MS.MANIQUE MENDIS – Communication Specialist
Manique Mendis, is one of Sri Lanka’s leading Communication specialists with rich work experience in the development sector. In 2011, She started her own consultancy and training company Rainbow Resources Lanka Pvt Ltd. (www.rainbow.lk)
She has been the founder Chief Executive Officer of two national organisations: namely the Business for Peace Alliance (BPA) Sri Lanka’s network of regional chambers of Commerce and the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka. Starting her career as a Journalist at “The Island”, an English daily in Sri Lanka as a journalist, she has been the head of Communication and Media for several national and international organisations including the European Union’s mission in Colombo, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, MTV television and Berghof Foundation for Conflict studies.
Prior to the start of Rainbow Resources Lanka, Manique served as the Deputy Country Director of the International Media Development Organisation, Internews in its office in Sri LankaManique has extensive experience in working on development projects with grass roots level organisations in all parts of Sri Lanka and is committed towards the empowerment of marginalized and vulnerable groups. Manique’s academic credentials include a Degree in Communication from the Kelaniya University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management from the Post Graduate Institute of Management of the Sri Jayawardenapura University.
DR. MAHIM MENDIS –Organizational Development, Communication
Dr. Mendis is a Specialist in Organizational Development and Governance trained in Sri Lanka, England, Singapore and USA. He has a BA Degree with Mass Communication and English from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, an MA in Organizational Behaviour, from the University of Lancaster, UK, and M.Phil Degree in Communication Studies from the University of Leicester, UK and a Ph.D in Organizational Sociology from the National University of Singapore. He has also obtained post doctoral training as a US state department scholar, twice over at the University ofNorthern Illinois, USA and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, USA Mahim is the former the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Open University of Sri Lanka and counts 24 years of professional experience in University teaching and administration. He is also a Visiting Lecturer in Organizational Behaviour for the University of Westminster, UK, with degrees administered through Informatics Institute of Technology and Lecturer in Global Politics for the University of Northwood Programme administered through the American National College. He also lectures for the MBA programmes administered by Sri Lanka’s Postgraduate Institute of Management, in Dubai and Qatar, University of Colombo, Eastern University, and Sir John Kotalawala Defense University of Sri Lanka. Mahim is an experienced trainer in Organizational Development, specializing in the broad areas of Organizational Communication and Leadership, professionalism and professional ethics, Corporate Good Governance and Political Education.
MR. DHARMASIRI LANKAPELI- Media
Lankapeli is the Secretary of the Federation of Media Employees Train Unions and also the Secretary of the employees union of Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd (State print media institution).He has been a working journalist in the mainstream print media for the last 22 years and also a media activist and media trainer. He has been lobbying for safeguarding rights of media employees and journalists and also for freedom of expression and access to information. He has been invited as the Sri Lankan representative for the World Congress of the International Federation of Journalists for the last 5 congresses year. He has represented Sri Lanka at international journalists conferences in many countries including Belgium, France ,Spain, Russia, Netherlands, South Korea. Taiwan, India and Malaysia. He has obtained training from IFJ in various issues relating to journalism including human rights coverage, safety of journalists, professionalism , and ethics etc. He has a Diploma in Journalism from the Colombo University. He is a greatly respected senior journalist in Sri Lanka and has trained and mentored a large number of journalists based in Colombo and most other parts of Sri Lanka. One of his most significant contributions to media development in Sri Lanka is the leadership he has given to forming district journalists associations in all parts of Sri Lanka and his continued support to the district journalists to enhance their professional skills and lobby for their professional rights.
MR. PRIANTHA FERNANDO – Employment Services and Management
Priantha has over 39 years of management experience, both in the private and in public sectors in Sri Lanka. Expertise in the fields of; Tourism, Employment Services, Hotel Management, Marketing, Manufacturing, Exports, Export Production, Civil Engineering works in the Construction industry, Agriculture, Livestock Development and Imports and Sales.
One of his key strengths is strategic planning. Instrumental in planning and implementation of a National Sourcing and Delivery System for Employment in Sri Lanka, encompassing modern employment services based on best practices, acclaimed as a highly successful project in Sri Lanka by the UN.
He has carried out consultancy assignments in Tourism, Employment Services, Marketing and preparation of feasibility studies and project reports to attract foreign investment/ Donor funding into Sri Lanka and project evaluation and assessment. He has an MSc Degree from the University of Surrey, UK.
DR.NEAVIS MORAIS- Economics
Dr Morais is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Studies, Open University of Sri Lanka, holds a PhD in Development Economics, Regional and Rural Development Planning from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand and a MA in Economics from the University of Colombo.
DR. SENGARAPILLAI ARIVALZAHAN (ARIVU) – Statistics
Arivu has successfully completed his PhD in Statistics at Monash University, Australia. He also earned a two years Masters (by research) degree in Statistics from the National University of Singapore, Singapore. He obtained a first class in his Statistics Special Degree programme at University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
Arivu is competent in the use of statistical software such as MatLab, R/S-Plus, Minitab, EViews and SPSS.
Arivu has more than ten years experience in teaching statistics courses at several leading Universities. He started his career as an Assistant Lecturer in Statistics at University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka in 1998. In 2000 he worked as a part time Graduate Tutor in Statistics at National University of Singapore, Singapore. In 2002, he returned to the University of Jaffna as a Lecturer where he worked till 2004. From 2005 to 2008 he worked as a part time Tutor in Statistics at Monash and Melbourne Universities in Australia. He taught Business Statistics, Business and Economics Statistics and Biostatistics at Monash University and Quantitative Methods at the Melbourne University. In 2008, he joined as Senior Lecturer at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics of the University of Jaffna.
