Pages

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stop the violence NOW!

In a couple of days, women across the world will take to the streets and public platforms to air their views on a subject that they have long been familiar with - so much so that it has become part of their daily lives: namely, Gender Based Violence (GBV). Living in a world where almost every fabric of society has been infiltrated by acts of violence, where civil wars, ethnic conflicts, honour killings, and moral decay have collectively contributed to the rapid rise of unsafe environments, women have never been exposed to so much violence as they are today.

This has been borne out by recent studies by researchers, sociologists and feminists who have not only shocked us out of our comfort zones with their startling statistics, they have shown us how violence impacts on women’s health, their personal relationships, their marriages, their families, and stifles their potential talents and skills to the country’s development.

Of late, such violence has escalated by leaps and bounds, as thousands of women caught up in civil war and displaced from their home, live in refugee camps enduring unbelievable hardships.

Their situation is compounded by the fact that all of them married or single, old or young, are completely at the mercy of the military personnel guarding them, who sexually abuse them taking advantage of their extreme vulnerability. Added to this, is the fact that women now dominate the labour force in most countries including Sri Lanka.

Although this is a positive reflection of their advancement towards true emancipation, it also puts them at risk to sexual harassment at their place of work. The numerous instances reported of female garment workers in the Free Trade Zones who are sexually abused while returning home at night, is an example of this rising tide of violence against women.

Age

Age is no barrier to Gender Based Violence. Newspapers are rife with instances when even elderly women in their 70s and 80s have been sexually harassed.

Domestic violence victim


Whether travelling by bus, train a single woman is often marked as the ideal candidate for eve teasing, vulgar comments and even rape by the opposite sex. In neighboring India eve teasing recently led to the death of a university student who couldn’t endure the continued remarks cast by her own male colleagues.

Similar incidents have been recorded in other countries including Sri Lanka where a young woman who was stalked by a youth finally turned her wrath on him by hitting him with her phone and injuring him. Even travelling on a plane could end up with disastrous results.

From nonagenarians (and even centenarians) to adolescents and girls still on the brink of attaining menarche, no female it seems is safe from such abuse today in our society.

The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has reported that by August end this year, the number of complaints it had received for this year alone on child abuse amounted to 6,973 of which 1,477 were for violence.

In addition, the NCPA also received 324 complaints of rape and 327 complaints of sexual harassment. Although male children are also included in these statistics, the girl children who have been abused sexually outnumber them by far.

Facts

No less startling are the facts and statistics that have emerged from the most recently researched edition on GBV in Sri Lanka, by the Women’s Health Committee of the SLMA which sheds light on why and who the perpetrators of such violence are in most instances.

Abuse - A questionnaire given to female undergraduates after a lecture on child abuse showed that 12.3 percent of females had been abused in childhood - their abusers being a brother, uncle or father (De Silva 1998).

Incest - A study in 2002 conducted through institutions dealing with victims of incest in the Central Province revealed that the typical incest victims were girl children below 12, the abusers being an older family member, often her father, stepfather, uncle or an older brother.

Sexual abuse - Police records of 2003 showed the majority of victims of grave sexual abuse (seduction, rape, incest and procreation) were 78 percent girls, especially those under 16 (Ministry of Health 2008).

Harassment - Newspaper articles on the nature and magnitude of harassments to women and girls in Lankan society (Weerakkody and Kumaara 2007) revealed that sexual harassment was most prominent in 88 percent of under-aged girls, rape being the commonest form of abuse.
Domestic violence

Of all these acts of violence, Domestic Violence (DV) is the most widely prevalent form of abuse inflicted on women. That this form of violence occurs mostly within a marriage and is perpetrated within the four walls of their own homes, is even more tragic.

Domestic violence never stops, as the perpetrators rarely report such acts. In the course of this non ending battery of violence, women are beaten, kicked, burned, choked, cut with knives, their hair shorn, their faces mutilated by acid thrown at them by jealous husbands, stem from often trivial and unreasonable causes.

The big question is WHY? Yes, why do women stay in abusive relationships, even at the risk of being maimed and killed, and the lives of their children traumatised? A feminist explained: “It is directly related to our patriarchal society and rooted in the patriarchal notion that women do not deserve to enjoy the same rights as men.

What they don’t seem to realise is that women constantly subject to domestic violence affects their health, their rights and the children who are the future citizens of this country. There is thus an urgent need to address the GBV at national level and to carry out national surveys on vulnerable female groups islandwide”.

Causes

Causes for GBV have been linked to many factors. A CENWOR study of 2001 links incest among girl children to their absentee mothers.

“An increasing number of girl children of migrant women remain unprotected and become victims of incest, unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortions.” A psychiatrist echoing this said, “Domestic violence has a trigger effect. A child who sees his father beating his mother is likely to do the same to his wife when he grows up. It is a vicious cycle we need to stop right NOW,” he said.

For all those now preparing to observe another day to Eliminate All Forms Of Violence Against Women, it is time to fight the negative social forces that leave women open to violence and for all women in leadership positions to combine their efforts and opportunities towards this goal.

Only then can violence against women become a thing of the past.

By Carol Aloysius - Sunday Observer

Monday, November 10, 2014

How to deal with your boss

Nothing good can come from a yelling match:

Bad bosses - whether ogres, control freaks, jerks or bumbling fools - can be found in all organisations. They are no laughing matter when you have to face him or her every working day. Having a bad boss can make your work life a misery, but it can also make you sick, both physically and mentally.

Having worked for nearly four decades in the corporate sector, of which first half with a number of not-so-inspiring bosses including tyrants and hypocrites, and the other half as a boss myself, I’ve identified three types of bad bosses and also trade secrets of how to handle them.

Who are these three are the top “bad boss” characteristics:

Micromanager

This type of a boss plays an excessively large role in the work of the subordinates. Instead of letting the team members use their own judgment, the boss makes every decision or dictates every step to take. This can be especially frustrating to capable workers, turning an interesting task into boring work.

Neglecter

This type is on the other end of the spectrum. Unlike micromanager, they fail to give any directions at all. The subordinates feel that their boss is ignoring them. As a result, they feel that they have to guess what their bosses want.

Yeller

A boss who gets angry and abuses his or her workers is probably the worst type of “bad boss.” By yelling at or otherwise belittling his or her employees, an abusive boss fosters an environment of fear. There is no excuse for this behaviour - yet abusive bosses can be found in all sorts of organisations

If you have one of these three types as your boss, it can really siphon out the enjoyment from what might otherwise be a rewarding career, and wondering whether you should begin searching for something new. Before you take that decision, let us see what you can do about it right now.

Managing the bad boss

Let me give you five tips.

Don’t act immediately. Maybe you will want to fight back. You may think of writing a blistering review of your boss and e-mailing it to the CEO. Those thoughts aren’t necessarily harmful. But thoughts don’t have to lead to action. Your boss may be small-minded, two-faced, spineless, and technically inept.

But would a dramatic gesture be worth the lost salary? Is it worth a hole in your résumé, the one you’ll find difficulty in explaining for years to come? This isn’t the economy to choose pride over practicality.

Play the game. You were been unfairly smeared. But don’t let it turn you sour or sloppy. And don’t let your boss get to you, either. Nod and smile when he delivers another self-serving sermon. Maintain a “can-do” attitude, like you have your dream job. Respect and defer, even when trust is lost. You’ll have to work with plenty of bad bosses over your career. You may as well start practising now.

Fix the micromanager. If your boss is a micromanager, first make sure that he or she isn’t merely responding to your own poor performance. If you have shown that you cannot perform good work without heavy-handed supervision, your boss may feel that he or she has to constantly look over your shoulder.

In that event, when a relatively unimportant assignment comes up, ask your boss to grant you additional responsibility “just this once.” If he or she agrees, put forth extraordinary effort to ensure that the project exceeds the expectations.

If your boss micromanages your entire team, you can be confident that it’s not just you. Your next step should be to sit down with your boss and talk about his or her overbearing supervision. It is not an easy task. You may fear that your boss will take your criticism as an attack or otherwise identify you as an “enemy.”

Don’t be scared. In my experience, this type of bosses often respond well to constructive criticism from their subordinates.

Clarification then and there

Many micromanagers have an underlying fear that something will go wrong if anyone is given managerial discretion. You can address this fear by frequently sharing information throughout the course of an assignment. Don’t wait for your boss to ask how things are going; instead, send a daily email with status reports and next steps. This helps reassure your boss that, in fact, everything is under control.

Fix the ‘neglecter’. To fix the ‘neglecter’ type’s problem, you’ll have to be very self-asserting to get your boss’s attention. If you receive an assignment with unclear goals, ask for clarification right then and there. Don’t leave your boss’s office or hang up the phone until you are satisfied that you know what you need to do.
During the course of the assignment, you should also communicate more frequently with your boss. For instance, if you send your boss a key email every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4 p.m., he or she will know that it’s important - and be more likely to respond to it.

