SAARC Exhibition of Paintings

The SAARC Cultural Centre held the SAARC Exhibition of Paintings 2017 in collaboration with the “Saundaryabhimani Festival” conducted by the University of the Visual and Performing Arts in Colombo over a period of one week, from 3rd July 2017 to 9th July 2017 at the University Premises. There was a vast array of paintings by participants of the SAARC Artists Camps over the years, displayed at the Exhibition. The Centre was honoured by the presence of several representatives from the High Commissions and Embassies of the honoured SAARC Member States and other distinguished guests at the Inauguration ceremony which included opening the Exhibition with ceremonial Sri Lankan drummers and dancers. This was followed by a spectacular cultural display exhibiting a combination of music and dancing, infusing eastern and western traditions of modern day culture, which took place at the newly inaugurated Lionel Edirisinghe Rostrum.

SAARC Artists Camp 2017 Nepal

The SAARC Artists Camp and Exhibition of Paintings 2017, was held very successfully in Nepal, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Nepal for 4 days from the 28th to the 31st of July 2017.

Participation was very encouraging with official nominations for the Programme from the SAARC Member States of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The participating Artists were given the opportunity to create works of artistry and expression, inspired by the scenic, tranquil and picturesque Gokarna Forest Resort in Kathmandu. The themes for the 2017 Artists Camp were ‘Sacred Sites’ and ‘The Beauty of Nature’.

This year’s Programme commenced with the Inauguration Ceremony Chaired by the Secretary to the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, with the newly appointed Cultural Minister of Nepal as the Chief Guest of the Event. The Event was officially declared open following welcome speeches by the Members of the Head Table, which also included the Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre and the Director Education, Security and Culture of the SAARC Secretariat. Honoured High Commissioners and representatives from several SAARC Member States, Directors and officials of the SAARC Secretariat, the joint secretaries and under secretaries and other officials from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and the Foreign Ministry of Nepal, Chancellors of the Art Academy’s in Nepal, Artists from the participating Member States, distinguished guests, members of the Media and many other artist, well wishers and representatives from Artistic Entities were present.

Following the official Inauguration Ceremony, each delegation was introduced and presented with their artistic supplies for the duration of the Artists Camp. This included Canvasses, brushes, paints and many other items required for their paintings, with additional supplies being purchased as required/requested by the Artists.

The Artists continued with their creative interpretations through Art the following day (Day two) and on the third day there was a day trip to Historic and monumental sites in Kathmandu. This was followed by an informal Interactive Session between the Artists, co-chaired by the Chancellor of the Nepal Academy of Fine Arts and the Deputy Director (Programmes) of the SAARC Cultural Centre.

This was followed by preparations for the Exhibition of Paintings, displaying two paintings from each Artist, created over the course of the Artists Camp. The Exhibition was formally declared open by the Chief Guest of the Closing Ceremony, the Hon Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, with His Excellency, the Secretary General of SAARC, in attendance. The Secretary to the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, other officials from the Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, Directors of the SAARC Secretariat, honoured Ambassadors/High Commissioners from the Honoured SAARC Member States, The Chancellor of the Nepal  Academy of Fine Arts, the Artists, representatives of the media and many distinguished guests graced the Occasion.

The SAARC Cultural Centre is very grateful to the officials of the SAARC Secretariat, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and the Foreign Ministry of Nepal and the Chancellor of the Nepal Academy of Fine Arts for being particularly helpful in making this Event a success.

The SAARC Cultural Centre hopes to continue this popular annual Programme in 2018, giving Artists the opportunity once again, to build interregional relationships and enhance artistic collaboration. Most importantly, to promote new cultural ties to be formed in an atmosphere of friendship, where cultural connectivity and artistic exchange will remain the main objective of the event, and all of it facilitated through the beauty and wonder of Art.


International Women’s Day 2017

The SAARC Cultural Centre will be celebrating International Women’s Day with an evening of cultural performance by Thuuryaa, a young all female drumming ensemble from the University of Visual and Performing Arts and honouring several iconic Sri Lankan female Artistes on 08th March 2017 at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 07 at 7.00p.m.

