Cocktails & Conversation – Catalina Sri Lanka


It’s Like Coming Home

The tropical climate, hospitable people and gentle pace of life set the stage for Living in Style at Catalina.

A low cost of living compared to other international-standard retirement destinations in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, allows for a superior lifestyle in an idyllic tropical environment.

Onsite health professionals and easy access to first class medical facilities ensure peace of mind. Being part of a community of like-minded people provides opportunities to actively engage and “give back” to the wider community. It’s like coming home.

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Contact us:
T: +9411 257 7425 | F: +9411 257 7425


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KANAGASABAY – SATKUNA ANANTHAN (Ana) passed away suddenly on 13th March 2018, aged 82 in Wellington NZ. Loving husband of late Sri-Devi, father and father-in-law of Arshini and Damo, grandfather of Purnima, Vidhiya and Dayanitha, and great grandfather of Maya. A private funeral service was held for Ana on 15th March 2018. Messages to the family can be sent to ‘‘. (New Zealand)

 Ana Kanagasabay was the youngest son of the late GMR Kanagasabay OBE. Ana followed his four brothers to St Thomas College and excelled in sports such as athletics, swimming, football and Rugby. He was a College Prefect and the first Rugby Captain of the school.

Ana was a great athlete who represented both St Thomas and Ceylon in Swimming and Water polo in the ‘50’s. He captained the college Water polo and Rugby teams. He represented Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in Swimming and Water polo at the Asian meet.

 After his competitive years, he managed the national Water polo team and was involved with surf lifesaving. He was also a founder member of the Old Thomians Swimming Club in Mount Lavinia.

In his professional career he worked for a major Swedish company in Sri-Lanka, both as an Office Manager and as HR Manager. He also worked for the Redd Barna charity in Cambodia.

 His many achievements included …

 Represented Ceylon in Water polo and Swimming teams in 1954

Managed the National Water Polo Team mid-late 50’s

St Thomas College Prefect 1953, 1954 & 1955

St Thomas First Rugby Captain 1953

St Thomas Athletics team 1951 & 1952

St Thomas 4 X 110 Relay team 1951 & 1952

St Thomas Water polo team Captain 1952

St Thomas Swimming team 1951 & 1952


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Networking Meeting with Sri Lanka Institute of Nano Technology (SLINTEC) Endowment Trust Fund – Photos by eLanka: 

Video by Dr Harold Gunatillake

Speech by Himalee Arunatilaka – Deputy High Commissioner; Sri Lanka High Commission, Canberra, (on behalf of the High Commissioner Hon S.Skandakumar)

Download the PDF file .


 Please click here or on the photos to view the full set of photos on eLanka Facebook page

Please click here or on the photos to view the full set of photos on eLanka Facebook page

Networking Meeting with Sri Lanka Institute of Nano Technology

Networking Meeting with Sri Lanka Institute of Nano Technology (SLINTEC) Endowment Trust Fund – Photos by eLanka SLINTEC with the assistance of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney presented the strategy on SLINTEC Endowment Trust Fund to help the advanced scientific research in Sri Lanka. The SLINTEC Endowment Trust Fund has been established for the purpose of advancing the energy in the area of Nano Technology for the benefit of the public. This include funding scientific research in the area of Nano Technology, funding specific research projects identified by the settlor funding and the creation of a vehicle through which members of the public can be shareholders of scientific research in Sri Lanka. Mr. Hiran de S. Wijeyeratne, CEO and the senior officials from SLINTEC made a presentation to the members of Sri Lankan Diaspora in Sydney on the Endowed Trust Fund and engaging the Sri Lankan Diaspora members to be a partner in science, engineering, technology and re-awakening in Sri Lanka. Consul General of Sri Lanka in Sydney Lal Wickrematunge and Himalee Arunatilaka – Deputy High Commissioner; Sri Lanka High Commission, Canberra, (on behalf of the High Commissioner Hon S.Skandakumar) explained the importance of the Sri Lankans in Sydney being part of the SLINTEC groth strategy. Dr Gihan Amaratunga professor of Engineering & Head Electronics Power and Energy Conservation at the University of Cambridge; who also heads up the Research & Innovation at SLINTEC. presented SLINTECs involvement in Nano Science. The evening was well attended followed by Networking between the Sri Lankan Diaspora of Sydney with the SLINTEC Officials.

