Inauguration ceremony marks grand opening of Architect 2014


(L–R): Archt. Russel Dandeniya – Hony. Treasurer of SLIA, Archt. Dr. Roland Silva – Past President of SLIA (Special guest), Archt. Mihindu Keerthiratne – Past President of SLIA (Special honours – Gold medal), Archt. Dorji Yanki – Chairperson of SAARCH, Dr. Chris Nonis – High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in UK (Guest of Honour), Archt. Harsha Fernando – Senior Vice President of SLIA, Archt. Prof. Chitra Weddikkara – President of SLIA, President Mahinda Rajapaksa (Chief Guest), Archt. Ranjan Nadesapillai – Immediate Past President of SLIA, Archt. Prof. Alan Pert (Key Note Speaker), Archt. Rukshan Widyalankara – President of CAA, Archt. D.H. Wijewardene – Vice President of SLIA, Archt. Suranjth De Silva (Special Honours – Honorary Fellow), Archt. Dr. Locana Gunaratna – Past President of SLIA (Special guest) and Archt. Veranjan Kurukulasuriya – Hony. Secretary of SLIA.

The Inauguration Ceremony of the ‘Architect 2014’, the 32nd Annual Session  of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) took place on the February 19, at the Main Assembly Hall of the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH). The red letter day was made doubly significant as President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the occasion as the Chief Guest with other distinguished guests including ministers, Members of the Parliament, government officials, eminent speakers of the national conference, members of SLIA, allied professionals and other invitees. The official theme of Architect 2014, is "Architecture Envisioning Futures".

Delivering the welcome address Archt. Prof Chitra Weddikkara, President of SLIA while thanking the President of the land for bringing peace to the island which had suffered through civil strife made the following comment on the current construction boom, "many know that the yardstick or the barometer of any economy is the construction industry (how many tower cranes are in the horizon?)".

The gathering was also addressed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Dr. Chris Nonis, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in UK and Archt. Prof. Alan Pert from Australia delivered the keynote address.

The highlights of the event were Past President Archt. Mihindu Kirthiratne being felicitated for his extensive services to the profession by being conferred with the Gold Medal and Archt Suranjith de Silva inducted as an Honorary Fellow Member. The presentation of scrolls to the newly elected members and the presentation of awards of excellence in the field of architecture to members of SLIA were also conducted during the ceremony. The awards recognized exceptional design abilities, use of colour and honoured outstanding design in various categories of construction. In addition, product awards were presented to the best locally manufactured items. This is an incentive to local entrepreneurs to improve quality as well as to innovate new locally manufactured products. 

Additionally awards were made for the best designed newspaper supplement that had been published to mark the Inauguration in Sinhala, Tamil and English. The unique factor of this event is that the SLIA awards contribute to the improvement of all stakeholders of the construction industry and also the event.  

Archt. Harsha Fernando, Senior Vice President of SLIA made the concluding remarks in his vote of thanks while the Members’ Works and Trade Exhibition was ceremonially declared open soon after and will conclude on February 23.

The highlights of the Annual Sessions of 2014 would be the Members’ Works and Trade Exhibition, the National Conference on Architecture, the Annual General Meeting and the grand finale—the Fellowship Nite.

Architect 2014 is organized by SLIA in partnership with strategic sponsor Phoenix FlowGuard, principal sponsor Alumex (Pvt) Ltd, associate sponsors Ranjanas Ceramic, True Value Products (Pvt) Ltd and Orel Corporation and event sponsors ICC, Asian Paints, Multilac, Lankem Robbialac, Delmege Forsyth, Foster and Reed and Assalaarachchi Construction while the main media sponsors for the occasion are ITN and Lakhanda.

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