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The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris hosted a diplomatic reception and a book launch with a cultural event at UNESCO Headquarters on 03 April 2018 to mark the 70th anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka. The event was organized for the diplomatic community based in Paris and for eminent French nationals. French Ambassador in Sri Lanka Jean Marin Schuh was the chief guest of the event, and around 300 guests including Ambassadors, diplomats and members of Permanent Delegations to UNESCO were in attendance.

The celebrations commenced with the singing of the national anthem and the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France B.K. Athauda and French Ambassador in Sri Lanka Jean Marin Schuh. The programme started with a descriptive documentary film on legendary Ceylon Tea, Sri Lanka’s Gem and Jewelry industry and tourism in Sri Lanka.

Cultural performances by Tisaravi  dancing group, which included a low-country traditional dance and a dance imitating Sri Lankan peacock, added much colour to the event.

Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Athauda spoke of the rapid economic growth in Sri Lanka and explained that the country is competing with the new world and progressing rapidly to become a developed nation. The Sri Lankan envoy went on to state that, on par with all democratic nations, Sri Lanka has established transparency and trust within its governing system and succeeded in eradicating bribery and corruption. He further highlighted that Sri Lanka is now playing a pivotal role at the UNESCO Executive Council. Ambassador Athauda stated that the UN International Vesak Festival will be held in Paris at the UNESCO Headquarters on 24 May 2018 and observed that Buddhism has now become a fast growing philosophy in the West.

Sri Lankan author Ashok Ferrey launched his new novel titled “The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons” and its French translation “L’íncessant bavardage des demons” at the event. His novel was the first local Sri Lankan novel in sixty years to be translated and published in Paris, and the second in Sri Lankan history. The audience was captured with the short readings from the novel by Mr. Ferrey and French author Maylis de Kerangal.

Before the closure of the event, the guests were treated to a delicious Sri Lankan dinner. The event, which was a combination of Sri Lankan cultural performances, depiction of local industries, Sri Lankan English literature, and Sri Lankan cuisine, became a truly Sri Lankan experience in Paris for the invitees.

 

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Paris

18 April 2018

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