The Indian government on Tuesday felicitated legendary Sri Lankan musician and Magsaysay award winner Pandit WD Amaradeva for his contribution to strengthening India-Sri Lanka ties through his music.
The 85-year-old Sinhalese classical music legend was honoured for his "outstanding and unique contribution to enriching the relationship between two countries through the promotion of music."
Amaradeva, who has also been awarded the Padma Shri, is known for blending Sri Lankan folk music with Indian ragas.
He had learnt classical music from Indian violinist Pandit VG Jog and later from Sri Lankan musical legend, Dr Ratnajaikar of the Bhatkhande Institute in India. He acquired the knowledge of Indian music during his stay in Lucknow.
"It is important to keep this bigger picture of India-Sri Lanka relations in mind and not get distracted by odd discordant notes on any particular day," Indian High Commissioner Ashok K Kantha said at a ceremony held in his honour at the Indian High Commission.
"Pandit Amaradeva is the living embodiment of how India and Sri Lanka mutually enrich each other," he said.
Amaradeva was an embodiment of the finest traditions of the cultural interface between India and Sri Lanka, he added.