Celebrating Founder’s Day in Perth

Published : 12:00 am  June 7, 2014  |  Category: FT Lite  |  Leave a Comment  |  510 views  |  
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Australia still celebrates the Queen’s Birthday. This is because Australia is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, with the monarch of the United Kingdom as the country’s Head of State. The Governor General represents her just as it was in Sri Lanka prior to being declared a Republic. June 9 is a public holiday for the Queen’s birthday throughout Australia except in Western Australia – one of the six states in the country. Here I am in Perth, capital of Western Australia which celebrates the first Monday of June to mark the founding of the Swan River Colony (as Western Australia was originally called) in 1829. Earlier known as Foundation Day it is now called ‘West Australian Day’.... 

Enigma returns

Published : 12:00 am  June 7, 2014  |  Category: FT Lite  |  Leave a Comment  |  803 views  |  
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The great titan known as “Enigma” is a giant tusker who graced the open glades of Kaudulla National Park for a few days during some years searching for potential mate. This mammoth of a tusker sports five-foot long curved tusks which might easily be the largest on record of any tusker in Sri Lanka. Spending only a few days of the year in Kaudulla, this tusker is not very tall, standing around 8.5 feet tall which is average for a bull, but is very stocky and well-built, accentuating his size. His key features are his massive shafts of ivory, which are a sight to behold. First sighted around 2002, I have yearned to see and photograph him for many years. Several attempts to venture out there... 

Off season for Rambo?

Published : 12:00 am  June 7, 2014  |  Category: FT Lite  |  Leave a Comment  |  595 views  |  
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For the past one week, Rambo the famous Uda Walawe elephant has been missing from his favourite haunt of the Uda Walawe reservoir bund. Rambo is well known for his antics, standing behind the electric fence at the edge of the reservoir bund and soliciting food from passersby. In fact, there was a concern by the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) recently that he may be getting a bit too acclimatised and bold, and that something should be done to slowly wean him away from this habit. At the request of the DWC, LTL Projects Ltd. designed and constructed large boards advising the public not to feed Rambo. These boards are now erected along the reservoir bund, but ironically Rambo has now... 

7 things to do with your kids in Colombo

Published : 12:00 am  June 7, 2014  |  Category: FT Lite  |  Leave a Comment  |  326 views  |  
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When a surprise business trip took my wife to China over the week-long Avurudu break, I had to scramble a bit to find ways to occupy my three-year-old daughter. Without my wife in tow, we cancelled our trip to Trinco. Surely, I could entertain my daughter here in Colombo. Without school. On my own. For a week. Of course, I have my regular shortlist of kid-friendly activities to do. (I’ll get to that list later.) But given a few days of preparation, I thought I might be able to unearth a couple other interesting options that might be new. When my inquiries to friends and acquaintances at my daughter’s school offered nothing, I turned to my old local stand-by – The Expats of Sri Lanka Google... 

The best of Sri Lanka is to be found between these covers

Published : 12:00 am  June 7, 2014  |  Category: FT Lite  |  Leave a Comment  |  249 views  |  
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Elmo Jayawardena is a Sri Lankan who has travelled far in life. He grew up with difficult circumstances in Moratuwa, just outside Colombo, and walked to school in rubber slippers. He worked his way up to become the Chief Pilot with Air Lanka and then an instructor Captain with Singapore Airlines and currently trains pilots for the Boeing Co. But that is less than the half of it. For, in middle age, Elmo, with his wife Dil and a small band of happy brothers and sisters, founded what is now Candle Aid, which does wonderful humanitarian work all over Sri Lanka. Helping the less fortunate, first and foremost, is what Elmo and Dil do; it is their occupation and preoccupation. And that is not all.... 

Colombo Courtyard’s Scarlet Room Chilled-out fine dining

Published : 12:00 am  June 7, 2014  |  Category: FT Lite  |  Leave a Comment  |  317 views  |  
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Driving along Duplication Road towards Bambalapitiya will take you past Colombo Courtyard, one of Colombo’s newest boutique hotels. Consisting of 33 beautifully appointed rooms, the hotel boasts a quaint little fine-dining restaurant called the Scarlet Room. Charming and chilled out in its ambience, private with its little tables for two that line the windows offering a view of the passing cars on Duplication, and most importantly minus the noise usually associated with Colombo’s traffic, the Scarlet Room is one of those places I would say is ideal for a quiet little intimate rendezvous. Designed using tones of scarlet as its name suggests, the restaurant has a somewhat hushed ambience given... 

Muses of the string quartet

Published : 12:00 am  June 7, 2014  |  Category: FT Lite  |  Leave a Comment  |  185 views  |  

A string quartet consists of two violins, a viola and cello, the string counterparts of the soprano, alto, tenor and bass of the human voice. This combination for musical expression, has been in use since the days of Gregorio Allegri (1582–1652).  Since then, connoisseurs, academics, string players and conductors have acknowledged that it was to this medium that the greatest composers committed music that is most profound, beautiful, uplifting, cerebral, intimate and best of all, most true to their innermost being. Haydn’s 68, and Beethoven’s 16 in the genre, among contributions by dozens of other composers, are considered to be the core repertoire of most professional string quartets,... 

Birth centenary celebrations

Published : 12:00 am  June 7, 2014  |  Category: FT Lite  |  Leave a Comment  |  123 views  |  
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Prof. Ediriweera Sarathchandra’s birth centenary was celebrated under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa          Read More →

Love, War and Cricket

Published : 12:05 am  May 31, 2014  |  Category: FT Lite  |  Leave a Comment  |  966 views  |  
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A fitting tribute to Tony Greig, “a  fearless cricketer, a born entertainer, a stalwart friend, a loving son and father” Tony Greig is a name Sri Lankans will never forget for all the nice words he spoke about Sri Lanka’s beauty, the cricketers, the food and the people during his cricket commentaries. We can’t expect any commentator to reach his level ever. I have just finished reading a lovely book written on Tony G. authored by his mother, Joycie and his eldest son, Mark. It is a fitting tribute to a man described as “a fearless cricketer, a born entertainer, a stalwart friend, a loving son and father”. An Australian publication, it is titled ‘Tony Greig – Love, War and Cricket... 

Out damned spot!

Published : 12:03 am  May 31, 2014  |  Category: FT Lite, Healthcare  |  Leave a Comment  |  737 views  |  
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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – they know their thoughts and rituals are irrational, but they have very little control over them When I first read Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ in Literature class back in high school, I just summed up Lady Macbeth’s obsessive washing of her hands as her being overcome by massive feelings of guilt after the murder of King Duncan.  From her famous quote: “Yet here’s a spot…Out damned spot! Out, I say!” I understood that she was suffering from an intense degree of mental anguish; she would sleepwalk and start rubbing her hands frantically as she imagined that they were stained with the blood of the murdered king. Little did I know however that... 

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