For the first time, two Sri Lankan undergraduate students participated in the 2016 Summer Student Programme at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, the most prominent particle physics research institute in the world. Mr. Gamage Gihan Lakmal, a graduate from the Faculty of Science of the University of Ruhuna and Mr. Malinda Shiram de Silva, a final year undergraduate from the Faculty of Science of the University of Colombo, completed their two month programme last week. The Sri Lankan students were selected on merit by CERN, following a funding arrangement negotiated by the Permanent Mission, where CERN provides financial assistance for one student and the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) funds the other student.
Minister of Science, Technology & Research of Sri Lanka, Susil Premajayantha said that there is a sense of urgency in Sri Lanka today over moving towards a knowledge based society. Underlining that Sri Lanka’s ability to facilitate a scientific culture that encourages innovative thinking will determine the country’s ability to effectively use knowledge for growth, he said emphasis has been laid on developing strong research and development culture and the methods of ensuring quality of research in the country.
Minister Premajayantha made the above observations at the 18th Annual Session of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) held from 9-13 May in Geneva, Switzerland, during the High Level Segment on ‘Implementing the post 2015 development agenda: moving from commitments to results.’
A team of 7 inventors led by Dr. Mahesh Edirisinghe, Commissioner of Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC) participated at the recently concluded 44th International Inventors Exhibition held from 13-17 April 2016 in Geneva. They have secured 2 Gold Medals with a special recognition from jury for one invention, 3 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze Medals.
Two inventors were fully sponsored by Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC), having been selected from among the Presidential Award Winners and Sahasak Nimavum Award winners while the other inventors have joined the Sri Lankan delegation on their own expenses.
Sri Lanka and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) have entered into an agreement to begin cooperation between CERN and the scientific community in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka‘s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha and the Director General of CERN, Mr. Rolf-Dieter Heurer, signed an “Expression of Interest’ (EOI) Agreement on Thursday, 25 June 2015 at the CERN Headquarters in Geneva to give effect to this process.
CERN is the most prominent particle physics research institute in the world and is best known for its flagship discovery of the ‘Higgs-Boson” in 2012, conferring the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics to two theoretical physicists who had predicted this fundamental particle almost 50 years earlier. More than half of the world’s particle physicists - about 11,000 in number coming from over 600 universities in 80 countries - do research at CERN, and are engaged in complex scientific experiments.
Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Chairman of the Personal Representatives of the Group of Fifteen (G-15), has urged all WSIS+10 stakeholders to play a greater role in ensuring the inclusiveness of information society. He particularly drew attention to “the emergence of a new digital divide, especially in terms of quality of ICT infrastructure, broadband access, affordability and digital content, particularly in low-income countries, and stressed that it was “extremely important that the overall review of WSIS processes gives highest priority to the challenges in a balanced and equitable manner.”
Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations when he delivered a joint statement at the High Level Meeting of WSIS+10 (World Summit on Information Society) at CICG in Geneva on 11 June, 2014, on behalf of G-15, a Summit Level Group of Developing Countries comprising 17 member States - Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Four Sri Lankan inventors won 2 Gold medals and 2 Bronze medals, including a Gold medal with special jury recognition at the 42nd International Exhibition of Inventions held from 2-6 April 2014 in Geneva, which is known as the world’s largest market-place for inventions. At this event, inventions of more than 700 companies, universities and individual inventors from 45 countries are exhibited for the first time, with 60,000 visitors from all 5 continents.
The inventions of Dr S.J.B Lenadora and Mr Dinesh Katugampala took the forefront at the ‘Inventions Geneva’ Exhibition, winning prestigious Gold and Silver medals at the event. ‘Inventions Geneva’ which is the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, is considered to be one of the most important in the world. With 46 countries, represented by 789 exhibitors showing 1’000 inventions, it was open to visitors from all across Europe.