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Image Credit: UNFPA Sri Lanka
LKI’s Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Executive Director, moderated a policy dialogue session on ‘Making Active Ageing a Reality’ on 27 September 2018. The event hosted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Social Welfare and Primary Industries, addressed the opportunities and challenges of Sri Lanka’s ageing population.
The opening remarks for the event were delivered by Hon. Daya Gamage, the Minister of Social Welfare and Primary Industries. Ms. Ritsu Nacken, representative of the UNFPA made the welcome address. Eng. Mr. Bandula Wickramarachchi, Secretary of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Primary Industries made the closing remarks.
The panel discussion moderated by Dr. Wignaraja, featured Hon. Dr. Karen Makishma, Member of the House of Representatives in Japan; Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake, Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo; Hon. Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle, MP; and Professor Rahimah Ibrahim, Head of Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Universiti Putra, Malaysia.
In his summing up of the panel discussion, Dr. Wignaraja noted the strides Sri Lanka has made and suggested several pragmatic approaches to improve active ageing, including raising the retirement age; taking advantage of the ‘silver economy;’ implementing financial literacy programmes to encourage youth to save earlier; offering private insurance schemes alongside improved geriatric care; and ensuring the safety and protection of vulnerable elderly women.