When East Meets West
Prosperity, good fortune and accolades for the 2015 BriSLA Awards winners.
THE Inaugural BriSLA Awards saw the brightest stars of the British Sri Lankan community recognised in the capital recently.
The gala, held at Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London, celebrated winners in the fields of community service, entrepreneurship, health and education, legal, media and sports achievements.
The brainchild of Dr Zimar Sivardeen, chairman of the British Sri Lankan Association (BriSLA), the evening also saw £3000 raised for the charity The Foundation of Goodness.
In his opening speech, Dr Zimar Sivardeen said: “British Sri Lankans living in the UK have played an important role in helping to make Britain prosperous.
Additionally, Dr Sivardeen stated that “the aims of the BriSLA Awards are to highlight the importance and benefit of social integration. We hope to achieve this through leadership, community service and inspiring others in society, while maintaining our links with different cultural heritages. This particularly involves young people who will take over the mantle of continuing this work of building relationships in the future.”
The very well deserved winners on the night were Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran in the Health & Education category, Mr Thushara Polpitiye in the Legal category, Ms Shazia Seleem in the Entrepreneurship category, Mr Reggie Fernando in Media category, Mr Kumar Sangakkara in the Sports category and Dr Raj Chandran and Ms Charmaine Jayetilleke MBE jointly in the Community Service category.
Dr Sivardeen said: “It was a delight to see members of the British Sri Lankan community rewarded for their contribution to British and Sri Lankan societies. From the woman who helped bring about the first Braille Library in Sri Lanka to the founder of the first trilingual newspaper in the UK, all of our nominees are wonderful ambassadors for the British Sri Lankan community.”
In attendance on the night were entertainer Prince Abdi, Lord Patel – Director of The England & Wales Cricket Board – Mr Kenneth Olisa OBE – Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London – and Her Royal Highness Princess Katarina.
BriSLA is a non-profit organisation, inclusive of all races, religions, schools of thought and traditions, which aims to assist in the relief of poverty, improve health and education, and minimise the carbon footprint.