Youth impact organisation Sri Lanka Unites held the second season of “Beats of One Nation” through a virtual concert on 23 January, featuring seven singers from all Sri Lanka’s religious background and ethnicities coming together to sing for a peaceful, just, and thriving Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Unites Founder Prashan de Visser spoke at the event, sharing how Sri Lanka Unites, a movement for reconciliation and unity, which was formed in 2009 following the Sri Lankan civil war, aims to promote a united Sri Lankan identity, and that “Beats of One Nation” uses music, one of humanity’s best gifts, to help make this vision come to life because of the ability of music to heal, tell a story, and make an impact.
De Visser spoke about the power the new generation has to build a new future for Sri Lanka, a nation that has been through so much violence, extremism, and hate, sharing that the new generation has the power to be the one that unites, saying no to violence and yes to an inclusive Sri Lanka that can prosper and develop, and where every Sri Lankan can have dreams and attain them.
De Visser adopted a quote from Martin Luther King, sharing that he too has a dream – a day where Sri Lankans will be judged not by their ethnicity, their religion, the size of their bank account, the district from which they come, or the school they went to, but simply by the strength of their character, and where Sri Lanka can finally be a nation that lives up to its potential.
Speaking on “Beats of One Nation”, de Visser shared that the performers in the concert hailed from all parts of the island, and from all Sri Lanka’s ethnicities and religions, highlighting how music can act as a universal language bringing people of different castes, creeds, and socioeconomic backgrounds together.
Speaking to the audience and to Sri Lanka’s youths, de Visser said: “May you be healed by these songs and these words. May you be inspired by these dreams, and may you receive the courage and motivation you need to lead this nation, to serve this nation, so that we all can one day say we are finally the nation that we deserve. A nation that the world will respect for the beauty of our people and for the beauty of our diversity,” stressing that it is very important not to let people divide us, and to always keep working for justice for all.
“Beats of One Nation” featured seven finalists performing six original tracks, created entirely for the concert, with the music composition courtesy of Ken Lappen Studios, and lyrics penned by Chamath Nalaka and Uthpala Maduwanthi. “Beats of One Nation” also featured guest performances by Randhir and The Singing Potatoes.
The seven finalists who performed at “Beats of One Nation” were Neelambary Selvachandran, Hemashi Withana, Janeth Fernandopoulle, Esala Morayes, Sadushi Pathirana, Abdullah Murad, and Anjana Liyanagamage.
“Beats of One Nation” was headed by Sri Lankan rapper Randhir Witana, a passionate supporter of Sri Lanka Unites. Speaking at the event, Witana explained that “Beats of One Nation”, the first edition of which took place in 2018, brings together amateur musicians from all part of Sri Lanka, getting them into a studio to create original music with a positive underlying message that harnesses the unifying power of music to bring people together.
“Beats of One Nation” Season 2 may be viewed in its entirety via the Sri Lanka Unites Facebook page.