People and events

Improved 300-bed ward for Homagama Hospital

A 300-bed ward complex with improved medical facilities at the Homagama Base Hospital constructed by the Bamunu Arachchi Foundation was declared open this week. The hospital was originally constructed by the late B.A. Semaneris Appuhamy, on his own land of five acres and gifted to the then government on February 14, 1946.

Due to the increased number of out-patients and the lack of adequate infrastructure facilities, the Bamunu Arachchi Foundation (BAF) led by B.A. Mahipala decided to draw up a Master Plan with the help of the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau and the Health Ministry.

Mr. Mahipala undertook to fund and construct Phase I Stage I of this Master Plan, which houses the General OPD and specialized clinics. The foundation stone for Phase II Stage I, Operation Theatre Complex, was also laid at the same time.

In 2009 a building with three floors for OPD patients with improved facilities was also handed over to the government by the Bamunu Aarachchi Foundation. Ministers P. Dayaratna and A.H.M. Fowzie, Western Province Health Minister Jagath Angage, Western Province Health Director, Amal Harsha de Silva and Mr. Mahipala who is also the Honorary Consul of Madagascar in Sri Lanka were present. The building complex was opened by Dr. Shirley de Perera.

A wickedly twisted show

After sell-out tours all over the world, theatre company 1927 brings their play ‘The Animals and Children took to the Streets’ to Colombo

Trust no one. Suspect even your own shadow. Welcome to the Bayou Mansions; a sprawling, stinking tenement block, in which curtain-twitchers and peeping-toms live side-by-side and the wolf is always at the door. When Agnes Eaves and her daughter arrive late one night, does it signal hope in this hopeless place, or has the real horror only just begun?

Like a giant graphic novel burst into life, theatre company 1927 takes the audience on a theatrical journey of startling originality. Four years after their multi-award winning, critically-acclaimed debut ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’, ‘The Animals and Children took to the Streets’ is 1927’s new hit.

Seamlessly synchronizing live music, performance and storytelling with stunning films and animation, this wickedly twisted show comes to Colombo for two performances on February 28 and 29 at the British School in Colombo auditorium.

The play had its world premiere at Sydney Opera House and sell-out seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, London, Perth, Paris and the Edinburgh Festival 2011. The reviews were all positive. ‘This is a perfect alternative show. In fact, it is a perfect show,” said the Financial Times.

“A jaw-droppingly clever and gloriously subversive parable…1927 conjure a world so complete it feels as if you've fallen down a rabbit hole,” said the Guardian. The Times praised the company. “1927: Their star is on the ascendant and there is nothing quite like them.”

Their Colombo shows will be on Tuesday, February 28 and Wednesday, February 29 at 7.30 p.m. (75 min show, no interval) at the British School Auditorium, 63 Elvitigala Mawatha, Colombo 8. Tickets are priced at Rs. 1000 and Rs. 800 and are on sale from Saturday, February 11 at the British Council, Colombo Help Desk (9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. – Tuesday to Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays). The show is suitable for anyone 8 years and above.


1927 will also conduct two workshops at the British Council hall Colombo. On Friday March 2 from 3 -5 p.m. Workshop 1- ‘Storytelling and the Stage’ will be conducted by Suzanne Andrade, for participants (ages 13-16) interested in exploring and participating in creative writing and creating stories for performance. It could involve some acting.

On Saturday, March 3 from 10.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Workshop 2- Working with Animation’ for innovative film makers, animation artists and actors will see 1927 members explore the integration of performance and film; explore the participants’ own practices and aspirations. It will include demonstrations and a detailed, active, question, answer and discussion session.

Registration fee for each workshop is Rs 500, on a first-come first-served basis. Contact Lakmaal, tel: 4521542 or Ranmali- tel: 4521538 at the British Council (Monday to Friday 9 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.).

“Balloth Ekka Be” 300th performance today

Ravindra Ariyarathna’s hilarious comedy “Balloth Ekka Be” will be staged for the 300th time since its debut in 2009. The 300th show is today, Sunday, February 19 at 3.30 p.m. and 6.45 p.m. at the Tower Hall, Maradana.

