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Sri Lankan New Year Celebrations 2016

SLANSW joined in with other community organisations to celebrate Sinhala & Tamil New Year at the Show Ground Castle Hill on the 16th of April 2016. Click for images

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NEPALESE AND SRI LANKAN NEW YEAR CELEBRATION

On the occasion of Nepalese and Sri Lankan New Year, UTS Nepalese Society successfully organized an event to rejuvenate and strengthen the relationship between the two cultures and countries. The event was held on 9th of April at Guthrie Theatre in University of Technology, Sydney. The event covered various musical performances from students and popular artists of both Nepalese and Sri Lankan diaspora. Likewise, cultural performances from both the cultures were performed during the event. The Special Guests for the event were spokesperson of NRNA (Non-Residential Nepalese Association) Mrs. Ranju Thapa Wagle and President of Sri Lankan Association of NSW, Mr. Ajit Karunaratne. Prominent people from both the communities were also present during the event.

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Seniors Celebration 2016

By Sharmila Jayasinghe Niriella

On the 3rd of April 2016 the Thornleigh Community Center auditorium saw a festive fiesta organized by the Sri Lanka Association of NSW to celebrate, acknowledge and appreciate the senior citizens of the Sri Lankan community.

The four hour gala which had undertones of a heartfelt salute and of gratitude for the contributions, achievements and accomplishments of our older citizens stretched from humorous dramas, magic shows to sing alongs with an ending that saw the guests gyrating on the dance floor.

Orchids, balloons and sprinkles of stars adorned the auditorium to welcome the glamorously clad guests that numbered over two hundred. The event commenced with the national anthems of both Sri Lanka and Australia being sung after which the president of SLANSW Ajith Karunaratne welcomed the guests touching upon the origins of the Sri Lankan senior citizens celebration in New South Wales. Dr Athula Gunasekara, a leading cardiologists in the country and the guest speaker for the event, took to the podium executing a very informative information session which enlightened the crowd of potential heart issues and methods of prevention. The days entertainment included a professional magic show by Terry Fernando a well respected magician of the community and enthralling music by the trio Laki, Ezmal & Kapila .

To tickle the funny bone of the crowd gathered, the top comic skit “Harima Magulak” that had distinct tones of Sri Lankan marriage proposals was staged by Devika De Fonseka, Priyanga De Fonseka, Sunil De Silva and Mihiri Karunaratne.

Showcasing the talents of seniors, Mr V M Therarajam, Mr Stanley Karunaratne, Chandrani Gunesekera,  Srimalee Namuni, Dr Seneviratne Banda and Mrs Nalini Cooray took to the stage belting out favorite songs from yester year, coxing the crowd to tap their toes and clap their hands.

The day spanned out to be full of surprises with games to take the audience down memory lane and a host of prizes to be won. To delight of the already delighted crowd a sumptuous buffet lunch consisting of a variety of Sri Lankan cuisine including the all time favorite “polos curry” was served by Siva of Blue Elephant, the popular catering service based in Pennant Hills.

The event master of ceremonies Sheran De Soyza kept the crowd interested and entertained through out the day while the chief organizer of the event Chaminda Hindurangala extended a heartfelt thank you to the guests for their presence and the organisers for a job well done. The event concluded with a sumptuous afternoon tea service which was organized by the committee members of SLANSW.

(Photo Credits: Dilara Niriella, Sashini Ambagahawita, Rafi Mubarak and Thusitha Karunaratne )

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Sri Lankan Community Young Achiever Awards 2016

Photo Credits : Robin Bosco.

The event held to mark the 68th Independence day of Sri Lanka on the 6th of February 2016 showcased talented Sri Lankan Australian youth being recognised for their achievements in various fields. Mr Maithri Panagoda, a member of the panel of judges for 2016 Sri Lankan Community Young Achiever Awards praised the organisers for acknowledging achievements of the winners which included educational achievements as well as many other fields. Manul Gunaratne, an award recipient of the night, thanked the organisers on behalf of the youth who received awards at the event and spoke of the significance of such recognition.

Click to see images of the awards presentation

68th Independence Day of Sri Lanka & Sri Lankan Young Achiever Awards celebrations

 

by Sharmila Jayasinghe Niriella

 

The presence and the talents of youth with a Sri Lankan heritage in our community was largely felt at the the 68th Independence Day Celebrations and Sri Lankan community Young Achiever Awards ceremony held at the Roselea Community Centre, Carlingford on the 6th of February 2016. This celebration was graced by the The Consul General for Sri Lanka Mr Lal Wickrematunga, The member of parliament for Riverstone Mr Kevin Conolly, Councilors for Hornsby Council Mr Gurdeep Singh and Mr Nick Berman. Other distinguish guests were also present to participate in a celebration of the cultural diversity of modern Sri Lanka 68 years after achieving independence. Traditions and the cultures of our origins were amply highlighted commencing with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by the chief guests and the breathtaking performances of the night that followed.

 

In the midst of these cultural performances the event also showcased talented Sri Lankan Australian youth being recognised for their achievements in various fields. Mr Maithri Panagoda, a member of the panel of judges for 2016 Sri Lankan Community Young Achiever Awards praised the organisers for acknowledging achievements of the winners which included educational achievements as well as many other fields. Manul Gunaratne, an award recipient of the night, thanked the organisers on behalf of the youth who received awards at the event and spoke of the significance of such recognition.

