Articles

“MOTHERS’ DAY” by Des Kelly

Firstly, a very Happy Mother’s day to every Woman on Earth, who comes under this unique “title”. To all those who have been Mothers, (happy Mother’s day, Mum, R.I.P), for those who are Mothers right now, and for those who will be, in the future, no matter where or when, eLanka wishes “you” only the very best, in the field that God, in his wisdom, has chosen for you. YOU are the salt of his Universe, you are HIS creator of Man, without you, there would be NOTHING, and this is why we now celebrate Mothers’ day.

I have written a song “The many stages of a Woman”, the chorus being “The many stages of a Woman,

all thru her entire life,

from baby, to teenager,

then, to a MOTHER, and a wife,

there isn’t anything more certain,

the most precious treasure found,

is undoubtedly a Woman,

SHE makes this whole World go around”.

This song was especially dedicated to Michelle, my only daughter, a dedicated Mother, herself, so, “happy Mother”s day, sweetheart”. She knows, only too well, how much I do respect Women. No matter how much they suffer, to bring them forth, to see a Mother hold a new baby in her arms for the first time, is a picture that could not be captured by the greatest Artists on this Planet.

 

This is the simple reason that ANY MAN would have to respect Women in general. Although God created Eve,(not Steve), for Adam, he (Adam), the first Man, knew instinctively that he could not create ANYTHING without the help of his Woman, Eve. So, came Cain & Abel, 2nd fiddles in creation, actually, as I really do not know whether Cain OR Abel were able to produce any baby girls,after leaving Ceylon(the Original garden of Eden), exactly like me, as Michelle was “manufactured” in Ceylon, but “produced” in Australia, I am afraid that I will have to leave my “Bible-studies” at that juncture.

 

Seriously, on Mothers’ day, 2018, on behalf of eLanka & every self–respecting Lankan man everywhere, the recognition and respect of Women, is a “MUST”.Also,  No matter which Country you come from, remember guys, that Women are NOT 2nd-class Citizens. In most cases, they are brainer than YOU, still, they seem to be lesser in number in every Profession around. Anyway, I say, from the C.E.O. to the O.C.W (Ordinary Cleaning Woman), (somehow, more plentiful nowadays),  every one of them deserves the full respect of the “masculine gender”. Once again, happy Mothers’ day, to all of you & God bless you all.


Desmond Kelly

Star of eLanka

(Editor-in-Chief)

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“THIS IS LIFE”.- By Des Kelly

Both of them started their lives never dreaming of the “Stardom” that was to come their way. Tammy Wynette and George Jones, their names would have to be known by ex-Lankans & others, even “settled-down” at the moment, at the centre of the Arctic Circle, so very famous, are they. Both started far from affluence, George, having to join the Marines to “help” a large, but impoverished family, Tammy, actually picking cotton as a very young girl, prompting her to always keep a bowl of cotton-wool in her home, even after stardom.

     As I have always said (& written), the term “this is life”

could not be better said (or sung), in anything but Country Music. The harshest critics of this music will have to agree that Country music, especially by these two, will bring tears into the eyes of the listener, whenever or wherever they hear it.

     Both Tammy, and George, rate in the top 3 of my favourite “Stars”. Both have voices that come forth with such “feeling & warmth”, it seems impossible for either to sing a “bad song”. Both of them look good as they do their thing, both of them reached the top rung of the “showbiz” ladder.

Tammy Wynette, whose “Stand by your man”(hit), should have taught her a lesson, but really did not, as she stood by 5 husbands & George Jones was one of them. She died tragically at the young age of 55, most of those years spent in pain, both physically & mentally. I will present my eLanka readers with more “clips” of Tammy’s solo performances as we remember them. Tammy, rest in peace now. I loved you, as did George & thousands of other Country Music lovers.

     George Jones, being a Marine of the U.S. was just about the only period of time when he had some discipline drilled into him, however, he was always a rebel at heart. Later on, he was acclaimed as the ultimate ” singer” of Country Music. Nicknames such as ” Possum” & “No-show” Jones did nothing to deter him from singing every lyric of every song he ever sang, as if was truly saying “THIS IS LIFE”.

