Young British Sri Lankan talent mesmerise London crowd at ‘Ekwemu Lanka-Unite Lanka’ cultural & musical show
By Janaka Alahapperuma
Oct 14, 2009
Sri Lanka Janahanda Foundation-UK provided an excellent opportunity for British parliamentarians, Sri Lanka High Commission representatives in London, Hounslow Borough Councillors and local Sri Lankan and British audience to enjoy a multi-ethnic cultural and musical extravaganza, on Saturday night (10th October).

Sri Lanka High Commissioner in London, Justice Nihal Jayasinghe, Rt Hon Des Browne MP (Kilmarnock & Loudoun) and the leader of the British cross party delegation, Cllr Jagdish Sharma, Leader of the Opposition, Mr P.M. Amza, Deputy High Commissioner, members of the Hounslow Borough Council and many other dignitaries participated the event. The Feltham Assembly Hall, Feltham, Hounslow, Middlesex, which holds about 500-600 people was overflowing with a diverse crowd. Music was provided by Sky High, a popular Sri Lankan musical band based in London. Asanga Priyamantha Peiris, popular young Sri Lankan singer, younger son of J.A.Milton Perera and local singers entertained the crowd.

The young British Sri Lankans, who performed at the multi cultural show, thoroughly entertained the audience, including the chief guests. Over seven different dance groups representing all communities in Sri Lanka, dressed in distinctly different traditional attire came together to perform their respective dances and songs in front of a roaring audience. Our talented young artistes, decorated with flowers as well as metal embellished with stones, delivered a fantastic performance, which the audience described as “fabulous”, “exquisite” and at times “astonishing”. “It was a spectacular show” said Hon Des Browne MP.

Sri Lanka High Commissioner Justice Nihal Jayasinghe, Hon Des Browne MP, Cllr Jagdish Sharma and Mr Mike Cook, Managing Director of Fast Cash, representing all the co- sponsors and on be half of the Janahanda Foundation President Sri Lal Dias, joint secretaries M. Marzook and Janaka Alahapperuma addressed the gathering.

The High Commissioner said that it gives him great pleasure to address the gathering of the multi cultural and music festival to celebrate the unity and diversity of Sri Lankans in the UK. “I am aware that Janahanda Foundation has been extending a tremendous service to foster the unity among Sri Lankans living in the UK. It is timely that we look forward as people from the same motherland in order to work together for the betterment of our people. At a time Sri Lankan Government is concentrating on resettlement, rehabilitation, reconstruction and rebuilding the country, the effort of Janahanda foundation in my view is commendable”, he further said.

Hon Des Browne said that he is delighted to join the event celebrating Sri Lanka’s rich heritage and diverse culture. He further added that he is heartened and honoured to be invited to an event that demonstrates the richness of such cultures and peoples. “I have met many articulate, intelligent and engaging Sri Lankan people during the last year, both in Sri Lanka and in the Diaspora. I am sure that Sri Lankan people have the capability of resolving their complex issues and I encourage you to make Sri Lanka the best that it can be” MP Des Browne said.

His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa- President of Sri Lanka, Rt Hon Gordon Brown- The British Prime Minister, Rt Hon Alan Keen MP (Feltham & Heston), Rt Hon Lord Naseby PC- House of Lords and Chairman All Party Parliamentary Group for Sri Lanka, Hon Borris Johnson- Mayor of London and Cllr Paul Lynch- Mayor of Hounslow Borough Council, all sent their best wishes for the success of the event.

Asiri Bandara and Shiran Almeida (Vice President of Janahanda Foundation) compered the show with assistance from Chanaka Dissanayake.

Pix: Dushmantha Wijekoon