Winners Nipuna Siripathi and Tharushi Athukorala with Deputy Ambassador Shani Calyaneratne Karunaratne
Young musicians Nipuna Siripathi and Tharushi Athukorala, who represented Sri Lanka at the recently held ‘Silk Road & Young Dreams’ competition, were placed 3rd for their outstanding performance under the ‘Silk Road Young Voice Musician’ category.
The international competition held in Beijing, China for the second consecutive year, had 300 participants from 70 countries. ‘Belt Road and Young Dreams’ is a youth-oriented cultural exchange program, along the Silk Road, conceived and initiated in August 2018, by the Silk Road Cities Alliance, Beijing Belt and Road Cooperative Community and the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of China.
The objective of the competition is to provide youth from different backgrounds, hailing from countries and regions along the Silk Road, the opportunity to showcase their talents and engage with one another on an equal platform. The program, designed to help youth understand different cultures serves as a bridge to link societies. A number of different categories were added to the program in 2019, and the China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development also joined as a co-host. CHEC Port City Colombo, the company behind Sri Lanka’s most futuristic project to date, was the sponsor for Nipuna Siripathi, who works as a composer at popular radio station Sitha FM, and his duet partner Tharushi Athukorala, is an announcer for CRI Sri Lanka FM radio. The winning duo expressed their appreciation for the support provided by Port City, adding that they were overwhelmed by their win, especially since they were pitted against some extremely talented youth from around the world. They expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to bring glory to mother Lanka.
Creating opportunities for Sri Lanka’s future generation is a significant part of the project company’s CSR strategy, and encouraging local talent to shine at an international competition fit into that plan. Apart from the two winners who were sponsored by Port City, eight other Sri Lankans had participated in the competition under categories such as dancing, painting, photography and oration. Sri Lanka’s Deputy Ambassador to China Shani Calyaneratne Karunaratne was amongst the guests attending the event.