Night of the Lions 2013

Dec - 16 - 2013
Ravi Ladduwahetty

Accolades for 16 Old Trinitians for outstanding academic and professional brilliance

Trinity College, Kandy, awarded its Prizes to 16 distinguished old boys for outstanding academic and professional brilliance in their respective disciplines at the sixth edition of the “Night of the Lions” held at the College Hall on the night of Saturday November 23rd, 2013.

Left to Right
Brigadier . J.P.A. ( JUPANA) Jayawardena, Prof. Ivor Tittawela, Balaratnam Dilip Kumar, Brigadier Aryaratne (Principal T.C.K), Kavinda Ellepola (President OBA), Mr. Ranil Bibile, Prof. I.K. Perera, and Justice N. Udulagama
Second – Left to Right
Prof. S.J.B.A. Jayasekera, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Ranasinghe, Dr. Dan Seevaratnam, Prasanna W. Jayawardena, Prof. Gishan Dissanayake, Dr. Palitha Abeykoon
Duminda Hulangamuwa, Ranil Prematilake (Secretary OBA), and Susantha Ratnayake, Dr. N.M.N.B. Nillegoda, and Dr. Jayantha Kelegama (Deceased)

Among the winners of the coveted Prizes were four Professors, four Doctors, a Major General, a Brigadier and a Justice of the Supreme Court as well. However, the strident feature was that most of them were benchmarked academics and sportsmen winners of the much coveted Lions in college and known for their all round excellence, where two of them were winners of the much coveted Ryde Gold Medal for the best all round student as well.

Dr. Palitha Abeykoon
The Trinity Prize for Public Heath

He gained admission to the Peradeniya University Medical Faculty when it was founded in 1962, is also the first Sri Lankan to specialize in Medical Education.

His areas of specialization include Medical Education, Human Research Development and Pediatrics. He read for his Masters Digree in Medical Education from the University of Southern California and he was Taro Takemi Fellow of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston USA.

He served as Director of Health Systems Development and led the WHO Regional Programmes. He also assisted the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) to complete a detailed financial and technical quality assessment in the Asia Pacific Region.

He has also participated in regional health programmes in Bangladesh, Nepal and Laos.

Ranil Kavinda Bibile
The Trinity Prize for Health Policy and Health Education 

He is the youngest son of Prof. Senaka Bibile. He commenced his courier as a Management Trainee at Hotel Lanka Oberoi and later rose up to be the General Manager of the hotel.

He has served in leading hotels around the world in Iraq, New Zealand, Canada, Seychelles, Denmark and Switzerland. He is presently the President of the Rural Hospitality Consultants of Vancouver Canada.

Professor Gishan Dissanayeke
The Trinity Prize for Finance and Economics

He is a Financial Economist who now holds the Adams Smith Professorship in Cooperate Governance at the University of Cambridge which is a prestigious Chair, named after the 18th century founder of economics. He is also a Director of Studies at Trinity College Cambridge. He has won several converted awards such as the IDDO, SARNAT prize awarded by the journal of Banking and Finance and the European Finance Association, ESRC Research Fellowship and Academic Fellowship of the Institute of Charted Accountants of England and Wales. He was also awarded the Pilkington Prize for excellence in teaching awarded by the Cambridge University.

He was also a finalist at the ECGI Cooperate Governors Institute Clinical Paper Competition, where the finalists were invited to the Nobel Prize awarding ceremony in Stockholm.

He was the visiting Professor in Beijing and at the Cornell University in the US and was the Co-Chair of the 2009 European Financial Management Association Symposium on Corporate Governance and Control. Gishan is also the first graduate of a Sri Lankan University to hold a Professorial Chair at either Oxford or Cambridge.

He was also awarded the coveted PD Khan Gold Medal for the best Performance in Economics and the Arts Faculty Scholarship for the best performance at the Peradeniya University. He read for his M.Phil. and Doctorate at Trinity College, Cambridge.

While at Trinity he won the much coveted Dr. Andreas Nell Memorial Prize for Ceylon History which is Trinity’s most coveted Prize, the Best Actors Award in Two of the Shakespeare Drama Festivals. He was also awarded the much coveted RYDE Gold Medal for the Best All Round Student in 1982.

