High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore celebrated in Sri Lanka PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 09 May 2011 12:28

Sri Lanka celebrated the 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore with a series of events. The Government of Sri Lanka released a special postal stamp in the denomination of Rupees 5 and a First Day Cover commemorating Rabindranath Tagore, which was a befitting homage to the towering personality who straddled the world of literature, art, music and intellectual discourse and contributed in a very meaningful manner to the cultural renaissance of India, Sri Lanka and other countries of Asia. 

On this occasion, a commemorative volume "Remembering Rabindranath Tagore", containing a compilation of articles in English, Sinhala and Tamil written by Sri Lankan and Indian writers, which highlight the poetic, philosophical and cultural expressions of Gurudev Tagore and their relevance in the contemporary world was also released. It was published by University of Colombo with the support of India-Sri Lanka Foundation. 

President Mahinda Rajapaksa contributed towards the celebrations by sending a special message for the commemorative volume. Gurudev Tagore enjoyed a strong association with Sri Lanka and he had visited the Island-nation thrice in 1922, 1928 and 1934. During his third visit, Tagore laid the foundation stone for the Sri Palee University on similar lines with the Santhiniketha in India founded by philanthropist Wilmat A Perera.

Hemasiri Fernando, Secretary, Ministry of Postal Services of the Government of Sri Lanka released the special postal stamp in the denomination of Rupees 5 and the First Day Cover commemorating Rabindranath Tagore.

The Amar-Daya Foundation featured a classical musical extravaganza on Rabindra Sangeeth the same day. Sri Palee students performed several cultural activities in honour of the university's founding father.

The other events scheduled to mark the Tagore Anniversary include staging of the play "Shap Mochan", which was staged by Tagore during his 1934 visit, in Sri Lanka in November this year by famous Manipuri dancer Bimbavati Devi and her 21 member troupe sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Exchange of visits between Sri Palee and Santiniketan and an exhibition of Tagore’s paintings will also be organized in Sri Lanka later this year along with a photo exhibition on the life and travels of Tagore. 

To pay homage to Tagore, the Sri Palee campus will organise screening of documentaries on Tagore made by the students of Sri Palee and talks on Tagore will be delivered by Prof. Walter Marasinghe and Dr.  Premadasa Mudunkotuwa.

Other events planned during the year to commemorate 150th Birth Anniversary of Tagore in Sri Lanka include a festival of films based on the novels and stories of Tagore such as ‘Agantuk’, ‘Pather Panchali’, ‘Charulatha’, ‘Ghare Baire’ and ‘Teen Kanya’ and  an essay competition in Sinhala, English and Tamil on Tagore for  undergraduate students in the universities in Sri Lanka.

A research by scholars on the three visits of Tagore to Sri Lanka in 1922, 1928 and 1934 and the impact of Tagore’s visit in the cultural renaissance within Sri Lanka will also be undertaken later this year.

Earlier this year a debate on "In Tagore’s philosophy of education aesthetic development is as important as the intellectual" between the University of Delhi and Colombo University was held at the International Relations Department of the University of Delhi. High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam was the Chief Guest at the Debate.

Sri Lanka High Commission
New Delhi
May 09, 2011




Foreign Minister of the Sultanate of Oman pledges support for Sri Lanka PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 04:02
Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris was received by His Excellency Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of  the Sultanate of Oman, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Muscat, Oman, on Sunday, 24 April.2011.

Prof. Peiris briefed his counterpart in detail about the developments connected with the report of the experts appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban-ki Moon with regard to Sri Lanka.

Minister Peiris explained that publication of this report, which is not an official U.N. document, will inflict great damage on the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, especially at a time when the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission of Sri Lanka is continuing with its work and has not yet submitted its report.

Prof. Peiris also informed Oman’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, of the reasons why any action based on the panel report, which was described as being entirely advisory, is demonstrably contrary to principle, and therefore unacceptable.

Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, responding to his Sri Lankan counterpart, expressed the view that it is inappropriate to embark on any course of action which would have the effect of impeding the healing of wounds and the forging of a national consciousness of unity and solidarity, soon after Sri Lanka had emerged from a painful conflict.  He said that it is important to await the report of the local mechanism which Sri Lanka had set up, and consider the report objectively.  He told Minister Peiris that the Sultanate of Oman would request the U.N Secretariat not to proceed to publication of the panel report at this time.

