Dr. H. N. S. Karunatilake commemorative lecture

A function to commemorate the services rendered by late Dr. H. N. S. Karunatilake, eminent economist, scholar and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (1988-1992) who passed away on 24th January 2010 will be held at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, No. 100, Independence Avenue, Colombo 7 at 4.00 p.m. on Saturday, 12th March 2011. The lecture will be delivered by eminent scholar Venerable Thirikunamale Ananda Thero.

Dr. Karunatilake had a vision as to how the economic future of the country should be directed. This enabled him to introduce various measures to guide the Central Bank and the banking and financial system in order for these institutions to make a positive contribution to the country’s economy.

Debt Recovery Laws passed in Parliament in 1990 and the take over of the administration of the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) were among his achievements in bringing stability to the banking sector. He also encouraged the domestic private banks and the Regional Rural Development Banks to introduce novel measures to contribute towards the upliftment of economic life of the rural sector. He was also the first Chairman of the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka (IBSL) which continues to be the leading academy for banking education in Sri Lanka.

Dr. Karunatilake was a prolific writer and encouraged others to write on economics and related subjects. His book titled "Fifty Years of Central Banking in Sri Lanka 1950-2000" published in the year 2000 during his retirement remains to be one of the most comprehensive documents on the Central Bank to date. He also contributed to university education by being a lecturer at the Vidyodaya University and University of Colombo where he pioneered in teaching economics in Sinhala medium and his translation of the English text book titled "Modern Banking" by R. S. Sayers was one of the first Sinhala translations of a text book on Economics.

He was also a model employer while being a strict disciplinarian and administrator. He introduced various measures for the welfare of the staff of the Central Bank such as the establishment of holiday homes. As a precaution against terrorist attacks, he caused the installation of two strong steel barriers in front of the Bank building which saved the lives and limbs of most of the staff on that fateful day a in January 1996 when the terrorist bomb blast took place.

A publication titled "Life and Times of Dr. H. N. S. Karunatilake" will also be released to mark the occasion. Those who are interested in attending this lecture are kindly requested to inform organizers by calling the following telephone numbers, 011-2477013 – Champa, 011-2565614 – Swineetha, 011-2827885, 071-8123948 – Kusuma. 3

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