Sri Lankan IT-BPM Delegation visits Sydney for Market Expansion
In collaboration with the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney, seven IT-BPM companies led by Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) visited Sydney from 28 – 30 November 2018 on an accelerated market access programme to facilitate and support the IT industry in Sri Lanka.
Under the Economic Diplomacy Program initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sri Lankan Consulate office in Sydney had arranged Business Networking for the visiting IT Delegation on 28th November. The main objectives of the networking event were to showcase Sri Lanka’s knowledge services industry as well as to present opportunities available for Australian software companies to collaborate with Sri Lankan counterparts. Consul General Mr. Lal Wickrematunge, Consul Commercial Mr. Abdul Raheem and ICTA Project Manager spoke at the occasion and the visiting members of the delegation had the interacting session with invited companies.
Consulate Office also arranged a familiarization visit to the Computer Department of the Macquarie University for the Sri Lankan Delegation on 30th November 2018. Presentations were made by Prof. Christophe DOCHE, Executive Director/Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub, Prof. Margarat Hudson, Director Macquarie Park Innovation District and Prof. Michael Sheng, Head of the Computer Department. Members of the Sri Lankan IT Delegation were briefed about ongoing IT innovations in Australia.
In association with Thesalesdesk, a Consultancy Agent, ICTA also arranged a matchmaking meetings and B2B sessions for the Sri Lankan companies on 29th November 2018. ICTA Project Manager Sachindra Samararatne made a detailed presentation on IT industry sector in Sri Lanka and opportunities for Australian companies to partner with Sri Lankan counterparts. Mr Joe Collins, Managing Director of CAMMS who has his business operations in Sri Lanka spoke about his experience running a business venture and the enabling environments in the country.
Sri Lanka’s IT and BPM sector tripled exports and doubled the workforce in the last five years. Total earnings from the ICT sector amounted to $920 million in 2017, an 8 percent growth over the previous year and the fifth largest export segment. The software services sector includes telecommunications, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) and software testing. The BPO sector includes financial & accounting services, investment research, engineering services, and UK-based legal services.
Sri Lankan IT delegation to Sydney, Australia include Softcodeit Solutions Ltd, 27/7 Techies Pvt. Ltd., Inexis Consulting, hSenid Business Solutions, PayMedia Pvt. Ltd., i-Context Content Convergence Pvt. Ltd., Data Management Systems Pvt. Ltd and Projects Managers Nilan Thimbiripola and Sachindra Samararatne of ICTA.
The man who was “Country’s Frank Sinatra (who was supposed to have been technically, the best singer in the World, in his time), George Jones, God rest his Soul, was always a great singer, but the one that made him ultra-famous, was a song that his Management did not want him to record, because, as they put it, this was far too sad a song, and the public would never buy it. George Jones, also nicknamed “the Possum”, told them, in no uncertain terms, that HE loved the song and would record it anyway (and that was that!!). “He stopped loving her today” became one of the biggest Country Hits in history, the Possum, married to Tammy Wynette (female “Star” of the same era), left her, temporarily(it seems), after having had to “ride” his motor mower to the bar in town, when she had hidden away his automobile keys, wanted to make-up with her again, and so, decided to record this particular song (with her), to show her how much he cared. The song is quite an old one, folks, but I believe that, as a duet, no-one could do it better than Tammy & George. Here, for your enjoyment, then, is the beautiful rendition of “NEAR YOU”
Following “Near you” by Tammy Wynette & George Jones is a song that could be listened to, and enjoyed 6 days a week, but “Never on Sunday”. The you-tube music clip I picked for you good people out there, was supposed to be sung by Connie Francis, but, when I clicked it on, I noticed that the picture photograph on the clip was certainly not Connie, the beautiful brunette, but Doris Day, the blonde sensation, Star of the Movies as well as, of song.
I wasn’t, in the slightest bit, disappointed. In this day of the Internet, mistakes often happen, no-one is perfect, so I did record the Doris Day version of this song, knowing that my readers would thoroughly enjoy this one, EVEN ON A SUNDAY..
The 2018 Clyde Carols by Candlelight was an astounding success. Pastor Kerrigan La-Brooy and his Team Gethsemane left no stone unturned when it came to delivering a night filled with fun and frolic to residents from the City of Casey and beyond. Presented by Gethsemane Church, sponsored by Barry Bourke Berwick and hosted at Hillcrest Christian College oval, many believe this to be the best carols event around and predict that it will be hard to match and will keep getting bigger. This includes the organizing, community involvement, song selection, performer talent and charitable giveaways. People of all ages and different races, religions and nationalities, showed up to celebrate social cohesion amidst the festive cheer and carnival atmosphere. Even the weather showed up at its best.
