A joint student event organised by the Association of Professional Sri Lankans in the UK (APSL) and the Association of Sri Lankan Students UK (ASLS), was held on the 19th October 2013 at the Sri Lanka High Commission, London.
The main objective of the event was to welcome the new intake of Sri Lankan students to the UK universities and to give them an opportunity to meet Sri Lankan professionals for a networking session and also to listen to a few important presentations with respect to living and studying in a new country.
The event was held under the patronage of H.E Dr Chris Nonis, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in the UK. Mr Neville De Silva, the Deputy High Commissioner was also present.
It was a full-house event presided jointly by Mr Mervyn Silva, President of APSL and Mr Mithila Wegapitiya, President of ASLS, in the presence of nearly seventy five students and many members of APSL.
The event started off with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp and a welcome speech by the APSL President, followed by a talk on the objectives of the event by the ASLS President.
The following presentations were given by members of the APSL, which were carefully selected to cover many important issues relevant to students during their study period in the UK.
1. Life in the UK – Mr Rohan De Alwis (Immediate Past President APSL)
2. Cultural Difference – Prof I M Dharmadasa (Past President APSL)
3. Studying and Working in the UK – Regulations – Ms Ruki Pinidiya (Solicitor)
4. When things go wrong – Dr Anya Perera – (Past Ex Co member APSL)
5. Career Development – Mrs Gayani Senaratne (Membership Secretary APSL)
H.E Dr Nonis in his speech welcomed the new batch of students and gave a glimpse of his study days in the UK and stressed the importance of making use of the time they spent here and do well in their studies to further their career prospects and offer their knowledge and services to the motherland.
The highlight of the event was the “Speed networking event” participated by all present giving everyone an opportunity to get to know each other during a given period of time.
During the Q&A session, Dr Kokila Waidyaratne, Minister for Education at the High Commission, gave a brief account of how the High Commission can assist the Sri Lankan student population in the UK.
The event came to a close with concluding remarks made by Mr Mervyn Silva and Mr Mithila Wegapitya and the vote of thanks given by Mr Malinga Ratwatte, Immediate Past President ASLS.
In conclusion APSL would like to thank H.E Dr Nonis and Mr Neville De Silva for their presence at the event and Mr Herath, Minister for Cultural Affairs at the High Commission for making all the arrangements to hold this event. We also wish to thank the speakers, all members of the APSL and ASLS and finally all the students present at this very successful event.