Message from the Founder

“I must change for my country to change”

– Dr Janaki Kuruppu

Founder, Chairperson

When I was well into the rat race of the private sector, I had the realization to do something beyond myself and my family, for the benefit of my motherland. With this in mind, I joined the Public Sector in January 2008, at a time when the country was in the grip of war and crises.  On the one hand, within the country we were facing the gruesome realities of terrorism, and on the other, a global financial crisis, a food crisis and an oil crisis, added to the gloom and doom. There was an acute lack of positive thinking and whoever had the means, were looking for ways to leave the country and ‘abandon ship’ so to speak. With our future so bleak, I couldn’t help but wonder about the prospects of our country, and if we would ever have the will to overcome. I felt deeply, the need to do something to make Sri Lankans believe in Sri Lanka and themselves, that together we could seek the light at the end of the tunnel.  This is what inspired me to start the movement our very own Mother ஸ்ரீ ලංකා!

Needless to say, it was an uphill task, as I had to face negativity and sheer indifference. Yet, I was determined.  Although I had the passion and skills to do this, of deep pockets I had none, and I could not do it alone.  So I found generous philanthropists and equal minded and passionate people to lend a hand.  Then as if by design, within only one year into the program, our motherland’s fortunes changed as the 30 year war ended and peace dawned in the country. We have been able to take our message to over 3 million children, youth and adults in our family of 20 million people. We are proud to say that we were able to achieve this with a small team, with total funding from sponsors and without any significant infrastructure of our own. I earnestly believe this level of success was achieved as it came from deep within our hearts.

Mother Sri Lanka is a journey of love.  The journey which initially focused on positive thinking about the country during the war, expanded to reconciliation and mending hearts and minds after the war.  In 2016, we entered into a new phase with expanded scope into uplifting the lives of the not so privileged among us. We will continue the movement as long as there are those who believe in our cause.

Our Board of Trustees & Executive Team

  • Dr. Janaki Kuruppu – Chairperson
  • Mr. Thushantha Karunanayake – Trustee
  • Dr. Samitha Hettige – Trustee
  • Mr. Piyadasa Marambage – Trustee
  • Mr. W.A. Wijethunge – Trustee
  • Prof. Ananda Jayawardena
  • Prof. W.D. Lakshman
  • Dr. Hiranthi Wijemanne
  • Mr. Upul Daranagama
  • Mr. Eastman Narangoda
  • Ms. Chandrika Kannangara
  • Mr. Mohideen Saheed
  • Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe
  • Mr. S. Karunakaran
  • Ms. Shiromi Masakorala
  • Ms. Surangi Fernando
  • Ms. Jayantha Bodhihanda
  • Ms. Renuka Rodrigo
  • Mr. Riaz Saban
  • Ms. Shameena Pallie
  • Ms. Samantha DeSilva
  • Mr. Sunimal Opatha

 

ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Dr. JANAKI KURUPPU

 

Dr. Janaki Kuruppu is the Founder/ Settler of the Mother Sri Lanka Trust and the current Chairperson of Mother Lanka Foundation.   Her sheer determination and resolve towards making a difference even in a small way, along with the support of an equally passionate team has helped this movement to become what it is today.  In 2016, she decided to use her 26 years of experience in the corporate world and the government, to expand and build a sustainable non-profit foundation that will be a helping hand to the not so privileged citizens of her motherland.

Starting her career as an entrepreneur, Dr. Kuruppu was single handedly responsible for bringing Nielsen to Sri Lanka and was instrumental, as its first CEO/Managing Director, in transforming it to become the largest Market Research Company at the time.  Having achieved what she set out to do, she next served the Cargills Group as the Group Director-Strategic Planning and Business Development.

