By Risidra Mendis
Her inspiration to write a book came from
the road. A friendship between man’s best friend and a 12 year old
girl was the result of a book based on a true story.
Bruno was a stray dog adopted by Udara
Devindi Perera. But unlike other street dogs Bruno became the centre
of attention in the Perera household and is today the main star in a
children’s story book.
Having developed a friendship with a stray
dog Udara wanted to tell other children about her friendship with
the dog which is now part of the Perera family.
Today Bruno is also a popular name among
other children who are interested in reading about this special
friendship between Udara and her stray dog.
Apart from being a writer Udara is a
talented artist and singer. Her talents as an artist can be seen by
the illustrations in Bruno.
"Bruno is still with us" says
Saman Lema, Udara’s mother who has encouraged her through the
years to write a book.
Udara having studied in Abu Dhabi returned
to Sri Lanka and is studying at the Regent International School in
The introduction for Bruno was
written by Phabraji Mahinda Jayatilleke. The book is available at
M.D. Gunasena’s and Sarasavi book shops.
Irangani de Silva and Doreen Dias
Bandaranayake having seen Bruno have encouraged Udara to write her
"My daughter is working on her second
book with great interest," Lema said.
By Kumuthu Amarasingham
Little did Chandi Jayawickrema know she
would make waves almost
a decade ago, when she visited her country of origin for a month, on
the way to China.
She ended up staying for three years, and
made so much noise, when she came back after a few years a couple of
weeks ago, people were still recognising her voice on the street!
Remember all the controversy about a young
MTV newsreader with the ‘fake’ British accent somewhere in the
late ’90s? Well, that was Chandi, and not much about her, accent
included, is fake. Many were the chirps and chants by local pundits
about the authenticity of Chandi’s speech. And admittedly, not
without reason, given all the local media personalities who seem to
think a ridiculously put on American or British accent is the height
But in Chandi’s case, the poor girl is
the child of expat parents, had been in England most of her life,
and so had no choice about the accent!
Not that the poor girl today is, or ever
was, a candidate for pity! After making her mark as a newsreader,
presenter and major television personality here in Sri Lanka, she
went over to Singapore to found her own production company.
The company today successfully produces
documentaries for the likes of National Geographic, which are aired
around the world (except unfortunately in Sri Lanka).
"The success behind my efforts is my
team, which includes people from various nationalities," Chandi
said. One of her most acclaimed productions for National Geographic
was a documentary on bees in Sigiriya.
"The idea just came to me during a
visit to the place. The guide was telling us about the ancient
belief that the bees are the reincarnationed souls of Kasyapa’s
armies, and continued to protect the place. The combination of fact
and legend seemed perfect to weave a story," Chandi said.
An ardent, no holds barred soul herself,
Chandi is constantly looking for stories in the world around. Of all
the unusual things about this woman, her love for Sri Lanka comes
across as the most powerful component. "I just adore this
country and its people: the passion and the fervour are out of this
world. Despite all the problems, I love this country and I have hope
that things will look brighter in the future," she said.
— A talent quest in music
– a talent quest for those who have fair knowledge of oriental
musical instruments – harmonium, violin, flute and tabla organised
by the Moratuwa Arts Forum was held on January 30 at the Holy
Emmanuel Church under the patronage of the Co-Chairman of the
project, Asoka Peiris and Lankika Perera.
Lankika Perera told The Sunday Leader
that those who qualified at the preliminary round were selected for
the semi-finals which were held at the Sripalee Hall, Moratuwa on
February 11 and the grand finalwill be held on February 24 at the
Buddhist Hall, Moratuwa under the patronage of Kalasuri Victor
"We are happy to see the dedication of
the principals and music teachers in Moratuwa in encouraging their
children to take part in these contests to show their talents which
would help them immensely in their future endeavours. However we
regret to note that some leading schools in the area did not take
this golden opportunity to give their students a chance to exhibit
their talents before a distinguished panel of judges" Perera
All the semi finalists were given
certificates and the winners would receive cash rewards at the grand
finals and the panel of judges will include Kalasuri Mahanama
Wickremasinghe, Neela Wickremasinghe and Edward Jayakody.
put ‘curse’ on Spielberg
Embattled pop star Michael Jackson wears a
prosthetic nose and once paid $150,000 for a ‘voodoo curse’ to
kill Director Steven Spielberg despite being deep in debt, Vanity
Fair magazine reported on last week.
in an article for its Aprilissue, reports that Jackson bleaches his
skin white because he does not like being black. The 44-year-old
singer sometimes refers to black people as ‘spabooks,’ the
Jackson’s manager did not immediately
return phone calls and a faxed request for comment on the article.
