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University of Colombo felicitates Prof. S.M.P. Senanayake

The Dept. of Economics, University of Colombo has organised a felicitation ceremony and a book launch on Monday, August 8 at 4.00 p.m at the main auditorium of SLIDA, under the distinguished patronage of External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris as the chief guest and Senior Minister of National Assets Piyasena Gamage and Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene as the guests of honour.

The function has been organised to felicitate Prof. Piyadasa Senanayake, a former Professor in Economics and the former Head of the Department of Economics, University of Colombo and a former Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo who retired from university service recently. He has functioned as a teacher in the government department of education and as a university academic for nearly four decades and ended up in 2003 as a Professor in Economics of the University of Colombo.

In the University he had taught undergraduate as well as postgraduate students many sub-subjects in the fields of economics and management such as Agricultural Marketing, Agri-business Management, Micro Economics, Development Economics, Agricultural Economics, Principles of Management, Project Evaluation, Marketing Management, and Micro Finance.

Prof. Senanayake was a prolific researcher as well as an accomplished writer. This is very well justified by the large number of books, chapters, articles and monographs written and published either by he himself alone or jointly with fellow academics. Prof. Senanayake has also served as a consultant to a large number of governmental agencies and international organizations over the last thirty years. The most important among the international agencies which have obtained Prof. Senanayake’s services as a consultant are the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, USAID, NORAD, GTZ, JICA, FAO, UNDP and SAARC.

Prof. Senanayake, was appointed by the Ministry of Plantations, as a Member of the Central Board of Directors of the State Plantations Corporation during the period between 1995 and 2001 and as Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on the Performance of the Dambulla and Keppetipola Dedicated Economic Zones appointed by the Ministry of Rural Economy of the Government of Sri Lanka in 2003.

Over the years, Prof. Senanayake had also closely associated with the work of Sri Lanka Economic Association. He was elected as its Secretary which he held for three years from 1989 to 1992. Once again he was elected as the Vice President of the Association and held that position for two years from 2005 to 2007.

The recently published book, “Agriculture and Rural Development in Sri Lanka, is a sequel of the untiring efforts of a group of academics in the Department of Economics at the university of Colombo and some of his friends outside the university who have been keen to pay tribute to their eminent colleague and friend, Prof. S.M.P. Senanayake for his vast academic contributions.

In the face of economic liberalization and globalisation, Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector faces enormous challenges. This sector, once protected by stringent tariff and non-tariff barriers, has now been exposed to foreign competition under the trade agreements with the World Trade Organization (WTO) which provide legal ground-rules for a free global trading system.

In terms of the rules pertaining to the agricultural agreements, the member countries of the WTO are committed to formulate market-oriented policies with regard to market access, domestic support and export subsidies. In the backdrop or these market-oriented policy initiatives, the question is whether the agricultural sector of Sri Lanka has been able to face the global competition.

Given the current challenges faced by the agricultural sector in the midst of global competition, climate change, food insecurity, productivity limitations and rural poverty, this volume is a timely publication. Several distinguished economists in the country have contributed papers to this volume which is edited by Rev. Dr. Wijithapura Wimalaratana, a Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Economics, University of Colombo.

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