The APSL-Awards scheme was introduced in order to positively contribute to the sustainable development of Sri Lanka. The first stage of APSL-Awards in collaboration with the Institute of Research and Development (IRD) was introduced in July 2010 in order to get active engagement of the general public with the Sri Lankan Government’s rapid development process. Sixteen to nineteen year old pupils were invited to write an essay on the five most important issues relevant to the development of their districts, after discussions with their relatives, teachers and colleagues. The island-wide essay competition was widely publicised by the Sunday Times, Veerakesari and Lankadeepa newspapers, and submissions closed on 31st December 2010.
A good response was received as 110 essays were submitted from 19 districts. The first stage of the assessment was carried out by teachers at the National Institute of Education (NIE), and the best 20 essays were forwarded to the APSL Committee in London. The second stage of assessment consisted of three independent examiners for each essay and a professional examination board took place to determine the winners. Eight finalists were selected from all three media (Sinhala, Tamil and English) and the following adjudged winners.
Name of Winner School
Mr Shehan Mohammed St. Sylvester’s College, Kandy
Miss Thamodhiram Ghaanaroobini Sri Ganesha Tamil Maha Vidyalayam, Koslanda
Miss M H Farina Hasna St. Joseph Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Kegalle
Mr V. Kobishanth St. Sylvester’s College, Kandy
Miss E M T Eshani Ekanayake Ibbagamuwa Central College, Kurunegala
Miss H A K Eshani Hettiarachchi D S Senanayake Jathika Pasela, Meerigama, Gampaha
Mr T H Maduranga Talakotuna Vijitha Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Pulasthigama, Pollonnaruwa
Miss R D E Muthumali Wijendra Ibbagamuwa Central College, Kurunegala
The Award Ceremony took place at the conclusion of “Solar Asia 2011” Conference held at the Institute for Fundamental Studies (IFS) in Kandy during 28-30 July 2011. The proud winners with their parents and teachers joined over 125 participants of this international solar energy conference.
Each winner collected their trophy, a framed certificate and Rs 10,000 cash prize in a ceremony in the presence of a learned scientific community boosting their confidence for rapid progress in their chosen fields. The winners were congratulated by a large group of international scientists after which they faced the photographers including a group photograph with these distinguished guests.
The ideas that came through the grass-root level are extremely important and interesting for the rapid progress in sustainable development of Sri Lanka. These ideas will be widely disseminated in the future for the benefit of all concerned.
APSL is currently designing the second stage of APSL-Award scheme in order to convert bright and innovative ideas into manufacturing of useful products to help communities.
APSL was represented by its Immediate Past President Prof I.M. Dharmadasa, Vice President Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, and two members, Mr Ajith Weerasinghe and Dr Chesmal Siriwardena. Both IRD & NIE were represented by Dr Godwin Kodithuwakku, Aruna Walisundara, Charmali Jayasinghe and Dr Anushka Adhikari.
The APSL & IRD gratefully acknowledge the support of the International Conference on Information and Automation for Sustainability (www.iciafs.org), the generous contribution of Rs 25,000 made to cover expenses of preparing trophies and certificates for the winners in this essay competition. Our grateful thanks go out to IFS and Solar Asia 2011 organisers led by Prof C. B. Dissanayake and Prof Lakshman Dissanayake for their invaluable contributions to make this Award Ceremony a success.