External Affairs Minister Professor G L Peiris, on an official visit to New Zealand, had discussions at Massey University, one of New Zealand’s largest universities, on a range of issues connected with dairy development in Sri Lanka and the strengthening of collaboration with universities and institutes in Sri Lanka in the field of veterinary sciences.
In terms of a twining agreement with the University of Peradeniya, Massey University will provide the technical leadership, facilitation and project management skills to assist the University of Peradeniya with regard to the curriculum for veterinary teaching, and enhancing the capabilities of veterinary graduates in livestock industry. Massey University’s Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences has experience in implementing complex capacity building projects in South Asia on behalf of the World Bank.
Professor Peiris discussed with Professor Robert Anderson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Massey University and Mr Michael O’ Shaughnessy, the University’s Director of International Relations, plans to develop a suitable dairy co-operation project under the Sri Lanka-New Zealand Dairy Co-operation Agreement. A further focus of the discussion was a Scholarship Agreement that would enable Sri Lankan students to study at Massey University on a regular basis and contribute to building a long term strategic partnership in applied fields, specially relevant to priorities in economic development.
The Minister discussed further extension of the Memorandum of Understanding for Co-operation between the Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and the Massey University of New Zealand. The discussions also covered relations with the Ministry of Higher Education and the University Grants Commission.
Airline connectivity, important from the standpoint of strengthening business relations as well as tourism, was one of the principal matters which Minister Peiris discussed with the government of New Zealand.
He signed the Bilateral Air Services Agreement with Mr Gerry Brownlee, New Zealand’s Minister of Transport, who flew from Wellington to Auckland for the purpose of the event.