Dr. Prashanthi Mendis Ethnomusicologist And Lawyer

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Words : Indika Madapatha Sellahewa
Photos : Nirmala Dhananjaya

Having lived in Vienna, Austria while her husband was the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Austria, and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna, Dr. Prashanthi took on the active role of the wife of an Ambassador to promote Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan traditions to Europe.  She learnt to play the Caribbean Steel Drums when her husband  Dayantha Laksiri Mendis served as UN and Commonwealth Legal Expert and Legislative Draftsman to the Caribbean and the Pacific as well as other Commonwealth countries in Asia and Africa. Dr. Prashanthi left Sri Lanka to West Africa with her husband at a very young age, when he was appointed as the First Parliamentary Counsel and Head of the Parliamentary Division in Sierra Leone (West Africa). She considers her greatest achievement was to take the Caribbean Steel Drums to the famous Concert Halls in Vienna, Austria, where it is considered the greatest music capital of the world. She is also a natural born musician who plays the piano, violin, Caribbean steel drums, African xylophone/marimba and the Latin American Quatro and performed as solo Caribbean drum artiste at various concerts in the Caribbean, South America and North America.

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