Some travelled over an hour to be there and reckoned it was worth every kilometer. The heart and soul that goes into organizing this event will strike a chord with many. They don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk. A whole years planning culminated in a perfect night. In less than 2 years Gethsemane Church Charity has extended their outreach far and wide. Saturday night’s event drew a crowd of over 4 thousand patrons which is staggering given the youth and size of the organization. Saturday morning’s weather was described as picture perfect – with not a cloud in the sky, north, south, east or west.
This was a well-deserved blessing for the Clyde Carols Organizers, given that their first year’s event coincided with Melbourne’s worst weather in decades; nevertheless, they’d rescheduled for a week later and eventually the 2017 night was a huge success as well. However, going from 1 thousand in their 1st year to 4 thousand in their 2nd, is no mean feat. It’s a mammoth effort.
Over 600 children were treated to very generous lolli-bags, handed out by Santa who arrived aboard a fire truck. His Gethsemane Team elves helped him hand them out before the children posed for pictures afterwards. It was a kid’s magical kingdom, with around 8 rides and amusements to choose from, all absolutely FREE, including a flight simulator, carousel, chair-o-plane and wipeout. There were also pony rides which never seemed to stop. But with Gethsemane the Clyde Carols by Candlelight doesn’t end there.
Every child present on the night was eligible to register for the free Christmas Miracle to be staged shortly, where every child will receive a personal gift. Councillor Damien Rosario was full of inspiring words to Pastor Kerrigan and his team for their generosity towards the community.
Pastor Kerrigan, on behalf of Team Gethsemane, wishes to thank everyone for their contribution; the sponsors, donors, 30 km walkers, fundraisers, volunteers, vendors, congregation, charity, Casey Council, Hillcrest Christian College, the Mayor, councilors, MP’s, community, singers, musicians, performers, MC, radio, television, press, social media and most of all the Good Lord Above.
Here are some of the comments from satisfied residents:
…“Hi Kerrigan, I just want to thank you so much for a wonderful night. It was the best Carols by candlelight we have ever attended. The love of Christmas and the spirit of Christmas filled everybody there. My family had a wonderful time and enjoyed every moment”
…“Thank you for your kindness, warmth and generosity that you bring to people’s lives. The turnout was amazing and there were a lot of happy families. We would be honoured to make this an annual tradition! God Bless you and your family and we will see you Next Year xx”
…“The carols were a great success. It was an awesome time, good singers and musicians. Great food. Lots of entertainment. The message of God in the midst of all the songs. My children enjoyed the time and were happy to meet you all. Even the baby had fun.”
…“Last night was a huge success and the weather was absolutely perfect for it. ”
…“I had so much fun, the crowd was amazing!”
…“Awesome job. The show was a success and everyone had a blast.”
They were four talented brothers, Barry, Maurice, Robin & Andy, born on the Isle of Man to English parents, migrated as youngsters, but went back to England to further their career, where Andy, the youngest broke away from the group to “go solo”. did record a few songs, but never did come up the the popularity of his other three siblings. Tragically, he died very young, at 30 years of age leaving the “Bee-Gees”Barry, Maurice and Robin to carry on, involved in a “multi-showbiz” career, recording, themselves, backing other top-ranking “acts”, writing songs, singing in 3part harmony, and doing it superbly. Unfortunately, Maurice and brother Robin also died while still in their prime, R.I.P., guys, leaving the eldest, Barry to carry on the memories of their famous name.
I would like to insert one of their Original Compositions, actually, one of Barry’s favourite songs, “Massachusetts”, which is one of my “picks” as well, for all readers of eLanka, followed by what else?, but a superb instrumental called ” Music Maestro, please, c/w the “big band” sound, so cherished by thousands of you good people. I do feel privileged to write my “stories” with the backing of good music (to read by), and will continue to do so, as long as, God willing, I will be able to.
Aussie deny Sri Lanka a birth in the semi-finals – Chitran Duraisamy
(Photos thanks to Duke Suren Ramachandran)
Superb batting, a strong display with the ball and some brilliant fielding has powered the Australian Over 50s side to an impressive victory over Sri Lankan.
Winning the toss at the historical Old Kings Oval was crucial on this blazing hot day. Electing to bat, both openers quickly fell under the spell of Roshan Ismail’s bowling. Impressive batting followed thereafter between Peter Solway (151 not out) and Joe Santostefana (54) who raised the Aussie run rate merciless as much as the soaring mercury. Craig Gislingham chipped in with a valuable 25 not out towards the end as the Aussies posted a mammoth 281 for 6 (45 overs).
