India, Sri Lanka Discuss Implementation of Grant to Promote Buddhist Ties, Support the Jaffna Cultural Center
1 November 2022
A press release issued by the High Commission of India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, reported that Mr. Gopal Baglay, Indian High Commissioner, and Mr. Vidura Wickramanayaka, Minister of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka, held two separate meetings to discuss the implementation of a $15 million grant by the Government of India to promote Buddhist ties and support the operations of the Jaffna Cultural Center (JCC) in Sri Lanka. They agreed to immediately undertake steps for the quick implementation of jointly-identified priority projects under the grant. They also identified specific action points regarding the installation of solar power facilities in places of worship and Pirivenas, spread across different parts of Sri Lanka.
The JCC, which has been constructed under a Government of India grant of more than $11 million, houses multiple facilities, including a two-floor museum, latest theatre style auditorium for more than 600 people, 11-storeyed learning tower, and a public square that could also act as an amphitheater, among others. The JCC meeting discussed the establishment of an enabling joint-framework to make the state-of-the-art facility available for regular use by the public.
The meeting was held on 1 November 2022 and was also attended by other officials representing the Governments of India and Sri Lanka.
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the special grant at the Virtual Bilateral Summit on 26 September 2020. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 28 March 2022 during the visit of Mr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of the Government of India, to Colombo.