The 22nd “Bunka (Cultural) Awards” ceremony, organized by the Japan Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund, was held on Sunday 8th November at the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Colombo 07. Hon. S. B. Navinna, Minister of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development & Cultural Affairs graced the occasion as Chief Guest, while H. E. Mr. Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Naoto Honda, President of the Japanese Solidarity Association of Sri Lanka, Mr. Carlo Fonseka, Co-Chairman of the Fund and other distinguished invitees including members of the diplomatic Corps and several renowned Sri Lankan artistes were also present on this occasion.
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. The Bunka Awards are aimed at encouraging and promoting Sri Lankan artists with artistic talents in such fields as drama, theatre, dance, music, painting, sculpture, pottery, photography, lyric writing, literature, video animation and visual arts. For the past twenty one years, 118 mid-career individuals and organizations received Bunka Awards for their creative activities in culture and arts.
This year the following six Sri Lankan artistes received the prestigious Bunka (Cultural) Awards. (Listed as Alphabetical Order)
1. Ms. Dileeka Abesekara Music/Vocal
2. Mr. Nadeeka Guruge Music/Composer
3. Dr. Saumya Liyanage Drama/Acting
4. Mr. Kapila Poogalaarachchige Music
5. Ms. Lakshmi Sriharan Dance (Bharatha Natyam)
6. Academic Players (Kelaniya University) Drama/Theatre
The highlight of the Bunka Awards presentation ceremony was the live performance by each award winner, displaying their versatile talents which merited their selection. This will be telecasted at one of Rupavahini channels shortly for the benefit of the Sri Lankan public.