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The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj General Shakeel Hussain reiterated Pakistan’s continued support to Sri Lanka in enhancing younger generation’s nation building capacities with better educational opportunities.

He was speaking on the occasion of award of educational scholarships worth Rs.3.67 million to 154 bright Sri Lankan students of O/L and A/L under Jinnah Educational Scholarship Program of the Government of Pakistan last evening.

Minister for Higher Education and Research Professor Sarath Amunugama was the Chief Guest on the occasion, while Guests of honors included Minister for Disaster Management A.H.M Fowzie, Former Parliamentarians, members of Pakistan Sri Lanka Parliamentary Group, senior government officials and Vice Chancellors of the leading universities. Senior Officers of the High Commission as well as other dignitaries participated in the ceremony besides a large number of students and media personnel.

The High Commissioner in his brief remarks congratulated the students qualified for scholarship for the current year. He said people in Pakistan greatly admire Sri Lanka’s remarkable progress in the fields of health and education. He underlined that Pakistan seeks to expand its cooperation with Sri Lanka in the field of education and hoped that cooperation with Sri Lanka in education sector would not only help improve standards of schools but also the curriculum.

He reiterated Pakistan’s continued support to Sri Lanka in enhancing younger generation’s nation building capacities with better educational opportunities. He stated that Pakistan has a number of world-class universities, with world renowned research facilities in the fields of particle physics, industrial chemistry, bio-technology, genetic engineering, information technology and management sciences, etc. I am sure our universities can accommodate more Sri Lankan students in these diverse fields, he added.

The Chief Guest Professor Sarath Amunugama in his address praised the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah which emancipated the people of sub continents from colonialism. He said that Pakistan government’s support in the education of the needy Sri Lankan students shows its commitment toward the bilateral cooperation between these two countries.

Sarath Amunugama said that Pakistan is a close friend of Sri Lanka and has helped Sri Lanka in times of crisis throughout the history. He said that this scholarship program has benefited students from all communities for past 10 years to create better professionals amongst the young citizens for the future benefit of this country.

The Government of Pakistan is awarding Jinnah Educational Scholarships since 2005. During past 10 years approximately Rs.40 million worth of scholarships have been awarded for promoting bright Sri Lankan students. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of a strict criteria involving merit and need for financial assistance. Under the program, each successful student will be receiving stipend as assistance for one year for pursuing their studies.