Sri Lanka

South Asian Academy for Good Governance & GULL Launch event – 24 August 2010


South Asian Academy for Good Governance (SAAGG)
On 14 January, 2010, the SAAGG-GULL affiliation agreement was formally approved in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Our shared vision is to provide universal access to recognized, community-based learning for all Sri Lankans and in so doing, to provide on-going development pathways at professional Bachelor, Master and Doctor levels.

Since then, Dr Chandrarathne Bandara and his team have worked hard to secure the necessary endorsements in support of SAAGG- GULL’s work in Sri Lanka. The affiliation is now endorsed by the Minister of Education, National Government and by:

  1. Hon. Karunarathne Diwulgane, Governor, North Central Province;
  2. Hon. Berty Premalal Dissanayake, Chief Minister, Provincial Council;
  3. Hon. Lanka Kithsiri Caldera, Mayor, Anuradhapura Municipal Council;
  4. Mr A Thalakotunage, Chief Secretary, North Central Province;
  5. Mr H M K Herath, Govt. Agent/District Secretary, Anuradhapura.

Pictured above: Dr Chandrarathne Bandara, Founder and Field Director, Samadeepa Samaja Kendraya, Executive Director, South Asian Academy for Good Governance (SAAGG) & National President, Sri Lanka, Global University for Lifelong Learning.



SAAGG-GULL launch event
SAAGG-GULL’s launch event and first joint annual award ceremony was held on 24 August, 2010 at Youwn Nikethanaya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka’s ancient capital. The event also incorporated Samadeepa Samaja Kendraya (community organization) on its 30thanniversary and the Peoples’ Assembly or Sri Lanka on its 10 thanniversary. Among other key activities, the SAAGG-GULL team for Sri Lanka were appointed:

  1. Chandrarathne Bandara, National President
  2. Charles Jayasinghe, Vice President
  3. Wijesundara Semasinghe, Vice President
  4. J V D Thilakasiri, Vice President
  5. Dharmasena Dissanayake, Ambassador
  6. Chandra Senewirathne, Ambassador
  7. Sithambaram Mohan, Ambassador
  8. Don Sirisena Liyanage, Ambassador
  9. Sugath Pathirana, Ambassador

Pictured above: SAAGG-GULL’s first joint annual award ceremony was attended by 750 people. The Chief Guest was Mr Dharmasena Dissanayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration. A further 40 people participated in the Media Conference at the Nipon Hotel, Colombo on 25 August and ITN featured the event on national television, focusing attention on SAAGG-GULL’s vision for universal access to lifelong learning in Sri Lanka.



National leadership support for SAAGG-GULL

In his Introduction and welcoming address, Dr Bandara outlined some of the messages of support for SAAGG-GULL from Sri Lanka’s senior political leaders including: HE the President, Hon. Prime Minister, Hon. Minister of Education, Hon. Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Speaker of Parliament and the Hon. Chief Minister, North Central Province.

“Today, SAAGG with GULL is introducing action learning to Sri Lanka. Our objective is to strengthen our communities by enabling all Sri Lankans to participate and to develop their skills and professionalism building confidence and self respect. We want to encourage self reliance and to encourage Sri Lankans to build our society based on the principles of good governance –the basis of all the world’s great religions and international law. We are not adding to the body of ‘job seekers’ who become a burden on the government, but equipping ‘job providers’ to make a more effective personal and a collective contribution to strengthening the country’s economy.”

Pictured above: Dr Chandrarathne Bandara, GULL’s National President, Sri Lanka.

Aspirations for SAAGG-GULL: Charles Jayasinghe

“Action Learning fills the gap between the formal education system and the non formal sector. I have high hopes for the SAAGG–GULL partnership in relation to this matter. There are many people who have technical skills but are not educationally qualified. The Government of Sri Lanka has made several attempts to introduce life skills and vocational education but there is still a gap between the available services and the demand for recognized qualifications. As an educationist, I am sure that the SAAGG–GULL partnership will help to fill this gap.”

Left: Dr Jayasinghe at the ceremonial opening of the SAAG-GULL launch event and joint award ceremony. Dr Charles Jayasinghe began his professional career as a science teacher and he advanced to the position of Director of Education. He also served a two year term as Regional President, South Asia, International Council on Social Welfare.



Aspirations for SAAGG-GULL: G V D Thilakasiri

“I am delighted by the SAAGG-GULL partnership because it will assist the ordinary people who have wide knowledge in the field, factory or workplace but until now, limited opportunity to secure recognition for their professionalism and learning. GULL is dedicated to this cause. As a result, our workers, farmers and social activists will be more enthusiastic about skills acquisition and applying their learning to help build a better society. I believe that SAAGG-GULL will enrich our lives and help to bridge the gap between academics and non-academics.”


Above: Ceremonial opening of the SAAG-GULL launch event and joint award ceremony.

Dr G V D Thilakasiri is a qualified administrative officer attached to the Presidential Secretariat in Sri Lanka. As a public servant he has 38 years of experience in the field. He is the President of the Free Trade Union Development Center and Secretary of the Joint Committee of Democratic Trade Unions. He is also the General Secretary of the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka.



Aspirations for SAAGG-GULL: Wijesundara Semasinghe

“Sri Lanka has a well established academic system but there are many people in our villages who are highly skilled in agricultural and indigenous systems who do not have the opportunity to acquire recognized qualifications. SAAGG and GULL are both concerned about disadvantaged groups and together, they will be able to support and confer internationally recognized certificates, diplomas and degrees at genuinely affordable cost.”


Above: Richard Teare and Trade Union representatives during a visit to the Bata Shoe Company, Ratmalana, Sri Lanka.

Dr S M W Semasinghe started his professional career as a science teacher and has held a variety of positions ranging from Lecturer and Principal of Govt. Teacher Training Schools, Commissioner of Local Government, Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Local Government and Health and finally Chief Secretary of the North Central Province.


GULL is a not-for-profit foundation registered in California, USA. GULL is recognized by the Government of Papua New Guinea & endorsed by other Governments, Leaders & Institutions.

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