State Engineering Corporation posthumously felicitates first Chairman

Saturday, 30 October 2010 04:57 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The State Engineering Corporation organised a commemoration ceremony in line with the 91st birth anniversary of Dr. Kulasinghe at the corporation premises on 26 October.

At the ceremony, a statue of Dr. Kulasinghe erected at the corporation premises was unveiled by Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Wimal Weerawansa on the invitation of Chairman of the Corporation Prof. Ashu Marasinghe.

Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Secretary to the Ministry Nissanka N. Wijerathne, chairmen of the State institutions that come under the Ministry and large number of intellectuals also participated. A commemorative ceremony was also held at the Janakala Centre in Battaramulla on the same day.

A special feature of the Kulasinghe commemoration ceremony was the Kulasinghe Memorial Scholarship Awards. Scholarships were presented to students of civil engineering faculties of Moratuwa University, Peradeniya University and Ruhuna University.

Weerawansa and Marasinghe presented mementos to former chairmen and general managers of State Engineering Corporation at the ceremony.

Former General Manager of State Engineering Corporation Gemunu Silva delivered a special commemorative lecture at ceremony.

State Engineering Corporation was established under the 1962 Industrial Corporation Act and the first Chairman appointed was Dr. Kulasinghe. At that period he also served as Director to several institutions such as Steel Corporation, Tyre Corporation, etc.

Dr. Kulasinghe is also respected as the person who introduced Pre-cast Concrete Technology to Sri Lanka in 1949 soon after the independence. In 1959, he was offered the patent certificate for that technology and he became the Sri Lankan representative of the International Pre-cast Concrete Association in 1957 and he also represented the country at the forum of Associations of thin concrete held in Madrid. In 1959 since he had introduced concrete technology, he was nicknamed “Concrete Kulasinghe”.

The Engineering Corporation was initiated with the service of five engineers soon the staff grew up to 200 engineers and 15,000 labourers. At that time Dr. Kulasinghe as the Chief Engineer of the Colombo Harbour, used machines and equipments disposed from the harbour to construct the building of State Engineering Corporation.

Sri Lanka Planetarium, Cement Factory in Puttalam and Narahenpita Flats were among the buildings that had been constructed under the supervision of Dr. Kulasinghe at the initial stage. Ceylon Flour Corporation, Ceylon Steel Corporation, Paper Corporation in the East and its grinding machines were also among his marvellous creations.

In addition, development work in the Galle Harbour expansion project, construction of Thulhiriya Textile Mill, construction of Carpentry Complex of the Plywood Corporation, construction of Labour Secretariat and various constructions in the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake are some of work sites supervised by Dr. Kulasinghe. As the first Chairman, he completed the building of State Engineering Corporation with

nine storeys under his supervision. He was the first to bring a computer to Sri Lanka and he installed it in the fourth floor of the Engineering Corporation complex.

Thus, he has rendered an invaluable service to the nation, being a pioneer and guide in the country’s construction sector. He has brought prestige to Sri Lanka by introducing new technologies in the construction and engineering sectors.

He bade farewell to the nation forever on 14 February 2006 at the age of 87 years, leaving an inaccessible gap in the society.

The nation building mission initiated by Dr. Kulasinghe with the establishment of State Engineering Corporation has been carried forward by the supervision of several Chairmen during the past period.  Current Chairman Marasinghe and the entire staff are continuing the great service to the nation with new developments in the construction sector at present. The State Engineering Corporation is leading the construction field with its involvement in the construction of large scale buildings, highways, stadium, etc.

Among them, housing schemes in the north, international cricket stadium in Pallekele, development work at the Keththarama Stadium and renovation activities in the Seruvavila Raja Maha Viharaya are significant.

The State Engineering Corporation is further committed to fulfil the objectives of Dr. Kulasinghe for the welfare of the future generations in Sri Lanka.