Starring in “Balloth Ekka Be” are Wijaya Nandasiri, Roshan Pilapitiya, Gihan Fernando, Saman Hemarathna (Leelasena), Kumara Thirimadura, and Anusha Dissanayake. Shantha Peiris is the music producer and stage management is by Asoka de Zoysa and Shantha Udaya Kumara. The chief organizer of the drama is Jude Srimal and the producer Sugath Jayasinghe.

Ravindra Ariyarathna the writer and director of the drama said that he gave the play this name because he found the phrase appropriate for today’s society. “This phrase puts forward what people are within them. That is what the drama is about. I call it a comedy of errors and disguise,” he said adding that the drama includes political conflict too.

“It is the most performed stage drama this year,” said Ravindra. “We have performed it in every part of Sri Lanka. It’s through word of mouth that people got to know about it and came to watch it. This is because intelligent audiences look for stage dramas rather than television dramas which are quite gibberish nowadays.

”In other countries there is a huge audience for stage dramas, in Sri Lanka we have to build a community that will love and understand stage dramas. “It’s devastating to see our children in a box, they have to break away and think beyond the box. ‘Balloth Ekka Ba’ is a drama that everybody in the family can watch together and that’s the reason for its success,” he said.

The production is being staged in Oman and tours are lined up in Australia and New Zealand in June and July.

Snow White with a twist

In celebration of their 21st anniversary, the Institute for Examinations in English, Music and Speech (IEMS Examinations) will stage ‘Snow White and Used Car Salesmen and Other Dramatizations’ on Friday, February 24 at The British School in Colombo auditorium, at 6 p.m. The play will be performed by drama students of the Academy and proceeds will go to the Orphanage for the Children at the Good Shepherd Convent, Wahacotte.

The play, directed by Tina Marianne Fernando, is a comedy. Snow White’s beauty and charm arouses the jealousy of Queen Melissa, who plots to kill her with the help of some used car salesmen. However, Snow White is able to escape the Queen’s evil plans and live the life she always wanted.

Charting the course of rural youth

In 2007 the Rotary Club of Colombo West having identified Ketewela, a rural village in the Kurunegala District as having talent and potential for children to develop their English and IT skills, built them a library and computer lab.

The Club decided to form the CHART (Catalyst to Harness and Advance Rural Talent) Foundation in August 2008 to further their objective of empowering rural youth. Phase I of their project focused on the Ketewela Kanishta Vidyalaya, providing 80 laptops to the primary grade students and improving English education and the IT skills of the children.

The Project further envisages connecting the children and the community to the rest of the country and the world through the provision of internet access. The one lap top per child programme was initiated by World Bank and the Ministry of Education.

Phase II of their Project CHART Foundation has started work on Saraswathie Maha Vidyalaya in Kurunegala District. The CHART Foundation has to-date handed over 170 lap-tops with funds raised through friends, family, well wishers and fund raising programmes. The handing over ceremony was held in November 2009 at Temple Trees and patronized by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
This innovative project plans to use English, educate children and provide OLPC laptops for every primary school child.

The total expenditure of Phase II of the Project includes providing 80 lap tops and teaching resources for a period of one year in English and IT -approximately US$ 30,500. Contributions can be remitted to the Bank Account below or a cheque sent in favour of Chart Foundation.
Account Name:CHART Foundation
Bank:Nations Trust Bank PLC
Branch :Corporate Branch
Bank Address:No. 242, Union Place, Colombo 02
Account No:006100012577

The trustees of CHART Foundation are Heinz Reuter (Chairperson), Entrepreneur, Tissa Bandaranayake, Chartered Accountant, Prof. Lalith Gamage, IT professional, Mrs. Jezima Ismail, Educationist, Anthony Page, Chartered and Management Accountant, Moksevi Prelis, Corporate Leader, and S.S. Wijeratne, Attorney-at-Law while the Committee of Management comprises S.Karunakaran, Rehana Wijesinghe, Harin Fernando, Nihal Bogahalande, Sunil Wijesinghe, Shan Shammuganathan, Jerome Rajendram, Raju Arasaratnam, Mano Sekeram, Lothar Schuster, Haroon Careem and Rohina Macan Marker.

