65th Anniversary of Sri Lanka –Thai Diplomatic Relations Celebrated in Bangkok.

At a solemn event held in Bangkok, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Thailand together with the institute of Asian Studies of the Chulalongkorn University – one of the oldest Universities in Thailand, marked the 65th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Sri Lanka established formal diplomatic relations with Thailand in 1955. The event was commenced with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by the distinguished invitees amidst Magul Bera /(Ceremonial drums) and screening of a brief documentary produced in-house, by the Embassy on Thai-Sri Lankan Relations-A visual narrative.

Participating at the event as the Chief Guest, H.E Mr. Ittipol Khunplume, the minister of Culture of Thailand said he recalled his visit to Sri Lanka and the beautiful Buddhist temples, and the socio-cultural similarities and bonds are well entrenched on Theravada Buddhist traditions, which runs deep into over seven centuries. In a message issued by H.E Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Hon. Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, which was read by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Thailand, H.E Mrs. Samantha K. Jayasuriya, stated that the common values and strong teachings in Buddhism should provide guidance for countries to be resilient and work together, demonstrating ‘kalyana mithra’ relations in troubled times like the ongoing COVID 19 Pandemic. Ambassador (Rtd) Mr. Poldej Worachart, former Thai ambassador to Sri Lanka delivered the Key Note Speech, and also presented his unique Yukyur art pieces, depicting Thai-Sri Lanka relations in a Mini Exhibition at the venue.

A travelogue written by Mr. Ballobh Krityanavaj, in traditional Thai Niras/Nirat poems titled ‘Sri Lanka Charika Kavya”, was launched as a key feature of the celebrations. The first copy of the book was presented to the Hon. Cultural Minister Khunplume by the Author. The Niiras poems express the feelings of the author on his tours around Sri Lankan Buddhist Trails and other places, as well as activities of interest to a traveller. The board of authors making their remarks said ‘Sri Lanka should be a place in everyone’s wish list that is worth visiting at least once in life time’. Mr. Anil Sirimanna, the Commerce Counsellor of the Embassy facilitated the editorial board in the preparatory process of the book, and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has supported dissemination of the book, as a tool of promoting Sri Lankan Buddhist Trails among the Thai Public. Copies of the book will accordingly be widely distributed among schools, libraries, Buddhist temples and Travel Agents in Thailand, promoting Sri Lanka Toursim.

Given the parallels the Niras Poems has with the Sri Lankan ‘Sandesha Kavya”, in providing eloquent descriptions on places, nature, people en route to a particular destination, the audience was entertained with the recital of Niras poems in Thai language, by Khun Chudatip Ritruechai and poems from the ‘Mayura Sandeshaya’ and the ‘Selalihini Sandeshaya’, by Ms. Kalani Perera of Chulalongkorn University, and Caption Ajith Ruwanpura of Sri Lanka Army Cultural Troupe, demonstrating the Rhythmic variations of the Poems.

Following another successful event of Cultural Diplomacy launched by the Embassy, the participants enjoyed traditional Sri Lankan food and refreshments arranged by the Staff.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
15th December 2020

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