Sharmila Niriella

An Evening For An Author To Shine – By Sharmila Jayasinghe Niriella

 

Sharmila J NiriellaThe book of poems, “Above The Ocean  Wide  And Deep” was the centre of attention again when the author of the book Eva P Wickramage was introduced to the Sri Lankan community in Brisbane recently. 

Eva ,  a well known educationist and media person in Sri Lanka who has written over eleven books spoke fondly of how her deep love for her grandchildren prompted her to create heart-warming poems  dedicated to each one of her six grandchildren and then continue on to write poems on various subjects. 

“Pitter Patter Little Feet was my first poem” speaking at the event Eva said, “That poem was written when my grandkids migrated to Australia and speaks of Dilara, my eldest granddaughter who was just a toddler then. The loneliness I felt when she and her little sister Reshmi left the shores of Sri Lanka could not be washed away with anything I did or said, so I sat down and put pen to paper. The result was the poem titled Pitter Patter Little Feet and eventually the book Above The Ocean Wide & Deep.”

 

Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Queensland Mr. Anton Swan graced the occasion as the chief guest and welcomed the author to the Sri Lankan community in Brisbane while Dr. Nimal Sedara bilingual journalist, poet, author and reputed marketing guru spoke of the author and her creativity in admiration. Dr Sedara in his eloquent speech introduced Eva’s poems to the audience as “verses beautifully knitted into a garland of precious gems”.

The audience was filled with nostalgia when at the culmination of the event, Eva,  who was an original cast member of Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra’s critically acclaimed stage production Sinhabahu, sang “Bo Dukin” together with her long time friend and the very first female lead of the drama, Malani Ranasingha. The two singer’s were accompanied by Malani’s daughter Kanchanamala and a full orchestra.

 

The event, which was organized by Reads Media Events Boutique in collaboration with Dr Piyasiri Pelenda, saw Sri Lankan literature lovers from Brisbane and Gold Coast come together to appreciate the creativity of a Sri Lankan author who calls Australia home now.

Countless elements came together to make the evening a memorable one not only for the author but for everyone who attended the event.

Eva P wickramage Eva P wickramage Eva P wickramage Eva P wickramage Eva P wickramage Eva P wickramage Eva P wickramage

Read More →

Dr Aruna Wijewardana, A Lifesaver to Burn Victims –
By Sharmila Jayasinghe Niriella

 

Sharmila J Niriella

It was such a shock to receive a phone call from a close friend bearing devastating news of a work place accident in which her father had received severe and life threatening burns to his body. My friend as expected, was crying hysterically worried about the safety of her father which made me drop everything and rush to her side.  Her father, as I got to know then, had sustained severe full thickness burns to most of his body when a mixture of paint and thinner ignited  while he was working at a building site. After a stressful few hours sitting in the waiting room of the burns unit of the Royal North Shore Hospital, my friend was prompted to speak to the doctor in charge. The doctor had instantly put her mind at ease. Her stress and fears were soon washed away with the reassuring words of the staff. “The doctor looking after your father is a miracle worker and the best person to take care of your father,” they had said with confidence.

Dr Aruna Wijewardana

 Throughout the lengthy period of recovery where my friend’s father spent two months in and out of the intensive care unit and subsequently another six months undergoing reconstructive surgery done for his burns, we never lost hope. The faith the staff had in the doctor who looked after our patient was more than enough for us to hold on to hope. We actually understood why everyone in the burns unit was so confident about the work the doctor did when we ourselves saw the amazing results in my friend’s father as he gradually recovered from the horrific injuries caused by fire.

 

With constant references made about the doctor and the many lives he had been instrumental in saving, my friend couldn’t help but admiringly refer to him as the “Lifesaver”. We all had faith and never lost hope that the “Lifesaver” was going to make things right and he did: when our patient, a burns victim with severe burns to 80% of his body walked out of the hospital in a completely recovered state we could hardly believe our eyes. The Lifesaver had truly made the patient as good as new!  Imagine how grateful and proud I felt when I finally met the doctor dubbed the “Lifesaver” in person and realized he was a fellow Sri Lankan.

