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A bright life snuffed out in a flash

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2nd Death Anniversary of Lt. Sugath Nadeeshan

By Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne
(Retired From Sri Lanka Navy)
Former Chief of Defence Staff

It was the Easter Sunday of 2019. Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship Suraksha, a 100-meter-long Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) was getting ready for a 14-day Patrol. Her tanks were topped up with fuel. All victuals required for the 10 officers and 100 men crew onboard for the 14-day voyage were loaded. Both cold and cool rooms were filled with fresh fish, meat and vegetables. The ship was ready to sail at 12 noon on 21st April 2019.

The young lieutenant on board, who took over his new sea appointment as the Assistant Logistic Officer a few days ago was looking forward for a new experience. A new appointment, new ship, new friends, and new crew for him. He wanted to impress them with his hard work. A call came from his mother around 7AM informing him that his family were on their way to the village Church at Kochchikade, Negombo. He was the second son of a devoted Catholic family.

He was going to miss the Easter Sunday Mass this year. He suddenly got an idea, and quickly went up to the Commanding Officer’s cabin and tapped gently. “Yes, the door is open” the Commanding Officer replied. His Commanding Officer was a decorated former Naval Special Forces Captain. He had been attached to the Sri Lanka Coast Guard on a two-year assignment as the Commanding Officer of this OPV. The young Lieutenant requested the Commanding Officer’s permission to go to Church and attend the Easter Mass. A decorated Naval Officer with a clear track record of bravery and valour, the commanding officer was kind-hearted and considerate.

After all, his young subordinate was requesting permission to go to church on Easter Sunday. He knew his junior was a devoted Catholic. The Commanding officer himself was a devoted Catholic and had attended the midnight Easter Mass the night before. Permission was granted to the young officer to go to Church, with guidance below, which he regrets today.

“Sugath, the closest Church to us is St Anthony’s Church at Kochchikade. It has been the custom since the immemorial Naval Officers whether or not they were Catholics, to light a candle at this church when they receive their sea going appointments. We turn our ships towards this church before leaving the Colombo harbour to get blessings of St Anthony. St Anthony is the Saint who looks after the seafarers like us. So, you’re granted permission to attend the mass at St Anthony’s Church at Kochchikade. Take the ship’s vehicle. Be sure to return no later than 1100 hrs. We are sailing at 12 noon”

The young Lieutenant quickly changed into his best civil cloths and went to Church. He wanted to light a candle, pray for him and the crew, and return to the ship as soon as possible. The time was 0830. Then he heard an announcement that the Tamil mass was about to start in 10 minutes at 0840. The church was full of devotees. Families with their children dressed in their Sunday best . They were happy, chatting with each other and eagerly waiting for the Mass to begin. Our young Lieutenant could understand and speak Tamil fluently. He had adequate time to attend the Tamil Mass also, as he was due to return to ship by 11:00 AM. So, he decided to return the vehicle, and wait for the Mass to begin. He told the young driver “You can go. I will attend the Mass and return to the ship shortly. I can get a three-wheeler from here. It’s not that far from here to the Naval Base”. The driver left with the ship’s vehicle.

The Tamil Mass started at 0840 sharp. The suicide bomber walked into the Church at 0845 and detonated himself. With the deafening sound, the nearby Naval Base was activated. News started coming in about the blast at St Anthony’s Church at Kochchikade. The CO of the SLCG ship Suraksha knew his subordinate was at the Church. He rang his mobile phone while rushing to the scene. The mobile phone was ringing but there was no answer. The ship’s crew was looking for their officer while transferring the casualties. The CO rang the mobile phone of his subordinate officer again. This time someone answered! A female voice! She introduced herself as a nurse in the Accident Ward of the General Hospital Colombo. She said, “Sir, he is dead!”

The CO sat at the curbside with tears in his eyes. He is a battle-hardened Naval Special Forces man. He has seen many deaths and destruction during his Naval life, but still it is not easy for him to bear this loss. He wondered “My God! Why did I grant him permission to go to Church?”

