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Cha’s cabin in Hallam celebrating Valentine’s day –
Photos thanks to Trevine Rodrigo

Cupid’s arrows flew wildly as a lively romantic crowd packed Cha’s cabin in Hallam to celebrate Valentine’s day. Music and superb cuisine complimented a night dedicated to lovers every year. There certainly was no shortage of musicians among those present.

Cha's cabin in Hallam - celebrating Valentine's day Cha's cabin in Hallam - celebrating Valentine's day Cha's cabin in Hallam - celebrating Valentine's day Cha's cabin in Hallam - celebrating Valentine's day Cha's cabin in Hallam - celebrating Valentine's day Cha's cabin in Hallam - celebrating Valentine's day Cha's cabin in Hallam - celebrating Valentine's day Cha's cabin in Hallam - celebrating Valentine's day

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“A.I.S.I”. (AS I’VE SEEN IT) – By Des Kelly

We are already halfway through February, 2019, a very important month for this writer, and the Country I came from. Firstly, I have always preferred the rather beautiful name of CEYLON simply because that was her name, when we left her shores for the last time. I am now talking about the mass-exodus of the Burgher Communities that obviously had to leave because of the Sinhala-only policy which would have made it nearly impossible for our children to pass their examinations and secure good jobs. The exodus began in the 1950s & I migrated to Melbourne in 1962, very early in the 60s, after serving my Country in the Royal Ceylon Navy for the best part of the 50s. 

     To me, and many other Burghers, Sri Lanka will still always be remembered as Ceylon. Never mind about the dozens of “brands”, it s still  “Ceylon Tea” that is it’s World-famous name. It was also The Royal Ceylon Navy that took a seven stone weakling and turned him into a man. Ceylon, as a name, has a special “ring” to it, although there is nothing wrong with Sri Lanka, which it is now, and hopefully will be, for a few years more.
     Secondly, again, while “peace” reigns supreme in Lanka, I am now informed by impeccable sources that the Ceylon I left so many years ago has now “improved” so much, it is almost unrecognizable right now, and once again, is the “tourist-paradise” it once was, before the absolutely stupid internal warfare that took place recently almost became a “no-no” for anyone wanting a good cheap holiday with this thing called “Service” thrown in, for good measure. 
I believe that the “powers that be” now want Sri Lanka to emulate another tourist paradise named Dubai, and, as a result, while the “Customer-Service” is still outstanding, it is now quite an “expensive” holiday, even for tourists who seem to have plenty of “moolah” to throw around. All this is very good, I wish them the best of cotton-pickin’ luck, BUT, 
     Thirdly, China is presently “buying big” into this little Island, they already “own” Hambanthota, hammering infrastructure into the Country, as only China can. The problem here is that nothing is done gratis. Lanka may soon look better than Dubai, but at what cost ?, Trincomalee, with the biggest natural harbour in the World, may well be the next purchase of the Clever-Chinese. They know a good thing, when they see it, and I would hate this harbour’s new name, the “Chincomalee Harbour”, even if it is only on lease to the Chinese for 99 years. The Powers that be, in Lanka, at the moment should realize that “All that glitters is not necessarily Gold”, and you get nothing for bloody nothing, as this proud Lankan/Aussie says. I am not a betting man, but I would like to bet that “My Lovely Island Home” will be taken over by China in the near future. Just as they were once ruled by the Portuguese, Dutch, & English, China WILL be next. Of course, I would also like to bet that I would not be around to see it, and I am happy about that.
     Now, on to something very different, but still important.
The present Sri Lankan Anthem, while very good, very meaningful, patriotic, and musically, easy on the ear, is FAR too long. Great, as a “Song” , as an “Anthem” too long.
Thus, to make a “long” story “short”, a Gentleman by the name of Ananda Samarakoon wrote the original Anthem in 1940, (as a song), recorded it under the title “Namo Namo Maatha” in 1946, and it was accepted as the National Anthem in 1952, under it’s original title, to the plaudits of everyone concerned. It did not last for too long. A later Government, claiming that the title Namo Namo Maatha was an unlucky title, changed it to SRI LANKA MAATHA without even informing Ananda Samarakoon. There was nothing he could do about it. Copyright laws were non- existent at the time so Ananda committed suicide, stating that they (the Government) had stolen his original title, and, in a note, left on a table at his bedside, beside the empty bottles of poison-pills he had swallowed he simply wrote
“Mage’ olluwa kappila” (my head has been cut-off).
This was the sad story about the original National Anthem of Sri Lanka. Even Ananda’s Anthem was rather long (however, it was written originally as a song, remember ?),  but the present-day Anthem has the people listening to it wondering if it is EVER going to stop!!. 
     For what it is worth, ANY Anthem should be brief and to the point. Even a normal song nowadays should not exceed 4 minutes, so, being a songwriter, I decided to write my own English lyrics to Ananda’s original CHORUS, only to shorten this Anthem and brought in his original title Namo Namo Maatha (in Sinhala) as a tribute to a great man, whose early death was totally unnecessary. I have retitled my Anthem, 
“International Song Of Sri Lanka” and, a special tribute to both Jude Goonewardane in London for his coverage of my song on the “Ultimate DVD” and Neil Jayasekera, the owner of certainly the BEST Website for all Lankan Patriots everywhere, for the publicity he has afforded me, eLanka.

