Ex-EDB Employees honoured | Daily News


Ex-EDB Employees honoured

Vignettes of the felicitation
Vignettes of the felicitation

The establishment of Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB), in 1979 was a fulfillment of a national need for an institutional framework for the development and promotion of exports with the introduction of a market-oriented economy by the Government in the mid nineteen seventies.

The main goal was to develop products and services from Sri Lanka to present to the giant world market transferring from import substitution economy to an export oriented economy which was a huge challenge as it needed removal of barrier for export trade, development of new export products, adding value to existing exports, expansion of existing markets, penetration into new markets. At the 5th AGM of Ex-EDB Employees’ Sansadaya where all retired and left, met up with the present staff at the EDB Auditorium, the four top pillars who were also members of Sansadaya were honoured by the gesture of handing over of plaques to complement their dedicated steadfast commitments rendered towards the Sri Lanka’s apex organisation (EDB).

Late Lalith Athulathmudali, who honoured by entrusting the steering wheel of this immaculate ship to commence its’ journey to late Victor Santiapillai, appointing him as the first Chairman.

At the presentation of Export Development Board Bill in Parliament in 1979, as recorded in the Hansard replying to a question, he had said, “Chairman is Victor Santiapillai, the Executive Director of UNCTAD – GATT ITC with world wide experience on the subject. I thought he was the best man to be influenced for his contribution to the benefit of the Motherland”.

The plaque was taken over by representative of his son Manik Santiapillai on behalf of the demised Victor Santiapillai.

The prestigious second plaque was honoured to S. Kulatunga seasoned administrator from the SLAS who held hands on the steering wheel of the EDB ship in 1979 with late Santiapillai being the 1st Director General who drafted the Export Promotion Bill, continued until his retirement while being the Additional Secretary of the Ministry.

They made a great pair and the EDB soon became a most respected and viable organisation fulfilling the aspirations of the founder, Minister Athulathmudali. He later became a Consultant of ITC (UNCTAD/WTO). The third plaque was honoured to Dr. K.U. Kamalgoda being the third Director General from SLAS, joining the EDB in 1990 till 1994.

Some of the key events organized during his period at the EDB was Sri Lanka Expo 1994, setting up of the Sri Lanka World Trade Centre in Fort, where our Sri Lankan products were eyed easily by importers. Later he became Chairmen and Managing Director of several Govt organisations and presently he is the President and Governor of Asia Marketing Federation.

The fourth plaque was honoured to Lalith Hettiarachchi being the fourth Director General from SLAS joining the EDB in mid 1990s.

He held leading positions in several public sector organisation. He was the Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi-UAE, the Chairman of Sri Lanka Tea Board, Secretary Ministry of Fisheries and today he holds the position of Director at Nawaloka Construction Co. (Pvt) Ltd.

This article is compiled by Malathi Perera

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