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Bringsing modern fashion into the spotlight



Fatym opens its doors at One Galle Face

The Fatym brand strives to create fashion that is modern, elegant, and active to suit the modern woman of today. All the designs at Fatym Collection have been carefully and meticulously designed maintaining the highest quality and at the same time ensuring form and presence.

Fatym Collection, which aims to bring clients true fashion at affordable prices, opened its flagship store at the One Galle Face Mall recently. The store was inaugurated by the Mayoress of Colombo, Rosy Senanayaka.

Fatym Zahra Guenfoud, the Founder of Fatym Collection, hails from Morocco. She moved to Sri Lanka in 2016. For Fatym, fashion means identity, the first impression that lets people recognise who you are. According to her, it portrays what choices you make, your character, and what you believe in and stands for. She believes it gives a glimpse into someone’s personality; it’s about the differentiating factor that sets an individual apart. In keeping with her love for fashion, she launched her fashion line Fatym Collection online in 2020. “The idea of starting my fashion line came up during the lockdown in 2020, when I was wondering what I can do to contribute to this nation. It was then that I realised that many of my followers on Instagram used to ask where I buy my clothes from. Many Sri Lankans have a good sense of style, and seeing a potential market, I decided to venture out into this industry as an online business,” Fatym explained.

The store is located on the fifth floor of One Galle Face, and is spacious, with shoppers given the convenience to browse, fit-on, and shop to their hearts’ content. Boasting an elegant and luxurious interior with an artistic ambience, it delivers a unique shopping experience and features a photo-worthy backdrop. The new store was officially opened in the presence of ambassadors, dignitaries, well-wishers, customers, and members of the media. The collection consists of casual lifestyle and seasonless apparel, including pants, tops, dresses, outerwear and activewear. The brand also spotlights everyday basics, and Instagram-worthy trends to inspire confidence.

Speaking about the collection, Fatym said : “The clothes are designed to cater to the needs of fashion-forward women who love to dress elegantly with comfort. I want women to feel confident in our clothing, like their second skin. I want them to feel that they are beautiful, important, glamorous, and classy. I want them to feel that they have made a good choice and we are here to serve them to the best of our abilities. The clothing is feminine and designed to stand out from the common collections that others are providing.”

Fatym’s latest collection and styles are available at the new store and online via their website. Follow Fatym Collection on Instagram or Facebook to keep up with the latest designs. Shop at their newest store at Level 5, shop number 12 at One Galle Face.

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Man of the Globe International …branching out




Kalum Samarathunga came into the spotlight when he won the title Man of the Globe International (Charity Ambassador) 2022, held in Malaysia, last year, and also Mr. Sri Lanka 2022.

A former sales and marketing co-coordinator, in Kuwait, Kalum is now into modelling (stepping into the local modelling world in 2021, when he returned to Sri Lanka), and is also focusing on becoming a professional presenter, and an actor, as well.

Kalum made his debut, as a presenter, at the ‘Ramp Comes’ Alive’ fashion show, held in April.

He also mentioned that he has been involved in music, since he was a kid…and this is how our chit-chat went:

1. How would you describe yourself?

I’m just an ordinary guy on the road to achieve my humongous dreams.

2. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

There was a time where I was very insecure about myself, but everything is fine with me now, so I wouldn’t consider making any changes.

3. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

Nothing at all, because I’m blessed with an amazing family.

4. School?

Indian Public School, in Kuwait, where I was the leader of the school band, playing the keyboards, and a member of the school dance team, as well. In sports – under 19 long distance runner (800m, 1500m and 5000m), and came second in the inter-school Kuwait clusters, in 2012,

5. Happiest moment?

My happiest moment is that moment when my parents teared up with joy after I called them, from Malaysia, after winning Man Of The Globe International Charity 2022. Seeing my parents crying out of joy was the happiest moment, more than winning the title.

6. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

It doesn’t matter what you do in life as long as it makes you happy. For example, I was born in Kuwait, living a lavish life, a great job and an awesome salary, but I was still unhappy and that’s because I wasn’t doing what I wanted to.

7. Are you religious?

Let’s just say that I’m a God loving person and I live my life according to that. I believe that I’m nothing without God and I have experienced God’s blessings in my life

8. Are you superstitious?

No, because I have never experienced luck in my life. All that I have achieved, in my life, is purely out of hard work.

9. Your ideal girl?

There no points looking beautiful if you can’t keep up a conversation, so “communication” comes first for me; a woman who respects and loves my parents; loyalty and understanding; her voice should be attractive, and she doesn’t have to be someone in the same field I’m in, as long as she trusts me and respects the work I do.

10. Which living person do you most admire?

My mom and dad are my role models, because the man I’m today is because of them. They went through a lot in life to raise me and my siblings.

