APSL 10th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Association of Professional Sri Lankans in the UK (APSL) held its 10th Annual General Meeting on Saturday 15th March 2014 at the European School of Economics, No.8-9, Grosvenor Place, London, SW1X 7SH, London. It was a well attended meeting by the members of the Association.
Mr. Leslie Dep, General Secretary, presented the annual report giving in detail of the following projects and activities carried out by the Association during the year 2013 to 2014.
- “We Sri Lanka”: Project Leader Mr. Rohan de Alwis
Mr Rohan de Alwis took over the leadership of the “We Sri Lanka” project during the year under review after Mr Gihantha Jayasinghe the former leader stepped down from the executive committee last year. The “We Sri Lanka” sub-committee members are Mr Rohan de Alwis, Mr Leslie Dep, Mr Ranjan Perera, Dr Asanga Fernando, Mr Asaf Bakeer Markar and Ms Tanoo Mylwaganam (APSL member). Unlike in the previous years there was no special event held but a more strategic approach was planned focussing on the future of reconciliation activities between the communities in a more effective way. Organising a a round table forum for like minded Sri Lankan organisations and the feasibility of building a “We Sri Lanka Centre” for the benefit of all Sri Lankan communities living in the United Kingdom are the key activities planned by the subcommittee.
2. Award Scheme 2: Project leader Prof I M Dharmadasa
After the successful completion of the Award Scheme 2 Project, the award ceremony of the project was held in Sri Lanka on 7th August 2013 at the National Science Foundation (NSF) Auditorium. The winners of the competition, who submitted proposals for converting Green Energy Ideas into viable Green Energy Products, were given a cash price of Rs 25,000, a trophy and a plaque. The main objective of this competition was to promote green ideas into viable business ventures and APSL received fifteen proposals from individuals and organisations in Sri Lanka. Project Leader Prof. Dharmadasa organised the awards event with the support of the ex. Co. members Dr Chesmal Siriwardana and Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy who is based in Sri Lanka.
3. APSL – ASLS Student Event
On 19th October 2013 a joint student event with the Association of Sri Lankan Students (ASLS) in the UK was held at the Sri Lanka High Commission under the patronage of the High Commissioner H.E Dr Chris Nonis. ASLS initiated this event mainly to welcome the new intake of Sri Lankan students into the UK universities and to give them a basic idea of living in the UK during their study period, to explain the various regulations governing employment whilst studying and also about career development. Mr Rohan de Alwis, Dr Anya Perera, Ms Ruki Pinidiya, Professor I M Dharmadasa and Mrs Gayani Senaratne addressed the students on the above related subjects. Mr Mervyn Silva (President APSL) and Mr Mithila Wegapitiya (President ASLS) jointly chaired the event.
4. Ask the Expert Series: Project Leader Dr Andrew Nayagam
Under this seminar series “Ask the Accountant” event was held on the 18th January 2014 at the Sri Lanka High Commission. Presentations were made by Mr Rohan de Alwis, Mr Suraj Wijendra, Mr Thushara Madurasinghe and Mrs Lushani Kodituwakku on various interesting topics related to the theme. A considerable number of members and guests attended and actively participated at this very successful event. Due to the popular demand, an extra event under the “Ask the Young Professionals” series was planned to be held after the 10th AGM on 15th March 2014.
5. Festival of Cricket
APSL had a stall at the “Festival of Cricket” 25th anniversary event held on 28th July 2013 in London. The stall was visited by many who were keen to know more about the association and a fair number of them joined the association. APSL will continue to take part in this event as this is a great platform to showcase our activities and attract Sri Lankan professionals who are keen to become members.
1. Newsletter: Editor Dr Chesmal Siriwardane
One Newsletter was published in December 2013 with a featured interview with Mr Leslie Gunaratne, the first President of the APSL in view of the 10th Anniversary celebrations of the APSL. We are planning to publish a special souvenir to coincide with the 10th anniversary celebrations in June 2014. Support is requested from the members for articles and also to get advertisements for this special souvenir.
2. People’s Forum in Sri Lanka
Mr Rohan de Alwis and Dr Andrew Nayagam represented the association at the “People’s Forum” held during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in Sri Lanka in November 2013. They met members of several international organisations at this meeting and were able to forge many useful contacts for mutual benefits in future. Our Ex Co member Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, who is based in Sri Lanka, also attended this event and he was involved in presentations and panel discussions.
The design of the new APSL website is almost complete and it is to be launched shortly. Designed to be fresh and attractive, the new site can also be accessed through mobile phones and tablet computers. It will have a ‘Members Only’ area that contains a forum as well as many useful resources for members. With the aim of encouraging interaction among the members and their active engagement with the APSL the new site has been social media enabled. It has an electronic form that allows new members to apply online as well as existing members to verify and update their details. A PayPal account has been integrated, making it quick and easy to pay membership subscription and charitable donations online. It is due to be in full operation before the 10th AGM celebrations.
The Treasurer Mr Thushara Madurasinghe presented the annual statement of Accounts for year 2013/2014 emphasizing the strong financial position of the association with a significant increase in membership subscriptions and donations to external charities.
At the election of office bearers, the following members were elected with several new faces joining the team for the year 2014/2015. After two years as General Secretary, Mr. Leslie Dep stepped down in keeping with APSL tradition of rotating its office bearers to give new members the opportunity to play an active part within the Association. Dr. Mahesh de Silva was elected as the new General Secretary for the coming year.
President: Mr. Mervyn Silva
Vice Presidents: Mr. Ranjan Perera, Mr Suraj Wijendra
General Secretary: Dr. Mahesh de Silva
Membership Secretary: Mrs. Gayani Senaratne
Treasurer: Mr. Thushara Madurasinghe
Executive Committee Members:
Prof. Sir. Sabaratnam Arulkumaran
Mr. Mohan Siriwardane
Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy
Mr. Derrick Brainerd
Dr. Asanga Fernando
Dr. Chesmal Siriwardane
Dr. Athula Sumathipala
Mr. Asaf Bakeer Markar
Mr. Gihantha Jayasinghe
Dr. Miss Anushini Mututantri
Mr. Rohan De Alwis (Immediate Past President)
Mr. Leslie Dep
Dr. Marc Dissanayake
Dr. Andrew Nayagam
Prof. I M Dharmadasa
APSL would like to thank all the project leaders, their teams and all those who made presentations at above mentioned events for the tremendous work they have done to make the above events a very big success and also for maintaining the high standards created by the Association all these years.
APSL would also like to thank H.E. Dr. Chris Nonis, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in the UK, Mr. Noel De Silva, the Deputy High Commissioner and Mr H.M.K. Herath – First Secretary Cultural for all the support given to the association by attending the events and especially allowing us to hold our ex co meetings and the other events at the High Commission.
Big thank goes to Newslanka, Sesatha, Serendib News, SL Events in the UK-Lanka Times and Ceylon UK News for publishing all our event notices and articles in their respective media.
The new APSL executive committee requests the support of their members and the donors to carry out more charitable work here in the United Kingdom and in Sri Lanka in the coming year. (www.apsl.org.uk)
Dr. Mahesh de Silva
General Secretary, APSL