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Dear Peterites,

We wish to share with you the Volume 3 of the 2015 Old Peterite Newsletter which includes activities carried out by St. Peter’s College Old Boys’ Union, it’s Batch Groups, Foundations and Overseas Branches during the period of August-December ‘2015. Also includes a special message from President Romeish De Mel inviting you to register for the Peterite Business Directory for which the form is attached along with the application for the OBU membership (for those who have not yet become members of the SPC OBU).


Since there were so many events and activities held in Sri Lanka and overseas, it was quite a task to compile this. Hence there was a delay and apologies for it. Yet this augurs well for the St. Peter’s College & for the OBU. Not the delay but the amount of content as this shows how active, united and passionate we Peterites are no matter which ever part of the World we are in. From Brisbane, Melbourne to Colombo and via Dubai, London, Washington to Toronto Peterites have rallied around the Blue White & Gold flag in doing their duty in community work, spiritual activities, on sports fields and social gathering.

Peterites have worked enduring and played alluring and filled many happy hours whilst lending their hearts and hands in lifting the College Flag high. So who can dare to point a finger?

Nonetheless we hope you will enjoy reading this and also sharing this. If you find the Newsletter file is too big to share, we will share the link to download it from the website.

You will find most of the news items, articles and photo albums on www.stpetersobu.com and also on our official facebook page www.facebook.com/obuofstpeterscollege

Please do visit and share your comments.

Don’t forget to note down the events calendar as Big Match season is ahead along with the stag nights and followed by Rugby season.

Wishing you all the best and god’s blessings!

Sujith Silva

Editor – St. Peter’s College OBU


Follow us: www.facebook.com/obuofstpeterscollege

SPC OBU News letter 2015 Volume 3




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So a LEGO robot might be able to monster a Rubik’s cube in a little over three seconds, page but put together a dedicated machine from a more flexible part list and well, the popular multi-coloured puzzle getsdominated. Try 1.019 seconds on for size.

A pair of guys on YouTube by the names of Jay Flatland and Paul Rose built there own mechanical solver using an array of webcams, 3D printed frames and stepper motors. There’s nothing inherently complex about the setup — in fact, it looks like more work went into the software:

As you can see in the image, the program takes the image input from the cameras and converts it into a “unrolled” version for human consumption, as well as something the solver can understand. The robot is wired to function only when all cameras are working, so priming is done by simply putting paper in front of one of the lenses.

The machine gets a few runs over the course of the 3:39 video, returning a total of three results: 1.196s, 1.047s and a smoking 1.019s right at the end. Apparently they’re sorting out official recognition for breaking the world record… and I imagine they’ll get it.

source: Gizmodo

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Dilemma of Cholesterol & Saturated Fat

Written by Dr Harold Gunatillake FRCS, FICS, FIACS, AM(Sing), MB,BS-

Health writer to magazines, newsletters, newspapers and other organs

 “Cholesterol has been on the “naughty” list of nutrients for nearly 40 years, with health officials warning us to stay away from high-cholesterol foods since the 1970s to avoid heart disease and clogged arteries.

But US officials have finally given the green light for a U-turn on previous warnings, which means eggs, butter, full-fat dairy products, nuts, coconut oil and meat have now been classified as “safe” and have been officially removed from the “nutrients of concern” list.”

This article has become breaking News today and viral, many readers may be cautious to accept this new concept as Gospel truth or as hype. They will want further clarification, explanations and confidence and time would enlighten them.

We said it over a decade ago repeatedly in our health articles published in the mass media and newsletters that some of the so called fat containing foods is healthy and heart-friendly and not to worry about the cholesterol numbers

We said especially eggs and coconut oil considered unhealthy foods demonised by vested Western interests, were healthy and heart friendly, for you. Why did we put up this bold front when all health pundits in the developed world condemned them right along, including the researchers?


Eggs are a part of healthy low fat diet-in moderation. A single egg contains around 180 mg of dietary cholesterol, and research casts doubt on there being a direct link between dietary cholesterol and cholesterol numbers in the blood.

Liver manufactures cholesterol and any dietetic cholesterol are excreted with the bile.

