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An emotional song about daughters that two Consultant Surgeons created



* Lyrics & Acting in Video: Dr. Samira Jayasinghe

* Music: Dr. Devaka Ratnapala

It was the first week of October last year and I was in a small hotel room overseas, having just finished packing my bags to return home the next morning. It was in the thick of the Covid wave in Europe. I had just dropped my daughter in the university and was returning home the next morning, bags lighter, heart heavier.

I was scrolling through the Facebook feed to distract my mind for a moment from the rush of emotions welling up. There was one shared by one of my classmates, penned by him and music composed by another batch mate of mine. The song was about daughters.

“Nirathuru mage gatha dawatena, Muwa hasarali nithi nanwana” (often lingering around, and the smiles that bring to one’s heart) were the opening lines of the song. The familiar voice of T. M. Jayaratna, the same singer who sang “Amma Sandaki mama e lowa hiruya ridhi” (mother is the moon, I am the silver sun), the most beautiful song I have heard, sung by a father. His voice seemed mature, but still smooth as it has ever been.

He was singing about his daughter, and of all daughters. As he pauses, the second voice slides gently into the conversation, as a mother sometimes would waft into a conversation between a father and daughter, may be with a steaming cup of tea in hand.

As for me, Nelu Adhikari has always been that perfect voice one can listen to for hours. My distraction was becoming counteractive, the welled up emotions of leaving my daughter behind in a distant land to fend for herself, were rushing in from deep within and overwhelming my mind. I stopped the video.

Waiting for boarding at an empty Heathrow Airport the next day, I sent a quick message back to my old friend who shared the post, Dr. Samira Jayasinghe, the lyrics writer of the song, telling him honestly the effect the weave of words and the music had on me. I was delighted to learns that the music composition was also by another friend, Dr. Devaka Ratnapala.

I started prodding down memory lane. Samira and I followed two paths and ended up in the same school after passing the grade five scholarship exam, almost 35 years ago. We spent a few of our best years in school as class mates. Although, we parted ways after, and have kept very little contact, our friendship has not waned. The nostalgia of us singing song after song gathered around a school desk drum in free periods flowed in from bygone days.

Since then I have listened to the song many times. Surrendering to the urge to write something, I pen these thoughts not as a critique (to do so I am not qualified) but merely from an average father’s perspective, listening to the song.

The first verse bring memories of the first time a father sees the petite being. The moment many a men realize what an angel in flesh and blood looks like. The chorus, akin to the infinite waves that visit the shore, reminds you of the laughter, the gentleness that was a daughter that fill a home. The last verse has the line that captured me the most, when the father sings of watching from a distance and being content of simply being a father.

This song in whole feels like our story, parents somewhat lost in their empty nest where the young ones have taken their flight to find their own fortune. Feelings of pride, glee and loss fill the heart. Samira’s lyrics flow through, flipping through memories of seeing one’s daughter for the first time.

How she took baby steps and walked in to the centre of your heart and captivated it and grew up to be a young lady. Devaka’s smooth melody calms one’s conscious to allow it to reach deep within and stir up deeper feelings.

A man would become a better man because of a woman for sure, but he will become the best man he can be because of a daughter. Samira’s and Devaka’s creation has captured that essence

“Diyani obai ma sanasana” is a unique creation in another aspect as well. Both lyricist and the musician are Specialist Consultant Surgeons, who have excelled in their chosen fields. Samira becomes an actor in the music video with famous actress Manjula Kumari.

Dr. Samira Jayasinghe, a Consultant General Surgeon, is a journalist and author as well. He has authored three books and “Adaraneeya Corona” was the third launched during the pandemic. He writes a weekly column “Vini Viduma” in a Sunday national newspaper. On the other hand, Dr. Devaka was the music composer of the popular song “Ahasata soduruda Sanda ketharam” which has touched the hearts of many.

Jaliya Pilimatalawwe, From Hong Kong

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Massive revenue loss: Eyebrows raised over delay in responding to House query



SLPP members say sugar deal black mark on govt.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Many an eyebrow has been raised over the delay on the part of the Finance Ministry to respond to a Finance Committee (FC) request for a comprehensive report on an alleged fraud in the controversial sugar tax revision.

Chairman of the Finance Commission Anura Priyadarshana Yapa on January 5 issued instructions to the Finance Ministry in this regard when the FC considered several special gazette notifications pertaining to the Ministry of Finance issued since October 2020.