If that doesn’t work, try to speak face­ to­ face with your boss about getting more direction.

Be specific about what you need and how your boss can be helpful.

Fix the yeller. The only way to deal with a yelling boss is not to take personally the fact that he or she regularly loses self-­ control. The boss’s unacceptable behaviour has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with his or her own problems, which you can’t fix.

Nevertheless, your behaviour may unwittingly push your boss’s “hot buttons” and trigger a stream of abuse. If you want to stick it out with such a boss, try to identify what those triggers are. Does your boss go ballistic if you arrive five minutes late or if your desk is slightly messy? If so, the simplest solution is to avoid behaviours that invite your boss’s wrath.

But this strategy won’t work if your boss plays the blame game and gets angry whenever an assignment turns sour. You can try to explain the key causes and suggest how you will address them in the future. You can try to brush off abusive behaviour with self-control.

Unfortunately, many abusive bosses know exactly what they’re doing. They’ll push and push until they meet resistance, at which point they’re likely to retreat. The only way to succeed with such a boss is to stand your ground.

Insist that your boss treats you with respect. Be specific about how his or her abusive behaviour is affecting your work and which particular actions are intolerable. But whatever you do, keep your cool; nothing good can come from a yelling match.

If you fail in your all remedies, there are a couple of alternatives. They come with no guarantees, but they may be worth considering.

The first is to wait it out. Bad bosses can be like bullies who eventually get tired of harassing people, particularly once they realise that it won’t get them anywhere.

A boss’s bad behaviour is visible to others, so hanging in there, without complaining, will be viewed positively. And over time, a bad boss may even self-destruct and lose credibility.

The second alternative is to seek other options, both inside and out. Use the situation as an opportunity to reassess your career, your work-life priorities, and how you define success. In the long run, the bad boss will liberate you to pursue another direction.

By Lionel Wijesiri - Sunday Observer

Thursday, November 06, 2014

With gun as motif

Thanha Rathi Raga was beautiful crafted, exquisitely executed, prodigious, extraordinary, remarkable cinema - suspenseful, joyous to watch, delightful to enjoy, the masterful command of the cinema being displayed in every frame, the narrative molded with loving hands.

The slow beginning, the establishing of context and character... the motifs and notes to the drama to come, carefully or (or craftily?) planted; working at multiple layers, each layer reveals, in succession, enjoyable cinema, suspenseful cinema, cinematic misfortune... cinematic revelation.... cinematic tragedy.... in varied cinematic facets as it addresses a range of emotions while drilling down to reveal, in every sense, a representation of the national tragedy that has enveloped the (Sinhala?) nation over the 30 years.

A nation which 'accidentally' found a 'gun' and did not know what to do with it, passing it from hand to hand until the country was engulfed. All that and more packed into 2 hours of thoughtful and eventually, heart wrenching ethos and pathos. The build up to a crescendo of the great human tragedy (of our nation?) that seemed without an end.

The story unfolded, leaving an echo of so much to think through, a tale told with warmth, love and understanding of the human condition, played by artistes, a gripping narrative structure built by the script writer/s (?) combining with texture and rendition of the visuals of a very high level of cinematographic consistency and skill and unlabored, smooth, editing - they all added their own special dose of skill and artistry to the blend.

The cinematography amazed me with its consistency of texture and craft, albeit with a few brief lapses. I have seen such evenness very rarely. An evenness which is testimony to a superb grasp of the craft of cinematography, contributing so much without intrusion. Editing bore hallmarks of Ravindra Guruge's consummate skill and again made his silent contribution to the blend. Heenatigala's art direction was meaningful: each location and site 'artfully' chosen and arranged. The opening credits, like the cover of a book, laid out tastefully, setting the mood.

A remarkable achievement, not only because it is a 'first' film but irrespective of a 'first' because it is wonderful cinema, with the stamp of a mature hand, with none of the stumbles of a 'first' film. All in all wonderful cinema, exquisitely rendered.

Sri Lanka needs this kind of cinema every kind of good cinema I suppose but certainly this cinema that is rare, occasional to be exceptional, because it is vision and insight translated into cinematic artistry of a high order. 
www.dailynews.lk - Dr D B Nihalsinghe

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Writing Better Emails

In 2013, there were 3.9 billion email accounts, and more than 100 billion emails sent each day are mostly business correspondence. We all find ourselves reading or writing emails and they often convey a lot about ourselves, whether we like it or not. So it makes sense to write emails sensible and professionally, to project a positive image.

Here are some helpful tips to writing better emails.

1. Stick to the same email address and use a standard email address from Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo.

2. If you have a cheesy email address, (e.g. namerox101!) then it is best you move along with the times.

3. Use logical subject lines - Convey the message in a single line and use names and dates. For example, if you are writing to inquire about an appointment the following subject line may help: Appointment for Dr. Smith on October 25th.

4. Write to the point - People increasingly read their emails on their mobile devices. In fact, 69% of Gmail and Yahoo mail was read on a mobile device. Meanwhile, 30% of consumers say they read their email exclusively on mobile devices. These screens are generally smaller than those of PCs, so there is less space available to convey the message. As a rule of thumb, say what you have to say in about 150 words. If you want to check your email, you could use a service like five.sentenc.es to make sure you are not going above the limit.

5. Write concisely with proper grammar (activate spell-check!).

6. Use a clear email signature.
a. Name
b. Positive
c. Contact information
i. Address
ii. Phone Number
iii. Office Hours

7. Social Media Contact Information

8. Use the 24-hour rule - Read quickly and aim to send out a response within 24 hours. If you need more time, send out a quick email informing the sender that you are looking into the email. e.g., “I received your email. I shall look into it in detail and respond later. Thanks!"

9. Re-read before sending - read your emails at-least twice before sending. A spell check alone is not enough. If you are the impatient type, activate an email delay function (available on Gmail).


10. Write with a respectful tone - This means that unless you personally know the person, emoticons (e.g. =D) are not allowed.

11. Be careful of using features like Reply All, CC, and BCC

a. Reply all - do not use this unless you absolutely have to as many people find this extremely annoying. This is best used to set up meetings or perhaps discuss an important concept but not for casual conversations of office banter.

b. CC - this is the FYI function of your email. Keeping someone else up to date on the proceedings.

c. BCC - this is for sending bulk email and you do not want everyone's email address to be visible in the To or CC line. This is best for those forwards you just need to send or risk death. If you are Bcc’d on an email, then never use the Reply All function.

12. Sometimes emails may get lost or accidently deleted. So it's okay to send a quick reminder if the person has not responded within a reasonable amount of time (generally +24 hours).

If your conversation thread gets too long, you may want to edit the subject line to keep things fresh.

dailymirror.lk

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How you can learn to love exercise

We all know that exercise is good for us. We join gyms, start running, buy home workout DVDs, all in the quest for a fitter, slimmer, more toned body and improved health. But after a few weeks our interest wanes, we skip a session or two, life gets in the way and then we stop altogether. After a while we tell ourselves we really should do some exercise and then the cycle starts all over again. Regular, long term exercise feels like an elusive goal.

If this sounds all too familiar and you wish you could fit regular exercise into your life without it feeling like a chore, Joanne Henson, author of ‘What's your excuse for not getting fit?’ has some advice: Understand that exercise doesn't have to be unpleasant Many fitness professionals talk about workouts as if they're of no value unless they leave you gasping for air, covered in sweat and sore for the next few days.

For example, Crossfit, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and obstacle races like Tough Mudder - are all about how hard you can work and what you can endure. But absolutely any exercise is better than no exercise - even at a moderate level.

Also, exercise is not a punishment! If you use exercise to punish yourself for what you've eaten, you're never going to enjoy it or feel motivated to do it.

If you love it, you'll do it. So what do you enjoy? Do you like exercising with a friend or do you need to exercise alone? Do you like being outdoors, or do you hate being cold and wet? Do you need variety or do you like the familiar? Do you like high energy activities or something more calming? Keep trying different forms of exercise until you find something which you enjoy - how about hiking, belly dancing, martial arts, ballet, yoga, rowing, boxing, climbing, swimming? Exercise doesn't have to involve joining a gym or running. There'll be something out there which you'll find more fun, more satisfying and more motivating than what you've done before.

Ease yourself into it

If you're new to exercise, or starting again after a long period of inactivity, there's no need to go all-out straight away. Your body won't thank you for going too hard too soon, and the pain, struggle and post-workout soreness will just reinforce any belief that exercise is unpleasant. Take it easy for the first few times - you can always work a bit harder next time, and the next time, and the time after that...

