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Grand Charity Banquet to honour the late Gamini Dissanayake

Gamini was a visionary but not a dreamer. He had a pragmatic plan, which would have ensured that his vision became a reality. His vision and plans were not merely for the tomorrow. His visions encompassed the first decade of the 21st century and beyond.

A charity event, to honour the late Gemini Dissanayake’s contribution to Sri Lanka’s entry to World Cricket.Seven Hundred and Twenty of the countries glitterati including Cricketers, from the present and the Past gathered at the Ballroom of the Waters Edge for a charity event, to honour the late Gamini Dissanayake’s contribution to Sri Lanka’s entry to World Cricket.

In this room covered in midnight blue on the walls which was background for a myriad jets, that sparkled like the stars in the night sky, tributes were paid to the late Gamini by the likes of Arjuna Ranatunge and Ranjan Madugalle. There was entertainment galore with music from Sohan and the Xperiments and several leading guest stars, among them Anushan Perera and his partner in a Latin American dance performance. The evenings proceedings was compered by Arun Dias Bandaranayake, and the unusual decor and table centres were the creations of Dhiraj de Almeida.

There was no lack of styles and well dressed women and among them were the family members and extended family of the late Gamini. Making fashion news were some of the leaders of style. Badhra Wijesena had her long black top dramatically adorned with a single large white flower on a long stalk. There was Rohini Weerassoriya in a green kandyan saree gently bordered in gold, Ramani Fernando had her yellow saree patterned in splashes of turquoise for her to wear with an unusual necklace of cabochon turquoise. Sandra Opatha, wife of former cricketer Tony had her ivory saree with a border and pallu richly woven in black, red and gold. Her daughter Neshanie Dahanayake had draped her red saree bordered in gold in a variation of the fall, she wore with a splendid Indian collar necklace in red stones and gold. Samadara Ranatunge favoured the simplicity of a white saree and Lanka Dissanayake a black saree with woven borders and pallu. via Mirror Life

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Sri Lankan precious stones glitter at S’pore Int’l Jewellery show

Dr. Sarath Amunugama Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion made a strong case for the Sri Lankan gems and jewellery sector stressing the quality of the local products and excellent workmanship during a brief official visit to Singapore recently.

Dr. Sarath Amunugama and Minister of State for Trade and Industry of Singapore Lee Y Shyan, were the chief guests on this occasion.

Dr Amunugama was responding to an invitation by Mr. Cheuen, Chairman, Singapore Jewellery Association (SIJ) who requested from him that Sri Lanka should participate at the Singapore International Jewellery Show. Given the importance of this industry to the national economy there was a pavilion at the exhibition that was showcasing the Sri Lankan gems and jewellery sector.

logoThe Singapore International Jewellery Show was in its third year with 27 countries and 148 exhibitors represented.

The minister discussed with top level businessmen who are in Gem and Jewellery Trade ways to boost exports to Singapore and other countries and explore the possibilities of starting joint ventures in Sri Lanka. At the same time they laid the foundations for a greater integration of the gems and jewellery sectors of Sri Lanka and Singapore and the likelihood of a regular participation of a Singapore Pavilion at the Sri Lanka International Gem & Jewellery Show, better known as “FACETS-Sri Lanka”. Other areas that are likely to be covered are steps to facilitate Sri Lankan dealers who visit Singapore for business purposes to ensure them with a business friendly environment.

A likely result of this event was that Singapore will benefit from a greater supply of fine quality gems from Sri Lanka, as well as gem studded jewellery, and calibrated gemstones. In addition relations will be strengthened by the holding of buyer-seller meetings under the sponsorship of the NGJA. The regular participation of the Sri Lanka Pavilion, which will give our industry a presence at this important industry trade fair, will further cement these ties. e in this booming trade. via Financial Times

Facets Sri Lanka adds international flavour

Facets Sri Lanka is tipped to have increased international flavour at this year’s exhibition with improved service for stall holders.

By Sherwani Synon

This was stated at a press briefing held on Tuesday by the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association regarding the 17th consecutive Sri Lankan international Gem and Jewellery Show- Facets Sri Lanka.