11. Which is your most treasured possession?

My piano, my first and only friend that was there for me, to make my day. I was a bullied kid in school, until Grade 10, so playing the piano was the only thing that kept me going, and made me happy.

12. If you were marooned on a desert island, who would you like as your companion?

Sri Lankan actress Rashiprabha Sandeepani. I admire her qualities and principles. And, most of all, she was unknowingly there for me during a bad storm in my life.

13. Your most embarrassing moment?

My ex-girlfriend’s mother catching us kissing, and I also got slapped.

14. Done anything daring?

Taking a major risk, during Covid (2021), by leaving everything behind, in Kuwait, and travelling to Sri Lanka, for good, to finally follow my dreams .

15. Your ideal vacation?

I’ve actually forgotten what a vacation feels like because I’ve been so focused on my goals, back-to-back, since 2020.

16. What kind of music are you into?

I don’t stick to a single genre…it depends on my mood.

17. Favourite radio station?

No special liking for any station in particular.

18. Favourite TV station?

I do not watch TV but I do watch TV series, and movies, on my laptop, whenever I can. And, thanks to Sinhala teledramas, on YouTube, I’m able to brush up my Sinhala.

19 What would you like to be born as in your next life?

If this ‘next life’ is actually true, I wouldn’t mind being born as anything, but, most importantly, with “Luck” on my side.

20. Any major plans for the future?

I am planning to invade and destroy Earth…just kidding! I don’t want a top seat in my industry – just the seat I deserve, would be fine.

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Modern and contemporary styles in keeping with today’s trends



Chairman Primal Wijaynayake with other members

Managing Director of Widac Commercial Interiors, Chandi Alles is a pioneer in the field of Design. She started her career in New Zealand and returned to Sri Lanka at which point Widac ventured into offering its clients a total interior solution from design to fit out.

Steering Widac’s Projects Division, the Company has participated in many exhibitions and have won prestigious awards locally and internationally.She has an experience of 30 + years in the industry, and has been involved in working with clients that span over all segments of businesses in the commercial sector. Her passion for designs has helped to transform spaces to functional and practical working environments.

To mark 50th anniversary of partnership with Steelcase,Widac organised a CSR project to distribute wheel chairs prostatic legs and dry rations to the needy.

(Q) Your multi-faceted design firm not only deals with design but handles manufacturing of unique detailed products as well. Could you elaborate your unique design philology and how it reflects the key works done by your firm?

(A) Our designs are based mainly on modern and contemporary styles in keeping with today’s trends reflecting the business of the client. As such we work with processed timber and engineered surfaces which can be transformed to bring out unique creativity.

(Q) What made you opt for designer as a career. How has your work evolved over time?

(A) I enjoyed creative work from a very young age and when I went to New Zealand had the opportunity of working with an experienced designer. Her inspiration and my interest in “Design” created a career path for me. I have enjoyed 35 years of work to the fullest, and I gain satisfaction when I saw my creativity transformed into reality.

(Q) Luxury does not mean fancy construction materials or flamboyant installation but spaciousness, diverse usability and availability of options.Your opinion?

(A) Agree to your statement. Luxury can be achieved with less expensive materials. Use of colour , lighting and texture are key elements for the final product.

(Q) What in your opinion what are some of the loopholes that the designers get trapped in while designing luxury projects?

(A) Limitation of materials available at present in the market

(Q) A project close to your heart why?

(A) All projects are close to my heart as each and everyone is given a lot of time from start to finish. Being in love with my work is always the key to achieving better results

(Q)Your most challenging design project? Share the challenges and how you overcame them?

(A) Practicality is fundamental in my design. The biggest challenge I have had is to achieve precision in the final product. Design is a way of living,enjoying lifestyle to the fullest is my forte.

(Q)What is your dream project?

(A) Convert a complex that looks rather rundown to the best making it an icon for others to admire

(Q) How do you combine beauty and function? What do you see for the future of design?

(A) Beauty can be achieved with the correct use of materials, colour and light Nevertheless day to day maintenance needs to be considered as well to let the “beauty” last!

(Q) What are you working on at the moment?

(A) A VIP Lounge and Staff Cafeteria in a Commercial Building

(Q)What is your favourite project date and why?

(A) Etisalat – A well known name in the Telecommunication Industry. Dates back to a decade. It’s considered favourite for reasons below

a. Total design and build was by WIDAC

b. The first in the country to depict the same “Concept” of the Flagship Store and other forty outlets

island wide

c. The 40 outlets that it is spread out in the country were completed in one year.

d. Gave us real satisfaction to see our work showcased in main cities and little towns through out Sri Lanka

(Q)What fuels you to do what you do every day?

