Inaugural Public Lecture: Change of Focus; Recovery to Mitigation

Posted on July 6, 2010  /  4 Comments

We live in an age of hazards. The climate change will make it worse. Be prepared or perish seems to be the nature’s message. At the inaugural public lecture of LIRNEasia’s annual Disaster Risk Reduction events, we will discuss how best to face the future threats and what the communities, government and private sector can do.


Vinya Ariyaratne is General Secretary of the Lanka Jatika Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya.

Trained in medicine, with two doctorates from the De La Salle University, Philippines and University
of Colombo, he is best known for his community work, leading Sarvodaya, the largest
community-based organization in Sri Lanka for the past decade. Ariyaratne was directly involved
in Sarvodaya’s response to the suffering caused by the tsunami and the ethnic conflict. He will
discuss how that experience caused a change in Sarvodaya’s thinking to address mitigation of risk
and away from the previous sole emphasis on relief and recovery.

G. B. Samarasinghe is the Director General, Department of Meteorology, Sri Lanka. An expert in meteorology, Samarasinghe predicts tropical countries are becoming more and more vulnerable to weather-related natural disasters because of the climate change. Investing in disaster preparedness is more advisable than spending on emergency relief, he reasons.

Ainsley Alles, a Chartered Insurer and a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institutes of Australia, New Zealand, France and India counts 28 years in insurance. He currently heads the General Insurance arm of Aviva NDB Insurance (formally Eagle Insurance PLC) as its Director (General Insurance). He views Disaster Risk Reduction from the angle of private sector.

Rohan Samarajiva is the founding Chair and CEO of LIRNEasia, an ICT policy and regulation think tank active across twelve emerging Asian economies. He was Director General of Telecommunications in Sri Lanka, a founder director of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka, Visiting Professor at the Universities of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and Associate Professor of Communication and Public Policy at the Ohio State University in the US.

July 7, 2010
5.30 – 7.00 pm
Sri Lanka Foundation Institute Auditorium,
Independence Avenue, Colombo 7.

Medium: Sinhala/English

This event is open to public, but due to the limited availability of seats prior registration is mandatory. Please contact Ranjula on 0777-458808 or


  1. Hi

    I attended yesterday’s seminar. It was an eye opening one in several aspects. It gave insights of disaster prediction and disater recvery in sri lanka.

    Thans alot for arranging such seminar.

    following are muy humble suggestions

    1. I expected much more from Ainsley Alles. Thought he was not prepared well for the event.
    2. If it was a TV program it could have had a better reach. (some of my friends were unable to attend due to time constratints)