Cyril Weeratunge

In recognition of philanthropic endeavors and devotion to helping future generations

We are awarding Cyril Weeratunge because of his many charitable projects that have helped both Canadians and Sri Lankans. His selfless devotion to bettering the lives of others, especially by providing scholarships to students in need, is an investment in the future.

Cyril Weeratunge was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he attended St. Thomas’ Primary School, followed by Christian College Kotte and then the Naval Engineering College in Poona, India. He has held positions at ADM Windsor, a Fortune 500 company, and worked in the forest industry at Weldwood of Canada Limited.

Cyril has spent much of his life in the service of others. Since retiring as Chief Engineer of Windsor Energy Centre, he has continued to work tirelessly on his many philanthropic projects. He is still involved in his industry as a member of the Institute of Power Engineers Canada. He has devoted countless hours to working with organizations like Lions International to help Canadian and Sri Lankan communities, particularly working to improve the lives of the poor.

Since 1994, Cyril has actively participated in scholarship programs through the Sri Lanka Canada Scholarship Foundation to help poor students in Sri Lanka. Scholarship programs helped school children reach their goals, for example, becoming doctors. He has partnered with the Lions Club and the Sri Lanka United National Association of Canada to help impoverished children. He has given aid to homeless people in his community and assisted newcomers from Sri Lanka. He helped start the Toronto Maha Vihara and the Windsor Buddhist Vihara and is a life member of the Vihara Society in British Columbia, Canada.

As past National Director of Amnesty International for Canada, voters elected Cyril to promote peace and harmony among Sri Lankan expatriates and the world. He took action against false propaganda, organized field workers in human rights activities, and led a campaign that resulted in someone’s release from wrongful imprisonment. He also carried out a Stolen Sisters Campaign to aid indigenous women in Canada, and he served as Volunteer Development Chair for the Canadian Cancer Society, where he carried out an anti-smoking campaign.

As President of the Quesnel Multicultural Society, he promoted peace and harmony among diverse communities. Cyril also served as President of the Sri Lankan Association of Windsor in Ontario, Canada, and he was a founding member of Windsor Buddhist Vihara in BC, Canada. He continues to work with the Sri Lankan Lions and coordinates a project that has shipped over 140,000 pairs of used eyeglasses for distribution among the poor and needy.

Cyril has received prestigious awards from many organizations, including safety awards from the BC Hydro & Technical Safety Standard Association Ontario, Canada, the Melvin Jones Award and the Founders Award from Lions International, the Helen Keller Award, and the Best Lion of the Year Award from the Windsor Downtown Lions Club Ontario and the Quesnel Lions Club BC, Canada. He is known as the only Sri Lankan to have received these honors.

The Sri Lanka Foundation thanks Cyril Weeratunge for his devotion to bettering the lives of many in his adopted home and motherland. In addition to a successful career, he has spearheaded charitable projects and contributed to bringing diverse communities together.