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Highest award given to Sri Lankan artists

I record with humility that I am participating in the Sarasaviya Film Festival as the President although I took part on the previous occasion as the Prime Minister.

I did so with the blessings of Sri Lankan artists. The Sarasaviya Film Award is the highest award given to Sri Lankan artists.

The history of the Sarasaviya Film Festival was not built in one day.

It has maintained and developed its fame and honour over a period of 40 years. Therefore I consider it is the bounden duty of future generations to continue the process.

What is more, Sarasaviya Film Awards should not be considered a task of the Sarasaviya newspaper alone. Today it has become a national function.

I believe that the Sarasaviya Film Festival has become the standard to gauge the quality of our cinema.

I earnestly wish the Sarasaviya Film Festival will become a more glittering event in the future.

Mahinda Rajapaksa

President of Sri Lanka


Invaluable service

I wish good luck to the Sarasaviya Film Festival held by the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd bringing fame and honour to film artists.

Cinema is a medium that broadens the social wisdom of the people of a country. Film audiences show a great interest in the characters depicted on the screen.

Similarly cinema heroes are permanently etched in the people’s minds.

It is an invaluable service on the part of the sarasaviya Film Festival to crown the artists who have won the affection of film fan.

I wish the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited will have the strength and courage to continue to hold the Sarasaviya Film Festival even in the future to encourage those who are dedicated to safeguard the Sri Lankan cinema.

I also wish good luck to the 31st Sarasaviya Film Festival.

Ratnasiri Wickramanayake

Prime Minister


Landmark in the annals of cinema

I am proud of the arrangements made for holding the Sarasaviya Film Festival this year too marking a landmark in the annals of cinema history. I am glad to issue a message on this occasion.

I am aware that the Sarasaviya newspaper is the sole torch-bearer in the Sinhala cinema. And everybody involved in the cinema respects this newspaper.

I thank and send my greetings to the Chairman of Lake House, the Editor and the staff of the Sarasaviya newspaper for their dedication to make the Sarasaviya Film Festival better than any other film festival held in Sri Lanka.

When there is no appreciation of any creation, fictional character or singing talent, their existence and the birth of new creations will not be a reality. Therefore, film festivals of this nature should be appreciated because they are held to expose the latest talents of artists by giving them awards. I believe that such activities will help to promote the local film industry.

The local film industry which is more than 50 years old has been able to sustain itself because of the successful films created from time to time and the film fans who flocked to see them.

Whether it is a commercial film or a classical film, its success depends on the people who flock to cinema halls to see them.

The films screened have been selected by an independent panel of judges before giving them awards.

This brings happiness to both award winners and those who do not win awards. I wish the Sarasaviya Film Festival will strengthen film artists encouraging them to develop the local film industry.

Anura Priyadarshana Yapa

Minister of Mass Media and Information


Transform Sarasaviya into an international festival

Being a person who appreciated the Sarasaviya Film awards ceremony as a film fan previously I am greatly privileged to contribute towards this grand event as Media Minister today.

The Sarasaviya Awards Festival is being held at a time when greater international attention is being drawn towards the Sri Lankan Film Industry. It assumes greater value since most award winners this time have won a Sarasaviya award previously too.

I personally feel that the time has come for us to transform the Sarasaviya Awards Festival into an International Festival. When most countries in the world are staging international film festivals a need has arisen for Sri Lanka too to follow suit.

A task of this nature can be undertaken by the Sarasaviya Festival which has already earned a prestigious name by itself. I think the time is most opportune for it. Therefore I wish the Sarasaviya all strength to venture into this task as well.

Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane

Minister of Media


Country’s main cinema event

I am a film fan. I became a lover of the cinema when I was a child. The reason was that my father was involved in the Dascon film. It was the Sarasaviya newspaper that awakened my interest in the Sinhala cinema.

It was also the Sarasaviya newspaper that brought the Sinhala cinema’s leading artists such as Rukmani Devi and Gamini Fonseka closer to our hearts.

When I became a mature person, Vijaya Kumaratunga became one of my close associates. It was the Sarasaviya newspaper that introduced him to me for the first time. Thereafter I had the opportunity to work closely with the Sarasaviya newspaper on many occasions.

However, I never thought in my wildest of dreams that I would be able to work as the chief driving force behind the Sarasaviya Film Festival. But I firmly believed that I would be able to witness the Sarasaviya Film Festival one day.

This is the first Sarasaviya Film Festival I am participating in.

I do so not as an invitee but as the prime mover of the festival.

In fact, this is an incidence of fate. Therefore, I salute the Sarasaviya wholeheartedly. My earnest wish is that the Sarasaviya Film Festival may be held as the country’s main cinema event for many more years to come.

Sarath Kongahage

Acting Chairman and Director Editorial, The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd


Proud to be the main sponsor

The association between mankind and the world of art has always been a cornerstone in the creation of the social world that we inhabit. It is said that there is an artist in every man, but the intricacies of art are such that only a handful are able to enchant the world with their true artistic intent and talent.

As we gather to award artists of such caliber, it is indeed an honor to be associated with the Sarasaviya Awards Festival, considered to be the most popular and foremost cinema awards festival in Sri Lanka. People’s Bank is proud to be the main sponsor of this event, which has a long tradition of conferring honor to various artists connected to the industry.

As a state bank, People’s Bank has always had a keen interest in nurturing the cinematic talents of Sri Lanka. We consider it to be a duty and a social responsibility to be involved in events that recognize, appreciate and reward the work of those who have contributed much to the betterment of the industry.

People’s Bank has a history of supporting such initiatives, where the bank has come forward with the financial strength and synergistic solutions that saw the birth of many a cinematic creation. The bank has also come forward in many an occasion to support felicitation ceremonies whereby renowned artists are honored and appreciated for their work.

The bank also values the contributions made by the artists gathered here today, in terms of shaping the socio-cultural consciousness of Sri Lankan society. This consciousness is what paves the way for a unique Sri Lankan identity to emerge, so that we as a nation are able to make our stamp on the world stage.

The Sarasaviya Awards Festival is important in this regard for the manner in which different categories in the cinema industry, from the stars to those whose contribution is hidden, are recognized and valued.

It is with all these factors in mind that People’s Bank has come forward to support the 31st Sarasaviya Awards Festival 2006-2007.

While acknowledging the value of the festival and its role in supporting and nurturing the world of arts and culture, I would like to wish the event all success.

Dr. P. A. Kiriwandeniya

Chairman, People’s Bank


Joyous moment for all film artists

I consider it a great privilege to issue a message as the Editor of the Sarasaviya to the 31st Sarasaviya Film Festival. Although I was involved in film journalism for long time, I did not have the faintest idea of becoming the Editor of the Sarasaviya newspaper.

People know that the editorship of the Sarasaviya is the highest post a journalist can look forward to. When I accepted the post, the Sarasaviya newspaper was facing a critical situation.

I would like to mention that we were able to usher in a new era in the local cinema through our contribution.

My main intention was to promote the popular cinema in order to rejuvenate the film industry.

This is one reason for our efforts to increase the star quality of up and coming actors and actresses. Meanwhile, we did not neglect the art cinema.

We were able to give you the best cinema paper from Lake House.

Our next aim is to give you the best film festival.

The success of our efforts can be seen today. I am waiting to share our joy with those who are involved in the great art of cinema.

Gamini Samarasinghe

Editor-in-chief, Sarasaviya/Tharuni



2008  All rights reserved.
The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.
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