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A productive way out of the LNG dilemma

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by Eng Parakrama Jayasinghe

Both Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) which recently saw a sharp price increase and is now the preferred cooking fuel even in some rural areas, and yet-to-be-used Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) have received widespread public attention.

Natural Gas (NG) , which is mostly Methane (CH4) , the fossil fuel promoted as the alternative for dirty coal used for power generation, has to be brought in to the country in concentrated form liquefied at low temperature for transport logistics and economies. This makes it LNG when the source of supply is foreign. We will therefore have to depend on LNG as long as it is imported and would also need the storage and regasification facilities such as the Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU) to convert the LNG to the form usable at a power plant. These are the issues under hot debate right now.

Ignoring the sordid details of the major decision making processes of Sri Lanka, particularly in the energy sector, let us face the realities

* A 350 MW power plant designed to use natural gas is being built without any arrangements in place for the supply of the gas needed.

* The 300 MW Yugadhanawi power plant, pushed as designed for easy conversion for the use of Natural Gas, has been running on low sulfur furnace oil as expensive as diesel since 2011.

* The natural gas price in the world is soaring compared to what it was when it appeared to be the best option to get away from coal

* Renewable energy based electricity is now undoubtedly cheaper than any form of fossil fuel based generation including NG , and this is true for Sri Lanka too.

* There is a proven indigenous natural gas reserve in Mannar in Blocks M2 in close proximity to the 900 MW Norochcholai coal power plant

* Coal prices have gone through the roof making coal power, once considered the cheapest when all its ill effects are ignored, is no longer an option financially, economically, environmentally and socially

* Sri Lanka has declared a policy to achieve a 70% contribution by RE sources for electricity generation by 2030, and an international commitment to reach zero carbon emission status by 2050

* There is significant interest backed by actual commitments and multi million dollar investments for the purchase of the Mannar data, by big players in the oil and gas industry targeting the balance blocks offered by Sri Lanka for exploration. This process is underway, supported by an immediate captive demand for the proven sources to be developed

* Sri Lanka is in the throes of a foreign exchange crisis which makes an offer of US $ 250 Million to appear as manna from heaven. However the annual drain of over $ 4,000 Million for the import of fossil fuels, of which nearly $ 1,000 Million is consumed for power generation, is the main contributor to the crisis which is exacerbating due to the current world trends.

* In the government sector, the left hand does not seem to know what the right hand is doing

* Thus a national asset in a company making good profits is being sold through a midnight deal by the Treasury owning the shares, accepting conditions gravely affecting the performance of the Ministry of Power and Energy and the plans and programs of the Ministry of Energy, without any consultation with them.

* In this background it is worthwhile considering if there is still a way out and to eat the cake and keep it. This can be shown to be possible.

The Current State of Play in the Electricity Sector

There has been doomsday predictions of impending energy shortages in the past, most recent being in 2019, which did not come to pass. The next prediction is for 2023 unless the present dependence on imported fossil fuels is arrested. This may come true not because of lack of generation capacity but due to inability to pay for the import of fossil fuels – both oil and coal.

There has been some progress in the development of indigenous renewable energy which fortunately for us is non-fuel based in case of wind and solar. Some impediments imposed by vested interests on this progress has now been removed by the present administration and coupled with the laudable target to achieve 70% RE by 2030 would help accelerate this progress. This goal clearly limits the space available for non-renewable power generation. As the table below indicates there is no room to add any more fossil fuel based power plants including Natural Gas, except perhaps as replacement for the units due to be retired shortly at the end of their economic life.

Notes.

1. Projected total electricity demand in 2030

2. Fossil fuel generation allowable under 70% RE scenario

3. Renewable Energy Capacity to be reached by 2030 to achieve 70% RE target

Therefore the 350 MW Subadhanwi Power Plant under construction may have a role to play as several plants in the Kelanitissa complex are due to be retired.

Although the commitment to achieve zero emission by 2050 would be further challenged by the target of carbon free power generation by 2040, the introduction of natural gas (also a carbon emitter) as a transitional source of fuel to occupy the 30% space up to 2030 is not illogical.

