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Cricketers, Bring Back Lost Image And Stature

Not intriguing, but mind boggling why cricketers, particularly in Asian, African countries, are gradually transforming their elegant, graceful appearance of being a cricketer, and usually were called ‘gentlemen to the finger tips’.

Until recently, cricketers were admired, respected looked upon as models, not only for their cricketing skills, but also their immaculate attire and their general stature and their impeccable mannerisms.

They showed style and elegance even outside the playing field, cricketers of yesteryear etched unforgettable memories.

Today you see cricketers of the recent past, who achieved some respectability in the game are now losing credibility, one stalwart is always criticizing the election he lost, a few others are strangling the cricket board, by appointing invisible managers for young players, corrupting their mind and damaging their future.

You could have never spotted a ‘gallery’ element in the past cricketers even in their mercantile work places. Now, from some unknown quarter elements have crept into the cricketing fraternity, dismantling the clean appearance, physically and ethically.

Now more and more cricketers are sporting beards, apparently, some for religious reasons, others may be to draw attention, some with dyed hair, fluttering in the wind, all to draw cynosure. Are these indicative of a psychological disorder or immaturity?

However, the SLC, along with the ICC and other cricketing nations must bring the lost sanity to cricket, restore the old respected traditions and cricketers must stand tall wherever their feet tread.

The signs of extremism are blossoming everywhere and if in this century we do not dismiss the appearance of extremism or fundamentalism in sports, sports may turn out to be a battlefield.

Walter Fernando

Ratmalana

 

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‘Premaya-Night of Romance’ Today At Nelum Pokuna

  • Global Housing & Real Estate main sponsor…

Royal College Principal B. A. Abeyratna receiving the sponsorship agreement from Global Housing & Real Estate (Pvt) Ltd. Directress, Priyanthi Abeydeera

One of the top real estate companies in Sri Lanka, Global Housing & Real Estate(Pvt) Ltd., demonstrating its contribution to musical activities, once again has steped forward as the main sponsor for the musical extravaganza ‘Premaya-Night of Romance’ organized by the Royal College 99 Group.

‘Premaya-Night of Romance’ concert, organized with the intention of collecting funds for project activities in Royal College, will be held on August 20 at 6 pm at the Nelum Pokuna Theater in Colombo.

Veteran musician Victor Ratnayake, Kasun Kalhara and Nirosha Viragini will contribute from vocals at the concert. The event will be further enriched by Suresh Maliadda’s music direction and the compeering of Saman Athavudahetti. ‘Premaya-Night of Romance’ concert will be an ideal opportunity to that seeking high quality musical experience.

Global Housing & Real Estate (Pvt) Ltd., which has been engaged in real estate business in Sri Lanka for over 14 years, has contributed to over 100 real estate projects and 14 sky riser flat projects in Colombo and its suburbs so far.Premaya musical extravaganza, which will offer a high quality musical experience to the audience, is co-sponsored by Litro Gas, W. P. Rupasinghe and Co and BEVCO.

The official electric media sponsor is Derana media network and Wijaya Newspaper Company will perform as the official print media sponsor.

 

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In Loving Memory Of My Father, My Friend, My Guide

  • 10th Anniversary of the demise of Mr. K. C. Kamalasabayson PC, former Attorney General

It has been 10 years since the demise of Mr. K. C. Kamalsabayson PC. A decade is definitely not what it feels like – the final memory of him seems not so long ago, when I desperately yearned for his life. And nothing has changed.

Looking back ten years ago, I lost my father when I was a law student. I remember when my first year results were released in August 2006, we were in Chennai for his first course of treatment. He was extremely anxious all day until we got the call that I had got through, and at that moment I saw in him a very excited child, jumping around the hospital room and announcing to the medical staff ‘my daughter is now a diplomate!’.

I remember sitting at the edge of his hospital bed while he was walking around the room informing family and friends of the first of my achievements. It was a very happy and fulfilling sight for me. Not once did it occur to me that this could possibly be the only achievement he was to witness in person.

In May 2007 I had my second year final exams and I remember how he used to walk me to the entrance of the exam hall for each paper – I remember turning around before the doors of the hall closed behind me only to see my dad standing there waving to me and giving me a thumbs up.

He left a week later for his stem-cell transplant in Chennai and just three months later, he left me with the challenge of wading through society by myself. One of the last things he said to me in hospital was ‘please make sure you study. Being qualified is very important. Never ever give up’. I can only take solace in the fact that I lived up to his wishes.

My father was a simple man with a fabulous sense of humor. He loved pranking people, ranging from me to his private secretary. He used to change his voice over the phone and trick me so frequently, that on one occasion when the then President actually called home to speak to him when he was away at a function, I thought it was him pulling my leg as usual! When he got home and I told him I had spoken to the President thinking it was him, and was slightly panicking that the then President might have thought my tone had been obnoxious, he was doubled over laughing.

