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The good natured doctor of natural medicine

Dr. Nalin Perera

By Ranee Mohamed

Immersed in compassion, Dr. Nalin Perera does not use his practice of natural medicine to amass wealth. Instead he gives his patients the greatest wealth of them all, good health.

To his modest practice situated in a quaint lane adjoining the St. John’s Church in Stanley Tillekeratne Mawatha, Nugegoda come hundreds of patients who have exhausted and abandoned all other forms of medicine.

"They come to me as a last resort, when all other systems have failed," said Dr. Nalin Perera, with a smile of understanding. It is not an easy task, taking on cases which have not responded to known forms of cure. But to this ‘natural’ doctor, taking on a challenge comes naturally.

Spondylosis, problems of backpain, migraine, skin ailments, arthritis, complications of gastritis, and a multitude other ailments which have not been soothed by other systems are being nursed to normalcy here.

It is an amazing combination that Dr. Nalin Perera practices. He ought to be proud, descending from a dynasty of vedamahathayas, the custodians of the temple of Neelamahara famed for their treatment and cure of psychiatric complications. But Dr. Perera surrounded by his own understudies of young ayurveda physicians is perhaps the most down-to-earth wizard of natural medicine that one could ever bump into.

Pure thoughts

He sits in his white hued apartment, wearing white. His pure thoughts giving his face a serenity that we do not often see in people today. White chairs, white floors, white walls — all try to say something, but those things unsaid are found in the thinking and beliefs of the good doctor.

"Our love ought to extend from us to the environment — to all living beings. It is only a person who is of sound mental health who is able to radiate love to all living beings," said this animal lover, who has a parrot and cat in his home who have also learned to live together in harmony. This harmony, serenity and compassion seem to be infectious here. It seems like it is a centre of goodwill in the heart of the bustling Nugegoda.

Dr. Nalin Perera’s understanding and concern for all living beings have made him fearless. So much so that he believes that no harm will come to him because of his pure thoughts of love and compassion. It was in his teenage years that he had begun to venture into the dangerous exercise of handling crocodiles and snakes. Having collected over 5000 snakes for the zoo, Dr. Perera has also had a harmonious and rewarding relationship with his pet python at home.

With dignity

"It was the way they were handled, with dignity that made it easy for me to get along with them," he says with a smile. But sometimes cobras may have difficulty in absorbing compassion even in its gist. "I have been bitten by a cobra," he said pointing to his palm, but that wound had healed, under his own treatment, he says. Sometimes harm too hesitates to rest on those with loving thoughts.

It is a rare form of medicine that he practices, a combination of natural medicine, homeopathy, and acupuncture. His ancestors were practitioners of natural medicine and as a young boy, Nalin had been surrounded by forefathers treating folk for various ailments.

With the guru-shishya (teacher/student) theory very much alive in his place of birth, it is thus no surprise that he is today a doctor and that too a doctor competent in three forms of treatment. "There are no complications, this treatment goes well with the Western form of treatment," said Dr. Perera who had just returned after treating his serious dengue patients lying in hospital.

"I value peace of mind and I cherish the contribution I make to society," he says.

Dr. Nalin Perera does not suggest expensive tests as he insists that the pulse is the best way to diagnose irregularities. "You can diagnose certain imbalances in the body with the rhythm and tempo of the pulse," he reveals.

Obesity and fat

There are however certain whisperings about Dr. Nalin Perera and the effectiveness of his treatment to fight obesity and fat. When asked about the anti-ageing therapies for which he has been sought after, Dr. Nalin Perera did admit that there are ways to fight wrinkles and bring about fat loss, "but it is the suffering and the ailing that I am concentrating on in greater measure," he said.

This doctor seems to have cultivated some rare hobbies — from having handled snakes in his teenage years, he now seems to be happiest with the wind in his sails — a competent sailor, he says that the ocean waves bring about a gush of fresh air to his busy days as he breaks through the waves in a bid to reach towards a newer and carefree happiness in the horizon.

Then again, from sailing he seems to drift closer to land, this time to photograph the rare medicinal herbs in Sri Lanka. "Sri Lanka with all her abundance of herbs needs a record of the rare medicinal plants," he observes, having photographed and recorded over 1000 such plants.