Make it a habit

What do fit people have in common? They exercise regularly and consistently. So make it your priority to establish the habit first - you can concentrate on increasing your level of fitness later. If that means getting yourself to a gym but doing only ten minutes’ exercise per session for the first month, that's fine.

If you get there three or four times each week, you're establishing a routine. Then you can turn your attention to improving your performance.

Pick the right exercise for your goal

One of the reasons people go so hard and give up so quickly is that they are looking for a quick fix, and when they don't get one, they become disillusioned.

Be patient, give it some time, and remember that exercise has long term, ongoing health benefits beyond body shape. If you have a specific goal, and you're going to invest time and effort in exercising, make sure that time and effort is well spent.

What is it you want to achieve? Be honest with yourself, and if necessary get some advice on what would be most effective.

For instance, if you want to tone up your bingo wings, target that area with resistance training rather than go running.

Track your progress

One of the positives of regular exercise is experiencing improvement and progress. If you didn't see any improvement, you'd eventually get disheartened.

So track each small improvement to keep your motivation levels high. For example, if you do your usual run today, and do it fifteen seconds faster than three days ago you wouldn't be aware of this unless you had a stopwatch, or used an app on your smart phone to time your run accurately.

If you knew you'd knocked off 15 seconds you'd be more likely to go out again in two days’ time to try to knock another 15 seconds off.

Exercise does take time and effort, but if you find something you enjoy, establish a habit and track your progress, you'll find it will get easier to stick with it and your body will reward you. You'll look better, feel better (mentally and physically) and be better able to live a happy and active life. What once felt like a chore will feel like a pleasure.
- MNT

Saturday, October 04, 2014

සංසාර සිහිනේ...


නෙළාගනු බැඳි හන්තාන සිහිනේ
දරා නෙත් අග දොවා සිත් මල්
ගොතනු මැන ළඳුනේ
සංසාර සිහිනේ...

වැහි පබළු යට රගමඬල මැද
ඔබේ දෑතේ තුරුලු වන්නට
බිසෝ හැර ගිය ළසෝ රගහල
අමාවක අඳුරේ
නොයනු මැන ළඳුනේ...

වඩින තුරු සද දුරින් ඉන්නම්
තරු ඇදුරු පෙම් ගී අහන්නම්
සොඳුරු ඒ සද දියේ එන්නම්
ඉඳිනු මැන සොඳුරේ
හන්තාන අරණේ...


ගායනය - පණ්‌ඩිත් අමරදේව සහ උමාරියා
පද රචනය - ජානක සිරිවර්ධන සංගීතය - අරුණ ගුණවර්ධන

ඇසෙන්නේ අප්‍රමාණ මිහිරකි. ඒ මිහිර උපදවනා සුසංයෝගයේ අරුමය විටෙක අප මවිත කරවයි. සිංහල ගේය සාහිත්‍යයේ අප්‍රමාණ සලකුණ වූ පණ්‌ඩිත් අමරදේවයෝ වෙණ නද සරි ස්‌වකීය මියුරුසර පුබුදුවා ලති. ඒ උමාරියා නම් යොවුන් ගායිකාව සමඟය. මුලින්ම මේ සුගායන සංයෝගය පිළිබද යමක්‌ ලියා තබනු වටී.

අමරදේවයන් ඇසුරු කිරීම, ඔවුන් හා ගැයුමක්‌ ගැයීම, ඔවුන් වෙත තනුවක්‌ නිර්මාණය කිරීම, ඔවුන් වෙනුවෙන් පද පෙළක්‌ ලිවීම මේ රටේ ගී කව් රස විඳිනා ඒ ඇසුරෙහි නිර්මාණකරණයේ යෙදෙනා සෑම සහෘදයෙකුගේම සිsහිනයකි. එවන් වූ අමරදේවයෝ නූතන ගී ගැයුම් රැල්ලේ පා වී එන උමාරියා නම් යොවුන් ගායිකාවගේ ප්‍රතිභාව පිළිබද පමණක්‌ සලකා, අතිශය මියුරු ස්‌වර රටා තුළ සුසර වන මහා බරසාර පද පෙළක්‌ ඇය හා ගැයුමට එක්‌වෙති. පණ්‌ඩිත් අමරදේවයන් විෂයෙහි අප තුළ අප්‍රමාණ ගෞරවනීය හැගීමක්‌ උපදවන්නේ මේ ප්‍රවේශය ය. අපේ නිර්මාණ සාහිත්‍යයේ යුගපුරුෂයෙක්‌ ලෙස සම්භාවනාවට ලක්‌වන ජීවමාන මහා ගාන්ධර්වයා වූ හේ ප්‍රකට කරනා මේ ප්‍රගතිගාමී චින්තන විලාසය, එහි ගැබ්වී ඇති ගැඹුර ඇත්තේ අපටත් වටහා ගත නොහැකි දුරකය.

අනෙක්‌ පසින් ස්‌වකීය ප්‍රමාණය හඳුනනා තරුණ නිර්මාණකරුවෝ යම් නිර්මාණයක්‌ සදහා අමරදේවයන් හා එක්‌වීමට ලද අවස්‌ථාව ස්‌වකීය නිර්මාණ ජීවිතයේ ලද අපමණ වු භාග්‍යයක්‌ කොට සලකති. උමාරියා නම් යොවුන් ගායිකාව එය ගනු ඇත්තේ කෙසේදැයි යන්න පිළිබදව අපට වැටහීමක්‌ නොවේ. එහෙත් උත්පත්තියෙන් ලද දුලන ප්‍රතිභාවේ යහ භාවිතය පිළිබද මුල්ම උත්කෘෂ්ට අත්දැකීම ඇය ලබා ඇත්තේ අමරදේවයන් හා ගැයූ මේ ගැයුමෙන් බව අපගේ හැගීමය. ඒ ගැයුම එපමණම රමණීයය. සහෘද රසවතුන් ආනන්දයෙන් පුරවා ලන්නේය.

මේ පද පෙළ ජානක සිරිවර්ධන නමැති කාව්‍යක්‌කාර රසවතාගේය. ඔහු තරම් සුකර ලෙස මානව සම්බන්ධතාවන්හි ගැබ් වූ අතිශය සියුම් වූත් ගැඹුරු වූත් විචිත්‍රත්වය රසාලිප්ත පදපෙළකට හසුකරගන්නා කවියෙක්‌ අපේ කාලයේදී හමුවේ නම් ඒ ඉතා විරලවය. 

ජානක සිරිවර්ධනයෝ කවියෙක්‌ වූ මියුරු කතාකාරයෙකි. විටෙක හේ අපේ මියුරුම කතාකාරයා වන්නේය. මලී, අත්තම්මා වැනි රටක්‌ රසවත් කළ දීර්ඝ රෑපවාහිනී මාලා නාටකයන්හි නිෂ්පාදකවරයා ඔහුය. මේ වෘත්තීය කතාකරුවාගේ විචිත්‍රත්වය වනුයේ ගීයක පදපෙළක්‌ නිර්මාණය කිරීමෙහිද ද ඊට පාදක වන කතාවක්‌ සොයා යැමය. ඒ ඇසුරෙහි චිත්ත රූප මැවීමය. ඒ මියුරු කතාවේ මානුෂික සංවේදනයන්හි චමත්කාරය උකහාගෙන රූපවාහිනි මාලා නාට්‍යාවලියකින් කිවයුතු කතාවක්‌ අතිශය දැනුවත් භාවයකින් තෝරාගත් පද තුළ ගැබ් කර කාව්‍යයක්‌ නිර්මාණය කිරීමය. "හන්තාන හීනේ" පද පෙළෙහි යටිපෙළේ ගැබ් කළ එවැනි විචිත්‍ර කතාවක්‌ තිබේ. ජානක සිරිවර්ධනයෝම ඒ රසපූර්ණ කතාව අපට කියති.

"අමරදේවයන් වෙනුවෙන් ගීයක්‌ නිර්මාණය කරන්නට හැකිවීම අතිශය භාග්‍යයක්‌. අමරදේවයන්ගේ ඉල්ලීම මත ඔහු වෙනුවෙන් ගීයක්‌ නිර්මාණය කරන්නට ඉඩ ලැබීම සැබෑ ලෙසම අප්‍රමාණ භාග්‍යයක්‌. අරුණ ගුණවර්ධන කියන මා කල්‍යාණ මිත්‍ර යොවුන් සංගීතඥයා මාර්ගයෙන් මේ යෝජනාව මා වෙත එනවා. අමරදේවයන් ප්‍රාර්ථනා කරන්නේ නව ගී පද රචකයෙක්‌, ප්‍රභාන්විත යොවුන් සංගීතඥයෙක්‌ හා ගායිකාවක්‌ සමග එක්‌ව ජව සම්පන්න නිර්මාණ කාර්යයක යෙදීම. යුග ගීතයේ ගායිකාව ලෙස අප යෝජනා කළේ උමාරියා නැමැති යොවුන් ගායිකාව. "

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

CHILDREN PORTRAY INNOCENCE AND PURITY

Children’s and Elders Day 2014:

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” 
- James A. Baldwin

Children and elders are innocent. They should be treated with love and affection. Elders are the carriers of knowledge and experience. Elders are first and foremost teachers and role models. They are vital in the teaching process from infancy to adulthood.

