Deshamanya Prof. W. D. Lakshman and Mrs. Kalyani Lakshman Receives “The Order of the Rising Sun” on 22nd August


On August 22 2022, a ceremony was held at the residence of H.E. Mr. MIZUKOSHI Hideaki, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, to confer “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon” on Deshamanya Prof. Weligamage Don Lakshman, and to confer “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette” on Mrs. Kalyani Siriseeli Lakshman. Both Deshamanya Prof. Weligamage Don Lakshman and Mrs. Kalyani Siriseeli Lakshman made distinguished contribution to promoting mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Sri Lanka through education.
Ambassador MIZUKOSHI commended Prof. Lakshman and Mrs. Lakshman for their passion for learning, and their avidness to making the most of the opportunities open to them, and for how their spirit has been the greatest source of aspirations over the course of our diplomatic journey that marks 70th anniversary this year. Prof. Lakshman and Mrs. Lakshman both showed deep appreciation for receiving the conferment of an Order and shared their experiences in Japan as well as their journey as educationists.

Prof. W.D Lakshman is a key figure in Sri Lankan education sector. He was the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo and the former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, promoted Japanese studies program in Sri Lanka and enhanced educational and academic interactions by teaching and undertaking joint research as a visiting scholar at several Japanese universities and research institutes. Prof. W.D Lakshman established the Master’s Course in Japanese Studies in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo in 1987, the first regional-study program in Sri Lanka. The volume which he edited, and published by the University of Colombo in 2002 on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Sri Lanka remains a valuable source book on the subject. Prof. Lakshman also promoted cooperation with several Japanese universities as the chairman of advisory board of Lanka Nippon Biztech Institute and also contributed to a number of joint activities in Sri Lanka, undertaken by Ryukoku University and Saga University and International University in Japan.

Mrs. Kalyani Siriseeli Lakshman with her proficiency in Japanese language initiated in introducing Japanese language teaching as a subject in High school curriculum in 1983 in Sri Lanka, including at Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Lindsay Girls’ Highs School and Yosodara Devi Balika Vidyalaya, as well as conducting Japanese teaching programme organized by the Rupavahini Corporation. Mrs. Lakshman, who is well-versed in Japanese culture, introduced Karate classes, 5s system, and “Japanese Day” in Devi Balika Vidyalaya when she was the principal of the school. Through her profound respect and affection for Japan, Mrs. Lakshman has enthusiastically promoted mutual understanding between Japan and Sri Lanka. The Embassy of Japan expressed its sincere compliments to Deshamanya Prof. W. D. Lakshman and Mrs. Kalyani Siriseeli Lakshman on their prestigious work and measures taken in strengthening the bilateral ties of the two nations, which marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Sri Lanka.
“The Order of the Rising Sun” is awarded by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan to foreign nationals who have made distinguished contribution to enhancing friendly relations with Japan.