- Published on Friday, 13 September 2013 14:53
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Senior officials representing Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka as the Members of the Fifth Governing Board of the SAARC Cultural Centre, Sri Lanka, which met on the Long Beach Hotel, Koggala on 9 and 10 September 2013, recognized the SAARC Cultural Centre as an institution capable of serving diverse cultural needs of the SAARC Member States.
They reviewed the progress of the activities implemented so far by the Centre and proposed programmes for next year. Placing on record the Board's appreciation the SAARC Cultural Centre, the extensive number of activities, diversity and the high quality of all its programmes, the Board congratulated the Centre for its achievements and the strong committed contribution towards safeguarding and promoting diverse aspects of South Asian Culture.
The Annual Plan of activities and programmes for 2014 with a budget worth US $ 1 Million, proposed under the Five Year Programme (2012-16) of the SAARC Cultural Centre was approved by the Governing Board. Indicative Programmes of the Centre for 2014 include an array of events ranging from research programmes to cultural festivals. SAARC Cultural Centre will continue to work towards Development of Archaeology, Architecture and Museums, Development of Cultural Industries in South Asia, Promotion of Visual and Performing Arts in the SAARC Region, Development of Literature in the Region, Promotion of Cultural Festivals in the Region, Promotion of SAARC Culture Online, and Establishing Linkages between Culture and other Sectors. The Centre which also has a strong focus on research will organize a regional conference on Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Sustainable Development in South Asia, SAARC Research Forum and Review Meeting, Conference on Rethinking Oral Traditions as part of its Research Programme.
To provide further momentum to the significant achievements of the Cultural Centre, India offered to host a Meeting of the Cultural Ministries at the Viceregal Lodge in Shimla in January 2014.
The Members of the Governing Board also visited the new construction site of the SAARC Cultural Centre in Nawimana, Matara. The Board appreciated the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka for developing a prestigious institution of international class equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and time bound progress made in this regard. The cost of the building of the Institution is US $ 907 million.
The meeting was convened under Chairmanship of V.Sirinivas, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Bharat Mani Subedi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Nepal was appointed as the new Chairperson of the Governing Board.
Other members who represented Sri Lanka at the Governing Board Meeting were: Wasantha Ekanayake, Secretary, Ministry of Culture and the Arts,and Ms. Damayanthi Rajapaksa, Director General (SAARC), Ministry of External Affairs. Prasanna Gamage, Director (ESC), SAARC Secretariat represented the Secretariat and G.L.W. Samarasinghe, Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre represented the Centre.