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2018 Colombo International Book Fair –
Colombo International Book Fair returns to city for milestone 20th year
Colombo International Book Fair returns to city for milestone 20th year
If last year’s figures are anything to go by, some 1.5 million book lovers from all over Sri Lanka can be expected to visit the BMICH over just 10 days later this month, when the annual Colombo International Book Fair (CIBF) returns for its 20th edition.
More than 450 exhibitors, 40 of them from overseas, have confirmed participation in the Book Fair, by footfall the largest annual exhibition in the country across all sectors.
Open to the public for 12 hours from 9am to 9pm each day at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Exhibition Centre within the BMICH precincts, this year’s Book Fair and will feature an ancillary Education and Career Guidance Exhibition at the BMICH’s Delegates Lounge. Organisers said 30 exhibitors including affiliates of foreign universities are expected to participate.
The Book Fair will see publishers, importers and retailers of books in English, Sinhala and Tamil as well as stationery, offering their products at 20% off their regular selling price, while stalls in the bargain section in Hall N will offer discounts of up to 80%.
Entrance is free for school children, university students, members of the clergy and armed forces personnel in uniform. Other visitors contribute an entrance fee of Rs 20 which is credited in its entirety to the ‘Daru Diriya’ scholarship fund which provides scholarships to impoverished students around the country. Selected students are sponsored from Grade I until they conclude their university education. The ‘Daru Diriya’ Scholarship scheme has sponsored many deserving children for the past 11 years.
Minster of Education, Hon. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, will officiate as Chief Guest at the opening of the Fair on 21st September while Gill Caldicott, Director of the British Council, Sri Lanka, will grace the occasion as Guest of Honour.
A highlight of the book fair will be the ‘Ketapath Pawura’ or ‘Mirror Wall’ near the open air hall. It offers visitors a wall on which to pen their creative pieces of poetry. After the conclusion of the Fair, the best works of visitor poetry will be compiled into a book and published, the organisers said.
The Fair will also feature a Kids’ Corner with art and craft activities. Over the 10 days of the exhibition, a series of book launches and literary discussions will provide interesting diversions for the literati, while cultural events including dramas and musical performances organised by Event Partner, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, will add colour to the evenings.
As in other years, the organisers have arranged free shuttle bus services from Borella, Kollupitiya, Rajagiriya and the Town Hall to the BMICH. Visitors who arrive by car will have the services of a shuttle bus from the car parks to the exhibition halls. Ample covered outdoor seating, refreshment outlets, free drinking water and printed stall plans have also been organised for the benefit of visitors.
Earlier in August, 14 leading book publishers and booksellers formally signed contracts to sponsor the CIBF 2018, with Sarasavi Book Publishers taking on the mantle of Principal Sponsor. The Platinum Sponsors of the Fair are Akura Book Publishers; Godage Book Emporium; M. D. Gunasena & Co; Master Guide Publications; Rathna Book Publishers; Sadeepa Book Publishers; Samayawardhana Publishers and Wasana Book Publishers; while the Gold Sponsors are Dayawansa Jayakody & Company; Samudra Book Publishers; Sathara Prakashakayo and Susara Publications.
Organised by the Sri Lanka Book Publishers’ Association, with the support of Official Banker – Sampath Bank, Electronic Media Sponsors – Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and Neth FM and Hospitality Partner – Makeen Books; the Colombo International Book Fair 2018 will be a showcase for all leading book publishers, booksellers, author-publishers, sellers of educational aids and material and providers of IT services.
Vijitha Yapa – COMPANY PROFILE
The Vijitha Yapa Group of Companies began in April 1981 when Vijitha Yapa Associates were appointed by Dow Jones & Company Limited of USA to represent them for advertising sales and distribution of their publications as the exclusive agent. The International Herald Tribune of Hong Kong, Newsweek Magazine, The Reader’s Digest, The Economist, Business Week and The Times Group of India are among those who are represented by Vijitha Yapa for the sale of their publications in Sri Lanka. In addition, Lonely Planet Publications of Australia, Periplus Publications of Singapore, Konark Publications of India and Time Warner Books of UK are among the publishers who distribute their books on an exclusive basis through the Vijitha Yapa Group in Sri Lanka. In 1991 the Vijitha Yapa Group decided to establish a chain of bookshops, and today, there are twelve branches. Vijitha Yapa Bookshop is the largest English bookstore chain in Sri Lanka and offers more than 250,000 titles altogether.. The Vijitha Yapa group hold the exclusive rights to sell books in the transit lounge of Colombo’s International Airport. Vijitha Yapa Subscriptions is the largest subscription agent in Sri Lanka. The Vijitha Yapa group has 150 employees and is primarily involved with media related activities.
VIJITHA YAPA ASSOCIATES – PUBLIC RELATIONS (VYAPR)
A subsidiary company of the Group is VYAPR, Sri Lanka’s first Public Relations Company, serving a number of international companies.
VIJITHA YAPA PUBLICATIONS
Vijitha Yapa publications have so far published 120 titles on a variety of subjects. The most successful Vijitha Yapa Publications so far have been “Sam’s Story” by Captain Elmo Jayawardena, and “The Road from Elephant Pass” by Nihal de Silva. These books won the prestigious Gratiaen Award in 2001 and 2003 respectively as the best literary works in English, produced in Sri Lanka.Marshall Cavendish bought the rights to Sam’s Story for south east Asia.
THE GRATIAEN AWARD
The Gratiaen Award was established by Michael Ondaatje, the well-known author, from the proceeds of the Booker Prize. He received the Booker Prize for his book “The English Patient”.
OTHER AUTHORS PUBLISHED BY VIJITHA YAPA
Other well known authors whose books have been published by Vijitha Yapa Publications include Punyakante Wijenaike, who won the gold medal at the first Commonwealth short story competition, and Carl Muller whose books have been published by Penguin India. Both these authors have won the Gratiaen Awards for their books.
Mr. Vijitha Yapa – Founder, Chairman and Managing Director Vijitha Yapa was the founder editor of three National Newspapers of Sri Lanka, The Island, The Sunday Island and The Sunday Times. He is also the author of three books, including the Travel book – “Insight pocket Guide” published by APA publications, Singapore. He is a well-known journalist and his articles and photographs have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Financial Times and The Far Eastern Economic Review. Mrs. Lalana Yapa – Director Lalana Yapa worked in the Attorney General’s Department and is married to Vijitha Yapa.