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Festive season looking good



…Down Under

While health authorities, here, paint a rather bleak picture of the local scene, in the leadup to the festive period, Sri Lankans, Down Under, are gearing themselves up to enjoy the festive action…or will Omicron be a spoiler!

Trevine Rodrigo, generally referred to as the man-about-town, in Melbourne, has this to say about the forthcoming activities…

Fun loving Melburnians, who have been starved of interaction and entertainment, over the past two years, due to Covid restrictions, can look forward to a brighter New Year, and a hope for better things in ’22.

The effects of the crippling pandemic have had an adverse effect on millions of outgoing people. So much so, that there is an evident split in the reaction to it. Not all are in the mindset of going out, anymore, while others are going berserk, enjoying the new freedom that has now opened up.

Sri Lankan expats, in Melbourne, who have endured the longest lockdown in the world, are breathing a sigh of relief (and hoping), that this year will be a little bit close to norm, unlike last year and worse, the year before.

Several dance organisers have sprung into action, with expansive plans to usher in the New Year.

Bertie Ekanaike, and the VOC, with Esric Jackson, have lined up the Grand on Cathies Lane in Wantirna, for what must draw the biggest crowds, with Covid protocols being observed.

Back from a lengthy sojourn, in Perth, visiting his daughter and grandkids, Esric Jackson was bubbling with newfound enthusiasm as he wades back into what he loves doing best, being in the thick of things in Melbourne’s busy entertainment activity, of which he is a livewire.

“We are planning to give guests a night to remember as we usher in a New Year that will surpass and lighten up the dark two years, we endured in the past,” he says.

Together with the organisers, Esric and the team, led by VOC President Anton De Costa, are leaving no stone unturned to make this New Year’s Eve memorable..

Guests will also be treated to a live streaming of the Melbourne fireworks display, as the countdown to the New Year begins.

Fantastic dance band Replay-6 and, probably the best country band, No Limit, will be raring to go, music-wise, after a long layoff from public appearances.

Esric Jackson will feature alongside both bands, and they will join hands to usher in the New Year with a medley of traditional songs sung for decades at 31st night dances.

The very talented Sonali Lindsay, Chris Mant and Cloud Nine will be in action at Gaelic Park, in Keysborough, at an Anglo-Indian event that is also expected to draw a packed house. Chris and Sonali are excited to be invited to perform at the Indian event, ahead of some top Indian talent in Melbourne.

Desmond de
Silva: From
Sydney to
for 31st night

News from Sydney indicates that maestro Desmond de Silva will travel to Melbourne, raring to go at ‘The Sri Lounge’ in the Docklands, which is in the heart of the Melbourne CBD.

I am informed that the event is already sold out. Such is the following of one of Sri Lanka’s icons, whose popularity continues to hold strong, unwaveringly, by his countless fans. The venue also has the added attraction of the lavish New Year’s Eve fireworks display which is a major drawcard to Melburnians each year.

Being housebound for most of the past two years, due to the lockdown, Desmond has been working hard in the unfamiliar and difficult closed confines. adapting to hatch up some exciting surprises for his fans, who are usually happy with the numerous hits he has produced, in an unforgettable career, spanning several decades.

“Whilst in lockdown, I had a lot of time to think about new material. And,with a lot of encouragement, I embraced technology and have produced video clips and audio tracks for my Official YouTube channel,” said Desmond.

“Rested, and with renewed spirit, I am very excited to get back on stage and perform to a live audience. It is especially significant to be able to help fans usher in 2022 with renewed hope for the year ahead,” he added.

The popular Walawwa, in Melbourne, will have Cherrie Chamari and BE Sharpe for their New Year’s Eve event and guests can expect a homely welcome, filled with a great cuisine and a great musical set up that is extremely popular.

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ICC arrest warrant; a setback for authoritarian rule



‘All-weather allies’: President Xi Jinping meets President Vladimir Putin.