George Jones died at 81 years of age, but I will never forget you, your songs & the way you sang them. R.I.P. George Jones, one of the greatest “Country Stars” of all time.


Desmond Kelly

  Star of eLanka

 (Editor-in-Chief).

 

     

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“FOR THE FIRST TIME” by Des Kelly

For the first time, a song composed by Jessi Colter, beautiful, talented performer, wife of “Country Icon” Waylon Jennings, has been “covered” by many Artistes, simply because it is a great song. eLanka readers have been promised that only the very best musical clips will be chosen by “yours truly”, for your listening (and viewing pleasure), and this is no different.

 

One of the BEST Country singers is none other than Gene Watson. This is easy to see, through almost every song he sings. Here, “For the first time” is a trifecta of Grene ` songs for you, dear readers. If you enjoy superb music, written by extraordinary song-writers, performed by “STARS” of Country music, sit back & enjoy G.W. performing 3 top hits, this one, “-For the first time” getting him into the limelight, in Nashville surroundings, “And then, you came along”, continuing with another tragic “Country Love Story”, to end with the final, “Couldn’t love have picked a better place to die”(a fairly lengthy title) but still another beautiful song, made even better, by the man who sings it. The one & only Gene Watson.

I heard the above song, many years ago, loved it then, and love it even more, sung by one of the best in the business. These songs, in my own opinion, are in a class of their own, and would have to be a welcome bonus for all of my friends out there. “For the first time”, enjoy.

 

 

Desmond Kelly

Star of eLanka

(Editor-in-Chief).

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HARVESTERS ASSIST INC 2018 APEKSHA HOSPITAL PROJECT. OFFICIAL PHOTOS OF DONATION EVENT WEDNESDAY 9TH MAY 2018 AT APEKSHA HOSPITAL MAHARAGAMA SRI LANKA

Click here to view the full set of photos or click on the photos below to view the photos on eLanka Facebook page

 

Dr Panduka Jayasekara’s mini speech acknowledging the donation plus the benefits of the Machines: High tech equipment; It can cut with zero blood loss; It reduces collateral damage; Easy surgery; Reduce the operating time markedly; Good for moral of junior doctors and give them a wonderful training opportunity; Speedy recovery; Both the doctor and the patient will be benefitted. Its heartwarming to see how hard you all tried to find funding. We really appreciate the effort taken to improve the quality of services offered and thus assuring of the well being of the patients.

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AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE FOR may 2018 – Mother’s Day

 

When I Started Seeing Another Woman…

A little while ago I started seeing another woman. Actually, it was my wife’s idea. 
“You know you love her” she told me one day, out of the blue. 
“Life’s short, you should give her more of your time. “But I love you, dear.” I replied.
 “I know, but you love her too…” she said. 
This other woman my wife wanted me to see was my mother. 
She has been a widow for a few years now, and because of work and my kids, I didn’t get to see her very often. 
I called my mother that night and asked her to join me for a movie and some dinner.
 “Did something happen? Is anything wrong?” she asked.

You see, my mother belongs to the generation that thinks that any phone call after 7pm can only mean bad news…
“I just wanted to invite you for dinner and a movie, just the two of us. What do you think?” 
After a few second, my mother simply said: “I’d like that…”
I drove over the next evening after work to pick her up; it was a Friday night, and I had a feeling I haven’t had in a long time – the kind of nervousness you get before a first date. When I got there, I saw that my mother was also excited and nervous.
 She was waiting outside, wearing her beautiful old coat, her hair all done up and had the dress she wore for her and dad’s last anniversary on. 
Her face was lit up with the smile of an angel.
 “I told my girlfriends I’m going on a date with my son tonight and they were very excited for me!” She told me when she got in the car.
 The restaurant we went to was not the most fancy, but the staff was incredibly friendly.
 My mother held my arm and looked like the first lady! 
We sat down, and she asked me to read her the menu (“My eyes are not what they used to be” she said). Half way through, I looked up and saw she was staring at me with a nostalgic smile on her face. 
“When you were a child, I was the one who read you the menu.”