My International Song of Sri Lanka is not a translation of the Sinhala lyrics, as my readers will see (and hear), but all I can say is that it is a genuine tribute to a Country I loved, and still do. The Sinhala version is also very good, (too long), but still very well performed in the “clip” I have chosen for you.

Desmond Kelly

Des Kelly
The Editor – In – Chief – “Star of eLanka”

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71st National Independence Day Celebration at Lyceum International School , Kurunegala

Student of Lyceum International School, Kurunegala celebrated the 71st National Independence Day  recently at the school premises with great patriotism and enthusiasm .
Mr. E. M.S Ekanayake, Divisional Secretary of Kurunegala Secretariat Office graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Mr. Chandana Basnayake, Principal of Lyceum International School – Kurunegala, Mr. Chandana Hettiarachchi (Headmaster) Ms. Hishana Martinesz ( Pre Primary Headmistress )Mr. Kushan Gunasekara ( Deputy Director – Operations) , Sectional Heads , Academic and Non – Academic staff and parents of Lyceum Kurunegala were also present at this ceremony.  

We shall be most grateful to you could publish this feature article through your media.     

Pix by Lyceum Media Team

Janitha C. Dissanayake

Media Secretary – Lyceum International Schools 

Lyceum International School

Lyceum International School1

Lyceum International School

Lyceum International School

Lyceum International School

Lyceum International School

Lyceum International School

Lyceum International School1

Lyceum International School

Lyceum International School

Lyceum International School1

Lyceum nternational School1

Lyceum International

Lyceum International

Lyceum International

Lyceum International

Lyceum International

Lyceum International

Lyceum International

Lyceum International




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Tanisha and Tishona Thayaparan sisters from Sydney at The Fairway Galle Literary Festival – historic Dutch Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

Tanisha and Tishona Thayaparan1 Tanisha and Tishona Thayaparan1 Tanisha and Tishona Thayaparan1



The Fairway Galle Literary Festival, since first launching in 2007 has become one of the most anticipated literary events in south east Asia for both authors and literary enthusiasts around the world.

The festival is celebrated annually, in and around the historic Dutch Galle Fort, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the southern shores of the tropical isle of Sri Lanka (Ceylon)

It was an exciting opportunity and a great honour for two sisters from Sydney Australia who were on a holiday to their motherland, to be invited by the directed of Soul Sounds, Soundarie David, to perform at one of the evening events.

Tanisha and Tishona Thayaparan, two sisters, have travelled and performed with their singing school, Platinum Vocal Studio, at many famous international venues. However this was an unexpected opportunity and they enjoyed their first performance in Sri Lanka.

