Community development in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, 14-21 August, 2012


Visit to the Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management
Colombo, 16 August 12

Mr Chandra Mohotti, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM), facilitated Richard Teare’s visit to the Institute’s Colombo facility on Thursday 16 August and discussions about widening access to and participation in hotel and tourism training.

The Institute is especially keen to recruit more participants for its centres in Sri Lanka’s rural areas in response to the Government’s post-war effort to stimulate in-bound tourism.


(Above left) Mr Chandra Mohotti (second from right) Chairman, SLITHM and Senior Vice President, Galle Face Hotel Management Co. Ltd., together with Institute colleagues.

(Above right) Mr Senake Wijewardene, Director General, Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management, Colombo with some of the Institute’s students.




Annual award ceremony 2012
Anuradhapura, 18 August 12

On Saturday 18 August the South Asian Academy for Good Governance (SAAGG) hosted its annual award ceremony in conjunction with the community organization Samadeepa Samaja kendraya, the Peoples’ Assembly of Sri Lanka and the Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL).

This large and colourful event recognizes the extraordinary efforts of community workers and leaders with the appropriate awards: The honorary title of ‘Ambassador for Justice’ made by Samadeepa; Proficiency proved honorary titles by SAAGG and action learning professional degrees awarded by GULL.


(Above left) The ceremonial procession forms.

(Above right) Buddhist monk the Venerable Professor Karagaswewe Wimalananda Nayaka Thero, former Vice Chancellor, Buddhist University, Anuradhapura, Spiritual Adviser, SAAGG and Pro Chancellor for Sri Lanka, GULL.

The SAAGG-GULL relationship began in January, 2010 and is founded on a mutual resolve to facilitate universal access to lifelong learning using action learning methodology. In particular, we aim to provide opportunities for the low paid, marginalized groups and economically, the poorest. SAAGG’s role as a respected community-based organization has enabled us to secure an array of endorsements from Government ministers and civic leaders. For details, please see the ‘Recognition’ section at the GULL website.


(Above left, left to right) Dr Charles Jayasinghe, Director, SAAGG, Chief Adviser, Samadeepa; Dr Chandra Bandara (centre), Executive Director, SAAGG, Founder, Samadeepa and Mayor H P Somadasa, Municipal Council of Anuradhapura.

(Above right) As a multi-faith event, the region’s religious leaders are invited to attend and the event procession is headed by a tabernacle containing the holy book of each religious group.

SAAGG used GULL’s outcomes mapping method to align its proficiency proved awards and titles with GULL’s professional degree pathways. This approach draws on local knowledge, traditions and approaches to action learning so as to enable participants to advance both personally and professionally. SAAGG’s objective is to help develop skilled ‘job providers’ (not qualified ‘job seekers’) – a significant initiative given the fact that there are high levels of unemployment and low average household incomes in the rural areas.


(Above left) The annual ceremony incorporates prayer and musical performance. Notice the flag that carries Buddhist, Christian and Muslim symbols among others.

(Above right) Representatives of the Peoples’ Assembly of Sri Lanka including Dr G V D Thilakasiri (Tilak) (third from left) GULL’s National President, Sri Lanka. Tilak is also currently serving as Deputy Chairman of the Assembly.

SAAGG has built a network of community organizations that are embracing SAAGG- GULL’s practical, holistic approach to lifelong learning. During the past two years, some of Sri Lanka’s most experienced and respected community leaders have experienced action learning for themselves by completing GULL’s professional doctorate. These leaders – some of whom are in their 60s and 70s – are now champions of lifelong learning. In the next phase, SAAGG will expand its work in partnership with the Peoples’ Assembly of Sri Lanka, the Action Group for Social Development, the Institute of Social Developers, the Centre for Inter Religious Peace Culture, Samadeepa and the SAAGG Alumni Association.


(Above left) GULL’s award recipients in 2012 are leaders of community NGOs and civil service organizations.

(Above right) SAAGG-GULL’s professional Master and Doctor degree recipients pictured with Richard Teare (centre).




Samadana, Kandy & World Vision Lanka
19 & 20 August 2012

As an example of the firm foundations that have been established, GULL graduate Dr Muzzammil Cader, National Co-ordinator of Samadana – a non-violent people’s movement – is facilitating the participation of his team in SAAGG-GULL action learning.

GULL is collaborating internationally with World Vision’s Education & Life Skills team and representatives of World Vision Lanka (WVL) met Chandra Bandara and Richard Teare on 20 August to discuss areas for collaboration.


(Above left) Some of Samadana’s network leaders pictured at a briefing in Kandy on Sunday 19 August with Dr Muhammed Muzzammil Cader, Samadana’s National Co-ordinator (front row, left) and Richard Teare (centre).

(Above right, left to right) at WVL: Jonathan Johnson (Group Director, Program Quality); Suresh Bartlett (National Director); Jude Priyantha Perera (Zonal Director Operations); Richard Teare (GULL) Chandra Bandara (SAAGG) and Erin Jesudasan (Manager, Capacity Building).


GULL is a non-profit public benefit corporation registered in California, USA. GULL’s mandate to confer professional awards is based on a statement of recognition offered in perpetuity and signed by the Head of State and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea on 10 April 2007. GULL is also endorsed by other Governments, Leaders and Institutions.

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