Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that just days from now, Sri Lanka will mark its 70th anniversary of Independence.
“In many ways, we live in the best of times, with our attention being focused on making Sri Lanka a truly reconciled, peaceful, stable and prosperous nation,” he said.
He however said that Sri Lanka is beset with challenges that need to be worked on together as a nation, to overcome.
“If we look at the world we live in, it is a time of technological innovation, medical marvels, space travel and exploration and endless fascinating possibilities. Yet, we are beset with climate change, rising extremism, conflict, threats of nuclear war, social media’s manipulation of populations and the rise of those who try to create divisions among people,” he said.
Samaraweera was speaking at the 2018 Fairway National Literary Awards Ceremony in Galle during the Galle Literary Festival.
“Today, not only has Galle grown to be a cosmopolitan city which attracts tourists from around the world, it has become a well-known city in the literary world for the annual Galle Literary Festival. Sri Lanka will forever be indebted for this feat to Geoffrey Dobbs. It is Geoffrey who helped place Galle on the literary map of the world by initiating this wonderful idea of starting a Galle Literary Festival, way back in 2007, when there weren’t too many takers for this idea,” the Finance and Media Minister said.
He said the ‘Fairway National Literary Awards’ in all three national languages, which is now in its third year, has become a component of the Literary Festival that is much looked forward to.
This is the only National Literary Awards competition that accommodates all three main languages used in Sri Lanka.
“This to me is an important aspect of these Awards as it plays a role in portraying our true national character, representing Sinhala, Tamil as well as English writing which helps foster greater understanding among the different users of these three languages, while inspiring each to learn and appreciate the language of the other. This is a crucial component in fostering reconciliation among the people of Sri Lanka,” he added.
He urged those attending the Galle Literary Festival to harness their power to unify, heal divisions, and make Sri Lanka’s citizens engage each other rather than marginalize, and take the nation to the bright and prosperous future that Sri Lanka’s citizens yearn to realize. (Colombo Gazette)