An egg has 5g of fat of which only 1.5g is saturated and the rest is unsaturated healthy fat.

It is the saturated fat in food that we are concerned, as the liver is waiting for this raw product to convert into cholesterol through the HMG cycle.

As we said, eggs have such low concentrations of saturated fat and it is reasonable to eat two eggs a day with no guilt. There you are –that’s what we propounded years ago, but no one believed us, because such information should come from the white West and not from us.

So the US officials have finally given the green light and to forget the previous warnings.

About coconut oil

If you read www.ozlanka.com/ health links the 8th line on the subject of “Cooking Oils” under ‘Health related issues’, written in the year 2000, the benefits of using coconut oil for cooking have been detailed well. At that time, we were condemned even by colleagues for writing such unacceptable articles with no proof to substantiate.

It took over 15 years for the US officials to classify coconut oil as safe.

It is true that coconut oil contains saturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are medium chained carbon atoms with hydrogen links (MCT). The liver metabolises them and none sent to the blood stream as cholesterol (LDL and HDL)

US cardiologist Dr Steven Nissen says, “It’s the right decision, and that we got the dietary guidelines wrong and he estimated that about 20 per cent of cholesterol levels in your blood comes from your diet and the rest is produced by your liver, needed by the body.

Now that these fatty foods such as butter, meat, coconut oil, nuts are considered safe the tendency would be for people to eat quite liberally such foods containing high cholesterol with high saturated fats.

Just the way when people were asked to eat less fat the tendency was to eat more carbs and the problems of heart disease, obesity among others,  got no better.

Furthermore, Cardiologist Steven Nissen says that only about 20 per cent of blood cholesterol comes from your diet.

It is common sense that if you eat more fatty foods with high cholesterol and saturated fat more than 20 per cent would be absorbed resulting in higher serum cholesterol numbers.

Most fatty diets contain both cholesterol and saturated fats such as meat. If you believe the current safety guidelines you may eat invariably lot of meat liberally, without realising the saturated fat in the meat will raise your blood (serum) cholesterol.

Don’t be complacent with the above U turned safe guidelines. If you are on a diet with high cholesterol and high fat your serum (blood) bad cholesterol (LDL) is bound to go up.

Our advice is eat fatty foods with high cholesterol with low saturated fat content like eggs, seafood, and avoid those diets with high saturated fat like the blazes. Coconut oil is okay because the fatty acids are medium chain totally metabolised by the liver. Butter is better than margarine containing trans-fat. Nuts contain unsaturated healthy fats: eat liberally, not if you have an obesity problem.


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Irangani Sirimanne – The Beauty Queen

by Agnes Thambynayagam

“Bitten by the pageant bug, Irangani Gunatillake was thrust into being a goodwill ambassador of her country during the dawn of post independent island nation of Ceylon”

( January 23, 2016, Texas, Sri Lanka Guardian) A few days ago I had the opportunity to read an article written by Mr. S Skandakumar, currently High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Australia for ‘The Island’ and ‘The Sunday Times’ entitled “The way we were….”, a reflection of the true nature, character and the sprit of the Sri Lankan people. The article inspired me to narrate this little story about an inspiring Sri Lankan woman–a story that must be told:

Irangani Sirimanne 4

Irangani Sirimanne – The Beauty Queen

Dr. N.M. Perera, the Finance Minister of Ceylon hugs the Royal Queen Irangani in 1956

Irangani was born on 27 September 1937 in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to a Ceylonese diplomat Felix Sirimanne and Beatrice Weerasinghe, the daughter of Reverend Weerasinghe of Trinity College, Kandy. Irangani’s father, Felix Sirimanne worked as the private secretary to Sir Arthur Ranasinghi, Ambassador to Rome and many other countries. Felix Sirimanne’s mother was of Scottish decent who married the elder Srimanne in Scotland and settled in Sri Lanka in the late Nineteenth century. Irangani’s Scottish grandmother ran a Maternity Nursing Home in McCarthy Road (now Wijerama Mawatha) in Colombo in the early twentieth century.