Tanisha has travelled to USA and performed at Trump Tower, Carnegie Hall, Empire State Building, London Tower Bridge Fringe Festival, Paris DisneyStudio, Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and Universal Studios Singapore.

Tishona started singing just over a year ago.


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The tiny little Suburb I was very much part of during what is known as “the formative years”, Moratuwa, which now boasts the Holy Emmanuel Church, mentioned in this story, then boasted my first College, St.Sebastian’s, standing practically next to the Church of the same name. Moratuwa was then, is now, and always will be, a Town dedicated to the Roman Catholic Religion. An example of “Moratuwa-Magic” would have to be the “decorative” Corpus Christie annual march from the little Convent of Our Lady of Victories, all the way to St.Sebastian’s Church, along the main Street, decorated with flora and palm fronds, & coloured sawdust, underfoot. The “Stations of the Cross” were at various spots along the highway, ending in s special “Service” at the Church, where St.Sebastian, proudly sat aboard his Steed, outside the Church, dressed as a warrior, drawn sword in hand. This particular Statue was damaged and then repaired many times. I wonder if it still stands there ?. 

Desmond Kelly

Desmond Kelly.

Holy Emmanuel Church, Moratuwa: A towering monument of faith

10 February, 2019

Holy Emmanuel Church1

Moratuwa has a large population of Christians and an assortment of churches and shrines. The Christian community of Moratuwa remains steadfast to their faith. One of the most imposing structures visible from Galle Road is the tower of the Holy Emmanuel Church.

Holy Emmanuel Church2

neatly paved roads leading to this church I encountered a beautiful black horse, grazing on a patch of grass. The vestry on the right hand side is where the incumbent parish priest had agreed to meet me. Rev. Adrian Aaron is joined by a senior parishioner, retired engineer Chandra Perera. The clergyman explains, “This church is believed to be the first Anglican Church built in this area. It reflects the passion and generosity of a noble Gate Mudaliyar, who desired to build this house of worship for God, and he was supported by many devout believers”. This church has a unique distinction of eminent parishioners, who joined the priesthood and went on to hold the supreme office of Bishop – they are Bishop Harold de Soysa, Bishop Swithin Fernando and Bishop Kenneth Fernando. The incumbent Bishop of Kurunegala, Rev. Keerthisiri Fernando is also a former parishioner of this church.

A generous Gate Mudaliyar

Jeronis de Soysa was born on April 19, 1797. During his childhood he was dedicated to the Buddhist priesthood by his parents Joseph de Soysa and Francisca Peiris, who were both Buddhists. He studied at the Palliyagodella Buddhist temple in Moratuwa, and mastered the Sinhala language, astrology and ayurveda medicine. As the years went by Jeronis augmented these skills with business acumen, astuteness and a public spirit. It is recorded that his grandfather Bastian de Soysa made a journey by foot to the Kandyan territory in search of trading opportunities. Bastian was a cousin of Don Pedro de Soysa Wijesinghe, the Maha Vidhane of Panadura. Joseph de Soysa who made a fortune by trading in tobacco and hiring bullock carts. He also ventured into agriculture and cattle farming. Young Jeronis moved to Kandy in 1825 and traded there. Subsequently, he purchased 482 acres of land in Hanguranketha and began planting coffee. Coffee was in demand during this era.

The church

adrian Aaron

It is said he was a far sighted businessman and all he touched turned to gold. He opened the first local bank in 1839, known as the Bank of Kandy. By 1853 the prominent Jeronis de Soysa was bestowed with the title of Gate Mudaliyar. During this time he was befriended by Rev. William Oakley of the Church Missionary Society and he soon embraced Christianity. Shortly, the blessed businessman began to build an Anglican Church in Moratuwa and gifted the land and building to Rev. Dr. James Chapman, Bishop of Colombo in 1860. After living a full life and serving his community Jeronis de Soysa died aged 65. He is buried inside the church which he lovingly built. His gravestone is carved with a tribute in Sinhalese.