Report by eLanka



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The Royal Brotherhood – Unity in Diversity – Lesson for a fractured Nation
By Faiz-ur.Rahman (Solankili)

The Royal College Class of 1958 comprised of One hundred and forty 10 & 11 year olds from all over the Island, from all strata of society and all religions, spoke Sinhala or Tamil at home and also had a smattering of English. 

Some came to school by bus, others by car, a few by bicycle and a few walked to school, whilst another group lived in the school hostel.

Very quickly we  grew up to be the Royal Brotherhood – and defined ourselves unashamedly as Royalists, very much like those a hundred years and more before us, and how, many generations after us, will define themselves very proudly.

About forty of us met recently, on the 8th of March 2018, for an evening of reminiscence, nostalgia and camaraderie – sixty years after that first meeting in January 1958. 

We have been meeting twice a year for about forty years – during the Royal-Thomian Big Match and during the Christmas holidays when those overseas, returned “home” to see their families. 

Some of our Royalist brothers have in the years moved to U.K., U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, New Zealand and many other exotic countries. 

Those who could make it this year were Ranil from Scotland, Knightly & Amjad from England and Ranjith & Upali from Sydney.

In past years we had Tin Maung Lwin from Myanmar, Afaq Rizvi from Pakistan/USA and Mayura Boteju from USA/Pakistan, David Ferdinands from Toronto, Prasanna Weerasinghe from California, Rudran Shanmuganathan & Miles Mylvaganam from Sydney, Upali Gunasekera from Perth, Ravi Gooneratne from Christchurch and many others visiting us. 

When we – the island bound – travel overseas, we are often hosted by our “Royalist brothers” in those cities.

We have seen the assassination of two national leaders (SWRD & RP), numerous other leaders (Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudali, Amirthalingam, Tiruchelvam, et al) and thousands of our best and talented youth – sacrificed on the altar of ethno-religious disharmony.

We believe, our school boy rivals – St. Thomas, Trinity, St. Peters, St. Josephs, St. Benedicts, Ananda, Nalanda, Thurstan, Issipatana, Carey, Wesley, Zahira and the 125 year old Hameed al Hussainiya – schools in Colombo and in the suburbs, too have rich traditions that should be cherished, borne friendships lasting lifetimes – crossing ethno-religious boundaries.

We learnt of books and men (and life) from our teachers – lovingly known as Dudley, Kataya, Bella, Ruperty, Pol Tokka, Wariyapola, Bruin, Alavi, Sariffodeen, Thamba, Ratnathicam, Conner, Mudguard, Lena, Canto, Arasa, Pope, Kotta Silva, EFC, Rev. Kahaduwe Ratnajothi and many others, who represented the rich tapestry of Sri Lanka’s ethno-religious backgrounds. 

They taught us that it was the strength of character that defined a man.

Our Nation is beset by new challenges – the radicalisation of one community by bad leaders could easily lead to the radicalisation of other communities. 

Today’s youth, the future leaders of Sri Lanka, forged by the fires of great institutions such as Royal, 

should join hands across ethno-religious divides and wipe out the menace of disharmony that raises its head from time to time, in robes & thobes, to promote arson, looting, murder and mayhem.

Those age old values that kept this country together, will keep us together in the future too – in spite of the aberrations that surface from time to time, to plunge our diverse community into a rabid dog type failed state that leads to fractious violent conflict!

Royalist Mangala Samaraweera’s passionate plea to withdraw the civic rights of Politicians who promote ethno-religious disharmony deserves the support of all right thinking citizens.

Our abiding friendship, heedless of the ethno-religious origins of our brother Royalists should be the gold standard to be followed by our fellow Sri Lankans, 

whose love for Sri Lanka should cross all man-made boundaries of religion, language and ethnicity.

Amongst the Class of ’58, Muslims have married Sinhalese, Sinhalese have married Tamils, Buddhists have married Christians, Christians have married Muslims, and all of these unions flourishing into the third and fourth decades, because we believe in humanity and regardless of religion and language, ethnicity and pedigree, 

we are all one – deserving mutual respect, and celebrating extraordinary friendships that have been cherished for centuries.


