by Bernard VanCuylenburg.

Source: By Kalpabas at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

My Dad was on Carolina Group, Watawala for 28 years, and before he retired, he planted in Bandarawela for four years. Carolina was a huge estate of 2330 acres. By a topographical twist of fate, the railway line from Colombo to Badulla ran  through one of the divisions of Carolina Group called Mt.Jean. In fact  the Watawala  railway station was located on Mt.Jean division, and on land which was owned by the Carolina Tea Company Limited. 

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by Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

Two lines in a Country-Music song of the 80’s say it like this. “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s where you lay the blame” That one was a Country love song, of course, but the correct English Phrase reads “it’s not whether you win or lose, it is HOW YOU PLAY THE GAME”.

So, Australia won the “Ashes” this year by beating England & congratulations are in order for their effort in doing so. As I have said before, I am a Lankan/Aussie now, and so are my two eldest sons. In addition, I “added” to the Australian population, another daughter & youngest son, who are both “dinkum Aussies”. As such, we should ALL be “barracking” for Australian Sportsmen, Women & Teams, but, although most Aussies carry the “Cyclops-Syndrome” around with them, I don’t. Every reader of eLanka MUST know, by now, that this writer says it like it is. I do think that Australia, the World’s most prominent Sporting Nation has, by far, the best proponents in almost every “sport”partaken of, but it must also be remembered that being the most multicultural Nation in the World as well, many of these Sports-People, including Aboriginals, like Lionel Rose, for instance, are the reason that Australia tops the sporting ladder.

Getting back to the cricket, I am disappointed that recent Aussie teams EXPECT to win every single game they play.

They do not care how they do it. They are the masters of “sledge”, if their bowlers cannot hit the wickets of an opposing batsman, they try to knock his head off, they bowl bouncer after bouncer at even tail-end batsmen, bowlers “mime” choice epithets, batsmen don’t “walk” until pushed, fieldsmen curse their Captain silently when he keeps moving them around(especially when there is a R/H batsman at one end & a L/H batsman at the other) & he has to, of course. Aussie Umpires (with hair & without hair), try to STOP Murali’s balls, even before they are bowled.

It has got to stop somewhere. I AM in awe of great Australian Cricketers, especially when I was lucky enough to meet, shake hands & even chat with, certainly the greatest Cricketer in the World Sir Donald Bradman in 1962. Before he was knighted, Don Bradman was a Director of South Australian Rubber, in S/A., & “your’s truly was a Quality Controller at South Australian Rubber Mills, in Dandenong. Considering WHO he was, I found him to be the epitome of a “Gentleman”, in every sense of the word. THAT is what cricket is, boys, “A gentleman’s game” Play the game as it should be played. You win some, you lose some.

I will comment no further on the cricket, but let us switch to the “Tennis”.

He is a very good tennis player, is Nick, but personally, he is a pr–oops-prime example of a “poor-loser”. So far, he has done everything he should have been ashamed of. He has tried to make out that he was not interested in the game that has already made him a millionaire, he has ranted & “raved” at the ball-boys & girls on Court, argued with nearly every “Referee” he has set eyes on, smashed so many quality tennis racquets, I have lost count of them. He goes stark raving mad whenever he loses a match, but the teeth appear in a none too frequent smile, whenever he wins.

To be fair, he seems to be “trying to change” in his old age, but, as recently as yesterday, still had a go at his own staff, telling them that they had not “strung” his final match-losing game, as they should have. Nick, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s where you lay the blame ?, isn’t it. Good luck with your next game, my advice to you is ” don’t smash any more racquets man, they are beginning to get even more expensive nowadays. Play the game, don’t lay the blame.

Desmond Kelly.
Star of eLanka.

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Diabetics should know Good advice

by Dr Harold Gunathilaka

There are more than one way you could bring down blood sugar level to normal range (fasting 90-110 mg), as a diabetic.
Early stages your doctor will refer you to a dietician for advice on dietetic management. This early stage (pre-diabetic phase) diet and exercise alone will help to control the disease and possibly even to reverse.

When you are a full blown diabetic due to neglect during the early phase, your doctor will put you on medication to bring down your blood sugar level. Medication alone controls the blood sugar level, but may not be able to reverse the diabetic situation. In short, you need to take medication right through life.
Another way of naturally bringing down your blood sugar is strength training exercises for the muscles to absorb more glucose from the blood. This way one could reverse the diabetic situation.

