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Government Gazette

Japan provides grant aid for cultural grassroots projects

The Japanese Government will provide Rs. 3.3 million to the “Project for the Follow-up of the supply of lighting equipment of the John de Silva Memorial Theatre” under its Grant Aid for Cultural Grassroots Project scheme to procure and install a new “Dimmer Cabinet” replacing the existing equipment, subject to gradual malfunction during its use as a result of intermittent power failures caused by lightening.

The John de Silva Theatre is a “National” theatre in Sri Lanka managed by the Cultural Affairs Department and was established in 1974 to promote performing arts.

The Japanese Ambassador addresses the media after the signing ceremony. Cultural Affairs Ministry Consultant Hema Jayaweera, Deputy Director of Cultural Affairs Vijitha Kangala, Assistant Director of Cultural Affairs Indika Manthriratne and Officer in Charge of the John de Silva Memorial Theatre T.M.Premaratne are also in the picture. Picture by Sudath Nishantha

This theatre provides facilities at concessionary rates, which tremendously benefit artists and producers, to encourage the development of traditional art and culture. The facility is a popular venue for traditional art and drama and serves to promote veteran and mid-career artists.

Previously, audio and lighting equipment over 42.7 million Yen (Rs. 29.2 million - 1999) was provided to the John de Silva Memorial Theatre by the Japanese Government in 1999 under the Cultural Grant Assistance scheme.

Cultural Grant Aid is a part of Official Development Assistance (ODA) of Japan and is a scheme whereby funds are granted to cover the cost of procurement, transportation and installation of equipment and construction or restoration of facilities used for various cultural and higher educational activities and the preservation of cultural heritage.

Japan has been providing Cultural Grant Aid to Sri Lanka since 1979 and a total 792.1 million yen has been granted up to 2002 under this scheme towards various projects, such as the provision of a language laboratory system at the Kelaniya University (1990/91), Astronomical Observatory to the Sri Lanka Planetarium (1993), educational programme software to Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (1994/95), film preservation equipment to the Government Film Unit (1995/96), audio visual equipment to the Sri Lanka Planetarium (1996/97), microfilm equipment to the National Museum Library (1997/98), musical instruments to the Aesthetic Training College (1998/99), audio and lighting equipment to the John de Silva Memorial Theatre (1999/00) and sound and lighting equipment to the Tower Hall Theatre (2001/02).

The new Sigiriya Museum construction at a cost of Rs. 220 million is also funded by Japan under this scheme and is due to be completed this year, while an additional grant of one hundred and seventy million Yen (Yen. 170,000,000) (approximately Rs. 172.74 million) towards the “Project for the improvement of display equipment of the Sigiriya Museum” was also signed last year and will be made available under the 2KR scheme.

In 2003, Japan also donated sports and audio-visual equipment to the Football Federation of Sri Lanka amounting to US$ 64,813 (approximately Rs. 6.28 million) under the Grassroots Cultural Grant Aid Programme of Japan.

The signing ceremony for the provision of this follow-up grant to the John de Silva Memorial Theatre was held yesterday at the Japanese Embassy premises in Colombo between Kiyoshi Araki, Ambassador of Japan and E.M. Abhayaratne, Director of Cultural Affairs of the Department of Cultural Affairs in the presence of Consultant, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Hema Jayaweera, Deputy Director, Department of Cultural Affairs Vijitha Kanugala, Assistant Director, Department of Cultural Affairs Indika Manthriratne, Officer-in-Charge of the John de Silva Memorial Theatre T.M. Premaratne and First Secretary, Culture and Information, Embassy of Japan Takashi Ato.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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