The exhibition which will be held from the August 30 till the September 2 is an opportunity given to the Gem merchants and Jewellers in the country to exhibit their exquisite gems and jewellery to the local and the foreign market.

Speaking at the media briefing Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association Chairman Chanaka Ellawala said, “Sri Lanka is known for quality gem cutting, the field has improved vastly with the years.”

Giving the Facets Sri Lanka show an international flavour, rare gems from countries such as Madagascar, Burma, Thailand, India, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Australia will be exhibited at the show.

The committee also agreed to solve issues that were raised by the stall holders present at the press briefing in a bid to provide a good service to all stall holders and help them at the show, Facets Sri Lanka.

The committee is expecting a large number of visitors from the local and foreign market to grace this massive occasion which has been mostly focused on the international market till recent years.

Amana Takaful for the 3rd consecutive year will be the Official Insurer for the event and the exhibits.

When Daily Financial Times spoke to the Director of Finance- Facets who is also the treasurer of the Sri Lanka Gem & Jewellery Association Mr. Akram Mansoor, it was pointed out that “the largest buyers of our industry is USA, Japan, Europe, India and since of recent China and Russia has also showed interest towards this trade.”

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Male Icons unveiled

The inaugural awards presentation of the landmark Male Icons programme, which saw the revelation of a new league of Sri Lankan gentlemen, took place last Thursday.

The aim of Male Icons – 2006 was to recognize, honour and applause well known, true gentlemen who have been extremely successful in their respective fields and have also made contributions to society, while being iconic in every other aspect of life including dress sense and grooming.

Those honoured with the inaugural Male Icon awards were Deshamanya Dr. Lalith Kotalawela, Deshamanya Ken Balendra, Mr. Dian Gomes, Mr. Mahela Jayawardene, Mr. Kumar Sangakkara, Mr. Bathiya Jayakody and Mr. Santhush Weeraman.

The event was attended by over 400 guests who represented the elite social sphere of the country. Dominick Chillcott, the British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka graced the occasion as chief guest along with Mrs. Chillcott.

The Panel of judges of the Male Icons programme were Ms. Rosy Senanayake – Chairperson, Ms. Jayomi Lokuliyana, Ms. Nayana Karunaratne, Ms. Chandini Rajaratnam, Ms. Kamini Mukunthan, Ms. Angela Seneviratne and Ms. Rozanne Diazs, who are all well known and reputed individuals of the country. The advisor to the panel of judges was Mr. Nimal Weerasekera who is the present Executive Director of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing.

The organizers expect to make this an annual event and honour top Sri Lankan gentlemen, who would inspire the younger generation of the country, and work towards instilling values such as honesty and integrity in them.

Sri Lankan men’s-wear specialist Hameedia, was the main sponsor of the event, many others too had joined hands with the organizers to make this event a success. Wijeya Newspapers, Yes FM and Channel 1 MTV were the official print, radio and television media sponsors for Male Icons – 2006. Ricochet Events & Promotions was the official event partner for the same. The Colombo Hilton was the official hospitality partner.-
Wijeya Newspapers

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The hair debate

All the controversy surrounding fast bowler Lasith Malinga’s hair is astonishing, all the more since it shouldn’t happen at all. One would have expected critics to carp on a more serious matter, such as a (presumably) suspect bowling action. Instead, they have picked on his bleached head of hair.

The problem is that, for the first time in our cricketing history, we have a bowler who has become internationally famous because of his looks (in other words, he is the first we’ve had with genuine and marketable sex appeal). The girls in the Caribbean reportedly raved over him. His Afro looks and dark complexion undoubtedly have something to do with that – plus, one suspects now, his superb head of hair, which has left Lankan males with less conspicuous growths on their top decks (and even those with none at all) writhing with jealousy.

One good thing about the Lasith Malinga phenomenon, as one might call it now, is that it has advanced the ratings of dark-complexioned males in our marriage market. In a country where most, if not all, people are supposed to be yearning for a fair complexion, this is no mean achievement.

This is said to be more of a problem for women than for men. But men with dark skins too, can have an awful time here.

