BRISLA (The British Sri Lankan Association) hosted this year’s annual BRISLA Awards event on the Saturday 19th October 2019 in Westminster close to Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.
This event brings the best minds and the most passionate individuals who will play an ever-increasing role in promoting unity and celebrating diversity.
Says Dr. Zimar Sivardeen, Founder and Chair who proceeded over the judging process and hosted the evening:
“With every award, there was a golden thread running through them. A vision, a commitment to make a difference and tenacity to make it happen. On our own, we can sometimes feel ineffective. But when we come together in an event like this, we can see how every small step helps to shift a few mindsets or brings together a small group of people who were not united before. When you add up all these movements – small, medium and large – we can believe we are making a difference.”
“Every Award presented on the night acted as a stark reminder to us all that our unified efforts to promote diversity and encourage unity amongst people of all faiths is paramount and indeed, essential.”
BRISLA is a non-profit organisation that aims to facilitate cooperation and build partnerships between the UK and Sri Lanka around issues including education, environmental factors, health affairs and promoting sustainable development.
Each year, a prestigious Award evening is held to reward individuals and organisations that strive for diversity and social cohesion in today’s challenging society. This year, the annual event was held at the Conrad St. James Hotel, Westminster and in attendance were Her Royal Highness Princess Katarina, Mr Nirj Deva DL, the Lord Sheikh, H.E. Manisha Gunasekera and Jason Kouchak.
Dr. Sivardeen used the Awards evening as a platform to remind the audience that every individual has a role to play; to tackle and debate intolerance where possible, and recognise the power and strength diversity plays in today’s society.
Says Dr. Sivardeen on the night: “It was an honour and humbling experience to judge the Awards. Everyone should be proud of their stellar work.”
The 2019 BRISLA Awards winners are:
Outstanding Achievement in the Legal Field sponsored by Specsavers Opticians.
Presented by The Rt Hon Lord Justice Dingemans Judge of the Court of Appeal.
Winner: Harendra de Silva QC
Outstanding Achievement in Academia sponsored by GrowTraffic Ltd.
Presented by Her Royal Highness Princess Katarina.
Winner: Professor Parosha Chandran
Excellence in Community Development sponsored by Research Intelligence Unit.
Presented by Venerable Dhammadassi Thera from Kingsbury Vihara.
Winner: Mr Ambalavanar Sathianathan
Excellence in Outstanding Leadership Award sponsored by John Keells Properties and Cinnamon Life.
Presented by Brigadier Alex Potts, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Regional Command, Aldershot.
Winner: Her Excellency Ms. Manisha Gunasekera
Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Indocean Developers (Pvt) the promoters of Altair.
Presented by Revd. Prof. Rob Gilbert.
Winner: Mr. Niranjan Deva DL
Outstanding Friend to the British Sri Lankan Community sponsored by Al Rayan Bank
Presented by Jason Kouchak, pianist and composer.
Winner: The Lord Sheikh
The winners act as role models to our neighbours, our communities, and the next generation. We are only a chapter and we need to inspire the people of tomorrow to continue this story.