Professor Ediriwira Sarachchandra’s birth anniversary centennial was celebrated on 10th June 2014 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris under the auspices of Director General Madam Irina Bokova and other dignitaries. This celebration falls in line with UNESCO’s program of anniversaries of eminent persons of universal dimensions being commemorated each year, Sarachchandra being the first Asian to receive such recognition after Rabindranath Tagore. 

Sarachchandra the poet, dramatist, author and philosopher who bore significant influence upon Sri Lanka’s cultural identity through discovery and revival of its indigenous and varied traditional forms of music and theatre, was remembered with a Book and Photography Exhibition at UNESCO. Madame Irina Bokova, present as the Chief Guest of this event, commented on the many fascinating facets of Sarachchandra’s work and his contribution to the Arts. She further commented on the importance of Sarachchnandra’s legacy to the new generations marked by his iconic dramatic works such as “Maname” and “Sinhabahu” which have been performed over the past sixty years.

The Symposium on Sarachchandra’s work and legacy brought together a distinguished panel of scholars including Professor J. B. Disanayaka, Emeritus Professor of Sinhala, Professor (Mrs) Ranjanie Obeysekera, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, Princeton University, Professor K. N. O. Dharmadasa, former Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya and Ranjana Tadashi Noguchi, recognized Japanese reference on Sinhala language.

“Maname”, the first operatic play created by Sarachchandra in 1956 was performed in the main theater hall at UNESCO by its third generation troupe led by Mrs.Lalitha Sarachchandra who travelled from Sri Lanka in view of this event.


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