Plus - People and events

Renowned speakers at symposium on decorative arts of Sri Lanka

The 2011 Symposium on the Decorative Arts of Sri Lanka, on the theme "The Interconnected World of Eurasia" will be held on August 24, 25 and 26 in Colombo.

The Symposium will be held on the 24th at Galle Face Hotel and on the 25th and 26th at the American Center auditorium and will have a wide spectrum of distinguished speakers touching on topics from "Buddhist Art of Tang China, to the Ancient Commercial Ties of Northern Sri Lanka. Day 2 will discuss the Sri Lankan impact on early modern Japanese decorative arts, to Ceylonese ivory carvings in Dutch collections.

Speakers and presenters from USA, UK, Netherlands, India and Sri Lanka will share their valuable research and expertise in areas of the decorative arts. The list of distinguished speakers includes Dr. Anning Jing, Dr. Senerath Bandara Dissanayake, Dr. Shanti Jayewardene-Pillai, Ashley de Vos, Prof. Nimal de Silva, Prof. P. Pushparatnum, Dr. Sinharaja Tammita Delgoda, Dr. Sanjay Garg, Dr. R. Mahalakshmi, Prof. K.D. Paranavitana, Dr. Martha Chaikin, Ebeltje Hartkamp- Jonxis, Ayesha Abdur-Rahman, Prof. B.D. Nandadeva, Dr. Robin Jones, Cresside Collette, Ismeth Raheem, Shevanthie Gunasekera, Deshika Van Haght, Moahdi Hussain, Alexandra Mohr and Luzia Hardy.

In 2008, AISLS (American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies) sponsored the first workshop, covering topics from the ancient, medieval and Kandyan periods, including the European colonial periods of Dutch VOC and British East India Company. The Lanka Decorative Arts (LDA) a non-profit association was launched in 2010, for the study and appreciation of the arts.

Those interested in decorative arts may register by e-mailing LDAconference or by calling 0771614023. Seating is limited so reserve early. Details of sessions, registration fees etc will be sent by email.

Memorial lecture on Dr. K. Balasubramaniam

The Peoples' Movement for the Rights of Patients (PMRP) will conduct the first in the series of the Dr. K. Balasubramaniam memorial lectures on Saturday, August 27 from 10.00 am to noon at the Hall of the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) at the Fatima Church premises, 281 Deans Road, Colombo 10.
The topic will be, "A model doctor and the challenges facing a health activist." The speaker will be Prof. Carlo Fonseka, former dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Kelaniya.

All are welcome for this lecture in memory of the PMRP's founder, patron and father-figure Dr. Balasubramanium who worked for half a century to restore a health service where the well-being of the patients is given top priority and provide quality drugs to all the people at affordable prices. The purpose of the lecture is to honour Dr. Balasubramanium by continuing the work towards his goal and vision.

Sri Lankan wins award for outstanding teaching in New York

Shahfie Jayman, a member of the teaching faculty at the College of Staten Island in New York, has won the College President's award for "Outstanding Teaching by a Faculty Member for 2011." The award is given annually for outstanding performances in different fields of teaching.

A Chartered Mechanical Engineer and a product of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in England, Jayman is the first SriLankan/American to receive this award. A professional engineer and full member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, he is also a member of several engineering bodies in England and Sri Lanka.

Jayman received his engineering training in England (1971-75), served as a Senior Mechanical Engineer for the Kaduna State Government in Nigeria and also as a Rural Infrastructure Engineer for the UNDP's Integrated Rural Development Project in Nigeria.

He migrated to USA in 1988 and joined the College of Staten Island in 1990 and retired as full-time faculty member in 2010. Currently, he is serving as a part-time professor, teaching applied statistics for second & third year undergraduates.

Elected chair for Southern Asia

Sam Perera

Senior consultant and former Chairman of Sri Lanka Group S.T. Perera (Sam or ST) was elected Chairman of the Southern Asia region for a 3 year term at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), UK, International, Council and Trustee Board elections recently.