Another memory is one of Santa Clause. I was a believer, as are many children. I used to write letters of request to the ‘man in red’ and my father very graciously undertook the task of posting them. When I was around 9 years old (embarrassingly, still a believer at the time) I had asked for a scrabble board for Christmas. One fine day my father retuned from work holding a bag looking rather dubious. I noticed him hiding this bag (he was totally oblivious to the fact that I was peeking) and later found out that it was the very scrabble board which I had asked Santa to deliver. I was heartbroken – mainly because I was upset that I had ruined my father’s age old secret – that he was the household man in red! So I decided to play along and I did so for another couple of years. We were both pretending so that we could give each other this simple joy. Such was our relationship – innocent and beautiful. He was truly my friend, and I absolutely adored him…I still do and I always will.

He always encouraged me and my mother to pursue our interests. My mother is an artist whose talent she herself had shadowed out for the sake of the family commitments. He encouraged her to paint again – I remember how he would return from work everyday and the first thing he would do would be to check on the progress of the on-going piece of art.

The visual of him looking at the canvass with his signature grin and his hands on his waist is still vivid in my mind. He was my biggest fan when it came to my venture in Bharatha Natyam – all I needed was to see him in the audience with a proud look of approval on his face. We were extremely lucky to have had a hands-on and encouraging husband and father – we are strong and independent women mainly because of his role in our lives. A gift he left behind for a lifetime.

I had the most wonderful relationship with my father. He may have held high office, but he never compromised on family time. It was never about him making an effort to ‘make time’ – it was his priority and his ‘work-life balance’ came most naturally to him. This is a quality which is exceedingly rare in today’s context, with the hustle and bustle in the rat race to succeed at the workplace, in the struggle to prove oneself worthy as a successful professional, many of us tend to struggle in attaining the ideal way of life. My father left behind a very prudent lesson – that this is not impossible, neither is it a Himalayan task.

Ten years ago when I lost my father I was very young, distraught and confused, unsure of what was to come, with my mother taking upon herself the arduous task of running the house and educating me.

These ten years have taught me many lessons by way of struggles, disappointments, success and hard work. It has taught me the strength of a mother singlehandedly molding her daughter into a person fit to survive in society, while grieving the loss of the man who was her all.

Ten years later I have earned myself a small place in the legal world, I am a mother, a wife and I stand by my own mother as her companion and daughter.

It would have been perfect, if not for the biggest and most painful vacuum – the absence of my father. Yet I do believe that he continues to guide me and I will forever exist in his shadow.

There was a saying which my father used frequently in his speeches and life in general – ‘Rising to eminence by merit, we may live respected and die regretted’.

His life and demise have most certainly been testament to this. We miss you Appa. And we love you more with each passing day.

Vidhya Kandeban

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  • To solve global challenges…

Ten UNDP Talents Join 1,000 Global Talents In Denmark

Ten UNDP staff members from across the globe have joined 1,000 bright global talents at the UNLEASH 2017 Innovation Lab event held from August 13 to 21in Denmark. Select UNDP talents from country offices, regional offices and headquarters, together with other talents will be competing in seven themes: Water, Food, Energy, Sustainable production & consumption, Education & ICT, Urban Sustainability and Health.

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 will require new and innovative solutions that challenge traditional business models and approaches. These solutions will need to be commercially viable as well as deliver value to society.

Harnessing the next generation of leaders will be critical if this is to be possible as they bring fresh perspectives, open minds, different values, tech savviness, and an appetite for disruption.

UNLEASH is a global innovation lab that brings together people to transform 1,000 personal insights, from 129 countries, into hundreds of ideas, and build lasting global networks around the Sustainable Development Goals.UNDP talents joining UNLEASH include, Louise Xi (UNDP China), Fadhil Bakeer Markar (UNDP Sri Lanka),  Jennifer Colville (UNDP Regional Centre for Arab States), Dejan Dokuzovski (UNDP Macedonia), Javier Munoz-Blanco (UNDP Regional Centre for Latin American Countries), Karoline Klose (UNDP HQ), Janine Chase (UNDP Barbados), Benjamin Moore (UNDP South Sudan), Dhafer Hasan (UNDP Iraq) and Nazly Abdel Azim (UNDP Egypt).

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator and a champion on sustainability, economic growth and resilience will join the talents in Aarhus on August 21.

Speaking of UNDP’s engagement at UNLEASH, Ms. Camilla Bruckner, Director, UNDP Nordic Representation Office said, “UNDP’s engagement at UNLEASH brings in our talent from across the world, and is a sign of our commitment to realise the SDGs through innovative ideas”. Ms. Bruckner further added, “the ideas and concrete actions from all the talents are very real and inspiring – it gives us hope for the future”.

Contact Information:

Trygve Olfarnes, UNDP, trygve.olfarnes@undp.org

Stine Kirstein Junge, UNDP,  stine.junge@undp.org

 

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Pakistan, The Journey After Independence

Pakistan turned seventy on August 14 this year celebrating the day in a befitting manner. Nations celebrate their national and independence days to rejoice at their achievements and to renew pledges to keep marching on the course chartered by the founding fathers to fulfill the objectives of attaining independence. They provide the nations with an opportunity to introspect and reflect on their mistakes and the detours taken from their cherished goals with a view to take corrective measures and reiterating their commitment to tread the path envisioned by the architect of the independence. They offer them the chance to make an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses as well as to ask themselves the questions like, do they really have something to rejoice at and celebrate?

