I found an article online at the Sunday Times site written by Smirti Daniels with more information on the Galle Literary Festival. At the end of the article, Smirti mentions this:
The Festival lasts for less than a week, however, one of our key aims is to use the profile of the festival to act as a springboard for and to publicise a variety of community initiatives with our friends and sponsors of the festival, say the organisers. Here are few of the initiatives you can expect to see at the Festival this year:
- Workshops in Galle and the Southern Province School with AdoptSriLanka and The British Council.
- Debating and creative writing competitions with Adopt Sri Lanka.
If those two initiatives actually take place, great! I’d prefer workshops not just in Galle, though, but also in Colombo and other major cities. Still, if they happen, it could be very good for the writing scene in Sri Lanka. If you hear more about this, please pass the information on to me!
The festival appears focused towards the yuppie literary crowd (cooking lessons from a renowned chef, don’t’cha know), not towards those who are seeking publication.
And for the controversy behind the 2007 festival, check this out. It involves the sponsor of the event, AdoptSriLanka, and how donations are being spent.
Disclaimer: mudslinging and partisanship is a sport here, and accusations are frequently flung with little or no proof. I’m not saying that is the case here – it’s just something you should be aware of. Make up your own mind. That applies to newspapers, websites, and, well, everything.