He will represent the region in Council and the International Strategy Board. This is the first time that a Sri Lankan Engineer is elected as chair for the Southern Asia region. Sam has held senior positions in Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, in mining overseas and construction industries in Sri Lanka.

He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IMechE and an honorary life Fellow and past Council Member of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka. He has also served some years as a Vice President of the Organisation of Professional Associations, Sri Lanka.

He has represented the Sri Lankan Group of IMechE and made presentations at International conferences held in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and India.

Lecture on the historic city of Jaffna

"Gateway to Mutual Heritage of Jaffna with special reference to the Grid City" - a lecture by architects Jayatissa Herath, Deepal Wijethilaka and Suganya Vinasithamby will be the 32nd monthly lecture of the National Trust of Sri Lanka.

The lecture will be held on Thursday, August 25 at 6.30 p.m. at the Institute of Construction Training & Development (ICTAD) "Savsi ripaya", No.123 Wijerama Mawatha ,Colombo 7. The lecture is open to the public with parking available in the vicinity.

Music and song to re-build North-East

A concert titled 'Concert for Commitment to Caring and Sharing' organized by the Boards of Social Responsibility of the Colombo South Circuit of the Methodist Church will be held on Saturday, September 3 at the British School auditorium at 6 p.m. Well-known performers - the prize-winning Methodist College Choir, the Revelations, pianists Ramya de Livera Perera and Soundarie David, flautist Tilanka Jayamanne, Paraguyan Harpist Anslem de Silva and a host of other singers performing in Sinhala, Tamil and English are billed to perform.

The singers include John and Delrine Wijeyabahu, Ananda Goonesekera, Vipulananda Moorthy, Duke Vinojkumar, Errol and Nishadi Fernando, Savitri Thambapillai and Viraj Fernando, Ravi and Gayan Perera, Naomi Hettithanthri, Hazel Rajiah, Manavi Perera and Asiri Fernando. The church youth choir backed by Ravi, Gayan, Christo Prins and Combo will also perform.

The concert is being held to raise funds for the war-torn areas of the North and East. Tickets are available at the Methodist Churches, Kollupitiya, Wellawatte and Nugegoda and at the British School auditorium priced at Rs. 1,000, 750, 500, 300 and 150.

Vijitha Yapa 2012 pictorial postcard diary now out

Vijitha Yapa Publications have now released their new pictorial desk calendar for the Year 2012. Photographed by Vijitha and Lalana Yapa, it contains colourful scenes from well known tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. The cover has a dramatic picture of the Pinnawela elephants climbing up the embankment after their bath.

Priced at Rs. 450, it is an ideal gift for loved ones, friends and also clients. The dairy has been released early to facilitate those who want to send it to friends abroad, by seamail or through friends travelling overseas.

A unique feature of the calendar is that each picture is detachable and can be used as an individual picture post card. The diary is enclosed in an attractive box, so that no separate packing is necessary.

Admiral Samarasinghe at the Govt. House of Australia

Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, the newly appointed High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Australia presented his letter of credence to Quentin Bryce, AC, Governor - General of Australia at the Government House recently. He is also seen inspecting a guard of honour on the occassion.

Tamara, Sri Lanka’s new ambassador to UN, Geneva

Tamara Kunanayakam presented her credentials to Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, on August 9, accrediting her as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland.

Welcoming the new ambassador to the credential ceremony, the Director General commended the role played by Sri Lanka in the United Nations system, including the country's contribution to the UN peace keeping force.

Ms. Kunanayakam earlier served as Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Cuba and also served as Minister Counsellor at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Brasília. Prior to that she served as the Secretary to the Working Group on the Right to Development, the Working Group on structural adjustment programmes and economic, social and cultural rights, and also that on enforced and involuntary disappearances, at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). She was also attached to the ILO and UNDP.

National Day celebrations

The 65th Independence Day of India was celebrated on August 14. Here High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha is seen inspecting the guard of honour at India House. A special flag hoisting ceremony was held on the occasion of the Independence Day of Pakistan on August 14 at the Pakistani High Commission.
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