22nd Meeting of Sri Lanka Forum of University Economists – 7th June
The Sri Lankan Forum of University Economists was established in February, 2012 with the intention of enabling closer cooperation, dialogue, research and academic enhancement among the professionals in Economics serving in the Sri Lankan Universities. The forum, an initiative of the Department of Economics of the University of Colombo, has now completed five years of its existence. It has held five international research conferences, and has published six issues of a peer reviewed research journal, the SLJER. It also has held quarterly meetings at different Universities around Sri Lanka, and its latest (22nd) meeting was hosted by the Department of Economics, University of Colombo on 7th June 2017, in the Senate Hall of the University of Colombo.
The meeting, attended by 70 representatives from 15 universities in Sri Lanka and dignitaries such as Professor S S Colombage (former Central Banker) and Professor M S M Ismail (Chairman/Laksala), commenced with lighting of the traditional Oil Lamp. The Plenary Session was presided over by the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo, Prof Ranjith Mahanama, representing the Vice Chancellor, Prof Lakshman Dissanayake, who was abroad. Prof Athula Ranasinghe (Dean/Arts), Prof Venerable W Wimalaratana (Head/Economics), Chair of the SLFUE Dr Prasanna of Rajarata University, the National Coordinator of the SLFUE-2017, were among others at the Head Table. Prof Ven Wimalaratana delivered the Welcome Speech, and Prof Athula Ranasinghe gave a brief introduction regarding SLFUE and its importance. The Acting VC of the University delivered the Chairman’s speech, with several useful and interesting comments on the SLFUE, and also left many food for thought for the audience.
The Keynote Speech was delivered by Dr Sumith Pilapitiya, ex-World Bank Envoronemntal Specialist for South Asia Region, on Solidwaste management issues in Sri Lanka. It was very informative and thought provoking, and quite naturally stimulated an animated discussion.
SLJER Vol. 4 (2) was launched by the Department of Business Economics, University of Sri Jayawardenapura and Dr. Dilini Hemachandra reviewed its contents. Professor Jeewika Weerahewa of the Department of Agriculture Economics made a presentation on academic and post-doctoral opportunities in Australia, while Professor Sirimal Abeyratne explained the activities pertaining to SAESM and requested the member Departments to ensure maximum participation at the forthcoming event. Reflecting upon the 13th SAESM-2016 held in Katmandu-Nepal, Mr. Naween Wickramatane of the University of Colombo, who was awarded the Best of the Best Papers “Mahabub Ul Haq & Amartya Sen Best Research Paper, was recognised by the Economics Student Association of the University of Colombo.
The Plenary session ended with the Vote of Thanks delivered by Dr. Gunaruwan, the National Coordinator of the SLFUE-2012, and one of the Forum’s architects, who also emphasised the necessity of all member Departments extending maximum support to the Rajarata University to make the six months ahead successful.
The formal 22nd meeting of the SLFUE was chaired by Dr Prasanna of the Rajarata University, during which the forthcoming activities of SLFUE including Sri Lanka Economic Research Conference – 2017, Sri Lanka Journal of Economic Research Vol 5, SLFUE Website, Contributions towards National Policy Formulation as well as membership expansion were discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 1.30 pm with all participants joining lunch hosted by the University of Colombo.