Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust formed
Colombo, Sri Lanka: 26 February 2011
A charitable trust has recently been established to promote the vision and ideas of the late Dr Ray Wijewardene, engineer, inventor and specialist in tropical farming.
The Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust will recognise and support innovation in sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, engineering and aeronautics – disciplines and pursuits that were close to his heart for over half a century.
It will also preserve his personal archives, and act as the sole guardian of the Ray Wijewardene brand name, and all that it stands for.
The Trust is planning a number of activities in the public interest. Among them are organising an annual memorial lecture, launching an award scheme to nurture young inventors, and publishing an illustrated biography. A website showcasing the life and accomplishments of Ray Wijewardene is also under development.
The charitable entity, incorporated under the Trust Ordinance, is governed by a Board of Trustees comprising the late scientist’s family members, as well as some of his friends and associates. All of them are serving in an honorary capacity.
“Ray was an extraordinary Sri Lankan who had a clear vision for making Sri Lanka prosperous and self-reliant using our own brains, skills and natural resources,” says Professor Malik Ranasinghe, Chair of the Board. “We who had the rare privilege of working with him now dedicate ourselves to continuing the pursuit of excellence, innovation and spirit of inquiry that characterised Ray’s entire life.”
The Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust was conceived in response to the many tributes and appreciations that were published after his demise on in August 2010. These were written spontaneously by people from all walks of life, and from around the world – indicating the broad range of issues, sectors and networks of this multi-faceted man.
“Our father was a larger-than-life personality who left his mark in many and diverse areas of endeavour, from science and agriculture to higher education and sports. He worked with, and helped, so many people during his illustrious life. We want to ensure that his ideas are not diluted, and his name shall be used solely for projects authorized by the Trust,” says Anoma Wijewardene, the eldest daughter and Trustee.
The Board of Trustees comprises: Professor Malik Ranasinghe, Vice Chancellor, University of Moratuwa (Chair); Anoma Wijewardene, daughter; Roshini Gooneratne, daughter; Mandy Mudannayake, daughter; Sunethra Bandaranaike, Chairperson, Sunera Foundation; President’s Counsel Nihal Jayamanne; P G Joseph, renewable energy specialist; Nalaka Gunawardene, science writer; Vijaya Malalasekera, company chairman and director; and Lakshman Nugawala, agriculturist.
The charitable Trust will be seeking donations and corporate sponsorships to cover the cost of its activities in the public interest. It is also exploring mutually beneficial partnerships with relevant academic and professional bodies.
The Trust may be contacted through email address trust[at]raywijewardene.net, or at No 133, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka.