Despite economic challenges and global competition, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing the General Convocation of Sir John Kotelawala Defence University encouraged graduates to contribute to Sri Lanka’s growth.
The President Wickremesinghe emphasized the need for competitiveness and highlighted the significance of a highly educated and skilled labour force. He encouraged graduates to pursue advancements in technology, agriculture and various sectors critical to the nation’s growth.
The President expressed the importance of education and the government’s plans to establish additional universities focused on cutting-edge technology, especially modern technology and knowledge such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).
To build upon this foundation, the approach to education and skills development should be comprehensive, encompassing vocational training, technical education, and the strengthening of technical colleges. The aspiration for the National College of Technology, aligning with the Kotelawala Defence University model, signifies a strategic step toward achieving educational goals.
Highlighting the need to harness human resources and convert vocational training centres into university colleges, the President envisioned a Sri Lanka with skilled citizens, open to the world for a competitive economy through the integration of Artificial Intelligence and modern technology. He concluded with optimism about Sri Lanka’s on-going economic recovery and its potential for further strengthening.
President Wickremesinghe urged graduates to carefully consider their roles in advancing the country’s future, emphasizing the need for determination, strategic thinking, and a commitment to overcome challenges existed but also opportunities for those committed to building a competitive economic transformation and prosperous Sri Lanka.
As the graduates embark on their futures, President Wickremesinghe further emphasized the critical decisions they now face. With some entering the Armed Forces as recruiting officers and others representing civilian sectors, the choice between staying or leaving the country in pursuit of opportunities becomes paramount.
Highlighting the current economic challenges, the President encouraged graduates to reflect on their choices—whether to stay and contribute to Sri Lanka or explore opportunities abroad. He urged them to envision a better Sri Lanka and contribute to its growth, leaving the final decision in the hands of the graduates.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the recent graduates at the General Convocation of Sir John Kotelawala Defence University which held at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) yesterday (04), acknowledged the institution’s unexpected growth and success. He commended the graduates who have played significant roles, especially during the war, showcasing their courage and determination.
He acknowledged the difficulties faced by the nation in recent years and the uncertain circumstances, prompting many to contemplate their futures. The President affirmed that Sri Lanka is on the path to stability and economic recovery, although the journey may not be easy. The President addressed the need to balance revenue generation with inflation control, indicating that 2024 marked the year for restarting economic growth.
The President commended the institution’s remarkable journey from its humble beginnings. He acknowledged the unforeseen role its graduates played in the nation’s victory over adversity. Reflecting on the growth of the university, the President expressed awe at its transformation into an academic institution welcoming both military personnel and civilians.
The President also underlined the unpredictability of global events over the next few years, including potential economic challenges for developed nations said “In the current economic climate, it appears that the situation in the UK is challenging, and similar sentiments are being expressed about the economies of Canada and Europe. It’s important to acknowledge that many developed economies are facing difficulties. When considering your future in this economy, it’s crucial to recognize that it poses a challenge. However, the decision ultimately rests with you. If you choose to continue your career here, be prepared to take on the responsibility of contributing to the country’s development and making it a better place than it is today. In conclusion, I encourage you all to reflect on your choices carefully. While I offer my perspective, the decision is ultimately yours to make”.
The ceremony, attended by key officials including Minister of State for Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President Sagala Ratnayaka, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence General Kamal Gunaratne (Rtrd) Chief of Staff of the Triforces General Shavendra Silva, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Vikum Liyanage, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, Air Force Commander Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa and other officials.
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