In 1952, a slender, tall teenaged girl of uncanny beauty with grace, elegance and poise called Irangani Sirimanne was thrust into the limelight. Irangani became a model for the revered Kirthi Karunaratne, a pioneer fashion designer, and was a mannequin at many of his functions, which propelled her to stardom. Irangani became a prominent person winning the beauty queen title at numerous beauty pageants in Ceylon. Along with the coveted title came a huge moral responsibility; she had to prove her intelligence, talent and pleasing personality. Irangani mastered the art of expressing herself readily, clearly and effectively. Under the constant glaze of the media the teenaged Irangani had to be an advocate of civility and maintain a respectable character. In short, Irangani became the goodwill ambassador representing her country in many walks of daily life.

Soon after, Irangani Sirimanne met a boy named Harold Gunatillake at a birthday party. Harold was a Medical student at the University of Colombo. Following a five-year courtship, Irangani and Harold were married on May 1, 1958 at Mt. Lavinia Hotel, Colombo. Their only son Hiran was born on May 20, 1959 in Hiniduma (near Galle, Sri Lanka) where Harold worked. They sent Hiran to St. Thomas College, Kollupitiya for early education when they moved to Colombo.

In 1962 Irangani was named the “Royal Queen” at the Royal College Ball at the presence of the Honorable Minister of Finance Dr. N.M. Perera that won her a trip to Bombay, India. In Bombay, Irangani was given the opportunity to sing for Radio India. Irangani, characteristically, would never let an opportunity pass; she accepted the offer to sing. The songs she sang were ‘Autumn Leaves’ and the ‘Danny Boy’. Irangani became the recipient of many awards and titles. Crowning of Irangani became a routine event at both Grand Oriental Hotel and Galle Face Hotel in Colombo.

The economy of post independent Sri Lanka was predominantly dependent on one crop—Tea, a treasured commodity and the main source of revenue for the island nation. In 1967 the Ceylon Tea Cooperation bestowed Irangani with the title of ‘Ceylon Tea Queen’, a title that elevated her esteemed standing in Sri Lanka to an even higher level. Mrs. Irangani Gunatillake now became a symbol of her country internationally; she represented the Tea Cooperation at its centenary celebrations in Glasgow, Scotland where she met Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Her Majesty Queen Mother. I am told that, Her majesty the Queen of England spent about half an hour talking to Irangani about Ceylon.

Queen Elizabeth II chats with Ceylon Tea Queen Irangani in 1967

Irangani Sirimanne

Queen Elizabeth II chats with Ceylon Tea Queen Irangani in 1967

In 1968, Harold became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in UK. Their son Hiran finished his primary education at Carshalton primary school in England. Hiran was back at St. Thomas College when the family returned to Sri Lanka. Irangani, Harold and young Hiran migrated to Singapore in 1972 where Irangani’s stardom continued. In many occasions, Irangani and Harold were the guests of then Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. One of Harold’s proud moments in life was to see his wife dancing with Lee Chin Koon, the father of the legendary Lee Kuan Yew.

The family migrated to Australia from Singapore in 1974. Irangani and Harold were struck by tragedy in December 1975. Sadly, they lost their precious sixteen-year-old son at a tragic motorcar accident along with two other teenagers. Hiran was a back seat passenger.

Irangani Gunatillake was ahead of her time: she was an articulate and effective speaker who projected her countries image abroad; a goodwill ambassador for her country; a fundraiser for worthy causes and most of all a role model for aspiring young girls around the world.

Harold and Irangani, now married for 59 years, spend the twilight of their life together in Sydney, Australia. Harold publishes the Health and Views news online every week, which has a readership of over six thousand. The former beauty queen Irangani and her husband Harold, an epitome of “enormous capacity” to love and give, have changed the lives of so many in need in Sri Lanka: both in the South and the North. They are an inspiration to all of us.

May God shower this remarkable couple with blessing for many more years!

source: SriLanka Guardian (https://www.slguardian.org/2016/01/irangani-sirimanne-the-beauty-queen/ )

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Lebara – better known for its low cost, pre-paid telephone calling cards launched Lebara Play

a TV and movie delivery system aimed squarely at Australian migrants that yearn for video content in their home language

Ratheesan Yoganathan

Ratheesan Yoganathan

Ratheesan Yoganathan, its 40-year-old, Sri Lankan, co-founder and CEO, flew directly from London to the Sydney Opera House to launch the over-the-top (OTT) content service to almost 200 guests.

