News ≫ Swarna Gunaratne, the Consul General for Sri Lanka in Los Angeles addresses the crowd at the Ceremonial Opening of “The Jeweled Isle” Exhibition on Sri Lanka

Swarna Gunaratne, the Consul General for Sri Lanka in Los Angeles addresses the crowd at the Ceremonial Opening of “The Jeweled Isle” Exhibition on Sri Lanka

Jan 3, 2019
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Distinguish Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be here with you this morning for the grand ceremonial opening of “The Jeweled Isle” the first ever the most comprehensive exhibition on Sri Lanka to be organized by LACMA, the largest American Museum in the Western part of USA. Although previous exhibitions have focused on Sri Lanka, none have presented a comprehensive view of the Island’s artistic heritage. This exhibition will present to the American public for the first time the richness and diversity of Sri Lankan art, culture and heritage over a two period of Millennia.

We all are so pleased that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has come forward to shoulder presenting this longest and first ever historical art exhibition of Sri Lanka for the benefit of the art loving people in USA and around the world.

First of all, on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, people of Sri Lanka and our community living in the USA, I express my sincere thanks, gratitude and appreciation to LACMA professional team and those who were behind realizing this memorable and prestigious exhibition. I am so happy to inform you that the Government of Sri Lanka, in recognition as well as a mark of appreciation joined with LACMA in co-hosting the premiere launching the “The Jeweled Isle” a few days ago at this same venue.

I am pleased to inform you that the LACMA has been working on this project for several years and I recall in 2016, soon after I assumed duties as Consul General for Sri Lanka, I accompanied the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka Hon. Mangala Samaraweera for a discussion with LACMA officials about presenting this exhibition. During the last two years LACMA and the Consulate General have been constantly discussing and interacting on related matters. I have personally seen the amount of hard work that LACMA doing in realizing this landmark event that represent over 2500 years old, glorious and rich history of my Motherland.

Culture is the most important moral value for human-being that promotes improvement of the latter’s aesthetics. The culture improves interpersonal dealings and strengthens peace and stability in society. It is also the expression and reflection of people’s dreams and wishes, traditions and customs and the best impression of people in a specific form and way.  Arts and Culture form the core of a people’s being and the essence of their existence. It is also an extension of their human expression. The role of Arts and Culture as catalyst to progressive multiculturalism is gaining more recognition, while artifacts open our eyes to our historical existence. Our cultural heritage keeps our memories alive of how beliefs and cultural expressions have contributed to the development of society.

As you all know Los Angeles has been a home to over 200,000 of Sri Lankans with the mix of cultural and ethnic groups who will be proud to witness this momentous event at a time the USA and Sri Lanka has reached 70th Anniversary in Diplomatic relations in 2018.

LACMA’s exhibition programs are managed by the Museum’s education Department and expect to conduct other potential programs could include music and dance performances, film screenings and etc. They are also planning to hold children programs that I seek your kind support to make them a success. We are so happy that “The Jeweled Isle” will assist to bring Sri Lanka’s existing cultural relations with USA to another level for which we all once again express our gratitude to LACMA.

On this occasion, I must also recognize the support extended by the Government of Sri Lanka, Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka community in the USA towards presenting this memorable event.

At the conclusion, I would like to extend my gratitude to curators Robert L Brown, Dr Tushara Bindu Gude of LACMA Nancy Fox for giving us opportunity to work with them in organizing and this colorful event a success. It is being a pleasure to be working with Education Department, Event Organizing Department, Event and Planning Department of LACMA towards the success of whole event and looking forward to continues facilitation for next 6 months during the exhibition.

I extend Warm Greetings and Best Complements to all of you for the Season and Happy Holidays!

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