The well-known musician Alston Koch was appointed as an Ambassador for Tourism by Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda this week in Colombo. With three Gold Records and 18 international releases, including musical videos and the now famous Murali Song, Alston Koch migrated to Australia in 1969, having had a vibrant musical career in Sri Lanka for over a decade before that. He is also a recipient of three ARIA (Australian Record Industry Award) awards.

The only Sri Lankan born musician to have an international hit overseas, Alston was in Sri Lanka to perform at the immensely successful “Hikkaduwa Fest ’08” and at the “SAARC Head of States Summit Media Event” hosted by Sri Lanka Tourism. He enthralled South Asian Media and Sri Lankan audiences with the Murali Song with a backdrop of cricket and his other hit songs “Disco Lady, Try Again and Twenty Miles.”

A keen environmentalist, Alston has ventured to compose and present a special song for Sri Lanka Tourism’s Earth Lung Project, establishing his efforts at mitigating climate change. The song titled “A Land Like No Other” was first launched at the SAARC media dinner show held at the Trans Asia hotel in Colombo last week.

It is significant that a representative of the Sri Lankan community in Australia has been recognized for his contribution to the motherland by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Tourism.

“I am humbled, privileged and honored by this appointment, and I will do everything I can to take the message of the beauty, warmth and the rich Sri Lankan heritage to the world,” said Alston Koch on receiving the recognition.

The special earth lung song, which was recorded earlier in Australia, will now be produced as a high definition DVD with Sri Lankan visuals as the backdrop for international release.

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