Every child is regarded as a treasure. They make this world beautiful. Children are so valuable. They are pure and innocent. Children are said to be like wet cement, whatever falls on them makes an impression. They are the future of a country and it is only by taking care of them and guiding them on the correct path that discipline can be instilled in a country.

In Sri Lanka, International Elders Day and Children’s Day are both celebrated on October 1. The United Nations General Assembly voted to establish October 1 as the International Day of Elders from October 1, 1991 on December 14, 1990.

Elders’ Day is celebrated by raising awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as senility and elder abuse. It is also a day to appreciate the contributions that older people make to society.

Togetherness

The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954. Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children’s welfare.

Children’s Day is an event celebrated on various days in many places around the world. International Children’s Day is celebrated on June 1 and Universal Children’s Day is on November 20. The International Children’s Day had its origin in Turkey in 1920 and later in the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland in 1925.

On December 14, 1954, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should introduce an annual event from 1956 known as Universal Children’s Day to encourage fraternity and understanding between children all over the world and promoting the welfare of children. It was recommended that individual countries should choose an appropriate date for this occasion.

At the time, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Children’s Day on an “appropriate” date. Many countries respected this recommendation and the Universal Children’s Day has since been annually observed on November 20.

On November 20, 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and on November 20, 1989, it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children’s rights.

Universal Children’s Day is part of the work carried out by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEF’s logo consists of an image of a mother and child, a globe, olive branches and the word “UNICEF”. All parts of the logo are in UN’s blue color, although it may be presented in white on a blue background.

Rights

Many schools and other educational institutions make a special effort to inform children of their rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Teachers stimulate their pupils to think about the differences between themselves and others and explain the idea of “rights”. In countries where the rights of children are generally well-respected, teachers may draw attention to situations in countries where this is not the case.

In some areas UNICEF holds events to draw particular attention to children’s rights. These may be to stimulate interest in the media around the world or to start nationwide campaigns, for instance on the importance of immunisations or breastfeeding.

Abuse takes place at home, in school, in institutions, at work, in the community, in armed conflict and natural disasters. Much violence against children, such as corporal punishment and sexual abuse, remains legal and socially approved in many countries.

The violence children face takes many forms, such as exploitation and abuse, trafficking, physical and humiliating punishment, harmful traditional practices and recruitment into armed forces and groups. Growing up with violence and abuse seriously affects a child’s development, dignity, and physical and psychological integrity.

It is the responsibility of every single person to safeguard children while taking care of the elders in society.

By Husna Inayathullah - Sunday Observer 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Many happy returns of the day LOST 1982. Have a wonderful year ahead.

රළු වදන් කියයි
රළු බැලුම් හෙළයි
සිත දුකින් පිරෙයි
පිහිතුඩක් පපුතුරෙහි
ඇනෙනු සේ  හැ‍ඟෙයි
සුළු වැරැද්දක් මහා මෙරක් ලෙස දකියි
අපහාස චෝදනා ගඟක් සේ ගලයි
මුදු වදන් කියයි යළි මුදු සිනා සලයි
මහද නළවා යළිත් ඔබ සෙනෙහෙ පුදයි
සෝ සුසුම් වේදනා
දුර ඈත ඇදෙයි
ඔබට මා මට ඔබ 
නැතිව බැරි බව හැ‍ඟෙයි.............. 


(Lost 1982)

Wicked and witty!

Finding Fanny

Five oddballs venture on a journey to find a long lost lover. The journey is no cake walk because it is scattered with obstacles and humorous incidents. Homi Adajania's English and Hindi satire has wit, heart and is beautiful till the last frame.

'Finding Fanny' is about seeking out a long lost love. Five individuals who are poles apart go on a road trip to find Fanny alias Stefanie Fernandez, the love of Ferdie's life. A postman in a quaint Goan village, Ferdie is shattered when he receives his love letter unopened after 46 years. He discloses this to his best friend, Angie, who resides with her mother-in-law, Madame Rosalina. Both ladies are widows and live a lonely existence with only a cat for a companion.

The meaning of love

Angie decides to help Ferdie reunite with his ladylove. The three along with Savio Da Gama, Angie's one time best buddy who has had an irritable crush on her for years, and Don Pedro, a talented painted who is fascinated with all things big including Madame Rosaline, embark on a road trip to find Fanny. Though whether they do find her or not seems to be the question in everyone's mind at first. The journey leads them towards an extraordinary path of discovery. Many home truths are uncovered as the miles fly by. Each individual finds out the meaning of love and many even find it at the end.

The story is off beat and is mainly aimed at those who love artistic productions. Humour arises out of everyday situations. The emotions displayed by the characters seem real. We can imagine ourselves faced by such situations and being overcome by similar feelings. Another striking element in the movie is that each and every character is well defined and manages to shine at some stage. Though these are all A-list actors in the cast, they manage to stay within the parameters of their characters. The film mostly belongs to Naseerudin Shah who plays Ferdie's role. Not only is he the character who launches the action by revealing his passion to Angie, his haunting eyes and clouded expressions speak volumes.

He can be unmannered in one instance and as bashful as a school boy in the other instance. Pankaj Kapur is a contrast to him and has some of the most humorous dialogs. Arjun Kapoor plays an arrogant mechanic who swings between emotions. His character sinks in gloom even after he has achieved what he desires.

A diverse flavour

Deepika Padukone looks angelic on the first frame and carries on the act but many a time we have seen a daredevil behind her character. Such a shock is apparent when we see her choosing a chicken and killing it to cook a meal. She oozes confidence and holds her own against everyone including the veterans. She has proved the fact that she can even wow the audience out of her comfort zone as the much sought after Bollywood heroine, seductress and girl next door.

Dimple Kapadia give a stunning performance as an obnoxious widow. She displays a tough exterior which hides an insecure persona. This is probably one of the best characters she has been handed over in years. Anil Mehta's cinematography is worth a mention because he has captured the rustic splendours of the Goa landscapes in all their glory.

The little Goa village where the action takes place makes a pretty picture. Its sun-dappled paths lead us to the protagonist of the tale as well as the other characters who support him. 'Finding Fanny' is not a comedy yet it will surely put a smile on your face. Wicked, witty, weepy and wild, the film is an original that many would enjoy and find memorable.

Adajania may have set the foundation for extraordinary productions through 'Being Cyrus' and 'Cocktail', but 'Finding Fanny' brilliantly mixes black humour and entertainment together in just the right doses. Adajania evenly keeps up the anticipation over whether Ferdie meets his beloved before giving a smart ending to the story. More than the climax the journey itself keeps the viewers hooked.

The film is of a diverse flavour from the typical Bollywood films. It has no melodrama as such or the typical boy meets girl and wins her over romance. Therefore 'Finding Fanny' would not appeal to all, especially fans of masala entertainers. This is a piece of coming-of-age cinema.

Monday, September 22, 2014

මේ නගරය මා ඔබ හෙට දකින නගරයයි

ගමක්‌, නගරයක්‌, පළාතක්‌ සංවර්ධනය කරන අතරවාරයේ, තවත් නගරයක්‌ "තැනීම" එතරම් පහසු කාරණයක්‌ නොවේ. බොහෝ දෙනෙක්‌ එසේ කරනවා තබා සිතන්නටවත් බිය වේ. එහෙත් පරදවන්නට බැරි යෑයි කියූ ත්‍රස්‌තවාදය මුලිනුපුටා දැමූ රටකට එවැන්නක්‌ බැරියෑයි කියන්නට බැරිය. ඒ නිසාම "නගරයක්‌ තැනීමේ" කාරණය ආරම්භ කෙරිණි. එය එසේ මෙසේ නගරයක්‌ නොව මුහුද ගොඩකර සාදන නගරයකි. නම්කර ඇත්තේ පෝට්‌ සිටි (PORT CITY) නමිනි.

මුහුද ගොඩකර තනන මේ නගරය හෙක්‌ටයාර් 233 ක භූමි ප්‍රමාණයකින් යුක්‌තය. පසුගිය සැප්තැම්බර් 17 වැනිදා නිල වශයෙන් එහි ඉදිකිරීම් කටයුතු ඇරඹිණි. මේ සංවර්ධන ව්‍යාපෘතිය එතෙක්‌ මෙතෙක්‌ අප රටේ සිදුවන සුවිශාලතම සෘජු විදේශ ආයෝජන සංවර්ධන යෝජනා ක්‍රමය ලෙස සැලකීමෙහි වරදක්‌ නැත.

