Mr. Merrick Gooneratne - Executive Director of TOSLanka Company (Private) Limited

The Government of Japan announced, that TORSGR-2014 will be conferred upon a distinguished Sri Lankan for his un diminishing passion for and uncompromising commitment to promote Sri Lanka-Japan friendship and relationship. He is an alumnus of the University of Peradeniya. Having obtained his Bachelor’s degree there, he joined Sri Lanka Administrative Service and reached gradually the level of being appointed as Sri Lankan Tea Commissioner to Tokyo. He was a beneficiary of Japanese Government Postgraduate Research Scholarship and the immediate Past President of the Japanese Graduates’ Alumni Association of Sri Lanka. He is widely known to the corporate world today as a visionary entrepreneur.

Zahara Ashraff – Head of Human Resources, MAS Innovation

She is an alumna of Reading University in the United Kingdom, this personality also holds the status of being a distinguished alumna of Kings College, London. Quintessentially, this possessing distilled expertise in crafting and implementing cutting-edge human resource practices in the industry whilst working hand in hand with universities in Sri Lanka and overseas for nurturing much needed talent for the labor market. Being a fully-fledged human resource practitioner, today this personality is driving the professional practice of inspiring and leading people at MAS Innovation (Private) Limited. Magnanimously, this personality has been playing a role, with dynamism and zest, as a linchpin between MAS and the university system in Sri Lanka.

Dr. W. Kumara Hirimburegama – Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo

The academia has been the fertile ground for this personality who is always challenging the conventional wisdom with visionary thinking. He is an internationally recognized Scientist with research involvement in nuclear techniques, chemical and biological weapon prevention, molecular biotech research at many prestigious global institutions including the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna-Austria. Being a pioneering personality in forging university-industry collaboration, he has inspired several University-Industry collaborations including an island wide ICT programmes with the Sri Lanka Federation of Chambers of Industry and Commerce and Cisco Networking Academy. The academic excellence of this eminent scholar was recognised when he made a unique contribution through modern technology to the promotion of Tamil and Sinhala languages among Sri Lankans, to develop national harmony and peace, in-keeping with national policies. Recognizing his contribution as a Scientist to education, in 2010 he was awarded at the 36th Annual Aryabhata International Award for Education in Bangalore, India.

Mr. Gamini Saparamadu – Managing Director, Kent Trophies & Awards (Pvt) Ltd

He articulated emphatically what makes an entrepreneur and how entrepreneurship can build an unbreakable marriage between university and industry.

In the year of 1981, following his life-long dream to become a commercial and advertising film maker, he graduated at Bryan Ward Commercial Film Making Academy in the United Kingdom. Being a leading entrepreneur in the country today, he began this journey in 1984 when he commenced the Photografix Commercial and Advertising Studios and Kent Group of Companies. The consistent entrepreneurial success and unwavering commitment to promoting innovative entrepreneurship of this personality are visible for three decades under his transformational leadership of Kent Group of Companies that embodies 11 independent companies and approximately 950-employee workforce. In recognition of his sustained success and achievements in the world of entrepreneurship, he was awarded the National Platinum Award for the Sri Lankan Entrepreneur in 2014.

Professor H. D. Karunaratne – Chairman, Annual Research Symposium 2014

A personality ventured into pursuing an illustrious academic career at the University of Colombo with earning Bachelor of Arts in Economics with First Class Honors at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in 1990. Besides, he has proved his academic excellence by earning two master’s degrees in Economics, one from the University of Colombo and the other one from Nagoya City University in Japan, and a Ph.D. in International Development Economics from Nagoya University in Japan. He has published and presented more than 92 articles and 5 books. This distinguished academic has been engaged actively in disseminating scientific knowledge by undertaking the editorship of many internationally and locally recognised journals. As a coordinator of many postgraduate level programmes, he has contributed to the progressive advancement of the university education system. He has also served as the Dean of the Faculty of Management and Finance and is the incumbent Head of the Department of Business Economics. The University of Colombo took the pride of recognising his academic brilliance by awarding him the best researcher award at the General Convocation. To his credit, this personality was holding a two-year Invited Professorship in Economics at Hosei University in Tokyo.