(A) I need constant excitement and challenges in my work to keep me motivated. I take pleasure in working on turnkey projects which are fast-paced; also anything stereotypical and conventional brings boredom.

I am highly passionate about what I do. There were times when I was not very enthusiastic about some things, but I worked on it by discovering small ways to keep the level of excitement high. Despite the challenges, the show must go on!

(Q) What is your definition of success?

(A) Success is subjective. According to me, it means having a name, fame, recognition, and appreciation for the work done. To have made it in the industry without anyone to endorse me has been my mark of success. I also believe that being able to grow and adapt to the trends and to evolve, yet staying afloat despite hitches, is a success. Although the monetary aspect plays an important role, hard work and honesty are something to be treasured.

(Q) What advice would you give to professional women?

Working women need to be respected as they are the embodiment of the art of balancing work, home, their lives, everything.

(A) I believe that time management is essential to being an organized person, so delegating and outsourcing must be made use of wherever possible.

More importantly, love and trust yourself, also be motivated by setting aside some time for self-care and enjoyment with friends. Learn to laugh and to let go, as there are some situations that are beyond your control and you cannot please everyone. Furthermore, never ever compromise on your self-respect and dignity, because you are worth a lot more than you think.

WIDAC chaiman Primal Wijaynayake with managing director Chandi Alles and director operations Prashan Wijenayake

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The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla



by Vijaya Chandrasoma

The past fortnight featured some of the most momentous headline news of the century. Any one of these sensational stories would have monopolized the print media and TV screens of the world for several news cycles.

These included revelations of unprecedented bribery and corruption rampant within the most hallowed Court of Justice in the world, the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Provable accusations of bribery against at least three of the “Republican” Justices of the Court, including Chief Justice John Roberts, are rife. As are “Inducements” of cash and kind received from right wing billionaires, one of them a collector of Nazi memorabilia, his proudest possession being a painting signed by Hitler.

The first civil case in the continuing saga of sexual transgressions committed by the former President of the United States ended last Tuesday. Trump was found guilty of sexual battery and defamation of character, and a Manhattan jury ordered Trump to pay up to $5 million in punitive damages to Plaintiff, E. Jean Carroll.

Trump became the first former President of the USA to be found guilty in a civil case, in addition to being the first former President to be indicted and arrested by the Manhattan District Court in April 2023 for 34 felonies, presently awaiting trial. There are three other investigations against Trump; for the felony of obstruction of justice by the state of Georgia and the felonies of sedition and espionage by the Department of Justice, awaiting indictment and imminent arrest. With all this criminal baggage, Trump amazingly remains the front runner for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024.

Another potential big story was a Town Hall style meeting in New Hampshire on Wednesday, May 10, organized by CNN, with Trump open to questions from a captive MAGA audience. Just a couple of hours of Trump’s same old lies, reminding me of a few lines from Macbeth’s soliloquy, “A poor player, That struts and frets his hour on the stage…It is a tale, Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing”.

Finally, there were six mass shootings in the United States during the weekend of the coronation, including two in Texas which claimed 14 innocent lives and wounded 33. Mass shootings have now become so commonplace that they hardly qualify for any sensation value in the US media, and are usually dismissed with thoughts and prayers during a brief news cycle.

But the last shooting in Allen, Texas took a sinister turn, in that the killer wore a flak jacket adorned by the acronym RWDS (Right Wing Death Squad), the insignia of violent, far-right extremists. This same insignia was displayed by the Proud Boys, the Oathkeepers and other white supremacist Trumpers during their attempt to storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Indisputable proof that Trump’s traitorous dream of ending democracy in the USA, to be replaced by an illegal, white Christian dictatorship, is very much alive.

All these potentially sensational stories were relegated to second stage by the coronation of King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla on Saturday, May 6, at Westminster Abbey, London, when they ascended to the throne of the United Kingdom and 14 members of the Commonwealth of Nations. An occasion that was becoming increasingly remote in Charles’ eyes, as his mother, Queen Elizabeth II showed no signs of “shuffling off this mortal coil”. In fact, she seemed as healthy as the horses she loved to ride, till the end.

At long last, on September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Charles was simultaneously grief-stricken/buoyed when he heard the ancient proclamation – The Queen is Dead, Long Live the King – that rang throughout the realm on the death of the monarch. His destiny had finally dawned, he was indeed the sole occupier of “This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise…..This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England”.

Charles was grieved at the death of her mother, but she was 97 years old and had lived her wonderful life. The realization that his lifelong dream of the monarchy had finally arrived.

