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Trustees of The Gratiaen Trust

 
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
Michael Ondaatje received his BA from the University of Toronto and MA from Queens University, Ontario. He taught at the University of Western Ontario, York University and Glendon College. Although Ondaatje’s is best known as a novelist his work encompasses autobiography, poetry, and film. He has published 13 books of poetry and won two awards. In 1980 he was awarded the Canada-Australia prize and in 1992 he was presented with the Booker McConnell Prize for his novel The English Patient. He is presently a member of the Department of English at Glendon College, and York University in Toronto, Ontario, a position he has held since 1971.
 
Senath Walter Perera obtained his MA and PhD from the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and is Senior Professor at the Department of English, University of Peradeniya. His research on Sri Lankan, Expatriate, and Postcolonial Literature has appeared in Sri Lankan and international publications. Perera is the recipient of several Commonwealth and Fulbright awards and has served as Chair of the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia). He was an Articles Editor for Postcolonial Text, Editor of The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities for sixteen years and on the inaugural Advisory Committee of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. He is currently the Bibliography Representative in Sri Lanka for The Journal of Commonwealth Literature and the Chair of SLACLALS (Sri Lanka Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies).
 
Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu received his undergraduate degree and doctorate in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is the founder Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), an independent public policy institute. He has presented papers at international conferences on security and democracy in Sri Lanka and the developing world, and is quoted widely in the local and international media on contemporary Sri Lankan politics.
 
Neloufer de Mel obtained her Ph.D from the University of Kent at Canterbury, U.K., and is Professor in English at the Dept. of English, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Published widely in English, Gender, and Cultural Studies, she is the author of Militarizing Sri Lanka: Popular Culture, Memory and Narrative in the Armed Conflict (2007), Women and the Nationís Narrative: Gender and Nationalism in 20th Century Sri Lanka (2001), and the co-editor of many volumes including on womenís writing in Sri Lanka, and Sri Lankan Poetry in English. She has been a fellow at Yale University (2009 & 2006), the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University (2004), and the Womenís Research Center at Rutgers University (1998). She has also served on many juries at film and theatre festivals, and was on the jury for the Commonwealth Writerís Award (Euro-Asia) in 2008 and the Gratiaen Award in 1996.
 
Peter Bluck is married to Michael Ondaatje's niece, thus he is now 'running in the family'. He is CEO of Actionlanka.com (Pvt) Ltd. Sri Lanka, and Pioneer Adventure Tours Pvt Ltd. India. He has assisted the Sri Lankan Tourist Board and promotes all aspects of Sri Lankan culture.
 
Nafeesa K. Amiruddeen teaches speech & drama and effective communication in English. She is Director of Drama of The Performing Arts Company, and has produced theatre of various genres. Awarded the Licentiate (LTCL) from Trinity Guildhall London, the Associate (ALAM) and LAM Gold (Acting) from the London Academy of Dramatic Art, UK, her special interest is in fostering theatre skills amongst secondary school students. Ms. Amiruddeen is also the Deputy Representative of the Sri Lanka Chapter of the Society of Teachers of Speech & Drama, UK.
 
Harshana Rambukwella is a Senior Lecturer at the Postgraduate Institute of English, The Open University of Sri Lanka and Honorary Assistant Professor at the School of English, University of Hong Kong. He is also the General Editor of the Hong Kong English Literature Database. He has published in number of academic journals including The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities, The Literary Encyclopedia. His primary research interests are in postcolonial literatures and theory, representations of nationalism in the South Asian context and the role of historical narratives and historiography in community identity.
 
Manjula Sirimane an Attorney-at-Law; a Graduate from the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo. A Partner of D. L. & F. De Saram since 1998. The firm serves as lawyers to the Gratiaen Trust.
 
Sunila Galappatti holds a degree in English from Cambridge University. She began her career working in the theatre in the UK, as Assistant Dramaturg to the Royal Shakespeare Company and Literary Associate to Live Theatre, Newcastle.Sunila's work involved commissioning and advising professional playwrights as well as developing and directing documentary theatre pieces with individuals disconnected from the theatre. She has acted as a consultant on writer-development to other theatre companies and taught at the Arvon Foundation. In 2008, Sunila returned to Sri Lanka and took over as Director of the Galle Literary Festival for two years (2009 and 2010). She has been a Visiting Lecturer at Newcastle University and a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Brown University. Sunila currently works as the part-time Assistant Director of Raking Leaves, which commissions and publishes contemporary art projects.
 
 

Past Chairpersons

 

Henry Alfred Ian Goonetileke
Chairperson 1993 - 1996

Henry Alfred Ian Goonetileke intimate friendship with Michael Ondaatje resulted in him being the First Chairman of the newly formed Gratiaen Trust, to which he contributed significantly. He strove throughout his life to reconcile the best of the West with the finest of the East. Ian Goonetileke secured a Post Graduate Diploma in Librarianship in 1958 winning the John Duncan Cowley Prize for the best thesis. In 1966 he received his FLA with distinction. Gopal Gandhi the grandson of the Mahama referred to him as a “shard of unfired clay”. Goonetileke was considered one of the finest 20th century Sri Lanka’s intellectuals and one of the most productive members of the academic community of the time.

 

Godfrey Gunatilleke
Chairperson 1997- 2007

Godfrey Gunatilleke graduated in English (1st Class Hons) from the University of Ceylon, 1948. He entered the Ceylon Civil Service and served in senior positions in the Ministries of Lands Industry and Planning and took early retirement in 1972 to establish and head the Marga Institute. He was consultant to the ILO UNCTAD, UNU, WHO and member of the Board of Trustees of the International Food Policy Research Institute. He is the recipient of several International and national awards including the Eisenhower Fellowship USA; the Health for All medal awarded by the WHO; the "Deshamanya" award for distinguished public service and D.Litt conferred by the University of Colombo in 1996. Has authored several books articles and publications on development issues. His involvement in the literary field includes the publication of the literary critical journal Harvest (1945) the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, short stories (“The Garden”, “Thief in the Night”) and literary critical articles (“Language without Metaphor”).Godfrey Gunatilleke is at present Chairman Emeritus and Senior Advisor of the Marga Institute.

 

Tissa A. Jayatilaka
Chairperson 2007 - 2009

Tissa Jayatilaka has Masters in Public Administration from Wake Forest University, North Carolina, Master of Arts in English from Smith College, Massachusetts and a Post-graduate Diploma in American Studies. He was been awarded scholarships to Cambridge University and other universities in the States. He is presently the Executive Director of the Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission. Jayatilaka is the author of publications, as well as involved in translations, editing of journals, collections of essays.

 

Senath Walter Perera
Chairperson 2010 -

Senath Walter Perera obtained his MA and PhD from the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and is Senior Professor at the Department of English, University of Peradeniya. His research on Sri Lankan, Expatriate, and Postcolonial Literature has appeared in Sri Lankan and international publications. Perera is the recipient of several Commonwealth and Fulbright awards and has served as Chair of the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia). He was an Articles Editor for Postcolonial Text, Editor of The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities for sixteen years and on the inaugural Advisory Committee of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. He is currently the Bibliography Representative in Sri Lanka for The Journal of Commonwealth Literature and the Chair of SLACLALS (Sri Lanka Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies).

 

 

 
   
   
   
   
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