Society features

CA Sri Lanka takes action to transform self, society, business and country

Amid an ongoing unprecedented crisis that has engulfed Sri Lanka, which has driven the country and its people to seek holistic, people-centered transformational change towards the system, as well as increased transparency and accountability, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) launched the 43rd National Conference of Chartered Accountants on Wednesday with the ambitious goal of taking the lead in transforming self, society, business and country.

Supreme Court Justice Justice Yasantha Kodagoda, PC, was the keynote speaker and biodiversity scientist Rohan Pethiyagoda delivered the keynote address.

The dedication ceremony held at the Monarch Imperial.

Sanjaya Bandara, President of CA Sri Lanka, Heshana Kuruppu, Vice President of CA Sri Lanka, Ms. Anoji de Silva, National Conference Committee Chairperson, Anura Perera, National Conference Technical Committee Chairperson, and Ms. Dulani Fernando, Chief Executive Officer of CA Sri Lanka.

The sold-out three-day mega-event, held under the timely theme “Transform: Self, Society, Business, Country”, attracted over 2,000 delegates from Sri Lanka and overseas, and was boosted with 14 speakers and 7 panelists who will deepen during two days of technical sessions on October 13 and 14 the need not only to transform strategic areas, but the fundamental requirement for everyone to transform themselves as individuals, professionals and citizens, in apart from societal-level transformation, without which Sri Lanka cannot achieve holistic, country-wide transformation.

Sanjaya Bandara said that as a nation, Sri Lanka will not see the light at the end of the tunnel if we do not move forward together. “Often we expect change when we ourselves are unwilling to change. Therefore, we have decided to use this conference to cultivate fresh thinking among our chartered accountants as well as other professionals,” said he declared.

He pointed out that chartered accountants have always been identified as agents of change and are widely recognized as the hidden force behind the success of many organizations. “We’re also known for playing a vital role in sustaining success.” Therefore, he said, this time, instead of just being a co-pilot for the business, chartered accountants must go a step further and help lead Sri Lanka out of this crisis.

Bandara, however, stressed that while the accountancy profession can do much more to contribute to the nation, it must go hand in hand with a solid foundation in place where ethics, transparency and accountability will be the main cornerstones. Without these fundamentals in place, the transformation will not be successful. So, we must all strive and make sure that we make these changes not only for our good, but also for the good of our future generations,” he added.

Justice Kodagoda called on the professional community to think introspectively and externally about how everyone can contribute to the development of a united, peaceful, economically viable and proud nation.

He said that while everyone expected political leaders to transform into visionary, honest and strong leaders, it was imperative that everyone else also transformed in the same direction expected of the country’s leaders. “We must engage in sincere and critical introspection. We need to identify where we too may have gone wrong and we need to see how we can improve our professionalism, efficiency and productivity and become economically strong and sustainable,” he said.

During the opening speech, Rohan Pethiyagoda pointed out that men and women are not equal due to fundamental differences between them, although they deserve the same consideration. “You only have to go to Welikada prison or any other prison on the planet to see that 95% of the prisoners are men.

Everyone in prison is in prison because of their behavior, so anyone who claims men and women are equal needs to tell me why there aren’t more women in prison.

Pethiyagoda emphasized that the fact that men and women are different must be turned into a strength, including the strength of diversity, rather than being forced to imagine that men and women behave as equals.

Ms Anoji de Silva said failure is no longer an option for the country. “It is time for all of us to ask ourselves what we can do to help our country survive and emerge from the current crisis. We all have a huge responsibility to take these ideas forward and implement a successful national transformation strategy. So let’s all work together to make it happen,” she said.

Delivering the rationale for this year’s theme, Anura Perera said the root cause of the unprecedented ongoing crisis is largely self-inflicted. “Our pride has been shattered, our credibility is in the spotlight and this deepening crisis has forced us to rethink and consider a new path. We cannot depend on the world unless it helps us- same,” he added.