Sri Lanka has not won a Miss World contest so far, but Lasith Malinga being voted the sexiest player of this World Cup is certainly a consolation prize, and good news for all dark-skinned males who constitute a second-class citizenry in this country.

But back to the hair controversy. Fast bowlers everywhere are a virile lot, but I can’t recall anyone who has got into so much trouble because of his hair. The whole problem is enhancing one’s looks by bleaching the hair has become a fad in this country. This is especially true of those who have some sort of inferiority about their looks. It is quite possible that Lasith Malinga bleached his hair to offset the natural disadvantage of having Afro-looks and a dark skin – whatever one might say about that in the Caribbean, that combination is decidedly a disadvantage in this country when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex.

In a recent interview, the now internationally-famous fast bowler said that he has been admonished by a Buddhist monk for having bleached his hair, and he has therefore decided to revert to its natural state (the bleached hair, let’s face it, was a factor in his stardom. Even if he had been a big bowling failure at the World Cup, he would still have been popular among the girls).

He sounded chagrined, and I really don’t understand why. It’s about time he started growing and faced such silly criticism squarely.

He went on to say in the same interview that he was still the same village boy at heart. C’mon Lasith, we all know better. That’s what people like to hear. But the boy from a village in Ambalangoda will be transformed in some fundamental ways by cricket and the places it will take him. It anyone with those possibilities remains the same village boy even half-way through that career, then there must be something wrong.

He already sounds transformed, in that he knows what to tell the press. He claimed in the same interview that the bleached hair was a tactic meant to put off his opponents in the cricket field. This aspect has not been lost on some of his admirers and defenders. One local pundit said on radio that the young man with his flaming hair reminded him of the lion in the drama ‘Sinhabahu.’

But let’s not flatter ourselves too much. The lion analogy would be totally lost on a foreign batsman waiting at the wicket. It’s a safe bet that a Hayden or Lara watching the bowler making his run would be concentrating on his bowling hand, not the hairdo. If they get distracted or intimidated by bleached hair, they wouldn’t be playing international cricket.

Another aggrieved critic, writing to a Colombo English daily, has admonished Malinga for ‘forgetting that he’s a village boy.’ But why rub that in his face? Almost all the village boys I have spoken to share one dream – to get out of the socio-economic straightjacket of their rural poverty.
The same critic has admonished the Caribbean folk for being confused enough ‘not to know north from south.’ But why are the poor West Indians, a much more fun-loving lot any day than straight-laced Sri Lankans, being taken to task for finding one of our village boys sexier than the likes of Glenn McGrath, Sajid Mahmud and Ajit Agarkar?

The answer to that may well be that the sum of all parts was greater than the whole, but don’t underestimate the power of that bleached mane (at least to adoring females).

From historical times, hair has been a potent symbol of sexuality and virility (the well-known tale of Samson and Delilah is an example). With his hair back to ordinary black, will his bowling averages suffer? Only time can tell. Even if we disassociate the potency of hair from cricketing performance – balding Sanath Jayasuriya with his fiery bat makes nonsense out of that theory – we must allow people to have their own identities without soaking them in cultural correctness, which stems directly from narrow-mindedness and xenophobia. The frogs in the Lankan well are croaking louder than ever. –Wijeya Newspapers

Sri Lanka Produces the World’s Best Sapphires, Found in Crysobel Earrings

The Crysobel Jewelry Collection uses precious gemstones including the world’s most exquisite pink, blue and white sapphires imported from the designer’s homeland of Sri Lanka.

San Francisco, CA, April 26, 2007 –(– Crysobel’s line of gold and precious gemstone earrings are the creation of jewelry designer, Gaitri Chandra Raj, a native of Sri Lanka, who now resides in San Francisco, CA. Gaitri drew upon her eastern roots to conceive of Crysobel ( Gaitri Chandra Raj incorporates precious and semi-precious gemstones, including brilliant sapphires, from her homeland of Sri Lanka, known to mine and produce the world’s most beautiful sapphires, including a 400 carat stone, the largest sapphire on the British Crown. Sri Lanka ranks among the top five gem producing nations in the world.

