- Mr. Janaka de Silva
Mr. Janaka de Silva graduated from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya in 1966 offering Physics and Mathematics. He holds an MBA. degree from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka. Mr. Janaka de Silva’s association with computing commenced in 1978 when he was assigned the task of computerizing the operations of the Bank of Ceylon. Later Mr. Janaka de Silva joined Sampath Bank as the founder General Manager/CEO where he was responsible for reaching many milestones such as a multi-point ATM network and extended banking hours. At Union Bank too, which he joined in 1995, he was actively involved in setting up operations and many key milestones were reached; the concept of bank branches was eliminated, phone banking was introduced and Union Bank was the first bank to have a presence on the Internet with its own website. It was the first bank to introduce Internet banking.
- Ms. Nayeni Fernando
Ms. Nayeni Fernando is a graduate in Physical Science of the University of Ceylon. She obtained a Master’s degree in Social and Economic Statistics from the George Washington University, USA. She is a Fellow of the Computer Professional’s Association (CSSL) of Sri Lanka. She was also recognized by the Zonta Club with a Woman of Achievement award in 1993.
She commenced her career in IT as a programmer in 1971 at the Department of Census and Statistics, and served the Central Bank of Sri Lanka from 1978 to 2000. She was responsible for implementation of the Sri Lanka Automated Clearing House (SLACH) in 1988 and was its Manager for six years. In 1993 she initiated and took a leadership role in introducing an offline Funds Transfer System SLIPS (Sri Lanka Interbank Payment System). From 1994 to 2000 she was the Director of the IT department of the Central Bank. She provided leadership to the IT department to recover speedily after the terrorist bomb attack on the Central Bank in 1996, which completely destroyed its computer systems. She was also the coordinator for the Financial Sector in the Sri Lankan team for Y2K readiness. She retired from the Central Bank in April 2000, after reaching the eligibility age for retirement.
From 2000 to 2002 she worked as the Consultant IT of the Bank of Ceylon. From 2002 to 2008 she worked as an IT consultant in the private sector. From 2008 to 2011 she was the onsite Project Manager for implementing a country wide Electronic Cheque Clearing System and an Electronic Funds Transfer Network for the Bangladesh Central Bank, successfully implemented in 2010. Ms. Nayeni Fernando is a founder member of the Computer Professional Association and served in its council and as vice president from 1993 to 1995.
Ms. Nayeni Fernando’s name was synonymous with IT implementation at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and in the banking industry in which she has been instrumental in reaching many milestones for over 20 years.
- Dr. Ranee Jayamaha
Dr. Ranee Jayamaha was awarded her first degree, BA (Hons) in Money and Banking from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya in 1970. She was a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Peradeniya for a year and then joined the Economic Research Department (ERD) of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) in 1971, as an Economist. Thereafter, she received a British Council scholarship and proceeded to the University of Sterling, Scotland, UK to read for a two-year (1975-1976) Master’s Degree.
She was awarded the MSc in Economics in 1976 and upon her return to the CBSL, she was promoted as a Senior Economist in the Money and Banking Division of ERD. Later, she was promoted to the post of Deputy Director, in charge of several divisions in ERD. In 1987, she proceeded to the University of Bradford, UK to read for a PhD. Dr. Jayamaha returned to Sri Lanka in 1989 with a PhD in Monetary Economics and was promoted to the post of Director at the Banking Development Department of CBSL.
- Mr. Channa De Silva
Mr. Channa De Silva is the General Manager / CEO of LankaClear. Mr. De Silva was educated at Royal College in Sri Lanka and at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he was awarded Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has also been awarded a Masters’ degree in Business Administration from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.
In the USA, Mr. De Silva met Dr. Prabath Samaratuga, who was about to start an Internet Company in Sri Lanka. Back in Sri Lanka in 1995, Mr. De Silva assisted in setting up the very first Internet Company, Lanka Internet, in Sri Lanka and also the very first commercial email server, sri.lanka.net. This Company developed the first commercial website in Sri Lanka, www.lanka.net which still remains. Lanka Internet set up the first online newspapers in Sri Lanka; the Daily News and the Sunday Observer. Lanka Internet also started the first online radio station, TNL Radio. Mr. De Silva has worked in the area of Open Source and also at Microsoft Sri Lanka and then moved to IBM.
Mr. De Silva thereafter joined LankaClear, owned by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) and the CBSL licensed commercial banks in Sri Lanka. In 2002, LankaClear had commenced automating the cheque clearance process in Sri Lanka, originally carried out by CBSL. Other services which LankaClear commenced include the Sri Lanka Interbank Payment System (SLIPS), enabling same-day transfers. A real-time funds transfer switch has been enabled. Another milestone was achieved when LankaClear set up the Common ATM Switch, Lanka Pay, which includes all the banks and at present almost 98% of ATMs are linked through LankaClear. Mr. De Silva explains that the primary objective of LankaClear was to ensure financial inclusivity and take technology based payment mechanisms to rural areas in a secure manner and this is being achieved.
- Ms. Nayeni Fernando