A children's effort

Students of Mrs. Lathifa Ismail's art class have had their annual exhibition of paintings almost every year for the past 30 years. Funds raised have always been donated to charity or hospitals.

This year too 12 children between the ages of 6-13 have come forward to hold an exhibition of their paintings titled 'Our Future' for a worthy cause. The proceeds of the sale will go towards the CHART Foundation.

Savini Jayasuriya, Zayna Zubair, Vaidehi Ranasinghe , Shivendra Naidu, Kavindu Perera, Sheraya Amaratunga, Humairah Yousuf, Sarah Karunakaran, Zainab Akbarally, Vaisnavi Ranasinghe, Kanchani Chandrasiri and Praneeth Jayasinghe are the young painters.

The exhibition will be held from February 24 - 27 at Gallery Red Gandhara, Stratford Avenue, Kirulapone, Colombo 06. There will be an auction of the feature canvas which was painted by all the 12 students on Saturday, February 25 at 5 p.m.

Does your dog meet breed standards?

78th KASL All Breeds Championship

The Kennel Association of Sri Lanka (KASL), the only national entity for pure bred dogs, affiliated to the Federation Cynologique International ( FCI ), Asia Kennel Union ( AKU ), the Japanese Kennel Club ( JKC ), the Kennel Club of UK & The American Kennel Club will hold its 78th All Breeds Championship Dog Show on Sunday, March 4 at 9 a.m. at Sathutu Uyana, Colombo 7.

Colonel Kenneth M. Roy, FCI / AKU Judge from Pakistan would be conducting a Breed Verification Programme before the Dog Show on Saturday, March 3 at 9.30 a.m. at the same venue, while the 78th All Breeds Championship Dog Show would be judged by FCI / AKU Judge Ahmad Rasul Virk, also from Pakistan.

Breed verification is certification for those dogs that do not have a registered pedigree that does not conform to breed standards. In order for it to be breed verified, the KASL has organized a well experienced FCI / AKU Judge to inspect and certify that the dogs conform to the Specific International Standards of the breed.

Veterinary Surgeon and KASL committee member, Dr. Nalinika Obeyesekere says, " Purebred dogs are dogs that have been bred by people to meet certain criteria. All dogs of a given breed should have a specific appearance, build and temperament as described by well defined international standards.
"When you buy a pure bred dog you should thus have a good idea as to what they will look like and behave like, when adult - both the good characteristics and the bad. Not all pure bred dog characteristics are good for every need. Some dogs have been bred for certain characteristics such as endearing looks but may have associated health problems.

“A good hunting dog with a strong prey drive or hunting instinct may be dangerous around small children. Thus it is very important that you choose a breed of dog with a good understanding of your lifestyle. Your needs should be carefully matched to the known characteristics of the breed."
"With the current trend of importing a variety of dog breeds and the unregulated breeding and selling of dogs in various pet stores and kennels it is difficult to know if you are actually getting what you expect. Is the dog sold to you as a German shepherd really a German shepherd? Is the pedigree given to you genuine? These are real and current concerns.

"A qualified All breed Judge will look at your dog and decide if it meets the standards of the breed. In other words "Is your dog really a Boxer"? If you have a dog or have bought a dog from a breeder but are not sure he/she is really a pure bred and of a given breed the judge will advise you on this. If you have a dog without a pedigree but think he/she is an excellent specimen of its breed the judge will advise if you are in fact correct.

"If your dog is accepted by the judge as being a good example and meeting the standards of the breed then the KASL will register your dog even if he/she does not currently have a pedigree. The puppies from this dog can then have a proper pedigree drawn up and be accepted by the Kennel Association of Sri Lanka.

