Bunka Award 2019


Ambassador's Speech

Hon. Sajith Premadasa, Minister of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs,
Members of Selection Committee of Bunka Awards,
Government Secretaries, Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Distinguished guests,
And above all, the winners of Bunka Award 2019,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon, Ayubowan and Vanakkam.
First and foremost, let me extend my most profound and heartfelt congratulations to the five winners of Bunka Award 2019. This is the 25th presentation ceremony of this prestigious award, which started in 1993 through the establishment of Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund, and so far, over 120 eminent artists have received this glorious honour.
After careful screening and examination by the Selection Committee, comprised of renowned personalities in the area of culture, art and education, the winners of this year’s Bunka Award have been selected as follow:
Please rise when your name is called.
- Dr. Indika Ferdinando
- Mr. Selbaraj Leelrawathy
- Mr. Anuja Madushanka de Silva
- Ms. Thajithangani Dias
- Dr. Priyantha Udagedara.
Thank you very much.
Needless to explain, each award winner has been a front runner in their respective cultural field, such as cinematography, choreography, graphic designing, visual arts and Kyandian dancing, and has been a pivot of enriching the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. It gives me great pleasure and inspiration to be surrounded by the wealth of blooming talents here today, who are being promised to lead the great cultural scene of Sri Lanka in the long years to come.
Distinguished Guests,
The main objective of Bunka Award is to strengthen the bond of friendship between Sri Lanka and Japan through enhanced cultural interaction. Japan, like Sri Lanka, inherits rich cultural heritage unique in island nations, which provides both countries with ample opportunities to elevate the friendly relationship to a new height. The winners of Bunka Award are expected to spearhead this movement, by exploring further collaboration with the Embassy of Japan and the Japanese community in Sri Lanka, and to bridge the hearts and souls of the peoples of Sri Lanka and Japan.
Speaking of Japanese culture, today’s presentation ceremony, for the first time, has been arranged in combination with Japanese Cultural Show and Film Screening. The Japanese Cultural Show contains the demonstration of Japanese traditional martial arts and trendy cosplay show, with J-pop music played by Sri Lankan musicians, while the Film Screening will show “Spirited Away” or “Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi”, an all-time favorite Japanese animation film by world-famous Studio Ghibli .
Through the series of shows, we aim to bring to the audience new experience of cultural sensation, in order to discover how beautifully Sri Lankan and Japanese culture can synchronize when they are blended together. Please enjoy the shows and feel the new beats that two cultures can create in harmony.
Last but not least, I would like express deep appreciation to Hon. Sajith Premadasa, Minister of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs for gracing this special event as the Chief Guest. Mr. Premadasa’s presence has certainly added extra value and eminence to the Bunka Award 2019, befitting to the silver jubilee of this special award.     
On this note and my heartfelt congratulations to the award winners once again, I would like to welcome the Chief Guest, Hon. Sajith Premadasa, to say a few words.
Thank you very much.