Sri Lanka’s first and only female Executive President, Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and iconic and beloved Sri Lankan artists Iranganie Serasinghe, Vajira Chitrasena, Sumithra Peiris, Nanda Malini and Mary Anne David will be honoured at this celebration. These distinguished pioneers, have paved the way for future generations of women with their persistence, versatility, hard work, courage, integrity and continue to share their knowledge with grace.  They have widened the landscape of possibilities and given young girls the hope and power to dream without boundaries. It is our privilege to honour them.

The art of percussion has traditionally belonged to the domain of men. Thuuryaa brings a feminine touch and a definitive beat without boundaries, changing the face of drumming.  Embracing rhythm, creating & mixing art, their quest began within the walls of the University of the Visual and Performance Arts in Colombo, with nine talented under-graduate souls, created by Sithara, the first female percussion graduate of the University.  Embracing the essences of Kandyan, Low country & Sabaragamuwa – the tri-tradition of the Sri Lankan percussion art, they mix international percussion music to their presentation. The inspirational and innovative efforts of Thuuryaa, creates an entertaining and unique cultural performance.

This is an evening of honour, entertainment and celebration not to be missed.

Admission by Invitation Only.
Please contact Mahinda (0771053008), Yenuka (0112584451 ext 114) or Shanthini (0112584451) at the SAARC Cultural Centre for an invitation.
The programme will end at 9pm.


posterA1 (Large)

SAARC Children’s Art Competition – to commemorate Non Violence Day

The SAARC Children’s Art Competition was held in Sri Lanka, reaching out to all schools in the island. The themes given were :

Junior Category :  “You must be the change you want to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi ( Junior Category)

Senior  Category: “My religion is based on truth and non violence. Truth is my God, Non Violence is the means of realizing him” Mahatma Gandhi  (Senior Category)

Over 990 paintings were received and three winners were picked per category. The winners are:

Senior Category

1st Place
Waththe Vidanalage Nimesh Milinda Premasiri Daluwaththa
MO/ Medagama National School

2nd Place
Tharushi Kaveesha Manawage
R/Gankanda Centar College

3rd Place
Hewagamage Dinushanka Chandimal Wijesinghe
MO/ Medagama National School

Honorable Mentions
Mohammed Raza
Readway INTL Collage

Gane Arachchilage Hashini Prabodha
R/Gankanda Central Collage

Varathalingam Kajeepan
J/Manipay Hindu Collage

Husain Fathima Kasiya
Strisammanthurai Muslim M.M

Balasuriyalage Himashi Amanda Kulawansha
R/ Gankanda Central Collage

W.M.S.K.G Mayuri Rasangi
AM/ Dehiattakandiya M.M.V


Junior Category

1st Place
Ramika Pooja Sooriyaarchchi
R/Sivali Central College

2nd Place
Samarasinghe Thanasha Dinithi Manawage
Ferguson High School

3rd Place
Jayasundara Namal Wishwa Bandara
President’s College


Honorable Mentions
Rahma Ameer
Muslim Ladies Collage

Fathima Suha Mohamod Ziard
Muslim Ladies Collage

E.S.W Yoshan
Sussex Collage

Amarasinghage Hansana Ravisara
K/ Kalawana National School

Fathima Ruzna Ismath
Muslim Ladies Collage

Lioyd Frank
Readway International

Bentotage Oshitha Sehan
ST. Michael’s Collage

Sanuji Chamathkara Dasanayake
Royal Institute International School

Sanuji Chamathkara Dasanayake
Royal International School

Fathima Zahara Sadath
Readway International

The award ceremony will take place at the SAARC Charter Day Celebrations, which will take place on the 8th of December 2016.

