MONUMENT OF A.P.CHEKHOV UNVEILED IN COLOMBO
On the 14th of August a stately occasion of unveiling of the monument of Anton Chekhov dedicated to the
150th anniversary of birth of the great Russian writer and 120th Anniversary of the time when he
visited Ceylon took place in Colombo. The monument was presented as a gift to the people of Sri Lanka and installed
in the Grand Oriental Hotel where Chekhov stayed.
Sri Lankan officials as well as the activists of the Sri Lanka Russia Friendship Society and Association of the
graduates from the Socialist countries, officers and sailors of the Guided missile cruiser “Moskva” which was staying
in the port of Colombo at that day, the Russian Embassy staff and members of their families, Russian expats were
present at the ceremony.
His Excellency the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Sri Lanka Vladimir Mikhaylov mentioned during unveiling
of the monument that most of Sri Lankans know very well the name of Chekhov who`s works were translated not only into
English but into Sinhala as well and that this event became a bright symbol of strengthening of friendship between two
The author of the monument the Russian sculptor Grigory Potozky said that in this monument he tried to communicate
“the feeling of pain for the other person which was so familiar for the Russian intelligentzia on the edge of the
19th and the 20th century who was suffering so deeply for the destiny of the Russian people”.
Hon. Minister of Petroleum Industries of Sri Lanka Susil Premajayantha who is also the President of Sri Lanka Russia
Friendship Society as well as the Hon. Minister of Housing and Construction Industry Wimal Weerawansa who also
addressed the gathering at the ceremony said that Sri Lankans accepted with gratitude this gift from the people of
Russia which symbolizes one of the spiritual threads which connect our two countries.
Professor of the Kelaniya University Dr. Lakshman Fernando and the Chairman of the Sri Lankan writers Union Dr.
Gunasena Vitana paid attention of the gathering to the fact that it was the Russian literature which influenced deeply
Sri Lankan writers and keeps doing that nowadays.
It is important to note that formerly in the Hotel`s lobby a memorial plaque was installed telling in Russian and
English languages that the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov had stayed in this Hotel from 12th to
18th of November, 1890. There was also opened a memorial room where the furniture and atmosphere of that
time were kept and the photos of the writer on the walls were put.