Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dinner @ Nirj’s on 27th July with the Prime Minister as the Guest of Honor!

                                                           From Shemali's FB

With PM being called by the President for some urgent discussions, he got late to come and so could not speak individually with guests. The guests were already seated when he arrived with Professor Maithree Wickremesinghe.

Other than Nirj of course who said he has TWO more years at the European Parliament and the UK would fudge this BREXIT lark in the end!

I had the opportunity to speak with Dhammika Perera and left off from my earlier chat with him, about Aunty Viola, Sanjeev’s new Hotel etc. He was very keen on meeting Archchi V who was in town, and gave Ranjan his number.

I spoke with Aelian Gunawardene the MD of JAT holdings, who is now one of the sponsors of Horton Debates, saying I had just printed the booklet that goes with the FT of 28th July in which he his wife and company are highlighted. General chat about the business environment and the 23 years he had grown his business into quite a conglomerate with Dhammika being one of his major clients for the wood finishes that he manufactures, an exceptional entrepreneur SL can be proud of.

Met the DFCC Deputy CEO, Lakshman Silva, and later the following day sent an email with my blog link to the prob I had with one of their new business people. I was bemoaning the fact that there were NO venture capitalists to replace after DFCC and NDB stopped doing development finance.

Had not met Tishya in a while so caught up with him and only had time to say HI to his dad who had come late. I followed up the following day with an email to visit his factory one of these days.

Spoke with Lalla and wife who were here from Vegas and had not met in years, we said how far Rjnr had gone in his field after coming to live in SL!

Seated next to Andrew at dinner, he had been for a short while a year or two to Stoneyhurst and had met Malik and Kimarli in the N’Eliya races, and had won a best dressed male thingy and was scouting around for some work at TT to promote RW, where I don’t know, as it certainly was not in an image makeover in SL!

Of course spoke to a regular in Sharm de Alwis, who asked a Q from the PM. Christine and Avi were there and she asked a Q from the PM. Shanil, Mohan, Shemali and Prashan, and the kid who goes to CIS who usually asks Q was not given the chance today due to lack of time.

Must say Ranjan’s introduction of the PM was superb, a new angle to introducing the speaker, a refreshing list of 10 words to describe, humble is all I remember!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dinner with Gemma and Philip @ Ikoi Tei in the Dutch Hospital Complex

Dinner @ IKOI TEI the new restaurant of the Hilton,but at the Dutch Hospital complex. We mainly had the various sushi dishes, with the Spicy Tuna Roll 6 pieces being the best!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Prabath Kapuge's birthday @ my Godagama Farm on Friday, 22nd July

Those I know, Thilina, Dangaya, Denuwan, Chanaka with me at the back and Prabath right in the forefront.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

@ Luncheon for descendants of CH de Soysa - Eighty Club Colombo 24th July 2016

                                                  Kiara Aneesha and Nelun

I believe it was Ilika Karunaratne who had initiated this, though the turnout was rather poor, perhaps because in this increasingly busy age with many people having other events on this day, were otherwise engaged. Naresh Ediriweera who always reminds me of these was not present either, for a good reason no doubt.

Descendents who live in Sri Lanka amount to over 1,000 and 500 overseas!

Our immediate family was probably the best represented, with Nelun and daughters Aneesha and Kiara, and Sharmali, whilst cousins, Lilanthi, Aini and Shani were there, the latter two with their spouses too. I was seated with Nirupa at our table along with elder brother Senaka of the former warden of St Thomas, Mount, Dr Indra de Soysa, a professor of Political Economy and International Relations at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

I was talking to his sister, who lives in Ratmalana, with an intention of setting up a pre-school to which I suggested she teach potential pre-school teachers.

I had chats with Lalith de Mel (Roshini’s husband) though neither Nirosh or Tani were there. Then chatted with Jith Peiris for a while, as he wanted to know which of his ancestors was in Haris’s picture of the Nilames that Shani has. Minoli asked whether Joy was still here, as she had just got back from her sister’s in Bristol.

Then there was Niranjan Fernando, we meet only on this event. Ismeth’s wife, name escapes me! Ranil de Soysa, talking about the opening of the new hotel of Ajith Wijesekera. There was Nihal Senaratne and his daughter and granddaughters who Kiara knows at LC. They live just opposite the school

Then I spoke at length with Chloe de Soysa, (of Bawa designed de Soysa House) who apparently still works at LJM Peiris (her Dad) and Company that Daddy’s firm used to audit 50 years ago! And where I had gone as an articled clerk, I also mentioned Anne Peris connection there, and Chloe and mummy at the races in Nuwera Eliya. She goes to the races now as she still has her house in Nuwera Eliya, Selwood about which a book has been published,  but says she has to zip back down to Colombo for work as she has to be at LJM Peiris. 

Not bad for a lady of 90+ to want to rush back to Colombo for work when people half her age, would extend their holiday there even if they had MORE work to attend to than her. Chloe said that she always worked and so it was not difficult to continue in that mode, though many of the businesses have changed in what they do. Further, her daughter Sharya a law professor at University of Colombo is currently overseas, so she has to be there to sign the cheques!

