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SAARC Charter Day 2014

The 30th SAARC Charter Day was celebrated on 8th December 2014 at the Arcade Independence Square at the Asylum . The Guest of Honor was Mr. Nihal Rodrigo, the former Secretary General of SAARC Secretariat who also spoke and shared some thoughts on the importance of the celebration of the occasion. The SAARC Cultural Centre Director, Mr. G.L.W.Samarasingh briefed the august diplomatic corps and other luminaries on the developments of the other SAARC Regional Offices.   The messages of the President of the Socialist Republic Democracy of  Sri Lanka, the Honorable Foreign Minister Mr. Peiris and  H. E. Secretary General of SAARC Secretariat Mr. Arjun Thapa were read out.

A cultural programme of “Naye gurulu dances “ were performed followed by formal dinner.

The guests were also shown the photographs on display, selected from the Photography Competition 2014 organized by the SAARC Cultural Centre.

Photography Competition 2014

The SAARC Photography competition was organized by the SAARC Cultural Centre for the year 2014. The following member states had sent the photographs. 

1 Afghanistan 0
2 Bangladesh 1
3 Bhutan 1
4 India 4
5 Maldives 0
6 Nepal 8
7 Pakistan 4
8 Sri Lanka 27


45

Six countries had participated in it. A total of 45 photographers sent in 208 photos and 20 were selected by the panel of judges. They are :

1. Mr. Sebastian Posingis  from Germany
2. Ms. Olivia Bonal Sansoni from England , and
3. Mr. Dominic Sansoni , CEO of Barefoot, Sri Lanka who has authored many books and brought out many landmark photography works himself.

3 winners were selected for the photography competitions. 2 were selected as Highly Commended and 15 photographs were selected for Honorable Mentions.

The winners are from 3 Member States of Bangladesh, Nepal and India.

1st Place –  Title –  Honey Collecters
Photographer – Muhammad Mustafigur Rahman, Bangladesh
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2nd PlaceTitle Clouds of Devotees
Photographer – Narayan Maharjan , Nepal
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3rd PlaceTitle –  Golden Ganga
Photographer – Anilrisal Singh, India
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Highly Commended

1. Title Follow
    Photographer - Muhammad Mustafigur Rahman, Bangladesh
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2. Title –  Kanshat Mango Market
    Photographer - Muhammad Mustafigur Rahman, Bangladesh
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Honorable Mentions (15 entries)

 1. Title –  Zhabdrung – The Patron Saint of Bhutan
     Photographer – Karma Tshering Wangchuk,  Bhutan
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 2. Title In No Man’s Land
     Photographer – Pattabi Rahman, India 
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3. Title Roadside Dentist
    Photographer -  Anilrisal Singh, India 
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4. Title –  Tent Pegging
    Photographer - Irshad Ellahi Sheikh, Pakistan
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    Photographer – Yatra Rai ,  Nepal 
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6. Title -   Narayan M - A local women enjoying during plantation - National Paddy Day Celebration
    Photographer - Narayan Maharjan , Nepal 
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    Photographer - Sunil Sharma, Nepal 
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8. TitleDivine 
    Photographer - Dikesh Maharjan, Nepal 
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9. TitleFlying Karadi 
    Photographer -  Tharmakulasingam Kugaruban, Sri Lanka
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10. TitleLone Fishermen at Dawn
      Photographer -  Biman Lakshitha Pathirage, Sri Lanka 
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11. TitleCulture
      Photographer -  Sampath Peiris , KJK,  Sri Lanka
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12. TitleBreaking 
      Photographer -  Tharmakulasingam Kugaruban, Sri Lanka 
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13. Title –  Off to School
      Photographer -  Ravindra Ranasinghe, Sri Lanka 
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14. TitleDelft Jaffna
      Photographer -  Viraj Liyanarachchi,   Sri Lanka 
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15. Title Blockart Action
      Photographer -  Tharmakulasingam Kugaruban, Sri Lanka 
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The selected photographs were displayed for the public and invited dignitaries on the 8 December 2014 which was also celebrated as SAARC Charter Day.
 
3 winners will be given cash prizes of US $ 300,  $ 250, $200 and  certificates. 
Certificates of participation  will be given to the  Highly Commended photos and for 15 selected for the Honorable Mentions.

 

 

 

Handicrafts Exhibition – 20 to 24 November 2014 in Kathmandu in Nepal

 

The handicrafts Exhibition was opened on 20 November 2014 at Bhrikuti Mandap in Kathmandu . It was a side event of the SAARC Summit along with the 12th Trade Fair of Nepal. His Excellency Mr. Mahesh Basnet, the Honorable  Minister for the Ministry of Industry inaugurated the Exhibition as the Chief Guest of Honor. The officials from the Federation of Handicrafts Association of Nepal (FHAN), Mr. Hem Ratna Shakya and the Director of SAARC Cultural Centre, Mr. G. L.W. Samarasinghe welcomed the guests and addressed the participants and the invited guests.

A total of  57 participants participated at the  Handicraft Exhibition  from the Member States : 

1 Afghanistan 1
2 Bangladesh 7
3 Bhutan 11
4 India  7
5 Maldives 0
6 Nepal 20
7 Pakistan 0
8 Sri Lanka 11


57

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
There were about 200 other stalls for the 12th Trade Fair of Nepal from other countries and Nepali traders at the Exhibitions.

One day Design Workshop was held on 22 November 2014 at  the  Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikuti Mandap attended by other invited guests and handicraft artisans.

The Resource  persons Mr. Chandra Shekhar Shaha from  Bangladesh,  Mr. Lam Kezang from Bhutan, and Mr.  B.B Paul from India spoke on the handicrafts and designs.