 

When the “Lifesaver”, Dr Aruna Wijewardana, introduced himself, my journalistic instinct recognized a good human interest story  and I requested for a formal interview with the good doctor. It was indeed fascinating to hear the many stories of care, compassion and survival that Aruna so willingly shared while always adhering to the patient’s privacy.  The most surprising bit of information for me was that fact that the gentle, soft spoken soul sitting in front of me, who had performed over  four thousand reconstructive surgeries on severely burnt patients during the last thirteen years in Australia , still lived and worked here on a temporary visa of this country which he so willingly serves and wishes to call home one day.

 

Aruna, had been attached to the burns and reconstructive unit of the National Hospital in Colombo, the burns unit in Lady Ridgeway Children’s hospital in Colombo and also had held several other important positions in Sri Lanka, before assuming duties as a fellow at the Severe Burns unit at the Royal North Shore hospital in 2007. Ever since then he had been serving the community silently with grace, compassion, determination and skill. He clearly was not expecting anything in return for the work he did, which in some cases was truly miraculous. As the day ended and I bid the doctor goodbye I wished him all the best for his future with a hope that he would be able officially call Australia home soon.

 

Once in a while you meet someone, quite randomly, who inspires you with his or her immense skills and often unrecognized and unappreciated services rendered to society that you feel the need to share their existence with everyone. Dr Aruna Wijewardana truly is one with immense skills and one who needs to be recognized for his services. All those who have met him never forget him and most of those who have received his care owe their lives to him.

 

Read More →

Eva P Wickramage Launches Her Latest Book In Sydney – By Sharmila Niriella

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

      Eva P Wickramage Launches Her Latest Book In Sydney

Australia based Sri Lankan educationist, writer and media personality Eva P Wickramage launched her latest book “Above The Ocean Wide and Deep “ in Sydney recently. The event, which was well attended by a distinguished crowd, was held at the Hills Lodge in Castle Hill. The Consul General of Sri Lanka Lal Wickrematunga, Music legend Kalasoori Shelton Premaratne and Deputy Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning, UTS Dr Lynn Sinclair were among the invitees who graced the occasion.

Writer and book critique Hiran Kulatilake speaking about the poet and the book, introduced “Above the Ocean Wide and Deep” as an assortment of poems capable of entertaining the reader with musicality and linguistic indulgence.

The author Eva started her professional career as a teacher and entered the field of media as a producer and scriptwriter of educational programs for television and radio in Sri Lanka and moved on to becoming a television presenter. She is a prolific writer with ‘Above The Ocean Wide And Deep’ being her eleventh publication and her maiden book of poetry.

The Author presented the first copy of the book to the Consul General Lal Wickrematunga.

The event was organised by S&S Events Boutique while Smrithi from Karmatography captured special moments of the event.

The book can be purchased through the elanka store or by calling the author on 0481351896.

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

Eva P Wickramage Launches Her Latest Book In Sydney

Eva P Wickramage Launches Her Latest Book In Sydney

Eva P Wickramage Launches Her Latest Book In Sydney

Eva P Wickramage Launches Her Latest Book In Sydney

Eva P Wickramage Launches Her Latest Book In Sydney

Eva P Wickramage Launches Her Latest Book In Sydney

Eva P Wickramage Launches Her Latest Book In Sydney

Eva P Wickramage Launches Her Latest Book In Sydney

 

 

Read More →

Another Win for a Young Sri Lankan Born Artist – Dilara Niriella

Dilara Niriella, a Sri Lankan born artist residing in Sydney, grabbed the first prize – tertiary at the Mosman Youth Art Competition 2018 held on the 17th of March at the Mosman Art gallery, Sydney.

The Mosman Youth Art Award is a popular competition with over 500 entries received annually.

Young artists aged between 12 – 21 submit artworks in a variety of media. The internationally renowned artist Ken Done AM initiated this prestigious art prize in 1988. Ken returned as a judge for the competition which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Presenting Dilara with the winning prize, Ken stated he was absolutely mesmerized by how she had captured a true likeliness of her subject who incidentally is her father, Anupa Niriella.

The work named “Sorry to interrupt…” depicts Dilara’s father at work at a surgeon’s table. The painting will be on exhibition at Mosman Art Gallery till the 15th of April.   Dilara, a one time Young Archies award winner is a presenter on channel 7’s “Get Arty” art show and also is currently sitting for a degree in Fine Arts at the University of NSW.

Read More →