Class of ’58
With contributions from:
Faiz-ur Rahman   / Tin Maung Lwin / Nimal Dias Jayasinha / Bryan Baptist / Tilak De Zoysa / Amjad Haseeb / Mayura Boteju / Branu Rahim  / Dick Siebel / Wijitha Perera / Ruzly Hussain / Stanley Obeyesekere / Zubair Sulaiman / Lincoln Ratnasingham / Sarath Sirisena / Tony Latiff / Anil Weeratunga / Vijaya Lekamge / Jimmy Hewawasam / Ravi Gooneratne / Srijith Liyanage / Sunil Gunasekera / Mohan Wijekoon

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THE DARKEST HOUR – by Bernard VanCuylenburg

Nuwaraeliya in the hill country is a masterpiece of mother nature, its geography offering extraordinary natural diversity  –  lush woods, winding mountain roads, carpets of green tea, and in the evenings the mists roll down to merge with the landscape in a fleecy embrace. It is one of the finest tea growing districts in the island. Some of the best tea estates are found in the area, one of which is Oliphant estate.

When I was twelve years old, my younger brother and I spent a holiday in the home of a cousin who was then the Assistant Superintendent on Oliphant. His bungalow nestled high in the hills. To get there one passed the factory, the Superintendent’s bungalow, and from there the road wound uphill all the way to his bungalow. The scenery was therapeutic  with fresh mountain air, flowing mountain streams, and scores of flowering plants exploding in a riot of colour. And up from the valleys came the mist in thin strands to scamper up the slopes of the hills and disappear over their crests. It was during this holiday that I heard the following story which contrasted sharply with the beautiful scenic setting of Oliphant estate. It dwells in the realms of the supernatural…….terror in the deep dark night.

The Superintendent at the time was an Englishman, named Dennis Hodgson. A young creeper   – I shall call him David  – was appointed by the Company to learn work as a ‘creeper’ and then kick start his planting career. He stayed in the superintendent’s bungalow, and Mr.Hodgson had planned a rigid training programme and laid down all the ground rules for his young protégé. One evening he told David that he and Mrs.Hodgson were going to town to watch a movie after which they would go to the Hill Club for dinner. Consequently they would be returning late, so they asked David not to wait up for them, but to have an early dinner and retire for the night.


Pardon the pun, but the nights on a lonely tea plantation are deathly quiet. The stygian darkness and the mist surrounding  the area like a shroud resembles a scene from a Hammer Films horror movie. It was on such a night that David suddenly awoke from a deep sleep. He sat up in bed with a start, senses alert, his heart pounding as if to burst out of his rib cage, hardly believing what he had heard ! What he heard beyond a doubt was the sound of galloping hooves. Yes ! At this ungodly hour there was a horse galloping around the bungalow on the lawn outside ! He glanced at his watch It was twenty minutes past midnight…..the bewitching hour.

Convincing himself that all this could have been a bad dream, he dismissed the thought from his mind and settled in once more hoping for a long nights sleep. He had barely drifted off to slumber land, when the same sound awoke him again. This time, gripped in terror he listened to the galloping sound in the distance as the sound grew louder until finally it seemed to be outside his bedroom window. By now he was paralyzed with fear and frantically rang for the bungalow appu in panic until the latter appeared at his door. Mustering all the Tamil he knew he told the appu of what he had heard, glad that there was another human being in the room. The appu’s reaction left him aghast. He first made a pot of tea for the young “Dorai”, (Master) managed to calm him down, and then related this hair raising tale. Many years ago he said, there was a superintendent on Oliphant who owned a fine horse. This was long before the Morris Station Wagons were the mode of transport for the Superintendents on estates for their field rounds etc. (The Assistants had to walk !) This Superintendent who enjoyed horse riding sometimes rode his  horse around the bungalow specially on Sundays. One fateful day the horse had reacted wildly during such a ride, and threw the SD off its back. The fall proved to be fatal due to a severe blow to his head and tragically, he died two days later.

