The Government of Japan announced the conferment of “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays” upon Mr. Gilbert Kulatilake in recognition of his significant contribution in disseminating Japanese culture and promoting Japanese Management Systems in Sri Lanka on April 29th
Mr. Kulatilake is a pioneer in enhancing multifaceted relationship between Japan and Sri Lanka over the past forty years. Mr. Kulatilake started his close relationship with Japan by joining a training programme in Japan organized by the Asia Bunka Kaikan Dousoukai (Asia Cultural Association) in 1970 under the guidance of his friend, late Mr.Ian Dias Abeysinghe. Thereafter he became a member of Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (ATOS) in 1983. Mr. Kulatilake, together with late Mr. Ian Dias and Mr. Lal De Alwis, played a key role in establishing JASTECA in 1984 and was the founder Treasurer of JASTECA for eight years, enhancing it to the level of what it is today. Later on, he held the posts of General Secretary and Vice President of JASTECA. Again in 1999, he was elected as the President of JASTECA and during his tenure as the President, he succeeded in establishing JASTECA Institute of Management (JIM) and Japanese Language Education Association of Sri Lanka (JLEA) that have been offering tremendous service in promoting Japanese Management technology as well as Japanese language education here in Sri Lanka. Further, he chaired the 6th World Convention of AOTS and also played a leading role in the formation of a new trust under the Asian Fight for Cancer Programme and establishing the Madam Ogawa Scholarship Fund which marked a very fruitful era in the JASTECA’s history. He also served as the Chairman of the South Asian Federation of AOTS Alumni Societies (SAFAAS) in 2002/2004. Continuing his incredible service towards strengthening ties between two nations, he is currently the Vice Patron of JASTECA and also performs duties as the Chairman of the JASTECA Trust and a Trustee of JIM, JLEA, Madam Ogawa Trust Scholarship Fund and the Treasurer of Sasakawa Memorial Sri Lanka Japan Cultural Centre.
Mr. Kulatilake is an expert in engineering and had held managerial posts at several reputed private companies in Sri Lanka for more than 20 years. He had followed many specialized trainings in Japan and abroad. In particular, he followed a six months training in Industrial Refrigeration and Air Conditioning at Hitachi Limited in Japan and also followed two special trainings for Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs organized by AOTS, Japan. Mr. Kulatilake is a fellow of the Charted Institute of Management, UK since 2001. Currently he manages two companies namely Unitag Industries Ltd and Universal Label (Pvt.) Ltd. in Maharagama contributing to the development of Sri Lanka’s economy. Owing to his keen interest in improving social welfare of needy people in Sri Lanka, he joined the Cancer Charitable Foundation of National Cancer Institute and presently he serves as the Treasurer of the Foundation.
A congratulatory message was sent by Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign affairs in Japan, on 29th April upon the announcement stating “Please accept my sincerest congratulations on the conferment of ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, in recognition of your outstanding contribution, and my best wishes for your continued good health and happiness”.