Fifty odd cameras

As one wonders about the story behind the 50 odd cameras lying behind his book case, he brings close two more cameras from his bedroom. "These belonged to my father," he offers as photographer Asoka Fernando quickly abandons his job of taking photographs and begins to get closer to the old box cameras.

Books, cameras, medicinal plants and sailing in his mind and heart, make Dr. Nalin Perera an exceptional man, but what makes him a dreamboat in the rough seas of life is his love and care for his patients and the approach to his profession — that it is a treating and not a money-making exercise.

"Money has never been my motive. My primary goal is to heal people," said Dr. Perera.

Thus there is little wonder that this centre of natural medicine is crowded with the helpless, the hopeless and the dejected. And Dr. Nalin Perera is at his helm — reaching out with a strong hand and a soft heart towards people who need love and care the most.

From Thriller to heartbreak

Michael Jackson — No more

LOS ANGELES —Michael Jackson, the "King of Pop" who once moonwalked above the music world, died Thursday as he prepared for a comeback bid to vanquish nightmare years of sexual scandal and financial calamity. He was 50.

Jackson died at UCLA Medical Center after being stricken at his rented home in Holmby Hills. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him at his home for nearly three-quarters of an hour, then rushed him to the hospital, where doctors continued to work on him.

"It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However, the cause of his death is unknown until results of the autopsy are known," his brother Jermaine said. Police said they were investigating, standard procedure in high-profile cases.

Jackson’s death brought a tragic end to a long, bizarre, sometimes farcical decline from his peak in the 1980s, when he was popular music’s premier all-around performer, a uniter of black and white music who shattered the race barrier on MTV, dominated the charts and dazzled even more on stage.

His 1982 album Thriller — which included the blockbuster hits Beat It, Billie Jean and Thriller— is the best-selling album of all time, with an estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide.

At the time of his death, Jackson was rehearsing hard for what was to be his greatest comeback: He was scheduled for an unprecedented 50 shows at a London arena, with the first set for July 13.

As word of his death spread, MTV switched its programming to play videos from Jackson’s heyday. Radio stations began playing marathons of his hits. Hundreds of people gathered outside the hospital. In New York’s Times Square, a low groan went up in the crowd when a screen flashed that Jackson had died, and people began relaying the news to friends by cell phone.

"No joke. King of Pop is no more. Wow," Michael Harris, 36, of New York City, read from a text message a friend had sent him. "It’s like when Kennedy was assassinated. I will always remember being in Times Square when Michael Jackson died."

About Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)[2] was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 and began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the "King of Pop" in subsequent years, five of his solo studio albums are among the world’s best-selling records.

Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana (an industrial suburb of Chicago, Illinois) to a working-class family on August 29, 1958.The son of Joseph Walter "Joe" and Katherine Esther (née Scruse) he was the seventh of nine children. His siblings are Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet. Joseph Jackson was a steel mill employee who often performed in an R and B band called The Falcons with his brother Luther.Jackson was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses by his devout mother.

From a young age Jackson was physically and mentally abused by his father, enduring incessant rehearsals, whippings and name-calling. Jackson’s abuse as a child affected him throughout his grown life. In one altercation—later recalled by Marlon Jackson—Joseph held Michael upside down by one leg and "pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks." Joseph would often trip up, or push the male children into walls. One night while Jackson was asleep, Joseph climbed into his room through the bedroom window. Wearing a fright mask, he entered the room screaming and shouting. Joseph said he wanted to teach his children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep. For years afterwards, Jackson suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom.

Jackson first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey. He said that during his childhood he often cried from loneliness and would sometimes get sick or start to regurgitate upon seeing his father. In Jackson’s other high profile interview, Living with Michael Jackson (2003), the singer covered his face with his hand and began crying when talking about his childhood abuse. Jackson recalled that Joseph sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed and that "if you didn’t do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you."

Jackson suffered a setback on January 27, 1984. While filming a Pepsi Cola commercial at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Jackson suffered second degree burns to his scalp after pyrotechnics accidentally set his hair on fire. Happening in front of a full house of fans during a simulated concert, the incident was the subject of heavy media scrutiny and elicited an outpouring of sympathy. PepsiCo settled a lawsuit out of court, and Jackson gave his $1.5 million settlement to the "Michael Jackson Burn Center" which was a piece of new technology to help people with severe burns. Jackson had his third rhinoplasty shortly afterwards and grew self conscious about his appearance.

