Tuesday, 24 December 2002  
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Award of Title of Chevalier (Knight) to Dr. Patrick Nugawela

Dr. Patrick Nugawela, a Sri Lankan economist was awarded the title of Chevalier (Knight) in the order of Palmes Academic by the Government of France.

The Award Ceremony was officiated by Madam Marie France Pagnier, the Ambassador for France in Sri Lanka at residence in Colombo on December 19. Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Plantations and Ananda Gunasekera, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Designated for Sri Lanka in Paris, Bodi Liyanage, DIG Colombo, Wicky Subramanium, General Manager Sheraton Group from Uganda where Dr. Nugawela is an Advisor to the USAID supported private sector development program were among the guests at the ceremony.

Dr. Nugawela was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Mayanthi Nugawela and their three children: Lasanthi, Prasanna and Shivanthi for the award ceremony.

Ambassador Pagnier said at the opening ceremony that Dr. Nugawela had made a significant contribution for the development of his own home country and as a director of SLEDB and a research of CISIR and for many other developing countries. His Academic achievements in France were highly commended and a merit of excellence was awarded to him for his post graduate doctoral studies. Pagnier further said that Dr. Nugawela had contributed also to the French culture research work in economics and therefore the French Government decided to make this prestigious award to this Sri Lankan economist.

Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that, we as Sri Lankans are very proud to see the work of a Sri Lankan is highly recognized by a developed country like France. Dr. Patrick Nugawela as an international expert has brought honour not only to him and his family but also to his country Sri Lanka. We all know that, Dr. Nugawela is a reputed international expert produced by Sri lanka, whose services are highly appreciated by UNIDO, IFAD the World Bank, etc, and also by many other countries in the world. He had worked in many countries as an economic advisor.

Minister Kiriella said that Dr. Nugawela made a significant contribution to Sri Lanka in the past and we wish that he can now come back and serve Sri Lanka, because, we need people like him to work for the country. The government has done and is doing everything possible to establish peace in Sri Lanka and to accelerate economic development in the country. Therefore people like Dr. Nugawela are needed in Sri Lanka at this stage.

He said that he is particularly proud of Dr. Nugawela's achievement as Dr. Nugawela and his family come from his constituency Kandy. The Nugawela family is very well known to the people of Kandy as he comes from one of the oldest families in Kandy. His ancestors were devoted and committed custodians of the Sacred Tooth Relic for many years even before Sri Lanka gained independence.

He finally wished all success to Dr. Nugawela and hoped that he will return to Sri Lanka to serve his motherland.

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