The Council of Trustees of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) was pleased to announce the upgrade of the status of CILT Sri Lanka from a Branch to a Territory. In doing so the Council of Trustees recognised the high standards of performance, governance and membership development evidenced in CILT Sri Lanka over the past several years.
The award, made at the recently concluded International Convention and Annual General Meeting held in Birmingham from 11th to 14th June, was presented to Mr Romesh David, Chairman, CILT Sri Lanka, by HRH Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, who is the Patron of the Institute.
Seen in the photograph from left to right are, HRH Princess Anne, Romesh David (Chairman – CILT Sri Lanka), Prof. Alan Waller (President – CILT International) and Saliya Senanayake (International Vice President – CILT).
30th March 2012 on the calendar marked the Annual General Meeting of CILT Sri Lanka. The event was held at the Auditorium of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and inaugurated Mr. Romesh David as the new Chairman of CILT-Sri Lanka. In addition Mrs. Namalie Siyambalapitiya and Mrs. Gayani De Alwis were installed as Vice Chairpersons of the transport & logistics industry’s premier professional body in the country.
The AGM was chaired by Immediate Past Chairman Mr. Saliya Senanayake due to the absence of the Chairman, Prof. Amal Kumarage in cite of a family bereavement. The evening kicked off by remembering the CILT members who passed away during the past year with a minute of silence.
Once the formalities of adopting the agenda, confirmation of minutes of the past AGM as well as the accounts, Pro Tempore Chairman Saliya Senanayake read out the Outgoing Chairman Prof. Amal Kumarage’s message, in his absence.
Prof. Kumarage’s message focused on the high scale development attained by CILT-SL over the course of his 20 month Chairmanship. It was marked by a significant influx of new members, predominantly representing the educational institutes, University of Moratuwa, CINEC and University of Colombo. The degree programme in Transport & Logistics Management offered by the University of Moratuwa received accreditation during Prof. Kumarage’s tenure.
Continuation of the monthly Evening Lecture Series organised by CILT and frequent inputs on national scale transport and logistics issues (i.e. Southern Expressway, bus fare hike) were moves appreciated by all quarters. The past year also saw the inception of the CILT Corporate Partner Programme as well as the Young Professional Forum, both of which were revolutionary initiatives to actively engage the industry and the future professionals of the industry with CILT. The arrival of CILT International Chairman Prof. Alan Waller for the CILT International Conference held in October was another significant juncture where the progress of CILT Sri Lanka was highly illustrated at.
The past chairman also focused on what is yet to be done in the effort to take CILT Sri Lanka to greater heights during his message.
Prof. Kumarage’s message was followed by the announcement of the new CILT council by the Pro Tempore Chairman. He thanked past Chairperson Mrs. Sahabandu for her long commitment to the growth of CILT-SL as she was stepping down from the council. The newly appointed council is as follows.
- Mr. Romesh David (Chairman)
- Mr. Niral Kadawatharatchie (Vice Chairman)
- Mrs. Gayani De Alwis (Vice Chairperson)
- Mrs. Namalie Siyambalapitiya (Vice Chairperson)
- Mr. Channaka De Alwis (Secretary)
- Mr. Upali Gunawardena (Treasurer)
- Mr. Saliya Senanayake
- Mr. Rohaan Abeywickrema
- Mr. Priyal De Silva
- Mr. H. A. Premaratne
- Mr. M. A. Jeffrey
- Capt. Lasitha Cumaratunga
- Capt. D. J. Amarasuriya
- Mr. Nujith Samarawickrama
- Mr. Ali Kamil
- Dr. T. L. Gunaruwan
- Dr. Indika Sigera
- Mr. Amal Rodrigo
- Mr. Upali De Zoysa
- Mr. Ajith Ekanayake
- Mrs. Anoma Ranasinghe
- Mr. Chaminda Perera
- Nishantha Fernando (Affiliate Member)
- Niles Perera (Student Member)
This was followed by the address made by the newly appointed Chairman, in which he laid down his plans for the year ahead. He was thankful for the work carried out by Prof. Kumarage.
The new chairman addressing the gathering
Mr. David was eager to absorb more members to the institute and was keen on increasing membership among the logisticians in the armed forces of the country. He was also quick to remark the importance of quality human resource and the infrastructure requirement to realise the national goals and the critical role CILT-SL has to play in this regard. Mr. David expressed his keenness to launch an annual Transport & Logistics Award ceremony as well as an annual Transport & Logistics Exhibition. It was also motioned that the new council has its work cut out in putting into place the arrangements to make CILT International Convention 2013, which is due to be hosted by Colombo a tremendous success. This is a much anticipated event by all quarters of the industry and is bound to place Sri Lanka in the pedestal among CILT member nations in 2013.
