The iconic Jaffna Cultural Center (JCC), which was built with grant assistance of Government of India (GOI), was dedicated to the people on 11 February 2023 at a colourful event in the gracious presence of President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying and Information & Broadcasting, GOI Dr. L. Murugan, High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay, Douglas Devananda, Minister for Fisheries, Vidura Wickramanayake, Minister for Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, Kadar Masthan, Minister of State for Rural Economy, several Parliamentarians and dignitaries from various walks of life.
Describing JCC as a gift from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ranil Wickremesinghe thanked him and GOI for the Center. He thanked India for the support extended to Sri Lanka during the economic challenges. Highlighting cultural similarities between the two countries, he noted that India and Sri Lanka were the two sides of the same coin.
“The Jaffna Cultural Center is an important initiative signifying the close cultural cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. It will benefit several people. The august presence of President Ranil Wickremesinghe made the programme even more special” tweeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State Dr. L Murugan underlined that India’s partnership with Sri Lanka was guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. He also announced a special financial assistance scheme to 100 students from economically weaker families in University of Jaffna. He also highlighted that GOI have implemented numerous people-centric projects cutting across sectors in Northern Province.
H.E Ranil Wickremesinghe and Hon. Vidura Wickramanayake handed over a special token of gratitude to Minister Dr. L Murugan for JCC. The wide array of cultural performances showcased the richness and diversity of Sri Lanka’s culture.
The state-of-the-art facility consists of multiple facilities such as a museum of two floors; an advanced theatre-style auditorium for more than 600 people; a 11-storeyed learning tower; a public square which could also act as an amphitheater; exhibition galleries (Air conditioned), Open exhibition and a 100-seat Conference facility, among others .
Foundation stone for JCC was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2015 during the first – ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Jaffna. Following the construction of JCC, the iconic facility was virtually inaugurated during the visit of External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar to Colombo in March 2022.
JCC is an outstanding example of GOI’s ongoing commitment to the people of Sri Lanka including in the Northern Province. GOI’s development partnership with Sri Lanka which touch upon all aspects of daily lives such as infrastructure development, education, health, housing, livelihood development etc currently stands at USD 5 billion.