Prof. Peiris, referring to the recent deliberations in the United Arab Emirates on the subject of piracy, stated that the Government of Sri Lanka had succeeded not only in bringing peace and stability to our own country, but had also ensured that the sea lanes in the region remained safe for international navigation.  Sri Lanka had also handled difficult issues in such a manner as to prevent problems arising in respect of such matters as the proliferation of small arms, refugee issues and collaboration among terrorist groups in the region.

The Foreign Minister of Oman agreed that this had resulted in considerable benefits not only for Sri Lanka but for peace and stability in the region, as a whole.

Prof. Peiris requested Minister Alawi bin Abdullah to bring Sri Lanka’s views to the attention of the other countries comprising the Gulf Co-operation Council.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
24 April 2011

Renewal in spirit and expectations - New Year Message of the President PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail

From ancient days the great cultural festival of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year has brought satisfaction and joy to the vast majority of our people. It is a festival that pays homage to the Sun for the strength given to the land and people and is also the annual harvest festival that echoes the achievements of the rural people.

We celebrate this New Year at a time when production is progressing rapidly in agriculture and all other areas of development. It is also a time when all enjoy the freedom achieved in our motherland. Therefore, this New Year will help bring a renewal in spirit and new expectations to the people about future progress.

The New Year traditions coming down through centuries add to the joy of celebration. We can give this joy to future generations by making our children aware of its importance in our way of life.

We must create every opportunity for our children who cherish the New Year festivities to join in observing the many rituals and traditions that are associated with it. Therefore, to ensure the safety and joy of our children in celebrating this event, I appeal to you all to keep away from all intoxicants during this festive season. I trust this will contribute to bringing its joy closer the children and women of our country.

I extend my deep gratitude to the members of the Armed Forces, Police and Civil Defence Corps, as well as all employees of the State and Private Sector who have made a commitment to be at their posts during the festive season.

I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

A warm welcome for the Sri Lankan players PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Friday, 08 April 2011 05:25

By R.K. Radhakrishnan

Smiling faces, all-religion blessings, hordes of cheering fans and representatives form the Sri Lankan government welcomed its cricketers warmly, as they arrived here on Sunday morning at the Bandaranaike international airport in Colombo.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa set the tone for the celebrations, congratulating his team on its performance as the nation shrugged off the defeat to a better team the night before in Mumbai.

“Sri Lanka can be proud of its cricketers led by its captain Kumar Sangakkara. The whole of Sri Lanka was with the team. The performance of the team augurs well for the future,” the President told the team.

On his part, Sangakkara, who was selected captain of the ICC world team following the World Cup, mentioned that he and his team were grateful to the President for all the support, encouragement and guidance that he had given the team. The fireworks remained in their wrappers in all of Sri Lanka after the country's defeat in the ICC world cup cricket final but the rest of the planned celebrations went on. There was an elaborate ceremony at the VIP lounge at the airport where religious leaders blessed the team after which the team interacted with officials and others. The cricketers looked tired but were smiling and willing to oblige autograph and interview seekers from the media.

The team then left to the major celebrations venue, the Independence Square in the city, where hundreds of people had gathered to watch the match on big screen on a hot Sunday.


President inaugurates SAARC Ministerial Meeting on Sanitation PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 23:54

SAARC Minister Meeting on Sanitation

The colossal sums of monies that nations spend on conflicts and wars must be diverted towards development, research and technology to reduce poverty and suffering. Sri Lanka’s humanitarian initiatives have enabled the government, not just to end conflicts but to divert resources earlier spent on conflicts, now towards welfare and development, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

"Public expenditure on rural centric initiatives and on farmers, on children and similar expenditures on the provision of water, sanitation and clean environment are more productive and beneficial to the welfare of the citizens. Therefore, at a ministerial conference such as this, our determination should be to appeal to the world to divert their defense expenditure to development" President said delivering the inaugural address at the Ministerial Summit of the South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN IV) on 6 April 2011 in Colombo.

President said: "Sri Lanka already has a commitment to provide universal access to water and good sanitation by the year 2020. We are confident of achieving this, as we have already achieved the Millennium Development Goals in a key area such as the lowest maternal mortality rate in South and South East Asia".

We are well on the way to achieving the MDGs in universal primary education, gender parity in primary education, and maternal and child health. Our country is on course to achieve the MDG target for declining poverty by 2015. Sanitation and related good hygiene plays a significant role in all of this, President Rajapaksa added.


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