අමාත්‍ය මණ්‌ඩල පූර්ණ අනුමැතිය යටතේ ශ්‍රී ලංකා වරාය අධිකාරිය, මහජන චීනයේ චයිනා කොමියුනිකේෂන් කන්ස්‌ට්‍රක්‌ෂන් සමාගම සමග එළැඹි අවබෝධතා ගිවිසුමක්‌ පරිදි චයිනා හාබර් ඉංජිනේරියන් සමාගම විසින් කොළඹ "පෝර්ට්‌ සිටි" ව්‍යාපෘතියේ ඉදිකිරීම් සිදුකරනු ලබයි. ශ්‍රී ලංකා වරාය අධිකාරියේ ව්‍යාපෘතියක්‌ ලෙස ක්‍රියාත්මක වන මෙම ඉදිකිරීම් ආයෝජනයන් සඳහා ශ්‍රී ලංකා ආයෝජන මණ්‌ඩලය (BOI) විදේශ ආයෝජන සඳහා පිරිනමන බදු සහන ද ලබාදේ.

මෙම සුවිසල් ආයෝජන සංවර්ධන ව්‍යාපෘතිය ආකාර කිහිපයකින් රටට ප්‍රතිලාභ අත්කර දෙන්නකි. ඉදිකිරීම් අංශයේ සියලුම ක්‌ෂේත්‍රයන්හි පුහුණු නුපුහුණු ලාංකීය ශ්‍රමිකයන්ද තාක්‍ෂණවේදීන්, ඉංජිනේරු හා ගෘහ නිර්මාණ ශිල්පීන් ඇතුළු ශ්‍රී ලාංකිකයන් අති විශාල පිරිසකට නව රැකියා අවස්‌ථා උදාවීම එහි ප්‍රමුඛතම ඵලයයි. එපමණක්‌ නොව එමගින් හිමිවන වක්‍ර රැකියා අවස්‌ථාද බහුලය. 

"පෝට්‌ සිටි" ඉදිකිරීම් නිමාවූ පසු එම "නගරයේ" සංචාරක, ප්‍රවාහන, ක්‍රීඩා, හෝටල් ආදී පරිපූර්ණ නගරයක අංග ස්‌ථාපිත වනු ඇත. එමගින්ද රැකියා අවස්‌ථා ගණනාවක්‌ බිහිවේ.

"පෝට්‌ සිටි" සාමාන්‍ය නගරය අත්‍යවශ්‍ය අවශ්‍යතා ලෙස හඳුන්වන විදුලිය, ජලය, සන්නිවේදන මහා මාර්ග ආදී සමස්‌ත යටිතල පහසුකම් වලින් සමන්විත පූර්ණ සංවර්ධන ව්‍යාපෘතියකි. 

පෝට්‌ සිටි ව්‍යාපෘතියේ සමස්‌ත ඉදිකිරීම් අධියර දෙකකින් සිදුකෙරේ. පළමු අදියරට දියකඩනය ඉදිකිරීම, ඉඩම් ගොඩකිරීම, පූර්ණ වශයෙන් අවසන් කිරීම හා සංවර්ධනය කළ හැකි ඉඩම්වලින් හෙක්‌ටයාර 75 ක ප්‍රමාණයක යටිතල පහසුකම් සංවර්ධනය කිරීම සිදුවේ.

දෙවන අධියර යටතේ ඉතිරි සංවර්ධනය කළ හැකි ඉඩම් හෙක්‌ටයාර 95 ක ප්‍රමාණයක යටිතල පහසුකම් සංවර්ධනය කිරීම සිදුවේ. පළමු අධියර වසර තුනකින් නිම කිරීමට යෝජිතය. පූර්ණ අධියරයන් නිම කිරීමට වසර 8 ක පමණ කාලයක්‌ ගතවේ.

එපමණක්‌ නොව යෝජිත වරාය නගරය කොළඹ දකුණු වරාය සඳහා ඉදිකෙරෙන ලද දියකඩනයෙන් ආරක්‍ෂා වේ. අලුතින් ගොඩකරන "පෝර්ට්‌ සිටි" හි ආරක්‍ෂාව සඳහා කිලෝ මීටර 3.25 ක දිගකින් යුත් ගොඩබිම හා සම්බන්ධ නොවන දියකඩනයක්‌ ඉදිකෙරේ. 

එම දියකඩනය සඳහා අවශ්‍ය මූලික අධ්‍යයනය අන්තර්ජාතික ප්‍රමිතියේ පරීක්‍ෂණාගාරයන්හි මේ වනවිටත් සිදුකර අවසන්ය. 

මෙම වරාය නගරය (PORT CITY) ආසියාවේ පරිපූර්ණ වාණිජමය කේන්ද්‍රස්‌ථානයක්‌ බවට පත්කරමින් ගොඩනැගෙන්නකි.

නිවාස හා කාර්යාල සංකීර්ණ, සුඛෝපභෝගී හෝටල්, ක්‍රීඩාගාර, ජල තීරු, මාවත් හා උද්‍යාන පමණක්‌ නොව ගොල්ෆ් පිටියක්‌ හා "ෙµdaමියුලා වන්" තරග ධාවන මං තීරුද මේ තුළ සැකසේ. නගරය තුළ ඉදිවන විශාල ඇළ මාර්ග පද්ධතිය මෙම නගරයට විශාල අලංකාරයක්‌ එක්‌කරන්නකි.

කොලොම්තොට ආසියාවේ අසිරිමත්ම නගරය බවට පත්කරන්නට වරාය නගරය (PORT CITY) හැකියාව ලැබෙනු ඇති බව අනිවාර්යය. 

අප ආණ්‌ඩුවේ විවේචනයට බඳුන් කළ යුතු තැන් විවේචනය කරන අතරවාරයේම සාධනීය දේ අගය කළ යුතුය. මේ කිසිවක්‌ "හම්බන්තොට" ගෙනයන්නට කරනු ලබන සංවර්ධන ක්‍රියාදාමයන් නොවේ. මේ නගර මංමාවත්හි අසිරිය නියමාකාරයෙන් අතිවිඳින්නේ එහි විපුල ඵල නෙලන්නේ අප නොවේ. ඉදිරි පරම්පරාවය. ෙµdaර්ට්‌ සිටි ඒ ගමන් මගෙහි එක්‌ කඩ ඉමක්‌ බව කිව යුතුය.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CHINA MARITIME SILK ROAD A BOON TO SRI LANKA

A view from Sri Lanka’s capital of land curving into a sea once famed for its pearls now shows giant yellow digger trucks piling boulders. It’s another show of China’s increasing global influence.

Once fought over by European powers, Sri Lanka is now benefiting from the attention of Asia’s biggest economies, drawn to its Indian Ocean location along some of the world’s busiest sea-lanes. The Chinese-financed $1.4 billion “Colombo Port City” project is its largest foreign-funded investment on record.

President Xi Jinping, who has sought to restore China’s prestige and historical links along the “maritime Silk Road” through Southeast and South Asia, arrived in Colombo yesterday, shortly after a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Deepening ties with East Asia would aid its recovery from 26 years of civil war.

Dushni Weerakoon, head of macro-economic policy at the Institute of Policy Studies in Colombo said, “Sri Lanka stands to benefit from its growing economic links with each of these countries, but it will also require a careful balancing act on the political front.”

Singapore competition

The Port City will be built by a unit of state-controlled China Communications Construction Co. (1800) on 233 hectares (576 acres) of reclaimed land, an area slightly larger than Monaco. The offices, hotels, apartments and shopping centres will draw as much as $20 billion in investment over about 15 years, according to ports authority chairman Priyath Wickrama.

“The government wants to convert Sri Lanka into a maritime center,” Wickrama said in an INTERVIEW at his office overlooking the project area and adjoining port, which is also part-funded by China. “We can give some competition to Singapore and Dubai, which are running out of capacity.”

The unsolicited investment will boost JOB creation as China will bring only “expert category labour,” Wickrama said. Sri Lanka will own rights to 125 hectares of the reclaimed land and 20 hectares will be held by China Communications, with the remaining 88 hectares leased to the company for 99 years.

Colombo’s port is the only one in South Asia that can accommodate 18-metre deep draft vessels, putting it in position to serve the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and some African states, said Parakrama Dissanayake, former chairman of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Sri Lanka.

‘All-Weather Friend’

China last year overtook the U.S. as Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner after India, and has described itself as an “all-weather” friend.

