SDPI Press Release
Published Date: Jul 6, 2017
The speakers from across SA region pay rich homage to Dr. Saman Kelegama
The leading civil society activists, researchers and development practitioners from across South Asia have expressed deep sorrow and grief over the sad demise of leading economist Dr. Saman Kelegama who was strong champion of regional cooperation at South Asia level. The speakers representing Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also paid their special tribute to departed soul during an ‘Online reference in memory of Dr. Saman Kelegama’ held by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI, during his opening comment paid homage to Dr. Saman Kelegama, who was also a Fellow of both the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Economic Association and remained the President of the Sri Lanka Economic Association (SLEA) during 1999-2003, for his vision of South Asian economic integration and being head of Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka (19915-2017), he has strengthened the voices and initiatives aiming to enhance regional economic cooperation.
He said that Dr. Saman would always be remembered as an ardent friend of Pakistan. Besides his other valuable services, Dr. Saman played quite instrumental role in successful holding of ‘South Asian Economic Summit’ in Pakistan twice whereas his vision for the region was based enhancing economic cooperation between South Asian countries while keeping the political issues aside.
The other speakers that expressed their views during the online reference that included Sanjay Kumar, Dr. Ratnakar Adhikari, Posh Raj Pandey, Seema Bhatia-Panthaki, Karin Fernando, Debapriya Bhattacharya, Saleem Rehan, Sanga Mitra, Dr. Govind kale, Dushni Weerakoon, Shekhar Shah, Paras Kharel and others said that the legacy of Dr. Saman at the IPS was driven by independent thinking and secure financial stability.
While highlighting various aspects of his life and contributions, the speakers said that Dr. Saman will not be missed in Sri Lanka but also by his regional and global friends and institutions that have always been admiring the intellectual input and support by his visionary leadership. The speakers added further that Dr. Saman was a fixture in South Asian and wider Asian policy networks and his legacy would be continually remembered.
It’s worth mentioning here that Dr. Saman was published extensively on Sri Lankan and regional economic issues in both local and international journals. He was also the co-editor of the South Asia Economic Journal (Sage Publications) and serves as a referee for a number of international journals.