Welcoming the efforts made by Sri Lanka in education, science, technology and culture, UNESCO Director General, Irina Bokova said the organisation could contribute in fostering national reconciliation, promoting human rights and civic citizenship attitudes in Sri Lanka.
Ms Bokova made these comments when she met Education Minister and Sri Lanka’s representative on the Executive Board of UNESCO, Bandula Gunawardhena at the 186th sessions of the UNESCO Executive Board in Paris.
|Bandula Gunawardena, with UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova at the UNESCO Paris Headquarters
Since 2004, Sri Lanka has been elected to serve for two consecutive terms on the Board.
Meanwhile Minister Gunawardena said UNESCO could play a bigger role in education for peace and sustainable development, in post conflict Sri Lanka.
Speaking about specific areas of cooperation by the UNESCO, Minister Gunawardena thanked the organisation for the support extended in the initial stages of the planning of the Nano Science Park in Sri Lanka adding that the country was looking forward to UNESCo’s assistance to hold the Global Forum of Sri Lankan Scientists at the end of the year.
Meanwhile the Assistant Director General of UNESCO in charge of Education, Dr. Q. Tang acknowledged the efforts being made by Sri Lanka to establish a Teacher Development Institute which would cater to national needs as well as be a hub for the region reaching out to other countries in to support their teacher networks.
Ambassador and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka noted the importance of ‘educating the educators’ while Secretary General of the Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO, Prithi Perera pointed out that future development of the institute would require the cooperation of the other countries in the region and support from UNESCO to make it an institute that could serve as a bridge with other countries and similar specialized institutes at a regional and global level.
Minister moves to collect CPC’s billions
State institutions including defence establishments have been told to pay up billions of rupees they owe the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation even in instalments, Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha said yesterday.
The minister said the move to collect Rs. 78 billion that sate institutions owed CPC was part of measures aimed at improving the financial stability of the corporation and maintaining stable oil prices.
He said he held a meeting with Treasury officials and representatives from the institutions and discussed ways to settle the credit.
Among the institutions which owe the CPC are Mihin Air, SriLankan air, the Armed Forces, the Ceylon Electricity Board, the Sri Lanka Transport Board, the Railways and the Police Department.
Mr. Premajayantha said the Treasury had agreed that the money would be paid on an instalment basis.
“We need the money to ensure that the CPC is in a strong position and therefore we need to collect the dues,” he said adding that the payment of the arrears would begin immediately.
SL Embassy in Belgium holds ‘Maha Pirith’
to mark Sambuddhathva Jayanthi
Sri Lanka's Embassy in Belgium commemorated the 2600th Sambuddhathva Jayanthi (anniversary of the enlightenment of the Buddha) by organizing a 'Maha Pirith ceremony' last Sunday at the Sri Lanka Residence.
The event was attended by over 100 persons, including ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from Asian countries, representatives of Buddhist Organizations in Belgium, as well as members of the Sri Lanka community resident in Belgium and Luxembourg.
The Chief Adikarana Sanga Nayake for France and Chief Incumbent of the Jetawana Vihara in Paris Ven. Murungasyaye Gnanissara Thera who led the religious observances, in a sermon delivered in both Sinhala and French spoke of the importance of Vesak for Buddhists around the world.