President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (02) inaugurated the Matara Festival of the Arts that showcases contemporary art and music from Sri Lanka and beyond.
It is taking place until tomorrow at the historic Matara Fort.
The festival endeavors to promote economic and social revitalization through collaborative efforts among art organizations and the cultural community.
Following in the footsteps of the renowned Galle Literary Festival, the Matara Festival of the Arts promises a unique experience for both locals and international tourists.
The president left his mark on the festivities by drawing two brush marks and leaving a commemorative note at the site where the paintings were crafted.
Pioneering this festival are Freedom Hub in Matara, led by family members of the late Mangala Samaraweera.
They are Jayanthi Samaraweera Gunawardena, Chanchala Gunawardea and Prof. Jagath Weerasinghe.
Tomorrow on Independence Day, there will be an open-air show comprising folk, jazz, bossa nova, reggae, rap, carnatic and other music at Mahinda Wijesekeara stadium.
Entrance is free for all events, excepting the musical show.
After attending the festival, the president inquired into the activities of Nilwala Park and the Matara development plan.
Also present on the occasion were former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, ministers Kanchana Wijesekera and Tiran Alas, presidential adviser Sagala Ratnayaka, southern province governor Willie Gamage and US ambassador Julie Chung.