Rise of the Lotus
Sri Lankan artistes' unexpressed talents will soon blossom with the
Chinese ultramodern technology in Lotus Pond Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre.
It will be a great national asset to the Performing Art sector of the
country which will enhance the quality of the art.
“This will be a new experience and this would give a new opening to
our aesthetic sector. A cherished gift from China this is a reality as a
result of successful diplomatic relationship between President Rajapaksa
and Chinese government,” Mass Media and Information Ministry Secretary W
B Ganegala said.
The theatre is constructed according to the model of the historic
lotus pond (Nelum Pokuna) in Polonnaruwa using the modern Chinese
technology. It possesses all facilities to rank it among the best 10
theatres of the world.
The theatre is of seven floors with a seating capacity of 1288 in the
main auditorium. The stage is movable and it is fully computerized with
an area of 690 metres. There is an open theatre in the fifth floor. Two
exhibition halls are in the fourth floor. Theatre consists of some music
training rooms and 13 changing rooms.
The theatre is equipped with the latest digital echo stick sound
technology, lighting and all other desired facilities. The close circuit
TV network enables observation of the stage from the dressing rooms.
And there are many safety features as well. Artistes are provided
with necessary facilities such as personal dressing rooms and dressing
tables to perform in a better way.
To remark the opening ceremony of the theatre, an opera will be
staged by the artistes which will basically highlight the historical
relationships between Sri Lanka and China. It would be about the Silk
Road through which the two countries had connection in the early
history. The opera is directed by Jayantha Chandrasiri and music
direction by Rohana Weerasingha while dancing is created by Channa
Wijewardane. A Chinese opera will also be staged.
This will be a landmark in the development of the performing art
theatre industry which will help lead county to produce operas to the
“This is a long felt need and a dream of our artistes. We always
wanted this type of standard theatre to stage our talents perfectly.
This is built to the international standard. We should be thankful to
the Chinese government for this valuable gift. This gift clearly shows
the president's success at diplomatic relations with China,” Rohana
Pictures by Sudath Nishantha
“The theatre undoubtedly can be ranked among the best 10 theatres of
the world with latest facilities. This is the dream theatre of local
artistes. We could not stage the world famous pieces of arts such as
Swan Lake, London Philharmonic orchestra due to the absence of a modern
We were really backward and our artistes did not have a chance to
perform their best. We should have this type of an identical theatre to
represent the country's aesthetic value. This is a great assert to
uplift the local art with the capabilities of the skillful artistes,”
Ravindra Randeniya said.
“We were lacking a professional art theatre in Sri Lanka though we
always possess artistes with outstanding talents. The only place we had
was Tower Hall Theatre.
This new theatre will help enhance the standard of opera in Sri
We are grateful to the Chinese government for this precious gift
which notes the cultural and spiritual historical relations between Sri
Lanka and China,” said Jayantha Chandrasiri.
“We were dreaming of a theatre like Sydney Opera House or London
Palace Theatre. Today our dream has become a reality. We will soon
experience the high technology based stage and all other facilities to
bring out outstanding work of arts to entertain the long waited Sri
Lankan aesthetic audience. We are now capable to take the maximum usage
of our talents. I would like to call this the ‘late spring’.” Jackson
“This is what we desired. It is fully technology-based where we would
perform our best. It will enhance the country's performing art sector.
Being dancers, we need some specific conditions to perform in a better
way. With this modern stage we will be free to go to our maximum scope,”
Channa Wijeardane said.