King Charles III was crowned in Westminster Abbey on Saturday, May 6. For over 1,000 years, British monarchs have been crowned amid a spectacle of grandiose pomp and pageantry that no other nation can surpass, a ceremony that confirms the rightful monarch to rule. Three days of pageantry excitedly watched not only by Britishers, but millions living in countries who remain devoted to the monarchy of the country that had subjugated, pillaged and enslaved them for centuries.

The Crown Jewels sported by the Royal Couple were mainly stolen from the French and British colonies in Cambodia, the Indian subcontinent and South Africa. The most famous Royal Jewel stolen from Sri Lanka by the British is a 105 -carat Chrysoberyl of exceptional quality. Other jewels in the Royal Regalia were similarly stolen from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Cambodia. The golden carriage used for special Royal occasions was probably a “gift” from gold-rich South Africa. There are no gem and gold mines in the rugged terrain of the British Isles. Just a treasured conviction of ethnic superiority which empowered them to prey on the world’s weak with spectacular success.

Shashi Tharoor, Indian politician, diplomat and writer, speaks of the genius of the British in the three-card-trick they played on countries far larger and richer than themselves. A trick where the defeated believe they are winning, until the last moment when they realize they have been cleaned out of all their wealth.

He gives the example of India as an appropriate case study on the destruction that roots from colonialism. When the English East India Company arrived in India in 1606, the Indian economy was contributing around 23% to the global economy. By the time they left India, the contribution was down to 4%. During the years of the British Raj, Britain reduced the Indian economy to nothing; India and other colonies were used primarily for the development of the British Empire. Tharoor estimates that Britain stole $ 45 trillion in today’s dollars during the 300+ years of occupation. The European colonies in Africa and the South Asian subcontinent also missed out on the Industrial Revolution, while their economic and cultural development was stunted by the white colonizers.

But enough of these depressing facts of history. The deed has been done. We of the third world have been right royally and consensually screwed over the centuries. And many of us still harbor fond memories of that white incursion. Let us return to the subject at hand, the spectacular pageantry of the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Over 2,200 guests were invited for the coronation, including the Royal family and over 100 world leaders. The seating arrangements for a crowd of this magnitude for functions spanning three days were carried out most professionally by the palace staff.

The only major glitches they could expect were the placement of Charles’ disgraced brother, Prince Andrew, who had to be kept away from young ladies, given his ill-reputed penchant for teenage girls, earned through his friendship with convicted sexual pervert, the late Jeffrey Epstein.

And the prominence demanded by Prince William, heir to the throne, who had to be kept as far away as possible from his rebellious brother, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Harry had broken away from the family when he married a biracial American actress, Meghan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex, in 2018. He was also guilty of the ultimate sin of publicly criticizing the Royal family, hinting at overtones of racism in the Palace.

King Charles III solved these problems with admirable diplomacy. He ordered Harry and Andrew to be seated far behind the “working royals”, and neither was invited to stand with the rest of the family for the traditional appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony later in the day.

Prince Harry attended the coronation, while his wife Meghan remained in California with their two children. He spent a total of 28 hours in the country, did not meet or speak with his father, the King, or his brother, Prince William. Though a source close to the monarch claimed that Charles was “delighted” to see his youngest son there.

After their coronation at Westminster Abbey, Charles and Camilla rode back to Buckingham Palace in the Gold State Coach, a historic carriage weighing four tons, used at the coronation of every monarch since William IV in 1831. The chariot was drawn by a team of eight Windsor Grey steeds. The newly crowned Charles looked resplendent, though a little weary, in his Royal regalia. What a spectacular coronation this would have been had Unjust Fate allowed the beautiful People’s Princess Diana to be alive, to participate in a pageant tailored in heaven for her. Alas, “our wills and fates do so contrary run”.

The coronation was followed by the traditional homage to be paid to the newly crowned monarch by the senior officials of the United Kingdom, when they place their hands on the monarch’s knees, swear allegiance, touch the crown and kiss the monarch’s right hand. This ceremony is followed by the balcony appearance, a tradition for the royal family to wave to the public from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

And so ended the pomp and pageantry of the coronation of the new monarch, King Charles III, though it hardly matched the majesty of the grief-stricken celebration of the life of his mother, the beloved Queen Elizabeth II, a few months ago,

The coronation of a modern British monarch only retains the historic pomp and pageantry, sans the substance and the power of the Kingdom of a bygone era. There has been, over the last century, a waning in the popularity of the monarchy, especially among the younger generation. As the London Observer puts it, “We need to think about how the monarchy institution sits in a modern and more secular Britain; our faith in these magical rituals won’t last forever…. It is one thing cheerfully to tune into the latest episode of royalty as spectacle, a slice of Elizabethan drama. It is another to be invited to stand up from your armchair to offer unquestioning loyalty to this particular winner of fate’s lottery and his offspring in perpetuity”.

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