“Then allow me to return the favor, mom” I said.

We had a lovely conversation, not about anything in particular, just sharing what’s going on in our lives and eventually we spoke so much that the conversation just trailed off…
“I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me pay next time!” my mother said.
 When I dropped her at her house, I felt genuinely sorry to see her leave. 
I hugged and kissed her and told her how much I loved her. 
When I came home later that night, my wife asked how the date went. 
“It was wonderful, thank you for suggesting it!” 
I looked at my wife and added “Much better than I could ever imagine”.

A few days later, my dear mother passed away from a heart attack. 
It was very quick and there was nothing anyone could do.
 A short time afterwards, I got a letter from the restaurant we went to that last time.
 The letter read:


“I’m quite sure that I won’t be able to make it to our next date, so you and your wife can enjoy each other’s company like I did with you. I paid for your next meal here in full and I want you to know just how much that night meant to me!
 I love you,
                       Mother

 

At that moment, I understood just how important it is that we let our loved ones know that we love them, and make sure we make time for them – we don’t know how long we’ll have them in our lives.
 Nothing is more important in this life than family!

If your mother is still alive – appreciate her. 
If she isn’t – remember her.

  • Genesis 28:14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
  • 2 Kings 4:30 Then the mother of the child said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So he arose and followed her. (We must never give up our children!)

 

  • Proverbs 31:15-17 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.  She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (Its no secret that mothers are strong! They are providers in so many ways.)

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

 

 

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“THE MEETING” by Des Kelly

     The “meeting” takes place on the 12th of June. 

     Who will it be, that “calls the tune”?

     Will it be both the “Peace-Makers”?, and their “Staff”?

     At this “Summit-Meeting, (don’t make me laugh)!! 

     This is where natural scepticism comes in. Both 

“twittering Trump” & “the little “rocket-man” Un plan to meet in Singapore on June, the 12th, this year. They plan, hopefully, to make the World a more peaceful place, and, in so doing, collect the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018.

     While hoping & praying that they do, I have to inform my eLanka & Lanka Times readers that, although I am not half as sceptical as you people out there are, I think that Mr. Donald Trump (Actor, and now President of the United States of America, badly needs a “holiday”, and what could be a better place than Singapore, in which to spend that holiday ?. Singapore, where troubles are few, since Lee Kwan Yew, G.C.M.G.  C.H.  S.P.M.J.(born 16th Sept. 1923 & died of pneumonia on the 23rd of March, 2015, aged 92, who called himself L.K.Y.(to simplify matters), was the P.M. of Singapore for 30 whole years. “What has all this to do with this bloody Summit Meeting, Des”., ? you ask. 

     Well nothing, except the fact that, because of L.K.Y., Singapore can boast about being the BEST, CLEANEST, MOST DISCIPLINED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. 

I happen to know, thru a Colleague of mine, who lived there, that this P.M. had a ^trusted henchman” in EVERY little Suburb of Singapore, who would keep an eye open for even slight discrepancies & report these directly to him. He then took swift action to “fix those discrepancies”. The Streets of Singapore were so clean, one could “eat” off it and not have a crook stomach. If ANY Singaporean was in trouble, had an accident, or, was being assaulted & the Police were notified, they (the Police), HAD to be on the scene within 5 minutes to stop the rot, or be hauled over the coals themselves, if they were late. No-one was permitted to even throw a scrap of paper, cigarette butt or “spit” on the Streets of Singapore. 

If you did, and got caught doing it, you would spend time in Jail, doing hard labour & living on stale bread & water.(Australia, take note).

     This is why the President of America is pleased that this meeting is to be held in Singapore. “America is great”, he twitters, so he now wants to go to Singapore to find out how to make America greater, and earn the Nobel Prize if possible.

     The little President of North Korea is also pleased to “meet anyone” these days, in order to keep his weight in trim, pay his barber for that wild haircut & keep his Country from starvation, what, with all these sanctions piling up.