SAARC Literary Festival in collaboration with the Galle Literary Festival 2017

Known as home to many of the world’s best epics, stories and poems, South Asia is a region with a unique literary tradition. The region shares a common literary tradition that has developed over the years – scattered times and spaces. Ranging from oral histories to epic poems, the South Asian poetry tradition offers a rich and pulsating experience of  unique South Asianess.
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 needs to be appreciated and celebrated by giving due recognition to indigenous cultures and styles represented by the region so as to celebrate unity in 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 experienced that some of the South Asian writers who write in English have won many prestigious literary awards especially from Western Countries. The SAARC Cultural Centre has organized Literary Festivals over the last five years, but it would now like to broaden its horizons and take it forward, so that not only do we celebrate writers and literature in the region, but showcase the immense talent and wealth of knowledge we have in the field of Literature to the rest of the world. The SAARC Cultural Centre proposes to collaborate and work with the  Galle Literary Festival for the benefit of poets, fiction writers and other writers of the region, which will in turn promote South Asian Literature as well as enable writers/ authors to review new trends and emerging new areas in the regional and international arena of literature.

The SAARC Cultural Centre would like to invite authors and poets from the SAARC Region to be a part of a SAARC Forum and to participate at the Galle Literary Festival which is now a well renowned and established Literary Festival in Sri Lanka. The Festival will be an open forum for writers and poets and poetry critics to discuss, debate, and analyze poetry in South Asia and to indulge in exploring its unique cultural tapestry.

The Festival
The SAARC Cultural Centre calls upon at least 3 writers/ or poets from all SAARC Member States to be a part of the SAARC Literary Forum at the Galle Literary Festival which will take place from the 11th – 15th of January 2017.  At the forum, the SAARC Writers will be able to recite their poetry or explain/discuss their book to the audience. The nominees will also participate at the many other activities planned for the Galle Literature Festival. This Festival will provide a platform to the poets, writers, literary critics, publishers and literary enthusiasts in the region to share their thoughts, insights, voice their concerns and learn from the experts of South Asian Literature. It will also hold poetry reading sessions.

Dates And Venue
The Galle Literary Festival will be held in Galle, Sri Lanka from the 11th – 15th of January 2017. The SAARC Component of the Festival will take place from the 13th -15th of January 2016

Participation At The Festival

Official Nominees From The Member States:
The SAARC Cultural Centre invites all the Member States to send a minimum of THREE Poets or Authors

Official nominations have to be sent via the Ministry of concerned, through the Foreign/ External Affairs Ministry to SAARC Secretariat. An advance copy of the nomination may be forwarded to the SAARC Cultural Centre.

Last Date
The last date for sending in the nominations is 10 December 2016

The language for the Festival would be English.

Logistic Support
The SAARC Cultural Centre would provide local hospitality (hotel accommodation on full-board basis) and local transport to all nominees of the SAARC Member States.
The airfare of the nominees of the SAARC Member States is to be borne by the respective Member State.

Development of Cultural Industries – Handicrafts

17th – 20th November 2016
Colombo – Sri Lanka
Organized by the SAARC Cultural Centre in collaboration with the National Craft Council

  • SAARC Handicraft Village
  • Design Workshop

In 2012, the SAARC Cultural Centre, focused on Traditional Handloom with an Exhibition and Design Workshop titled, “The Wheel of Life” Delhi 2012. At the Handloom Exhibition, the Centre promoted Traditional Handloom Industries of the region, by giving weavers an opportunity to exhibit their products as well as meet with potential buyers and exporters. A workshop on current trends was also organized.  With similar objectives in mind, and with an aim to promote local handicrafts, also in terms of social regeneration and social cohesion through the Handicraft Industry, the SAARC Cultural Centre, also conducted a similar programme in Bangladesh, and Nepal with the focus being on Handicrafts.  Given the success of these programmes, the centre will once again promote Handicrafts in the region, and with the aim of  developing new designs and products attractive to the demands of the new world market.  Lying at crossroads between the arts, business and technology, the creative industries sector comprises a large variety of creative fields, from those heavily industrialized such as advertising and marketing, broadcasting, film industries etc, to less industrialized – like cultural industries. This sector is increasingly important for the benefit of the people of the region, from an economic point of view, and the SAARC Member States are yet to realize its full potential. The Handicraft Exhibition and Workshops will take place in November in collaboration with the National Craft Council.

SAARC Non- Violence Day 2016

To commemorate SAARC Non Violence day 2016, the SAARC Cultural Capital will organize an Art Competition for Children on the Theme of Non Violence, all school going children will be given an opportunity to paint, thereby instilling values of non violence through the medium of art.