It was also revealed that International Vice President Saliya Senanayake has been nominated for the post of International President for 2012/13.
Mr. David expressed his gratitude to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce who has been conducting secretarial duties for CILT over the past couple of years. CILT have established a new Secretariat at the National Chamber of Commerce with effect from April 1st, 2012 with a decorated war veteran Major General Lionel Aluvihare been installed as the Secretary-General of the institute.
The attendees followed to congratulate the new council as the meeting was adjourned. The AGM was followed up by the customary cocktail party.
Q1. What are the new things and changes you plan to carry out at CILT during your tenure as the chairman?
There are no major changes planned for the institute as the two chairmen immediately before me started lot of positive things for the institute. I wish to work on them and on improving them. Growing the membership and creating opportunities for members to have regular interactions are identified as critical among these for the success of the institute.
Lastly, there are some structural changes taking place as well. We now have a full time Secretary General and a new secretariat and we hope to use the increased resources to improve the efficiency of our membership services and also faster processing and turn time of new membership applications. Within the year we hope to upgrade the status of CILT Sri Lanka from a branch to a territory where we would among other benefits, also be able to process our own membership applications. Gaining territorial status will also boost the image of the institute globally.
Q2. As an emerging lucrative field Transport and Logistics Management has attracted many educational institutes. New courses on this field are on the up. What is the view of the CILT on these courses and their quality?
We have not done a study of the courses that are currently on offer out there in this field, so I am unable to comment on the quality of each individual course. However, CILT have recognised the degree offered by the University of Moratuwa to be of high quality and it has now been accredited by CILT. It is the first degree programme in the country to be accredited by CILT and I am fully aware of the quality of it as through Prof Amal Kumarage I was associated with it from the time of its inception through John Keells, who are strong supporters of the course.
The University of Colombo has also started a degree in Transport Economics with the involvement of Dr. Gunaruwan and it appears to be a promising course as well. Also, there are courses offered by CINEC and many other institutes focusing on different forms of transport and logistics. As a professional institute whilst we welcome professional offerings as they contribute to the national need for professionals in this field, we also recognise that there is a real threat associated with unscrupulous educational institutes offering a huge number of untested courses to unsuspecting candidates.
Q3. Is there any institute which offers academic support for the CILT examination?
There are. CINEC is an accredited service provider and as a result of the affiliation all the students in Transport and Logistics Management department in University of Moratuwa automatically becomes student members of the CILT. But CINEC is the only organisation that is providing CILT’s program at present. CILT has a very structured path from basic apprenticeship to post graduate qualification and what we would like to do is to make sure that all these are available on offer through professional and well equipped service providers.
Q3. There is a common perception among the professionals engaged in supply chain management that CILT does not include supply chain management and is only limited to Transportation and Logistics. Is there any truth in this?
It is a misconception. Actually, transport and logistics cover an integral part of supply chain management. Ultimately an effective supply chain is about efficiently coupling production with consumption and in that context transport and logistics lie at the core of any supply chain. Therefore, I believe it is incorrect to say that supply chain management is completely outside the scope of CILT.
Q4. With your professional exposure to the industry throughout the years how is the transport and logistics industry doing in the country at present? What are the challenges we face?
I believe that in all areas of domestic transport there is a huge room for improvement. I am certainly no expert in this area and acknowledge that the established infrastructure performs the task at present, but the efficiency in which it is executed is questionable and has much room for improvement. Three decades after the fact, consumers are yet to truly benefit from the privatisation of bus transportation. Rail transportation has seen little improvement over the past 50 years and still presents a large opportunity. Inefficient modes of private transport abound at a significant cost to the economy in terms of energy and time. Very broadly put, economic sense and efficient service must take precedence over narrow segmental interests and political expedience if we are to make quantum changes in these areas.
When it comes to international transportation, Sri Lanka has a huge role to play as a major hub in South Asia. We have been a hub for well over 25 years in terms of containerised ocean transport and have an efficient port in Colombo which is now operating virtually at full capacity. With the Colombo Port Expansion Plan new capacity is being added to the port that will address capacity constraints in the years ahead. Given our status as a container transshipment hub, there is no reason whatsoever why we cannot become a hub for other modes of transport as well. Given the fact that we are well located in the South Asian region, astride the busiest sea route in the world and are an entry point to potentially the second largest economy in the world in the future we have a great deal more we can do to exploit our advantages in the international arena.
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