Announcement of Ms. Shiromi Soosaipillai and Mr. Dharshan Munidasa Receiving "The Order of the Rising Sun"

On 3rd November 2023, the recipients of “The Order of the Rising Sun” were announced by the Government of Japan. For the Spring Conferment this year, two highly acclaimed individuals from Sri Lanka have been honoured with this esteemed decoration in recognition of their distinguished contributions to enhancing the Japan-Sri Lanka relationship. Their details are as follows.

Ms. Shiromi Soosaipillai
The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays
President of the Ikebana International Sri Lanka Chapter
Contributed to promoting Ikebana in Sri Lanka and friendly relations between Japan and Sri Lanka

Mr. Dharshan Munidasa
The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays
CEO and Owner of the Restaurant "Nihonbashi"
Contributed to promoting Japanese cuisine in Sri Lanka
Ms. Shiromi Soosaipillai has long been a champion of Japanese ikebana culture in Sri Lanka. Beginning her journey with Sogetsu-style ikebana in 1983, Shiromi's passion and expertise in ikebana led her to aspire to hand it down to the next generation. Certified as an instructor in 2011, she's since played a pivotal role in popularizing ikebana in Sri Lanka, teaching its essence and techniques to many. Shiromi has also graced international ikebana exhibitions worldwide, showcasing her works of art and promoting ikebana's global appreciation.
Beyond teaching, she's made it her mission to introduce ikebana to the broader Sri Lankan public. Through interviews and articles in Sinhalese television and print media, she's endeavored to familiarize her compatriots with this beautiful art form.
Shiromi's works seamlessly meld traditional Japanese ikebana with her unique touch. From carefully chosen flowers and vases that resonate with Sri Lankan vegetation, to the exquisite shapes and expressions she crafts, her distinctive ikebana style has garnered praise both locally and internationally.
Mr. Dharshan Munidasa is a distinguished figure in the culinary world, known for his exceptional contributions to the promotion of authentic Japanese cuisine in Sri Lanka. Since the establishment of his renowned restaurant "Nihonbashi" in 1995, he has been a trailblazer in introducing the intricacies of Japanese gastronomy to the Sri Lankan palate. Through his dedication to sourcing the highest quality Japanese ingredients and his commitment to upholding traditional Japanese culinary techniques, Mr. Munidasa has elevated the dining experience for patrons, furthering the cultural exchange between Japan and Sri Lanka.
As a testament to his relentless efforts in promoting Japanese food and dietary culture globally, Mr. Munidasa was recognized by the Japanese government, receiving the Japanese Ambassador’s Special Commendation 2013, the Eighth Minister's Awards for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food in 2015. Moreover, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF) appointed his as its "Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador" in 2021.
Beyond his culinary endeavors, Mr. Munidasa has actively contributed to the facilitation of Japanese-Sri Lankan relations through his unwavering commitment to cultural exchange, which further solidified the bond between the two nations.
The Embassy of Japan expressed its heartfelt congratulations to Ms. Soosaipillai and Mr. Munidasa on the decoration of the Orders, with sincere appreciation for their remarkable dedication to the cause of promoting friendly relationship between Japan and Sri Lanka.