Jaffna, Sri Lanka:
Press and Broadcasting Union Minister of State L Murugan, who attended the inauguration of the Jaffna Cultural Center built with funding from the Indian government to the people of Sri Lanka today, called it a “historic day” in relations between the two countries. In an interview with ANI, he said the center would be an “iconic” place reflecting Indian and Lankan culture.
“Today is a very historic day in the relationship between Sri Lanka and India. Today this Jaffna Cultural Center has been dedicated to the people of Jaffna. This center is a unique and iconic building,” Mr Murugan told ANI.
“Our honorable Prime Minister laid the foundation stone in March 2015. Today, we dedicate it to the people of Sri Lanka. It will be an iconic place reflecting Indian and Sri Lankan culture. We are delighted to dedicate it to the people of Sri Lanka,” he added explain.
Indian Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Bagley praised India’s neighborly policy, saying the cultural center represented the pinnacle of India-Sri Lanka relations.
“Today’s dedication of the Jaffna Cultural Center to the people of Jaffna represents the pinnacle of relations between the people of India and Sri Lanka. This iconic structure was built with the help of the Government of India. We are very grateful to the honorable minister who conducted visit, especially for this event,” he said.
“We are also very honored that he took the time for us to familiarize him with the work being done for the recovery and development of the northern province. It is the policy of India to put the neighbor first. The Consulate General in Funa is implementing this policy to support the people of the northern provinces, our Tamil brothers and sisters, and strengthen ties between India and Sri Lanka,” the envoy added.
Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was present at the event, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling the Jaffna Cultural Center a “significant project” between the two countries.
Adjacent to the iconic Jaffna Public Library, the Jaffna Cultural Center is the tallest building in Jaffna town. The center was conceived as a reconciliation project with the main aim of expanding the cultural infrastructure for the people of the northern provinces, helping them reconnect with their cultural roots as well as the rest of the country and revitalizing the ancient cultural heritage of Jaffna.
The center is conceived as a public space to “promote, preserve and nurture Jaffna’s cultural heritage” and serve as a “centre for cultural activity” in Sri Lanka. Once a cultural capital of national and regional importance, Jaffna suffered many losses during the protracted civil war. The center is conceived as a public space to “promote, preserve and nurture Jaffna’s cultural heritage” and serve as a “centre for cultural activity” in Sri Lanka.
(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)
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