Prior to this church being built here, there was an old Dutch church built in 1675, where the cemetery stands today (behind Holy Emmanuel Church). By 1815 it was demolished and Governor Sir Robert Brownrigg built an Anglican church which was known among the natives as Brownrigg palliya. It was Jeronis de Soysa who appealed to the Bishop of Colombo to demolish the old church and build a new one. The then Governor Sir Henry Ward sanctioned the request. The cornerstone for Holy Emmanuel Church was laid on December 27, 1857. The project would cost 80,000 rupees (5,338 sterling pounds). By 1860 the church was complete and consecrated. The pioneer priests who served this parish were Rev. Abraham Mendis, Rev. Arthur Copleston, Rev. Johannes de Silva, Rev. Jacob Mendis followed years later by learned luminaries in the calibre of Rev. Harold de Soysa (great grandson of founder Jeronis) and the amiable Canon Lakshman Peiris. Another name associated with this church is Charles Henry de Soysa the only son of church builder Gate Mudaliyar Jeronis. Charles de Soysa is remembered as a great philanthropist.

Gothic style

The beautiful church was designed by Major Skinner of the Department of Public Works and displays a strong Gothic style. A salient feature of the building is the 120 foot tower that rises majestically into the sky, making the Holy Emmanuel Church an iconic landmark in Moratuwa. Gazing up at the tower from within the church it’s hard to imagine how the pioneering builders achieved this feat.

The length of the church is 105 feet. The roof of the nave rests on six arches. The stained glass windows were imported from England. The wooden carvings on the altar beautifully enrich the holy sanctum. The church celebrated her centenary in 1960, which was a grand occasion. Walking inside with Rev. Adrian I noticed the pipe organ, positioned on the left side of the altar. The organ was donated to the church in 1902 by two brothers bearing the surname Mendis. At present this beautiful organ is in need of repair. The skill of playing the pipe organ is becoming a lost skill in the Anglican Church and in the broader spectrum of the Christian churches in Sri Lanka.

The present choir master Lasla Fernando has served the parish for 60 long years and was felicitated by the Bishop of Colombo for his outstanding dedication.

The Holy Emmanuel Church continues to serve the Anglican community of Moratuwa, through various forms of ministry, including the Sunshine Home for elderly women. The church also offers scholarships for selected, needy students.

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List of Sri Lankan Cricket Big Matchs

