The 11th Meeting of the Governing Board of the SAARC Cultural Centre

The Governing Board Meeting of the SAARC Cultural Centre was held at the Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel in Galle, Sri Lanka from 16th to 17th October 2019.  All Member States were represented at this meeting.  The Governing Board Members are as follows:

  1. Mr. Abdul Moqim Afghan, Director of Plan and Policy of the Ministry of Information and Culture of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
  2. Mr. Md. Fahimul Islam, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  3. Mr. Karma Weezir, Deputy General, Department of Culture, Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs of Bhutan.
  4. Mr. Ajay Yadav, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Culture of India.
  5. H.E. Mr. Mohamed Thariq, Minister of State for Arts, Culture and Heritage of Maldives.
  6. Mr. Balakrishna Bhandari, Attaché of the Embassy of Nepal in Sri Lanka.
  7. Mr. Intisar Ahmed Sulehri, Press Attaché, High Commission of Pakistan for Sri Lanka.
  8. Mr. Bernard Wasantha, Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Construction & Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka.
  9. Ms. Varuni Muthukumarana, Director Education, Security and Culture of the SAARC Secretariat representing the SAARC Secretary General.
  10. Ms. Aruni Ranaraja, Director General, South Asia and SAARC Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka representing the host Member State of Sri Lanka.
  11. Ms. Renuka Ekanayake, Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre.

The other participants included Ms. Shaiha Ahmed Project Officer of the Ministry of State for Arts, Culture and Heritage of Maldives, Mr. Shamun Ahmed, Project Officer and Permanent Secretary to the State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Ms. Thiloma Abhayajeewa Deputy Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka and the staff of SAARC Cultural Centre.

According to SAARC tradition the Governing Board meeting commenced with the Outgoing Chairperson Mr. Bernard Wasanthe welcoming all Members and handing over the position to Mr. Abdul Moqim Afghan of Afghanistan to take over as the Chairperson for the next two years.  The Governing Board discussed the SAARC Cultural Centre activities carried out during the year 2019, the suggested activities of the Centre for 2020 and the all administrative and budgetary details.

The Governing Board also visited the proposed SAARC Cultural Centre construction site in Nawimana, Matara and delighted by the environmentally friendly design of the Centre.  The Members hoped that construction of the Centre will be completed and programmes could be held at the Centre.

The Meeting concluded on 17th October 2019 with many ideas and suggestions for the development of cultural activities for the SAARC Region.