ISLAMABAD: The government of Pakistan has awarded scholarships to 170 bright Sri Lankan students under prestigious Jinnah Scholarship programme.
The scholarships were given through the High Commission in Sri Lanka to students of O and A-Levels worth SL Rs. 4.225 million. The scholarships are named after the great statesman and founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
An award ceremony was held in Colombo graced by Vice Chancellor Buddhist and Pali University Ven. Prof. Gallelle Sumanasiri Thero as chief guest. State Minister for National Integration and Reconciliation A.H.M. Fouzi, and President Sri Lanka-Pakistan Friendship, Trade and Investment Association Ifthikhar Aziz were guests of honour.
Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra congratulated the students for their academic achievements and hoped they would continue to excel in their academic pursuits. He emphasised the importance of collaboration between the two countries for development of human capital.
Addressing the ceremony, chief guest Prof. Thero stated that he was delighted to be invited at the Jinnah Scholarships ceremony for the third consecutive time. He was pleased that the scholarships are awarded to Sri Lankan students without any discrimination on any grounds.
He 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 the endeavour towards encouraging youth to raise their moral for higher achievements in their lives. He stressed that education is the only way to overcome sufferings.
Prof. Thero recalled his recent visit to Pakistan and said that the 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.
The scholarships are awarded a strict criteria involving merit and need for financial assistance. Each successful student also receives stipend of SL Rs. 25,000 for one year for following their studies.
Pakistan has been awarding the Jinnah Scholarships since 2005. During the past twelve years approximately Rs. 50 million worth of scholarships have been awarded.