On 3 November, the Government of Japan announced the conferment of ‘The order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette’ upon C. Lal De Alwis in recognition of his significant contribution in strengthening and deepening Japan and Sri Lanka relations.
A congratulatory message was sent by Minister of Foreign Affairs in Japan Fumio Kishida, on 3 November upon the announcement stating, “Please accept my sincerest congratulations on the conferment of ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette’, in recognition of your outstanding contribution, and my best wishes for your continued good health and happiness.”
De Alwis graduated in Business Management in 1976 and holds a Diploma in Professional Diplomacy and World Affairs which he obtained in 2011 conducted by the Bandaranaiyake International Training Institute. He followed two training programs organised in Japan by the Asian Productivity Organisation and was able to transfer this technology to many private sector companies and government organisations through seminars conducted by the Japan Sri Lanka Technical Cultural Association (JASTECA).
In 1983, he also followed the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS) program for Cross-Cultural Management (PCCM) in Japan and was instrumental in introducing the 5S management practices in Sri Lanka. Since then, he has been supporting JASTECA in organising seminars, workshops and also conducting an annual award scheme known as the Taiki Akimoto 5S awards and Kaizen Awards which have grown in popularity among many organisations and industries in Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, De Alwis has played a key role in promoting JASTECA activities for the last 30 years resulting in the Association being graded as one of the best AOTS Alumni Societies in the world by AOTS.
He also played a pioneering role together with the late Ian Dias Abeysinghe in establishing the Sri Lanka alumni of AOTS and ABKD known as the Asia Cultural Association in 1965 for the purpose of channelling technical training opportunities to Sri Lankans. In February 1984, De Alwis together with Abeysinghe and assisted by four others established the Japan Sri Lanka Technical Cultural Association (JASTECA). In 1985, he was elected as the Secretary General of the JASTECA and became its president in 1984, 1989, 1990 and 1991.
In 1989, he was unanimously elected to chair the World Convention of AOTS Alumni Societies held in Yokohama, Japan. On his initiative as the Chairman of the World Convention of AOTS an independent fund known as the WNF was established to assist developing countries. He is currently the Vice Patron of JASTECA and a Trustee of the JASTECA Trust. He was also instrumental in securing the assistance of the Asian Flight Oral Cancer organisation based in Tokyo headed by Professor Kanichi Seto to fight against oral cancer among Sri Lankans resulting in the cure of over 250 victims.
In recognition of his outstanding service in promoting Japanese productivity techniques in Sri Lanka and enhancing bilateral relationship between the two countries, he was awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation in 2014.
De Alwis is a well-known business leader and has served as Managing Director and CEO of several prominent companies in Sri Lanka. In rendering his valuable service in Sri Lanka’s business arena, also served as the President of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka for a period of two years from 2009 to 2011. He was also elected to chair the Joint Chambers Business Forum comprising of all the trade chambers of Sri Lanka.