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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Paying Tribute to late Sir Arthur Clarke on his 2nd Death Anniversary

The 19th of March 2010 marks the 2nd death anniversary of late Sir Arthur C Clarke. We have already made two orbits around the Sun without his presence. Of course his contributions still lives on and will continue to do so in the times to come.

As a tribute to him, Sri Lanka Astronomical Association in partnership with Arthur C Clarke Estate and the British Council has organized an event scheduled on 17th March which will be a retrospection of Sir Arthur Clarke and his remarkable contributions.  Event details are as follows.

Date: Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Time: From 4.00 pm onwards
Venue: British Council Auditorium (49, Alfred House Gardens, Colombo 3)


  • Welcome and introductory remarks - By Thilina Heenatigala begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting, General Secretary, SLAA
  • Illustrated talk: Sir Arthur C Clarke: Man Who Lived in the Future - By Nalaka Gunawardene, science writer and research assistant to Sir Arthur Clarke from 1987 to 2008
  • Question & Answer session
  • The Making of 2010 (mini-documentary)
  • Screening of featured film: 2010: The Year We Make Contact
Admission is free. Prior registration required. Please reserve your seat earlier as possible by contacting SLAA General Secretary; Thilina Heenatigala on 0716 245 545 or

In-depth Details 

2010: The Year We Make Contact (116 mins, 1984)
Directed by Peter Hyams
Co-written by Peter Hyams and Arthur C Clarke
Starring: Roy Scheider, John Lithgow, Helen Mirren and Keir Dullea

This is the movie adaptation of the best selling science fiction novel 2010: Odyssey
Two that Arthur C Clarke in 1982. The story picks up almost a decade after the first
manned space mission to Jupiter in 2001 ended abruptly and mysteriously. A joint
American-Russian expedition returns to Jupiter in 2010 to investigate what went
wrong. The collaborative mission takes place against a backdrop of growing global
tensions. Among the mysteries this expedition must explain are the appearance of a
huge black monolith in Jupiter's orbit, fate of the earlier mission’s astronauts and
the behaviour of the sentient supercomputer HAL 9000.

More information at:

Guest Speaker: Nalaka Gunawardene

Nalaka Gunawardene worked closely with Sir Arthur C Clarke for 21 years (1987 –
2008) while pursuing his own professional interests as a science writer, journalist
and broadcaster. Nalaka was research assistant for several Clarke books beginning
with 2061: Odyssey Three, and in 1997-98, helped compile Greetings, Carbon-based
Bipeds!, the author’s collected essays from 1934 to 1998. During the last decade of
Sir Arthur's life, Nalaka coordinated his media, scientific and academic relations,
and was also the liaison person with the Arthur C Clarke Foundation based in the
United States. Nalaka blogs on media, science and society at:

Sri Lanka Astronomical Association

The Ceylon Astronomical Association which was founded in June 1959, (later known
as Sri Lanka Astronomical Association) is a not-for-profit association founded by late
Sir Arthur C. Clarke and late Herschel Gunawardene.

It is for the purpose of pursuing the study of astronomy and promoting the
education of astronomy and related sciences. The revived Association’s goals would
include usage of internet to carry research on astronomy and related sciences
among university students and others.