He took the opportunity to outline where the company had come since it was founded in 2001 – as a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) selling low cost, pre-paid telephone cards from thousands of local stores in each country.

He was proud that it had won eight consecutive MVNO awards for Best in Class Customer Service, had nearly six million users, handled 120 million minutes of voice traffic a month, 95% of which was paid calls, and its business was based on retailers and on-line sales – everywhere in more than 11 countries covering more than 43 languages. “Lebara has become the trusted universal brand for migrants – our vision is to have 1 billion customers by 2020,” he said.

In 2005, Lebara’s founders also established the Lebara Foundation, a registered charity. More than $10 million dollars has been distributed through the charitable work of the Foundation.

Lebara also operates a remittance service where cash can be added to the pre-paid ‘card’ and transferred to other Lebara users. It quotes figures of $56 billion dollars being transferred in its top six European corridors.

Lebara is now diversifying its services – all based on the pre-paid payment system it has developed.

“Lebara is absolutely focused on the trust element. Research shows that more than 75% of our users trust us to provide other services like our money transfer service and now OTT and who knows – perhaps a Lebara bank in the future,” he said with a wry grin meaning ‘watch this space’.

“Serving the migrant community is at the core of everything we do. While the need to call loved ones is never far away, as new locations become home for our customers, different needs such as entertainment become more important. Lebara Play is an unrivalled service designed for an under-served community, and the launch proves that we’re delivering on our plans to disrupt the existing entertainment landscape and diversify our communications business,” he said.

Tamil will be the first pack available on the Lebara Play platform, followed in the near term by other global content including Telugu, Hindi and Sinhalese. Viewers in Australia will be able to watch the biggest Tamil blockbusters within weeks of release, such as hit action-comedies ‘Maari’ and ‘Vaalu’, along with their favourite TV shows including the latest series of talent competition ‘Super Singer’ (Vijay Star TV), as well as primetime soaps ‘Deiva Magal’ and ‘Vani Rani’ (Sun TV).Lebara Play is a multi-ethnic entertainment service bringing together free and premium, fully licensed content in multiple languages in one place, without long-term commitments.

All Lebara Play content is 100% legal and licensed, which not only produces a consistent and high-quality user experience, but also provides a legitimate alternative to counterfeit DVDs and illegal services, and sends out a strong anti-piracy message in support of the creative industries.

HD- and SD-quality content is available for streaming on mobile, computer and tablet, or via set-top box on a TV set. Programming combines the best live TV entertainment with free and premium video on demand (VoD) content. In Europe, Lebara Play already offers access to more than 150 top-rated television channels and over 5,000 popular movie titles for Tamil, Turkish, West African, Hindi, Bengali, and Punjabi audiences. The service will continue to expand into new territories with a growing catalogue to include Romanian, Polish and North African content, offering in time 500 channels and 10,000 movies.

Aditya Thakur, CEO of Lebara Play, added, “Our Tamil pack has already proved a huge hit in Europe and Canada, and we’re sure that our new customers in Australia will be just as excited by our compelling offers. We have built relationships with some of the leading content companies worldwide, and in the coming months, we will be announcing further deals to deliver customers even more of the TV and movies they love in their own language. Lebara Play provides a huge range of content – blending the best of video on demand movies and live TV programming – with a simple and intuitive user experience, at a competitive price.”

Price and availability

• As with all Lebara products and services, Lebara Play has flexible payment options. Customers can pay online, via debit and credit card, or using Lebara vouchers. Voucher top-ups will be available at local retail outlets, payable with cash or card, in the coming months;
• Tamil subscription packages start from $19.90/month for web, tablet and smartphone.
• Subscribe today and enjoy 50% discount on your first month’s subscription;
• Prefer to watch on your TV screen? A year’s subscription priced at $249 delivers unlimited viewing of your Tamil subscription package and includes a set top box (available from selected retail stores) that can be connected to a standard TV;
• The Lebara Play app is available to download for free from Apple iTunes and Google Play for smartphones or tablets;
• Access on PC or Mac via lebara.com/play;
• Register a maximum of three devices to your Lebara Play account, and watch two simultaneously;
• Lebara Play’s platform has been developed in partnership with SPB TV, a leading global provider of end-to-end solutions for content services (see notes).