Duminda Hulangamuwa
The Trinity Prize for Accountancy

He has been a Partner of Ernst and Young from 1991 at the relative age of 25 and has remained so to date. He has served as the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Central Province. Presently he is the Chairman of the Tax Services of the Company.

Professor Sumithra Jayasekara

He is the incumbent Vice Chancellor of the Wayamba University. He is an avid plant breeder who played a key role in developing and releasing two cowpea varieties, a green gram variety, a capsicum variety, a papaya variety and eight cashew varieties for cultivation. He has published over 90 research papers. He has served as a consultant to several organizations such as FAO, UNDP, JICA, ADB and World Bank projects. He was also awarded the Presidential Award in Research for Agriculture in 2002.

Rtd. Brigadier Japana Jayawardana
The Trinity Prize for Sports

He captained Sri Lanka Army and the Defence Services Rugby teams. He also represented Sri Lanka in against visiting foreign teams Bosons of UK, Combined French Universities, Japan, The London Welsh team and the Far East Defence team. He was also the assistant coach of the Sri Lanka Rugby team, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rugby Foot Ball Union and Chairman of the Rugby Refries Society. Besides being a member of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Disciplinary Committee, the Appeal Board and Chairman of National Selectors.

His contribution towards the game in Sri Lanka includes introducing rugby to the SL Army Women’s Corps, the formation of the Referees Society in the Central Province and the Development of Rugby Coaches. He was also the President of the OBA and a former member of the Board of Governors.

Prasanna Jayawardene
The Trinity Prize for Hospitality Trade

He was Director/General Manager of the Ceylon Hotels Corporation at the age of 32 and has been over 20 boards of directors. He has been providing consultancy services to the largest hotel groups in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. He is also the main architect of the All-Suite Hotel- the Elephant Corridor, which won the award for the best luxury family hotel in the Indian where the award was made in Malaysia.

Dr. Jayantha Kelegama
The Trinity Prize for Public Service

The late Dr. Jayantha Kelegama was the first Professor of Economics at the Vidyalankara University after it was changed from a Pirivena to a university in the late 1950’s. He also pioneered the teachings of Economics in Sinhala. He has also served in international organizations such as UNCTAD, FAO and ESCAP. He was instrumental in establishing the Peoples Bank and the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation. He was also the first Chancellor of the Rajarata University between 1996 and 2002.



Balaratnam Dilip Kumar 
The Trinity Prize for the Exceptional Entrepreneur

He started his business under the name of Kumar Group of Companies which included a car dealership known as the Peninsular Motor Group, one of the largest private auto sale groups in Australia.He has ventured into other areas of business such as residential and commercial properties in Australia, Asia and the Pacific. Presently he is developing a series of fast food restaurants in Tonga.

In addition, he involved in the Micro Finance sector by granting small and medium term loans for the pursuit of educational goals for the supply of Computer equipment as well as startup funds for olive oil and wine production in Dambulla which has a premium market in Australia, China and Japan.

He also is the first Sri Lanka to be President of the Australia Rugby Football Union. He is also a graduate of both the Monash University and the Harvard Business School.

Dr. Nadinath Bandara Nillegoda
The Trinity Prize for Scientific Research on Cancer and Education

He is a graduate in Zoology of the Ohio Wesleyan University USA who won the Alexandra Won Humboldt Fellowship for post doctoral research, Alexandra Won Foundation Bonn Germany, Centre for Molecular Biology Fellowship for Post Doctoral Research University of Heidelberg, George B. Harris award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. He was also a presenter at the European Molecular Biology Organization at its 41st Symposium at Santa Margherita Italy

Senior Professor Indral Kithsiri Perera obtained a Bsc. Special Degree from the University of Colombo and later a Doctorate in Laser Physics from the Hal University in England. He has also been a member of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, The Optical Society of USA. He was also the Vice Chancellor of the Sabaragamuwa University, CEO and Senior Programmes Manager to the National Science and Technology Commission of the Ministry of Science and Technology. He was also Chief Controlling Examiner at the National Examinations Dept. of the GCE Advanced Level in Physics.

Susantha Chaminda Ratnayake
The Trinity Prize for Industry and Commerce

The Trinity Prize for Industry and Commerce was awarded to John Keells Holdings PLC Group Chairman Susantha Chaminda Ratnayake ( in absentia) who was not only the youngest Chairman of that conglomerate at 47 in 2005 but also past Chairman of the umbrella private sector lobby group, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the incumbent Chairman of Ceylon Tobacco Co. PLC. He was also Trinity Cricket coloursman in 1975, Under 17 Rugby skipper and member of the First XV rugby team also in 1975.

