Connect with us

Features

Renaming Colombo Roads – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Published

on

Remembered Yesterdays

by J. Godwin Perera

Renaming roads is quite a task. Historical, cultural, political, ancestral, paternal even racial issues have to be carefully considered. What one group proposes another group opposes. Tar brushes are used liberally to prove a point. Ours is a land like no other ! Thankfully !! Anyway let’s start with Duplication Road. Named, because it ‘duplicates’ a section of Galle Road by running parallel to it. It’s now R.A. de Mel Mawatha. However to the ‘Tuk Tuk’ drivers who rule the roads and ride over the rules, it’s still Duplicasen Paara. Never mind the Sinhalisation. R. A.de Mel was a Mayor of Colombo. Later, elected to Ceylon’s first Parliament and appointed Deputy Speaker, he was unseated on an election petition regarding impersonation. Shocking? But be consoled. That was Ceylon. Now we are Sri Lanka. Worse things happen. Like shooting a supporter of a rival party whilst he was decorating a stage for an election rally.

At one end of R.A. de Mel Mawatha was Dickman’s Road. Now it’s Dr Lester James Peiris Mawatha. ( Wrong spelling. Should be ‘Peries’ ). Dr Lester was undoubtedly Lanka’s most renowned film Director and he lived on this road. Dickman on the other hand was a long standing resident of the area. Many, many years ago, even before Dr Lester decided to live here, he – Dickman, not Lester, donated part of his property to build this road. So, no Dickman. No road.

Now from Dickman’s Road – Oops ! Dr Lester James Peiris Mawatha turn left and drive along that stretch of Road you may recall as being Havelock Road. Now it’s not. It’s Sri Sambuddhathva Jayanthi Mawatha, to commemorate the 2,600th anniversary of the Enlightenment of Lord Buddha. However to most, even Buddhists, it’s still ‘Havelock Road.’ Easy to write. Easy to remember.

Close by was Thimbirigasyaya Road. It is now Venerable Muruththetuwe Ananda Nahimi Mawatha ( Required – Large envelope. Large letter-head ) This Venerable Thero is the Chief Incumbent of the Abeyaramaya Temple. Also, the President of the Public Services United Nurses Union. Nurses are most pleased. Politically unbiased, he loyally safeguards their rights. Let’s now drive to what was Reid Avenue. Major H.L. Reid was the principal of Royal College when it was re-located to its present site in 1923. The college song was composed by him. The Royal- Trinity rugger match was initiated by him. Phillip Gunawardena after whom this road is named once lived in a house in Reid Avenue. His three sons were educated at Royal College. Famous father. Famous sons. So be it !

But not all roads were renamed to please family and friends. Brownrigg Road was so named after Robert Brownrigg who In 1815, as Governor of Ceylon annexed the Kandyan Kingdom and brought our entire country under the British yoke. In an ironical twist of fate this road is now named Keppetipola Mawatha. He was a warrior Dissawa from Uva who led a rebellion against the British forces and was subsequently executed for high treason. From here to Kanatte. The junction. Not the cemetery. That stretch of road from Kanatte Junction to Borella Junction was part of Baseline Road because it was the ‘baseline’ or reference point for British surveyors to draw their maps of Colombo’s road network. It is now appropriately named D.S .Senanayake Mawatha, after our first Prime Minister whose Colombo residence ‘Woodlands’ was on that road. Why was this house not declared a Heritage Site?

The road from Borella Junction to Dematagoda which was also called Baseline Road is now called Dr Danister de Silva Mawatha. In a doctor versus doctor contest, Dr Danister (WD) de Silva, defeated Dr R.B.Lenora to win the Borella Electorate in the 1960 General Elections. A five minute drive along Dr Danister de Silva Mawatha takes you to a junction. On the right is the Welikade Prison. Ignore it. At least for now. Turn left to what was Campbell Place named after Sir George William Campbell who circa 1866 was appointed as the first Chief Superintendent of the Ceylon Police Force. It is now Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha. He was one of the pioneers of Sinhala poetry. Remember that Sinhala nursery rhyme – Rosa Male Natuwe Katu? It was composed by Ananda Rajakaruna.