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Match

Nickname Schools First match References
Battle of Dematagoda St. John’s College, Colombo v St. Mathew’s College, Dematagoda 1976
Battle of Golden Lions Dharmapala Vidyalaya v Rahula College 2012 [74][75]
Battle of Golds Moratu Vidyalaya v Sri Sumangala College, Panadura [79][80][81]
Battle of Kelaniya Gurukula College v Sri Dharmaloka College 1988 [54][55][56]
Battle of Kotte Sri Jayawardenepura Maha Vidyalaya v St. Thomas’ College, Kotte 1976 [47]
Battle of Panadura (also Battle of the Greens) Panadura Royal College v St. John’s College Panadura 1992 [58][59][60][61]
Battle of Raigam Korale Piliyandala Central College v Taxila Central College, Horana 2001 [62][63]
Battle of Ruhuna
(also Battle of Nilwala or Battle of the Blues)
St. Thomas’ College, Matara v St. Servatius’ College 1900 [6][7][8]
Battle of Sri Jayawardanapura St. John’s College, Nugegoda Vs Ananda Sastralaya, Kotte 1990 [57]
Battle of the Babes St. Sylvester’s College v Vidyartha College 1958 [34][35][36][37]
Battle of the Blues Royal College, Colombo v S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia 1879 [4]
Battle of the Blues Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda v Sri Devananda College, Ambalangoda 1966 [46]
Battle of the Brothers Thurstan College v Isipathana College 1964 [40][41][42]
Battle of the Gold Kegalu Vidyalaya v St. Mary’s College, Kegalle 1960s [43][44][45]
Battle of the Golds Jaffna College v St. Patrick’s College, Jaffna 1917 [20][21]
Battle of the Golds Sri Rahula College, Kandy v Sri Sumangala College, Kandy 1981 [51][52][53]
Battle of the Golds D. S. Senanayake College, Colombo v Mahanama College, Colombo 2007
Battle of the Golds, Ruhuna Weeraketiya Rajapaksha Central College v Dickwella Vijitha Central College 2010 [71][72][73]
Battle of the Greens Arethusa College v T. B. Jayah Zahira College 2012 [76][77][78]
Battle of the Hindus Jaffna Hindu College v Kokuvil Hindu College 2008 [69][70]
Battle of the Mangosteens Kalutara Vidyalaya v Tissa Central College 1949 [32][33]
Battle of the Maroons Ananda College v Nalanda College, Colombo 1924 [22][23][24]
Battle of the North Jaffna Central College v St. John’s College, Jaffna 1901
(intermittently played due to the civil war)
Battle of the Rocks Maliyadeva College v St. Anne’s College, Kurunegala 1959 [38][39]
Battle of the Saints St Peter’s College, Colombo v St. Joseph’s College, Colombo 1933
(30-over matches)
Battle of the Seagulls St. Peter’s College, Negombo v St.Sebastian’s College, Katuneriya 2012
Battle of Two Cities
(The F. R Alles Trophy)
Rahula College v St. Aloysius’ College (Galle) 2003 [64][65][66]
Battle of Wayamba Royal College Wayamba, Kurunegala v Sir John Kotalawala College 2005 [67][68]
Hill Capital Battle of the Maroons Dharmaraja College, Kandy v Kingswood College, Kandy 1899 [5]
Prince of Wales’-St. Sebastian’s Cricket Encounter Prince of Wales’ College, Moratuwa v St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa 1933 [25][26][27][28][29]
The Lovers’ Quarrel Richmond College, Galle v Mahinda College 1905 [13][14][15][16]
Trinity-Antonian (Hill Capital Battle of the Blues) Trinity College, Kandy v St. Anthony’s College, Kandy 1914 [17][18][19]




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No, this is certainly not a doomsday prediction on my part. I am not waiting for it to happen. Too much to do, for instance, writing for all our Lankan/Aussies on eLanka.

This interesting article (hopefully), is to prove to everyone out there, especially Musicians, Songwriters, and the like, how they could take a simple song of just two chords, simple lyrics, a simple Country/Rock beat, and turn it into a danceable, enjoyable, unforgettable “event” anywhere in the World.

The band, in this case, are “The Mavericks”, a bunch of guys (about 5 regulars & 3 or 4 “session Musos”, including some fabulous “brass”), who, in my opinion, would have to be some of the best “entertainers” in the business. Raul Malo, frontman & lyric writer composed this song, not with the intention of predicting the end of the World, rather, the intention of making more money, I suppose, and I would be very surprised if he didn’t. His young guitar-accompanist Eddie Perez also features in these songs, and his keyboard player and drummer (plus all the others, of course), are a shining example to all up & coming bands (especially some of our Sri Lankan ones), who sit there, up on stage, and play as though they are, indeed, waiting for the World to end.

  My only criticisms of this particular song are twofold.

It is repetitious in it’s melody, throughout the song, then, doubly repetitious at the ending. It seemed to me that Raul was expecting the World to end, before he ended the song, but the Mavercks are still a band to be reckoned with, on any stage, anywhere. Ladies & Gentlemen, please enjoy the Mavericks, and if you feel like dancing, why not ?!!

Desmond Kelly

Desmond Kelly

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Watch Cricket Highlights Sri Lanka vs South Africa 1st Test, 13 February 2019

Day 3 – South Africa all Out 259, Sri Lanka need 304 runs to win. At stumps Sri Lanka are 83/3 (O Fernando 30*)

Day 2 – Sri Lanka All Out 191, South Africa – 2nd innings 126/4 (170 run lead!)

