given the situation. All that is changing now,” Mr Weerasinghe said, noting that there would be more work for musicians. “It was the oriental bands that suffered most and I think they would benefit (from the end of the war).”

Gypsies leader Sunil Perera was equally enthusiastic about the next few months saying, ‘loads of people are coming to Sri Lanka and good times are ahead for all of us including musicians.”
Mr Perera, whose current project is an album to mark the band’s 40th anniversary in 2010, says that while there is a ‘good feeling’, it is also important for the authorities to make sure that all communities are treated alike.

“Like the President said we are one, it is important to stress that we are all Sri Lankans and we belong to one country,” he said, adding that he hoped the economy would also improve for the sake of everyone.

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