Daily Archives: September 26, 2006
By Kumala Wijeratne
How do you begin to describe a lady who has achieved so much? Sicille Kotelawala,
holds many designations and posts too innumerable to mention.
Apart from being the Deputy Chairperson of Ceylinco Consolidated, one of Sri Lanka’s largest conglomerates, she is also involved in Ceylinco’s Diamond and jewellery activities. She opened her own International Jewellery Salon, ‘Cecile’ a boutique with a unique concept manufacturing and selling exclusive jewellery from Sri Lanka, Italy, USA, Malaysia, Pakistan and India. One of Sicille’s signature designs is the highly acclaimed diamond-cut ‘Papillion’ ring. The latest addition to the collection is the combined Opals of Australia with Fior Drissage suspended setting, designed in the shape of a Sri Lankan map which will be available in her salon in the near future.
The lady who heads many missions and businesses in Sri Lanka, was invited to join the Women’s Leadership Board at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University , Boston, U.S.A; an external group that advises the Dean and supports women’s initiatives at the School, including the Women’s Public Policy Programme.
Sicille P.C.Kotelawala is currently the Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Cyprus in Sri Lanka and the Counselor for International Trade for the Kingdom of Belgium. The latter office she holds is by Decree of His Majesty Albert ii, King of the Belgians, while she was in the Royal Delegation of Crown Prince Phillipe during his visit to New York. In March 2005 she was invited to attend the Gala Evening in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Belgo-Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi, India She was also the sole representative from Sri Lanka to attend the 7th World Congress of Consuls in Athens, Greece.
Besides this, Sicille is the representative of Asia Society NY, in Sri Lanka and a Member of its International Council for over a decade. She was amongst the panelists who participated at the Asia Society’s 15th Corporate Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand, in June 2005 which was graced by Heads of State, Government Officials and Business Leaders from around the world.
Fresh from her recent visit to Asia Society, New York , Sicille Kotelawala had the distinguished privilege of giving the vote of thanks at this historical occasion which was a very well attended event.
Sicille was the only woman from Sri Lanka, among 13 other women from around the world, selected to receive a world renowned award, ‘Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World 2005′ by Star Group, U.S.A. and received this award at their 9th Gala and Celebratory Event held in Vancouver, Canada in May 2005 .
Her husband Deshamanya Dr. Lalith Kotelawala lovingly refers to her as ‘the wind beneath my wings’. Partners in life behind the Ceylinco Conglomerate, they have immensely supported the poor and helpless. Recently they opened the Tsunami Hope Foundation – a shelter for children affected by the Tsunami, fulfilling a dream she had, to open a home for destitute children.
In her younger days, Sicille was a great dancer. In fact she authored a book called ‘Classical Dance of Sri Lanka" which was well received. She also contributed five articles covering all aspects of Kandyan Dance with six photographs to the International Encyclopeadia of Dance (six volumes). Her tour of the USA with Heen Baba – her Guru were presented in their authenticity from excerpts from the Kohomba Kankaria and Vannam were produced on stage for the first time. The Heen Baba Troupe and the Southern Province Dance troupe were both sponsored in the 1970′s by the performing Arts Programme of Asia Society NY. In 1974 Asia Society also published her monograph on the ‘Classical Dance of Sri Lanka – Kandyan Dance’ which was circulated to universities and libraries in the USA. Sicille later elaborated this into a beautiful coffee table book. ‘Classical Dance of Sri Lanka – Kandyan Dance’ in English is now in it’s 3rd edition and circulated in many countries.
Her solo performance and lecture demonstrations in this form of art received standing ovations at Carnegie Hall, Smithsonian Institute and UCLA and in 22 cities in the U.S.A.
They had wonderful reviews in the New York Times by the famous art critic, Anna Kisselgorge, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and many more. The theatre and stage performances that she participated in were many. She played the main role in many English plays such as Chekhov’s Seagull, Shakespearean – Othello, Eugene O neil’s ‘Marco Millions’, the controversial modernized play of ‘Rama and Sita’ by Kuru Gunawardena in which she played the role of Sita and the ballet "Kuveni’ was one of the main roles she enacted in, a much talked about event. "Kandyan dancing was my main forte, my Guru the late Heen Baba and the troupe performances in several countries overseas showed our rich heritage and cultural aspects of Sri Lanka."
Sicille personally attends to all her commitments, acknowledging all that she has undertaken, constantly traveling around the globe. She believes that the four main religions in Sri Lanka and their vibes have saved us from many a calamity and it is a blessing.
The recent sightings of aliens are another form of interest to her as she has always been enamored by the ancient civilization of the Aztecs, Incas, Mayans and Pharaohs of Egypt. In the 1970′s she visited Machapichchu . The sunrise over this magnificent Golden City of the Inca gods, forever etched in her memory. "The recent citing of the space craft and aliens should be taken seriously and not as a myth. Every position and direction of our Dagobas has a bearing to the planets just as much as the Pyramids."
via… Mirror Life
- Nature of violence by all parties is shocking, no will to limit it
- International community losing it’s patience
By Simon Gardner
Sri Lanka’s new Nordic peace monitor has been in the job for less than a month and already he is shocked and disappointed at what he sees.
