By Thilani Weerarathna –
Dr. P. A. Kiriwandeniya, the founder and ideological leader of the SANASA Movement in Sri Lanka, celebrates his 80th Birthday Today, 14th November. He has made an immense contribution to the field of microfinance and microcredit in Asia. His commitment and dedication are fabulous within the Asian Region.
Currently, he only holds director positions of several SANASA institutions as a very exemplary leader. He is a renowned professional who held several key positions as the Chairman, Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU), Vice-Chair of Asia and Oceania Association (AOA) of International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation, Chairman of the People’s Bank, Director Regional Development Bank, and President National Institute of Cooperative Management and National Cooperative Council, of Sri Lanka.
His knowledge and experience span the entirety of the continents, including all of South Asia and several African countries as well as the U.S., Japan, and Europe.
With the open economy introduced by the then Government,1978 was a breakthrough year for Dr. Kiriwandeniya who founded the SANASA Movement by collaborating with 935 small cooperative societies in the rural sector. Over the years, the movement continued to grow under his leadership. His vision and his pragmatic leadership qualities resulted in the creation of SANASA Development Bank, Federation of Thrift & Credit Cooperative Societies., SANASA Campus, SANASA Insurance Companies, SANASA Engineering and Development Company (SEDCO), SANASA Consumer Producer Alliance (SANEEPA) and several other institutions under the SANASA arm.
He has another reason to celebrate today as he has been in the industry for 40 years and he has plans to pass the baton to the youth with hope. “My vision is not personal, it is always for the society,” said Dr. Kiriwandeniya. From the point of creating and establishing SANASA as a brand and expansion happened throughout 4 decades, it is purely with the vision of eradicating poverty and enhancing the livelihoods of the rural communities. .
Further Dr. Kiriwandeniya stated “We need a positive attitude going forward as a country as the poverty level is increasing due to mismanagements in several levels in the country and the individual attempts are very low in the modern society.” he always encourage youth to learn from History and move forward as a nation.”
To celebrate the birthday of their visionary leader, the Chairman and the Board of Directors, CEO, the Management, and the members of staff of the SANASA Insurance Company PLC have wished their founding chairman a long life, and organized series of activities to keep the momentum of Dr. Kiriwandinaya’s vision.