Dr. Palitha Kohona, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China, Visits RCEES, CAS

On January 18, at the invitation of Prof. Yang Min, deputy director general of the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (RCEES, CAS), Dr. Palitha Kohona, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China, visited RCEES and attended the Workshop on Science and Technology Cooperation between CAS and Sri Lanka 2022. Mr. Wang Zhenyu, deputy director general of Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (BIC, CAS), and Prof. Cao Jinghua, executive director of the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO) attended the Workshop on site. Representatives from the Ministry of Water Supply (MoWS), Ministry of Health, University of Peradeniya (UoP), and China Sri Lanka Joint Research and Demonstration Center for Water Technology (JRDC, Sri Lanka) participated in the Workshop online. In addition, there were more than 40 online and offline attendees, including representatives from the Division of Asian and African Affairs, BIC, CAS, researchers and administrative staff of RCEES, CAS, and ANSO Secretariat, Peking University First Hospital, LIHERO Technology, and Beijing Jingrun, etc. The workshop was chaired by Prof. Yang Min. 

Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama, secretary of MoWS and Prof. M.D. Lamawansa, vice-chancellor of UoP, expressed their congratulations on the opening of conference, and gratitude for the long-term support from CAS via video. Prof. Wei Yuansong reported on the progress of China-Sri Lanka cooperation in the past year and the plan for the next stage. He pointed out that the two sides have strengthened mutual communication through more than 60 high-intensity online meetings, which have effectively boosted the development of the etiology of CKDu, drinking water purification technology, water resources management and personnel training; however, it is necessary to initiate high-level communication among related parties and conclude the tripartite agreement on operation and management of JRDC as soon as possible for its sustainable and sound development. Dr. Weragoda reported on the work undertaken and preliminary results achieved since the official launch of JRDC on October 1, 2021. Prof. Shameen reported on the role of UoP in the academic guidance of JRDC and its collaborative interaction with CAS, especially the progress made in the joint supervision of international students in Sri Lanka. Subsequently, Dr. Asanga and Dr. Pubdu, officials of the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, Prof. W.M.T. Madhujith, deputy vice-chancellor of UoP, and Prof. S.H.P Parakrama Karunaratne made speeches successively, expressing their satisfaction with the progress of China-Sri Lanka cooperation under the epidemic situation, and hoping to make JRDC an important platform for multilateral cooperation. 

In his speech, Dr. Palitha Kohona pointed out that the CAS-led China-Sri Lanka scientific and technological cooperation has reached unprecedented levels. He requested CAS to continue its efforts in helping Sri Lanka to cope with the challenges in dealing with water crisis and water pollution, and playing a key role in the development of JRDC. Meanwhile, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in China would, as always, provide support for China-Sri Lanka cooperation in science and technology to the best of its ability. 

Mr. Wang Zhenyu fully affirmed the pioneering work and achievements of JRDC in the past eight years, and looked forward to greater success in the close cooperation between the two sides in the field of water technology in the future. He emphasized the importance of joint efforts in promoting the science and technology cooperation between the two countries. 

This was Dr. Palitha Kohona’s second visit since January 19 2021, he visited RCEES and attended the Workshop on Science and Technology Cooperation between CAS and Sri Lanka 2021 soon after he took office as the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China. The year 2022 marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Sri Lanka as well as the 70th anniversary of their signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact. It is a good timing for China and Sri Lanka to strengthen scientific and technological cooperation.  

International Cooperation Office,RCEES,CAS 

China-Sri Lanka Joint Research and Demonstration Center for Water Technology 

CAS TWAS Centre of Excellence for Water and Environment

January 24, 2022