The Photographic Society of Sri Lanka (PSSL) in partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and The Palmyrah House, inaugurated the ‘Discover Mannar’ photography exhibition to highlight and promote Mannar as a tourism destination in Sri Lanka.
The exhibition, with the support from the European Union under the European Union Support to District Development Programme (EU-SDDP), showcases the captures by amateur and professional photographers. The exhibition was held from June 16-17 at the Stables, Park Street Mews. The photography competition, which was held over the month of May, saw close to 300 photographs being submitted for both open and student categories. Out of which, 16 photographers were selected and were awarded at the event. This exhibition is part of IFC’s work in promoting Mannar as a sustainable, responsible tourist destination, under the EU-SDDP programme.
“Tourism is an important economic engine which can create jobs, improve access to markets and benefit local communities. Through this exhibition we are proud to showcase the diversity, daily life and the beauty of a hidden treasure in Sri Lanka,” said IFC Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives Amena Arif.
Sri Lanka is emerging as one of the tourism hotspots in the world and the tourism industry plays a significant role in the country’s economy. Speaking at the event, EU Delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Head of Cooperation Libuse Soukupova said, “Sri Lanka is emerging as one of the world’s most sought-after tourist destinations and this industry has the potential to propel the country’s economy even further. The EU is pleased to be associated with promoting tourism in Mannar, which we hope will benefit the local economy and the residents of Mannar.”
The competition was conducted under the expert guidance of the PSSL. Speaking at the event, Photographic Society of Sri Lanka President Hiran Weliwitigoda said, “The Photographic Society of Sri Lanka is honoured to have partnered with IFC and The Palmyrah House in conducting this competition to capture the soul and splendour of Mannar. We also convey our best wishes on the finely planned and executed exhibition.”
The Palmyrah House Managing Director Ajith Ratnayaka speaking at the event said, “Mannar is one of the most diverse places in Sri Lanka and offers its travellers a wealth of experiences ranging from being a paradise for bird lovers to remarkable historical experiences. With exhibitions like this, it definitely promotes Mannar as one of the go-to see places in the country, helping bring more travellers to the destination.”
Sixteen photographers were awarded at the ‘Discover Mannar’ photography exhibition.
Winners in the Open Category were: Gold Medal - Nishantha Manjula, Silver Medal – Kushan Vimukthi, Bronze Medal - Saumya Vilashini, Merit Awards - Shehan Trek, Sudheera Bandara, Sadeepa Gunawardena, Nishanth Thiru and Dhilip De Alwis.
In the Student Category, the winners were: Gold Medal - Akshay D.C.A. Sattrukalsinghe, Silver Medal – Heshan Kaushalya, Bronze Medal – Kamalanathan Kanistan and Merit Awards – S. Cavinsan, F. Nishalini, Robert Zenerin Peiris, Vijayakumaran Thivakar and A. Antoneyo Anastan.