He is willing to hug anyone who could help HIM win this Peace Prize too. At the same time, it is a good thing that this meeting will be held “sitting down”. If they both were “up-standing” instead of “standing-up”, the “Rocket-Man would have to stand upon a box to be noticed.

     I am not in the least sceptical, but “The Meeting” is to be held, because Donald Trump needs a holiday and Kim Jong Un needs some “delaying tactics” so he can get his Country going, again, while he stockpiles more “rockets” & nuclear arms with which to frighten the crap out of South Korea & Japan.

I am also very glad that Michael Turnbull and Bill Shorten are not invited to this meeting, because they have their own worries to sort out, here.

Desmond Kelly.

   Star of eLanka.

 (Editor-in-Chief).

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Aluth Avurudu celebration in Kebitigollewa –
A celebration of humanity By Raj Gonsalkorale
(Photographs – Mahendra Amunugama)


Once unknown and unheard of, Kebithigollewa witnessed a very unfortunate and sad event not so long ago in 2006 when 68 people were killed when the bus they were travelling in was blown up by a claymore mine. Kebitigollewa was known as a border village caught up in the internecine war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan security forces, and the villagers lost the innocence of their surroundings and a set back to their peaceful and laid back life.

In excerpts of an article written by Thilini Kahandawaarachchi, she describes that the laid back life although years have passed, to many Kebithigollewa remains a mere name of a village without a face. Kebithigollewa is about 50 KMs from Anuradhapura. As the car zooms along the empty road that stretches as far as the eye can see the view through the car window are acres and acres of paddy fields swishing by.

 
The Dance of the Cormorant

Almost going past a lake hidden by massive trees along the way, we hear the piercing call of a peacock and a villager grappling with her weekly load of washing at the steps to the tank inform us of the name of the tank– Ethakada wewa. A few yards away, a cormorant is in a dance with another bird, the cormorant swims with its head above the water, then lifts its hind wings up to dive and comes up and swims again…the other bird without a name dances around the cormorant, as if waiting to grab some food off the beak of the cormorant every time it breaks the surface of the water… a secret of nature to which I am not privy, it seems. It is then I realise that the cormorant can actually swim, fly and of course strut!

The sleepy hamlet

By the time we reach the town centre of Kebithigollewa, it seems to be taking a midday nap. The tiny shops selling everything from mobile phone connections to fashion clothing and food items are open but few people seem to be around. The women selling their harvest of boiled corn, bananas and an assortment of back garden crops gaze on…waiting for the next customer to patronise their humble huts.

 

Scaring away the crows

With agriculture being the main source of livelihood, the people in Kebithigollewa engage in chena cultivation as well as paddy farming. In order to protect their crops from wild boar and other animals, they spend the nights up in tree houses in their chenas.

Pumping up a stick man with hay and dressing the stick man in old clothes and a pot for his face, a scarecrow is brought to life to stand through the sun and the rain and to scare away the birds that come to eat away their harvest.

Going about their day to day life in the fields, the chenas and around the tanks, the smiling faces of these hard working people and their children walking back from school paint the picture of this agriculture based community in Kebithigollewa.

 This sleepy village set in such remote surroundings, wakes up on the 28th of April 2018 to showcase the traditions and gaiety of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year to their own folk, and very especially to their invited guests from another hamlet which has witnessed violence during the conflict. These invitees are from the Therankandal Tamil mixed school in Mallavi, near Mankulam. The school and the community in Mallavi had entertained the students, teachers and parents from Halmillawetiya School earlier in the year when they organised an event to celebrate Thaipongal.

These gatherings are part of a project which is the brainchild of Venerable Galkande Dhammananda, the head of the Walpola Rahula Institute of Sri Lanka. Termed the Rahula-Thangaraja Twin Schools project, named after the scholar Monk Venerable Walpola Rahula, and the benefactor who paved the way for Venerable  Rahula’s education, this project aims to bring children, teachers and parents from different ethnic backgrounds together for a better understanding of each other’s cultures and traditions.