The game plan

As stated above there is no room for adding any more NG power plants at Kerawalapitiya or for fuel switching at Kelanistissa, proposed as the means of absorbing the minimum Take or Pay (TOP) condition of 35 Million MBTU per year in the present deal with New Fotress Energy ( NFE) . Therefore the suggestion that we will only pay for the 25 Million MBTU per year that we can consume, during the first five years and the balance would be accumulated, but nevertheless is payable, will be a Damocles Sword hanging over us. This would also be a strategy to extend the contract for a further five year period. It is futile to make calculations of the amount we have to pay, for something we will not consume at present, as the crystal ball is quite cloudy as to the rate at which the NG prices would escalate. The recent price trends shown below is a good indication.

As such depending on imported natural gas which makes it LNG is not an option we should pursue, if not for any reason other than the drain on the foreign exchange.

Do we have an option? Fortunately based on the opinion of the officials of the Petroleum Development Authority of Sri Lanka (PDASL) now formally established under the Act No 21 of October 8, 2021, we do have a more attractive option. The hard work of these officials who never lost faith in spite of setbacks, unequivocally confirm the proven resources in the Block M2 in Mannar named Barracuda and Dorado of the presence of almost 1.85 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas (mid-level estimate). This is equivalent to 1,850 Million MBTU, to be compared to the present numbers being bandied about, of 175 Million MBTU over five years as the TOP offered by the NFE. There is adequate gas to operate these two power plants for over 50 years from this one gas field alone.

The prospects of the wider Mannar Basin, inc. Block M2, is estimated to hold 9 TCF of Natural Gas based on analysis of all available data.

So we can operate the Norochcholai, Yugadhanawi and Sobhadhanawi power plants for 30 years with our own gas, if we take the trouble to develop these two reservoirs alone.

But naturally we do not have the expertise or the economic capacity to develop this resource and would need a competent company in the Oil and Gas industry to come to a contractual arrangement with Sri Lanka. May I mention in passing that I hope these negotiations will be done by competent people who have interest of Sri Lanka as the utmost aim, while accepting the realities of the commercial world.

Take or Pay for Natural Gas Development in Mannar

As much as a supplier of an FSRU and supply of LNG would expect a minimum guaranteed of off take, the potential developer of our own gas fields would also have similar expectations, which we cannot deny. It is up to Sri Lanka to evaluate the minimum quantities we can afford to consume without having to pay for gas or services beyond that amount. This becomes even more critical when that payment will need to be in dollars that we don’t have.

It has often been said that the minimum off take that would be acceptable would be in the range of 1000 MW of power generation. This is verified by the NFE terms which targets the two plants at Kerawalpitiya adding up to 650 MW and the passing references to another power plant of capacity 350 MW at the same location, which has not received much attention. It is clear that this cannot happen if we accept the 70% RE target.

But how can we reach the 1,000 MW target but not violate the 70% RE target? Fortunately the recent events have opened a most attractive opportunity to offer a viable level of off take without having to construct any new power plants. The phenomenal rise in the coal prices now exceeding $ 240 per MT at source, could be a blessing in disguise in many ways. No amount of fancy accounting can now prove the cost of coal power generation to be at an acceptable level, even if we can find the dollars to buy the coal.

So the most obvious step to be taken is to covert the three units of 300 MW coal power plants at Norochcholai to operate on natural gas from our own gas resources. Not only does this not require any FSRUs, as the gas will be supplied in gaseous form, which can be pumped directly to the power plant, we will not have to pay for the gas in dollars. There would be some payment on the extraction, processing and piping costs. But this is not linked to any world gas prices. However, the benefits that would accrue, financially, economically and environmentally are massive and too numerous to list here.

Before anyone objects to this proposal by saying that this is not proven technology or has not been done anywhere, I must say that over 100 coal plants have been converted to gas in USA alone.

No doubt this kind of leap would require much planning and analysis in addition to the political wisdom and will. Some temporary measures would need to be taken if the planned time schedules are disturbed. But the realities on the ground and the dire situation faced by Sri Lanka presently and in the foreseeable future, behooves us to look for innovative solutions and maximize the utilization of our own resources that nature has bestowed on us.

But as mentioned before, the principle ingredient required is the commitment to achieve the best for Sri Lanka and the integrity of the decision makers. These unfortunately has been the missing ingredients in all of the past events.

I await responses from those who can appreciate the validity and value of these proposals, as well as those from among the doubting Thomas’s to which I will respond, as the space limits me to preempt such queries.

Has Sri Lanka got the courage to reject the current proposals driven by short term expediencies and possibly other reasons, which will definitely block any chances of our chances of ever developing our proven resources and take this step to make us a net energy exporter?