As should be expected, the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Russian President Vladimir Putin on war crimes allegations has given rise to a widespread debate on how effective it would be as an instrument of justice. What compounds the issue is the fact that Russia is not obliged to cooperate with the ICC, given that it is not a signatory to the Rome Statute which outlaws the crimes in question and envisages punitive action for signatory state representatives who act in violation of its provisions.

Predictably, the Russian side has rubbished the ICC allegations and its arrest warrant on the basis that they are totally irrelevant to Russia, considering that it does not recognize the ICC or its rulings. However, the fact remains that important sections of the international community would be viewing Putin and his regime as war criminals who should be shunned and outlawed.

The possibility is great of the Putin regime steadily alienating itself from enlightened opinion the world over from now on. In other words, Putin and his cohorts have incurred a heavy moral defeat as a consequence of the ICC’s arrest warrant and its strictures.

Morality may not count much for the Putin regime and its supporters, locally and internationally, but the long term consequences growing out of this dismissive stance on moral standards could be grave. They would need to take their minds back to the white supremacist regimes of South Africa of decades past which were relentlessly outlawed by the world community, incurring in the process wide-ranging sanctions that steadily weakened apartheid South Africa and forced it to negotiate with its opponents. Moreover, the ICC measures against Putin are bound to strengthen his opponents and critics at home, thereby boosting Russia’s pro-democracy movement.

However, the Putin administration could earn for itself some ‘breathing space’ at present by proving the ICC’s allegations wrong. That is, it would need to establish beyond doubt that it is not guilty of the crime of deporting Ukrainian children to Russia and other war-linked offences. It could liaise with UNICEF and other relevant UN agencies for this purpose since it does not recognize the ICC.

A wise course of action for President Putin would be to pick up this gauntlet rather than ignore the grave allegations levelled against him, in view of the long term consequences of such evasive behavior.

Besides, the Russian President would need to restrict his movements from now on. For, he is liable to be arrested and produced before the ICC by those governmental authorities who are signatories to the Rome Statute in the event of Putin entering their countries. That is, Putin’s head is likely to be increasingly restless as time goes by.

However, the gravest consequence flowing from Putin and his regime ignoring the ICC and its strictures is that later, if not sooner, they could find themselves being hauled up before the ICC. There is ample evidence from recent history that this could be so. All the alleged offenders need to do is take their minds back to the convulsive and bloody Balkan wars of the nineties to see for themselves how the ICC process, though slow and laborious, finally delivered justice to the victims of war crimes in that tempestuous theatre.

All those war criminals who have lulled themselves into believing that it is possible to escape being brought to justice before the world’s tribunals, need to recollect how former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevik and his partners in crime Rodovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic were brought before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the early years of this century and required to pay the price for their criminality. So confident were they initially that they would never be brought to justice that they agreed, tongue-in-cheek, to fully cooperate with the ICTY.

It is pertinent to also remember that the criminals mentioned were notorious for their ‘ethnic cleansing’ operations and other war-time excesses. Accordingly, those accused of war crimes the world over would be only indulging in wishful thinking if they consider themselves above the law and safe from being held accountable for their offences. Justice would catch-up with them; if not sooner, then later. This is the singular lesson from Bosnia.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping has considered it timely to call on President Putin in Russia. He did so close on the heels of being elected President for a third straight term recently. This is a clear message to the world that Russia could always depend on China to be a close and trusted ally. It is a question of two of the biggest authoritarian states uniting. And the world they see as big enough for both of them.

Interestingly, China is having the world believe that it has a peace plan for Ukraine. While in Russia, though, XI did not spell out in any detail how the crisis in Ukraine would be resolved with China’s assistance. However, China has drafted what is termed its ‘Position on the Ukraine Crisis’. It contains 12 points which are more in the nature of a set of principles.

Seen against the backdrop of the developments in Ukraine, some of these principles merit close scrutiny. For instance, the first principle lays out that the sovereignty of all countries must be respected. Besides, International Law must be universally recognized, including the ‘purposes and principles of the UN Charter’. However, ‘double standards’ must be rejected. Hopefully, the West got the hint.

