There were panels of speakers who spoke on perspectives of women in the work they have done in the past 40 years. These panels comprised of eminent professionals and academics in the nation including Professor Swarna Jayaweera, Ms. Manel Abeysekara, Dr. Hiranthi Wijemane, Dr. Selvy Tiruchandran and Deshabandu Jezima Ismail.
Professor Savitri Goonesekere was felicitated for her achievement on being awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Academic Prize 2008. Dr Deepika Udagama spoke on Prof Goonesekere’s acomplishments and she was given a token of appreciation by the weavers of the tsunami affected, eastern province areas.
The program was in order to felicitate many great women of the past, focusing mainly on Dr. Wimela De Silva, Bernedine De Silva and Lorna Wright, whose services to the nation have contributed towards vast changes in the lives of many. Ms. Malsiri Dias, Ms. Okama Brook and Ms. Tania Anthony were amongst those who re-lived their experiences with these women and spoke of their work in the community, which has become a vital part of society. A necrology ceremony was organized as part of the program to give thanks and remembrance to those amazing women and hope that their work can inspire many more intellectual women to flourish in the future.
Trilingual songs on women, together with a dance performance, provided excellent entertainment to the audience, while at the same time created a great inspiration and encouragement in the hearts of all those present in the audience that day, to bring about more women of their caliber in our community.
ISLE members were part of the main organization committee and helped coordinate the entire program. This program also focused on launching and introducing ISLE to the public. The success of this pioneering ISLE program laid the foundation stone for the vision that ISLE hopes to create.