Happy New Year!

Message from Anoja

it was certainly an eerie feeling yesterday in Sri Lanka, when for the first time in my life, I did not hear a single cracker at the time of lighting the hearth, first meal etc. It was the same in other parts of the country. Anyway, hope everyone had a peaceful and happy NY and Easter. Let me share some events which I hope will gladden your hearts.

Saving our younger generation,…..and anyone else in distress….

At the time when Wuhan was the epicentre of the (then) epidemic our President sent a SriLankan Airlines plane to evacuate 33 students trapped in Wuhan City. The Captain called for volunteers and a crew of 16 set off for Wuhan, never having flown there before. Not knowing where they could land in case of an emergency, the crew set off in their “space suits” after getting a special training from the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Wing of the Air Force. And UL 1423 brought the students safely home on 1st February. Sri Lanka’s first local case was diagnosed 6 weeks later, the same day the WHO declared the pandemic.

On 7th April, it was the turn of the Sri Lanka Navy. The luxury Cruise ship ‘MSC Magnifica’ with 2550 on board was heading home to Italy from Australia after a rather unsuccessful voyage, and was due to anchor outside Colombo harbour for refuelling and essential supplies. The only Sri Lankan on board, a 31 year-old chef, sent frantic appeals to the President on Facebook, asking for permission to disembark in Colombo. A team of the Navy’s CBRNE Unit, wearing full PPE, was dispatched to the cruiser, 5 nautical miles out at sea, and the young man was brought home. The ship’s captain then requested Sri Lanka to accept a passenger who needed hospitalisation for a “heart condition”, and the navy did a second trip, to bring the elderly patient who was on a stretcher. The 75 year-old German lady is now receiving treatment at NHC and the young man is in quarantine.

That’s not all. Yesterday, our Navy received an appeal from a Liberian Container ship, MSC Taranto, to accept a suspected COVID-19 patient, a 36 year-old seaman from the Philippines, for hospitalised treatment. The Navy CBRNE sprang into action, this time putting into practice the well rehearsed SOP for accepting COVID-19 patients at a Port. 

Cheers for our men (and women) manning the skies and the seas. Those on land are doing a fantastic job too. That’s another story for another day.

Motto: Young or old
Rich or poor
Ill or well
Save them all.

Stay safe – until we meet again.


15 thoughts on “Happy New Year!”

  1. We wish all my Sinhala & Tamil Batch mates a very happy New Year.
    New Clothes, Hand sanitizers, New masks & Gloves.
    Dont forget to rinse your mouth regularly with alcohol – preferably, Whisky, Brandy, Gin or Arrack !!!
    Seelan & Jean


  2. A Happy National New Year and a Happy Easter to all batch mates.
    Liquor stores have been sealed in Sri Lanka, Seelan , with distilleries producing hand sanitizer in Arrack bottles ,and masks not available.. However we will enjoy as a family in lockdown and think good thoughts about you all.
    Blessings to all
    Nirmali and Narme


  3. A very happy New Year to all batch mates and all our teachers who are still around.
    To ‘celebrate’ New Year in the midst of the Corona crisis has provided a great opportunity for reflection on life as it was, as it is and as it might be. Plenty of positives are happening to help us spend lockdown time usefully. The National Theatre in UK is live streaming some excellent plays free of charge, free films available on Nites TV, you can download any book that’s ever been printed at http://www.pdfdrive.net, I am seeing birds I have not seen before in my garden, old friends from the distant past are making contact after years of ‘no contact’.
    So, I hope to enjoy the New Year for as long as I can. I hope you too do.
    With love and best wishes,


  4. Avery happy new year and Easter to all 64 batch mates and their families. We now have the opportunity to communicate with friends and batch mates for hours. We are enjoying this.
    As CJ said It’s a good time to reflect and chill out
    Satha and Selvi


  5. Happy Sinhala & Tamil new year and a Happy easter to all my batch mates and their families. Don’t get disheartened by corona pandemic , live life to the full and celebrate the occasion.


  6. Dear all Batchmates, Let me wish you and all family members a very happy Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Also happy happy Easter. This is a golden oppotunity to be with all family members at home. Take care regarding Corona 19 virus.


  7. Happy New Year to the Class of 64 mates, and your families .
    This New Year Celebration be a different kind of Celebration thanks to technology .
    Piching/ Nisantha — I am recalling our Happy New Year Celebrations in Pittsburgh in the good days gone by ! Soooo glad we all made the time back then ,to get together and have fun .
    Deepthie .


    1. Dear Deepthie

      As this New Year Celebration will be a different kind of Celebration can you produce baby eagles this year by keeping Eagle’s eggs be kept under you hens at home and making them to hatch.



  8. I am few days late as usual, I hope everyone had a very peaceful Easter and New year despite the eerie feelings we all are experiencing at present. I note that worldwide alcohol sales have gone up, in Australia beating the toilet roll sales. I have no doubt Batch 64 is a major contributor. Seelan, Manel is watching you!


    1. Nimal & Manel,
      In Malaysia, I could drink & drive but here in Sydney, Can,t even drive around now !!
      I am glad that we all had a “Pakka” time at the Bloem RU – just escaped the C.Virus


  9. Hi Anoja .
    I was very happy to read you long note about how SL is responding the the COVID Crisis .
    I am proud to know, the good work done by every one, land , air and sea .
    All the news I have been receiving from SL is ALL Good
    Hope every one over there stay safe, healthy and Keeping the Social Distance + Hand Washing .

    I was a bit sad to know,that there were no fire crackers to mark the auspicious time , for ceremonies , usually performed for the New Year .
    Well- such is Life . We can only hope for better days to come ..

    I did receive your private note and photo- and I will send it to Sam to be inserted into the Web page .
    In the future, send to Sam, what ever photos / articles you have , and he will post them for you .

    Thank you again, for your post, to keep us updated on what is going on in Srilanka , and happy to know that all is good over there .
    Again, Keep Well – Class of 64-
    Deepthie .


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