LUMS alumnus, Chaminda Hettiarachchi (MBA 2001) was appointed the Secretary General of the newly formed Pakistan Alumni Society of Sri Lanka (PASS) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which was launched by the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Ms. Tehmina Janjua.
With the vision of “Re-Connecting the Alumni for Greater Collective Good”, the Pakistan Alumni Society of Sri Lanka (PASS) was launched on October 18, 2017 at an impressive ceremony at a local hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Ms. Janjua was the chief guest on the occasion and launched the alumni society in the presence of a large gathering including Sri Lankan ministers, dignitaries, and representatives of armed forces, educational institutions, academia and people from different walks of life.
The Society aims to connect the universities of both countries under various scholarship programmes. Through this Society, the public and private sectors as well as civil society will be able to build networks and create professional opportunities that will contribute to the advanced knowledge development of two countries.
Addressing the gathering, the Foreign Secretary highlighted that Pakistan has excelled in many fields of higher education, particularly medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and engineering, management and social sciences and provides a wonderful and cost effective option for talented Sri Lankan students. “Over the last many decades, thousands of Sri Lankan students and professionals have benefitted from education and training in Pakistan,” she added.
Ms. Janjua referred to the visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to Sri Lanka in 2016, during which Pakistan offered to develop a “Knowledge Corridor” for Sri Lankan students and civil and military personnel, through scholarships and trainings in Pakistani universities and training institutions. “This initiative, termed as Prime Minister’s Pak-Lanka Knowledge Corridor, will open up immense opportunities for Sri Lankan nationals to study at higher education institutions of Pakistan on scholarships and highly concessional terms,” she emphasized.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner-designate to Sri Lanka, Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat said that the Alumni Society will engage the members and provide them means to learn, integrate, and share their experience and memories during their education and training for the benefits of a larger community. He applauded the office bearers of the newly formed society and wished them all success in their endeavours to make it a great success.
Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Sarfraz Sipra briefed the audience about the prospects, vision and mission statement of the alumni society. He announced the interim board which will work until the holding of first general meeting of the society in six months’ time. He also shared that all Sri Lankan citizens those who received any professional qualification or attended short or long term training programmes in Pakistan are eligible to join the Society.
Mr. Hettiarachchi, commenting on his new appointment, said, “First of all, I would like to thank LUMS for this opportunity. As a LUMS MBA alumnus, I have been working for more than 15 years in improving SL-Pak collaborations for higher education. Therefore, the new responsibility will help me in broadening and widening my contribution to relationship building between the two countries. I, along with my colleagues at PASS, am looking forward to this new exciting journey.”