9th AGM and Dinner Dance

The Association of Professional Sri Lankans in the UK (APSL) held its 9th Annual General Meeting on Saturday 27 th April 2013 at the City Grange Hotel,  London.

After two years as President of APSL, Mr. Rohan de Alwis stepped down and Mr. Mervyn Silva, Business Development Manager at NHS Bradford and Airedale was elected as the new President for the coming year.

Mr. Leslie Dep, General Secretary, presented the annual report for the year 2012 to 2013.   PHOTO


1. “We Sri Lanka”: Project Leader Mr. Gihantha Jayasinghe: For the third year running, the We Sri Lanka event was held on the 6th October at Birbeck College, University of London. This successful event had the main objectives of reconciliation and rebuilding of the war affected areas in Sri Lanka . The proceedings from the event have been allocated to several charities in Sri Lanka including the Mettha Foundation.

2. Research Symposium: Project Leader Dr Mahesh De Silva: For the second year, this event was held at the Hilton Sheffield Park Hotel in Sheffield on 17 th November 2012. The symposium consisted of three sessions; Engineering and Built Environment Research, Poster Session and Medical, Biological Sciences and Chemistry research.

3. Award Scheme 2: Project Leader Prof I.M Dharmadasa:  The second Award Scheme project was conducted this year with a competition for submitting proposals for converting Green Energy Ideas into viable Green Energy Products. The  objective of this competition was to promote green ideas into viable business ventures. Fifteen proposals were received and the results of this scheme announced at the Dinner Dance were as follows;

Four Winners:

-1. Mrs W. P. Somawathie: Ranrasa Products, food drying and packaging centres around the country.

-2. Mr Lal Wickramasinghe: Hemp (Pan) Industry Centres on a commercial level all over the country.

-3. Mr N. Geekiyanage; Duru Maduru, Mosquito repellent from betel leaves and solar energy.

-4.Mr.M.Hettiarachchi : Giridisia Project for liquid manure from leaves and sticks for power generation.

Three Runners Up

-1. Cottage industry using Vetakolu fibres.

-2. City development – Bio Gas Project

-3. Milk Production centres – for food and manure production

The four winners will receive a cash prize of Rs. 25,000, a trophy and a plaque.

The award ceremony details will be announced later. The Sri Lankan newspapers sponsored the publicity.

4. ‘Ask The Expert’ Series: Project leader Dr. Andrew Nayagam

Two events were held under this series.

– ‘Ask The lawyer’. This event was held on 26th January at the Sri Lankan High Commission, by three lawyers practising in the UK

– ‘Ask the Doctor’ – This event was held on 6th March at the Sri Lankan High Commission by four doctors working in the UK

5. ‘Living in the UK’ – Project leader Mr. Thushara Madurasinghe.

This event, on March 3rd, led by Mrs. Gayani Senaratne, was for educating children on Eastern and Western values, such events are regularly held at Jethawana Buddhist Vihara, Birmingham.

6. Newsletter – Editor Dr. Chesmal Siriwardane, Graphic Designer, Mr. Sudarshan Gunasekera

Two newsletters ‘The Professional’, Autumn 2012 and Spring 2013, were published with interesting articles on APSL projects.

We wish to thank H.E. Dr. Chris Nonis for allowing the APSL to hold ‘Ask The Expert’ series and events at the High Commission and also to Mr. H.M.K. Herath, First Cultural Secretary, and his staff for making all necessary arrangments.


Other Activities

1. APSL and UAE

In September 2012 the president and general secretary attended the launching of APSL  UAE in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of H.E. Sarath Wijesinghe, the Ambassador for Sri Lanka in The United Arab Emirates.

2. A MOU was signed between APSL and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Sri Lanka, to work together in the development of research studies. Prof.I.M. Dharmadasa initiated this agreement with DR. Noble Jayasuriya of NSF.

3. Mr. Derrick Brainerd organised a sucessful fund raising event for APSL at Lancing.

The Treasurer, Mr. Thushara Madurasinghe presented the annual statement of accounts for the year 2012 to 2013, showing a strong financial position.

At the election of office bearers, the following were elected-

President -Mr. Mervyn Silva

Vice Presidents – Mr.Ranjan Perer, Mr. Suraj Wijendra, Dr. Mahesh de Silva

Treasurer- Mr. Thushara Madurasinghe

Executive Committee Members -Mr. Mohan Siriwardane, Dr. Marc Dissanayake, Prof Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy,

Dr. Andrew Nayagam, Dr. Roger Srivasan, Mr. Derrick Brainerd, Dr. Thilak Abeyawardane, Dr. Asanga Fernando, Dr. Chesmal Siriwardane,

Dr. Athula Sumathipala, Prof I.M. Dharmadasa, Mr. Janath Jayawardane, Mr, Lal Jayawardane, Dr. Mrs. Sadani Wahalatantri, Mrs. Nirmalie Peris,

Dr. Miss Anushini Mututantri, Mr. Asaf Bakeer Markar, Mr. Rohan De Alwis (IPP)

The newly elected president thanked the members and asked for their continued support in carrying out his duties.

During the AGM members were given the opportunity to put forward their ideas for the coming year. Several members expressed ways to take forward the association both for the benefit of members and for the success of future projects.

The AGM was followed by an enjoyable dinner and dance.

The chief guest was H.E. Dr. Chris Nonis, Patron of APSL and the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in UK. He delivered a keynote address on ‘Sri Lanka and its journey forward’ and later engaged socially with many members.

The evening included a grand raffle draw, music by Aundre Martinesz and Fusion, and authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.

Thanks were given to Mr. Nazoomi Azhar (grange Hotels) and staff, to Ms. Ruki Pinidiya for selling a large number of tickets for the event, and to all those who advertised in the APSL newsletter.