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CA Sri Lanka inducts three eminent chartered accountants to Hall of Fame 2015

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently paid tribute to three distinguished chartered accountants by inducting them to the Hall of Fame in recognition of their significant contribution made towards the development of the accounting profession, the business world and society.

CA Sri Lanka bestowed the Hall of Fame honour for the year 2015 to chartered accountants Mr. Bentotage Robert Lakshman Fernando, Mr. Fred H. Puvimanasinghe and Prof. M. W. Wickramarachchi at a ceremony held recently at the BMICH, Colombo.

Hall of Fame Inductee, Mr. Fernando, qualified and obtained his membership from CA Sri Lanka in 1971, and held positions including Company Accountant, Group Cost Accountant and Chief Accountant/Administration Manager of the heavy industrial unit at Brown & Company.

In March 1977, Mr. Fernando, more commonly known as ‘BRL’ or ‘Lucky’ joined Chemical Industries (Colombo) Ltd, as a Senior Accountant, and later went onto serve on the Board of Directors. In 1987 he was appointed as Managing Director and in 1995 he went on to become the Chairman / CEO of the company and until his retirement 2013.

Mr. Fernando served on the CA Sri Lanka Council in 1979/80 and contributed to a number of initiatives undertaken by the Institute.  His expertise was utilized by the Government when he was appointed as Chairman of the agricultural cluster of the National Council for Economic Development, a position he held for over a decade.

He also played a significant role in the public sector, having held office as a Director of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, State Mortgage & Investment Bank, Employees Trust Fund, Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA), and the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM). He was also Commissioner of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, a member of the Presidential Taxation Commission in 2009 to review agricultural research, and was the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Commercial Bank of Ceylon.

The second recipient of the Hall of Fame honour for 2015, Mr. Puvimanasinghe kicked off his professional journey by serving his four year period of articles at Ford, Rhodes, Thornton & Co, the predecessor to KPMG. While serving there as an Audit Manager, he was offered the position as Financial Controller at Hayleys and worked directly under the company’s founder Mr. George Hayley.

In February 1972, he set up his own Practice Firm of Chartered Accountants and built a successful practice which was acquired by the international firm of chartered accountants, BDO Partners and was re-constituted as the BDO Partners – City Office.

As a founder member of CA Ceylon, his efforts were rewarded with an award by the President of Sri Lanka, and also received an award for "Excellence" in Business Management from the then Prime Minister.

Mr. Puvimanasinghe served as a Member of CA Sri Lanka's Council for over six years,
and served in almost all Committees of CA Sri Lanka, including Taxation, Auditing Standards, Ethics, Urgent Issues Task Force, Examinations and Tax for over five decades. He was also Chairman of the "Best Accounts Competition" Committee and also assisted in developing CA Sri Lanka’s ‘Code of Professional Ethics.’ Mr.  Puvimanasinghe also served as a CA Sri Lanka lecturer for nearly Thirty Five years, and as an Examiner for 15 years.

He represented CA Sri Lanka at various overseas meetings including as a delegate at the first meeting of CAPA in New Delhi, and was nominated by Council as a Delegate to the World Congress of Accountants in Germany.

He was appointed by the President of Sri Lanka to the then Public Services Commission and was appointed by the Government to the Hospital Committee for the Colombo Group of Hospitals. Mr.  Puvimanasinghe was instrumental in setting up the first international school in Sri Lanka ‘the Colombo International School’ in Colombo 7, and served as the first Chairman of its Board of Directors.

The third recipient of the Hall of Fame honour, Prof. M. W. Wickramarachchi, is known as a pioneer and path breaker in academic accounting education in Sri Lanka.

Prof. Wickramarachchi’s contribution to the profession of accounting has been immense, and served in many committees of CA Sri Lanka, including four years as a member of the council. He also developed a link between the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, CA Sri Lanka and big practicing firms to provide best accounting education for young, hardworking and intelligent undergraduates.

He obtained his first degree, BA (Hons.) in Economics from the Vidyodaya University of Sri Lanka, and Master of Economics degree in the field of Accounting and Financial Management from the University of New England in Australia. He did research studies leading to PhD in an accounting topic at the Department of Commerce of DBAM, University in India, and in 2009, the University of Sri Jayewardenepura awarded him Doctor of Science (honoris causa) and in 2011 he was awarded the Doctor of Science (honoris causa) degree by the University of Sabaragamuwa.

Prof. Wickramarachchi was also involved in revising the educational curricula of CA Sri Lanka and the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka, and played a significant role in obtaining the degree awarding status for CA Sri Lanka to offer the BSc (Applied Accounting) degree.

Prof. Wickramarachchi retired from university service as a professor in September 2008, but continues to serve in the Department of Accounting at advisory capacity, and functions as a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce and Board of External Examinations in Management of University of Sri Jayewardenepura and in the Board of Studies of the CA Sri Lanka School of Accounting and Business.

Captions -

Mr. Bentotage Robert Lakshman Fernando being inducted to CA Sri Lanka Hall of Fame by Mr. Arjuna Herath, President – CA Sri Lanka. Secretary/CEO CA Sri Lanka Mr. Aruna Alwis and Past President CA Sri Lanka Mr. Reyaz Mihular also joined the presentation.

Mr. Fred H. Puvimanasinghe being inducted to CA Sri Lanka Hall of Fame by Mr. Arjuna Herath, President – CA Sri Lanka. Secretary/CEO CA Sri Lanka Mr. Aruna Alwis and Past President CA Sri Lanka Mr. Reyaz Mihular also joined the presentation.

Prof. M. W. Wickramarachchi being inducted to CA Sri Lanka Hall of Fame by Mr. Arjuna Herath, President – CA Sri Lanka. Secretary/CEO CA Sri Lanka Mr. Aruna Alwis and Past President CA Sri Lanka Mr. Reyaz Mihular also joined the presentation.