Captain Marlon Von Hagt played a gutsy knock of 60 for the Lankans albeit struggled with a ‘hammie’. When he was brilliantly run-out with a direct throw to the wickets any hope of a resurgence was dashed. All the Aussie bowlers were equally good but it was the tight fielding that stood out. Darren Hills’s diving catch to dismiss Richie De Silva (9) was yet another highlight. Bundled out for 184 (41.2) Team Sri Lankan will now focus on the plate finish stage of this inaugural World Cup tournament.
Thank You to all the fans who withstood a very hot day to cheer their respective teams. In the carnival spirit of these games a ‘papare band’ provided much levity and entertainment. For more photos and scorecard by Duke Ramachandran and Kapila Jayasuriya: follow the Over 50s Sri Lankan team on www.facebook.com/Sri-Lanka-O50s-World-Cup-796766027185327
As we come to the end of another year, all of humanity irrespective of Race or Religion, wind down to a time of peace. Many factors contribute to this calm. In most parts of the world the the month of December is cooler than others, Businesses wind down their financial year and hand out employee rewards. December is the month that billions of Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago. In the midst of World War I, opposing troops in their trenches observed a ceasefire, sang Christmas carols, greeted one another on “No Mans Land”.
The Christmas Truce- A story of World War 1.-The war ended in 1918. A call to arms that was promised to last a few days, continued for months, then years. Soldiers sent to the front were promised that they would be home for Christmas. However, the war dragged on from 1914 to 1918, dragging, in Germany, France, Belgium, many European allies, and the U.S, and Canada. The Germans and allied forces were facing each other across the trenches. December 25th was a few days ahead and the “Big Brass” at head quarters were pushing for an onslaught. The homesick soldiers at the front had other ideas.
“Truce”-by Jim Murray narrates with first hand reports, how opposing soldiers dropped their enmity towards one another, lit Christmas trees in their trenches, sang the perennial “Stille Naght” and walked across their trenches to neutral territory, shook hands, exchanged gifts, and even engaged in an impromptu soccer game. The head offices kept sending messages not to fraternize with the enemy and keep up the shelling, but, for these few days the spirit of Christmas prevailed. An eyewitness account by Pvt. Albert Moren of the Second Queens Regiment recalled, “ On that crisp, clear morning British, Belgian and French soldiers put down their rifles, stepped out of their trenches and spent Christmas mingling with their German enemies along the Western front. In the hundred years since, the event has been seen as a kind of miracle, a rare moment of peace just a few months into a war that would eventually claim over 15 million lives. But what actually happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of 1914? Most accounts suggest the truce began with carol singing from the trenches on Christmas Eve, “a beautiful moonlit night, frost on the ground, white almost everywhere”,
“First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words “Adeste Fideles”. And I thought, well, this is really a most extraordinary thing ¬– two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.”
Christmas’s in Sri lanka;Pioneering film maker, Noel Crusz reminiscences, while on a sea voyage in Australia -“Christmas in the good old days in Ceylon”. What all of us, growing up in our motherland, experienced. “polishing of the floors and the chairs, making the treats, the frenzied shopping, and fireworks in December.
Deloraine Brohier, late, iconic first lady of The Dutch Burgher Union of Sri Lanka- in her article titled “Christmas in Jaffna..200 years ago”, recounts growing up in a large community of burghers in the Jaffna peninsula. House to house Carolling, and visiting their elders were some of the traditions she writes of. Sri Lanka has been a multi religious country since independence. All over the island each of its major religions festivities are accepted by all. Whether it be a Bhuddist, Hindu, Muslim or Cristian festival, everyone looks forward to it, even these days are public holidays. Irrespective of race or religion, the joyous feelings island wide can be seen in everyone, of any age.
Growing up in Bambalapitiya, Colombo, we too would muster up our friends from the Colombo south, Galle road areas. It was an evening of fun for most of us. We end up at St. Mary’s, Dehiwela, pick up more friends, move along to known neighbourhoods. Some homes, looked forward to having us carollers in their homes. They would open their doors, treat us cake, other delicacies and milk wine. The homes that douse their lights on hearing our approach, would be treated to a barrage of Dashing Crackers on their porch, curtesy of Santa- the late Norman Jinadasa. At one time Santa had to accompany an injured caroller to the General Hospital, to be cheerfully greeted by the pretty house officer. House to house carolling continued with our younger siblings and their contemporaries. They too were welcomed in many homes and, became so apt at collecting pocket money that they even hired a bodyguard, a gardener, after his day job, to accompany them. The bodyguard got an equal share of the collection.