Pink, white, and of course blue Sri Lankan sapphires can be found adorning the creations of The Crysobel Collection. Sapphires are set into magnificent 18K white and yellow gold filigree tear drop earrings, one of Crysobel’s signature pieces. Crysobel’s Sri Lankan sapphire earrings look flawless with a stunning translucent sparkle. Sri Lanka’s reputation for producing jaw dropping gemstones dates all the way back to 1292, when Marco Polo landed in Sri Lanka and declared it, “The finest island in the world,” going on to say, “from its streams come sapphires, rubies, garnets, amethysts, and topaz.” Royalty has long drawn upon Sri Lanka’s jewels, with King Solomon reportedly wooing The Queen of Sheba with Sri Lanka’s precious gems. Sri Lanka is truly the “Jewel Box of the Indian Ocean.” It is no wonder that earrings designed by Crysobel create an instant regal flair and brilliant elegance, the minute a woman puts them on.

Crysobel’s exclusive collection of earrings consists of a wide variety of styles to fit tastes that range from the extravagant to the more subdued. Styles such as two and three tiered chandelier earrings clustered with black diamonds or red garnets, tear drop filigree earrings sprinkled with the world’s finest sapphires, pearl or garnet embellished hoops, traditional Sri Lankan inspired dome chandeliers, 18K white and yellow gold drop earrings and 18K white and yellow gold hand hammered earrings. Retail prices range from $300.00 to $3000.00 a pair, and are currently available for purchase through Crysobel is currently designing their bracelet collection and custom pieces are available upon request. About Crysobel Jewelry Crysobel is a fine jewelry collection inspired by the artistry of the designer’s eastern roots, blended with the sophisticated elegance of her current western urban lifestyle. Earrings are crafted in 18K white and yellow gold, highlighting precious and semi-precious gemstones imported from her native, Sri Lanka. Crysobel earrings display such rare gems as black diamonds, red coral, cultured pearls, hessonite garnets, citrines, rubies and the world’s finest Sri Lankan orange, white, pink and blue sapphires. For more information visit

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Aruni Rajapakse crowned Queen


Aruni Rajapakse (Center) was crowned the ReeBonn Miss Sri Lanka Universe 2007, while Maria Fernando (L) and Udeshika Liyanage (R) were ajudged first and second runners up respectively. The Pageant organized by the TNL Radio Network in association with Ricochet Event and Promotions and Wijeya Newspaper Ltd, was held last night at the Colombo Hilton. Pic by Kumara Dayawanssa Nanneththi

The new Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza

Miss Venezuela was crowned Miss Universe 2008 on Monday in a contest marked by the spectacle of Miss USA falling down during the evening gown competition for the second year in a row.

L’Oreal and Veet to sponsor Hair Asia Pacific and Hair and Beauty Fair

Hair Asia Pacific and Hair and Beauty Fair, is to be held from March 2 – 5, 2007.

Recognised by the Ministry of Tourism as a National event, the event could create benchmarks in the local hair, beauty and fashion industry as well as go a long way in elevating the standards to an international level by creating awareness to the consumer and giving exposure to talented individuals in the various fields.

Featuring a wide variety of events and competitions, there will be demonstrations by leading local and international experts, as well as fashion and hair shows and 50 trade stalls, with Indian cosmetic jewellery and special honeymoon packages to Bali standing out. There will also be mini competitions for the public during the three days, with prizes being given out to the ‘Best Head of Hair,’ ‘Best Skin,’ ‘the Smartest Dressed Girl.’ All of this is on offer to the public, with the entrance ticket being only Rs100.

L’Oreal, the hair-care product company, is the title sponsor for the L’Oreal Hair Extravaganza on March 2, 2007, which will have demonstrations by leading local and foreign experts featuring cuts, colours and a variety of styles, along with competitions for the National Awards ceremony, comprising of ladies and gents haircuts, as well as bridal and evening hairstyles during the day. An international hair show will be held in the evening, showcasing trend statements, especially with regards to forecasting the latest trends in hairstyles. The one-hour show will feature Sri Lanka’s top hairstylists with foreign hairstylists also participating.

