- Published on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:08
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Sri Lanka High Commission in Canberra at the invitation of the Mayor of the Cowra Shire City Council in New South Wales (NSW), Australia will be participating at the Cowra Festival of International Understanding - 2013 as the Guest Nation.
Cowra Festival is an annual celebration in the Cowra community started in 1965, and each year they focus attention on a Guest Nation during the Cowra Festival of International Understanding. Sri Lanka is the 49th such Guest Nation in this series. The Festival provides the Guest Nation an exclusive opportunity to showcase their culture and customs, and share in a time of celebration and goodwill with the people of the city. It also provides an opportunity for the local community to learn more about the Guest nation, promote the Sri Lanka for tourism and investment.
The 2013 Cowra Festival of International Understanding will be held for one week from 2nd – 10th March. As the Guest Nation the High Commission will have the opportunity to be involved in all elements of events planned for this year.
Cowra has close many international dimensions including historical ties to Japan that manifest themselves in various forms within the town. Residents and visitors will notice these links through the Avenue of Cherry Trees, The Cowra Japanese Garden, War Cemetery and the Sakura Matsuri Festival etc. Cowra also has a strong relationship with Indonesia and Italy because of the large number of Prisoners of War (POW) in the town during World War II. Cowra City is also one of the cities in the world (only city in Australia) that has the Peace Bell installed by the World Peace Bell Association. Cowra has always prided itself on being the centre of World Friendship and promotes the accepting nature of the town through the annual Festival of International Understanding, celebrating a different international culture each year.
A long-standing tradition of the festival is the handover of the Festival Baton from the immediate past Guest Nation to the new Guest Nation. This year High Commissioner Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe will be receiving the “Festival Baton” on 9th March at the official handing over ceremony to be held at 1.00 p.m. in the City of Cowra.
Sri Lankan Community Organizations in Canberra led by University of Peradeniya Alumni Association in Canberra is assisting the High Commission in all arrangement and for coordination with other agencies and well-wishers for the success of the festival.