"In order to ensure that this programme is not abused and to ensure accurate individual identification of the dogs verified by the judge, micro-chipping is recommended or required.

More information on this programme can be obtained from the KASL website Or Phillip from the KASL Office at 14, Gunwardhane Mawatha ( Reid Avenue), Colombo - 7. Tel: 2698205.

Events in Brief

Treat for children on great day

On the morning of February 4, Independence Day, a group of 22 children, from all communities, assembled at Paradis - 2, Zone - 7, Millennium City, Athurugiriya. They were welcomed and taken to the steps of the Park, where PARS ( Paradis Residents' Society ), under the chairmanship of Susantha Caldera had organized a treat for them. The proceedings commenced with the singing of the National Anthem and a few words of welcome. They then received gifts of schoolbags, stationery, material for school uniforms and in one case, even a few packets of milk powder on special request. Cakes and lemonade followed. A small way to celebrate a great day.


World Vision Lanka (WVL) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Nature Reserves - Sri Lanka (IUCNSL) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase their cooperation and to contribute to sustainable development and conservation of nature through a collaborative approach.

This agreement will provide both organizations with a context and framework for developing and maintaining cooperation in the fields of their common interests in sustainable development and conservation of nature. Picture shows WVL National Director Suresh Bartlett and Shamen Vidanage, Acting Country Manager IUCN Sri Lanka exchanging copies of the MOU.

Cultural show by Mabole Malay Association

The Mabole Malay Association will be staging a cultural show depicting the songs and dances of the Sri Lankan Malays at the Buddhist Cultural Centre Auditorium, Sri Sambuddhatwa Jayanthi Mandiriya at Havelock Road, Thunmulla junction on Saturday, February 25 at 6.30 p.m. The Kaffirs (Caffres) of Puttalam will also present an item.

Send in entries for EWC competition

The English Writers Cooperative of Sri Lanka (EWC) invites submissions for their Poetry and Short Story Competition 2012. Short stories of 1500 words or less and poems up to 15 lines will be considered for the prizes and for publication in the 2012 issue of the EWC journal "Channels".

All entries should be emailed to along with a neatly typed copy sent by registered post to Ms.N.Wanasundera, Flat No.04, 96/1 Fifth Lane, Colombo 03. The sender's name, address, telephone number and email address should be clearly stated in each entry.The three best entries in each section will be awarded prizes and selected entries will be published in the 2012 issue of Channels.The deadline for all entries is March 15.For details of the show please contact 0777 236650/2933896 or see

St. Sebastian’s to felicitate bishops

Moratuwa will felicitate one of its "Moratu Puthra' -Rt. Rev Dr. Maxwell Granville Silva, a past pupil of St. Sebastian's College when he visits his alma mater on Saturday, February 25 at 5 p.m. Rev. Fr. Rector, Bonnie Fernandopulle, the staff, students and Old Boys with other wellwishers will welcome the new Auxiliary Bishop.

Rt. Rev. Fidelis Emmanuel Fernando, former parish priest of St. Sebastian's church, Moratuwa too will be felicitated at this ceremony. The new bishops will concelebrate Holy Mass at the college chapel and the finale will be a felicitation dinner.

National Trust lecture on Sigiriya Graffitti

Professor Nimal de Silva will speak on 'Sigiriya Mirror Wall and the Graffitti' in the 37 th lecture in the monthly lecture series of the National Trust of Sri Lanka. The lecture will be at the HNB Auditorium, 22nd Floor, HNB Towers, 479 T.B. Jayah Mawatha, Colombo 10 at 6.30 p.m. on Thursday, February 23.
Prof. de Silva is the Director General of the Central Cultural Fund and Emeritus Professor of Architecture, University of Kelaniya and the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology . He is also the International President of ICOMOS Scientific Committee on Wall Paintings.

The National Trust - Sri Lanka conducts monthly lectures on the last Thursday of each month. The lectures are open to the members and the public. Further information could be obtained from the Trust Office at the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology, 407, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7. Tel: 2682730, 3091275

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