But there are more interesting roads that will make you wonder as you wander. That stretch of road between Horton Place and the Public Library is/ was/is named after Ananda Coomaraswamy. A world renowned geologist, mineralogist, philosopher, art historian and more. We are truly proud of him. On that road you will also see quite an impressive building with an oriental design, appropriately named ‘ Nelum Pokuna Performing Arts Stadium’. Someone got a bright idea, erased ‘Ananda Coomaraswamy’ from the name board and substituted ‘Nelum Pokuna.’ There was quite a strong protest. ‘Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha’ reappeared.

We then had the puerile attempt to rename Bagatelle Road as Srimath Wijayananda Dahananayake Mawatha. That unassuming, witty, short time Prime Minister ‘Daha’, would have been the first to protest. He was a son of Galle, not Colombo. A few minutes drive from Bagatelle Road and we reach a road lined with massive trees , whose overarching branches provide a long, canopy of shade. This is Bauddhaloka Mawatha. Many years ago it was named Bullers Road after a one time Government Agent (circa 1840). On this road are the stately homes of men who matter, whose stateliness is emphasized by sentries. A landmark is the magnificent Chinese gifted, Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH).

Also visible along this road is a harmonious religious co-existence. Opposite the BMICH is a life-size replica of the much revered Aukana Buddha. By the side of BMICH is the impressive Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour. Off Bauddaloka Mawatha near the BMICH was Longden Place, named after the 15th Governor of Ceylon (1877-1883). But there comes a time when remembering our colonial past is best left to historians. Hence Longden Place was renamed Malalasekera Mawatha. Prof G.P. Malalasekera was one of the country’s most famous academics, scholars and diplomats. His ‘Magnum Opus’ was the English –Sinhala dictionary. A two minute drive off Bauddhaloka Mawatha leads you to what was once Gregory’s Road. If there is a time to let only historians remember our colonial past there is also a time for us never forget our colonial past. It was Governor William Henry Gregory who in 1877 was responsible for building that most imposing, stately, iconic, landmark – the National Museum. But on July 16th 2013, Gregory’s Road was renamed Srimath R.G. Senanayake Mawatha. He was at one time Minister of Trade and Commerce. O Tempora O Mores !

In another display of cordial inter -religious harmony, Maradana Road has been divided into three sections – Kularatne Mawatha. Named after one of our country’s foremost Buddhist educationists who was Principal of Ananda College, founded Nalanda College and several other Buddhist schools. The next section is named after the weekly Catholic Magazine, first published in 1866 and is called Gnanartha Pradeepaya Road. The third section is Orabi Pasha Mawatha. An ardent Muslim reformist, he spearheaded a Muslim revivalist movement. It was due to his inspiration that Zahira College was established in August 1892.

Well, well, there’s very much more to write about our renamed roads. But it may result in all of us being driven round the bend. Can’t allow that to happen can we?

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Features

Hair Growth and Thickness

Published

on

LOOK GOOD – with Disna

 

* Oil:

Oiling is an old home remedy for hair growth and thickness. Oiling is also used for the strength, shine, and length of hair, from ancient times. The use of coconut oil, especially, is very effective when it comes to the amplification of hair health. Additionally, there are many essential oils for faster hair growth which you can use, too.

* How to Use: Generally, hair oiling works best when applied overnight. You could use this therapy every night, or after each night, then wash your hair, in the morning, before heading for studies, or work.

 

* Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera has long been used as a home remedy for hair growth, thickness, and treating hair loss problems It contains vitamins A, C, and E. All three of these vitamins are known to contribute to cell turnover, supporting healthy cell growth and shiny hair. Plus, vitamin B-12 and folic acid are also included in aloe vera gel. Both of these elements can keep your hair from falling out. Aloe vera plants can be easily grown indoors. A leaf can be plucked, occasionally, and cut open to reveal its gel. This gel needs to be applied on the scalp, basically, to provide nourishment to the roots.

*  How to Use:

Rub this gel on your head properly, leaving no area dry; wash after half an hour or so. Keeping this massage as a part of your weekly routine will eventually make your hair thick and long.

 

*  Green Tea:

Green tea is often consumed as a home remedy for weight loss. Surprisingly, it has many other benefits, including hair-related benefits.

* How to Use:

Consuming green tea once every day can add to the strength and length of your hair. If your body is extremely comfortable with green tea, then you may even consume it twice every day.

 

* Onion Juice:

A bi-weekly application of onion juice can relieve you of your tension, regarding hair health. The smell can really torture you, but divert your attention in doing something else for a while, like making a puzzle or washing the dishes. From an early age, onion juice has been used as a home remedy to control hair fall. Research has shown that onion juice has been successful in treating patchy alopecia areata (non-scarring hair loss condition) by promoting hair growth .

