New SLAAS Chief promises coordinated response to crisis

New SLAAS Chief promises coordinated response to crisis


Pro. Ranjith Senaratne (right) being inducted as General President, SLAAS by outgoing President Prof. Manuj C. Weerasinghe

Source : island

Newly inducted General President of Sri Lanka Association of the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) Prof. Ranjith Senaratne has acknowledged that their contribution and engagement intended to resolve the current socio-political and economic crisis is far from adequate and it leaves much to be desired.

SLAAS is one of the oldest scientific institutions in Sri Lanka established in 1944 with a present membership of over 11,000.

Prof. Senaratne has proposed the establishment of a consortium of relevant scientific and professional bodies and associations such as National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, IESL, SLMA, Institute of Architects, and Sri Lanka Veterinary Association under the umbrella of the SLAAS. The academic said: “They would form a cohesive and robust professional body able to serve as a guiding force, a lodestar, of the nation in proffering objective advice and guidance to the Government, public sector institutions and industry in matters of national interest. I am hopeful that objective and dispassionate advice and guidance from such a reputable professional body, reinforced and enriched by world-class Sri Lankan expatriates, in an actionable and pragmatic manner would be listened to and reckoned with rather than trifled with.”

Prof. Senaratne has been inducted by the outgoing General President Prof. Manuj C. Weerasinghe at an induction ceremony held on the 12th January at the Ariyana Reach Hotel, Maharagama.

Prof. Narada Warnasuriya, Senior Professor of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and former Vice–Chancellor, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, was the chief guest and Professor Emeritas Ruchira Cumaranatunga, founder Dean, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences & Technology, University of Ruhuna, was the guest of honour on the occasion.

Distinguished scientists, academics and entrepreneurs, including Senior Prof. Chandana Udawatta, Vice Chairman, UGC, Rizvi Zaheed, Chairnan, Agripreneurs’ Forum, past General Presidents of the SLAAS, its past and present council members and SLAAS members were present on the occasion.

Prof. Senaratne is the 82nd General President of the SLAAS.

However, in order for the SLAAS to serve as a pedestal for such a formidable body, its base needs to be strengthened, and its stature and visibility enhanced with a greater international profile. Hence as per the provisions already created, I propose to establish regional chapters of the SLASS in each province so as to strengthen the membership and increase presentations at annual sessions, thereby extending its footprint across the country. Forging partnership with the counterpart S&T institutions in the region, strengthening international cooperation, the establishment of an endowment fund, and promoting start-up ecosystems and PPPs are other plans on the drawing board. In fine, while pursuing the initiatives of the past General Presidents in earnest, we, the Council of 2023, will embark upon novel initiatives, adopt innovative approaches, open more doors, and remove hurdles. These initiatives will facilitate the greater growth and impact of the SLAAS in line with its mission and Rules and Regulations by effectively responding to existential national challenges and issues.

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