The distinguished Hindi writer, Uday Prakash, in his Keynote Address, dwelt upon phrases like ‘liberal democracy’ and ‘political progress’ and what they meant to different people and different societies. Uday Prakash emphasized the fact that the SAARC region did not have a homogeneous society like Europe. In SAARC countries, we have diversity and in this kind of plural society, we have to build up an ambience of cooperation and harmony. The alternative is too horrible to think of.




Dr. G.L.W. Samarasinghe from Sri Lanka receiving the SAARC LITERARY AWARD 2009,from Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma, for Vivimarie Vanderpoorten



The FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE was also the occasion for the prestigious SAARC LITERARY AWARDS – 2009, presented to Uday Prakash, the distinguished Hindi poet and fiction writer, Jayanta Mahapatra, the well-known Senior Oriya and English poet, and Kamaal Khan, a prominent and sensitive electronic media person from India. Three poets were honoured with SAARC YOUNG POETS AWARDS : Khalida Froagh, the sensitive young poet from Afghanistan; Rubana Haq, the remarkable young poet from Bangladesh; and Vivimarie Vanderpoortan, the talented young poet from Sri Lanka. Award for Ju, the writer from Myanmar was sent through the young poet from Myanmar, Nanda Tint Swe.

Simultaneously, all the Awardees and the poets who represented their countries by reading their poems as Inaugural Poetry of the Festival, as well as eminent associates of FOSWAL : Arpana Caur, Dinesh Misra, Manmohan Singh Mitwa and Dr. Refaqat Ali Khan, were honoured with Ceremonial shawls by Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma, Dr. Kheya Bhattacharya and Ajeet Cour. Among the people honoured thus, were : Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma, Secretary General of SAARC Secretariat, Habibullah Rafi and Khalida Froagh (Afghanistan), Selina Hossain and Mohammad Samad, Representatives of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, and Khondakar Ashraf Hossain (Bangladesh), Tshering Dorji (Bhutan), Fathmath Sausan (Maldives), Abhi Subedi and Pushpa R. Acharya (Nepal), Nayyara Rahman (Pakistan), Dr. G.L.W. Samarasinghe and Lakshantha Athukorala (Sri Lanka), Dr. Chandra Prabha Pandey, Santosh Bharatiya (India) and Nanda Tint Swe (Myanmar).

Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma and Ajeet Cour presented ceremonial shawl to Dr. Kheya Bhattacharya and Dr. Sharma presented a beautiful gift to Ajeet Cour, President of FOSWAL, for her dedication to the cause of cultural connectivity in the SAARC region which she pioneered in 1987.




Dr. Kheya Bhattacharya presenting the ceremonial shawl to Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma




Khaleda Froagh from Afghanistan, receiving the SAARC LITERARY AWARD 2009, from Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma




On behalf of Tin Tin Win (Ju), of Myanmar, Nanda Tint Swe receiving the SAARC Literary Award 2009, from Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma




Dr. Kheya Bhattacharya presenting the ceremonial shawl to Fathmath Sausan of Maldives




Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma presenting the ceremonial shawl to Dr. Kheya Bhattacharya




Uday Prakash receiving the SAARC LITERARY AWARD – 2009




On behalf of Dr. Rubana Haq, the young poet of Bangladesh, Selina Hossain receivingthe SAARC Literary Award 2009, from Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma