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Lankan student wins top award in UK

16 August 2013 10:03 am - 40     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


A Sri Lankan student, in Bolton, United Kingdom has been awarded the top accolade at a high-profile international conference in Bolton.

Chathurika Kannangara, a University of Bolton PhD student, won the Heinz von Foerster Award at the American Society for Cybernetics (ASC) conference — held outside of America for the first time.

A panel of experts award the prize to the person who has made the most significant contribution to the conference.

Chathurika, aged 29, earned the honour for her contribution to group discussions on the conference’s theme — the link between understanding and acting. She said: “I raised the point that where I come from we do have understanding, but acting upon it is completely disconnected.

“There is study and research, but often it is affected by bribery and corruption when trying to get that understanding to the next level. I tried to offer ideas on what can be done to connect this disconnection.”

Chathurika is from Sri Lanka and has only been studying at Bolton for one-and-a-half months.
 She said: ‘“It was a big shock. I couldn’t stand up in my chair when they called my name. I am very much enjoying being here in Bolton. Everyone I have met has been very helpful.”

Winning the award came as an extra surprise for Chathurika after nearly missing out. She was initially not going to attend the conference as her area of study is psychology not cybernetics.

It was only after the recommendation of her PhD supervisor, Professor Jerome Carson, that she attended. Chathurika said: “Jerome said we should attend even though we are not involved in cybernetics.

“We can go with no expectation and we might come out with something brilliant.”
 Prof Dai Griffiths, is professor of educational cybernetics at Bolton and was co-chairman of the conference with ASC president Professor Ranulph Glanville.

Prof Griffiths said: “I’m delighted Chathurika has achieved this.

“I know the committee which made the award was impressed by her determination to use her research to make a difference to the educational system in Sri Lanka, and by the clarity with which she was able to express this.”

The prize will support her in maintaining contacts with an international community of scholars. (The Bolton News)

  Comments - 40

  • channa Saturday, 17 August 2013 12:00 AM

    ?????????? ?????? ??????? via DM Android App

    mohamed Friday, 16 August 2013 06:21 PM

    Very well done dear. I salute you for bringing a great honour to our country.

    Chandrin de Silva Friday, 16 August 2013 09:27 PM

    Well done young lady.Congratulations to you.You have brought a great honour to your country

    elmo b joseph Saturday, 17 August 2013 12:11 AM

    Congratulations to Chathurika for identifying the "difference" between understanding and action and capturing the award and positioning the concept to the planet. It will be ideal for the daily mirror to clip the discussion or her perceived values for adaptability. It will clearly value sustainability of our " present " and "future" of people. Ideal for daily mirror to make a difference of its daily.

    mohammed Saturday, 17 August 2013 12:00 AM

    congrats via DM Android App

    Flatwhite Saturday, 17 August 2013 01:37 AM

    What an honour to the country and also for Chathurika hope she will get the strenghth to continue and win more awards.

    Sri Lankan Saturday, 17 August 2013 12:00 AM

    proud of u... via DM Android App

    Riyaz Saturday, 17 August 2013 03:13 AM

    hats off to you !

    fazli Saturday, 17 August 2013 04:05 AM

    Oh. we are proud of you sweety. I wish many more such talents emerge and bring pride to this tiny island, which eventually lead to harmony amongst us. Keep up.

    Maha Rajanani Saturday, 17 August 2013 07:01 AM


    Sri Lankan first Sinhalese second Friday, 16 August 2013 12:00 AM

    Yes Jayasiri! Proud of our Sri Lankan girl! via DM Android App

    Manoj Fernando Saturday, 17 August 2013 08:28 AM

    Well done girl! Keep up the good work........

    Sandy Saturday, 17 August 2013 08:34 AM

    Wonderful- heartiest congratulations Chathurika.You have made us all proud!God bless!

    Karunawathie Saturday, 17 August 2013 08:48 AM

    This shows that if given the opportunity people can excel
    in any field. How many more bright young people must be in the villages just wasting their talents, because of lack of opportunity.

    ghemmbba Saturday, 17 August 2013 08:57 AM


    Sidath Athukorala Saturday, 17 August 2013 11:53 AM

    This is silly, the article is nicely written and the readers take it too seriously. I won four awards like this in different conferences during 1990s when I was a student. This is a student award as somebody said above, no need to get too excited. On the other hand, she is a PhD student, so must have done her studies back in Sri Lanka. Thousands from all over the world go to England to do PhDs whether they have opportunities back home or not.

    jacoobe Saturday, 17 August 2013 11:56 AM

    congrats Dhuwa!!