According to the Communication Department of Parliament, MP Yapa on Feb 25 told the FC that the report called by him hadn’t been received yet. Yapa said so when State Minister Vidura Wickramanayaka and SLPP MP Nalin Fernando alleged the revision of taxes pertaining to the import of sugar hadn’t benefitted the consumers at all and only caused loss of revenue to the State. Severe criticism of the revision of sugar taxes was nothing but a black mark on the government.

Asked whether the report had been received since the issue at hand was taken up on Feb 25, the former Minister said that the FC answered in the negative.

Yapa told the last FC meeting that the Department of Import Control should be able to submit analytical comments with data on the relevant gazette amendments. Having approved the regulations issued on that day in respect of the issuance of licenses for the import of brown sugar, the FC recommended that a full explanation be given on March 09 with the participation of all relevant Ministries and Institutions.

Parliament is scheduled to meet on March 9.

Yapa is on record as having told the FC on January 5 though the tax on imported sugar was revised downwards to 25 cents from Rs. 50.00 per kilogram through the Gazette Notification No. 2197/12 issued by the Ministry of Finance on 13th October 2020, the move did not benefit the consumers at all.

JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake lambasted the government over what he called a massive sugar scam that caused losses amounting to Rs 10 bn. In addition to the JVP, the SJB and UNP flayed the government over the corrupt deal. Dissanayake questioned the rationale in increasing the tax on sugar from Rs 33 to Rs 50 on May 23, 2020 and then bringing it down steeply to 25 cents on Oct 13, 2020. Dissanayake said that at that time the tax was brought down to 25 cents, there had been 90,000 metric tonnes of imported sugar in the country. Having reduced the sugar tax to 25 cents, the government directed that a kilo of sugar be sold at Rs 85, MP Dissanayake said.

The JVPer alleged that subsequently, when the government wanted to increase the sugar tax by Rs 40, Commerce Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that once imposed tax couldn’t be altered for a month, hence the decision to continue with 25 cents tax till Nov 13, 2020.

MP Dissanayake on Dec 12, 2020 named all those involved in the sugar scam.

Lawmaker Dissanayake said that the country suffered massive losses due to corrupt sugar deals. Those who suspended imports claiming the country faced severe foreign exchange crisis allowed massive corruption at the expense of the national economy.

Dissanayake said that last year alone at least 73,000 metric tonnes were imported at 25 cents tax.

He pointed out that the Treasury was responsible for facilitating sweet deals at the expense of the national economy. The revenue which should have been received by the government ended up with racketeers, Dissanayake lambasted the government for allowing its cronies to flourish.

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JVP expresses solidarity with Black Sunday campaign



The JVP-led NPP yesterday expressed solidarity with the Black Sunday campaign seeking justice for the Easter Sunday carnage victims.

A statement issued by the party said that the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday carnage had released its report but the general consensus was that the inquiry had failed to bring justice. The PCoI report had only made the matter complex by creating some more puzzles instead of identifying the masterminds of the terror strikes.

The JVP has said Sri Lankans will never forget the Easter Sunday terror attacks of 2019 where nearly 300 perished and more than 500 others were wounded and became disabled for the rest of their lives. It is no secret that it was the failure on the part of the previous government to prevent the attacks that led to the destruction of lives and properties. The appointment of the commissions to investigate the incident was the only response of the former and incumbent governments. It is now clear that the commission has failed to identify the masterminds, owing to political reasons. Demanding justice is a human right. The Catholic Church has called on people to mark the coming Sunday as a day of agitation, demanding justice. We, of the NPP, extend our fullest support for the campaign and urge the law enforcing agencies to take action without further delay to bring about the masterminds and offenders of the crime, the statement has said.

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Iranaitivu islanders protest against burying of coronavirus victims there



By Rathindra Kuruwita

Residents of Iranaitivu Island yesterday forcibly filled up the burial sites prepared for those who had died from COVID-19 and held a demonstration against burying coronavirus victims on the island.

The protesters claimed that the media had reported those who died from COVID-19 would be buried on the island and that some group had already prepared a burial site. However, the residents of the island had not been consulted, they said.

They claimed that even during the war they had fought for the right to live on the island and they were opposed to the decision taken by the government to bury COVID-19 victims on the island.

 The protesters claimed that it was a cunning plan by the government to drive in a wedge between Christians and Muslims in the area. The government should have earmarked a deserted island for that purpose, they said. The protest was led by Christian religious leaders and local politicians. 

Iranaitivu is situated 10 km from Mannar and can only be accessed by boat. Cabinet Spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said that it was not a political decision and that health experts had taken it after careful consideration. He added that a vehicle especially made for this would be used to transport bodies to the island. This vehicle would include a freezer and the driver would be isolated from the bodies. Two family members would also be allowed to attend the funeral.



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