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Press Releases
2009-02-03: [source:The Island] Deyata Kirula Exhibition tomorrow
2008-07-24: [source:Daily News] SAARC Summit a platform to promote tourism
2003-04-20: [source:Observer] Sirimavo Bandaranaika Memorial Exhibition & Convention centre - Official Opening on May 17
1999-05-22: [source:Daily News] Tree Planting Campaign at BMICH
1999-05-07: [source:Daily News] BMICH to get exhibition hall and international study centre
1999-05-07: International Exhibition Centre at BMICH
1999-05-01: [source:Lake House] BMICH’s enhanced majesty
1998-05-10: [source:Lake House] Another outright gift from Chinese Govt - Modern convention hall next door to BMICH
1998-05-09: [source:Weekend Express] B.M.I.C.H. – 25th anniversary
1983-05-21: [source:SUN] Tenth Anniversary of BMICH
view all
18/05/1973: A National Asset
THE stately edifice erected on Baudhaloka Mawatha and ceremonially opened yesterday is a magnificent tribute to the late Mr.S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike whose services to his people it is designed to commemorate. It is also, as the Chinese Prime Minister Mr. Chou En – Lai has said, a symbol of the friendship between Sri Lanka and China whose people hold in special esteem the domestic and foreign policy of Mr. Bandaranaike and after him, of Mrs. Bandaranaike.
The project, it is known, ran in stormy weather, and Mr. Pieter Keuneman, the Minister of Housing and Construction (who, incidentally must be gratified with the performance of his Ministry on the project.) recalled that even the original corner-stone had disappeared. Nevertheless, the project was completed three months ahead of the schedule, and, it is reported, cost Rs. 5 million less than the estimate, a happy combination that is probably without precedent in a major undertaking of this type in the country. It will be nice if this example will be uniformly followed henceforth.

A significant feature in the execution of the project, by all accounts, was the successful teams work between the Chinese team and the Ceylonese at all levels. Perhaps this collaboration has done more to promote mutual understanding and respect than a host of goodwill missions by politicians. If the discipline and dedication to work that the Chinese set communicated themselves to their Ceylonese counterparts, we like to think that it was not all one-way traffic and the Chinese also profited from the experience. It was probably a novel experience for our architects and engineers, etc. to work with their hands, but apparently they adopted themselves well.

How much it helped to speed the project we are unable to say but the voluntary contribution of their labor by the Prime Minister, Mrs. Bandaranaike, and her Cabinet colleagues led to shramadane being organized among state officers. Moreover, there was some degree of people’s participation in the project-volunteers came from Attanagalle and Dompe.

A word of timely advice will not come amiss. A visit to any of our government building shows how badly neglected they are; they are not even kept clean and the terminal building at the Bandaranaike airport is only one example of how we let our capital assets run down. The Bandaranaike Memorial Hall should be fairly expensive to keep in a decent state of repair. But it will be a shame if it is allowed to go the way of other buildings whose maintenance is the responsibility of the government. To do so will also be to show lack of appreciation of the generosity of the people and the government of China.

There seems to be optimism in government circles that this splendid hall with up-to-date facilities, believed to be the best in this part of the world, will attract international conferences and thus help tourism as well. Sri Lanka is certainly well situated and has many advantages as a venue for international gatherings and already mention has been made of some meetings to be scheduled to be held in the new building.

But it is well to be remembered that even this Conference hall by itself is not sufficient to attract international organizations. There must be decent and adequate hotel accommodation (and service) and efficient transport and telecommunications, etc. These have frequently caused disillusionment among visitors to the country. The point we are making is that to derive the utmost benefit from the new asset the country has come into position if its necessary to pay attention to other matters as well. And act to improve them.

[source:Daily Mirror]