President Wickremesinghe to deliver Lalith Athulathmudali memorial oration today

The Lalith Athulathmudali Commemorative Freedom Speech will be delivered by President Ranil Wickremesinghe today (23), at 5.00 pm, at the BMICH (Lotus Hall).

The topic of the memorial oration will be ‘Sri Lanka – the way forward’.

The event is organized by the Lalith Athulathmudali Foundation in collaboration with The Institute for Democracy and Leadership and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom – Sri Lanka.

November 26 will mark the 86th birth anniversary of the late Lalith Athulathmudali who succumbed to the bullet of an unknown gunman at a political rally almost 30 years ago. But his legacy continues.

A brilliant academic and a pragmatic politician, he held several portfolios in the governments of late Presidents J.R. Jayewardene and Ranasinghe Premadasa.

Lalith was indefatigable in his quest for knowledge and was continuously opening windows for our youth to the modern world of knowledge and technology. With the Mahapola concept, he demonstrated the fact that school was not merely an institution concerned with distributing prescribed learning, but rather that it was motivated towards creating an awareness of the ever-expanding human horizon in the world of today and tomorrow.

Lalith’s enduring mission was to provide facilities for our young men and women with no hope of assistance, falling back in frustration because they were being defeated by the system. The creation of the Mahapola Scholarship Trust Fund was a major step towards defeating the cynicism of the system. But even that was insufficient for Lalith. He wanted more for these young men and women particularly because he truly believed that the eventual alleviation of poverty could only be achieved through enhanced education and the narrowing of the gap in educational facilities.

Lalith did not overlook the business community but created lucrative openings for them. The business community benefitted by his pragmatic vision and innovative ideas. Modernization of commercial laws, export incentives, introduction of the export production villages, exporters’ forum and the Presidential Export awards, development of the port as a modern container port and equipping it for transhipment are some of the few initiatives he took to develop the economy.

In his short span as Agriculture Minister he introduced many novel ideas such as agricultural export villages, the soil and climate cropping system and the concept of growing for the market.


by Daily News Sri Lanka

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