I thank you for the singular honour of electing me as the 120th president of the SLMA in its 130th year. I accept this position with humility, being acutely aware of my responsibilities in upholding the principles upon which this great institution was founded in 1887. In keeping with its motto Lankadipassa Kkcesu Ma Pamajii meaning “to act without delay for the betterment of our nation”, I pledge to preserve the SLMA’s long traditions, and further uplift its commitment to advocacy, service, training and research in health, and protect the good standing of our profession to benefit the whole of Sri Lanka. A very sincere ‘thank you’ to outgoing President Dr Iyanthimala Abeywickrema and her Council, for your able leadership as the 10th lady president, and commitment to enhance our work environment. I also thank the chairs and conveners of expert committees and the innumerable members of SLMA for giving their best to champion for time appropriate health related issues. I salute their passion and dedication in venturing voluntarily into paths previously not tread and accepting responsibility and tasks with sometimes uncertain outcomes. Their vision to address gaps in policy, champion for novel approaches and lead health advocacy with one single purpose, for the betterment of our society rather than self is recalled with gratitude and admiration. They have inspired in me the need to carry the mission forward and steer the SLMA with a holistic approach, develop a connected view of education and service and encourage every Sri Lankan doctor to be a proud member of the SLMA. The induction ceremony held on 21st January 2017 at the BMICH, was in reality a sincere recognition of all those who have aimed towards these goals in the past 130 years, on behalf of the SLMA. A special feature about the ceremony was the award of Honorary Membership to Past President Dr Dennis J Aloysius. This was a most fitting tribute to a very senior member, who over five decades, has given his utmost to help bring the SLMA to what it is today. We also felicitated another very special person, for her untiring dedication to the SLMA, and that is none other than Chrissy c/o Hon Member Dennis Aloysius. Her support to enliven the ‘family of doctors’ over 33 years through her stewardship of the Doctors’ Wives’ Association is greatly appreciated. The reputation of the SLMA for its leadership in ensuring the good health of our nation and working towards providing quality health care that adheres to all ethical norms of practice is our singular pride. I shall endeavor to take our organization further forward as the leading apex body of medical professionals in our country with connectivity within the international arena. I thank the executive committee and members of the incoming Council for their enthusiasm, encouragement and dedication to work towards achieving SLMA’s goals. I invite all members, for your continued commitment to SLMA’s activities, and provide us regular feedback and constructive criticism. I pledge to do my best and seek your support and encouragement at all times. I extend to each and every member of the SLMA, my very best wishes for good health and happiness throughout the year.
Chandrika N Wijeyaratne