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Gene Watson “Old Roman Soldier”

by Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

One of the latest recordings of a man who, in my opinion, can sing a “Country Song” that will bring tears to the eyes of anyone who loves the “music” that I always “promote” on eLanka. My sincere thanks to Neil Jayasekera, without whom eLanka would not exist, & you good people would not be able to instantly view these songs that we choose for you with NO financial reasons whatsoever. In this beautiful choice,

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Hathurusinghe’s task for Sri Lanka revival is compelling


Chandika Hathurusinghe came as a ‘Messiah’ that would deliver redemption for Sri Lanka Cricket, but his initial foray with a listless team devoid of motivation has reminded Sri Lanka’s cricket fans worldwide that it will take time and patience to turn things around for the once feared nation.

Jayawardena and Sangakkara hard to replace

Proof of how bad the team has slumped to is in the evidence that former minnows and whipping boys of the game such as Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are now looking at the former ‘kings’ of the limited over format with callous disdain as they push them to the verge of elimination in a one-day tri-series in Bangladesh.

If this tournament was a test of who the new cellar dwellers of the game are, Sri Lanka have by now shown the world a worrying sign that they are incapable of beating anyone on a regular basis. Even Afghanistan may be relishing the opportunity of adding more pain to their battered and bruised reputation.

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Rock this Country were a great set up.

Replay 6 with Marlon Amarasekera. One of Melbourne’s best.

Marlon Amarasekera thrills Melbourne on New Year’s eve at the Grand on Cathies Lane.

Rap-So-D. Very popular Melbourne dance band

Chris Mant, Lozaine Paul and Linden Boustead with Cloud 9 at the Walawwa.

Melbourne ushered in 2018 with a spate of dinner dances and several other celebratory functions that found little or no parallel to the Sri Lankan events among Australian migrants Down Under.

Of course the biggest crowd puller on this day is in the Melbourne city precinct where a fantastic fireworks display highlights the dawning of the New Year and hundreds of thousands of Melburnians flock to the city to watch the pyrotechnic spectacle unfold for several hours.

The Grand on Cathies Lane was a focal point for many reasons, one of them being the first appearance of virtually unknown Sri Lankan band Rock this Country who took dance goers by complete surprise for their outstanding performance and versatility.

Quite fortunately for Anne and I, we had every reason to be confident that the band would deliver as we happened to have had a preview of their capability at the Margarita Blue in Colombo a couple of years ago at the Galadari Hotel where the band was on fire in front of an appreciative audience.

Pitted with one of the best and most accomplished dance bands in Melbourne, Replay 6, who are second to none in fantastic versatility themselves, it laid the platform for one of the best 31st night celebrations for a long while.

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My experience growing ‘Karapuncha’

Written by Dr Harold Gunatillake-health writer

We have a tall Karapuncha tree planted in a big pot on the balcony, giving us enough curry leaves during summer months. During winter the leaves fall off and the tree goes into hibernation. 

Three months ago, to my delight I saw an offspring shooting up. When it was about 5 inches tall, I thought it was best to grow it in a separate pot to offer it to a friend. So, I separated the soil from the solitary root carefully, and when I saw the lateral minor roots, I cut it below and the sibling was planted in a separate pot, nurtured carefully spraying water daily, and keeping in a semi-shade position. Some fertilizer was mixed in the potting mixture The offspring remained healthy as the picture shows, but did not grow taller as expected, even after giving all the care that it needs. About a month ago two more shoots sprung from the mother plant. I observe that these two plants have grown to a height of two feet with no care at all of course watering the mother plant daily.

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Alston Koch is the Star of Christmas in Colombo

Alston Koch

A very pleased Prime Minister in a public gesture made a special presentation to Alston Koch (photo).​​

Alston Koch’s star shone brightly, but this time in Sri Lanka during Christmas and as The President’s House opened its doors to celebrate Christmas with people from all religions. Alston was flown down by Srilankan Airlines and invited for performances of Christmas Carols at Temple Trees for the Prime Minister and The President at President’s House by Sri Lanka Tourism Minister John Amaratunge. 

