On February 11, the Governor of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, Jeevan Thiagarajah, said Sri Lanka is thankful to the Government and people of India for the Jaffna Cultural Centre.
At an event marked for the dedication of the Jaffna Cultural Centre to the people of Sri Lanka, Thiagarajah said, “We are grateful to the Government and the people of India for this endowment. It reaches out and connects with the world of art”. Built with an Indian Government grant, the centre will stand as a symbol of the growing bilateral and developmental ties between New Delhi and Colombo.
The Union Minister of State (MoS) for Information and Broadcasting, L Murugan, also attended the event, who is on a four-day visit to Sri Lanka from February 9 to 12.
The Governor, during his address, said that the Jaffna Cultural Centre connects with Sri Lanka’s rich regional history, which celebrates art, faith and culture. “We have many architectural works from many cultures in the region,” he said.
The Governor said, “The Government is currently designing a visa regime for people of Sri Lankan origin overseas to enable seamless, sustained access and presence. The region has several overseas cultural influences. The spiritual links aren’t mistakable”.
The Governor said that people from Sri Lanka travel to India to tax into opportunities in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Telangana for market access. Located next to the iconic Jaffna Public Library, the Jaffna Cultural Centre will be the tallest building in Jaffna town. The centre was conceived as a reconciliation project and primarily aimed at expanding cultural infrastructure for the people of Northern Province and helping them reconnect with their cultural roots and the rest of the country while rejuvenating the ancient cultural heritage of Jaffna.
The centre is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that include a museum on two floors, an advanced theatre-style auditorium for more than 600 people, a single-storeyed learning tower, and a public square that could act as an amphitheatre, among others. It also has a temporary exhibition gallery (air-conditioned), an open exhibition gallery, a gift shop, museum stores and workshops, a 100-seat conference facility, a cafeteria, a multi-media library, lecture rooms, studios, and gallery spaces.
On June 9, 2014, the Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of the Jaffna centre was signed. Following its construction, the facility was virtually inaugurated during the visit of External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar to Colombo in March 2022.