Ratnayake with his vast experience as an administrator and a free thinker in the field of Commerce has made a great contribution to the development of trade and business in Sri Lanka. He has been instrumental in the JKH Group venturing into new areas of Business whilst growing all the companies within his group that employs a large work force. He has served as the Chairman on the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and is well known as a leading icon in the Trade circles. Companies he heads account for almost 25% of the market capitalization of the Colombo Stock Exchange. He has served in an Honorary capacity as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board and currently serves as a Director of the national carrier SriLankan Airlines

Major General Niranjan Asoka Ranasinghe (Rtd.) RSP,VSV,USP,ndc,psc,lsc
The Trinity Prize for Defence

He joined the Sri Lanka Army as a Second Lieutenant, in the year 1976, and was commissioned into the Sri Lanka Army Armoured Corps. He has held numerous important appointments during the military career in Command, Staff and Instructor appointments. He has commanded Armoured Troop, an Armoured Squadron, raised and commanded the 5th RECCE regiment, commanded three different Infantry Brigades, and the country’s only Armoured Brigade as well as a division in the field. He has served in all five districts of the Northern Province, and in all three Districts of the Eastern Province during the time of heavy fighting.He has followed military training in India, USA, Malaysia, and Bangladesh.

Like two other Generals who were Trinitians, namely; Lt. Generals Denzil Kobbekaduwa and Parami Kulatunga. Niranjan too was a recipient of thirteen decorations and medals during his military career. There are only a handful of officers who have served in the armed forces of Sri Lanka throughout the entire thirty three year life-span of the LTTE. He happens to be the only Trinitian to have done so.

He has been decorated for Gallantry with the RSP (Rana Sura Padakkama) for distinguished conduct in the face of the enemy. The VSV (Vishishta Seva Vibushanaya) for exceptional, distinguished and loyal service including an unblemished record of moral and military conduct (This is the highest decoration any Senior Officer can be conferred for military service), and the USP (Uttama Seva Padakkama) for valuable service and devotion to duty marked by exemplary conduct, including an unblemished record of service, throughout his military career. After completing nearly 35 years of loyal and distinguished military service, he retired from the Sri Lanka Army on the 15th of December 2010, having been the senior most Major General of the entire Army.

Dan Seevaratnam
The Trinity Prize for Plantation Agriculture

Watawala Plantations PLC. Deputy Chairman/ CEO Dr. Daniel (Dan) Vasanthakumar Seevaratnam, himself Trinity College Senior Prefect and Ryde Gold Medalist in 1970. He was also the proud recipient of the Global CEO Award and the Global Human Resources Excellence Award and life time Gold Award from the Institute of Personnel Management of Sri Lanka.

He has also held the positions of Director of the Sri Lanka Tea Research Board, Director of the Plantations and Human Development Trust, Member of the Board of Governors of the Coconut Research Institute, Member of the Standing Committee of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science of the University Grants Commission and along with an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Wayamba. He was also a former Chairman of the Ceylon Planters Society.

He was also Captain of the Trinity English Debating team and Senior Cadet Seargent and a Member of the Editorial Board of the College magazine

Prof. Ivor Tittawella
The Trinity Prize for Scientific Research in Molecular Biology

He served on the European Commission of Cost Action B22 on drug development of Parasitic Diseases from 2003 to 2007, and COST Action CM 0801 on New Drugs for neglected diseases between 2008 and 2012. He was also an active member of the Swedish Delegation at the COST meetings in Brussels, Basel, Granada, Prague and Glasgow. His contributions and engagement has been appreciated by the Umea University Department of Molecular Biology in Sweden. He also held the post of Assistant Professor of the University of Copenhagen in Sweden and Professor of the Department of Micro-Molecular Biology in Sweden.

Justice Nissanka Udalagama 
The Trinity Prize for Law

He was also Chairman of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into alleged serious violations of Human Rights since 2005 Director of the Judges Institute of Sri Lanka and Director – General of the legal Aid Commission.






Article as appeared on Ceylon Today Newspaper.

Article Written by Ravi Ladduwahetty,

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