High Commissioner Rohana Beddage had a virtual meeting with Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage of Maldives, Yumna Maumoon to discuss the possibilities of further enhancing cultural cooperation between Sri Lanka and Maldives amidst the global pandemic Covid19, on 15 April 2021.
During the meeting, High Commissioner Beddage proposed to hold a virtual event possibly after the Holy Month of Ramadan, demonstrating the culture and ethnicity of both countries to further enhance the cultural cooperation, people to people contact and strengthen the existing bilateral ties. High Commissioner briefed the Minister on the event outline and also emphasized on the probability of the finalizing the MoU on Cultural Cooperation currently under observations of the Sri Lanka side.
Minister Yumna assured her support and agreed the proposal of the High Commissioner and expressed hope that the amended MoU signing will soon take effect. The Minister consented that an online event would be the best considering the pandemic and that it could also be held in parallel to the MoU signing. Further, Minister Maumoon briefed sectors that come under the purview of the Ministry of Arts, Culture & Heritage. The Ministry is mandated to preserve and protect the heritage. There are many areas that the two countries could work together since Sri Lanka and Maldives share many cultural affinities and both countries have been collaborating in many areas of mutual interest.
Minister Yumna stated that they have the National Archives, the National Center for the Arts, National Center for the Cultural Heritage, National Library, Centre for Dhivehi Language and also the National Bureau of Classification. And the main projects on restoring the coral stone mosque of the Maldives which is on the tentative list of UNESCO, is undergoing. The Minister is certain that Sri Lanka has a lot of expertise in these sectors, as well as conservation and archaeology and these are possible areas that Maldives could work together with Sri Lanka and also she noted that the National Archives of Maldives is currently working with National Archives of Sri Lanka. Further, historical artifacts, restoration, conservation of these artifacts and the documentary heritage at the National Archives are sectors that need technical expertise. Also, the Minister stated that some of the priority list that Maldives could perhaps work with Sri Lanka are the National Library, Children’s’ Library, National Bureau of Classification.
Minister Yumna and High Commissioner Beddage agreed to focus on the priority areas to further elevating Maldives-Sri Lanka cultural cooperation into new heights.
The Maldives comprises of 1192 islands, boasts a distinctive culture with a history that dates to 300 BCE, and a close relations between Buddhism and Islam.