Sunday, August 07, 2005

Desmond de Silva presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Vijaya Corea

Sri Lankan superstar, Desmond de Silva presented a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD on behalf of the Autism Awareness Campaign to Vijaya Corea who celebrated 40 years in show business. The award was presented by Desmond de Silva, Mignonne Fernando of the Jetliners fame, Sunil Perera of the Gypsies, Annesley Malawana, Nimal Mendis and other stars at a packed conference on hall at the BMICH in Colombo on Saturday 6th August 2005. Also present at the BMICH was the distinguished European Union parliamentarian Nirj Deva.

Desmond de Silva, addressing the large audience in Colombo said:‘ We are gathered here as entertainers for a very special moment in this spectacular concert. We are here to pay tribute to Dr. Vijaya Corea who celebrates 40 years in broadcasting and as a showbiz man. But there is a ‘little known’ fact - Vijaya has a heart for people and children with disabilities.

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder affecting so many around the world. Autism is not mental illness, these children and adults think differently. Albert Einstein they say was autistic. How many in the audience know that there are 38,000 autistic people in Sri Lanka? So we as entertainers, urge you all to ‘speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.’ Lets spread awareness of autism, particularly when numbers of autistic children are rising and we urge our government to also provide public services – who knows we may even produce Albert Einsteins if we provide education, health, specialist speech therapy for autistic children in our lovely island.

Vijaya has a heart for children with autism – wherever he has travelled, he has raised awareness of autism. On behalf of the Autism Awareness Campaign I take great pleasure and I want Vijaya to come up to the stage so that we could present him with this LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.’

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