 

Youth with a Sri Lankan heritage took center stage at this event from hosting as MCs to showcasing talents as dancers, dramatists and singers delighting the crowd and providing them with an afternoon of quality entertainment. Mr Ajith Karunaratne, the President of the Sri Lanka Association of NSW, welcomed the guests after which blessings were delivered by religious leaders representing the many religious backgrounds of Sri Lanka. The Consul General and the MP for Riverstone shared their messages with the audience speaking of the cultural diversity and the unity of the Sri Lankan community resident in Australia. Mrs Ayomi Bosco delivered the vote of thanks and congratulated everyone for a job well done. The event was organised by SLA NSW in collaboration with the Sinhalese Cultural Forum, The Austra Lanka Muslim Association, Senior Tamil Association and the Sri Lanka Australia Malay Association. The overall event was successfully managed by Mr Pubudu De Alwis from SLA NSW. All the highlights of the event was photographed by Mr Roy Gunaratne of RoyGrafix.

Click to view photos of the event

 

Introducing the Panel of Judges for the Young Achiever Awards

 

  •  Mr Samy Pasupati a Chartered Accountant and former President of the Tamil Senior Citizens Association.

 

  •  Dr Ruwan Walpola a Medical Practicioner and former President and current Trustee of the Sri Lanka Association of NSW.

 

  • Mr Mohamed Fazli who’s an Engineer from University of Peradeniya . A past president of Austra Lanka Muslim Association .

 

  • Mr Maithri Panagoda LLB, LL.M, Partner, Accredited Specialist, Migration Consultant, Adjunct professor, School of Law, University of Notre Dame.

Attention All Sri Lankan Australians!

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Reception Function for the Sri Lanka High Commissioner & Consul General in Sydney

Friends and well wishers gathered together to welcome the newly appointed High Commissioner for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,Mr Somasundaram Skandakumar and The Consul General Lal Wickrematunge on the 12thDecember,2015 in Sydney.

The cocktail reception which was hosted by the Sri Lanka Association of New South Wales in collaboration with the Sinhalese Cultural Forum, Tamil Senior Citizens Association (NSW), Austra-Lanka Muslim Association was an exciting event which was well attended by over 150 guests representing a large cross section of the Sri Lankan community domiciled in New South Wales. After meeting representatives of the key community groups at a pre event the distinguished guests were ceremoniously welcomed to the main reception area of the Blue Elephant Restaurant by children attired in traditional costumes. An array of breathtaking traditional dance items were performed by students organized bythe Sinhalese Cultural Forum which followed the formalities of lighting of the traditional brass lamp and standing at attention for the national anthems sung by children from the North Parramatta Sinhala School and Muthuhara group.

Ajith Karunaratne, the President of the SLA-NSW, delivering the welcome address touched upon how each of the organisations worked co-operatively in harmony in order to deliver this function. He also indicated the need for us to work together so that the Sri Lankan community is seen as a united community who work together to achieve common goals.

The High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Somasundaram Skandakumar and The Consul General Lal Wickrematunge in their introductions focused on national unity, reconciliation and prosperity. They both re-iterated the need for us to focus on these aspects for both Sri Lankans living both in and out of Sri Lanka which was mentioned are the same sentiments of the current President of Sri Lanka, MrMaithripala Sirisena.

Following,MrSamanDissanayake / Mr Don Wickrema, MrSuntheralingam, Mr Nizar Sappideen and MrUbaidurRahmaan Mahmood provided eloquent speeches that extended a warm welcome to the newly appointed High Commissioner and Consul General (Sydney). The guests were treated to sumptuous evening nibbles, drinks, tea and coffee. The evening was enjoyed by all present who mingled, meeting and greeting the chief guests and the audience present.

Duke Ramachandra the official MC of the night kept the audience entertained and informed of the nights proceedingswhile the vote of thanks was given by Sunil Amaratunga of SLA NSW concluding a successful event. Official photos at the event were taken by Robin Bosco of RCB.

Click here to view photos….

Tis The Season Brings merriment to town

By SharmilaJayasingheNiriella

Though there was no snow to dash through, Santa did arrive amidst the jingling of bells and singing of carols to delight the young and the not so young who gathered to welcome the season at Tis The Season, Christmas celebrations hosted by the Sri Lanka Association of NSW. The community centrein Thornleighwas transformed creating a very merry Christmassy ambiance to host the seasonal celebrations with members, well wishers and friends of the Sri Lanka Association.

The focus of this year’s event was to bring on the first feelings of Christmas and to get the guests excited about the upcoming holiday season.This truly was achieved when Santa arrived to delight the little ones with plenty of gifts,laughter and cheer. Guests joined in with the jolly spirit singing carols together with the SLA choir consisting of dedicated singers who brought the all time favorite carols to town. There of course were prizes and surprises galore to the delight of the young and the old alike not only through a main raffle draw that gifted generous prizes for the mums and dads present but also through a special “number draw”that awarded prizes for the kids.The success of the main raffle draw proved that the guests present supported the Association’s initiative of launching new projects with a community service focus.

DJ of the night Shankster helped keep the festive spirit alive spinning seasonal appropriate rhythmsand all timefavourite dance numbers as well as baila to keep the audience on the dance floor.

While MC Prathibhade Zoysa kept guests entertained and well informed of every activity of the night.Ajith Karunaratne the newly appointed president of the association welcomed the guests and thanked the numerous people who helped make the event the success it was.

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