After an illustrious career spanning over 19 years in the private sector, she joined the public sector in an advisory capacity.  Her tenure of 7 years in the Public Service is marked with many milestones. Namely, she has the distinct honour of being the first Chairperson of the Regional Development Bank which she set up after merging 6 provincial level banks and the first female Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tea Board.  Dr. Kuruppu was also an Advisor to the cabinet Sub-Committee for Food Security and Cost of Living Management, Director of the Presidential Secretariat, Co-operative Wholesale Establishment, Commercial Bank and Colombo Dockyard Limited.

Adding to the many accolades to her name, she is also the recipient of the All American Scholar Award – 1993, United States Achievement Academy Award – 1993, Most Outstanding Sri Lankan Award – 2010, The Global Commerce Excellence Award – 2011, Shramabhimani Award – 2012, Power Woman 2013 and the World Woman Leadership Award – 2014. Dr. Kuruppu is also the only Asian to be appointed to the honorary position of the Steering Committee of AgriFin, a joint project of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank for agriculture financing.

Dr. Kuruppu holds a PhD from the University of Colombo, an M.A. in Statistics and a B.Sc in Mathematics from the University of Missouri, USA.  At present, while spearheading the charity work of the Mother Sri Lanka Trust, she runs her own business ventures and also works as a freelance business strategy and development consultant while serving as a member of many corporate boards.

Prof. ANANDA JAYAWARDANE

Vice Chancellor at University of Moratuwa

Prof. Ananda Jayawardane is a Senior Professor in Civil Engineering, is currently the Vice Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer, International Professional Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka. He is the immediate past NDB Bank Endowed Professor in Entrepreneurship at the University of Moratuwa, immediate past Dean Faculty of Engineering and a Past President of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka. He is a Fellow of Institution of Project Managers Sri Lanka, a fellow of National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka, a member of Board of Management of Miloda Institute of Financial Studies, Sir Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies, Open University of Sri Lanka and Sierra Cables and has been in the boards of several other institutes and organizations. He is a member of the Lions Club.

Mr.THUSHANTHA KARUNANAYAKE

Director at PCL Solutions Pvt Ltd

Thushantha is a Fellow Certified Professional Marketer from the Asia Marketing Federation, a trained Six Sigma Green belt from 3M USA  and holds a MBA from University of Peradeniya.

He is a lecturer in Marketing, a personal trainer and a member of the Packaging Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Industry & Commerce and serves as the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Institute of PackagingThushantha has been a practicing marketer for last 22 years and experienced over a decade being in top Management with a strong background in Pharmaceutical, Health Care, FMCG, Automotive & Corporate Marketing with exposure working for both Local and Multinational organizations.He has worked for Hemas Pharmaceuticals and Multinationals such as Schering AG Germany ,3M USA and headed the local operation of 3M Lanka as Group Manager before moving to MJF Group or better known as “Dilmah “ to head a subsidiary company PCL Solutions which is engaged in Automotive, Health care , Post Harvest Technology and Green technology.

He has the rare honour of being the only person to have been involved in all three major advertising awards in Sri Lanka as Chairman SLIM AWARDS 2004 ,Head of Moderators at The Chillies 2006  and  Chairman of Blueprint committee of the first ever Sri Lankan EFFIES 2008.

He has been the President of Lions Club of Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, International District 306C – and rose to be the Region Coordinator for District 306C1 of Lions International and has won many awards for best achievements in serving the community by Lions International.

Dr. SAMITHA HETTIGE

General Manager of Jinasena Industrial Parks (Pvt) Ltd

Dr. Samitha Hettige, PhD is associated with MSL since May, 2009. He is a Director and the General Manager of Jinasena Industrial Parks (Pvt.) Ltd established in 1905. An alumnus of Royal College, Colombo, University of Colombo and the British Computer Society, he was a JFK fellow at Kennedy School, Harvard and a DFID fellow at Oxford University. He focused his doctoral studies on preventing organizational conflict and his service exposure spans Indonesia, Timor Leste, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Cambodia focusing on Conflict Management with the United Nations Organization and the International Federation of Red Cross.