Chinese government lending to the island nation has increased 50-fold over the past decade to $490 million in 2012, compared with $211 million combined from Western countries and lending agencies.

India has focused on development and reconstruction in the north, which was affected by the civil war that ended in 2009. As many as 40,000 civilians died in the conflict, according to a 2011 report from a panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, most of whom shared ethnic links with the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

“Both countries have mutually important strategic interests” in Sri Lanka, Deshal de Mel, senior economist at Hayleys Plc in Colombo, said of India and China. “Whilst it is probable that China’s interests in Sri Lanka are largely strategic and commercial in nature, particularly in terms of logistics and access to resources, it is inevitable that India will feel a degree of insecurity.”

‘Completely non-transparent’

Unlike previous infrastructure projects undertaken by Chinese companies in Sri Lanka, the port city is financed by equity from China Communications or funds raised through it, with no commitment or guarantee from the Sri Lankan government.

Silk Road

Besides Sri Lanka, Xi also visited the Maldives on this trip, which he called “an important stop of the ancient maritime silk road” in an article published in local media. Xi will travel to India tomorrow.

Asia’s biggest economy, which will import more than $10 trillion of commodities and invest more than $5 billion overseas in the coming five years, is committed to peaceful development, Yang Jiechi, a State Councillor and the country’s former foreign minister, said in Beijing in June.

Xi last year unveiled plans to build a maritime Silk Road, referring to an ancient series of land routes that connected China to the Mediterranean Sea, linking traders, priests, artists and explorers. Details on the project are short and may be fleshed out at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing in November.

The project will attract “big Western” companies to Sri Lanka besides Chinese investment, Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera, told reporters in July. “It may be a Chinese built city, but it will be a catalyst for growth overall.”

Source: Bloomberg Internet Publication 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hail Caesar! Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes' proved to be a mega success in Rupert Wyatt's hands. The graceful but complex cinematic venture captured masses with its unique storyline. Matt Reeves' sequel to the 2011 science fiction film does not take off to a fabulous start but picks up steam towards the middle and manages to rekindle the magic of its predecessor.

Never to visit

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' picks up a decade after the milestone events of 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes.' A new world order in which genetically-enhanced ape Caesar has successfully established an ape colony in the wilderness outside of San Francisco is brought before us. With a family by his side and a tribe to lead and protect, Caesar has made a safe heaven for ape kind.

The Simian Flu has wiped out much of humanity and shattered the country's infrastructure. The few who have managed to survive from the tragedy try to build up a human civilization again. However their main problem is human riots which might erupt if power runs out. Led by Malcolm, who foresees this emerging menace, a team set off to reactivate an electrical dam located on the cliffs near the ape village. When one of the members of the team stumbles upon two of Caesar's foot soldiers in the woods, he panics and shoots one of them, injuring him in the process. Though they have them outnumbered, Caesar does not let his tribe attack the humans. Instead he forgives them but orders them never to visit their village again.

Malcolm is however convinced that he can change the ape leader's mind, win over his trust and allow them access to the dam. This Caesar does though his head lieutenant, Koba, makes various objections to prevent alliances between humans and apes. Caesar confides in Koba that this is his one chance at making peace between apes and humans.

However this does not appeal to Koba who is out for revenge for all the misdeeds done to him by humans. He proves himself no better than humans when he betrays Caesar and later his own clan by heading a revolution against humans.

At first sight

Ape-human trust issues are the center of focus in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.' A significant amount of the story highlights the raise in tension between the two species. There is contrast between Koba's vengeful sadism and Caesar's sad-eyed realization that apes and humans have more in common than he would like to admit.

Meantime there is a match between Caesar and Malcolm because both are the peace loving family types who strive to do anything to prevent war. The fact that prejudice and violence lark in both species are a bitter pill to swallow for both of them. Koba's human equal is Dreyfus who has also lost his family due to past tragedies. Thus the groups seem equally matched though it is not evident at first sight.

James Franco and Freida Pinto are missing from the sequel. Andy Serkis gives life to the noble Caesar. Toby Kebbell, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Kodi Schmidt-McPhe make up the rest of the cast.

Even though 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' is the sequel to 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes,' it can stand alone as an individual movie. Viewers who have not watched the prequel will not be confused because the introduction relates all the essential details. Reeves does not follow Wyatt's path in every turn. His first act has been to retreat from Wyatt's forward looking set up and tone it down to a scenario where apes still communicate in cavemen fashion.

www.dailynews.lk - Ruwini Jayawardana

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pettah Floating Market opens today

The new floating market constructed in Pettah under the Colombo city beautification project will be declared open today, Defence and Urban Development Ministry sources said.

The floating market, a first in Sri Lanka, is located at Bastian Street close to the long distance private bus stand.

Senior Consultant to the Urban Development Authority Weerasena Adikari told the media on Wednesday that the floating market was developed as a part of the greater Beira Lake Development Project.

"Around 92 stalls have been established within the floating market and 78 of them have been allocated to those who had maintained unauthorized stalls near the location previously," he added.

In addition, the market will consist stalls which sell local crafts, indigenous herbs, fruits and restaurants. A car park as well as walkways around the premises and its location in between the railway station and the bus stop ensures easy access.

Security is to be provided round the clock. According to Adikari the market in addition to locals will be a major attraction for visiting tourists.

"When construction began in March 2013, people hardly even knew there was a water body behind the shops. People did not even go close to this place as they thought it was a smelly garbage dump," he said. "Today, people are expressing their surprise about the remarkable transformation the area has undergone," he added.

In addition, Adikari said building such a market in a formerly unutilized area and also developing the area which was dotted with unauthorized structures will help lessen congestion in Pettah, which is considered the most crowded area in Colombo.

"Before building the market the authorities had also been engaged in a water purification effort in the area as the water body was highly polluted," he added.

The UDA experts along with the Sri Lanka Army Engineering Services units carried out the project.

The Chief Guest at the opening will be Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and other officials too will be present. 

www.dailynews.lk - By Rasika Somarathna

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grace of Monaco Fails to honour the subject

Life as a princess in not the fairy tale that most people imagine it to be. The ‘Princess of Hearts,’ Princess Diana, discovered this fact. Long before her the stunning starlet Grace Kelly too underwent this realization when she falls for Monaco’s Prince Ranier III and ties the knot with him in a fairy tale wedding.

French director Olivier Dahan opens his cinematic venture ‘Grace of Monaco’ during this stage when the beautiful Kelly, now a mother of two, dwells in isolation, yearning for the life she led before marriage. Protocol forbids her to reunite with old mentor Alfred Hitchcock, while her husband is increasingly preoccupied by a bitter tax dispute with the principality’s Gallic neighbours.

Incredibly dull

Trapped by a critical husband, stifling etiquette and an enemy-packed palace Kelly is set up as a real life damsel in distress. When Hitchcock comes a-calling with the script to ‘Marnie,’ Kelly is torn between her need to return to Hollywood and her duties as a princess. Will the already critical public accuse her of deserting her marriage and humanitarian duties if she returns to Hollywood? Or should she refuse Hitchcock and instead nail the trickiest role of her life by playing the People’s Princess?

Dahan’s take on Kelly’s personal traumas amid the political struggles between Monaco and France is disappointing. You never get a satisfying feeling because both subjects are not well explored. Instead you get a dose of both the psychological aspect as well as the political situation merged together. This makes it tiresome to watch.

‘Grace of Monaco’ is uninspiring from its first frame to its last. Little is left to the imagination as the events proceed. Though the life story of Aung San Suu Kyi is well known across the world Luc Besson did wonders in bringing the tale in an engaging manner through his 2011 movie ‘The Lady.’ Dahan should have taken some pointers from Besson. Though ‘Grace of Monaco’ has all the ingredients which could make it a glitzy soap opera, the output is incredibly dull!

A right royal farce

The climax in which Kelly finally saves the day by putting her own interests aside and does an Elizabeth-style iconic transformation by announcing “I am Monaco” is overdone. Meantime Hollywood has been put on the back burner in the film. This maybe because screenwriter Arash Amel feelings the familiar shadow of Hitch need not shroud his film after the recent biopics ‘Hitchcock’ and ‘The Girl.’

Nicole Kidman may not have been the best choice for the title character. Though she does her best to perform her role well her transformation into Grace Kelly fails to capture the essence of the star. While bearing only a little resemblance to Kelly, Kidman could have portrayed a better picture had she been given a better script and a better makeover.

Tim Roth hardly makes much of an impact as the tight-lipped Prince Ranier. The rest of the cast too seem to be overly caricatured or lacks personality. Only Frank Langella’s fatherly priest looks halfway convincing.

The only saving grace in the movie is probably in its eye candy. These include exotic locations, dazzling jewellery, immaculately coiffured hair and glamorous gowns. Kelly’s look at the Red Cross charity ball is simply breathtaking.