It was a year later that his successor had a similar experience. And then the appu went on to explain to the petrified David, that on each death anniversary of the Superintendent who suffered the fall from his horse, the sound of galloping hooves would be heard just after midnight and over the years many Superintendents  had heard it. In fact it became such a regular occurrence that they began to take it for granted. Please pardon the digression, but in similar vein I once asked a policewoman on guard duty at Hampton Court Palace in London, about the story of the ghost of Queen Catherine Howard who has been seen wandering the corridors of the palace at night. Her nonchalant answer  surprised me. She replied that whenever she was rostered for guard duty at night with another police officer, they had seen this spectre so often that they did not take notice any more ! Queen Catherine Howard incidentally was the 5th wife of King Henry the 8th and following a charge of adultery, was beheaded in 1542.

Mr.& Mrs.Hodgson returned to the bungalow shortly after the excitement had abated, and were surprised to see most of the lights on at this ungodly hour. The appu explained what had happened, and they spent some time with David to lend him all the moral support and reassurance he needed. The next day after breakfast, Mr.Mills summoned David to the drawing room, sat him down and counselled him on the events of the previous night, gently advising him to focus on his goal in life   – to succeed as a planter, and not to let an incident of this nature however harrowing it was, cloud his thinking. Sadly, his words had no effect.This  ghostly ‘encounter’ had an adverse effect on the young ‘Creeper’ and three weeks later he submitted his resignation and left the estate.


Death as they say is a transition from this life to another. But some souls don’t rest and are trapped in a kind of ‘Twilight Zone’, wandering earthly dimensions for various reasons seeking to be released from the shackles that bind them. Incidents of supernatural manifestations in a way try to answer the big questions that loom in every heart. Why are we here ? What can we do?Where are we going ? If history tells us anything, it is that human culture and knowledge are evolving constantly. We are all in the process of awakening and opening up to who we really are  –  and what we came here to do. Opinions on the supernatural and psychic phenomena vary. There is some controversy if “ghosts” are in fact the souls of the departed.

There is a school of thought which suggests that traumatically or emotionally charged events may cause a burst of energy to be released and absorbed by inanimate objects in the immediate vicinity. It is called Psychometry. According to this line of belief, a sensitive person coming into contact with the charged objects would experience the emotions imprinted on them and may even “see” the events which took place years before. But one central fact remains. The supernatural will not go away even if one chooses to deny it. Psychic events have happened in the past, are still happening now  and will continue to happen.

I am grateful to Des Kelly for suggesting the title for this article.







Bernard VanCuylenburg.

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What is Diabetes? I am sure you all heard this before:
by Dr Hector Perera – London


The scientists have discovered that there are two types of diabetes that is type 1 and type 2.

Definition of Diabetes

Carbohydrates are the nutrient that impact blood sugars the most. If you have diabetes, it’s important to monitor your carbohydrate intake so that you may discover which foods work best for your blood sugars. Some people with diabetes benefit from following a consistent carbohydrate diet for which they eat the same amount of carbohydrates at the same time daily. Ask your registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator if you’d benefit from eating a fixed amount of carbohydrates at your meals.

Type 1 diabetes isn’t caused by poor diet or an unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, it isn’t caused by anything that you did or didn’t do, and there was nothing you could have done to prevent it. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. For reasons we don’t yet fully understand, your immune system – which is meant to protect you from viruses and bacteria – attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas, called beta cells.

A hormone produced in the pancreas by the islets of Langerhans, which regulates the amount of glucose in the blood is called insulin. The lack of insulin causes a form of diabetes.  It is a protein responsible for regulating blood glucose levels as part of metabolism. It is possible to have diabetes with only very mild symptoms or without developing any symptoms at all. Such cases can leave some people with diabetes unaware of the condition and undiagnosed. This happens in around half of people with type 2 diabetes.

Insulin is crucial to life. When you eat, insulin moves the energy from your food, called glucose, from your blood into the cells of your body. When the beta cells in your pancreas fail to produce insulin, glucose levels in your blood start to rise and your body can’t function properly. Over time this high level of glucose in the blood may damage nerves and blood vessels and the organs they supply.

A condition known as prediabetes that often leads to type 2 diabetes also produces no symptoms. Type 2 diabetes and its symptoms develop slowly. Type 1 diabetes can go unnoticed but is less likely to do so. Some of its symptoms listed below can come on abruptly and be accompanied by nausea, vomiting or stomach pains.