On May 14, 1984, Jackson was invited to the White House to receive an award presented by American President Ronald Reagan. The award was given for Jackson’s support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse.Jackson won eight awards during the 1984 Grammy Awards. Unlike later albums, Thriller did not have an official tour to promote it, but the 1984 Victory Tour, headlined by The Jacksons, showcased much of Jackson’s new solo material to more than two million Americans. He donated his $5 million share from the Victory Tour to charity.

Jackson co-wrote the charity single We Are the World with Lionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in Africa and the US. He was one of 39 music celebrities who performed on the record. The single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief.

Jackson gave a 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey in February 1993, his first television interview since 1979. He grimaced when speaking of his childhood abuse at the hands of his father; he believed he had missed out on much of his childhood years, admitting that he often cried from loneliness. He denied previous tabloid rumors that he bought the bones of the Elephant Man or slept in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The entertainer went on to dispel suggestions that he bleached his skin, admitting for the first time that he had vitiligo. The interview was watched by 90 million Americans, becoming the fourth most-viewed non-sport programme in US history. It also started a public debate on the topic of vitiligo, a relatively unknown condition before then. Dangerous re-entered the album chart top 10, more than a year after its original release.

Jackson was accused of child sexual abuse by a 13-year-old child named Jordan Chandler and his father Evan Chandler.The friendship between Jackson and Evan Chandler broke down. Sometime afterwards, Evan Chandler was tape-recorded saying amongst other things, "If I go through with this, I win big-time. There’s no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever...Michael’s career will be over".

An official investigation began, with Jordan Chandler’s mother adamant that there was no wrongdoing on Jackson’s part. Neverland Ranch was searched; multiple children and family members denied that he was a pedophile. Jackson’s image took a further turn for the worse when his older sister La Toya Jackson accused him of being a pedophile, a statement she later retracted. Jackson agreed to a 25-minute strip search, conducted at his ranch. Doctors concluded that there were some strong similarities, but it was not a definitive match. Jackson made an emotional public statement on the events; he proclaimed his innocence, criticized what he perceived as biased media coverage and told of his strip search. Jackson began taking painkillers, Valium, Xanax and Ativan to deal with the stress of the allegations made against him. By the fall of 1993, Jackson was addicted to the drugs. His health deteriorated to the extent that he canceled the remainder of the Dangerous World Tour and went into drug rehabilitation for a few months. The stress of the allegations also caused Jackson to stop eating, losing a significant amount of weight. On January 1, 1994, Jackson settled with the Chandler family and their legal team out of court, in a civil lawsuit for $22 million. After the settlement Jordan Chandler refused to continue with police criminal proceedings. Jackson was never charged, and the state closed its criminal investigation, citing lack of evidence. Later that year, Jackson married singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley. They had first met in 1975 during one of Jackson’s family engagements at the MGM Grand, and were reconnected through a mutual friend in early 1993. They stayed in contact every day over the telephone. As child molestation accusations became public, Jackson became dependent on Lisa Marie for emotional support. Shortly afterwards, she tried to persuade Jackson to settle the allegations out of court and go into rehabilitation to recover—he subsequently did both. Jackson and Presley divorced less than two years later, remaining friendly.

Surgeons have speculated that Jackson underwent multiple nasal surgeries, a forehead lift, thinned lips and a cheekbone surgery.

Jackson wrote in his 1988 autobiography Moon Walk that he only had two rhinoplastic procedures and the surgical creation of a cleft in his chin.

In 1999, rumours swirled that Jackson had transplanted some pubic hair to his jaw to try to make a Goatee.

"Why not just tell people I’m an alien from Mars," Jackson told a reporter at the time. "Tell them I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight. They’ll believe anything you say, because you’re a reporter." The latest news about Michael Jackson’s nose was that he had found a German surgeon to repair his nose.

In recent months the singer had appeared fragile and gaunt and was rarely seen out without heavy make-up and a surgical mask.

Another goodbye: Golden girl Farrah Fawcett is no more

Farrah Fawcett

She was Hollywood’s penultimate golden girl. And, now, Farrah Fawcett, who epitomized the all-American ideal of beauty, has died after a three-year battle with cancer. She was 62. Her spokesman, Paul Bloch, says Fawcett died Thursday morning in a Santa Monica hospital.

