Sri Lankan book publishers sign MOU with China

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 00:51 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Chinese Government and the Sri Lanka Book Publishers’ Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote Sri Lankan books in China and Chinese books in Sri Lanka. Jiang Jianguo, Party Secretary of the Leadership Group of the Communist Party of China and Vice Minister of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China, and Vijitha Yapa, President of the Sri Lanka Book Publishers’ Association (SLBPA) signed the agreement last Friday to promote books from their respective countries. The MOU is aimed at facilitating publishing and participation at book fairs as well as mutual translation and publishing of quality works of the two countries. Jianguo said that this is the first time China had sent out a delegation of publishing professionals to Sri Lanka and was pleased to see that one publisher in Sri Lanka had already translated seventeen books on China. He said that books have a fundamental role to play because they are everlasting compared to a newspaper which lasts for a day and magazines which may last up to one month. He said that China publishes 410,000 titles annually and hope that the first initiative will be the translation and publication of the classics of each country in the respective languages. He said the Chinese President had said that China should be a country of learning and that he was glad to visit Sri Lanka and sign this MOU because China wants to learn from other countries. He added that the MOU encourages the setting up of a mechanism to encourage the exchange of publishing professionals. Vijitha Yapa said that the relationship between China and Sri Lanka extends over centuries and history books carry records of the visits of religious dignitaries as well as ambassadors to Sri Lanka. He said the Publishers Association is pleased to extend cooperation with China in the field of literature. He said that at the Beijing Book Fair last September he was informed that the print run of some of the books ran into millions and that there is much Sri Lanka can learn from China’s experience. He said the MOU with China was the first with another country and the SLBPA is keen to sign such MOUs with other countries. He said that Sri Lankan literature has to make an impact in the world and that from this year the winner of the Swarnapusthaka (Golden Book Award) will be translated into English. He said the Swarnapusthaka award with prizes of Rs. 750,000 is the largest award in Sri Lanka and the SLBPA created the award to recognise books of exceptional quality. He said that the SLBPA has this year made an extra effort to carry promotional campaigns at the World Book Fair in New Delhi and the London Book Fair in April and that a SLBPA delegation will also exhibit Sri Lanka books at the Seoul Book Fair in South Korea in June. He said a large number of foreign publishers will exhibit at the Colombo International Book Fair at the BMICH being held from 13 September.