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Sri Lanka Magic Circle 1922 – 2022 Celebrates a Century of Magic!

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Founded on 18th February 1922 as an Association of Ceylon Magicians, headed by Gate Mudaliyar A.C.G.S. Amarasekera, with Harold Holden, T.G.R. Goonewardane, Simon Perera, Linden de Alwis, Herbert E. Gonsal, and Vivien Abhayaratne, the Association progressed in the cultural entertainment field up to the 1950 era and thereafter galvanized itself into creating a niche in the entertainment field. In 1953 the name was changed to Sri Lanka Magic Circle (SLMC) which attracted many enthusiasts interested in the performing art of magic. These were students, many members from the government service, mercantile service, Army, Air Force, Navy, Police, Engineers, Doctors, Education department, Medical Research Institution and Judicial service, Borah and Sindi communities to name a few.

Regular monthly meetings and magic workshops were held throughout, initiated by the diligent council members. Many magic performances were held island wide, most of which were in aid of fundraising charitable causes, which was one of the social obligations of the SLMC, even as at date. The quality of the performing art was raised by conducting regular workshops and by holding annual magic contests since 1961 to date and thus improved professionalism in presentation.

This Magic Circle received the blessings of the State throughout its long history.  Sir Oliver Goonetilleke graced the magic shows conducted by the Circle The Golden Jubilee celebrations were held at the President’s House with the blessings of the late William Gopallawa. In 2002 the Tower Hall Theatre Foundation, in association with the Cultural Ministry, under then Minister the late Monty Gopallawa, gifted a block of land at the Kalapola zone at 156 Templars Road, Mt.Lavinia in recognition of the cultural impact by the Magic Circle, on which the ground floor headquarters has been constructed.

The Department of Cultural Affairs recognized the efforts of the magic circle and granted it the status of a ‘National Arts Society in March 2021. Due to the tremendous effort of the SLMC as a cultural society, a Centenary Postal Stamp and a First Day Cover is to be issued on the 22nd April at the International Magic Convention at the BMICH by the Postal Department.

Today the Sri Lanka Magic Circle is one of the very few globally recognized Magic Clubs in the world which has had a glorious marathon century run to date!

Several events has been planned for 22nd and 23rd April which includes a full day International Magic Convention at the Lotus Hall, BMICH, with lecture demonstrations, Senior and Junior Magic Competitions open to local and foreign magicians, awards ceremonies and magic dealer sales counters. On the 24th April from 5.45 PM an evening of a fabulous Gala Magic Extravaganza is scheduled for VVIPs and invitees at the Bishop’s College Auditorium by local and foreign magicians.

About 40 foreign delegates have already registered and the Magic Circle has promoted these delegates to tour Sri Lankan tourist sites, after the events, thus boosting the tourism industry.

Local magicians and members of the public interested in joining the events or to obtain membership in the Sri Lanka Magic Circle, could email Lt. Col. (rtd.) Ronald de Alwis on magicana@sltnet.lk for inquiries.



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BASL urges President to de-escalate tensions in different parts of country

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The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has called upon President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to instruct the Defence Secretary, the Commanders of the Tri Forces and the Inspector General of Police to ensure that there is an immediate de-escalation of tensions in different parts of the country – especially at fuel stations – understanding the difficulties faced by the public.”

 “Whilst keeping in mind that the police and armed forces are acting under very trying circumstances, nevertheless it is necessary to give strict instructions to the police and the forces to desist from violence in dealing with the public and to act with utmost restraint”, the BASL has said in a media statement.

 “We also call upon you to ensure that steps are taken under the law to deal with errant officers who have subjected civilians to such violence.”

The BASL is of the view that it is not appropriate for service personnel to be deployed in the present manner in matters which essentially should be managed by the Sri Lanka Police.

 The armed forces should also not be used to disturb or hinder peaceful protests as was seen last week in Galle.

Full text of the BASL letter to the President:

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) expresses its gravest concerns at the current situation at fuel stations throughout the country and the reports of several incidents of conflicts between civilians and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations. There has been video footage of civilians being assaulted by personnel of the armed forces and the police, the latest being of a civilian being kicked by an Army officer at a fuel station. There have also been situations of the police and Army opening fire into the air to contain the crowd.

Your Excellency is no doubt aware that thousands of desperate civilians are waiting in queues at hundreds of fuel stations in the country. The queues are kilometres long. The tension at the fuel stations have arisen from this desperation for which there is no immediate solution in sight.

The BASL wishes to warn Your Excellency of the imminent dangers this situation could give rise to. The present unrest could result in a conflagration between civilians and members of the armed forces or the police. Some years ago, confrontations between members of the public and the armed forces resulted in the deaths of civilians. Such incidents between the members of the armed forces or the police and the civilians will discredit Sri Lanka’s armed forces and the police.

We call upon Your Excellency to take all necessary steps to give instructions to the Defence Secretary, the Commanders of the Tri Forces and the Inspector General of Police to ensure that there is an immediate de-escalation of the situation in different parts of the country – especially at fuel stations – understanding the difficulties faced by public. Whilst keeping in mind that the police and armed forces are acting under very trying circumstances, nevertheless it is necessary to give strict instructions to the police and the forces to desist from violence in dealing with the public and to act with utmost restraint. We also call upon you to ensure that steps be taken under the law to deal with errant officers who have subjected civilians to such violence.

The Sri Lanka Army and other service personnel must be deployed only in very limited circumstances as contemplated in the Criminal Procedure Code. The BASL is of the view that it is not appropriate for service personnel to be deployed in the present manner in matters which essentially should be managed by the Sri Lanka Police. The Armed Forces should also not be used to disturb or hinder peaceful protests as was seen last week in Galle.

We trust that this will receive the immediate attention of the Government as to do otherwise may otherwise result in unprecedented turmoil and harm.

The BASL believes that the ultimate solution to the situation at fuel stations is to be transparent with the public and to ensure an equitable and effective system of fuel distribution throughout the country.

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SC orders AG to submit report on fuel purchases and distribution

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By A.J.A. Abeynayake

A three-member Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Vijith Malalgoda, Mahinda Samayawardena and Arjuna Obeysekera yesterday ordered the Attorney General to submit a report on fuel purchases, the distribution thereof and the sectors to be provided with fuel on a priority basis.

The Supreme Court made the order after considering two fundamental rights petitions presented by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.

The BASL has requested the Supreme Court to direct the Cabinet of Ministers to consult all stakeholders and independent experts to formulate and implement the necessary policies, and to provide concessions in relation to the prices of essential goods and services to the people including LP gas, fuel, electricity, milk powder, medicines and food.

The petitions were filed by the President of the BASL Saliya Pieris PC, Deputy President Anura Meddegoda PC, former Secretary Rajeev Amarasuriya, Treasurer Rajindh Perera and the Assistant Secretary Pasindu Silva.

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A/L may be delayed by one month

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Education Minister Sushil Premajayantha told Parliament yesterday that although it had been scheduled to hold the G.C.E. A/L Examination 2022 in November this year, it could be further delayed by another month.

Responding to a question by MP Shantha Bandara, the Minister said: “The examination should be held at least after three months of releasing the results of the previous A/L exam because the students who need to sit it again should have enough time to prepare,” the Minister said.

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