Mr. Raj Kumar Shakya, a well known artist and sculptor  and Mr. Bikash Ratna Shakya, former President of FHAB and one of the organizers from  Nepal and Dr.Buddhi Keerthisena, Chairman, National Craft Council from Sri Lanka spoke on the subjects.

The interactive session was interesting as lots of questions were asked and issues raised regarding the challenges facing the handicrafts industry in the onslaught of modernization.

The review meeting for the Cultural Mapping of the Handicrafts Industries was carried on 23November2014 at the same venue  at the Tourism Board Office. It was decided that the next review meeting will be sometime in June 2015 in Colombo with the plan to get inputs from the invited Resource Persons and to come up with a source book on handicraft and weaving .

After the wrap session the SCC staff and resource persons were taken to the Golden Temple and Bhaktapur City Palace in Kathmandu.

The Handicraft Expo was concluded by distribution of certificates by His Excellency Mr. Sunil Bahadur Thapa, Honorable Minister of Commerce & Supplies on November 24, 2014. The highlight of the concluding event was the Fashion Show and dinner at the Hotel Radisson. Along with the well known models and ramp walkers of the Fashion Show, the handicraftsmen also participated to show the SAARC solidarity.

Half day field trip to ACP ( Association of Crafts Producers) at Kupondole in Kathmandu was organized on 25 November 2014. They were also taken to their showroom at Dhukuti. Lunch was organized at the ACP by the organizers. The visit was interesting  as many got the chance to learn about the crafts making , the pottery works, glass blowing works  and how they make decorative items by blowing gas at the borosilicate glass and then putting into the annealing kiln for maturing to make many decorative gift items. 

The artisans were seen off after this visit to fly back the following day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call for Contributions for SAARC Culture, Vol. 6: 2015

 

SAARC Culture is an annual research journal of the SAARC Cultural Centre Colombo, which seeks to provide a platform to the academics, practitioners and policy makers of culture in the region to present their research findings and to debate on issues of mutual and common interest. The journal is widely disseminated as an on-line publication and also as hard copy to project cultural richness and cultural diversity of the SAARC Region.

The first two issues of the journal were thematic in nature, viz.:

•    Vol. 1: 2010: ‘Rituals, Ethics and Societal Stability in the SAARC Region’, and
•    Vol. 2: 2011: ‘Diminishing Cultures in the SAARC Region’.

From the third issue onwards, The SAARC Culture focuses on various aspects and dimensions of cultures of the South Asian Region. The previous issues of the journal can be viewed online at http://saarcculture.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52&Itemid=74

 

Submissions
Research articles and book reviews are invited for the next issue of the SAARC Culture (Vol. 6: 2015). Please refer to the Guidelines for Contributors.

Last date for submission
30 June 2015

For more details
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SAARC Leaders at the Eighteenth SAARC Summit (Kathmandu, Nepal, 26-27 November 2014) stress upon effective implementation of the SAARC Agenda for Culture

 

 

The 18th SAARC Summit was held at Kathmandu, Nepal from November 26 to November 27, 2014.  The theme of the Summit was ‘Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity.’ It was attended by the prime ministers of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, the presidents of the Afghanistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The 18th Summit marked the 30th Year of SAARC. At the conclusion of the Summit on 27 November 2014, the Kathmandu Declaration was adopted.

In the Kathmandu Declaration, SAARC leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the principles and objectives of SAARC for ensuring the welfare and quality of life of the peoples of South Asia. The Declaration makes a special reference to Culture and stresses by reaffirming the continuous commitment of the SAARC leaders to implement the SAARC Agenda for Culture. It states:

“They directed to effectively implement the SAARC Agenda for Culture and agreed to take measures to preserve and restitute the South Asian cultural property and create a SAARC heritage list together with the operational guidelines. They declared the year 2016 as the SAARC Year of Cultural Heritage and tasked the relevant bodies to develop an action plan for its success. They also agreed to develop a cultural trail linking major Buddhist historical sites in the region. The Leaders further agreed to facilitate access of persons visiting prominent and holy sites of Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and all other major religions in South Asia.”

It may be recalled that the SAARC Agenda for Culture was comprehensively reviewed and augmented at the Third Meeting of the SAARC Culture Ministers held at New Delhi September 2014.

The nineteenth SAARC Summit will be hosted by the Government of Pakistan in 2016.

 

UNESCO Launches Design Competition for Bamiyan Cultural Centre in Afghanistan

UNESCO and the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan, with the generous financial support of the Republic of Korea, are implementing a project to build the Bamiyan Cultural Centre. The Centre will be located near the boundary of the World Heritage property, the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley. The purpose of the project is to promote heritage safe-guarding and cross-cultural awareness, and thereby contribute to the broader aims of reconciliation, peace-building and economic development in the country.

Towards this end, UNESCO is administering an international design competition to select a winning design entry for the Bamiyan Cultural Centre. The international Design Competition for this project started November 15, 2014 and ends on January 22, 2015. It will draw submissions from a wide range of individual architects, engineers and students from around the world.

It may also be added that, the SAARC Cultural Centre has declared the historic city of Bamiyan as the First SAARC CULTURAL CAPITAL for 2015. Towards this end, a series of year-long cultural events with a national but with an overall South Asian dimension will be organized at Bamiyan to celebrate its status as the First SAARC CULTURAL CAPITAL for the whole of South Asian region.

Organizers: UNESCO Afghanistan, in coordination with The Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan.
Last Date for Accepting Submissions: 22 January, 2015

Awards: One winning entry will be given 25,000.00 (USD) and four runner-ups 8,000.00 (USD)

For more information visit the competition website and the short video below.
 

 
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