May 30, 2014

Odisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar: In recognition of the historical links that span over two millennia and to celebrate the common heritage between Kalinga (present day Odisha and beyond) and Lanka (present day Sri Lanka), a group of friends of Odisha and Sri Lanka have taken the initiative to establish the Kalinga-Lanka Foundation.The Foundation was launched on Thursday at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi, in the presence of several dignitaries and well wishers of the Foundation.Former Foreign Secretary of India Ambassador Lalit Mansingh, who is leading this initiative, High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam and several others spoke at this occasion.In his welcome address, High Commissioner Kariyawasam said that as revealed in the ancient chronicles of Sri Lanka and proven by the archaeological evidence, the ancient people of Kalinga and Lanka, through each other’s advanced sea fairing abilities, have enjoyed a strong sense of connectivity.The transfer of Lord Buddha’s tooth relic to Lanka, by Kalingan King Guhaseeva, through his daughter Hemamala and son-in-law Dantha, still venerated by the Buddhists in Sri Lanka is a manifestation of this strong bond.The objective of the Kalinga-Lanka Foundation is to re-discover and reinvigorate this rich historic connect by way of multi-faceted initiatives for promotion of modern day people to people contacts, re-establishment of links in arts and culture, education, skills development, science and technology, tourism and business.The Foundation would promote studies of the Kalinga – Lanka shared history and culture as well as academic cooperation between institutions of the two regions.The establishment of the Foundation will further promote already existing close and vibrant India-Sri Lanka relations that span across historic links Sri Lanka enjoy with many other regions of India.In his remarks Ambassador Lalit Mansingh spoke of the special niche which Kalinga-Lanka relations enjoyed in the larger context of the close historical and socio-cultural ties between India and Sri Lanka.Recent historical research, supported by archaeological evidence, suggested a close and continuous relationship between the two regions from the 6th Century BC to the 14th Century AD.The objective of Kalinga-Lanka Foundation was not only to revive and rejuvenate this special relationship but to look at the new areas of cooperation in the future.Both regions are richly endowed with natural resources and human capital.Both are strategically located in the Indian Ocean, with easy access to the expanding markets of South East Asia and East Asia.Promoting joint ventures and facilitating tourism and religious pilgrimage had rich potential benefits for both regions.Ambassador Mansingh thanked High Commisioner Kariyawasam for his strong support and encouragement for the establishment of the foundation.He conveyed his best wishes to him for a very successful tenure as Sri Lanka’s next Ambassador to the United States.Ambassador Mansingh will be the founder President of the Foundation while the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to India will be the ex-officio Patron-in-Chief.Prominent civil servants and distinguished personalities who hail from Odisha as well as Sri Lankans living in India are among the founding members of Kalinga-Lanka Foundation.

May 30, 2014 0 Comment