On July 16, 2016, the Huazhong University of Science and Technology Alumni Association of Sri Lanka (HUST-AASL)- the first alumni association based on international alumni was successfully launched in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. Nearly 70 past and current students of HUST gathered together to celebrate this big event. Academics of all circles, delegates from the Chinese embassy and the Chinese Cultural Centre in Sri Lankawere invited to attend the launching ceremony. Professor S.J.B.A Jayasekera, Chairman - Committee of Vice-Chancellors & Vice-Chancellor of Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Professor M. Thilakasiri, Director General - Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA), Dr. Priyantha Padmakumara, Ph.D., Secretary of the University Grants Commission, Mr. Yue Liwen, Director -China Culture Centeri n Sri Lanka and Dr. D. P.S. Chandrakumara, Dean- Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura graced the occasion.
Professor Ding Lieyun, President of HUST & Academician of China Academy of Engineering sent a congratulatory letter through a three member delegation from HUST, comprising of Mr. Yu Hailin, Director - International Exchange Centre, Ms. Zhao Xiaofeng, Deputy Dean - School of International Education and Mr. Lan Hanghang, Program Officer - School of International Education, who attended the ceremony and celebrated the fabulous evening together with the alumni.
The inaugural meeting was held where the constitution of the HUST AASL was incorporated and the executive committee and committee members were elected. Dr.Hiran Wimalaratne, MBBS MS (Orthopedics), a graduate of the 2012 batch of HUST from union Hospital, and a Specialist in Orthopedic Surgery, Army Hospital, Colombo, was elected as the first President. Dr. M.M.D.R. Deegahawature Ph.D., a graduate of the 2014 batch of HUST, from the School of Management and head of Department of Industrial Management of Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, was elected as the Secretary. Dr. T.K. Karandaketiya PhD, a graduate of the 2014 batch of HUST, from the School of Management and a senior lecturer of the Department of Business Management of Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, was elected as the Treasurer.
Dr. Viasini De Silva PhD, a Graduate from the School of Management of HUST and a Senior lecturer at the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Dr. Buddhika Ranaweera PhD, a graduate of the College of Public Administration of HUST and a senior lecturer at the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Dr. Ranjan Mendis MBBS, a graduate of Tongji Medical College of HUST and an intern at Kalmunai general Hospital of Sri Lanka, Dr. Missaka Senanayake MBBS, a graduate of Tongji Medical College of HUST, Mr. Sagara Chandrasekara, Ph.D. candidate of the College of Public Administration of HUST and a lecturer of the Colombo University and Mr. D.D. Prabath Vitharana, a trainee of HUST & SLIDA and Head of Water Management Division, Department of Agricultural Development were elected as committee members.
Dr. Hiran Wimalaratne, the first president of HUST- AASL, expressed his great honor and joy to be elected as the first president of the association. He said in his speech that China and HUST left many wonderful memories to her alumni, thus, with a great affection for China and the attachment to HUST, the alumni cooperated with absolute sincerity and worked together to set up the alumni association. In addition, He committed to extend continuous influence of HUST inSri Lankawith great responsibility and to contribute his effort to promote development of HUST and enhance friendship betweenChinaandSri Lankathrough solid work.
Professor S.J.B.A Jayasekera, Vice-Chancellor of Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, delivered an impassioned address. He appreciated it very much that HUST had nurtured a batch of high-level intellectuals for Universities, Health sector, Government administration and other organizations of Sri Lanka. Excellence of the products proved why HUST is amongst the best inChina. He believed that Wayamba University of Sri Lanka will continue the friendship and enhance cooperation with HUST, to promote exchanges and cooperation in higher education between the two countries.
Professor M. Thilakasiri, Director General of SLIDA, stated in his address that SLIDA and HUST are like hand in glove, interacted frequently and achieved fruitful results since both parties established cooperative relationship in 2013. Besides, he also said that SLIDA was happy to see that HUST has a growing influence inSri Lankaand was willing to provide corresponding support to HUST- AASL. He also suggested that all members of the association need to make their own contribution for the sustainability of the association.
Mr. Yue Liwen, Director of China Cultural Center inSri Lanka, expressed appreciation for HUST attaching importance to exchanges and cooperation withSri Lankaand cultivating a group of successful Sri Lankan alumni. He mentioned that it was the first time that he had taken part in a foundation ceremony of a Chinese University alumni association in Sri Lanka, since the ChineseCulturalCenterinSri Lankawas established in 2014, and he felt much honored to be a part of it. He strongly hoped that China Cultural Center in Sri Lanka could enhance cooperation with HUST-AASL, make use of complementary advantages and jointly promote exchanges and cooperation in culture and the field of Education between the two countries.
Mr. Yu Hailin, Director of International Exchange, HUST read the congratulatory letter from Professor Ding Lieyun, President of HUST. Professor Ding Lieyun said in his letter that, “HUST Alumni Association of Sri Lanka” is the first international alumni association in the History of the university. It will be a land mark in the development of HUST. The foundation is of great significance, which not only reflects achievements of international education of HUST, but also will set a good example for the formation of alumni association in other countries. After the inauguration, all alumni under the leadership of the Executive Committee shall continuously enhance contact with other alumni, promote friendship, help each other and form a family atmosphere. Meanwhile, the alumni association shall assist the development of alumni individuals and become the bridge between all circles ofSri Lankaand HUST.”
Dr. Ranjan Mendis and Mr.Thivanka Wijesinghe, both good orators in Chinese language and English, did an excellent presentation about student life at HUST andChina. They elaborated on the wonderful experience and knowledge they gained at HUST and thanked HUST andChinafor what they have achieved.
Dr. T.K. Karandaketiya, Treasurer of the HUST-AASL delivered a speech of “Where We Want HUST and Our Alumni to be in the Future” and called for the full support of all alumni of Sri Lanka to work together closely for the better future of our alma mater. Dr. M.M.D.R. Deegahawature, Sectary of the HUST-AASL, expressed his heartfelt thanks to all individuals and parties for their support to make this great event come true in his vote of thanks.
After the Inauguration ceremony, Mr. Yu Hailin awarded admission letters to four PhD candidates who will study in HUST under the support of Chinese Government Scholarship.
Formation of HUST Alumni Association inSri Lankareceived extensive attention of all circles ofSri Lanka. Sri Lanka ITN TV, Sri Lanka SIRASA TV and China Radio International and other media reported this launching ceremony.