In September 2006, Fawcett learned she had anal cancer. The devastating news led to a reconciliation with her on-and-off boyfriend, Ryan O’Neal, 68, the father of their troubled son, Redmond, 24. O’Neal was by her side as Fawcett went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and the actress was declared cancer-free in February 2007. But later that spring, she learned the cancer had returned. After growing weary of ineffective treatments in the USA, Fawcett traveled to Germany in September 2007 for alternative cancer therapies.

Her friend Craig Nevius told People that Fawcett was "discouraged by the treatments she got here. The fact that it recurred after all that she went through was heartbreaking."

At her side throughout her final difficult years: O’Neal — who himself had battled leukemia — and their son, Redmond.

Fawcett will long be remembered as the pistol-packing blonde Jill Munroe on the ‘70s classic Charlie’s Angels. But her legacy may be that she was never completely victorious in the decades-long battle she waged to overcome that enduring, indelible sex-symbol image.

A national hero is honoured in his home town

The statue of C. E. Victor
S. Corea in Chilaw

C. E. Victor S. Corea
e. Victor S.Corea

I had the pleasure and the privilege of knowing Charles Edward Victor Senewiratne Corea of Sinhapura, Chilaw, an Advocate of the Supreme Court to whom I would turn whenever I needed advice and legal assistance. His services were given willingly, free of charge to the deserving, who desperately sought his assistance. By nature, he always championed the cause of the common man and money did not matter to him at all.

Forty-six years ago, moments before C.E.Victor S.Corea was laid to rest in the Chilaw Cemetery, Speaker R.S. Pelpola, representing Prime Minister, Sirima R. D. Bandaranaike and her government, at the funeral, had this to say, "Chilaw has had the rare distinction of producing two of the greatest patriots who served in the country’s legislature, C.E. Corea and his brother, C.E.Victor S.Corea who won the hearts of our people with their fearless campaign to protect their rights and achieve independence for our country."

An influential Goyigama group

The Coreas, as described in Kumari Jayawardena’s book is reproduced below:

"Unconnected to the liquor trade, but making their money on plantation ventures was the Corea family in Chilaw, an influential Goyigama group with a history going back to Portuguese rule when they were warriors to the Sinhala kings. During Dutch and British rule, members of the family were officials serving the state in various ways and rewarded with titles (Wright 1907:735).

Some members of the family took to the legal and medical professions, most notably the sons of Charles Edward Corea (a solicitor), who were active in local politics and in the Chilaw Association which campaigned against British land policies — especially the Waste Lands Ordinance, and for political reforms. The most active of Corea’s sons was C.E. (Charles Edgar) Corea who spoke up for peasant rights and was militant in his stand against the government.

He was President of the Ceylon National Congress in 1924. C.E.Corea’s brother, Alfred Ernest, was a doctor and the youngest, Victor Corea, was a lawyer who achieved fame for leading a campaign (and going to jail) in 1922 to protest against the Poll Tax on all males; he was the first president of the Ceylon Labour Union led by A.E.Goonesinha and was active in the Ceylon Labour Party during the 1920s." (Jayawardena 1972: 238 & 277).

Important landowners

"While being professionals and political activists, the Coreas were also important landowners. By 1927 C.E.Corea and his wife had 659 acres of land of which 530 was coconut (Roberts 1979: Chapter IV,Table 2). This backing gave them the confidence to become champions of dissident causes, involving workers and peasants. And their economic interests and influence in the Chilaw area enabled C.E. and Victor Corea to enter the Legislative Council in the 1920s."

Charles Edgar Corea, Dr Ernest Corea and Charles Edward Victor Senewiratne Corea and their two sisters were the children of Charles Edward Corea, a leading lawyer and his wife Henrietta, a highly respected family in Chilaw. The family was severely affected with the demise of Charles Edward Corea, when the eldest son, Charles Edgar Corea (C.E.) was only six years old and Victor Corea just an year old, which meant that the children had to depend on their mother Henrietta, a young widow of 21 for their upbringing. Courageous and capable as she was, she accomplished her responsibilities to the letter and educated her sons to be in the forefront of the nation’s struggle for Independence.

