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The Ballet School of Colombo making history in Sri Lanka



Text and pictures by PRIYAN DE SILVA 

‘The Ballet School of Colombo’ the first Sri Lankan Dance establishment to be affiliated to the Commonwealth Society of Teachersof Dancing conducted its inaugural  examinations  in the fields ofClassical and Jazz Ballet on the 7th of August.

Thirty six students ranging from the ages of 5 to 34 presented themselves for the exam which was conducted online. They were the firstbatch of Sri Lankan students who took the test from CSTD syllabus.

After Covid19 pandemic changed the way of life, The Colombo Ballet School took the initiative to conduct lessons online afterwhich the final grooming for the examination was done in person adhering to current health regulations.

The Colombo Ballet School has a rich history as It was the ‘Oosha Garten of Ballet’ pioneered by the late Kalasuri OoshaSaravanamuttu-Wijesinghe that was instituted as the ‘The Ballet School of Colombo’ in 2016.

The present Directors of the school are TaraCooke and Romina Gyi.

The Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing with its origins dating back to 1933 occupies a unique position amongst the dancesocieties of the world, The Society is an authoritative examining body whose high standards are internationally respected.

All grades of examinations for amateur and professional dancers are conducted underseparate syllabi for: ‧ Classical Ballet ‧ Theatrical (Stage) Dance ‧ Tap Dance ‧ ModernJazz ‧ Contemporary.

With the CSTD syllabus, students can start with the Foundation level exams and progress to a Teachers Diploma in all the above mentioneddance disciplines and enjoy the opportunities of competing and participating at international dance festivals and programs.

“Having this unique affiliation to an International Examination body gives us the ability to further train our students to be on par with international standards and provide them with fantastic opportunities to not only take part in exams but also APCA and Global competitions that propel them to be the best they can be. Healthy competition is good motivation, especially during times like these where children and adults alike spend more time in front of computers and devices andslowly descend in to a sedentary lifestyle.

We see a significant change in the students who did the exams this time. They are moreconfident, outspoken and active and is very receptive to improving themselves further” said  the directors of The Ballet School TaraCooke and Romina Gyi after the examination was concluded.

The Ballet School of Colombo will continue to train students for exams in the hope of encouraging and motivating them to pursue thiscenturies old dance style that is practiced the world over and celebrated for its precision technique and grace.

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Central Bank urged to save collapsing local industries



The National Freedom Front (NFF) has requested the immediate intervention of the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal to save micro, small and medium scale industries badly affected by the current economic downturn caused by the Covid-19.

The NFF parliamentary group comprises six members, including one National List.

Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa, on behalf of the SLPP constituent parties, has warned of steep increase in unemployment, drop in the contribution made by small and medium scale industries to the national economy and the further widening of the gap between the rich and poor.

Party sources told The Island that the NFF had decided to take up the urgent matter because, in spite of repeated promises, those who had been severely affected were yet to receive assistance. Minister Weerawansa has urged the Central Bank to restructure loans obtained by affected industries and also extend the moratorium.

Weerawansa has in a letter dated Oct.18, told Cabraal that according to a survey conducted by the Industrial Development Board, micro, small and medium enterprises suffered serious setbacks. However, of the loans made available through the banking sector, a substantial segment had been disbursed among major players, the Minister said, while pointing out that in other countries in the region more than 50 percent of total loans were made available to micro, small and medium industries.

Unfortunately, here in Sri Lanka they received approximately 15 percent of the total given as loans, the minister said.

Minister Weerawansa said that though industries suffered, almost all state and private banks had recorded much improved performances with significant profits.

The Minister said that following his intervention with the cabinet of ministers, the government agreed on a plan of action to deal with the situation. It would be the responsibility of the Central Bank to implement the agreed proposals, he said.


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So far no side effects among Pfizer vaccinated 15,000 A/L students



By Rathindra Kuruwita

Over 15,000 GCE AL students had been vaccinated with Pfizer and there had not been any side effects, Colombo District Director of Health Dr. Dilip Liyanage told the media yesterday.

He said that the Ministry of Education had given them a list of 20,688 that needed to be vaccinated.

“We would like to assure parents that there is no need to worry. Over 15,000 children have been vaccinated and there have been no problems so far. Trust the health professionals and vaccinate your child at the first opportunity you get,” he said.

Dr. Liyanage added that children who missed their chance to get vaccinated on weekdays, can get vaccinated at the MOH office near their home.

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Govt. approves prohibition of cattle slaughter



The government has approved the prohibition of cattle slaughter. The decision was announced at the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Information Department yesterday (19). The government said the relevant laws and regulations, including those passed by Local Government authorities would be amended for that purpse.

The Legal Draftsman has drafted Bills to amend the following acts and ordinances.

• Authority 272 of the Cattle Slaughter Ordinance No. 9 of 1893

• Act No. 29 of 1958 Concerning Animals

• Municipal Councils Ordinance – Section 252

• Section 255 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance

• Ordinance No. 15 of the Urban Council Act of 1987

The Attorney General has certified that the said Bills do not clash with the provisions of the Constitution.

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