With regard to Pakistan,before evaluating and answering the posed question it would be pertinent to have a brief insight into how and for what Pakistan came into being.The independence movement for the creation of Pakistan was arguably the shortest ever struggle to throw off the yolk of subservience to a colonial power. What made that miracle to happen owes it to the fact that despite a thousand years co-existence with Hindus in the sub-continent, the Muslims ever since their arrival in India either as conquerors or traders, maintained their distinct identity culturally and politically and were already a homogenous nationality in India before the movement to end the colonial rule in India started.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah who initially was a staunch supporter of Hindu-Muslim Unity and believed in peaceful co-existence with Hindus under a constitutional arrangement that protected the political rights of the Muslims and gave them their due share in governance – after his disillusionment with the designs of the Hindus who only wanted India for Hindus and did not acknowledge the Muslims as a separate entity – used this factor to rally round the Muslims to the cause of an independent state for the Muslims. The process of his transformation into a supporter and leader of the independence movement began with his statement in 1937 that asserted “India is not a national state. India is not a state but a sub-continent composed of nationalities, the two major nations being Hindus and Muslims whose culture, art, architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of value and proportion, laws and jurisprudence, social moral codes, customs and calendar, history and traditions, aptitudes and ambitions, outlook on life and of life are fundamentally different. By all cannons of international law we are a nation” The vision given by Allama Muhammad Iqbal provided a clear direction to this thought process. Pakistan Resolution was finally adopted on March 23, 1940 and within a span of seven years Pakistan became a reality on August 14, 1947, notwithstanding the fact that the Hindus and British did not want partition of the sub-continent and made several overt and covert attempts to sabotage Muslim claims to a separate statehood.

It is said that achieving independence is not as difficult as the consolidation of the gains of independence and maintaining strong connection with the ideological moorings that guides a nation towards a right path to achieve its cherished goals. The founder of Pakistan not only won a separate homeland for the Muslims of the sub-continent but also bequeathed a vision about the course that Pakistan had to follow. He envisioned Pakistan as a democratic entity fired and fuelled Islamic principles and teachings but not an entity ruled by priests.

Since 2008 the country is under the representative rule and for the first time in the history power transition occurred through ballot in 2013. When the present government was installed in 2013 the economy was in complete shambles and the GDP growth rate hovered around 3% and the country was on the verge of defaulting IMF and international loans; a severe energy crisis gripped the country that not only hampered economic progress but also caused untold difficulties for the masses and terrorism that also had international dimension threatened the integrity of the country.

Now after four years a discernible transformation has been witnessed in all the areas and in regards to the inherited challenges. There has been remarkable turned around in the economy. The GDP growth rate stood at 5.3% this year which was the highest during the last ten years. The macro-economic reformsintroduced by the government have produced very positive results and the turn- around in the economy has been repeatedly endorsed by the international lending and rating agencies as well as the media.

Terrorism has been checked in its tracks through successful operations like Zarb-e-Azb that dismantled the terror infrastructure in North Waziristan, Operation Raddul Fasad and operation Khyber IV. Thanks to the sacrifices of the armed forces and law enforcing agencies which rendered unparalleled sacrifices to get rid the scourge of terrorism. Although the war has not been completely won due to external dimensions to the phenomenon yet the portents are very encouraging.

The energy crisis has been adequately managed with the result that power outages have been reduced considerably and the industrial sector is having uninterrupted power supply.Under CPEC power generating projects with a cumulative production capacity of 10640 MW have been initiated and are expected to start contributing to the national grid by the end of 2018. With the completion of projects under CPEC, the economists contemplate 2% increase in the rate of GDP growth, indicating future economic prosperity.The credit for these achievements surely goes to the incumbent government, particularly for showing the courage to take decisive and indiscriminate action against the terrorist outfits. It may not have been able to surmount all the challenges but it certainly has put the country on the right track.

Democracy in spite of the hic-ups that have occurred during the last four years, seems on course with the prospects of continuation. So while celebrating completion of seventy years of their independence, the people of Pakistan can take pride in the fact that the country had retraced its steps to its cherished goals, though there was yet a long way to go to reach there.

Malik Muhammad Ashraf

 

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 Compost Bin Distribution By YMCA Moratuwa

The YMCA Moratuwa held a compost-bin distribution ceremony on July 31, 2017 to facilitate garbage management and the current Dengu prevention programmes.

Under this programme conducted by the YMCA with the guidance of the Divisional Secretariat of Moratuwa and sponsorship of ‘Ys Men International, 40 home gardeners received compost bins. The occasion was patronized by the Divisional Secretary – Ms. H. S. S. Karunaratne and her staff; Prashantha De Silva – Regional Director of Y’s Men International; Deepthi Perera -President of YMCA Moratuwa and its Directors and General Secretary, Niranga Fernando together with several recipients of compost bins.

The YMCA Moratuwa has distributed more than 200 compost bins to the people of Moratuwa from 2014 to date.

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