‘Grace of Monaco’ could clearly be labeled as a lost opportunity. The protagonist is a woman who oozes charisma. The background too is enticing for history buffs. However Dahan fails to deliver any dramatic punch or psychological insight. ‘Grace of Monaco’ maybe based on fictional accounts inspired by the real events but movie fans who have pinned high hopes on seeing a work of art as a tribute to their idol are sadly let down. More than a royal melodrama it is a right royal farce. 

www.dailynews.lk - Ruwini Jayawardana

Friday, August 01, 2014

'ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි' අද සිට තිරයේ..

දේශීය සිනමාව අම්මා අප්පා නැති 
අවජාතක දරුවකු බවට පත්කරලා
- අධ්‍යක්‍ෂ සුගත් සමරකෝන් 

ඇහැලේපොල පවුල විනාශ වුණේ 
එදා අපේ අයගේ කුළල් කා ගැනීම නිසා

සුගත් සමරකෝන්ගේ ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි චිත්‍රපටය අද (01 වැනිදා) සිට දිවයිනේ සිනමාශාලා හතළිස්‌ පහක තිරගත කිරීම ඇරඹේ. රටපුරා සිනමා ශාලා පනස්‌ පහක ප්‍රදර්ශනය කිරීම සඳහා පිටපත් පනස්‌ පහකට අවසර ඉල්ලා සිටිය ද, ජාතික චිත්‍රපට සංස්‌ථාව විසින් ගෙන ආ නියෝගයකට අනුව සුගත් සමරකෝන්ට අවසර ලැබී තිබුණේ පිටපත් තිස්‌පහකට පමණි.

සුගත් පිටපත් පනස්‌පහකට අවසර ඉල්ලා සටන් කළේය. අවසානයේ ප්‍රශ්නය ජනාධිපති මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා ඉදිරියට ගියේය. සුගත් සමරකෝන්ට සාධාරණය ඉටු කරන්නැයි ජනාධිපතිවරයා ජාතික චිත්‍රපට සංස්‌ථා සභාපති නීතිඥ අශෝක සේරසිංහ මහතාට උපදෙස්‌ දුන් බව සුගත් සමරකෝන් ප්‍රකාශ කරයි.


ඉන්පසු ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි නියමිත පිටපත් තිස්‌පහට අමතරව තවත් පිටපත් දහයක්‌ සඳහා සංස්‌ථාවේ අනුමැතිය හිමිවිණි. කෙසේ වෙතත් ජාතික චිත්‍රපට සංස්‌ථා සභාපතිවරයා සමඟ චිත්‍රපට අධ්‍යක්‍ෂ සුගත් සමරකෝන් ඇහැලේපොළ කුමාරිහාමි අරභයා මත ගැටුමක නිරත වී සිටිති. සුගත් සමරකෝන් සමඟ අප සම්මුඛ සාකච්ඡාවකට එක්‌ වූයේ ඉහත කී පසුබිම මධ්‍යයේ ය.

ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි නිසා ඔබ ඉන්නේ සිනමාව ගැන කළකිරීමකින්ද?

ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි සහ දරුවන් තුන්දෙනා ඝාතනය කරලා මේ අවුරුද්දට වසර 200 ක්‌ සම්පූර්ණ වෙනවා. රටේ පුරවැසියකු ලෙස රටට ආදරය කරන කෙනෙක්‌ විදිහට මම මේ චිත්‍රපටය කළා. හරිනම් මේ චිත්‍රපටය කළ යුත්තේ රජය විසින්. ඒත් පෞද්ගලිකව අපි මේ චිත්‍රපටය කරලා අද පරිප්පු කනවා.

දැන් ප්‍රශ්නය විසඳිලා. වැඩිපුර පිටපත් දහයකට අවසර ලැබී තිබෙනවා.

චිත්‍රපට හතරක්‌ පහක්‌ හදන මුදල් ප්‍රමාණයක්‌ මේ චිත්‍රපටයට වැය කළා. එහෙම කරලා පිටපත් තිස්‌පහකින් හතළිහකින් නිෂ්පාදන වියදම ආවරණය කරන්න ලැබෙන්නේ නැ. මේක කලාවක්‌ විතරක්‌ නොවේ. කර්මාන්තයක්‌. ජනාධිපතිතුමාට පසුගිය දවසක ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි විශේෂ දර්ශනයක්‌ පෙන්නුවා. එතුමා චිත්‍රපටය ගැන සතුටු වුණා. ඒ වෙලාවෙම දුරකථනයෙන් කතා කරලා අශෝක සේරසිංහ චිත්‍රපට සංස්‌ථා සභාපතිවරයාට නියෝග කළා මේ චිත්‍රපටය වැදගත්, සාධාරණය ඉටු කරන්න කියලා. ඒත් සභාපතිවරයා අපට වැඩිපුර දුන්නේ පිටපත් දහයයි. හරිනම් පිටපත් විස්‌සක්‌ වැඩිපුර දෙන්න ඕනෑ. පිටපත් හැත්තෑපහකට වඩා අපෙන් සිනමාශාලා ඉල්ලා තිබෙනවා. දැන් සිද්ධ වෙලා තියෙන්නේ හතළිස්‌ පහකට යන්න. චිත්‍රපට සංස්‌ථා සභාපතිගෙ පිටපත් තිස්‌පහේ සිSමාව අපව හිර කළා.

ජනාධිපතිවරයා කෙළින්ම සභාපතිවරයාට ප්‍රකාශ කළේ නැද්ද පිටපත් විස්‌සක්‌ වැඩිපුර දෙන්න කියලා.

නෑ. අමාත්‍යාංශ ලේකම්ට හා සභාපතිට කිව්වා සාධාරණය ඉටු කරන්න කියලා. 2013 ජනවාරි මාසයට කලින් අපි මේ චිත්‍රපටය ආරම්භ කළේ. නීතිමය ලියවිලි අත්සන් කළේ ජනවාරි මාසයට කලින්. ඔය තිස්‌පහේ සීමාව ගෙන ආවේ 2013 ජනවාරි මාසයට පසුව හැදෙන චිත්‍රපටවලට. එහෙම නම් අපේ චිත්‍රපටයටත් පිටපත් 55 ක්‌ දිය යුතුයි. ලියවිලි ඉදිරිපත් කර අවසරය ලබා ගන්න කියා ජනාධිපතිතුමා කිව්වා. අපි අපේ ලියවිලි ඉදිරිපත් කළා. ඒත් උදේ ඉඳලා රස්‌තියාදු කරලා හවස අපට අවසර දුන්නේ පිටපත් දහයක්‌ වැඩිපුර පෙන්වන්න විතරයි. අපි මේ චිත්‍රපටය කළේ ජාතික හැඟීමකින්. ඒත් සභාපතිවරයා විජාතිකයෙක්‌ හැසිරෙන ආකාරයට තමයි මේ වෙනස්‌කම ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමිට කළේ.

පළමුව ඔය පිටපත් තිස්‌පහේ සීමාවට එරෙහිව සටන් කළේ සිරි පැරකුම් වෙනුවෙන් සෝමරත්න දිසානායක. ඒ සටනේදී ඔබ ඔහු සමඟ සිටියද?

එතැනදී මම හිටියේ නෑ. ඒත් ප්‍රතිපත්තිමය ලෙස අපිත් එතැන ඉන්නවා. ඒත් ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි නිෂ්පාදක ගයාන් රණවීර එදා සෝමරත්නල සමඟÊමේ සටනේ හිටියා. ඒකට පළිගන්න තමයි අද ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමිට සංස්‌ථා සභාපති තහංචි දමන්නේ. මේක පෞද්ගලික පළිගැනීමක්‌ බව ජනාධිපතිතුමාටත් මම පැවසුවා. බලන්නකෝ ඉදිරියේදී ඒ අය තෝරාගත් චිත්‍රපටවලට තිස්‌පහේ සීමාව අදාළ වෙනවද කියලා. නීතියක්‌ නෑ. චිත්‍රපට සංස්‌ථා සභාපතිවරයාට ප්‍රතිපත්තියක්‌ නෑ. ඉහළින් නියෝග කළාම කරනවා. නැත්නම් වැඩ කරන්නේ නෑ. ආත්ම ගෞරවයක්‌ නෑ. ජනාධිපතිවරයා ඉදිරියට ගිහිං අඬලා තමයි අද වැඩක්‌ කරගන්න වෙලා තියෙන්නේ. ඒත් මේ අය එතුමාගේ උපදෙස්‌ ක්‍රියාත්මක කරන්නෙත් නෑ. සංස්‌ථා සභාපතිවරයා හැසිරෙන්නේ හරියට චණ්‌ඩියෙක්‌ වගේ.

