President Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested the heads of research organizations to find ways and means to uplift a small country like Sri Lanka with a comparatively small population and an economy.
Since the current global economy is based on knowledge, ours should be developed centered around our workforce that can be easily trained, President observed.
President Rajapaksa made these observations during a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (13) with Chairmen and Director Board members of state- sector research entities. This is the fourth of the series of meetings organized to enlighten heads of government institutes on ‘Saubagyaye Dekma’ Policy Statement. Heads of Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute, National Science Foundation, Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies and Institute of Post-Harvest Technology were among the participants.
“There is a visible breakdown in our political culture. The people of this country elected a person who was not a politician as their President with the hope of rectifying this. This is the challenge before me. The State sector has an enormous responsibility in fulfilling aspirations of the people. If the public institutes function in an efficient manner we will not have any issue in carrying out our duties”, President Rajapaksa said.
The President emphasized that conducting comprehensive researches is crucial for economic development and said that his main objective is to ensure higher standard of living for the lower segment of the society. He also said that the programme to recruit 100,000 unskilled persons from the underprivileged families was designed to achieve this objective.
‘We are an agricultural country. But our farmers have always been poor. Second and third generations choose the agricultural field if it is the only option for survival. Modern technology should be introduced to this field to attract new generation. India has successfully achieved results by doing so. Researchers should introduce new technologies to agriculture in order to free the underprivileged people from poverty’, President Rajapaksa emphasized.
Explaining the role and responsibilities of the research institutes, the President said it is imperative for researchers to identify accurately what our people need. Researches need to be done to introduce new techniques to agricultural sector as well as to the fisheries sector. Even though we have many problems about use of chemical fertilizers, we still haven’t been able to shift to use organic fertilizer. When considering the fisheries sector, researches can be used to identify areas where fish are abundant. President pointed out that the results of researches should be socialized as a product.
Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Ministry Secretaries and other senior officials were also present in this meeting.