Technology vital for economic development – Prof. Suvit Vibulsreth
It is important to use technology for economic development but we
should not get addicted to it, said Professor Suvit Wibulsreth Founder
Executive Director of the Geo Informatics and Space Technology
Development Agency of Thailand delivering the 4th Sir Arthur C Clarke
memorial lecture at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies on
He said that the Theo Sat owned by the Royal Thai Government has
provided over 70,000 images comprising vital data during the past seven
years. He said any Thai person doing a new project could obtain data
from the Satellite at very low cost.
He said Theo Sat could be promoted in Sri Lanka too, the data can be
given free or at very low cost. It is advisable to obtain data from
operational satellites than spending large amounts of money investing on
Professor Suvit noted that some former developing countries such as
China, Korea and India in 1970s moved up the ladder to become technology
providers in building satellites, launching and system developments.
Regional Cooperation among developing countries still need concrete and
precise end product results in their endeavour. Thailand managed to have
the first operational remote sensing Satellite, which can contribute to
Natural Resources in Asia and other Regions. “It is cheap and we will
not make money,” he further said.
Addressing the gathering the Chief Guest at the event Minister of
Technology and Research Pavithra Wanniarachchi said that the path of
development that the modern science and technology has taken in
developing in to what it is today and in the process shaping the destiny
of the human kind has sometimes being ‘evolutionary’ and sometimes
The evolutionary developments in theory and practice take place all
the time. People around the world take little notice of those
In contrast the revolutionary developments brought about by
revolutionary concepts, discoveries and inventions result in what is
called ‘quantum leaps’ or ‘new paradigms’ and the people behind those
revolutions are remembered over regenerations throughout the history.
The legendary personality that we are gathered to commemorate this
evening is a great visionary, a great futurist who, with his
revolutionary concept of ‘Global telecommunication through Geo
stationary Satellites’ opened up a ‘new paradigm’ of global
Sir Arthur C. Clarke certainly occupies a very prominent place
amongst those visionary people of the modern age, whose extra-ordinary
visionary thinking has had a profound impact in changing the destiny of
the modern human civilisation.
In her concluding remarks Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said that
“when Sir Arthur C Clarke put forward his vision of ’Global
communications through Geo Stationary Satellites in 1945 it was a
distant dream for almost all people. When President Mahinda Rajapakse,
put forward his vision of ‘ A Peaceful Country Free from Terrorism’, in
2005 it seemed an equally distant dream for many people.
The vision of building a peaceful prosperous nation is ‘Not as
distant a dream as either of the above’. Let all of us perform with
dedication our part in this noble mission”, said the minister.