ජාතික චිත්‍රපට සංස්‌ථාව සමඟ එහි සභාපතිවරයා සමග ගැටුම් ඇතිකර ගනිමින් චිත්‍රපට කරන්න පුළුවන්ද?

නෑ. මින් ඉදිරියට විජය කුවේණි, ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි වැනි චිත්‍රපට ජනතාවට දකින්න ලැබෙන එකක්‌ නෑ. බොහෝ දෙනෙක්‌ කරන එකක්‌ නෑ. සභාපතිවරයාටම චිත්‍රපට හදන්න කියන්න. හොඳ චිත්‍රපට නොකළා කියා ආණ්‌ඩුව අපට නඩු දාන්නද. අපිට අපේ නිෂ්පාදකවරුන්ට ඕනෑ තරම් ව්‍යාපාර තියෙනවා කරන්න. කරවල විකුණනවනේ. මම ලංකාවට ආවේ එංගලන්තයේ ඉඳලා. හොඳ චිත්‍රපට කරන්න. ඒත් එක එක්‌කෙනාට පාච්චල් වෙන්න වුවමනාවක්‌ නෑ. ආයෙත් එංගලන්තයට ගිහින් වැඩක්‌ පලක්‌ කරගත හැකියි. ජනතාවට හින්දි කොපි පෙන්න පෙන්න ඉන්න තමයි සභාපතිට සිද්ධ වෙන්නේ. ඕනෑම දෙයක්‌ පිටරටින් ලංකාවට ආනයනය කරන්න පුළුවන්. ඒත් සිංහල චිත්‍රපට ආනයනය කරන්න බෑ. මකුළුදැල් බැඳිලා තිබුණු සිනමා ශාලාවල ඒ මකුළුදැල් කැඩුවේ සිරිපැරකුම්, කුසපබා වැනි චිත්‍රපට. එය කර්මාන්තයට ආලෝකයක්‌ වුණා.

ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි චිත්‍රපටයට එරෙහිව කුමන්ත්‍රණයක්‌ තියෙනවා කියා ඔබ විශ්වාස කරනවාද?

මේක ඉතිහාසය පාසල් විෂයෙන් ඉවත් කළ මුග්ධ දේශපාලකයන් සිටි රටක්‌. රටේ දරුවන් බැට්‌මෑන්ලා, සුපර්මෑන්ලා ගැන ඉගෙන ගන්න පටන් ගත්තා. මද්දුම බණ්‌ඩාර වැනි වීර චරිත ගැන සොයා බලන්න, දැනුවත් වෙන්න දරුවන්ට අවස්‌ථාවක්‌ නැති වුණා. අපේ දරුවන්ට යළි ඉතිහාසය ගැන ඉතිහාසයේ විරුවන් ගැන දැන ගන්න චිත්‍රපට හදද්දී ඒ චිත්‍රපට රට පුරා වෙසෙන ප්‍රේක්‍ෂකයන්, සිනමා ශාලාවලින් ඉල්ලුම් කරද්දී එය වළක්‌වනවා නම්, තහංචි දමනවා නම් එතැන තියෙන්නේ කුමන්ත්‍රණයක්‌. අපේ ඉතිහාසය දරුවන්ගෙන් වසන් කරන්නයි මේ අය උත්සාහ කරන්නේ. සිනමා කර්මාන්තයට නීතිරීති දාලා සිර කරන්න බෑ. සිනමාකරුවන්ගේ මව ජාතික චිත්‍රපට සංස්‌ථාව. පියා රජය. අද මේ අම්මා අප්පා දෙදෙනා තමන්ගේ දරුවන් නිසි ලෙස රැක ගන්නවද නෑ. අම්මා අප්පා නැති දරුවන් වගේ සිනමාකරුවෝ අද අවජාතක තත්ත්වයට පත්වෙලා.

ඇයි ඔබ තනි පුද්ගලයෙකුටම දොස්‌ නඟන්නේ?

ඔව්. තනි පුද්ගලයකුගේ වුවමනාව මත තමයි මේ තහංචි දාන්නේ. ඔහු හිතුවක්‌කාරී, අත්තනෝමතික ලෙස පළිගන්නවා. ඒත් රටේ මිනිස්‌සු කළකිරෙන්නේ රජය කෙරෙහි. ඒක රජයට අවාසියි. එදා ජනාධිපතිතුමා මේ නිලධාරියාට සැරෙන් කතා කළා. පිටකොන්දක්‌ තියෙන මිනිහෙක්‌ නම් තනතුරින් ඉවත් විය යුතුයි. ආණ්‌ඩුව බලයට ගෙනෙන්න උදව් කළා කියලා ජනාධිපතිවරයාගේ මතයට එරෙහිව හයිය පෙන්වන්න මේ පුද්ගලයාට බැහැ. සභාපතිවරයාගේ මේ තක්‌කඩි ක්‍රියාකලාපයට එරෙහිව සෑම සිනමාකරුවෙක්‌ම නැගී සිටිය යුතුයි. ඒත් ඉතිං එදාවේල ටුවර්ස්‌ වගේ පිටපත් දහයකින් පහළොවකින් චිත්‍රපට පෙන්වන අයට නම් මෙය දැනෙන්නේ නැහැ.

එදා විජය කුවේණි චිත්‍රපටයෙන් කුවේණිය දෙස ඔබ සානුකම්පිතව බැලුවා. ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි ගැන කතා කළොත්.

ඔව් සදාකාලික දේශපාලනික බල අරගලයේ සදානුස්‌මරණීය ෙ€දවාචකය තමයි ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි. පසුගිය රජයන් සාහිත්‍ය විෂය පාසල් විෂයධාරාවෙන් ඉවත් කිරීමේ පාපය අදත් අපි විඳවනවා. හයවැනි ශ්‍රේණියේ ඉතිහාස පොතේ තියෙනවා කුවේණී මිනී මස්‌ කෑ යක්‍ෂණියක්‌ කියා. මම ඒ ගැන වසර ගණනාවක්‌ පර්යේෂණය කළා. මේ මතය නිවැරැදි කළා. කුවේණිය යක්‍ෂණියක්‌ නොවේ. මිනීමස්‌ කෑවේ නෑ. ඇය එකල අපේ රටේ තිබූ යක්‍ෂ ගෝත්‍රයේ කාන්තාවක්‌. ඒ වගේම ගෝත්‍රයක්‌ තමයි නාග ගෝත්‍රය. ඇහැළේපොළ රට පාවා දුන්නා කියා කියනවා. නෑ. ඔහුව ඒ තත්ත්වයට ගෙන ආවා. රාජසිංහ රජු දමිළ වූ නිසා සිංහල පවුල මරා දැමුවා කීවා. මම ජාතිවාදී නෑ. රාජසිංහ රජුගේ මනස එදා සිංහල දෙමළ නිළමේලා අවුල් කළා. අපේම අයගේ කුළල් කා ගැනීම නිසා අහිංසක දරු පවුලක්‌ විනාශ වුණා. ඒ නිසා තමයි ඉංග්‍රීසීන්ට රට යටත් කර ගන්න හැකි වුණේ. මේ කතාව ඇහැළේපොළ කුමාරිහාමි චිත්‍රපටයේ පැහැදිලිව තියෙනවා. නිද්‍රdශීලී පුරවැසියන්ව සුගත් සමරකෝන් චිත්‍රපටයක්‌ තුළින් අවදි කර ඇති බව චිත්‍රපටය නැරඹු මාඳුළුවාවේ සෝභිත හිමියෝ ප්‍රකාශ කළා. ජැක්‌සන් ඇන්තනී මෙතෙක්‌ කළ චරිතවලින් විශිෂ්ටතම චරිතය තමයි මේ චිත්‍රපටයේ රාජසිංහ රජු ලෙස කළේ. අනුර ධර්ම සිරිවර්ධන ඇහැලේපොල ලෙසත්, දුලානි අනුරාධා සහ ළමා නළු පුමුදිත උදය කුමාරත් හොඳ රංගනයක්‌ ඉදිරිපත් කරනවා. බුද්ධදාස විතානච්චි වාරියපොළ සුමංගල හිමි ලෙස අති විශිෂ්ට රංගනයක නියෑළෙනවා. ලකී ඩයස්‌ගේ රංගනයත් විශේෂයෙන් ම සඳහන් කළ යුතුයි. අද (01 දා) සිට ඇහැලේපොල කුමාරිහාමි ප්‍රදර්ශනය වෙනවා. අද පළමු දර්ශනය 10.30 ට සෑම සිනමා ශාලාවකම නොමිලේ නැරඹීමට අපේ නිෂ්පාදකතුමා අවස්‌ථාව ලබා දී තිබෙනවා.

අජිත් අලහකෝන්  - Divaina