By Sandun A. Jayasekera
“In an era where new technology is sweeping the world, 29% of the population in Sri Lanka is under malnutrition. More than one million youth are unemployed.
There was a time where the per capita income (PCI), in South Korea was half of what in Sri Lanka. Today, the PCI in South Korea is over US$ 35,000 while Sri Lanka lags behind with a meagre US$ 1300,” Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Tissa Vitharana said.
Commenting on what lies ahead in a rapidly changing world he said the nanotechnology provides answers to many development and technological issues as the importance and applicability of nanotechnology in almost every field felt strongly.
Prof. Vitharana made these remarks when he participated in a media presentation and press briefing of the Institute of Engineers of Sri Lanka (IESL) as the Chief Guest recently in Colombo held in connection with “Techno 2007 - Engineering and Technology Exhibition - scheduled to be taken place in October from 19 to 21.
The true role of engineers should be developing innovative ideas in to practical usage for the betterment of the people, the Minister of Science and Technology added.
“We are going through a technology revolution and the ‘chip’ is playing a vital part in it. The responsibility of the engineers is to make people in the country a part of the fast changing world of technology. New knowledge could be translated in to an active process and new products are constantly coming to the market in a globalized world with even a little old product making obsolete,” he said.
Ironically, the gap between the rich and poor is widening rapidly in a highly competitive and technology guided market. If Sri Lanka is to get out of poverty and bridge the gap it has to develop technology. The countries known as Asian Tigers, such as South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand have done that. China and India are doing it right now. Unfortunately Sri Lanka has missed the bus, he said.
“Solution to many global issues, be it scientific, technological, trade, agriculture of health nanotechnology has the answer. We have only begun to see what can be achieved through nanotechnology and its continued development to the point of maturation that will lead to changes in the world that will redefine life,” he stressed.
Chairman, ‘Techno 2007’, Ranjith G. Rubasingha, in his presentation emphasized that the objective of the three day exhibition would be to pave the way to revolutionize Sri Lanka’s existing technology by attracting those who are passionate with engineering and technology.
“The exhibition would be a place to articulate our engineering capabilities to the world and have a splendid blend of engineering and trade stalls numbering over 250. it will also be a unique place to see all the engineering and technology related products and services,” Rubasingha added.
Sri Lankan industries, foreign investors and traders, engineering professionals, academics, researchers and students, innovators, potential young entrepreneurs and the general public will immensely benefit from the ‘Techno 2007’ exhibition, he said.
President, IESL, D.L.Taldena delivered the welcome address and Manager, ‘Techno 2007’ Malcolm Perera proposed the vote of thanks.