Ex­pat Sci­en­tists

Southasia - - 13 -

In ef­forts to fur­ther its post-war so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment, the Min­istry of Tech­nol­ogy and Re­search brought to­gether lo­cal and ex­pat Sri Lankan sci­en­tists at an in­ter­na­tional forum. The forum ti­tled ‘The Global Forum of Sri Lankan Sci­en­tists’ was or­ga­nized by the Na­tional Sci­ence Foun­da­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with UNESCO and was held in Colombo. The three-day forum, ex­plor­ing the theme “Em­pow­er­ing Sri Lanka through net­work­ing and knowl­edge shar­ing,” drew more than 100 lo­cal sci­en­tists and ex­perts and 50 Sri Lankan ex­pa­tri­ate sci­en­tists.

The forum dis­cussed sci­en­tific and eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment and ex­plored themes of na­tional in­ter­est that in­cluded dif­fer­ent sec­tors of en­ergy, health care, agri­cul­ture, tourism, con­sumer goods and pro­mot­ing ex­ports. Hop­ing to con­trib­ute to na­tional de­vel­op­ment, the sci­en­tists also col­lab­o­rated in sci­en­tific ar­eas such as Nan­otech­nol­ogy, Biotech­nol­ogy and Green Tech­nol­ogy, amongst oth­ers.

Sri Lankan ex­pats have played an in­te­gral role in the re­build­ing of their so­ci­ety and have pos­i­tively rep­re­sented the coun­try in the in­ter­na­tional me­dia. Fol­low­ing the three-decade long civil war that ended in 2009, the Sri Lankan gov­ern­ment has in­vested over 6 bil­lion ru­pees in mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture pro­grams and aims to main­tain its growth above 8 per­cent in 2012. How­ever, only 1.5 per­cent of Sri Lanka’s man­u­fac­tured ex­ports are based on ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy. Ad­di­tion­ally, due to ris­ing poverty, low in­come and lack of re­sources in Sri Lanka, thou­sands of sci­en­tists and aca­demics pre­fer to migrate in ef­forts of find­ing bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The gov­ern­ment launched this ini­tia­tive to gain the knowl­edge of renowned Sri Lankan sci­en­tists who have left the coun­try.

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