Carols at Police Park, and traditional yuletide services conducted at respective churches, were equally exciting. Rattan weaving tradesman would be hired to redo all the rattan seats. The wooden furniture would get a new coat of varnish. The polishing of floors was another pre-Christmas ritual. We would look forward to accompanying one or both our parents, shopping for toys and clothes. Shopping in the Pettah and Fort, was where most of the premier shopping took place. There were the tram cars and trolley buses, plying between Fort and Pettah. On “Front Street” our favourite stop was “Musical Stores” with its owner, Mr.Lionel Jayesekera, always there to welcome us, and proudly display all the new toys. Other stores frequented would be C.V. Bhatt, Hunter & co., Siedles, and Seneviratene & sons. The owners of these establishments were always present and had a cordial relationship with their customers. Christmas shopping included, a visit to “Paivas” Tea Rooms, on Main Street and then onto all the fancy crackers, and fireworks from “Fireworks Palace”. The preparation of the Christmas cake was a family affair, quite enjoyable, where the younger ones waited their turn to clean the bowl. The heavy tray would be carried across to the closest bakery. Our’s was baked at the “Renown Bakery”. Like many in our neighbourhood, we would cross the Galle Road to drop off and later in the afternoon, collect their well baked cake. The bakery had their own tagging system that identified each tray. Traditions have been continued in our lands of adoption. We continue the traditional bakes and Christmas cakes, enjoy family and friends over in our homes, partake in the traditional Christmas sing a longs, ending merrily with “Silent Night” or “The 12 days of Christmas” and exchanging gifts and stories.
It s interesting to note, that if not for the church organ breaking down, the first rendition of the much loved carol, “Silent Night” would not have been hurriedly composed and sung, in a little chapel in Austria.200 hundred years ago.
SRI LANKA NEWS IN BRIEF
Compiled by Victor Melder
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) recently computed the prices of residential, commercial and industrial lands, using per perch bare land prices (collected from the Government Valuation Department) and determined that the overall land price in the Colombo District has gone up by 16.3%, year-on-year. The computing of the three sub-indices has taken into consideration the diverse ways of land-use and the comparability of the quality of lands. The CBSL periodically compiles and analyses several indicators in order to monitor the developments in the real estate sector. Accordingly, the Land Price Index (LPI) (base year 1998) had been compiled annually from 1998-2008 and bi-annually from 2009-2017, covering 50 centres of five DS divisions in the Colombo District. With the increasing importance of monitoring land prices, geographical coverage of the LPI has been expanded to 82 centres covering the District and revising its base period from 1998 to 1st half of 2017 to accommodate this expansion. Areas included in determining the Land Price Index were; Seethawaka, Padukka, Homagama, Kaduwela, Kolonnawa, Colombo, Thimbirigasyaya, Dehiwala, Ratmalana, Moratuwa, Kesbewa. (Daily Island, 2.11.2018)…
Josephians usher in the festive season with joyous evening of singing, dining and entertainment – Photos thanks to George Rupesinghe
Some 200 Old Josephians, their families, friends and well-wishers gathered at the Thornleigh Community Centre in Sydney’s Pennant Hills on 1 December for a most enjoyable night where a strong spirit of goodwill and camaraderie pervaded right through. Setting off with carol singing that saw everyone, young and old, in good voice, the evening progressed through sessions of dancing after a sumptuous dinner. Santa distributed gifts to some 35 kids to their delight. As is customary the event featured a rousing rendition of the College Anthem by the Old Joes present.
Now, here is something that I can really write about.
Firstly, I am an avid “watcher” of the A.B.C., but not because the dozen or more Commercial Television Stations in Melbourne are inferior, not by a long shot, for instance, I always make it a point of watching “Seven’s” weather forecast each evening, even though I really do not care what the weather is, or is going to be. I still prefer 7’s weather.