Principle 4 has it that ‘Dialogue and negotiations are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis.’ Principle 8 points out that, ‘Nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought’.

Needless to say, all the above principles are acceptable to the international community. What is required of China is to evolve a peace plan for Ukraine, based on these principles, if it is in earnest when it speaks of being a peace maker. The onus is on China to prove its credibility.

However, China could be said to be characteristically pragmatic in making these moves. While further cementing its alliance with Russia, China is placing the latter on notice, though in a subtle way, that its war in Ukraine is proving highly counter-productive and costly, both for the states concerned and the world. The costly economic consequences for the world from the war speak for themselves. Accordingly, nudging Russia in the direction of a negotiated settlement is the wisest course in the circumstances.

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In the limelight again…Miss Super Model Globe 2020



Those who are familiar with the fashion and beauty pageant setup, in Sri Lanka, would certainly remember Shashi Kaluarachchi.

Three years ago, she was crowned Miss Super Model Globe Sri Lanka 2020 and then represented Sri Lanka at the Miss Super Model Globe International, held in India.

Shashi won two titles at this big event; she was placed second in the finals (1st Runner-up) and took the title of Best National Costume.

Very active in the modelling scene, in the not too distant past, Shashi went silent, after dazzling the audience at the Super Model Globe contest.

Obviously, those who are aware of her talents were kept guessing, and many were wondering whether she had prematurely quit the fashion scene!

Not quite so…and I had a surprise call from Shashi to say that she is ready to do it again.

The silence is due to the fact that she is now employed in Dubai and is concentrating on her office work.

1st Runner-up at Miss Super Model Globe International

“When I came to Dubai, I was new to this scene but now I do have some free time, coming my way, and I want to get back to what I love doing the most – modelling, fashion and beauty pageants,” she said.

Shashi indicated that she plans to participate in an upcoming beauty pageant, to be held in Dubai, and also do some fashion shoots, and modelling assignments.

“Dubai is now buzzing with excitement and I want to be a part of that scene, as well,” said Shashi, who had her early beginnings, as a model, at the Walk with Brian Kerkoven modelling academy.

“I owe my success to Brian. He made me what I’m today – a top model.”

Shashi, who 5’7″ tall, says she loves wearing the sari for all important occasions.

“The sari is so elegant, so graceful, and, I believe, my height, and figure, does justice to a sari,”

Shashi has plans to visit Sri Lanka, in April, for a short vacation, adding that if the opportunity comes her way, she would love to do some photo shoots, and a walk on the ramp, as well.

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Dry Skin



Shorter Showers

If you have dry skin, do not take long showers, or baths. Staying in the water for a longer time can dry it out more. You should also use warm, instead of hot, water, when you wash. Hot water can strip your skin of the fatty substances that give it hydration. As soon as you finish cleansing yourself, apply a body lotion, all over your body, to moisturize. Don’t wash yourself more than once a day


Applying a daily moisturizer can do wonders for dry skin, and there are products in your kitchen you can use which are natural and effective. Try coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, or sunflower seed oil


Olive oil and brown sugar have amazing properties for the skin. Both of these substances deeply hydrate. Olive oil is also a known wound-healer, while sugar contains glycolic acid, which allows it to have anti-aging. You can make a natural scrub, using these ingredients which can be as good as the best anti-wrinkle creams.

*  Mix one tablespoon of brown sugar with a teaspoon of olive oil.

*  Blend them, and spread the mixture on your face, and neck, using a circular motion, for a few minutes.

*  Then leave it to sit for another couple of minutes, and wash it off with warm water.

You can do this twice a week for amazing results


Taking care of your lips is important. Lips can also get dry and chapped, which is why you need to keep them hydrated, daily. If you’re looking for a natural balm, try sugar and lemon, or honey, sugar, and butter.

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