Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam
Former Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Sri Lanka Former High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India

“I recall with great pleasure, the launch of the Kalinga-Lanka Foundation during my tenure as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India. The initiative to set up the Kalinga-Lanka Foundation was inspired by the ancient links between Lanka which is present-day Sri Lanka, and the historical region of Kalinga, present-day Odisha and Andra Pradesh. Details of the ancient links between Kalinga and Lanka are recorded in our historical chronicles. Kalinga has played a significant role in Sri Lanka’s history, traces of which still resonate across time in the present day.

My several visits to Odisha during my tenure as High Commissioner to India made me feel very much at home on the basis of familiarity of traditions, dance forms, names, and even some of the words in Odia which are similar to my own mother-tongue, Sinhalese.

I am grateful to several eminent Indian personalities, in particular, Ambassador Lalit Mansingh, Founder President of the Kalinga-Lanka Foundation, who hail from Odisha, who were instrumental in setting up this Foundation with a view to reviving and renewing our ancient links for the benefit of those in present-day Sri Lanka and what was Kalinga in India, so that these links can be carried forward into the future.

I am pleased to note that the Kalinga-Lanka Foundation is progressing well. However, it requires the support of all concerned in both countries to evolve through meaningful programmes and projects that will promote people-to-people contact and benefit the people of Odisha and Sri Lanka.

In this context, I look forward to continue supporting the work of the Kalinga-Lanka Foundation. May this Foundation lead the people of Odisha and Sri Lanka to grow ever closer through the discovery of their ancient links, and inspire them to forge partnerships that will engender greater cooperation and collaboration in creative and innovative ways that would benefit our peoples.”

- Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam