The Government of Pakistan through its High Commission in Sri Lanka has awarded scholarships to 170 bright Sri Lankan students of O’ & A’ levels under prestigious Jinnah Scholarship programme worth SL Rs. 4.225 million.
The scholarships are named after the great statesman and leader of the Sub Continent, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who is the founder of Pakistan.
The award ceremony was held in a local hotel in Colombo. The occasion was graced by Vice Chancellor Buddhist & Pali University Ven. Prof. Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero as the Chief Guest along with State Minister for National Integration and Reconciliation Hon. A.H.M. Fouzi and President Sri Lanka-Pakistan Friendship, Trade and Investment Association, Mr. Ifthikhar Aziz as Guests of Honour. Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra, officials of the High Commission and dignitaries from different walks of life attended the ceremony besides a large number of students and their families.
The Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Dr. Sarfraz Sipra, in his brief welcome remarks, congratulated the students for their academic achievements and expressed the hope that they would continue to excel in their academic pursuits. He emphasized the importance of collaboration between the two brotherly countries for augmented development of human capital.
Chief Guest, Ven. Prof. Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero, in his address, stated that he was delighted that he has been invited at the Jinnah Scholarships ceremony for the third consecutive time. He said that it is a matter of great pleasure that these scholarships are awarded to Sri Lankan students without any discrimination on any grounds. The Thero underscored that Jinnah Scholarship programme has become an important tool for promotion of religious, racial and interfaith harmony among the youth of Sri Lanka. He thanked the Government of Pakistan for this continued endeavour towards encouraging the youth to raise their moral for higher achievements in their lives. Education is the only way to overcome sufferings, he stressed.
Ven. Prof. Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero recalled his recent visit to Pakistan and said that Pakistani people are peace-loving, hospitable and generous. Pakistan is a real friend of Sri Lanka who always stood with it in conflict situations, natural calamities and every hour of need which the whole Sri Lankan nation acknowledges and admired, he added.
These scholarships are awarded on the basis of a strict criteria involving merit and need for financial assistance. Under the programme, each successful student receives stipend of SL Rs. 25,000 as assistance for one year for following their studies.
The Government of Pakistan has been awarding the Jinnah Scholarships since 2005. During the past 12 years approximately Rs. 50 Million worth of scholarships have been awarded.