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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Sri Lanka wants its own Surajkund fair

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, February 13, 2013
First Published: 01:13 IST(13/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:14 IST(13/2/2013)

Enchanted with the display of craftsmanship at the ongoing Surajkund International Crafts Mela, Sri Lankan high commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam said he was keen to hold a similar fair in his country.

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Kariyawasam visited the 15-day annual fair on Tuesday, which was observed as Sri Lanka Day.

While addressing the media, the diplomat said that a discussion will be held with the Surajkund Mela authority in this regard. The fair would not only prove economically beneficial for both the countries, but would also promote the tradition of handicrafts.

“Also, to have good relations with a developing country like India is a matter of great significance for Sri Lanka,” he added.

He said that the Haryana government has provided the artistes and craftsmen with an international platform. Comparing the culture of both the countries, he said that Sinhala language of Sri Lanka is quiet similar to Sanskrit and Pali languages spoken in India and both the countries have equal devotion for Buddhism.

“This Mela offers a good cultural exchange between people of both friendly countries, and now we too will be replicating the Mela in Sri Lanka from this year, to be known as National Crafts Fai,” Kariyawasam said.

He said that Sri Lanka and India share similar cultural heritage.

Indians constitute the maximum number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka and similarly, India is the first choice for Sri Lankan tourists.

“Craftsmen of Sri Lanka and India are benefitted by participating in Surajkund Mela and Mela is a benchmark for economic development of the participants of the two countries.”

Sri Lanka has been taking part in the Mela since 2008, Kariyawasam said adding, “Surajkund Mela has grown from strength to strength and it is very neatly organised and best presented Mela.”


The envoy also said that there was definite connection between Sri Lanka and India in terms of cultural heritage.

The Sri Lankan civilization was originated from India and Buddhist travelogues of these two neighbouring countries testify this fact.

Sri Lanka Day celebration was an attempt to encourage other countries to participate in the event in years to come.

Vijai Vardhan, principal secretary, Haryana Tourism, said, “Both the countries have cultural similarities. A circuit is being planned for Buddhists in Kurukshetra and Yamunanagar, which should bring more Sri Lankan tourists to our country.”

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