C.E. Corea, entered Royal College, had a brilliant career, passed out as a Proctor following the footsteps of his father, joined the Chilaw Bar and rose to eminence in his profession. Ernest, studied at S. Thomas’, entered Medical College and passed out as a doctor. The youngest, Victor, also schooled at S. Thomas’ and passed out as an Advocate of the Supreme Court. Victor, came under the powerful influence of his brother C.E., excelled in the law courts and took to politics working closely with the brother at a time when under British rule the brothers campaigned vigorously to free their countrymen from the bondage of the British Imperialists.

A brilliant lawyer

C.E. Corea, rose to fame, as a brilliant lawyer and a politician par excellence whose skill at arguing was not second to any of the British with whom he clashed often in the country’s legislature. Some of his ideas were original and his arguments, forceful. He was a master of the English language as Principal Woodward of Richmond and Warden Stone of S. Thomas’ both acknowledged. This perhaps was one of the reasons which catapulted him to fame in the political field.

As a patriot, he was bold and fearless and never lacked the courage to stand by his convictions. He founded the Chilaw Association which became so virile and so valid that its criticisms of governmental policy made a tremendous impact in his fight against imperial onslaughts and excesses.

Victor Corea, at every turn warned the British that their days in Ceylon were numbered. Every action of his was pro-Sinhala. He named his residence ‘Sinhapura’ and his letterheads carried his crest in gold print of a Lion resting its head on its forepaws, rays of the sun in the background and the challenging caption ‘Awake not the sleeping Lion King.’ It was common knowledge that his crest, skilfully designed, displayed a factual representation of his bold and courageous personality.

He named his sons Siddartha, Sri Rahula, Sri Vikrama and Sri Sangabo. He started his own printing press and published the Sinhala journal, Lanka Tharuna Handa in order to inculcate a feeling of nationalism and a distaste for what was alien and foreign as was done by Mahatma Gandhi in India.

He was popularly acknowledged as the champion of the common man and fought fearlessly against any issue that oppressed his people. When the villagers of Merawela were prohibited from earning their income from limestone and the business was vested in the government the senior men of the village turned to Victor Corea who championed their cause and won their rights to continue the business.

The Temperance Movement

During the Sinhalese-Muslim riots of 1915, Victor Corea, fought shoulder to shoulder with his brother and other leaders for the release of the fighters of the Temperance Movement and fought for the Reform of the Constitution in order that Ceylon could free herself from arbitrary, autocratic and imperial rule and bondage. Victor Corea and his brother C.E. Corea protected the Muslims in Chilaw area from the wrath of the embittered Sinhalese.

The Corea brothers were responsible for completely exonerating the people of Chilaw from paying damages which was a penalty imposed on all the citizens of Ceylon. They both championed the cause of national unity and were acclaimed in Jaffna as outstanding leaders. The regard, respect and admiration the people of Jaffna had for the brothers — C.E. and Victor — is supported by the fact that C.E. Corea was the only Sinhalese who had the rare distinction of being elected president of the Jaffna Association.

In 1915, in the thick of the Sinhalese-Muslim riots, Victor Corea delivered a gem of an address at Dharmarajah College, Kandy under the chairmanship of the then Diyawadana Nilame on the Centenary of the Kandyan Convention while a police cordon surrounded the College Hall. F.L.Woodward, Principal of Richmond College, Galle in a lecture delivered by him made the following remarks:

"The only work that is worth anything is really the work of love

The first work of love is in the home, the second, in the town

A patriot does work for the love of his country. I might mention as an instance, the town of Chilaw where the two Corea brothers — C.E. Corea and Victor Corea — are trying to do so much for the welfare of their country."

Poll Tax

When every male in Ceylon above the age of 21 had to pay the British government Rs.2 as Poll Tax, Victor Corea refused to pay it in 1921 and wrote to the governor that according to their law he should be arrested. Orders were issued to arrest Victor Corea, and during his month’s stay in jail he crushed metal on the road exposed to the view of the general public, under the heat of the scorching sun and later inside the jail, beat coconut husks, and twisted rope.