Just before leaving spoke with Charu de Soysa and wife. The few de Soysa's on the THA side as he only had one son and three daughters of which my grandmother Lilian was one. They had just been to the soft opening of Ajit Wijesekera's hotel in Sigiriya, as he is his Brother in law.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Mr and Mrs Wanninayake - a distant relative in Kurunegala

Direct descendant of Adigar (Adikaram) Hulugalle from his five daughters, who cannot be convinced that Victoria Queen of England never came here, as he claims she had a affair with her!!!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Contrast this with the Bubula in Hingurakgoda, close to my farm there

In Hingurakgoda, less than a kilometer from the town is this place we call BUBULA, where this amount of water flows out of this spring 24hours a day, 7 days a week all year and every year without reducing its volume.

This aquifer needs to be seen to be believed and anyone can come and bathe in the water spouts built for people to have a refreshing shower!

The water ends up in the canals for agriculture and eventually into the Mahaweli 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How's this for an encore at the end of the pond from the viewing promenade? @ DIYA BUBULA

                                               A FEAST FOR THE EYES

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Laki's waterworks - a veritable feast for the visually creative mind

 No end of differing surprises by the minute, from raptors, to the various kingfishers, and all kinds of other birds, having a feast of the ponds overflowing with fish
Water monitor - Kabaragoya has more than enough big fish tailing him, and small fish to gobble up in the water
 The land monitor can pass of as one of his sculptures too, and would miss the fact that it is live on a double take!

Various pieces dotted around the place, in the most unlikely places, adds to the surrounding, a wonderful eclectic mix of the beauty of nature with the creativity of man

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Visit to Diya Bubula – Home of Laki Senanayake – July 19th 2016

My personal favorite, just something else - what expressions! strides! brilliant!

Esala Poya 2016

I had the good fortune to visit Diya Bubula, as Gihan Jayawardene, a friend who lives overseas, in Sweden now, Kenya then, and Ethiopia next was visiting his good friend Laki at his home. I got two for the price of one, as Gihan’s brother Moin who lives in New York was also visiting and though I had much about him, had never met him prior to today.

To round off the coincidences, I spoke with another friend Dr Hemal Fernando the previous day, and he said he was trying to contact Moin, but the phone numbers he had were not working, and so I gave Gihan’s number, and he was able to make contact, as Moin was leaving the following day. 

When I was on FB at 4am in Ratmale, to avail myself of the low rates before 8am on data packages, Sundari(Hemal’s wife who is in South Pasadena, California) came on line asking me what I was doing at that early  hour. So when I told her I get up early not to miss the birds singing in the forest as I was in the middle of the forest sleeping outside on the Verandah, I happen to mention I was going to Diya Bubula to meet Gihan, and so she said Moin was also there!

Later when I spoke to Moin about it, he said obviously others know his whereabouts which even he seems confused about!

                                                A view of one water villa from another

So much for coincidences, I took a few photos of the place for the pleasure of my readers and for my future recollections. I hope you like them.

Of course Laki is known to our family, being a good friend of Uncle Arj’s and Aunty Sally’s from back then! He was charming and was looking through his binoculars when I went up to the deck where he was seated. So one photo of the Cormorant on the sculpture was of him looking through the binocs, and see what you see.

He has been there since 1971 developing it through the ages, with the natural spring, DIYA BUBULA which gives the title to his place, still oozing water and cascading down from layer to layer giving it the ambience of water and forest and the natural world and the art and sculpture intertwined with various villas dotted here and there.

I began my work in progress in 2006 so I have another 30 years to develop this!

Here are a few links for the reader about Laki Senanayake and not at all exhaustive, and if interested there are a lot me on the Internet to find. A truly accomplished man.

                             Laki - In animated conversation with Gihan

Monday, July 18, 2016

Love the lattice work on the local craftsmanship for the roof of Sirisena's room, NO not the President!

This is likely to be one of the last roofs to be built in Sri Lanka under local craftsmanship, as it is a coconut palm thatch that will cover this roof. In future all roofs will be metal structures, with even metal roofing sheets, as asbestos is also banned, and tiles are too expensive, and will not tolerate a monkey invasion here!

My problem now is to find coconut thatch as that too is a dying art, where the roofs need to be thatched every two years, and with labor expensive, people prefer to use foreign material (foreign to the surroundings here, I mean. I use only local people from the village, so little money goes out of the village, but in time, everything will be pre fabricated and brought in, and that is called PROGRESS

Sunday, July 17, 2016

National Youth Front - Kick off with the "New Team" beginning with Polonnaruwa Electorate

 The Chairman of the NYF, Dr Kavinda Jayawardene MP (in green) State Minister of Irrigation Vasantha Senanayake (center) Nalaka Colonne MP on right flanked by Ansar Provincial Councillor and Samarasinghe Provincial Councillor

                Receiving their membership certificates at the end of the event

Left to right, Punsanda Mahakumbura (now of the NYSC), Amal Bulankulame - Assistant Sec NYF, Prasad Hettiarachchi Deputy Chairman NYF and Tharaka Nanayakkara - Secretary NYF