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Hathurusinghe’s task for Sri Lanka revival is compelling

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

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 AND REPLAY 6 PROPEL MELBOURNE INTO 2018 IN GRAND STYLE

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

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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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)

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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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“LIKE GRANDFATHER, LIKE GRANDSON” – NT Young Australian of the Year 2018 – Kevin Kadirgamar – BY Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

Excellent news, (not silly “breaking news”, that has got to be “fixed”), our new “Young Australian” of the year N.T. is none other than  Kevin Kadirgamar, the proud grandson of the late Rajan Kadirgamar, M.V.O., A.D.C., Rear Admiral & for 10 years from 1960-1970, the longest serving “Captain of the Royal Ceylon Navy”.

Kevin is now the Northern Territory Young Australian of the year 2018. He left his birthplace (Sri Lanka), to escape the civil conflict, while still in his “teens” &, as a result, has a deep appreciation for the fact that, in Australia, through sheer hard work & determination, became a Refugee & Migration Lawyer, and, in so doing, tries his utmost to alleviate the suffering of these unfortunate people. He, thus became the ” Voice of the vulnerable”.

     As a law student, Kevin co-founded “Multicultural Youth N.T”, a youth-led organization that promotes harmony and empowers young people to implement the necessary changes in their own communities.

     Now, Kevin, at the still very young age of 28, is a qualified Lawyer, championing the rights of both migrants and refugees. He has been duly recognised for his outstanding pro-bono work on high-profile cases, fighting for the freedom of children and young people who have been held in indefinite immigration detention. A former “Board-Member” of many youth justice & human rights groups, Kevin mentors students & junior solicitors through the Charles Darwin University, provides gratis migration advice, every month and is also the President of the multicultural Council of the Northern Territory.

     Kevin’s indefatigable efforts clearly demonstrate the very important “role” a lawyer can play in fundamentally changing the lives of others.

     Incidentally, Kevin’s grandfather was not only a “top” Royal Ceylon Navy man, he was a humanitarian as well. He knew that a certain Supply Assistant could not afford it, so he offered his own “Limo”(& driver), as the ” wedding car”, on the 4th of February,1956, for which S/A.Kelly was very thankful. It would have looked rather strange, arriving at St.Mary’s Church in Dehiwala in a “Buggy-Cart”. My wife-to-be, arrived (late), in another car, of course. I will never forget you, Sir, God bless you & rest in peace now, looking down on your grandson Kevin, with pride. 

                 CONGRATULATIONS KEVIN KADIRGAMAR.

                                                                       Desmond Kelly: ‘Star of eLanka’.

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From owning just a dress to studying for a university degree in Psychology

It’s always nice to hear a good news story from the Motherland, so here’s something that gladdened our hearts.

No doubt you’ve heard of SOS Children’s Villages who run the most wonderful and loving homes for children throughout Sri Lanka. Whilst you may think they are 100% supported by an international NGO, that’s not the case. They’re currently funded partly by people like you and I.

Back in 2001, a young girl, Anjalika, arrived on their doorstep. Alone and frightened by her new surroundings she took some time to settle in. After all, going from being without a close family to being planted in the middle of a large one was a whole new experience for her.

But, she had such a strength of will she was determined to do something with her life.
Tears of pride.

Under the care of a loving mother and surrounded by a host of siblings, she flourished. “O” levels sailed by; “A” levels took a lot of work and her strength but she received top grades and many smiles of pride from her entire SOS family.

A coveted place at a Government University beckoned and was accepted.

Today, 3 years on, she’s ready to take her final exams after studying for a BSc in Psychology.

The pride of her SOS Mother is palpable; the smiles of awe of her younger siblings are humbling to see.

We think it’s amazing what SOS Children’s Villages are doing back in Sri Lanka, but it proves beyond doubt that the human spirit is alive thanks to those people (people like you and I) who supported them and enabled one child to achieve the greatest height.

If you’d like to support SOS Children’s Village in Sri Lanka and help other kids achieve what Anjalika did, then give them a quick call on [+94 11 270 2712) or click here to be taken to their website.

How many other children can achieve their life’s dream?
A lot more with our collective help.

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