Sinhala  Tamil    Seperate    
Governtment of Sri Lanka

Future Minds of Jaffna Launch of the Industrial and Educational Exhibition

( Created date: 30-Dec-2008 )

A delegation from the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process attended the opening, on Saturday December 27th, of the Future Minds Of Jaffna Industrial and Educational Exhibition organised in Jaffna by the Security Forces, with the assistance of the Secretariat. Secretary General, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, was accompanied by Director Operations, Brigadier Piyal Abeysekera, and Director Economic Affairs, Rohantha Athukorale.

The opening of the Exhibition was graced also by Hon. Minister Douglas Devananda, the Bishop of Jaffna, the Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries and the Head of NARA, the Government Agent of Jaffna and the Jaffna High Court Judge, along with Major General Chandrasiri the Commander Security Forces Jaffna, who had initially conceived of the event. This is the third in a series he has arranged during his tenure as Security Forces Commander so as to provide the people of Jaffna, and in particular the young, with opportunities to participate in mainstream activities in a united Sri Lanka. Over 60,000 participated on the first day.

The thrust of this Exhibition was technology and business, and the private and public sectors responded admirably in taking up stalls at the event. Agriculture and Fisheries, Communications and Information Technology, Education, Arts and Culture, Small Industry and Vocational Training were amongst the areas featured. For the development that the area needs, in addition to better communications, there is need of investment as well as enhanced human resources. It is hoped that the Exhibition would encourage, and provide opportunities for, the national business community to work together with entrepreneurs in the Jaffna area as well as students and potential trainees for these purposes. The private sector ran 168 stalls at the Exhibition, and Mobitel undertook to provide broadband internet facilities to Jaffna in the very near future.

The Secretary General took the opportunity to discuss with School Principals as well as the Bishop the contribution of Jaffna to 2009 as the year of English and Information Technology, as proclaimed by His Excellency the President. The Exhibition was held in the grounds of Vembadi Girls School and Jaffna Central College, which is the Alma Mater of Minister Devananda. Prof. Wijesinha also noted that a distinguished colleague of his at university, the first Head of the Department of English at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, came from Vembadi, from a distinguished educational family which had also provided the Head of the Kopai Training College, which could become a flagship for English training in the future.

The Task Force His Excellency had appointed for English and IT had appointed a Sub-Committee for the North and East, and this Committee hoped to set up Cities of Excellence. Jaffna was an obvious candidate to be the first of these, given its longstanding educational traditions. The scheme also envisaged proactive centres in public libraries, and the restored Jaffna Public Library, which had already established IT facilities, would be well equipped to take up this challenge.

The Exhibition will also feature a range of entertainment, throughout the days and evenings. Artistes from Colombo and also from South India were expected to participate, while a singing competition of youth between the ages of 15 and 30 years was being held to find a "North Star", for which prize money of over Rs. 3 million has been committed. The hosts of children at the Exhibition, and the enthusiasm of those who demonstrated the skills they had already learnt in computing, augured well for the intellectual and technological future of a city that had always been in the forefront of learning in Sri Lanka.


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