Even though he suffered unbearable pain with his palms covered with blisters he did not complain but continued to perform his tasks. When orders came from the governor that Victor Corea be given a bed to sleep on and European food of his choice he refused to accept any form of special treatment and subjected himself to the punishment imposed on prisoners in general. When large crowds from near and far came to witness this spectacle of an Advocate of the Supreme Court from an affluent family, fighting the cause of his countrymen, the British, realising that Victor Corea was gaining unprecedented popularity as a national hero, decided to abolish the Poll Tax and release him.

Shortly after his release Victor Corea addressed his supporters at the Tower Hall. The Times of Ceylon carried the following article:

"The Tower Hall in Maradana was the scene of an electrifying drama. But Annie Boteju and Marshall Perera were not the star attractions. The occasion was a political meeting. It was the climax of a day of national mourning in remembrance of the declaration of Martial Law on June 4, 1915. As this story unfolds, the Speaker on the platform is C.E. Victor S.Corea.

"June 4, 1922 was a Sunday and the thousands who packed the Tower Hall and its environs exploded in an orgasm of applause. The Times of Ceylon, always a faithful barometer of the political climate, recorded the next day that the Tower Hall was packed to utmost capacity. On the verandahs outside, a tightly wedged mass of humanity surged to and fro, a large number remaining on the street outside."

"Such was the magnetic attraction of C.E. Victor S. Corea that the police party present was led by the Acting Inspector General of Police himself."

A fighter for justice

What was most remarkable about Victor Corea is the fact that he was a fighter for justice and would not hesitate to give leadership to his people without any fear of the consequences. Even though he waged a relentless campaign against the British government he did so with the ultimate goal of achieving independence for his country. His campaign was similar to that launched by Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji Subas Chandra Bose in India.

Mahatma Gandhi, as a part of his campaign distributed a colourful poster under the caption, Fighters for Swaraj and featured oval-shaped bust size photographs of all the political giants in India who put their heart and soul fearlessly in their struggle to achieve independence for India. Victor Corea was honoured by having his photograph included amongst the Indian patriots.

When Gandhi visited Ceylon he made it a point to visit Chilaw and personally presented a poster to Victor Corea in appreciation of the campaign he spearheaded at a national level in Ceylon which gave added strength to India’s campaign.

Beating of hewisi stopped

When the beating of hewisi at the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy was stopped on the orders of the Government Agent, Kandy — a Britisher — because it was a disturbance to his wife it was Victor Corea, a Christian, who alone rose in protest to display the courage and guts he was well known to possess by asking the G.A. to remove his wife to any place he liked and that the hewisi in the Maligawa must continue in accordance with tradition.

If the Diyawadana Nilame was not prepared to continue the beating of hewisi, he vowed that he would come to the Maligawa and beat the hewisi himself. Since Victor Corea, by that time was known to be a man of action who would live up to his word, the G.A. withdrew his order, fearing that there would be unrest in the country. The beating of hewisi has continued ever since.

Very few people of the present generation are aware that Victor Corea was the forerunner and the pioneer of the Labour Movement in Ceylon. He had the rare distinction of being the first president of the Labour Union which culminated in the formation of the Labour Party of Ceylon. A.E. Goonesinha who succeeded him later was his loyal confidant and secretary.

Victor Corea, was at the zenith of his power soon after he came out of jail after the Poll Tax was abolished. His popularity was unprecedented at the time he chose to contest his relative, E.W. Jayewardene (President J.R. Jayewardene’s father) and won by a comfortable majority to be the Member for Colombo North in the Legislative Council of Ceylon in 1924. He was a Founder Member of the Ceylon National Congress along with C.E. Corea, E.W. Perera, Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Sir P.Arunachalam, and Francis de Zoysa who were stalwarts in the political arena. It was the greatest political force in the country at the time, inspired from its counterpart in India, the Indian National Congress.

Statue unveiled

On December 2, 2008, Chilaw paid a fitting tribute to C.E. Victor S. Corea by having his statue unveiled adjoining the District Court. The imposing figure of Victor Corea attired in the Corea costume he designed for himself, in a standing posture is indeed a landmark in Chilaw. This masterpiece of art sculptured by Kalasoori Ariyawansa Weerakkody was the last of his creations. Sadly, although he did not live to see it installed in Chilaw, it must be said that the stamp of class that is associated with the works of Kalasoori Ariyawansa Weerakkody is unquestionably at its best in this last creation of his.