Alston Koch was also a privileged guest at the opening of ‘Christmas Street’ hosted by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Authority & was hosted at the Kingsbury Hotel. 

Dinesh Weerakody, advisor to the Prime Minister met Alston Koch in London at the British Writer’s Guild Awards & invited him to headline the festivities for Christmas 2017.

KOCH – the Star this Christmas (Source: Island)


This is not an exaggeration; singer Alston Koch was in the spotlight at all the major festive events, in Colombo – entertaining VVIPs, and the public, as well. His opener was the Christmas carols concert at the Prime Minister’s residence, at Temple Trees, where he entertained the invitees with four festive specials.Describing the event, he said it was a classy evening that had an exclusive gathering of Sri Lanka’s best citizens and Ambassadors from all over the world.

The scene was equally exciting when he performed for the President and his Cabinet Ministers, at President’s House.

The public got the opportunity of seeing the ‘Disco Lady’ hitmaker, in action, when he made a live appearance at the Christmas Street celebrations (Green Path, Colombo 7).

At all the events, Alston’s repertoire consisted of those beautiful songs, connected with Christmas.

Alston was also involved in the launch of the special double decker bus (with Minister John Amaratunga), for the festive season, and the ‘lighting up’ of the City of Colombo, and the Christmas Tree, at The Arcade, by the Prime Minister.

Yes, it has certainly been an exciting festive season for Alston Koch…and there’s more to come!

The star vocalist also mentioned to us that Nirj Deva, of the European Union, has invited him to perform live at the Parliament of The European Union and to present his (Alston’s) credentials as Ambassador for Climate Change, in February, at the first sitting of Parliament.

“I also had some offers coming my way to do 31st night, in Colombo, but due to my prior commitments, I had to decline,” said Alston.

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“DREAM-WORLD” (Revisited) By Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

     The song is well-known, as is the “Songwriter”,who got into the habit of writing songs for “special girlfriends”simply because “presents”(decent ones), were too expensive to buy, in Ceylon at the time, and, although it got him into trouble, sometimes, this did not cost him anything at all.

“Dream-World” was written by this songwriter at the birth of the fabulous 1950’s at number 38 Lorensz Road, Bambalapitiya, in Colombo, after this enamoured young man who was 15 at the time, had met this beautiful 14 year old girl who lived at number 10, on the same road.

He had a dream one night, about this same young lass & the rest was easy. It was just after midnight, & while he had never studied the “theory” of music, “tunes” would come into his head, and he would then compose the lyrics to fit the tune. It was very lucky that this songwriter had an exceptional memory. Once he completed the song, lyrics written in pencil in an old school exercise book, (as this was), he never forgot it. Dream-World was written in about 45 minutes, sung to the girl in private when she came to see him via the “rear alley” of their homes, the next day. He told her that he had this “present” for her, and sang it to her, accompanied by his old ukelele. She loved it, even though the song itself was “far advanced” in it’s outlook. 

     Later, Dream-World was “recorded” with this songwriter’s Singing Group called the “Semi-tones”, picked up by one of the biggest International Recording Company’s at the time, called Philips, in Holland, actually presold many thousands of copies (it was a little 45 rpm disc), before even arriving in Ceylon, went straight into the Ceylon Hit Parade on the Commercial Service, reached the “top” of the Parade in record time, keeping Elvis Presley’s “Don’t be cruel” in 2nd place for a few weeks, before then going into the “Binaca Hit Parade” in India & again, heading for the top in record time.

     The songwriter, by this time, had joined the Royal Ceylon Navy, had got married to another very pretty girl, for whom he wrote the song “Cha-cha-baby”which she liked until she was “teased” so much about it, she decided to lay claim to Dream-World, as well. The songwriter only agreed to this because the girl he had written it for, had since gone on to the U.S.A. to be the 2nd runner-up to Miss Universe,1956.

The “Singing Sailor” then decided to send a copy of Dream-World to the President-elect, at the time, thru the American 

Embassy in Colpetty, did get his acknowledgement for it, & was exceptionally proud when told that Dream-World had now become one of the favourite songs of another beautiful Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy. 

     There have been many versions of Dream-World recorded. The songwriter however, prefers the “revisited” version. He hopes that all of his readers will like the eLanka version & make some comments about it. 

desmond kelly

Desmond Kelly.

                                                                      Star of eLanka.


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