Australians multi-cultural mix provides fertile ground for Lebara’s migrant oriented services. By all appearances, it is well respected, does a great job and has hit on the right distribution mechanism and back of house technology to add more strings to its bow. Its pre-payment system is simple and effective and has helped monetise its services.


Lebara Australia Ltd | Level 6 | 61 Lavender St | Milsons Point | NSW 2061

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Studies have shown that keeping a normal blood pressure reading is important to prevent stroke and heart disease. The importance is far beyond as all parts of the body depends on the circulation for their nutrients antioxidants and oxygen. Many organs can suffer from the impact of untreated high blood pressure. Brain seems to be at greatest risk with both low and high blood pressures.

Memory loss

In Alzheimer’s disease we know that there is memory loss. Even without AD one could get memory loss with continued untreated high blood pressure, and it takes a severe toll on the ageing brains.

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Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum – Sydney


The Sri Lanka Reconciliation Forum (SLRF), Sydney wishes to present a snapshot comparison of election manifestos issued to the general public in Sri Lanka by some of the major political parties. This document has been compiled by sourcing publicly available material put out by the political parties of Sri Lanka, and it does not represent the views of the SLRF.

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By Dr Harold Gunatillake – Health Writer

When we think of metabolism, we think of masticatedfood entering the big bag -the stomach, where it is well churned into a fruit salad with peptic and acid juice, driven into the small gut for further digestion and absorption. The absorbed nutrients are then converted into fuel required for the activities in every cell in the body. This energy production in the body mechanism is referred to as ‘metabolism’.
The gut not only is a conduit for passage of food and digestion, but it also participates in preventing the toxic and foreign substances from being absorbed through its efficient immune system. Healthy life and existence primarily depends on this mechanism.
The body organ, gut gets accustomed to a certain pattern of home cooked food. Enzymes too get familiar for better action on routine healthy diets. Changing your food pattern even once in a while, like eating in a restaurant or on holidays, may cause you discomfort such as stomach distension, gaseous feeling, nausea, or loose motions.
When these out of the routine patterns become more frequent, one could get conditions like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease to varying degrees. Eating inflammatory foods cause these disorders. The above disorders are referred to as inflammatory bowel diseases, (IBD).
Over a lifetime tonnes of food would have gone through your gut, processed in the small gut, and the gut seems to be one of the hardest working organs in the body working nonstop.

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Eva P Wickramage translates the book “Year of Wonder” to Sinhala

Sri Lankan born author, Eva P Wickramage, launched her latest book, the Sinhala translation of the novel “Year Of Wonder”, written by the acclaimed Australian writer Geraldine Brooks on the 21st of April this year in Sydney.

The first copy of the Sinhala translation titled “Arumathy wasara” was presented to the acting Consul General Mr D.M. Ratnayake in front of a gathering of family, friends and well wishers during a brief ceremony held at the consulate.

Eva P Wickramage who was born in Sri Lanka graduated from the then University of Ceylon, Peradeniya and obtained her Masters degree in International Affairs from the Colombo University. She is domiciled in Sydney Australia with her family and continues with her literary works.

The book “Year of Wonder” which Eva translated in to Sinhala is an international bestseller written by Australian- American journalist and author Geraldine Brooks. Set in the year 1666, Year of Wonder depicts a young woman’s struggle to save her fellow villagers as well as her own soul when the bubonic plague attacks her small village of Eam in the county of Derbyshire England.

On a mission to introduce internationally renowned modern writers and their works to the Sinhala speaking readership in the world, Eva P Wickramage has translated several novels of which Year of wonder is the seventh. Her translation of the famous Alex Hayley’s Roots launched in Sri Lanka last year was well received by the readers.

“Arumathy wasara” is available in Godage bookshops in Sri Lanka. You can also purchase the book online through the link ; https://www.godage.com/book-details-6803-arumathi-wasara.html.

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