It is important to see a doctor if there is any suspicion of diabetes or if any of the below signs and symptoms are present – prompt diagnosis and management lowers the likelihood of serious complications.

The most common symptoms are related to hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels), especially the classic symptoms of diabetes: frequent urination and thirst. Fatigue related to dehydration and eating problems can also be related to high blood sugars. This condition affects 400,000 people in the UK, with over 29,000 of them children. Incidence is increasing by about four per cent each year and particularly in children under five, with a five per cent increase each year in this age group over the last 20 years.

What causes type 1 diabetes?

More than 50 genes have been identified that can increase a person’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes, but genes are only part of the cause. Scientists are also currently investigating what environmental factors play a role.

What is known is that: Destruction of insulin-producing beta cells is due to damage inflicted by your immune system. Something triggered your immune system to attack your beta cells. Certain genes put people at a greater risk of developing type 1 diabetes, but are not the only factors involved. While there are no proven environmental triggers, researchers are looking for possible culprits, such as viral infections and particular molecules within our environment and foods.

Is type 1 diabetes hereditary?

Around 90 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes have no family history of the condition. Although other family members may carry the same ‘at risk’ genes, the overall risk of type 1 diabetes for multiple family members is generally low.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder

Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy.

The oxidation of glucose represents a major source of metabolic energy for mammalian cells. Because the plasma membrane is impermeable to polar molecules such as glucose, the cellular uptake of this important nutrient is accomplished by special carrier proteins called glucose transporters. These are integral membrane proteins located in the plasma membrane that bind glucose and transfer it across the lipid bilayer. The rate of glucose transport is limited by the number of glucose transporters on the cell surface and the affinity of the transporters for glucose. There are two classes of glucose carriers described in mammalian cells: the Na+-glucose cotransporters (SGLTs) and the facilitative glucose transporters.

The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should.

This causes sugars to build up in the blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

Diabetes is predicted by a clear set of symptoms, but it still often goes undiagnosed.

The main 3 diabetes signs are: Increased thirst, Increased need to urinate, increased hunger.

Diabetes is becoming increasingly more common throughout the world, due to increased obesity – which can lead to metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes leading to higher incidences of type 2 diabetes.

Stock Up on Non-Starchy Vegetables

By stocking up on non-starchy vegetables, you’ll increase the volume of food at your meals which can help to reduce total calorie intake. You’ll also increase your fibre intake, which can help to reduce cholesterol and lose weight.

Reduce Your Sodium Intake

A diet that is rich in sodium can increase your risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure), which is a risk factor for developing heart disease. Because people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing heart disease, keeping your blood pressure at goal is important. In bread, cakes and biscuits there are plenty of sodium because they add sodium bicarbonate to raise the flour. In Sri Lanka people eat “Appa and dosai” to which they add this sodium bicarbonate as to raise the flour but if they eat within limits, I think it should be alright.

You will want to avoid adding salt to your food as well as increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, two food types that are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium which may have favourable effects blood pressure. A diet type that has worked for many people with diabetes is called the DASH diet.

Make It Fit Your Lifestyle

Nutrient-rich plans that are convenient, delicious, and culturally appropriate will help you make long-lasting changes to achieve and maintain body weight as well as prevent or delay complications of diabetes. Start making changes by setting simple, tangible and realistic goals. For example, if you never eat breakfast because you are in a rush in the morning, start by eating breakfast three days per week. Or if you have to start work early, pack breakfast in the morning and eat it at work.

Learn how to choose healthy choices when dining out or taking in food. And if you are not a chef, but want to start cooking, learn about basic skills and simple recipes. It takes time to make new behaviours.

How many diabetics are there?

According to the IDF, the number of diabetics in the world stands at 365 million people, representing around 8.5% of the global population.

There are approximately 2.9 million diabetic people in the UK according to Diabetes UK, and there’s thought to be around 500,000 people who may be diabetic but currently undiagnosed.

How is diabetes controlled?

Type 1 diabetes is controlled with insulin, either by regular injections of insulin or through wearing an insulin pump which drips insulin into the body through the day.

Type 2 diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise, although it is common for people with type 2 diabetes to need medication such as tablets or injections to help them to keep their blood sugar levels within the normal range. Your comments are welcomed

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