The Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust (RWCT) in partnership with the British Council and TVE Asia Pacific launched the late Ray Wijewardene’s official website at the British Council on 28 September 2011 amidst a gathering of family, friends and associates. The launch of the website is the first in a series of activities envisioned by the Trust, which has been created to recognise and support innovation in the fields of sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, engineering and aeronautics – all disciplines that were pursued and encouraged by Ray Wijewardene.
www.raywijewardene.net will record the work of the illustrious Sri Lankan engineer and inventor, his achievements and accolades. In addition to its role as a memorial and a way of promoting his vision for self-reliance, innovation and sustainable development in Sri Lanka, the site will serve as an important interface for interaction with the RWCT.
The Trust headed by the Chairman, University of Moratuwa Vice Chancellor Professor Malik Ranasinghe, was conceived in response to the many tributes and appreciations that were published after Wijewardene’s passing in August 2010.
“The launch of this website is the first public activity of the Trust and through it, we hope to improve our access to the public and for the public to communicate with the Trust. The Trust was formed in order to take forward the legacy of this great man and we look to promote anything and everything Ray pursued during his illustrious life,” stated Ranasinghe at the launch.
It was established earlier this year with an ambitious vision to nurture and support innovation in Sri Lanka. The Trust also hopes to establish an award titled ‘The Ray’, which will recognise and encourage on-going innovation and enterprise in an area of public interest and benefit related to renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and sustainable transport solutions.
The Ray Wijewardene Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Professor Anil Gupta in partnership with the Institute of Engineers, Sri Lanka at IESL in December. The RWCT is also in the process of identifying like-minded partners to build and nurture the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. The charitable Trust will be seeking donations and corporate sponsorship to cover the cost of its activities in the public interest. It is also exploring mutually beneficial partnerships with relevant academic and professional bodies.
The website was designed and built entirely voluntarily by TVE Asia Pacific (TVEAP), which is a regionally operating, non-profit media foundation that communicates sustainable development through television, video and the web.
The website introduces Ray Wijewardene as ‘a man for all elements’ and showcases his personal logo that symbolised the integration of the four elements in Eastern philosophy: water, fire, air and earth. The logo has now been adopted by the RWCT.
The website also has a photo gallery that includes many hitherto unseen images drawn from the Wijewardene family albums and various institutional and media sources, detailing many stages of his colourful life.
These offer glimpses of his education, training, career and leisure activities that took him to the universities of Cambridge and Harvard, international service with the United Nations, as well as the Olympics and the Asian Games and back to the grassroots in Sri Lanka.
A link to a Facebook page dedicated to Ray Wijewardene offers web visitors an opportunity to interact and share.
The creation of the website is the Trust’s first public activity to preserve Ray’s legacy and is an important first step in the breeding and nurturing of innovation in Sri Lanka.