NEWS & EVENTS

Sri Lankan Speakers and Moderators

H.E. Maithripala Sirisena - Official Opening

President of Sri Lanka

H. E. Maithripala Sirisena is the sixth Executive President of Sri Lanka. His political career began in 1989 when he was elected to the parliament. Before his presidency, he was Minister of Mahaweli Development, Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Health. He worked actively to protect the farming industry by initiating concessionary grants for farmers and converting the Paddy Marketing board into a government institution. In 2013, he received the WHO World No Tobacco Day and Harvard Ministerial Leadership in Health award for his policy to get pictorial warnings on cigarette packets in Sri Lanka. He was officially elected as President in January 2015. Since his appointment, Sirisena has worked to increase cooperation with China and has also proposed a right to Information Act.


Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe - Official Opening

Prime Minister- Government of Sri Lanka

Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the fourth time on 21st August 2015. He is the Leader of the United National Party (UNP), Sri Lanka’s largest political party, which is a constituent member of the National Unity Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena. Hon. Wickremesinghe was first appointed the Prime Minister from 1993 – 1994 after the assassination of President Ranasinghe Premadasa. He was also elected as the Prime Minister from 2001 – 2004 when the United National Front Government won the general elections 2001.


Hon. Minister Malik Samarawickrama - Official Opening

Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade

Hon. Malik Samarawickrama, is the Cabinet Minister for Development Strategies & International Trade, in Sri Lanka. The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, the Export Development Board, the Department of Import & Export Control and the Mahapola Trust Fund are Institutions under his oversight.

Minister Samarawickrama is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants (FCMA) London. He is a successful businessman with interests in diverse sectors. In particular, in the 1980s, he was a pioneer in Sri Lanka’s apparel sector which constitutes the country’s leading source of export revenue. He has served as the Deputy Chairman of the Apparel Exporters’ Association of Sri Lanka. In addition, he has been the Chairman/Director of a number of companies engaged in manufacture & export of ready-made garments, Real Estate Development and Import/Export business.


Hon. Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe - Closing Session

State Minister of International Trade

Having attended Law College, Mr. Senasinghe is a lawyer by trade. He is the current State Minister of "Development Strategies and International Trade", Sri Lanka, and prior to this he served as the former Deputy Minister of Justice. Hon. Minister Senasinghe has been a member of the Sri Lanka parliament since 2010 as a representative for Colombo district. More specifically, he is a member of one of the two financial committees; the committee on public accounts and a member of the committee on public petition.


Ms. Indira Malwatte

Chairperson - Sri Lanka Export Development Board

Ms. Malwatte serves as the Chairperson and Chief Executive of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board since October 2015, the first woman to hold this position. She has 40 years of experience in serving the Government both internationally and locally. She has served as the focal point on a number of World Bank, ITC, GIZ, CBI and JETRO export development projects. She has also served a number of Government and Private Sector Boards and undertaken a number of product development and export related consultancies. In July 2016, Ms. Malwatte was awarded “Lifetime Award for Business and Economics” by the Women’s International Film & Television Showcase.


Mr. Upul Jayasuriya - Standards, A Getway to Global Markets

Chairman of the Board of Investments of Sri Lanka/ Attorney-at-law

Mr. Jayasuriya is the chairman of the Board of Investments of Sri Lanka. Prior to this, he was a member of the Attorney Generals’ department as a State counsel, the first legal advisor of the Greater Colombo Economic Commission and chairman of the Sri Lanka State Trading Tractor Corporation. Other previous roles include being appointed Managing Director and CEO of Ceylon Chocolates Ltd. and being a member of the Board of Directors of Upali Investments Holdings Ltd. Mr. Jayasuriya also founded the Asian Finance Ltd., a company now engaged in finance and business.


Mr. Paddy Withana

Acting Director - Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority

Mr. Paddy Withana has been appointed acting chairman of both the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. Mr. Withana has over 40 year-experience in the travel industry.


Dr. Saman Kelegama - Trade facilitation and Logistics in Regional Integration

Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of SriLanka

Saman Kelegama is the Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of SriLanka (IPS). He is a Fellow of both the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Economic Association and was the President of the Sri Lanka Economic Association (SLEA) during 1999-2003.

He has published extensively on Sri Lankan and regional economic issues in both local and international journals. He is the co-editor of the South Asia Economic Journal (Sage Publications) and serves as a referee for a number of international journals. He is an author of many books.

He serves and had served and serves in a number of government and private sector Boards as an independent member. He was a member of the Presidential Taxation Commission of Sri Lanka, BOI, IDB, among others. He was a Board Member of the Samapth Bank for 12 years and currently the Chairman of Singer (Sri Lanka).

