Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 17 June 2012





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University students evince artistic and literary skills

The University students and those in other higher educational institutions who took part in the recent Kavitha talent contest have shown innate, artistic and literary talents, said Sri Jayawardenepura University Senior Prof. Sunil Ariyaratna.

It was organised by the Higher Education Ministry. The aim of the Kavitha contest was to develop the artistic and literary talents of the degree and diploma students in the universities and the higher education institutions.

The Sunday Observer interviewed Senior Prof. Sunil Ariyaratna, Head of the Kavitha project. The talent show will be held in December this year.

Excerpts of the interview:

Q:What is Kavitha and the objectives of its talent competition?

A: In Sanskrit Kavitha means artistic and literary skills. Pratiba too gives the same meaning. Those selected for admission to the Universities and higher educational institutions formed the cream of our student community. Although they follow various streams such as Arts, Science, Commerce and Mathematics they are endowed with latent artistic and literary talents.

It was in the 1970 our literary Drama and cinema geniuses such as Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra, Prof. Siri Gunasinghe, Dr. Gunadasa Amerasekera, Gunesena Galappatti, Bandula Jayawardena, Dr. D.B. Nihalsingha, Dharmasena Pathiraja, Dr. Sunanda Mahendra, Chandrasena Dassanayaka, came into prominence from the universities.

The university was the nursery for such artistes of literary Drama and cinematic game to achieve consumption.

Q: How is it that this was changed after 1970s.

Prof. Sunil Ariyaratne

One of the judges Ravibandu Vidyapathi makes a point

A various social, political and economic reasons could be attributed to this change. During the past 30 years artistic and literary activities were eclipsed by the veil of politics and eventually driven to the wilderness. Politics pervaded the landscape and enjoyed publicity over and above literary and artistic events. There was a dire need for a mechanism to harness the inborn talents of youth.

The mass media has portrayed university student as troublemakers, or pickteers. The majority of the university students were not represented by the trouble-making striking set of students. The mass media gave a wrong picture about university students due to the non-functioning of a program such as Kavitha talent evaluation contest.Kavitha was designed to fullfil that need.

Q: What were the main fields of the Kavitha talent contest?

A: There are seven main fields such as literature, stage drama, cinema, music, drawings, photography and electronic media.

Q: Has the contest achieved substantial progress?

A: The enthusiasm on the part of the students from 22 universities and affiliated universities and 17 higher education institutions was remarkable.

The first round of music and dancing were held at the end of last year. The second round of contests was held at the "Janakala Kendraya in Battaramulla from May 28 to June 1. The Panels of the Judges headed by the veterans in literature, music, dancing and electronic media such as Buddhadasa Galappatti, Dr. Rohana Weerasingha, Ravibandu Vidyapathi, Prof. Ariyaratna Kaluarachchi, Jayantha Chandrasiri, S.H. Sarath, Newton Gunaratna, Dr. Praneeth Abeysundara and Parakrama Niriella visited the universities and other higher educational institutions to select the best competitors. It is commendable that the volunteers rendered a great service to ensure the success of this grand event.

A presentation by the performers.

Q: Do you wish to comment on the awards of the contest.

A: For the first time in university history, the winner of each contest will be awarded a cash prize of Rs. 100,000 and a certificate. There will also be cash prizes of Rs. 75,000 and Rs. 50,000 for the second and third winners in 54 contests. The cash prizes amounts to over Rs. 12 million. All contestants will be awarded certificates.

However, some universities failed to extend patronage to promote literary or artistic skills. Even Prof. Sarachchandra spent his own wealth to bring about a resurgence in drama.

The final Kavitha award ceremony will be held in Colombo under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Derana TV will telecast the Kavitha Contest program from Wednesday, June 20.



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