THE SRI LANKAN prime minister has today received a honorary doctorate from Deakin University for his contribution to law and his work to unite the divided nation.
Streets around Geelong were closed this morning as Ranil Wickremesinghe’s motorcade made its way to Deakin University’s Waterfront Campus before midday.
Mr Wickremesinghe speaking at a graduation ceremony in Costa Hall told the crowd of Deakin alumni and their families to be persistent in the current climate of technological change.
“Start as a follower, always be humble and learn from others, especially their mistakes.
“To in life be prepared to lose; in life you will face both success and disaster, learn to face these setbacks,” Mr Wickremesinghe said.
He urged the crowd to seize the job opportunities currently available in the burgeoning Asia-Pacific region.
A Deakin spokeswoman said the university was honouring Mr Wickremesinghe for modernising laws and legal institutions to drive foreign investment in Sri Lanka.
“The university is recognising Mr Wickremesinghe for playing a key role in transitioning Sri Lanka from a country traumatised by protracted, violent conflict toward a stable democracy,” she said.
“Mr Wickremesinghe has emphasised the need for reconciliation, while ensuring accountability, and enabled groups driven by conflict to find common ground in a more hopeful future.”
Later today Mr Wickremesinghe will head to Canberra for a reception with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull commemorating 70 years of Australian-Sri Lankan diplomatic relations.