Jackson’s London publicist could not be reached for comment.
The onetime King of Pop has been dogged by
controversy for months, first over his odd appearance in a
California courtroom last November. That same month, Jackson stunned
fans in Berlin by briefly dangling his young son from a hotel
And in February a British television
documentary that aired to blockbuster ratings both in England and
the United States caused a stir when Jackson told his interviewer
that he slept in the same room, and sometimes the same bed, as young
Vanity Fair reported
in the article that in 2000 Jackson attended a voodoo ritual in
Switzerland where a witch doctor promised that Spielberg, music
mogul David Geffen and 23 other people on the entertainer’s list
of enemies would die.
Jackson, who underwent a ‘blood bath’
as part of the ritual, then ordered his former business adviser
Myung-Ho Lee to wire $150,000 to a bank in Mali for a voodoo chief
named Baba, who sacrificed 42 cows for the ceremony, the magazine
reported that Jackson wears a page-boy wig and a prosthesis that
serves as the tip of his nose. The magazine interviewed a source
close to Jackson who said that, without the device Jackson resembles
a mummy with two nostril holes.
According to the magazine, Jackson’s
extravagant lifestyle and declining record sales have left him $240
million in debt.
The article, which relies in part on court
filings in a $12 million lawsuit against Jackson by Lee, said that
since the mid-1990s the reclusive entertainer has relied on a series
of multimillion-dollar loans to cover his expenses.
In addition to the lawsuit by Lee, Jackson
is also enmeshed in a $21 million court battle with German concert
promoter Marcel Avram over canceled Millennium concerts and has been
sued by Sotheby’s auction house for $1.6 million.
The magazine reported that Jackson must pay
off the principal on a $200 million loan within a few years, which
will be nearly impossible unless he sells his most valuable asset,
the Beatles song catalogue. He owns only half of the catalogue while
Sony Corp. owns the other half in an arrangement that might make
selling his share difficult, Vanity Fair reported.
Jackson has also run up nearly $4 million
per year in expenses from his Neverland Valley ranch in central
California, where in April 2001 his amusement park equipment was
nearly repossessed for late payments, the magazine said.
Richards Theatre presents Romeo & Juliet
A short adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo
& Juliet sponsored by the
British Council will be staged at the Hilton Colombo Garden
(ballroom entrance) on February 24 and 25 at 6.30 p.m.
Shortened to just one hour, this version of
Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet arises out of a five week
workshop focusing on developing skills for actors in voice and
approaches to classical text.
This version will use Shakespeare’s text
in English and in Sinhala translation.
The cast, of mainly young actors, comes
from both English and Sinhala speaking theatre traditions.
The outdoor production will be bold,
energetic and hard hitting.
The director, William Scott Richards, has
been training actors for over 12 years at the Royal Academy of
Dramatic Art (RADA) as well as directing and teaching
He has directed for the BBC, in the West
End and regional theatres in the UK. As voice and text coach, he has
worked for Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, within opera
for Royal Opera House and English National Opera, within dance for
Cando Co and DV8. He was director of training for Billy Elliot the
Musical in London as well.
Audience members should be prepared to move
around during the show and wear sensible footwear for a garden!
Bringing a blanket might be a good idea if you want to sit on the
grass. A limited number of chairs can be provided for those less
firm of foot.
The Hilton Garden performance will be
followed up by performances at outstation schools and British
Council Regional English Support Centres.
Tickets will be on sale at the British
Council and the Hilton Colombo Sports Centre reception.
The Commons Coffee House now presents some
divine temptations that will only leave you wanting more. Sip on
some delightful milkshakes and frappes and sink your teeth into some
of the yummy desserts.
You will find a cool concoction to satisfy
your cravings with the wide variety of milkshakes. With established
favourites – banana, chocolate and strawberry and funky new
flavours like chocolate peanut butter, butter cookie and grape you
will enjoy a smooth creamy treat that’s absolute heaven.
If you feel like something fruity you can
try some of the frappes. Watermelon, peach and strawberry are just
some of the flavours to choose from. Enjoy a blend of fruit, milk
that’s made fresh to order and just the way you like it.
No meal is complete without dessert and the
chefs at Commons have put together a diverse and delightful
selection for your pleasure. Dig in to Mississippi Mud Pie,
Chocolate Fruit Tar, Teramisu, Blueberry Cheesecake, Lemon Freeze,
and Bread Butter Pudding with cinnamon sauce, Blueberry Trifle or
Kahlua Meringue. The Commons has four surprise items on the daily
Go ahead and spoil yourself a little. Drop
by Commons from February 13-28 to sugar coat your day