A photographic exhibition, organized to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and China, and to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries, was held in the UNESCO World Heritage Cultural City of Pingyao in Shanxi Province, China from 19th to 25th September 2017. Pingyao is renowned for its two historical Buddhist temple complexes Zhen Gu and Shuang Lin, and for the military fortress, built several centuries ago.
The photographic exhibition, held in parallel to the annual Pingyao International Photography Festival, was declared open by Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in China, and Mr. Ji Wei, Deputy Director General of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
The photographic exhibition aimed at advocating the spirit of peace and friendship, and making the history of bilateral exchanges better known among more people through expressive photographs. All photographs on exhibition that were pertaining to China had been taken by two Sri Lankan photographers who visited China last June, while the photographs relevant to Sri Lanka had been captured by Chinese photographers who visited Sri Lanka last May.
Addressing the opening ceremony, and members of the media afterwards, Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in China highlighted both historical and contemporary relations between Sri Lanka and China. He stated that the friendship between the two countries had existed for more than 2000 years, particularly through people’s movement on the historical Silk Road.
Ambassador Kodituwakku recalled how the well known Chinese Buddhist Monk Ven. Fa-xian, who hailed from Shanxi Province, visited Sri Lanka via land Silk Road 1600 years ago, and spent two years learning Buddhism in the ancient capital of Anuradhapura. The Ambassador also recounted how Ven. Fa-xian, at the end of his two- year study tour returned to China through the maritime Silk Road with a number of Buddhist manuscripts and published a book about his experience making Sri Lanka known to Chinese people sixteen centuries ago. He said that the photographers have carried out an awareness project similar to that of Ven. Fa-xian, which deserves deep appreciation of everyone who wishes to promote friendship between Sri Lanka and China. The Ambassador thanked the Chinese People’s Association for friendship with Foreign Countries for organizing and sponsoring the exhibition as well as the visits of the photographers to each other’s country.