Gratiaen Prize celebrates 20 years

Saturday, 4 May 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Gratiaen Trust celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, with the announcement of the winner of the 2012 Gratiaen Prize at an exclusive event hosted by Standard Chartered Bank at the Stables, Park Street Mews, today.

Standard Chartered’s proud affiliation with the Gratiaen Prize – Sri Lanka’s most coveted literary award for writing in English by a resident Sri Lankan, spans most of the history of the award. The winner will be selected from amongst the five shortlisters announced at the Standard Chartered Colomboscope in March this year.


Standard Chartered’s Chief Executive Officer Anirvan Ghosh Dastidar commenting on the Gratiaen Prize event said: “Standard Chartered is delighted to host this prestigious event, as it has for close to two decades since the inception of the award by Michael Ondaatje. The longevity and success of the Gratiaen Prize is a testimonial to the relevance and importance of English in the cultural and social milieu of this country. We are proud to be associated with the Trust on its continued efforts to engender literary excellence.”

At the invitation-only event to be held this evening the five short-listed authors will present excerpts from their work, the readings affording a brief insight into their work and why they are amongst this year’s chosen. One of the five – Rizvina Morseth de Alwis, Ruwanthie de Chickera and Nadie Kammallaweera, Lal Medawattagedera, Malinda Seneviratne, and Saroj Sinnetamby – will be announced as the winner of the prestigious 2012 Gratiaen Prize on this the 20th anniversary of the award.

The Gratiaen Prize rewards the best writing in English by a resident Sri Lankan. The judges for the 2012 award are Jayantha Dhanapala (Chairperson), Lynn Ockersz and Sumathy Sivamohan. The entries submitted by authors and publishers, included fiction, poetry, drama and literary memoirs, either published during the last year or presented in manuscript form. The value of the prize is Sri Lankan Rs. 200,000.