(E Mail : parajayasinghe@gmail.com Telephone : 0777269970)



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Features

Beyond the fiction of Alborada

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By Sarath Chandrajeewa

“No matter how much a work of art is sweet, if it hides the truth and disregards humanity it can only be equalled to a beautiful but empty shell that attracts us.” (L.E. Kerbel – Russian Sculptor)

‘Alborada’ is the Spanish word for ‘the dawn’. In 1984, a music group was born in Peru, South America by the same name and they gained immense popularity. Their music mainly spread among people in North and South America. Their music’s foundation was the traditional music of Native Americans who lived in the Andes mountain range (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTD2VDcxvNc). Likewise, in 2005 a soap opera by the same name was broadcast in Mexico, North America, which became very popular. This story was based on a series of events that took place during the historical period when Panama and Mexico were on the verge of gaining freedom from Spain (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iM5s_d1vls).

In 2021 Asoka Handagama made a film in Sri Lanka by the same name, Alborada. The protagonist of this film is Pablo Neruda (1904 – 1973), the Chilean Consul in Ceylon for two years, from 1929 to 1931. He was very young, only 25, when he was appointed to this post. Ceylon was a colony at the time and he was lodged at No. 56, 42nd street, Wellawatte, Colombo 6, a place close to the sea. He had written down his reminiscences, in his own language, in book form. Later it was translated into English and published under the title ‘Memoirs’. According to this book, he had referred to his house as ‘My solitary bungalow’. It is said that the name Alborada was proposed by Pablo Neruda for the house of his friend, Lionel Wendt (1900 – 1944), who had lived at Guildford Crescent, Colombo 7.

Wendt too was fluent in several languages including English, Spanish and some other European languages. It is apparent, from documents and events that took place at that time, that his house, Alborada, had not been a lonely or tranquil place. It is clear that house Alborada was always full of people, such as painters, dancers, actors, photographers as well as pianists and those who enjoyed music. It was more like a cultural centre where discussions, art critiques and debates took place. (L.C. Van Geyzel, et al. [2000]. ‘Lionel Wendt: A Centennial tribute’. Lionel Wendt memorial fund; Sampath Bandara. [2017]. Lionel Wendt Kalava Saha Jeevithaya, Sarasavi Publication. [Sinhala]).

Though Handagama’s film was titled Alborada, the actual location, where incidents mentioned took place, was the Solitary Bungalow, the Chilean Consul’s official residence (Jamie James. [2019]. ‘Pablo Neruda’s life as a struggling Poet in Sri Lanka: A young poet’s Adventures in the Foreign Service’. Retrieved from https://lithub.com/pablo-nerudas-life-as-a-struggling-poet-in-sri-lanka/). In the 20th Century Sri Lankan context, Alborada was a distinguished active cultural centre. As a Sri Lankan cultural symbol, it directly connects with the character of Lionel Wendt. The creator of a work of art has the total freedom to create his work as he pleases and also to choose whatever name for the particular work. Handagama’s Alborada is similar to a poem, set to inspiring music. It includes a series of artistic figure compositions and features a number of skilled performing artistes. The trailer of Handagama’s film gave me some ideas.

When creating a work of art based on historical events, rather than myth and imaginary incidents, its trustworthiness depends on the people who faced the incident, the actual incidents, exact places, time period and the political and cultural background. Consequently, thorough research is necessary to identify accurate works based on historical incidents. It is difficult to rectify myths or false assumptions ingrained in society by unreliable books, documents, magazines or films. People will always embrace falsity, deception and myth, over the truth. Our culture as well as other cultures are replete with many such examples.

Alborada

‘Alborada’ is the name of Lionel Wendt’s house. It is important as it is the house of a great Sri Lankan cultural icon of the last century. It is also important as Alborada was the name given to the renowned cultural centre of modern history, in Sri Lanka. It is from this place that art activities in our country were taken to the international arena. Alborada was situated at No. 18 old Guildford Crescent. Today this street is called Premasiri Kemadasa Mawatha. Six years after his demise, in 1950 his friend Harold Peiris (1905-1981) demolished his old house, Alborada, and built a gallery and a performing arts centre (Lionel Wendt Art Gallery and Theatre) to commemorate him. It was designed by painter Geoffrey Beling (1907 – 1992), Principal Art Inspector, Department of Education, and Bernard G. Thornley (Manel Fonseka. [1994]. ‘Rediscovering Lionel Wendt, Lionel Wendt Photographs’. Deutsche Bank Colombo and Lionel Wendt Memorial Fund).

