New Malden hosts awards ceremony
The inaugual BriSLA Awards saw the brightest stars of the British Sri Lankan community recognised in the capital.
The Specsavers-sponsored gala at Grange St Paul’s Hotel celebrated winners in the fields of community service, entrepreneurship, health and education, legal, media and sports. #
The brainchild of Dr Ahmed Zimar Sivardeen, chairman of the British Sri Lankan Association (BriSLA) and director of Specsavers in New Malden, the awards also saw around £3000 raised for charity, The Foundation of Goodness.
A word from Dr Sivardeen
Dr Sivardeen said: ‘It was fantastic to see members of the British Sri Lankan community rewarded for their contribution to British and Sri Lankan societies. From the woman who helped bring about the first Braille Library in Sri Lanka to the founder of the UK’s premier trilingual newspaper, all of our nominees are wonderful ambassadors for the British Sri Lankan community.
‘And to top it all off with a donation of thousands of pounds to a cause which is enabling people across rural Sri Lanka to have better access healthcare and education is very fitting indeed.’
Winners on the night were Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran in the health and education category, Mr Thushara Polpitiye in the legal category, Ms Shazia Seleem in the entrepreneurship category, Mr Reggie Fernando in the media category, Mr Kumar Sangakkara in the sports category and Dr Raj Chandran and Ms Charmaine Jayetilleke MBE in the community service category.
In attendance on the night were entertainer Prince Abdi, Lord Patel, director of The England and Wales Cricket Board and Mr Kenneth Olisa OBE, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London.
More about BriSLA
BriSLA is a non-profit organisation, inclusive of all races, religions, schools of thought and traditions, which aims to assist in the relief of poverty, improve health and education, and minimise the carbon footprint.