He received his Doctorate (D.Phil.) and M.Sc in Economics from University of Oxford, U.K.


Deshamanya Mahesh Dayalal Amalean - When Regional Blocs Cross Oceans

Chairman of MAS Holdings

Mr. Amalean is the chairman of MAS Holdings. He was previously chairman of SLINTEC (The National Nano technology initiative of Sri Lanka) Independent, non-executive director of Dialog Axiata PLC, advisory board member of the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) and executive committee member of the Joint Apparel Association Forum. In 2007, the World Business magazine ranked Mr. Amalean as one the top 20 most progressive Asian leaders. In 2013 he received the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality’s Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Award for MAS Women Go Beyond, a distinctive programme established in 2003 that challenges the accepted norms of garment industry employment for women in Sri Lanka and the South Asia region.


Mr. Hiran Cooray - Authenticity: The New Tourism Destination

Chairman of Jetwing

Carrying on the legacy of his father, the late Herbert Cooray, Mr. Cooray is the current Chairman of Jetwing - a family owned company which counts a storied history of over four decades. Mr. Cooray was the chairman of Pacific Asia Travel Association Sri Lanka Chapter between 2003- 2004), represented Sri Lanka on PATA’s Board of Directors (2010/12), President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (2005/8); and was recently appointed an Alternate Member of the UNWTO – World Committee on Tourism Ethics 2013-2017. Mr. Cooray is currently serving his second term as President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka.


Mr. Dulith Herath - Entrepreneur and Web Technologies Specialist

CEO and Founder – Kapruka.Com

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka’s largest e-commerce organization, Mr. Herath is an entrepreneur and web technology specialist. He has fused innovation with new technology based business models in Sri Lanka. Mr. Herath also advocates for the improvement of government policies on tech startups and intellectual properties. He holds a B.Sc in computer science from the University of Kentucky, USA. His achievements include the Young Entrepreneur award of the 2013 by Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards and a gold award for National business excellence award by the Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka


Mr. Mano Sekaram - Digital Doors to Trade

CEO and Co-Founder of 99X Technology Ltd

Mr. Sekaram is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-Founder of 99X Technology Ltd., an award-winning, software product engineering company specializing in delivering software services to European markets. He is currently the chairman of the IT/BPM sectors’ apex body, the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM). On top of this, Mr. Sekaram is serving as a board member of the School of Computing at the University of Colombo. Mr. Sekaram was recently appointed member at the University of Jaffna’s Council, contributing with contemporary leadership knowledge to the country’s sector of high-tier education. Finally, he has represented the Sri Lankan IT/BPO industry both nationally and globally.


Mr. Jagdish Kumar Singla

Vice President Nestlé

Jagdish Kumar Singla is the Director of Finance & Control in Nestlé Lanka PLC. A Chartered Accountant by trade, he joined Nestlé India Limited in 1990. From the very beginning of his career, he held important roles under Finance in Nestlé India’s flagship factory in Mogaand, before moving to Nestlé China in 1997. He later took on the responsibility of Business Controller for the Milks and Nutrition Business in the Greater China region, returning to India in 2004 as Moga Factory Controller. He was appointed Head of Nestlé Market Audit for Nestlé India Limited in 2008 before joining Nestlé Lanka in his current role in 2014.


Mr. Malik Fernando

Director of MJF Holdings - Dilmah Tea

Malik Fernando is the Director of MJF Group, Dilmah Tea. He has a Bachelor's degree in Management from Babson College, Boston. Dilmah tea, a family-run company founded by his father Merrill J. Fernando, is now co-directed with his brother Dilhen C. Fernando. The company is a global leader in tea and well-known for its innovative approach of 'adding value' to tea whilst maintaining authenticity.

He set up a company, RTesplendent Ceylon which develops and manages a series of boutique luxury resorts in Sri Lanka including Ceylon Tea Trailsand the country's first Relais & Châteaux and Cape Weligama, a luxury cliffside retreat, which received several awards such as Best New Hotels On The Planet by Tatler Travel Guide 2015.


Mr. Mangala Karunaratne

Founder and Chief Executive Officer - Calcey Technologies

Mangala Karunaratne started his career in the Silicon Valley, where he held various Internet engineering and management roles at Fortune 1000 technology companies and dot-coms. In addition to Calcey, he founded eConceptions, RideLanka, OneClickTel, ShopMagik and a few other companies. Aside from his position as CEO of Calcey, Mangala serves as the co-chairman of FARO (Foundation for Advancing Rural Opportunity); a non-profit organization, which actively assists rural youth in Sri Lanka to find sustainable employment in the outsourcing industry. He also sits on the board of directors of Karunaratne & Sons; one of the top five printing companies in Sri Lanka.