When Lionel Wendt was alive, renowned upcountry master dancers, Amunugama Suramba and Nittawela Ukkuwa used to lodge at Alborada with their troupes, when they visited Colombo (Dancer Dr. Vaidyavathi Rajapakse, daughter of Master Dancer Suramba, Personal communication, 2017).

A documentary movie ‘Song of Ceylon’, directed by Basil Wright in 1934, was placed first at the Brussels International film festival in 1935. The creative segments of the movie were organized at Alborada. Manel Fonseka reported in an article, ‘Rediscovering Lionel Wendt’ in 1994, that in an interview with Julia Margaret Cameron, Basil Wright had said this about Lionel Wendt; “I think he was one of the greatest still photographers that ever lived. I should place him among the six best I’ve come across”.

As a result of discussions held at Alborada, master dancers Nittawela Ukkuwa and Amunugama Suramba were taken to England for a recording of drum beats, for the movie ‘Song of Ceylon’. This trip was sponsored by painter Harry Peiris (1904-1988). A dance school was established to develop up-country dance, in Gunnepana, Sirimalwatte, Kandy in the 1920s for Master Suramba, as a result of discussions held among a group led by Wendt and George Keyt (1901-1993). This troupe, which included the group of up-country dancers, Ukkuwa, Nittawela Gunaya, Punchi Gura and Sri Jayana Rajapakse, was later upgraded as the ‘Dance Ensemble of Central Lanka’. Jayana’s coming of age ceremony, inclusive of his ‘Ves ceremony’, held at the Degaldoruwa Rajamaha Viharaya, Kandy, in 1939, and Jayana’s dance training in India later, were all sponsored by Wendt (Dr. Vaidyavathi Rajapakse, Personal communication, 2017).

The first art inspector appointed to Sri Lanka, during the colonial era, was Charles Freegrove Winzer (1886-1940), an Englishman. He became close friends with Wendt, during his tenure in Sri Lanka. In the early years, Winzer and Wendt both wrote reviews on exhibitions of George Keyt, Justin Peiris Deraniyagala (1903-1967) and Geoffrey Beling. Wendt also translated Neruda’s art reviews from Spanish to English and published them (Manel Fonseka.

[1994]. ‘Rediscovering Lionel Wendt, Lionel Wendt Photographs’. Deutsche Bank Colombo and Lionel Wendt Memorial Fund).

The first avant-garde art movement in Sri Lanka, the ’43 Group’, was born under the leadership of Winzer and Wendt. The 43 Group consisted of Wendt (Chief Organizer), painters Harry Peiris (Chief Secretary), George Keyt, J.W.G Beling, Richard Gabriel (1924-2016), Ivan Peiris (1921-1988), Justin Pieris Deraniyagala, George Claessen (1909-1999), Aubrey Collette (1920-1992) and L.T.P Manjusri (1902-1982). The meetings of the 43 group were held at Alborada until Wendt’s death.

Afterwards the meetings were held at the house of Harry Peiris, Sapumal Foundation, Barnes Place (Sarath Chandrajeewa. [2010]. ‘Modern Art in Sri Lanka and its socio-political environment’, Artful resistance: contemporary Art from Sri Lanka, ZKF publishers. Germany).

As mentioned above, Pablo Neruda was only 25 when he was in Sri Lanka as the Chilean Ambassador (1929-1931). At 29, Wendt was four years older. In his book ‘Memoirs’, translated from Spanish into English by Hardie St. Martin, published by Penguin, Neruda had written thus about Wendt, on page 93.

“Little by little the impenetrable crust began to crack open and I struck up a few good friendships. At the same time, I discovered the younger generation, steeped in colonialist culture, who talked only about books just out in England. I found out that the pianist, photographer, critic and cinematographer Lionel Wendt was the central figure of a cultural life torn between the death rattles of the Empire and a human appraisal of the untapped values of Ceylon.

Lionel Wendt, who owned an extensive library and received all the latest books from England, got into the extravagant and generous habit of every week sending to my house, which was a good distance from the city, a cyclist loaded down with a sack of books. Thus, for some time, I read kilometers of English novels, among them the first edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, published privately in Florence” (Memoirs by Pablo Neruda, translated from Spanish by Hardie St. Martin [1997]. Penguin Books).

