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BMICH History

The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall as its name implies was built to honor the memory of Mr. S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 1956 to 1959. The Hall is an outright gift from the Government and People of the People's Republic of China as a mark of their esteem for the late Prime Minister and a s a symbol of the ideals to which he was dedicated.

As is well-known, Mr. S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike was one of the foremost international statesmen of his time and some of his ideas on international relations, like the concept of dynamic neutralism which he expounded at the U.N. and other international forums, are the foundations of the policy of non-alignment which is today a vital force in internationalism to which almost half the world community of nations subscribe. One of the ideals to which Mr. Bandaranaike was dedicated was the promotion of peace and understanding between nations in order that all nations could work together in a spirit of goodwill, brotherhood and democratic equality for the preservation of world peace and the advancement of mankind.

The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall is intended to serve as a medium for the fulfillment of his ideals and to that extent it is indeed a fitting memorial to him. True to his vision it is hoped that this Hall dedicated to his memory will bring people together and contribute to world peace and understanding in the true spirit of internationalism as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

Construction of the Hall commenced officially on the 24th November 1970 when the first sods were cut by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Mrs. Srimavo R. D. Bandaranaike, Mr. Pieter Keuneman, Minister of Housing and Construction and His Excellency the Ambassador for the People's Republic of China in Sri Lanka.

The building was completed in the first quarter of 1973, months ahead of schedule. The construction of the Hall was the product of joint Sri Lanka and Chinese workmanship. Throughout workers from both countries participated in its construction. Both sides worked together in a spirit of harmony and understanding which was a model of international co-operation.

A considerable portion of the exquisite building materials which have been used in the Hall were imported from China. These include a wide range of marble in delicate tints and hues, terrazzo tiles and mosaic tiles. These materials were blended together in what is acknowledged to be an outstanding architectural creation.