SAARC Literary Award and Ceremony 2018

The Honoured Members of the 54th Programming Committee and the Governing Board Members of the 9th Governing Board Meeting of the SAARC Cultural Centre approved the presentation of the SAARC Literary Award 2018, which would bring attention to the Writers of South Asia within an International sphere.  The SAARC Literary Award commenced with a nomination from the Member State of Afghanistan in 2018 and as per SAARC practice, this will be followed in alphabetical order, by subsequent Awards to the Honoured Member States of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka,.

South Asia is known as the home of world’s best Epics, Stories and Poems which is an integral part of culture through the centuries.  The Region shares a common literary tradition that has developed through the centuries – through varied and scattered times and spaces.  Ranging from oral histories to epic poems, the South Asian poetry tradition and the written word offers a rich and pulsating experience of the unique aspects of South Asia.

The delight and influence of South Asian Literature as a catalyst that brings together diverse cultures within the Region reflects a cultural confluence unsurpassed by any other region of the world.  This rich and vibrant mingling deserves to be appreciated and celebrated by giving due recognition to indigenous cultures and styles represented by the Region so as to celebrate unity within diversity and to preserve splendid South Asian expressions that are a fundamental part of the Region’s cultural ethos.

Within the period of the last two decades, we have witnessed South Asian writers, who have written in the English language, have won many prestigious literary awards celebrating their great contribution to the literary world.  The SAARC Literary Award will be giving Regional recognition and appreciation of the Region to the Writers of South Asia.

Winner of SAARC Literary Award
The Inaugural SAARC Literary Award 2018 was Awarded to Mr. Najibullah Manalai, nominated by the Honoured Member State of Afghanistan.  Mr. Manalai is a multilingual writer of poetry, of narrative fiction, a newspaper columnist, translator and political analyst.  He writes in Pashto, Dari (Farsi), French and English.  He is building bridges between Western Philosophy and Oriental Mysticism through translations of Western and Afghan literature.  During the last decade he has worked tirelessly to promote reading and books in Afghanistan.  He is the creator of the “Golden Reed Prize” in Afghanistan, given annually to a literary personality, highlighting the importance of literature and promoting other writers.

The SAARC Literary Award Ceremony 2018
The SAARC Literary Award 2018 was presented at the National Literary Awards held at the Galle Literary Festival which took place in the World Heritage City of Galle on 26th January 2018.  The Minister of Finance and Mass Media Hon. Mangala Samaraweera was the Chief Guest at this event.  Mr. Manalai was presented the inaugural SAARC Literary Award by the Minister of Finance and Mass Media Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, and the Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre Mr. Wasanthe Kotuwella.