Arivu has won many scholarships and awards from the University of Jaffna, National University of Singapore and Monash University during his undergraduate and postgraduate periods. One of his research paper has been accepted for publication by the famous Statistics Journal “Computational Statistics and Data Analysis”. He has presented Statistics research papers in National and International conferences.
MS. SWINITHA COSWATTE -Human Resources Development
Swinitha Coswatte is a business savvy human resources professional who has demonstrated natural leadership and sound business judgment to deliver and achieve business success for many organisations in the Private, Public and Not for Profit Sectors in Sri Lankan, Canadian, Singaporean and British multi-national and international organisations as well as with the public, private and not for profit institutions.
She brings with her over 25 years of Senior Human Resources Management experience where she has excelled in developing, planning and implementing Human Resource Strategies including Change Management, Building Organisational Capabilities, Recruitment and selection, writing goal oriented job descriptions, Performance Evaluations, Training, Retention and Compensation Management for highly reputable organisations in Canada and Sri Lanka.
Commencing her career with Lever Brothers (Ceylon) Ltd. (Unilevers), she was a pioneer HR executive of Air Lanka (presently Sri Lankan Airlines), the first Consultant – HRD of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Consultant (Special Projects) of CESO – the Canadian Executive Services Organisation.
In Canada her career included working as a Consultant with the Human Services Inc. and as Manger – HR and Volunteer Co-coordinator for over 2500 volunteers with the Alzheimer Society of Metro Toronto, which is a prestigious non-profitfoundation.
She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from University of Toronto, Canada; Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and was an Accredited Member of HRPAO, The Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario, Canada.
MS. SHEILA RICHARDS – Programme Management
Sheila started her career in the NGO sector at ZOA Refugee Care Netherlands, Sri Lanka and set up the psychosocial interventions of the organisation which she went on to lead.
Thereafter, she worked as the National Programme Officer of the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA) for a period of 5 years. At SIDA, Sheila was part of the team envisioning and designing the Country Programme from 2003 – 2007, and preparing for 2008 together with the team from the Swedish Embassy in Sri Lanka, SIDA and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She redesigned the support to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Democratic Governance, Human Rights and Peace from that of a project based one to a programme strategy based one from 2003 onwards. During her tenure at SIDA, Sheila was also Review Team Member of the DFID/ SIDA / UNICEF Mission of UNICEF’s Children Affected by Armed Conflict Programme in May 2002 that proposed recommendations on the programme for the Country Plan of 2003-2007, based on the UNICEF’s Country Operations Plan of the previous period. She was also a team member of the Education Sector Wide Operation Preparatory Mission from July 26 – August 12, 2004 and the Pre-Appraisal Mission June 6 – 17, 2005; in the run up to the World Bank and SIDA support to the field of Education in Sri Lanka.
In her capacity as the Executive Director of the Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust, Sheila spearheads the running of the organisation. Initially she redesigned all programme management operations within the organisation..
Her experience with local authorities spans areas such as support to election monitoring, training of education and local government authorities on conflict management, psychosocial support and manage psychosocial interventions and advocacy.
Sheila’s academic credentials include a Degree in Psychology from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka a Post Graduate Diploma in Conflict Resolution and Security Studies from the Bradford University, UK/ Social Scientists Association, Peace Studies Programme.
MR.RAJA VIDANAPATHIRANA- Community Mobilization and Community Development
Raja is well known in the development sector and has a wealth of experience in Community mobilization, Training and Project Management. He started his career as a Research Assistant at the Colombo University and also worked on a part time basis for The Freedom from Hunger Campaign Board as a Group Organizer and engaged in community mobilization and development in a rural village in Kandy. He joined Plan International in 1985, as a Community Development Officer and stayed in the project villages with the community, serving as a change agent. He then joined Plan Sri Lanka as a Senior Community Development Officer and supervised a team of group animators. Raja joined the Family Planning Association in Sri Lanka’s WHO Programme in 1993. Starting as a Project Officer, he was promoted to a Trainer and Counselor and participated in individual and community group counseling programmes.
Raja joined GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) REPSI, Tangalle as a Community Development Consultant in 2006. He was responsible for overall Project Management, project implementation; project monitoring social mobilization also managing the community participation in the project. He joined the Business for Peace Alliance, BPA, as a Project Manager in 2007 March. He was responsible for coordinating and supervising the Regional Business Network for conflict Transformation project funded by FLICT in the Galle, Kegalle and Kaluthara districts. After the first phase of the project was successfully concluded, as the second step, the project was expanded to include Trincomalee, Ampara, Kandy and Puttlam.
Raja, being in the development field for many years has been managing various types of projects, guiding people, designing programmes. He has also created a very strong network across the country which spreads in a wider scope from field coordinators to high level authorities in the govt. sector and key people in the private sector.
He has worked closely with the members of Pradesiya sabas, Municipal councils, Political authorities and Government officers when conducting programmes and guiding business communities in promoting peace & harmony among the ethnic communities.
Raja has an Honors Degree in Development Studies, Bachelor of Law (LLB) Degree, a Post Graduate Diploma in Community Development and a Post Graduate Diploma in Counseling – all from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.