Natures Secret is sponsoring Nature’s Secret Beauty Extravaganza on March 3, 2007, with renowned Pakistani Cosmetologist and Dermatologist Dr. Farah Farook having a comprehensive two hour presentation followed by a one to one session with the public on the medicinal aspect of beauty and skin care. The competitions for the National Awards ceremony will continue to take place, with competitors from across the island vying for placements in the categories of nail art, stage make up, etc. The Christine Valmy School of Beauty, a New York based school located in Mumbai, Panipa, a nail technician and consultant to the government of Thailand, Asha Hariharan, the winner of L’Oreal Colour trophy, India and renowned hairdresser, beautician and make up expert will also participate during the day’s programmes.

Veet sponsored the seven regional workshops leading up to the grand event, which were held in Negombo, Matara, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Maharagama, Gampaha/Miriswatte and Kandy and is also an active stallholder for the event.

Both L’Oreal and Nature’s Secret are co sponsoring the rest of the event, with Derana, the TV media partner providing coverage. The highlight of the event is Hair Asia Pacific which is to be held on March 5,2007, with over 200 foreign participants comprising of Jacklyn Tan, Director of Pivot Point, Singapore, Rudi Hadisuwarno, President of the Indonesian Hairdressers Association and President of the OMC and ICD, Indonesia, Suchard Konreuk, President of the All Thai Hairdressers Association and Ruhana Iqbal Khan, President of PHABA, Pakistan among others. Attended by 15 countries in the zone, which include Japan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Pakistan, India, Taiwan, and Malaysia, the international event is to be one of glitz and glamour.

An awards ceremony will also be held, with winners from each category entitled to prize money of USD500 and USD2000 for the grand championship category.

An international hair show will follow with New York based Indian designer, Payal Singh showcasing her Indo Western collection, which will be on sale on March 6, 2007 at the lobby of the Galadari Hotel. via .. The Island


Senake promotes Lankan identity

With Zanita Careem

Sri lankan designer choreographer, Senake de Silva’s creations have already graced the catwalks in Oman, Abu Dhabi, Rome, Brussels and Amsterdam. His creations give a glimpse of Sri lanka’s multi, ethnic culture through colour, texture and design.

Senake’s collection is purely Sri lankan because he uses only local fabrics such as batiks, handlooms crochet and beeralu lace, hand painted fabrics and traditional embroidery.

His main aim is to promote local handloom fabrics and create designs to make them highly fashionable garments. We should have our own identity without aping the West, said Senake.

He has succeeded in accentuating designs inspired by old traditional dance costumes, colours of the earth, and wild prints.

These creations were showcased at the Colombo fashion weekend.

via … The Sunday Island


‘In Vogue’ newest magazine sensation

‘In Vogue’ Sri Lanka’s newest and most exciting infotainment literature magazine will hit the stands on the 20th of January 2007. Edited by Prithiva Dharmadasa and Rishini Weeraratne, ‘In Vogue’ will feature some of the most exciting celebrity and socialite events, contain exclusive interviews given by sports, business, entertainment and academic personalities, encounters with models and other celebrities. ‘In Vogue’ will also have spread features on what’s In style, In news, In products, Interiors of beautiful homes, In Health and In Travel. The main purpose of such an all-rounded magazine is to provide to the customer all they need in one read.

‘In Vogue’ will be marketed to adults of all ages, male and female, who have an appreciation of popular culture, social dynamism and a sense of style. ‘In Vogue’ will make an extra effort to focus on the male reader as well as its focus on women. With special segments catered for the male reader, the magazine will change the boundaries of reading for both men and women. ‘In Vogue’ believes in the new man, the metrosexual man that takes care of himself, knows his labels, uses his products and enjoys his gadgets.

Renowned writers like Kirthi Sri Karunaratne, Delrine Munzeer, Zanita Careem and Anusha David will contribute interesting articles to keep the interest of the readership alive.

Catering to all age groups, ‘In Vogue’ magazine is a personification of diverse thought and varied milieu making a statement with every page. via … The Sunday Island

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