Dilmah Founder bestowed with National Honours | Daily News


Dilmah Founder bestowed with National Honours

Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando, receives the “Deshamanya” title from President Maithripala Sirisena
Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando, receives the “Deshamanya” title from President Maithripala Sirisena

Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando, was bestowed with the “Deshamanya” title at the recent National Honours Ceremony presided by President Maithripala Sirisena.

The ‘Deshamanya’ (Pride of the Nation) title is one of Sri Lanka’s top 2 National Honours, awarded for exceptional and highly meritorious services to the country.

While Merrill Fernando was honoured for his commitment and passion for tea, his services encompass the wider community.

In 2007, he extended the Organisation’s humanitarian assistance model to embrace environmental conservation with the formation of Dilmah Conservation, to deliver positive environmental and cultural intervention.

His philosophy has delivered strong outcomes through entrepreneurship development amongst survivors of the Tsunami, war widows, empowerment of women, support for children with Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism and supporting ancient tribes in Sri Lanka to adapt to the 21st Century, fostering innovation as a means of addressing developmental challenges.

These are among a host of projects that are motivated by sharing with those that are less privileged, the blessings of success that Dilmah has received.

Merrill was also an ‘Oslo Business for Peace Honouree’ in 2015, which was conferred by the panel of Nobel Laureates that evaluate ‘business worthiness’ amongst businessmen and women, globally. In 2018, he was felicitated by the International Chamber of Commerce as one of the three Most Admired Leaders of Sri Lanka.

This year, Merrill would be honoured in November by New Zealand’s Massey University – world renowned for its Food, Science & Agricultural capability – with an honorary doctorate.

It would be presented in the presence of former Governor General of New Zealand, Sir Satyanand.

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