Photography: Sanka Sammana, Menaka Aravinda, Dinah Rambukange of BT Options and Sudath de Silva, Chandana Perera of the Presidential Media Uni
The Business Today Top 10 awards ceremony which recognised the top ten companies in Sri Lanka for the year 2006 – 2007 was held at Temple Trees. This event was held under the patronage of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka.
The ceremony was honoured by the Venerable Galaboda Gnanissara Thero, chief incumbent of the Gangaramaya temple, Ministers, members of the diplomatic community, foreign dignitaries and leaders of the public and private sectors.
Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President, opened the ceremony by welcoming those present. He congratulated the winners and said that he was aware of the selection process being open and im-partial. Weeratunga stated that President Rajapaksa has been a part of the Business Today Top 10 since he was Prime Minister.
Welcome address by Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President
Most Venerable Galaboda Gnanissara Thero, Chief incumbent of the Gangaramaya temple in Co-lombo, Your Excellency, honorable Ministers, Excellencies, winners of the Business Today Top 10 awards and friends. I am greatly privileged to welcome you all to the Temple Trees for the most pres-tigious business event of the year, the Business Today Top 10 awards.
His Excellency the President, has been associated with this prestigious event for many years and I recollect that the first such occasion was when he was the Prime Minister in 2005.
He had the opportunity to be with you on the same day that he filed his nominations to contest the Presidential elections, which of course he went on to win. I want to convey to all of you at this time that he believes you all contributed towards his victory.
Since his assumption of office, the President has very much been a part of the Business Today Top 10 and this remains true last year at the Presidential Secretariat and today at Temple Trees.
Without taking much time, I want to congratulate all the winners because I understand that the selection of the winners is done very impartially and is a very competitive and open process.
We have with us the Venerable Galaboda Gnanissara Thero who has been an ardent fan and advocate of good business practices. He has been very helpful in ensuring that the private sectors contribute to the well being of the nation.
Let me say thank you to you all for being here.
Speech of Venerable Galaboda Gnanissara Thero
I would like to thank Mr Mathi K Parthipan and his staff for continually organising this grand event. The President and the business community including the public are tremendously happy about this occasion, which gives such a big boost to the business world.
Recently the President has laid out the foundation to build a swimming pool and playing fields and to provide facilities for students of Sri Jayawardenepura University. I would like to request the business community to select a university that they can take care of, in terms of educational resources and facilitate those young people so they have a chance to progress. Otherwise they will develop into society misfits. We have to eradicate poverty, but for that we have to work together and join efforts. But to fulfil this, we experienced barriers in the past that’s also not to be forgotten.
One day I had suggested to the business community to donate some form of transport to students who live in rural areas like Hambantota, to ease their travel problems from home to school. Today some of the business representatives have done a symbolic donation to the President. I think in the future, other business people will help with this initiative. I now ask you to support the President in his campaign to further develop the country. And I believe that President Rajapaksa is also supportive of the business community.