Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China Yi Xianliang, is to deliver the 13th Annual Sujata Jayawardena Memorial Oration on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at the BMICH on the topic ‘One Belt, One Road – Sri Lanka – China Relations’.
The Annual Sujata Jayawardena Memorial Oration, is a premier annual event of the University of Colombo, hosted by the Alumni Association of the University of Colombo, in memory of its illustrious Past President the Late Sujata Jayawardena who rendered immense service to the University of Colombo.
Speaking of the event, President of the University of Colombo Alumni Rajeev Amarasuriya said that this topic was selected for this year’s oration as it is of much importance and relevance to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka – China relations has always been very important and more so now with this initiative.
Sri Lanka was an active participant in the ancient Silk Route, functioning as an entrepot of trade and exchanging commodities and therefore, there is also a historical aspect as well. He went on to state that with this significant initiative taken by China, Sri Lanka would be an integral part being strategically placed in the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, which would stretch from China’s coast to Africa and Europe via the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one direction, and to the South Pacific in the other direction.
He went on to state that there has also been much investment by China, and it would be a good opportunity to understand first hand, the thinking of China in putting in place this initiative and the envisaged involvement of Sri Lanka in the same, and that there was no better person than the Chinese Envoy in Colombo to explain this.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake speaking of the oration itself, said that the University of Colombo has formally recognised the Sujata Jayawardena Memorial Oration as one of its most prestigious and formal events.
He went on to state that the reason for this is that the Oration always focuses on a topic that is timely and of great significance to the socio-political as well as economic interest of Sri Lanka. Being a university, we try, through the Sujata Jayawardena Memorial Oration, to generate intellectual dialogue among academics as well as the general public, he went on to state.
The 12 past orations have been delivered by Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala, Robert O. Blake, Jr, Late Justice C.G. Weeramantry, Prof. Arjuna Aluwihare, Lalith Weeratunga, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Prof. Sudarshan Seneviratne, Prof. Carlo Fonseka and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Those interested in attending this year’s Memorial Oration are requested to express their interest by email: [email protected] or call (011) 2501412 or 071 7-7289014, as seats are limited and will be by invitation.
Wijeya Newspapers are the Print Media Sponsors of this year’s Oration.