To be continued

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Politics at its most primitive

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By Uditha Devapriya

Review of Shaveen Bandaranayake’s Groundswell

Sarasavi Publications, 2021, 118 pages, Rs. 300

Half-way into Shaveen Bandaranayake’s novel, the Minister at the heart of the story tells us that the wealth he earned was people, not money. This is what politicians usually say. In the very least, it is what people who dislike politicians imagine they say.

Come to think of it, both amount to the same thing: we’ve turned politicians into objects of hate so much that we’ve come to love them for being who we think they are. Since we can’t control them in real life, we want to dominate them in popular fiction. The number of plays and films that poke fun at Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Ministers testify to how badly we want to be, not like them, but above them.

I am deeply suspicious of satire of that sort. In his excellent review of Pusswedilla, Hafeel Farisz tells us why political parody ends up serving the people and objects being parodied. This is not rocket science. At its best, political satire can move us to anger, disenchantment, and rebellion. At its worst, it can lull us into a sense of complacency with things as they are and as they seem. Farisz seemed to think that Pusswedilla epitomised the latter, reinforcing cultural stereotypes while offering no proper critique of the political establishment and the ruling class. I suppose you can say the same thing of Vijaya Nandasiri’s comedies: at his best, he makes us aware of the corruption of the political class; at his worst, he turns the corrupt into objects of love-hate, full of tropes and clichés but nothing substantive.

Shaveen Bandaranayake’s Groundswell reads as a political satire, though I have my doubts. Interweaving different stories and unfolding like a film, it goes back and forth. I won’t call its ending funny, but then how can any novel involving politics end on a funny note?

What Bandaranayake does in his story, short as it is, is to tell us that nothing good can come out of a system mired as much in corruption as in patronage. Since these people are tied to each other through politics, politics can prove to be their undoing. The way he forays into this theme and explores it, without regurgitating the usual political clichés, puts the novel at a notch or two above what you come across at, say, the Lionel Wendt. Without conforming to crude stereotypes, he attempts to humanise his characters, showing us why connections matter in politics, and why they don’t always work out.

The plot is simple enough. A woman comes across a corpse of a man at the foot of a hill one fine morning. She informs the police. By the looks of it, he seems to have lost his grip and fallen to his death. The story then rewinds to a political rally at that most obtrusive site of political rallies, a temple, where we are introduced to Sarath Aluwihare, a Minister trying to win his next election. We are also introduced to Sunil, a young man endeavouring to land a job. Events will unfold in a way that will bring the two of them together.

We are told that Sarath hails from a family of politicians, and that this family has been in politics for over two generations. The surname tells us as much. Sunil, on the other hand, is so unobtrusive that Shaveen doesn’t grant him the privilege of a surname, which, after all, is the preserve of those who matter. Like other village youths lacking employment and in dire search of a patron from the ruling class, Sunil clearly is not important; even when he finds a job as Aluwihare’s driver, his status rises, but not so much as to protect him from the novel’s ending. He is as destined to his place in life as Aluwihare is to his.

There are other characters though, and they have surnames. There is the head priest of the temple, for instance, an unabashed admirer of Aluwihare who uses him to achieve his not so religious purposes. Then there is Dileepa Jayanetti, who rises “from rags to riches” and ends up becoming the owner of the country’s biggest media house. Dileepa finds his way up by befriending the daughter of another prominent politician, who introduces him to Aluwihare, who in turn becomes his biggest benefactor. You sense the pattern here.

Halfway through the story, Dileepa hires Lasantha Muthukumarana, a journalist who tries to stick to the tenets of his trade. Dileepa does this because he thinks that by hiring the honest, he can keep them from being honest. For someone who is so bright and manipulative, this is far from the most brilliant decision he could have taken: a few pages later, Muthukumarana is investigating a hit-and-run incident which may be connected to Aluwihare.

In Bandaranayake’s world, everyone seems to know everyone else. That is why it comes to no surprise that the man run down by a vehicle in the middle of the night should have been married to a woman Aluwihare just happened to hire at his Ministry, and that she should be rumoured to have formed the object of Aluwihare’s affections. That Lasantha thought for a moment that a news report linking all this to a prominent Minister would make it in a paper linked to and blessed by that Minister is, of course, intriguing. But he tries to get it published it anyway. When the predictable opprobrium follows and he finds he can’t get it in, the story moves to its inevitable and in many ways unsurprising conclusion.