Secondly, ONLY advertisements involving animals and/or advertisements that feature good background music, such as the ones produced with Wayne Newton singing “Danke Shoen”(thank you, darling, thank you very much), are bearable to watch. Most of the rest are silly, if not downright stupid. These advertisements turn customers off, rather than on, & Thirdly, the BEST thing about television “ads”, is that one can take a few minutes off during them, in order to go to the toilet or, in case your prostate is in good order (men), you could make a cup of “Ceylon Tea”. If I was asked to write a jingle for our tea, to be advertised on “T.V.” I’d say,
“CEYLON TEA, for you or me, is the BEST in any CENTURY”
I would do my narration to the background music of my English lyric original composition ” My Lovely Island Home”
Incidentally, the above “jingle” is ONLY available thru eLanka
It is the final day of November 2018. Summer is about to happen in Australia. The early morning news on “Aunty” brings us all the important “news” that is happening in Australia and around the World. In the middle of it all, comes the “breaking news” of “a good ‘un (an English contraction of the word “one”), as I’ve just said, a good un, in that the U.N.(United Nations),or Unesco have, in their wisdom, decided that the genre of Reggae Music MUST be protected as a Global Cultural Treasure, forever more, amen!!.
To take nothing away from Bob Marley (mention the name and you think of reggae), & in tribute to the man who sadly died at the young age of 36, and whose final words to his young son Ziggy were “Son, money can’t buy life”, very true words, when, even at that young age, Bob Marley’s nett worth, after he had passed on was around 130 million dollars. All very good, because Bob Marley personified the MUSIC that became a Jamaican treasure trove, one which is now on the U.N.List as to be “protected” for all time.
One of Bob Marley’ s most famous songs in reggae beat. “Stir it up”
Music, music, music. Began, with the “beginning of time”, in Africa, where all our predecessors, starting with the big apes who went around, not only beating their own chests, but also, with clubs, beating on the trees around them in order to send out warnings or call for “meetings” simply to decide when the next meeting would be (rings a bell somewhere doesn’t it ?).Lets forget that genre.
Then we come to the “Classics” both heavy, and light (which I prefer). My main ” thing” here, is that, IF REGGAE MUSIC is considered worthy of special “protection” around the Globe, then, so must all of these other categories, where I bring my readers ONLY the MOST POPULAR MUSIC as far as 99.9% of MUSIC-LOVERS are concerned. If my readers think that they are “missing out” on their favourite music, please write and let me know, or write to eLanka to express your views.
Insert Johann Strauss Jnr. song :-“The blue Danube”
The entire genre of light classics SHOULD be protected.
This song, among hundreds by Johann, is certainly the BEST KNOWN.& best loved song by this great Composer.
Following the Classics, we come to the JAZZ era. Both “heavy” jazz and “Traditional Jazz” which I prefer. Let us now bring in an Aussie Jazzman, James Morrison (actually born in England),but bred in Australia, a Musician who is the best in the World, as far as I am concerned. This type of music MUST be protected as well. This song started James off in his field, and if anyone can show me a better horn player, I will write a special story about him. In America, I would pick Louis Armstrong, as No.1.God rest his Soul.
Rhythm & Blues, follows. A superb combination of two extremely popular music favourites of thousands of folk, everywhere. My favourite & the favourite of everyone I know, is Whitney Houston. Not only beautiful, while she was alive (R.I.P.Whitney), she was blessed with a voice like an Angel.
Rhythm & Blues should also go into the “protected category”. There will ALWAYS be “top” R&B songs to listen to. Boogie Woogie also comes into this category, and if you want to listen to some Boogie Woogie, listen to old Gerry Lee Lewis play the Lewis Boogie on his “pianer”. Superb.
Elvis Presley now comes into another Cultural treasure of music simply called Rock n Roll. He was the original “King of Rock n Roll” which Bill Haley and his “Comets” introduced during the 1950’s. Rock n Roll is certainly a Global treasure and should be named as such, but things like “punk-rock” which followed, was just that. A lot of “PUNK”.
Then comes “Country Music”, my own personal favourite music, which steadily became better, more melodic, more meaningful, with every passing year, since originating in America. I call it “The music of life”, especially coming from Artistes such as Hank Williams Snr., in the old days to Artistes such as George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline and a host of other “Stars” who will never die, in the memories of millions of “fans” all over this Planet of ours. Country Music has had it’s ups & downs, but will never cease to be one of the BIGGEST GLOBAL TREASURES to not only be protected, but revered by those who understand what good MUSIC is all about.
So, finally we come to the undisputed rhythm of the Music which the Portuguese introduced into Ceylon, so very long ago. It was first called “kafferinga”, a music rhythm that later became what was termed “Baila”& introduced to the people of the “teardrop of India” by Ceylon’s original “King of Baila”, Walter (Wally) Bastiensz. Wally was already entertaining audiences before Bob Marley was even a gleam in his Father’s eye, and so I suggest that “Baila” is ALSO given the recognition it deserves, by UNESCO.
MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC. Certainly the panacea for a World in turmoil.