The Chairman of the Urban Council, Chilaw, W. Hilary Prasanna Fernando who ceremoniously opened the C.E.Victor S.Corea Memorial open in an inspiring address said:

"Chilaw indeed is proud to have produced a patriot of the calibre of C.E.Victor S.Corea who is a descendent of Edirilla Rala. Victor Corea, opposed every move of the British that had an adverse impact on the country and the people. He campaigned vehemently for independence and sought the support of the people by uniting them. Today, we as grateful citizens of this country pay homage to a National Hero who fearlessly fought for the rights of our people and championed their cause. What is important is that we must draw inspiration from their selfless service to our country."

— P. De Silva 

Sanath – in real life….

Sanath Gunathileke

By Ranee Mohamed

Actor, director and scriptwriter, Sanath Gunathileke is a hero in real life as he has been in all the over 130 films that he has been associated with down the years. His smile lights up his life as he talks of the teachings of the Buddha – the path he has chosen as his way of life.

As Sanath Gunathileke’s latest production Eka Math Eka Rataka is the talk of the town, Gunathileke believes that his ‘different’ theme will not merely entertain viewers, but will thrill them and educate them on differing lines of thinking and of different characters within our society.

A film by an actor/scriptwriter/director and producer is likely to embrace all aspects in their excellence and Sanath Gunathileke says that he has put his heart and soul into the making of Eka Math Eka Rataka.

"Life has not been easy for me," says the award winning film star who dazzled hearts and minds during his active film career. Having won best actor awards in all three/four major film festivals held in Sri Lanka and the best supporting actor award too in the festivals, Gunathileke is modest about his achievements. But the awards that adorn his home in St. Lawrence’s Road, Wellawatte is proof of a great young actor who made it to the top without influence, without money and without powerful backing.

Missed Medical College

A student of Kingswood College Kandy, Sanath Gunathileke achieved excellent results at the G.C.E. Advanced Level examination, but the district system stopped him from going to Medical College by a mere two marks. "I was disappointed and sad and my father was more than disappointed, he was angry," said Gunathileke of his lawyer father who had great hopes for his son.

It was at this time that Gunathileke spotted an advertisement by Vijaya Dharmasiri in the Dinamina seeking young actors. That interview at Sudharshi was the stepping stone to the great heights that Sanath Gunathileke has reached today.

Away from home, boarded in a flat in Colombo, Sanath Gunathileke surged ahead with a determination. His good looks and acting talent got him the awards, the spotlight and the popularity.

From his first film Situ Kumariyo the curtain rose to a star-struck career for Gunathileke – Ganga Addara by Sumithra Pieris, Ridi Nimnaya by D.B. Nihalsinha, Palama Yata, Viragaya, Salman Maduwa, Kadepathaka Chaaya… he continued, spending his days and nights on the sets.

"It is my role in Viragaya that will never leave my mind," he said. Having written the script of Sisila Gini Gani, Gunathileke also has two scripts which he has not made into films. "one is about a journalist and the other is with a Buddhist theme," revealed Gunathileke.

Exceptional character

"My newest film Eka Math Eka Rata is about an exceptional character. It is not about the stereotype woman who takes revenge, or falls in love – it is different and a character that we all ought to study and understand," said Gunathileke.

"It is an adults only film and the artistic creativity has received great reviews," said Gunathileke,

However, the making of Eka Math Eka Rata had not been an easy exercise. Set in Nuwara Eliya, Sanath Gunathileke said that the weather had not always been on their side. "Sometimes the light interfered with the shooting and at times the light rain forced us to stop. The gloom and the mist added to the effective presentation of the theme," said Gunathileke.

"Eka Math Eka Rataka has not been easy and I have to thank Premasiri Khemadasa for being there from the beginning of the film. Usually the music is brought in after the film, but I gave him the film and got him involved from the beginning and he was a great source of encouragement," recalled Gunathileke.

"I am thankful to Janaka Ramanayake for his investment in the film. I also wish to thank the Chairman of the Film Corporation Jayantha Dharmadasa and his team for the post production work," said Gunathileke.

"I am confident that this film with a very unusual theme will present its viewers a different line of thinking," said Gunathileke who holds promise to rage on from acting to other areas of directing, producing and script writing in the Sri Lankan cinema – it seems like the curtains will never close on this legend of the Sinhala film industry.