In saying all this, I am by no means revealing the plot. In fact, surprising as it may seem, the plot is what least interests me about Bandaranayake’s novel. This is a narrative I have come across many times, in many forms. Bandaranayake takes great pains to make it all relevant to the immediate political situation, i.e. the one we are in, now. Those who manage to draw links between his characters and their “real-life counterparts” should, therefore, be forgiven for thinking that he has attempted political critique masquerading as satire. My interest in it, then, has less to do with the novel than the genre it belongs to.

If Groundswell can be called a satire, it is satirical only to the extent that his characters are caricatures. Yet, as I implied earlier, it is not a satire in the way that a work like Pusswedilla is. The characters fit into preconceived and familiar patterns, but that doesn’t make them the clichéd tropes they turn into elsewhere. These characters are more rounded, certainly more complex. Sarath Aluwihare, for instance, does not possess the overstuffed tummy his counterparts from countless parodies do, while Sunil doesn’t become a Renfield type figure hell bent on catering to his “Master.” Even though Bandaranayake can be facetious, and is pugnacious, he refuses to dabble in the kind of satirical humour which could have turned his story into a Vijaya Nandasiri style parody of politics in Sri Lanka.

Depending on how you view it, this may be the strongest point or the biggest weakness in Bandaranayake’s novel. Groundswell makes several important points, and they should be considered pertinent whether they be couched the language of satire or of serious political critique. The medium is hardly the message, contrary to what people might say, and the way you communicate your ideas should not really impact the importance of those ideas.

And yet, there are one or two episodes which reveal Bandaranayake’s funny side. It is here that the disjuncture between the satirical undertones and the ponderous overtones of the narrative, and the author’s voice, proves fatal to the development of the story.

Bandaranayake is at his best when he is setting up situations, and these situations are, all things considered, effective in setting up the plot. He tries to create atmosphere, and does a good job of laying the context. But when each and every point is prefaced by laboriously long explanations of social phenomena, such as the separation between temple and State in Sri Lanka, or the wretched fate encountered by a million or so menial workers in West Asia, you struggle to distinguish between the narrative and the commentary.

For local readers, these explanations will at best be passé. I suspect they will be for foreign readers as well. Groundswell is a novel, or more correctly a novella, which could have been shorter, tighter, and more effective without them. Not surprisingly, the story gains strength when Bandaranayake cuts to the chase, and loses track when he does not.

I have read this kind of story many times before. What makes this one interesting is that it is Bandaranayake’s first attempt at fiction, and that, for a first attempt, it’s damn good. Even within its limits, he has come up with something enjoyable. That I enjoyed the book, and of course the brilliant illustrations that more than just decorate it*, is why I wish it were leaner, shorter, and tighter. Less can be more. More often than not, it is.

* With one exception: the eighth drawing depicts a scene that, if you think about it carefully, is at odds with the text on the opposite page.

The writer can be reached at udakdev1@gmail.com

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Thirty two little ballerinas win awards at TBSC’s 2021 prize giving

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Text and pictures by
PRIYAN DE SILVA

Thirty two little ballerinas were presented with certificates of achievements and awards at the 2021 prize giving of The Ballet school of Colombo (TBSC) held recently.

Directors of TBSC Tara Cooke and Romina Gyi said that they were extremely proud of the achievements of their charges and thanked the students and parents for their dedication in attending classes diligently despite the trying conditions.

Certificates of achievement were awarded in the baby ballet, junior ballet and intermediate ballet categories to students who excelled in pre-classical and pre-jazz ballet.

Debbie McRitchie, International Director of the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing (to which TBSC is affiliated), in her congratulatory message thanked the parents for investing in their childrens dance education and the teachers of TBSC for preparing the candidates. She said that dance is like life and is a journey but not a destination and encouraged all stakeholders to work harder.

The prize giving was a proud moment for both students and parents as it was a parent who presented the certificates of achievement to their child. Five-year-old Shenaya de Alwis Samarasinghe was the youngest candidate at the prize giving, passing with honours in pre-classical ballet.

The Ballet School of Colombo was the former ‘Oosha Garten Sschool of Ballet’ pioneered by the late Kalasuri Oosha Saravanamuttu-Wijesinghe and was instituted as the ‘The Ballet School of Colombo’ in 2016.

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