Day 1 – South Africa all out 235, Sri Lanka in reply 49 / 1


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Good advice from Dr. Harold

Dr. Harold Gunethilake

How do the probiotics stay alive in a sealed capsule?

good advice

Probiotics are beneficial live bacteria,and the common ones mentioned are L. acidophilus and bifidobacterial,certain yeast and a few other livebacteria.

According to the adopted definition by FAO/WHO probiotics are: “Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.

These beneficial bacteria are in milk fermented with lactic acid, and Bulgarians and Russians who live largely on milk fermented by lactic acid bacteria were exceptionally lived longer.

In 1935 certain strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus were found to be very active when implanted in the human digestive system. These organisms were used for the relief of constipation.
These strains of lacto-bacillus have many other health benefits.

Prevention of colon cancer
In the laboratory trials some strain of Lactobacillus has demonstrated anti-cancer effects thought to be due to their ability to bind with heterocyclic amines, which are carcinogenic substances formed in cooked meat.

Lowering cholesterol
Animal studies have demonstrated the efficacy of a range of lacto-bacillus to be able to lower serum cholesterol levels, presumably by breaking down bile in the gut, thus inhibiting its reabsorption, which enters the portal blood stream as cholesterol.Human trials have shown that dairy foods fermented with lacto-bacillus can produce reduction in the total and LDL cholesterol levels.

Lowering of blood pressure
Some clinical trials have shown that consumption of milk fermented with strains of lacto-bacillus may result in modest reduction in blood pressure.

Improve immune functions

Lacto-bacillus may protect against pathogens by means of competitive inhibition (i.e., by competing for growth), and there is evidence to show that they may improve immune function by increasing the number of IgA- producing plasma cells, increasing phagocytosis (killing pathogens by certain white blood cells), as well as increasing the T lymphocytes.

There are many other health benefits, such as decreasing the incidence or respiratory tract infections, dental caries in children, treatment and prevention of acute diarrhea and many others detailed earlier.

It was a scientist by the name of Kollath who introduced the term “Probiotics”. He pointed out that probiotics stimulated the growth of other microorganisms. In 1989 Roy Fuller suggested a definition of probiotics which has been widely used: “A live microbial feed supplement which beneficially affects the host animal by improving its intestinal microbial balance”.

Live probiotic bacteria are found in foods such as yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Tempeh, Misso soup and so on.

Yoghurt and other supplements
The manufacturers of probiotic yoghurt claim their products can help relieve digestive irregularities and boosts the immune system. Yogurt naturally contains lots of probiotic cultures that strengthen the digestive tract. Some Greek yogurt also have added probiotics
like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei that may help increase the good bacteria in your gut.

It is advisable to take two tablespoons of plain, low fat, unsweetened yogurt daily. Yogurt needs to be kept in the fridge to keep the live bacteria active

Probiotic bacteria are created when the above foods are fermented with lactic acid.For instance, Kefir is a fermented probiotic milk drink: Sauerkraut is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid and so on. Kombucha tea and water kefir are beverages beneficial as probiotics in aiding the natural healthy gut bacteria.

They are available in your supermarket and are very refreshing drinks. They should be refrigerated and good to quench your thirst and a substitute for drinking water. They have no added sugar and low calorie.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Like other fermented foods apple cider vinegar may be considered as a probiotic. You need to buy the unpasteurized liquid with cobwebby strands that cloud the liquid- also referred to as the ‘mother’. A few drops in your cool drinking water daily would be enough. Do not take morethan a few drops daily, as the acid in the vinegar can erode your enamel.

Supplements in capsule form do not have live probiotic beneficial bacteria and it is a big gimmick to sell products by big Pharma. Most foods with live bacteria need to be refrigerated such as yogurt and others.

Some ask the question that beer and alcohol drinks are fermented products, so why not drink them for health reasons. Such fermented beverages don’t seem to have the cultured bacteria in the process of fermentation.

The bottom line is that there is no proof that supplementary capsules have live bacteria.

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