Shedding light — Part 2


The age old battle of
Hip Hop vs Rock

By Azi Sheriff

So if Hip Hop is the new king of global pop culture, the one that lost the throne and certainly the crown would be good old Rock. Defying the trend to a large extent, are acts such as U2, Coldplay, Killers, All American Rejects, My Chemical Romance, Nickelback and a handful of others. Without the material of bands such as these, Rock music would not have a face any more in global pop culture. If there is one who can develop a solid conceptual framework for this happening, please give me a call!

Is it that the music industry is much like T20 cricket, where for six straight games you are hot and then in the seventh all your weaknesses are exposed and you go back to being a nobody? Hang on are we talking about music or the Sri Lankan cricket team?

Sticking to music however, Rock has suffered globally as a result of not evolving from guitar riffs, long hair, make up and troubled story lines written by troubled songwriters. I understand when Slipknot and Mettalica convey angry messages, as these are based on real life experiences, but when some of these Sri Lankan bands start writing about demons, monsters and creatures of the night, that just becomes disturbing as much as it is cheesy like a double beef burger.

The good old bands such as ACDC, Pink Floyd and many others, are still selling records and making millions touring and through placements in movie soundtracks and television, however there is nothing new to a greater extent coming through, much like the middle order batting talent of the Lankan team. This is strange considering the vast number of immensely talented musicians out there. So what’s the problem?

In a nutshell it can be attributed to the "fear of change." Yes, much like a professor nearing retirement, rock musicians hesitate, fear and reject change, which has led to the downfall of the genre. Much like businesses merge and cross promote to expand, rock acts should take a cue from hip hop artists and collaborate, to fuse two segments and create wider audiences.

Some say it’s not about the money, but here is the reality folks, if you don’t make money, labels won’t sign you! So if you are not signed you cannot get published and therefore heard!! A reality we see even more true in Sri Lanka.

I was at the Shine, a fortnight ago, and watched some local rock acts after ages. Might I say the talent has improved by leaps and bounds, but the audiences have got smaller and less interested in the music. Power Cut Circus and Hollow Point Halo, two acts that have been playing for a while locally, have great musicians such as, Ranil and front men like Marsh and Sean. However the music has unfortunately not reached a wider audience besides the usual advertising industry folks, who passionately follow them.

One must understand, that you cannot export a brand of music that is already available overseas and those audiences can access in their own backyard. This does not mean playing sitars and tablas to sound more Asian. Understanding that music is part of a business model, is key to all rock acts, especially in Sri Lanka. Frankly I am tired of all the hate showed by the local rock industry to BnS, Iraj and Centigradz. Deal with the fact that they have captured a market with well produced songs (unlike the garbage heard from rock acts), have distribution and licensing deals, larger number of fans, tour overseas and simply put, make a lot more dough.

All in all, rock is dying (even faster locally), and is waiting for some serious impetus to take it back where it belongs. For this, the infusion of new thinking, proper vision, production and management is required. So if you got skills and you are ready to show and prove, do write to me if you need help in any of these areas! 

Party at Vidumina

The Vidumina Centre for children with learning difficulties and physical disabilities hosted a tea party for children with special needs recently. The event brought together children from the Vidumina Centre, the Navodaya Centre in Mt. Lavinia and children from the Bodowita Polythene Area.

The forum gave differently abled youngsters a platform to showcase their talents. It also provided a good opportunity for fellowship between children with learning difficulties and parents.

The party was hosted by Marie Fernando, directress of the Vidumina Centre and Barabara Dickman.

The Vidumina Centre has been in operation for four years and currently has 10 pupils aged between 7 and 28 years who attend regularly. The Centre also offers parents of children with special needs the option of leaving their charges in a safe and secure environment should they need a carer for a few hours.

The brainchild of Fernando the centre offers a home away from home and also welcomes volunteers to help with its work. Fernando says giving carers of special needs children a break is very important. While the tea party provided such a respite, Fernando says her dream is to create a residential centre where youngsters can spend a few days when necessary.





     More Reviews....


From Thriller to heartbreak

Another goodbye: Golden girl Farrah
    Fawcett is no more

A national hero is honoured in
   his home town

  Sanath – in real life….

  The age old battle of Hip Hop vs Rock

  Party at Vidumina



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