Lieutenant (S) Sugath Nadeeshan Silva was born in Kochchikade, Negambo on 23rd November 1991, as the second son of his family. He had one elder and one younger brother. He had his early education at Thoppuwa St Philip Nari Sinhala Mixed School, Kochchikade and Mari Stella College, Negambo. He had proved to be one of the best students at school who excelled in both studies and sports.

He joined the Sir John Kotalawala Defence University (KDU) as an Officer Cadet on 17th September 2012. Sugath excelled in cricket. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Logistics Management KDU in 2016 and subsequently completed his Sub Lieutenant Logistics Management course at the Naval and Maritime Academy at Trincomalee. Sugath had just joined the SLCG ship Suraksha as his first sea appointment when this tragedy occurred. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander posthumously and buried with full military honours.

May he Rest in Peace!

At the going down of the Sun and in the morning, we will remember him. Please keep him in your prayers.



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To recognise and reward Women Entrepreneur

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by Zanita Careem

WCIC “Prathibhabis-heka” national awards will be given to outstanding women entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka and the SAARC said Anoji de Silva, the chairperson of Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce WCIC at a press conference held at the Jetwing hotel Ward PlaceThis year the Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022 is powered by DFCS Aloka.This National Award which is recognised globally will help women to market their products to international buyers

“As a country we have faced many difficulties over the last few years. Now this is the time to reflect and ensure that local women can contribute and progress to be on par with international entrepreneurs She also noted that this award ceremony is a great opportunity for all since it’s an absolutely empowering platform. “You hear success stories of women from different walks of life and it’s very empowering and inspiring. I’m sure that the younger generation of women who will watch the ceremony wii be inspired to be sucessful entrepreneurs in the future S

“Our women entrepreneurs have the potential to help our economy to grow. They have made vast strides to build companies on a set of values and they have created diverse working environments.

The WCIC Prathibhabisheka Women Entrepreneur Awards will be held in January 22. To the question how financial records of small businesses headed by women could deter their ability to apply the chairperson said.

“We have a startup category which is under five years where they can submit documents for consideration. She responded “These women can apply but must submit proper records to back their applications or else they will be rejected wholeheartedly.The Women Entrepreneur Awards 2022

“Prathibha” depicts excellence in Sanskrit and WCIC will showcase the excellence of outstanding women entrepreneurs through WCIC Prathibhabisheka –

“The relaunched property is structured to assess the businesses in a holistic manner. We invite outstanding women entrepreneurs, especially the ones who have braved the challenges in the past years to share their story of resilience and achievements to compete for the coveted – WCIC Prathibhabisheka The Awards will honour women entrepreneurs for their tenacity to scale and grow, and for their contribution and impact on the economy. Whilst the competition is primarily for Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs, we have also included an opportunity for women in the SAARC region to compete in a special category” stated Anoji De Silva, the Chairperson of the WCIC.

The members of WCIC Ramani Ponnambalam and Tusitha Kumarakul-asingam, said”. We will be accepting applications under the categories – Start-up, Micro, Small, Medium and Large. Each category will have a specified revenue for the year under review – 2021/22. Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards will be presented for each category. With the view to identify and promote regional women entrepreneurs, we will encourage applications from all the provinces in the country and select the “Best of the Region” from each province.

The women will also be considered for the coveted special awards – Young Woman Entrepreneur, Outstanding Start- up, Most Positively Abled Woman Entrepreneur, The Most Outstanding Export Oriented Entrepreneur, The Best of the SAARC Region. The ceremony will culminate with the selection of the “Women Entrepreneur of the year -2022”.

“The entry kit can be downloaded from www.wcicsl.lk and completed and submitted to the WCIC along with all the material required to substantiate the applicant’s story. Entries close on the 31st of October.” stated Tusitha Kumarak-ulasingam.

WCIC Prathibabisheka – Woman Entrepreneur Awards 2022 is powered by– DFCC Aloka, as the Platinum Sponsor, with Gold Sponsors – Mclarens Group, LOLL Holdings Plc, Hayleys Leisure Pic, and AIA Insurance Lanka Ltd (Exclusive Insurance Partner), Silver – Finez Capital Ventures Print and Social Media Partners will be the Wijeya Group and Electronic Media Partner–ABC Network with Triad as our Creative Partner and Ernst & Young as Knowledge Partner.

Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) is the premier organization supporting entrepreneurs and professional business-women. The membership is open to women who believe they can contribute to society as well as benefit from the many facilities the organization creates. WCIC Prathibhasheka is relaunched this year as a flagship property, to recognize and reward outstanding women enterpreneurs who make a contribution to the SL economy.

For further information Contact- Janitha Stephens – 0766848080

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Marmalade sandwich in Queen’s handbag!

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In this period of national mourning, it may seem frivolous to comment on the late Queen’s handbag. After seven decades of selfless service to the nation, fashion is but a footnote to Her Majesty’s glorious reign.And yet her style is something that helped to create the powerful majestic image of Queen Elizabeth II, and which made her instantly recognisable worldwide. A key part of that image, and a constant presence in her working life, was her black Launer handbag.

Launer London was Her Majesty’s handbag maker for more than 50 years and has held the Royal Warrant since 1968. Launer bags are formal and structured, and proved to be the ideal regal accessory for public engagements. Its first royal patronage came from HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in the 1950s. Where others might have bought the latest ‘It’ bag, Queen Elizabeth exercised characteristic restraint with her handbags throughout her life, focusing on quality over quantity in her loyalty to Launer.

Her Majesty was known for her love of colour in her working wardrobe, wearing rainbow brights in order to be better seen by the public, but her accessories were always muted. Black mostly, sometimes beige or white in summer, gold or silver in the evening: neutrals that matched with every colour, allowing her to dress with ease. The timeless style of her trusty Traviata top-handle bag suited the Queen’s no-nonsense nature and symbolised her steadfast reign. The late Baroness Thatcher shared the Queen’s love of a strong top handle from classic British labels such as Launer and Asprey. These bags helped promote a look of someone in control. Like Queen Elizabeth, Thatcher’s handbags were such a part of her identity that they have earned their own special place in history and have been described as the former PM’s ‘secret weapon’. One such bag has been exhibited at the V&A alongside Sir Winston Churchill’s red despatch box. Both are artefacts of cultural and historic importance.

It has been said that there was another purpose to the Queen’s handbag on public engagements, namely that she used it as a secret signalling device. According to royal historian Hugo Vickers, Her Majesty would switch the bag from her left arm to her right to signal for an aide to come to her rescue if she tired of the conversation in which she was engaged. If she placed the bag on the table, this was a sign that she wanted to leave. Ever-practical, HM needed a bag that focused on functionality over fashion, choosing styles with slightly longer top handles that comfortably looped over the monarch’s arm, freeing her hands to accept bouquets and greet the public. Even in her final photograph, meeting her 15th prime minister in her sitting room at Balmoral Castle, just two days before her death last week, the Queen’s handbag can be seen on her left arm. Perhaps at this stage it was part armour, part comfort blanket.Even at the age of 96, Queen Elizabeth II did not lose her ability to surprise. She delighted the public by taking tea with Paddington Bear at her Platinum Jubilee celebrations and finally revealed what she keeps in her handbag: a marmalade sandwich, ‘for later’.

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Cinnamon Grand, Colombo welcomes You to the SEQUEL

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The next best thing in Colombo!

What would you get if you took the decadence of yesterday and paired it with the flavours of right now? Something bold and jazzy or rich and snazzy. Something we’d like to call the next best thing. All this and more at Cinnamon City Hotels to the SEQUEL at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo said a press release.

The release said the SEQUEL is where the old meets new, where charm meets sophistication and having a good time gets a new meaning. Colombo’s latest speakeasy cocktail bar is ready to welcome the discerning guest that is looking for that perfectly curated night.

“The SEQUEL will be a novel addition to Colombo’s nightlife catered to enthralling guests with our performances and showmanship,” said Kamal Munasinghe, Area Vice-President, Cinnamon City Hotels.

What do we mean when we say performance? It means that every little detail is tailored to those who appreciate elegance, and a bespoke experience like no other. Think walking into a vintage space accompanied by the sounds of Sinatra and Fitzgerald inviting you to do it your way or for once in your life. Think of the soul-searching and eclectic mix of Winehouse classics that you can drown your sorrows in.

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