The 19th Bunka (Cultural) awards ceremony organised by the Japan Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund was held at the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.
The Bunka Awards are presented annually by the Fund, which was established in 1993, on the initiative of the Japanese Solidarity Association and the Japanese Commerce and Industry Association in Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan.
For the past eighteen years, 103 such awards have been presented to mid-career individuals and organizations on the basis of their creative activities in culture and the arts, in order to encourage and promote individual and collective talent in these fields in Sri Lanka.
This year the following five Sri Lankan artists received the Bunka (Cultural) Awards: Sudath Mahaadivulwewa - Film and Theatre; Upuli Panibharatha - Dancing; Athula Ransirilal Perera - Animation and Dubbing; Mary Josita Peter - Dancing; Priyantha Sirikumara - Theatre.
Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Hobo recalled the historic occasion of the San Francisco Peace Conference where Sri Lanka extended a hand of friendship to Japan in the aftermath of the Word War II, and said that the Bunka Awards ceremony this year was special as it coincides with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Sri Lanka and that this Fund is a symbol of goodwill on the part of Japanese residents living in this country towards the Sri Lankan people.