International award winning actress and Monitoring Member of Parliament of the Ministry of Culture and the Arts, the Hon. Malani Fonseka was felicitated at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in commemoration of her fiftieth year in the fields of film and theatre.
Ms Fonseka had a personal meeting with Madam Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO at its Headquarters in Paris on Monday, 3rd March 2014, and was accompanied by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte. At the meeting Ms Fonseka appreciated the role of UNESCO in promoting culture and the arts and explained the work carried out by the ‘Malani Fonseka Foundation’ in fostering and preserving aesthetic, performance and traditional arts and crafts of Sri Lanka as well as projects being implemented to improve the social, academic and economic standards of Sri Lankan artistes.
Thereafter the Permanent Delegation of Sri Lanka to UNESCO organized the screening of multiple award winning film ‘Akasa Kusum’ (Flowers of the Sky) by Prasanna Vithanage at the Salon des Délégués at UNESCO. The screening was preceded by a reception at which Ms Fonseka cut a cake to mark her fiftieth year in the film industry.
The traditional oil lamp was lit by Ms Fonseka, Ambassador Hangawatte as well as leading film Director, Dr Somaratne Dissanayake and former Presidents of the General Conference of UNESCO, Ambassador Kathalin Bogyay of Hungary and Ambassador Dr Davidson Hepburn of the Bahamas.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Hangawatte noted the widespread contribution that Ms Fonseka had made to the film industry. Whilst commending the dynamic role she continued to play in supporting and promoting the industry, he highlighted aspects of her illustrious career in which she had starred in more than one hundred and fifty films, and earned many international and national awards includingPresidential Honors.
A large number of Ambassadors and diplomats as well as artistes including personalities involved in the film industry were present on this occasion. The distinguished audience was in awe of the film and hailed it for its thought provoking content and artistic quality. They were impressed by Ms. Fonseka’s outstanding performance and widely acknowledged their appreciation with loud applause, and conveyed their greetings to her individually.
Embassy of Sri Lanka, Paris.