Kumar de Silva
  • Divers find bodies belted in seats near AirAsia fuselage

    Air Asia flight

    Pangkalan Bun (Indonesia) (AFP) – Indonesian divers Thursday recovered six bodies, some still belted into their seats, near the main section of an AirAsia plane that crashed into the Java Sea last month, but failed again to reach the fuselage. Flight QZ8501 went down on December 28 in stormy weather with 162 people on board as it flew from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. A total of 59 bodies have so far been recovered. “We have found six bodies, four of whom were females and two males, all adults,” S.B. Supriyadi, a rescue agency official coordinating the search, told AFP. He said they were found among debris, with some still strapped into their seats, not far from the jet’s main section. They had been flown to Pangkalan Bun town on Borneo island, the search headquarters. The main body of the Airbus A320-200 was spotted on the seabed by

  • ‘Kala Pola’ on Sunday 25 January at Nelum Pokuna Mawatha


    Kala Pola 2015 – Sri Lanka’s annual open-air art fair will take place on Sunday 25 January 2015 along Nelum Pokuna Mawatha, Colombo 07. Free of charge and open to the public, it will open at 8.00 am and continue until 9.00 pm the same night. The official ceremony will be at 5.00 pm at which the Chief Guest will be H.E. Y. K. Sinha, the High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka. Presented by The George Keyt Foundation and the John Keells Group over the past 22 years, Kala Pola has grown into a much-awaited cultural event and is today a not-to-be-missed event in Colombo’s annual cultural calendar. The street will come alive, as it has done over the past many years, with painters, sculptors and portrait sketchers as they cater to throngs of appreciative visitors in a fun-filled atmosphere of music and entertainment. (MEDIA RELEASE)

  • Enlightening time, LVCEA is the new star of the Bvlgari Watches Collection

    LVCEA 02

    Bvlgari captures the power of luminosity in LVCEA, a new timepiece for women. Tribute to the sundial, LVCEA winds history with modernity, clasping function to design. A rounded case, its lithe foundation, and a spectrum of shades and styles make LVCEA as luminously feminine as it is unmistakable. Since the dawn of humankind, light has been the marker of time. To count the passage of hours, primeval man invented the sundial. Timekeeping instruments, such as the solar quadrants that formed the sundial, were first unearthed in Ancient Egypt, later in Ancient Greece and Rome. The sundial is forever wound with astronomy and the calendar, and this original form of timekeeping became indispensable – the predecessor to today’s precision. Light is fundamental to our very biological rhythms and wholly inextricable from time. Thus light inspired LVCEA’s essence, recounting the legend of the sundial. LVCEA pays homage to the rich history that

  • Art and ‘national culture’ – Arun Dias Bandaranaike


    By Arun Dias Bandaranaike It may be argued there is ‘art everywhere’. Apart from the fascination that living things (e.g. birds’ plumage), humans, their clothes and constructions, their crafted landscapes, book covers or vehicles, all provide and involve, and therefore is what we take so much for granted, there is another aspect that sometimes is less evident. I refer to “fine art”. It is generally recognised that such forms of expression on a canvas, or in crafted stone, fabric or metal, belong in the province of a gallery and in the sophisticated ambience of living rooms among the elite. And yet, “Fine Art” must be recognised as a public phenomenon, transcending the privately relished confines among a coterie of aficionados. Then, indeed, does art become part of a national culture. For centuries, such art, mainly monumental and patronised by monarchs and clergy, was in the public domain. Perhaps eliciting awestruck

  • “I should have known … how much benefits a Kala Pola could bring to artists” – George Keyt


    By Nihal Rodrigo, Deputy Chairman, George Keyt Foundation and former Sri Lanka Foreign Secretary George Keyt, is no doubt, the greatest Sri Lankan artist of the 20th century. Born in 1901, in Ampitya, near Kandy, he passed away in 1993. It was also the year that he viewed the inaugural Kala Pola that had been organised. The idea of a Kala Pola (Art Mart) in Sri Lanka, a la street art exhibitions in France (e.g in Montmartre), was projected and promoted by the late Professor S. B. Dissanayake, a friend and very strong admirer of Keyt’s work. He was of major assistance in helping to conceptualise the idea of a Kala Pola to function effectively in Sri Lanka. Initially, Keyt himself was cynical and not convinced about the benefits that Street Art would bring to Sri Lanka. However, when he was driven around the first Kala Pola in 1993, he

  • Weeping Philippine girl challenges pope on prostitution

    Pope Francis

    A weeping 12-year-old Philippine girl, asking how God could allow children to become prostitutes, moved Pope Francis on Sunday to hug her and appeal for everyone to show more compassion. Glyzelle Palomar, a one-time homeless child taken in by a church charity, made her emotional plea during ceremonies at a Catholic university in Manila, ahead of a mass by the pope to millions of faithful. “Many children are abandoned by their parents. Many children get involved in drugs and prostitution,” Palomar told the pope as she stood on stage alongside a 14-year-old boy who also used to be homeless. “Why does God allow these things to happen to us? The children are not guilty of anything.” Palomar broke down and wept profusely, prompting the 78-year-old pontiff with a man-of-the-people reputation to take her into his arms and hug her for a few seconds. The pope later discarded most of his

  • Joseph Vaz canonised by Pope

    Blessed Joseph Vaz

    Pope Francis today canonised Blessed Joseph Vaz (1651-1711) making him Sri Lanka’s first saint, during a mass at the Galle Face Green in Colombo. Vaz was born in India in 1651 but chose to work in Sri Lanka amid persecution of Catholics by Dutch colonial rulers, who were Calvinists. He is credited with having revived the Catholic faith in the country. Pope Francis had earlier approved the decision by the Vatican’s saint-making office to canonize Vaz. The process was the same Francis used to canonize St. John XXIII without a second miracle attributed to his intercession. Francis has waived Vatican saint-making rules on several occasions and has promised to give Asia more saints. Vaz rescued and expanded the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, one of the 5 officially crowned Marian Shrines of the Church. It was crowned for its fame for miracles and for pilgrimages in 1924, even before

  • Joseph Vaz: Indian Mistaken as Spy and Sri Lanka’s First Saint

    Blessed Joseph Vaz

    By Suryatapa Bhattacharya Things didn’t exactly go to plan when Joseph Vaz, who is expected to become Sri Lanka’s first saint on Wednesday, arrived in the island nation to propagate Catholicism in the 17th century. A year after he set off from his home town in Goa in the west of India, Vaz entered the northernmost tip of Sri Lanka disguised as a porter. Mistaken for a Portuguese spy by the Dutch, he was imprisoned in 1691 and sent to the central province of Kandy. He was released two years later by the Buddhist King Vimaladharna Surya II after he is believed to have performed a miracle through prayer, bringing about rain to end a drought. Vaz is credited with the revival of Catholicism in Sri Lanka and will be canonized by Pope Francis during the three-day papal visit to the island nation. Today, Catholics make up 7% of the


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