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Sunday, 21 June 2009

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In post-independent Sri Lanka, there has never been a song ever dedicated to a Head of State and a historic ‘number’ sung by a 21-year-old lass from Maharagama who has become all the rage in the entire nation. Her song titled ‘Ayubowan, Maharajanani’, was wholeheartedly devoted to the inspiration and unwavering leadership given by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, with the unstinted support of the three Armed Forces and Police, to crush the LTTE in the North, last May.

The girl who rendered this momentous song is none other than Visharada Saheli Rochana Gamage. The unassuming damsel, before singing this historic song, says her life has never been the same, since the public first name to know or listen to her tribute to the President, with the capture of `Kilinochchi’ town (an LTTE stronghold) from the clutches of the Tigers by the gallant Security Forces.

“My life has virtually turned up-side down”, she said modestly in an interview with the `Panorama’ “I never expected the public to react to this song in an inspiring manner. “To say the response, received from the public is overwhelming, would be an under-statement”.

She said that the whole idea of doing such a number, had been conceived in the mind of her Father Chandana Gamage, who in turn had obtained the services of well-known lyricist Sunil R. Gamage, following the grand success achieved by the Security Forces with the battle at `Mavil Aru’.

The visuals for the song had been done in February this year by Anurudha Jayasinghe, while it had been edited by Saman Samarawickrama.Saheli said that she fully immersed herself when singing the song, and the musical score provided by Samantha Perera, further enabled her to express her emotions which in turn paved the way for her to capture the hearts and minds of the entire nation.

Asked for her views for the reaction from the public to her now-famous song, Saheli, stated that she has been inundated with congratulatory messages and calls. And what has been more shocking had been the amazing impact it has already made with the younger generation, she observed.

“Small children, even toddlers have begun to appreciate this remarkable song,” she beamed.

Saheli, who has rendered two other versions of this same song in Tamil and English as well, with the latter to be released shortly to the media, was of the opinion that she has no intention of making singing her full-time career.Her life-long dream is to be a fully-fledged medical doctor.

However, she emphasised that with a view to enriching the lives of people and to uphold the long-held traditions and customs of this country, she would sing songs with such themes in the future depending on the availability of time.

The soft-spoken singer stressed that being able to sing a song in appreciation of the yeoman services rendered to the country by President Mahinda Rajapaksa (more so with the winning of the war) was a `dream come true’.

The Sirimavo Bandaranaike College, educated Saheli Rochana, besides singing her signature song, has already sung a few songs in tribute to the valiant Security Forces who had laid down their lives to save the Motherland from the claws of the LTTE. “I also intend to do another patriotic song in Hindi, and I must insist that once I become a doctor I intend to involve myself in music therapy, so I guess I will not be lost for music after all”.

Saheli Rochana remarked that she has already initiated a few programs to honour the Security Forces with the song being aired on Dialog ringing tones and the money acquired from it will be utilised for the welfare of the Armed Forces.A similar programme has already been undertaken by Mobitel, with her consent, she added.

She also revealed that when presenting or copy of her song to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the latter had commended on her rendition, and had wished her all the success for her future endeavours.

Last but not least Saheli also thanked her parents (Father Chandana Gamage, Mother Usha Rannulu, Brother Sahel Gamage), lyricist Sunil R. Gamage, composer Samantha Perera, her dress-maker Neelamani Munasinghe, make-up artist Nalika de Zoysa, for their respective contributions, towards her song which catapulted her to the zenith of the local music world overnight.


What her father says....

In an interview with ‘Panorama’, Saheli Rochana Gamage’s father Chandana Gamage, a well-established businessman noted that the idea of creating a song in tribute to President Mahinda Rajapaksa had come to his mind, as a result of the steadfast leadership provided by the latter to win the war, while withstanding widespread attempts to derail the ‘humanitarian operations’ by the Security Forces from overseas.

He asserted that he has had no political affiliations either professionally or privately, and that the sole aim in advising Sunil R. Gamage to pen these few lines was to convey his gratitude to the President, for providing a tremendous leadership to the three Armed Forces, Police and the public to crush the LTTE.Mr. Gamage added that he was glad, that he made his own personal contribution to the war effort by prompting his only daughter (Saheli) to sing the song.

He specifically stated that Saheli’s future would always come first, hence he and his wife’s decision to see that their eldest offspring become a doctor, before she could focus her attention to any other venture.

He also complimented the SLRC and ITN for their services in providing visuals to the song and observed that people who had made whatever contributions to its success, can be justifiably proud of having played a part in honouring a ‘right Royal King’ who ended a 30-year-conflict once and for all, thus creating the environment for all communities to live in peace and harmony henceforth.


Great King

Long life to you...//
The creator god - gave us a gift
and so we now have a king
our great king did a wonderous thing
He made our country one - once again
our country one - once again
long life to you... O great king...


From the tip of the north - to deep down south
Tears and sighs were a plenty - you healed us all
by uniting us all
Trounced all our foes - at home and a far- Great King
Long life to you.. O great king...


Proud and pleasant East - with the dawn of peace
There’s spring in the north...
The land you won great king
You amazed our nation - the whole wide world - Great King
Long life to you... O great king...

....................................
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