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President Elect's Message

Inaugural General meeting of the Sri Lanka Institute of Landscape Architects (SLILA)

Friday 24th July 2009

The Future of Landscape Architecture is Ours!

President Sri Lanka Institute of Landscape Architects (SLILA),
My dear past students,
New Members at the head table,
Council members,
Members of SLILA.

Ms.Shiranee Balasuriya

It is indeed a privilege to be able to address you on this historic Day when we are just about to carve the first page of the Profession of Landscape Architecture! We are overjoyed and most thankful to the president SLILA, who with her energetic Team of landscape architects made today a REALITY! It has been a decade of hard work! And today we are reaping the harvest!


Landscape Architects,

We are the rightful custodians of Sri Lanka's much talked about Landscapes. Considering the extent it covers, it is somewhat alarming, when one understands the gravity of our responsibilities. We can shape preserve and protect it or destroy it for ever! Let us take up the challenge with dedication and the ethics embedded in our profession. Let us research to the utmost and let us look to our heritance for inspiration, to sustain and protect the environment.

 In a country with a legacy of landscape historic sites: from the 5th century gardens of Sigiriya, The monastic complexes of Ritigala, Ranmasu Uyana,   from the highly skilled sustainable agricultural practices of paddy cultivation, from the intricate irrigation systems, the building of tanks the ancient cites of Anuradapura, Pollonaruwa, Yapahuwa, Kandy and so on, our Ancestors has done us proud! And it is our entrusted responsibility to keep to the high ideals of professionalism when dealing with landscape projects entrusted to us!

The air of celebration and of Freedom after twenty six years also means that the speed of development will accelerate and unless we as an Institute come forward to be partners in progress our role as a Professional body will be futile. It is our responsibility to join hands to make a United Sri Lanka where the landscaping continues with the Spirit of the past, the needs of the present and the vision of the future

2009 will be etched in the History of our Land as a new era!

Coincidentally 2009 is also the new beginning of our Institute of Landscape Architects. Let us toil in the next decade positively: not discussing around a table but contributing  at grass root level, on the diverse canvas of Sri Lanka. Let us look not for our glory or for quick returns or for gimmickry or for unmanageable superfluous costly mundane solutions, but address the more global landscape issues of Global warming Rethinking traffic, solar wind power solutions and enhancing and conserving our rich biodiversity.

The theme for 2009 World Environment Day, June 5th held in Mexico was 'Your Planet Needs You. Unite to Combat Climate Change incorporating the mega concept for Landscape Architecture'. A Landscape professional should acquire skills to address these critical issues.

The Sri Lankan Nation now looks to the future with renewed hope and enthusiasm, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the 15th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement being held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on July 15. 2009 Let us be part of it in terms of Landscape Architecture!

May we strive to do our Best for Our Global Landscape whose future is our Responsibility!

I thank you all

Archt Ms Shiranee Balasuriya
Course Director Landscape Studies
University of Moratuwa
24 July 2009