* How to Use:

Take half onion and blend it. Apply the mixture on every nook and corner of your scalp and let it sit for some 60 minutes, or so. Shampoo it off when it’s time for the hair-wash.

Continue Reading

Features

Fun-loving, but… sensitive

Published

on

This week, my chat is with Nilu Vithanage. She is quite active, as a teledrama actress – having done four, already; her first was ‘Pavela Will Come In The Cloud, Mom’ (playing the role of a nurse). Then Came ‘Heavenly Palaces’ (student), ‘Black Town’ (a village character Kenkaiya), and ‘Wings Of Fire,’ currently being shown, with Nilu as a policewoman. You could checkout ‘Wings Of Fire,’ weekdays, on Swarnavahini, at 7.30 pm. Nilu is also active as a stage drama artiste, dancer…and has also been featured in musical videos.

And, this is how our chit-chat went…

1. How would you describe yourself?

Let’s say, I’m a bit on the playful side, and I like to have a lot of fun. But, I do find the time to relax, and, at home, it’s dancing to music! Yeah, I love dancing. Oh, I need to add that I’m a bit sensitive.

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

I get angry quickly. Fortunately, that anger doesn’t last long – just five to 10 minutes. But I wish I could get rid of anger, totally from my system!

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

Nope, can’t think of anything, in particular. Everything is fine with us, and I’m proud of my only brother, and I feel safe when he is around. Or, come to think of it, if I did have another brother, I would feel doubly safe…when going out, in particular!

4. School?

I did my studies at two schools – C.W.W. Kannangara Central College, and Panadura Sumangala Girls’ School for my higher studies. Representing my school, I won first place in a speech competition and dance competition, as well.

5. Happiest moment?

When my husband comes home, or talks to me on the phone. He is stationed in Hatton and those calls and home visits are my happiest moments

6. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I really find a lot of happiness feeding the fish, in ponds. I love to see them rush to pick up the tidbits I throw into the pond. That’s my kind of happiness – being close to nature.

7. Are you religious?

I would say ‘yes’ to that question. I like to go to the temple, listen to sermons, participate in meditation programmes, and I do not miss out on observing sil, whenever possible. I also find solace in visiting churches.

8. Are you superstitious?

A big ‘no.’ Not bothered about all those superstitious things that generally affect a lot of people.

9. Your ideal guy?

My husband, of course, and that’s the reason I’m married to him! He has been a great support to me, in my acting career, as well in all other activities. He understands me and he loves me. And, I love him, too.

10. Which living person do you most admire?

I would say my Dad. I truly appreciate the mentorship he gave me, from a young age, and the things we received from him

11. Which is your most treasured possession?

My family.

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

A camel would be ideal as that would make it easier for me to find a way out from a desert island!

13. Your most embarrassing moment?

One day, recently, with the greatest of difficulty, I managed to join a one meter distance queue, to withdraw money from an ATM. And, then I realised I didn’t bring the card along!

14. Done anything daring?

I would say…yes, when I ventured out to get involved in teledramas. It was a kind of a daring decision and I’m glad it’s now working out for me – beautifully.

15. Your ideal vacation?

I would say Thailand, after reading your articles, and talking to you about Amazing Thailand – the shopping, things to see and do, etc. When the scene improves, it will be…Thailand here I come!

16. What kind of music are you into?

The fast, rhythmic stuff because I have a kind of rhythm in my body, and I love to dance…to music.

17. Favourite radio station:

I don’t fancy any particular station. It all depends on the music they play. If it’s my kind of music, then I’m locked-on to that particular station.

18. Favourtie TV station:

Whenever I have some free time, I search the TV channels for a good programme. So it’s the programme that attracts me.

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

Maybe a bird so that I would be free to fly anywhere I want to.

20. Any major plans for the future?

I’m currently giving lessons to schoolchildren, in dancing, and I plan to have my own dancing institute in the future.

Continue Reading

Features

Snail-napping sets the stage for CGI road trip

Published

on

The SpongeBob Movie:Sponge on the Run

By Tharishi hewaviThanagamage

Based on the famous and one of the longest-running American animated series that made its debut on Nickelodeon in 1999, created by marine science educator and animator Stephen Hillenburg, ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run’ is the latest addition to the SpongeBob movie franchise, coming in as the third installment after ‘The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie’ (2004) and ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ (2015).

Continue Reading

Trending