SAARC Cultural Center observed the 36th SAARC Charter Day on the 8th of December 2020 at the Centre premises in a very charming, yet in an elegant manner to embrace the decisive steps taken by the Heads of Eight Member States to develop South Asia’s unique identity through its Cooperation towards each member state. This day marks the adoption of SAARC Charter which reckoned the establishment of South Asia’s Regional Cooperation (SAARC) at its very first Summit meeting held in Dhaka in 1985 with the inaugural participation of all the Heads of States.
As we celebrate the 36th year of commemoration, Member States of the SAARC show cased the re-affirmation of their strong commitment towards fostering the mutual connectivity within the region and stabilizing the regional ties. It recognizes the determination and commitment of the Member States of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in furthering the acceleration of socio economic and cultural development in the region.
Through out the past decade, with the establishment of SAARC Cultural Centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2009, with the gracious imagination and the Great Vision and Mission of the former President His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksha (presently the Honourable Prime Minister and the Honourable Minister of Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs) it has been functioning as the Centre par Excellence in restoring, developing and promoting the culture and its distinctive aspects of the region through a variety of activities and Research to facilitate the cultural development within the region. The Centre has paved the path for many cultural programmes intending to cultivate the mutuality in cultural cooperation. SAARC Charter Day, one of the highlights in the Calendar of Activities of the Centre, marks and symbolizes the utmost commitment and the accomplishment of the Member States in pursuing and attaining its goals.
However, the year 2020 witnessed a reception attended by a limited number of officials representing the SAARC Cultural Centre, due to the prevailing COVID-19 Pandemic situation as it affected the activities of proposed by the Center as well. Therefore, the 36th SAARC Charter Day was not grandeur as it was before, and held keeping the health guidelines issued by the respective authorities of the host country and the instructions given by the SAARC Secretariat.
Thus, the reception commenced with the Director’s welcome of the officials of the SAARC Cultural Centre, and a brief of the History and significance of the SAARC Charter Day. Thereafter, she orated the Message of His Excellency the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa (Click here) The President has made a special reference to the recent efforts taken in establishing and moderating SAARC COVID-19 emergency fund and its operationalization. Further he has reaffirmed the continuous support and firm commitment to the SAARC process and progress.
Following the oration of the His Excellency the President, she orated the message sent by the Honourable Prime Minister and the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. The speech made the point of placing utmost commitment to make the regional mechanism dynamic and result oriented for the benefit of common progress of the region. Further the message noted Sri Lanka’s full and firm commitment to taking forward the organisation and its principles (Click here).She further orated the message sent by His Excellency the Secretary General of the SAARC. Mr. Esala Ruwan Weerakoon. His message marked the appreciation towards the initiative of SAARC Covid-19 emergency fund and commended the continuous efforts of the Member States in mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic (Click here).
Later, the Director invited the Deputy Director for Programmes to read out the message sent by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. He made a special reference highlighting Sri Lanka’s cooperation and firm determination in achieving shared vision of achieving prosperity for the people of the region (Click here).
Following the oration of the felicitation messages, the reception concluded with serving of refreshments to the officials present.