Sri Lanka Festival – 2019 concludes successfully in Canberra
November 13, 2019
“Sri Lanka Festival- 2019” was celebrated at the Sri Lanka High Commission in Canberra on Saturday 09th November 2019, for the 4th consecutive year. It attracted a crowd over 4,400 including Australians, Sri Lankans living in Australia, as well as the members of the diplomatic community.The large attendance proved that this event has now become one of the most popular annual events in the Capital City.
The prime objective of this festival was to showcase Sri Lanka as an attractive destination for tourism, trade and investment. This year’s festival displayed the distinctive diversity, compactness and the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. It promoted variety of culture through dance, music, food, tea, arts and craft.
The cultural show comprised of colourful and elegant classical and folk dancing performances. Talented Sri Lankans, representing all communities from Canberra and Sydney, added value to the cultural programme through their vibrant dancing and singing performances including Udarata & Pahatharata dance, excerpt from Maname (Sinhala musical opera), Jana gee, Berawadana, Calypso music, South Indian classical instrumental music, and Bharatha Natyam.
Sri Lankan establishments in Canberra operated several food stalls with popular Sri Lankan dishes. Visitors tasted variety of Sri Lankan food such as rice & curry, dosa and hoppers. At its own tea kiosk, the High Commission provide free tea tasting of Ceylon tea.
“Sri Lanka Festival- 2019” became a platform to encourage overseas Sri Lankans to support its Economic Diplomacy initiative. Wide publicity was given among the Sri Lankans living in Australia for the One Village One Product (OVOP) and 2000 New Exporter Development Programmes initiated by the Export Development Board (EDB) recognizing their continuous contribution towards Sri Lanka as development partners.
Addressing the occasion, the High Commissioner J.C. Weliamuna highlighted the fact that this cultural festival promotes inclusiveness & diversity while increasing imagination & creativity and offering opportunities for civic pride of Sri Lankans . He further stated that cultural diversity is essential as it builds trust, respect & understand cross cultures. He invited Australians to visit Sri Lanka with their families and enjoy its cultural heritage.
Hon. Chris Steel, Minister of Multicultural Affairs of the ACT Government, Hon. Alistair Coe, ACT leader of the Opposition and Mr. Ian Biggs, First Assistant Secretary of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia were among the VIPs who graced the occasion and addressed the gathering at the Opening Ceremony.
The Australian Government officials, diplomats , all Sri Lanka Associations in Canberra and few from Sydney , Sri Lanka’s Consul Generals in Melbourne and Sydney were among other invited guests participated at the Opening Ceremony.
The main sponsors and partners of this year’s festival were Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Sri Lanka Tea Board and Srilankan Airlines.
High Commission of Sri Lanka in Canberra
13 November 2019