The government of Sri Lanka will release on May 7, a postal stamp and first day cover on Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary celebrations.

The stamp, priced at LKR 5, will be released by Sri Lankan Minister for Postal Services Jewan Kumaranathunga at a function presided over by Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha, said Vikram Misri, Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Colombo.

Sri Lankan Minister for Cultural Affairs and Arts T. B. Ekanayake, will release ‘Remembering Rabindranath Tagore,’ a commemorative volume edited by Sandagomi Coperahewa and published by the University of Colombo. The volume contains 15 articles in English, Sinhala and Tamil and highlights the concerns and philosophy of Tagore and his contribution to life and literature, said Prof. Coperahewa.

The events are being organized by the Indian Cultural Centre in association with the Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lankan Ministries and Universities, the Tagore Society of Sri Lanka and the India– Sri Lanka Foundation.

Tagore visited Sri Lanka thrice – in 1922, 1930 ad 1934 – and was instrumental in the renaissance of its culture. Tagore wrote the national anthem for two countries – India and Bangladesh – and influenced the anthem in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan national anthem was written by Ananda Samarakoon, most probably in 1939-40, while he was Tagore’s disciple at Visva-Bharathi University. Samarakoon’s first Shantiniketan stint ended after six months but he heralded a new brand of Sinhalese music influenced by Rabindra Sangeeth.

Over the next year, the life and works of Tagore will feature at numerous events organised by the Government of India and several Sri Lankan organisations, said Mr. Misri. Tagore Day will be celebrated on May 6 at University of Colombo. Essay writing competitions for college students, exposition of Rabindra Sangeeth, are also being held.

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