    Hoona Saturday, 17 August 2013 02:58 PM

    A single instance of something is just that; it doesn't indicate a trend. "One swallow doesn't make a summer"

    Tharindu Manohara Sunday, 18 August 2013 06:44 AM

    My Congratulation akkiiiii.you have brought a great honour to our country.

    Philip Sunday, 25 August 2013 06:03 AM

    I was at the conference and enjoyed your input. Well done

    Karunawathie Friday, 16 August 2013 11:38 AM

    First our idiots should stop this ragging business in the SL universities. Too many bright kids keeping away from unis b'cos of ragging.

    zara Friday, 16 August 2013 12:00 AM

    my congratulations! via DM Android App

    Nina Kamal Friday, 16 August 2013 10:29 AM

    I sincerely hope that this will let some of the fat fellas to open their eyes & wake their brains up! Congratulations kellei!

    Mmm Friday, 16 August 2013 10:31 AM

    Brilliant job! Congratulations!!

    Roshan WR Friday, 16 August 2013 10:51 AM

    Trust Sri Lanka will benefit from this wonderfully talented lady. Or will US take her gifting?

    Marie Friday, 16 August 2013 10:53 AM

    Congratulations Chathurika. What a great topic! Would love to read a synopsis of your Thesis in the near future.

    musthafa Friday, 16 August 2013 10:54 AM


    srilankan Friday, 16 August 2013 12:00 AM

    congrats akki ... way to go via DM Android App

    ANTON Friday, 16 August 2013 11:19 AM


    Rubert Vanderkoon Friday, 16 August 2013 11:31 AM

    Every year in conferences, our students win awards like this. This is not the prestigious Heinz von Foerster Award but an award they give to students in conferences. As UNP leader Ranil said to late Jayalath Jayawardene when the latter was awarded an honorary professorship from some unknown organisation, let's not blow out of proportion. Well done to her.

    amjad Friday, 16 August 2013 12:00 AM

    congrats via DM Android App

    chris Friday, 16 August 2013 12:00 AM

    she has not won the main award. she was commended for her contribution. Congrats for contributing something thought provoking. via DM Android App

    shalinda Friday, 16 August 2013 12:28 PM

    its great time.. what a brilliant girl .. you gave proud this island.. thx for your contribution

    insaaf Friday, 16 August 2013 12:00 AM

    cngrats ..wsh u fr a bright future via DM Android App

    AMLadduwahetty Friday, 16 August 2013 01:12 PM

    Very interesting to note this recognition of a young Sinhala woman, especially in the wake of Mr. Lee Kwan Yu's recent racist remark that the Sinhalese are not "capable" as a people.

    Congratulations to Chaturika for introducing perspectives that could change educational policies and bridge the gap between ideas and their implementation, which is a problem that holds back improvement and progress.
    Wish her every success in her endeavours in her journey towards finding solutions!

    CitizenLK Friday, 16 August 2013 01:26 PM

    While Its it not a simple effort to get a student award in a conference, and she has done well to get it. It is one of many conferences held in different disciplines all around the world. So I do not agree that it is a "Top Award" in UK. The headline is misleading.

    OMG Friday, 16 August 2013 01:26 PM

    Sri Lanka produces very few award winners because our education system rewards and encourages ONLY those with good memory.

    In the West they encourage and reward those who think out of the box who could connect theory with reality. Here we only memorize the theories and pass exams.

    S.Sriranjan Friday, 16 August 2013 01:37 PM

    appropriate Selection at the Proper Time? Congrats!

    Miaman Friday, 16 August 2013 01:47 PM

    Congratulations and Thank you for bringing honor to our motherland.

    jayasiri Friday, 16 August 2013 02:04 PM

    VERY HONOURED TO see our own lady winning this magnificent award.

    Wishing you the very best in the future. Another feather in our cap for Sinhalese...WELL DONE! sweet gurl...J from Canada

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