Since taking over as head of the unarmed Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission this month after his predecessor was forced out by a rebel ultimatum, Lars Johan Solvberg has had to deal with a military offensive and a civilian massacre.“The nature of the violence by all parties in this conflict is shocking. I’m disappointed to see no real sign of will to limit this violence,” Maj. Gen. Solvberg told Reuters yesterday in his first interview at the mission’s new office in a leafy residential quarter of Colombo.
“I am also disappointed that the government side is not doing a wholehearted approach to investigate these brutal incidents, which elsewhere in the world would be a major case for the authorities,” Maj. Gen. Solvberg said.
Hundreds of civilians, troops and Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed since late July in the worst violence since a 2002 truce gave way to renewed civil war.
The monitors have blamed both sides for a series of gross violations of the terms of the truce, and pinned the execution-style killings of 17 local staff of aid group Action Contre La Faim in August on the security forces.
“I think it’s unwise by the government, because the international community is losing its patience and the credibility of the government in the face of international opinion is severely hampered by the fact that they are not pursuing these incidents,” Maj. Gen. Solvberg said. “If you see the violations in general, numbers and gravity put together, my birds eye view on this is that there is no significant difference in the gravity of the violations (by either side),” he added. “That’s a totally unacceptable situation if one should commit oneself to the ceasefire agreement.”
The government and the LTTE accuse each other of being behind abuses and of starting confrontations.
Each side argues that they still honour the truce, and that their foe is trying to force a full-blown return to a war. Thousands of displaced civilians caught in the middle continue to pay a heavy price — particularly in the besieged army-held Jaffna peninsula in the island’s far north, which is cut off from the rest of the island by rebel lines and where emergency food supplies must be shipped in and are insufficient.
“The situation in Jaffna is very alarming. It’s a ship that is barely floating,” Maj. Gen. Solvberg said. “Most of the mechanisms of the society are about to collapse.”
via… Daily Morror
SLT Chief Marketing Officer Kapila Chandrasena (left) shakes hands with Wijeya Newspapers Director Sujan Wijewardena.
Signs up for Intelligent Solutions from telecom giant
Wijeya Newspapers, most innovative print media in Sri Lanka signed up with SLT for state of the art communication solutions that will gear them for the next level of servicing. The ceremony was held at the Sri Lanka Telecom office. The agreement was signed between Kapila Chandrasena, Chief Marketing Officer, SLT and Sujan Wijewardena, Director Production of Wijeya Group.
Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. Director Sujan Wijewardena said: We are a progressive newspaper group and glad to partner with Sri Lanka Telecom which reflect the same character. The total integrated solutions from SLT will help improve seamless internal as well as external communication for Wijeya thereby help the Group newspapers to enhance its value to the growing readership.
Speaking at this occasion SLT Chief Marketing Officer Kapila Chandrasena said: “We are very happy to see Wijeya Group, one of our valuable partners expanding their communication needs to facilitate the recent expansions of their business opportunities in Sri Lanka and we are very pleased to play a role in their business expansions. In order to support Sri Lankan businesses we have invested very heavily in submarine cable systems to expand Sri Lanka’s global connectivity and also we are expanding our domestic network using state of the art technology, in order to facilitate multi service; voice, data, internet and content services.”
“We always think that our customers need to run their own multi application, transfer high speed data, access broadband internet in one single secured private network. According to those requirements SLT has already transformed our total network into a Next Generation Network (NGN).” Mr. Kapila Chandrasena further added that they are very thankful to Wijeya for their loyalty to SLT throughout.
SLT will facilitate Wijeya Group in providing Voice/PABX for voice communication, IP-VPN (Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network) for network solution, Internet and iDC/Hosting services. These will deliver network cost savings through enhanced interna communication making operation much smoother. This will also enable Wijeya to offer more products and services to their customers.
Powered by SLT’s state-of-the-art communication services all branches of the Wijeya Group that are spread around the Island will be connected through one network.
Wijeya Newspapers Limited formerly known as Wijeya Publications Limited was incorporated in 1979 with the primary object of printing and publishing newspapers and periodicals. Mr. Ranjit Sujiva Wijewardene, the Chairman of the Company, founded the Company. It commenced its operations by publishing three weekly tabloids. The project was intended to provide high quality reading material at affordable prices to the readers of Sri Lanka, a nation with the highest literacy rate of 86% amongst its South Asian neighbours. The Company commissioned Sri Lanka’s first Web fed offset printing plant for high quality colour printing. Today the Company has a very strong market share in newspaper sales and making efforts to increase its share in the sale of advertising space.
Sri Lanka Telecom is one of the country’s most vital utility companies with an annual turnover in excess of Rs.30 billion. The group company has a customer base of over one million including multinational corporations, large and small corporates, retail and domestic customers. Today with NTT of Japan as a strategic partner, SLT provides facilities and services to its customers, which are unmatched in scope. These services range from domestic and international voice, advance data transmission services which include internet services on leased lines, broadband [on ADSL] and dial up, data circuits, frame relay solutions, to IP based services such as IP-VPN, total solutions of combination of multiple services, satellite uplink services and mobile telephony through its fully owned subsidiary Mobitel .The company was also awarded a AAA (sri) rating by Fitch Ratings Lanka followed by a BB- international rating by Fitch International and Stancard & Poor’s.
via… Daily Mirror