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August 07, 2017
Engineers and Scientists elect their new Committee
Pictures by Nath Cooray/Isuru Koswatta

At the Annual General meeting held at the Rising Sun Restaurant and Hotel in Middlesex the members of the Society of Sri Lankan Engineers and Scientists in the UK elected their new Committee. Vithanage Dhanaratne (Dhane) was re-elected the President while Gerald Alwis and Chaminda Karunaratne were also re-elected as the General Secretary and the Treasurer respectively.

The meeting was attended by the Patron of the Society H E Mrs Amari Wijewardene, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in the UK. The president Vithanage Dhanaratne welcomed and thanked the Patron, all the members and spouses for attending the meeting. He took the members briefly through the journey of the Society from its inception to date, emphasising that it has now completed 10 years since the inauguration. He thanked all the members for being a part of the success story without whose support the Society could not have developed to the current position. He thanked the High Commissioner and all her predecessors for the support the Society received.

The Patron, H.E. Mrs Wijewardene said that she was honoured to be invited to grace the occasion as traditionally done in the past. She praised and appreciated the charitable work carried out by the past office bearers of the Society and hoped the new office bearers will continue to do the same. She pledged that the High Commission will support the Society and said that she expected that her successors will continue do the same. She ended her short speech referencing the old saying that 'the Engineers rule the world'.

It was the turn of the Secretary Gerald Alwis next to present the minutes of the last AGM and also the annual report of the society activities. He highlighted the activities such as the Annual Ball and Annual Raffle Draw which generated enough funds to continue with the bursaries to the students of three Universities. The other activities were the Annual Lecture session by Dr Keerthi Devendra and Dr Ranil De Silva held at the High Commission and the Marquee at the FOC for the members and for membership drive activities sponsored by an international company Rawlplug. The treasurer Chaminda Karunaratne presented the financial statement showing a healthy balance sheet.

President Dhanaratne and past presidents Leslie Gunaratne and Keerthi Devendra, presented the life membership Certificates and Associate Membership certificates to those eligible and thanked all the spouses for their contribution. They presented associate members present, Grace Gunaratne, Mala Dhanaratne, Preethi Cooray, Thamia Hathtotuwa, Manel Kulasena and Pat de Silva with bouquets of flowers in appreciation of their service to the Society during the last ten years.

The next main item on the agenda was the election of office bearers. The vice patron Leslie Gunaratne presided over the election assisted by the Secretary. The newly elected committee are as follows:

President: A D Vithanage Dhanaratne (Dhane)

Secretary: Gerald Alwis
Treasurer: Chaminda Karunaratne
Vice President: Darshana Hathtotuwa
Vice President: Asiri Bamunuarachchi
Asst./Membership Secretary: Gamini Kulasena
Publicity Secretary: Nath Cooray
Asst. Treasurer: Janath Jayawardene

Committee Members:
Leslie Gunaratne, Kumar De Silva, P Gnananandan, Albert Senanayake, Keerthi Devendra, Nandun Mohottige, Piyatissa Liyanage, Lakhsman Wehella. Pradeep De Silva, Muthukumaru Shanthakumar, Muthukumaru Sahathevan & Luxman Dissanayake H.E. Mrs Amari Wijewardene and Leslie Gunaratne (Immediate Past President) will be the Patron and Vice Patron respectively as per the constitution.

Incoming President, Vithanage Dhanaratne, thanked the members for having the confidence in him and electing him once again for the important office of President.

The meeting was followed by a Sri Lankan buffet style lunch.

The Next Event organised by the Society will be the Annual Ball held at the Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel on Saturday 16th September 2017. All Engineers, Scientists and well wishers are invited. Contact Dhane on 0795 814 3675 for details. To join the Society please visit the website: www.ssles.org.uk or contact Dhane or gerald.alwis@amey.co.uk, gkulasena@hotmail.co.uk.
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