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CA Sri Lanka pays tribute to four eminent chartered accountants with Lifetime Achievement Award and Hall of Fame Induction

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently paid a glowing tribute to four eminent Chartered Accountants, in appreciation of their outstanding contribution to uplift the accounting profession, public, private sectors, and society.

At a ceremony held at Waters Edge, Battaramulla, Mr. Spencer Esmond Satarasinghe, the only surviving member of the Institutes’ first Council was decorated with the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013 for his outstanding professionalism and his dedication to the profession and the institute.

The Institute also honoured Mr. Rajan Asirwatham, Mr. Parakrama Devasiri Rodrigo and Prof. Lakshman Ravendra Watawala by inducting them to the CA Sri Lanka Hall of Fame in recognition of their services to the profession and the public in an illustrious career spanning decades covering the private and public sectors in the country.

Mr. Satarasinghe was a founder member of CA Sri Lanka and was the first Chairman of the Taxation Committee of the Institute. He was also the first Sri Lankan to be elevated to the position of Chairman/Managing Director of a Sri Lankan Company of a Multinational Group - Brooke Bond.

Mr. Satarasinghe was a member of the Income Tax Board of Review, Sri Lanka Standards Institution, and Sri Lanka Tea Board. He was also a Director of Bank of Ceylon, Insurance Corporation of Sri Lanka and Development Finance Corporation.  He was also a Consultant to the Peoples Merchant Bank, Financial Advisor to the Ministry of Plantation Industries, Chairman of the Agricultural and Industrial Corporation of Ceylon, Janatha Estates Development Board, and Council for Information Technology and Vice Chairman of the Employers Federation.

Additionally he was the Peoples’ Bank representative on the Central Bank Committee of Management to investigate Mercantile Credit Ltd.

Among the three chartered accountants inducted to the CA Sri Lanka Hall of Fame, Mr. Asirwatham served as the Senior Partner of KPMG till April 2008 in a career spanning over 40 years.  He contributed immensely towards the growth and further strengthening of the firm.  He also contributed to the development of the institute through his capacity as Chairman of the Taxation Committee of the institute, where he pioneered several initiatives for the benefit of the profession.

Mr. Asirwatham served the State as Chairman Bank of Ceylon and also Chairman Public Enterprises Reforms Commission (PERC). He was also appointed to the Presidential Commission on Taxation in 2009.

Mr. Rodrigo, a fellow member of CA Sri Lanka, served in various capacities of the institute including Chairman of the Audit Faculty, co-chairman of the Sri Lanka Auditing Standards Committee and the Accounting Standards Committee and co-chairman of the Urgent Issues Task Force.

Having commenced his professional career at the Tea Research Institute, he joined PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dar Es Salaam, East Africa in 1974 and its London office in 1980. On his return to Sri Lanka in 1981 he continued his involvement with PricewaterhouseCoopers by becoming a founder partner of its new firm.  He retired from PwC in 2006 and has since served on the boards of John Keells Holdings, Ceylon Tobacco Co., Holcim, Chevron Lubricants, Softlogic Holdings and Cargills Bank as a non-executive director.

He was elected as Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2004 and in recognition of his expertise in finance and commerce, the President appointed him as a member of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in 2003.

Prof. Watawala served the Council of CA Sri Lanka for 20 years, and was the youngest President of the Institute.

He was the founder signatory of the South Asian Federation of Accountants formed in 1984 and its president in 1986. Prof. Watawala was the founder president and steered the Association of Accounting Technicians of Sri Lanka for more than a decade.  Subsequently, he founded the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka of which he currently serves as Founder President.

He served as the Chairman of the Board of Investment and was the brainchild behind the implementation of the 200 Garment Factory programme. He was also the Chairman of Peoples Bank, Peoples’ Merchant Bank, Pan Asia Bank, and Deputy Chairman of Singapore Informatics and was an Advisor to the Ministry of Finance.