The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris concluded a diplomatic reception and combined book launch and cultural event on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka at UNESCO Headquarters in the evening of 3rd of April 2018. The event was organized for the diplomatic community and French aristocracy living in France. His Excellency Mr. Jean Marin Schuh, the French Ambassador in Sri Lanka in chief and around 300 guests including Ambassadors, diplomats and members of permanent delegations of UNESCO in France participated in the event.
The celebration commenced with the singing of the national anthem and the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by H.E the Ambassador, Mr. B.K Athauda and H.E Mr. Jean Marin Schuh, the French Ambassador in Sri Lanka. The programme commenced with a descriptive documentary on legendary Ceylon Tea, the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewelry industry and Sri Lanka Tourism.
The cultural performances by the Tisaravi Dancing Group added exoticism and colour to the event. The Sri Lanka traditional dance items comprised of a low country traditional dance and a second splendid dance imitation of the Sri Lankan peacock. The dancers were adorned with exquisite costumes and delicate jewellery and replete with beautiful Sri Lankan traditional dance movements.
Ambassador Athauda while addressing the gathering emphasized on the rapid economic growth in Sri Lanka and explained that Sri Lanka is competing with the new world and was progressing rapidly to become a developed nation. On par with all democratic nations, Sri Lanka has established transparency and trust within its governing system and had succeeded in eradicating bribery and corruption. He further highlighted that Sri Lanka is now playing a pivotal role at the UNESCO Executive Council. He stated that the UN International Vesak Festival will be held in Paris at the UNESCO Headquarters on the 24th of May 2018 and that Buddhism has now become a fast growing philosophy in the West.
Sri Lankan English author, Ashok Ferrey launched his book titled, ‘The Ceaseless Chatter of Demons’ or ‘L’íncessant bavardage des demons’ in both English and French languages during the event. Mr. Ferrey was born in Sri Lanka and obtained his degree in Mathematics at the Oxford University. His novel was the first local Sri Lankan novel in sixty years to be translated and published in Paris, and the second in Sri Lankan history. The audience was entrapped with the short readings made by Mr. Ferrey and French author, Ms. Maylis de Kerangal which were intricately linked with Sri Lankan culture.
Before the closure of the event, the guests were treated to a Sri Lankan dinner filled with delicious Sri Lankan cuisine. This event which was a combination of Sri Lankan cultural performances, manifestations of local industries, Sri Lankan English Literature and Sri Lankan cuisine became a truly Sri Lankan experience in Paris for the invitees.
Embassy of Sri lanka