Posted on September 13th, 2020

Malin  Abeyatunge

Congratulations to you on being designated to china as Sri Lankan Ambassador. I watched the Sirasa Pathekade program by Asoka Dias  interviewing you. President Gotabaya has quite rightly picked the right person to the right position. Mr. Kohana has already identified his role and Sri Lankans can be assured that he will perform his duties to the best of his ability.

I Remember  having met him in Colombo when the LTTE at its peak, as a representative of one of the  foreign organisation based in Melbourne against LTTE. SPUR org  had many a discussions  over the LTTE problem with him during this time. I can recollect Mr. S.L. Gunasekera too among the other patriots I met during that period. Because of the time constraints at the above interview, Dr Kohana touched his plan only on at macro level. As a dual citizen living in Australia (Melbourne),I wish to bring another area at micro level to your focus  where Sri Lanka can expand (if not started yet) and that is selling Education’ to Chinese students. Australia has made one of their most lucrative income earning investments in the past before  Covid-19.   Australia was in forefront before COVID-19 in attracting foreign Chinese students to their Australian Universities  but it has  come to a halt due to both China and Australia are currently at logger heads both politically and economically.

Australia’s world- class international education sector contributed $34 billion to the local economy last year, an increase of 15.3 per cent. Minister for Education Dan Tehan said Australia hosted a record 690,000 international students in 2018 who paid tuition fees and spent money on living costs.” Sources-GOOGLE. The above quote is just to give you a glimpse of how lucrative business it is.  So, let us make hay while the sun shines. This would be the ideal time for Sri Lanka to walk into Australian shoes and  start a new investment strategy in selling education to the stranded Chinese students. Open up a few of our top level universities to them. Invite them to join our Universities. He can  discuss this with the Minister of Higher Education Dr, G.L.Peiris in promoting this concept.

Australian Universities were providing following educational programs like Basic English courses for novices and beginners, business and accounting degrees and post-degrees; diplomas  in many fields etc. and there is a big vacuum in these fields now where our universities can fit in.  The Sri Lankan Foreign Student Agencies can throw some light into this too. So my request to you is to give this matter a serious thought and grab this opportunity.

Malin  Abeyatunge

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