Most senior Girl Guide turns 100

Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association was proud to wish its most senior member, Mrs. Pearl Jayasuriya a very happy 100th Birthday on February 16.

Mrs. Jayasuriya, the youngest of three girls was a straight A student at Methodist College who entered University College while also being the Tennis Champion of her home town, Kalutara. During the late 1950's Mrs. Jayasuriya was the Division Commissioner for Kalutara for the Girl Guides Association.

Mrs. Jayasuriya gets ready to cut her b’day cake with the assistance of other members of the association

During her tenure as the division commissioner, she worked tirelessly for the progress and development of Guiding in Kalutara and helped many girls and young women reach their full potential.
Pearl Jayasuriya seeing the importance of the dawn of peace in our motherland when most needed, donated a shield to be awarded to the Guides who are actively involved in projects to bring about peace in Sri Lanka.

She was a rare attraction in the 1950's; being one of the few women driving around in her own car, well known as "May Flower" or "Anta Car". Mrs. Jayasuriya was an active member of the General Council of the Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association and an active member of the All Ceylon Women's Buddhist Congress.

Mrs. Jayasuriya is one of the fortunate members of the Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association to celebrate her 100th birthday when the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is also celebrating its centenary this year.

RASSL monthly lecture series

The monthly lecture of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka will be held at 5 p.m. on Monday, February 28 at the Gamini Dissanayake Auditorium of the Mahaweli Centre, No. 96, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 7. Dr. Wasantha Gunathunga of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo will speak on 'Perfect Mental Health: a Contemplative Neuro -scientific Exposition of Body, Mind and Consciousness' . The lecture is open to the public.

A first in Tamil Language

The author (far left) and family with President Mahinda Rajapaksa after the presentation of the book

'Mahinda' a biography of President Mahinda Rajapaksa written in Tamil by Chief Editor of the Thinakaran newspaper S. Thillainathan was presented to the President at Temple Trees on Monday. The book is the first of its kind in the Tamil language.

The author said he was motivated to write it given the service the President has rendered in liberating the country and giving Tamils a sense of freedom. He also noted that the President delivering a speech in Tamil at the United Nations General Assembly when he spoke on behalf on 70 million Tamils was a significant event.

A veteran journalist, Mr. Thillainathan has published five other books. This volume is a portrait of the President, from his childhood and early days to his political career with personal insights woven in. The author says he was indebted to MP A.H.M Azwar and Secretary, Coconut Plantations Ministry Anura Siriwardene for having helped him with the book.

Walking to celebrate cancer survivors

By Dhananjani Silva

To bring hope for cancer stricken patients; to change their perception that cancer is an incurable, fatal disease and to spread the message that cancer can be cured with proper diagnosis and treatment, the Sri Lanka Cancer Society invites the public to join hands with them at the forthcoming 'Walk for Cancer" to be held on March 6 at Town Hall at 4.p.m

An event organised to raise awareness, the Cancer Walk will see the participation of friends and family members of cancer survivors, activists, caregivers, celebrities and the general public who would walk up to Green Path from Town Hall on that day.

According to the Executive Director Walk For Cancer project Haadia Gallely, parallel to the walk, several other events will also take place such as a street parade with entertainment by famous musicians and groups such as Iraj, BnS, Voice Print, De Lanerolle Brothers, dance items and performances by theatre groups etc.

The Hawker Street Food Fair carnival down Green Path will mark the conclusion of the walk.
At a recent news briefing, the President of the Cancer Society Justice Shirani Tilakawardena said the walk is organised to eradicate the social stigma and myths related to cancer. "Society often stigmatises those who have cancer as sinners- but this is not so. It is very important for us to get this message across and that is why we are walking. We are walking to celebrate the cancer survivors.

We are walking to say that cancer has a cure and early detection can make a great difference. If we can remove the stigma attached to it and change attitudes when people feel the initial lump they would come out to seek treatment," she said.

On the perspective of a cured patient, Sarath Piyaratne, a committee member of Walk for Cancer sharing his experience as to how he survived said that in September 2007 from the time doctors informed him of his illness he was determined that he was going to fight. "Before it happened to me, when I heard a friend of mine or relative had cancer the reaction was always negative. However, when I was told of the illness I resolved from the beginning that I am going to fight and I believe that is what must happen. As a society, the best thing to do is not to give sympathy but to give encouragement and support for cancer patients," he insisted.

"From the memories I have had I still get the smell of chemo from time to time and that puts me down. But I do not want to forget what it was like having a cancer so occasionally I go to the Cancer Hospital and walk around the wards," he said.

The proceeds from the walk will be channelled for current and future projects of the Cancer Society. The Sri Lanka Cancer Society, an organisation that has been in existence since 1948 has been doing a quantum of work from creating awareness to prevention, and cure of the disease. Stafford Garment Industries are associate sponsors of the walk.

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