Venerable Dhammananda believes that all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their station in life, their wealth, their education, and their ethnicity have mental wounds that needs healing in order to have better understanding of each other, and he says this is more so amongst those affected due to the three decade long conflict and such a healing process is needed if there is to be long lasting and meaningful peace amongst people. He opines that based on Buddha’s teaching of dependent origination (or Pattichcha Samuppada), mental wounds give rise to consequent thoughts and actions which carry the burden of those mental wounds, and understanding oneself and coming to terms with one’s own negative feelings towards others will not be possible without healing oneself. This then becomes a precursor to understanding others, their trials and tribulations.

This is the fundamental philosophical approach of the Twin Schools Project, and it was amply evident during the gatherings of students, teachers and parents, and members of the communities during Thaipongal and Aluth Avurudda (New Year), many barriers had been broken and humanity had become the common factor shared and enjoyed by all.  

Those who were privileged to be present on these occasions witnessed the participation of the Principals and teachers of both schools, along with students, in various games, in sports activities and in songs and dances. They witnessed and participated in the traditional customs associated with both events, they shared the delicious meals prepared by parents of the students, and they witnessed the remarkable talents of young students from both schools in their exposition of traditional dances. While communication between students and teachers was hampered by language differences, the cultural and sports events helped them to overcome this barrier and find common ground in being able to express themselves through these mediums.

A special feature of the Aluth Avurudu celebration was the participation of the Kaveri Kala Manram, a humanitarian organisation headed by Reverend Joshua Sivagnanam, a Christian Priest who is doing humanitarian work in overwhelmingly Hindu areas in the North and the East. Kaveri Kala Manram is based in Killinochchi and they have been increasingly active in breaking ethnic and religious barriers and begun assisting other communities, particularly in former border villages in other parts of the country that need humanitarian help. Kaveri Kala Manram receives a bulk of its funding from a charity organisation based in Sydney, Australia, called Vanni Hope. Kaveri Kala Manram generously gifted 50 Mango plants for both schools and their staff performed a wonderful traditional drumming event which was appreciated by the entire community present on this occasion.

The Aluth Avurudu celebration was therefore an event where there was meeting of minds, celebration of cultures and very importantly, a celebration of humanity by the small community in this remote village of Kebitigollewa. The organisers of the event led by one of the indefatigable teachers of Halmillawetiya School stated that this had been the first time the school and the community had witnessed a celebration of this nature and this magnitude.      

 

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“DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER” By Des Kelly

Very few, & far, between, these “Diamond Wedding Anniversaries” nowadays. All the more reason for us at eLanka to celebrate a very special one indeed, and we have, as all our readers would have noticed very recently.

“However, Dr. Harold & Irangani, on a personal note, as it is better late, than never, let me wish you & your dear wife, God’s blessings, on this momentous occasion, with many more of the same to come”

Dr.Harold, as he is affectionately known to thousands of our Countrymen, Women, & others, has offered us his wide expertise in everything to do with a healthier life generally.

He is a regular contributor to eLanka as well, and it is on behalf of both eLanka & The Lanka Times, that I take the chance to wish these two fine Sri Lankans only the very best in their future life together. I also take the chance to dedicate the lyrics of an “Anniversary-Song” I wrote, many moons ago. Apologies for the tardy congratulations, Dr.Harold, but I have just spent a month in hospital, so this is my excuse. This is dedicated to Irangani & Dr.Harold Gunatillake.

 

“A COUNTRY ANNIVERSARY”.(Male Vocal).

Another year has come & gone,

since the day our love was born,

though, to me, it seems, not very long ago,

we’ve had good times, we’ve had bad,

sometimes happy, sometimes sad,

but through every passing day, I’ve loved you so.

 

There were many happy tears,

there were many sudden fears,

so many times I thought our love could never be,

but, through every joy & fear,

fate has made it pretty clear,

all this means, that you were only meant for me.

 

There were times we had to part,

and it made the teardrops start,

there were times when we were close, yet, far away,

but these were just a few bad dreams,

and, right now, to me, it seems,

you are in my heart, and there, you’ll always stay.

Lyrics & Music by Desmond Kelly.

 

“Happy Diamond Anniversary, Harold & Irangani”.

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