Address by Ambassador Anil Wadhwa at the...
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Address by Ambassador Anil Wadhwa
at the opening ceremony of “International Writer’s Conference and Literary
Festival”
at 0900 hrs on 3 October 2013
at Room 304, Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Building, Chulalongkorn University

President of Chulalongkorn University Prof Pirom Kamolratanakul,
Dean of the Faculty of Arts Assistant Professor Dr. Prapod,
Prof Surapithan,
My Fellow Diplomatic Colleagues,
Eminent literary personalities gathered here,
Respected Achans,
Distinguished guests and dear students,

  1. I am delighted to be here again at prestigious Chulalongkorn University. I am happy to share my thoughts with you all at this potent gathering of minds represented here at the International Writer’s Conference and Literary Festival called ‘Reaching the World 2013’. I wish all the success to this four days conference organized by Chulalongkorn University, Asia-Pacific Writers and Translators Association and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

  2. Today at this opening ceremony, I fondly recall how Chula University and the Indian Embassy in Bangkok successfully organized the first conference of Indian Writing in English in Bangkok last year, which attracted so many renowned creative minds. I am happy to note that Professor Rukmini Bhaya Nair from India is participating in this important conference. We supported her participation under the India-Thailand Exchange Programme, which was signed during Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit to Thailand in May 2013. The objective of this exchange programme is to foster bilateral cultural cooperation and to promote greater understanding between the peoples of the two countries.

  3. In fact, it was a logical contemporary step to carry forward the ongoing cultural dialogue that began in the 3rd century BC when Asoka’s monks, Sona Thera and Uttara Thera, set sail across Bay of Bengal for the Golden Land of Suvarnabhum, carrying with them the golden message of the Dhamma. As all may know, the intervening centuries saw a cross-flow of ideas and icons across and around the Bay of Bengal, which is to Asia as the Mediterranean is to Europe, a bandwidth of culture in which our languages and stories meet and mingle.

  4. Asia has an ancient wisdom drawn from a civilizational heritage of peace, pluralism and co-existence. Since time immemorial, interaction between India and Thailand has enriched our shared heritage. Rabindranath Tagore who was a creative cultural communicator of world renown visited Thailand in 1927. It is this rich legacy that Poet Laureate Tagore spoke about, while delivering an address at the Dusit Palace in Bangkok in 1927 at the invitation of His Majesty the King and Queen of Siam. He spoke about rekindling of intelligent and spiritual illumination, and called for Asia to regain its self-consciousness for realization of its own self. This year, we are celebrating 100 years of receiving of Asia’s first Nobel Prize for Literature for his work - ‘Gitanjali’.

  5. I am really impressed by the sheer diversity of the topics chosen for the various sessions, lectures, panel discussions of this conference. I am delighted that this conference has attracted so many creative minds and I wish your interactions every success.

My best wishes to you all.

***


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