Board of Directors

Board of Directors


Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake

Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake is the Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC, and appointed to the Elpitiya Plantations board as the Chairperson with effect from 15th March 2019.

Prior to this appointment he was Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development.

He was appointed as the first non-British International President of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers U.K. founded in 1911 and Royal Charter conferred in 1920.

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Dr. Dissanayake has also held positions in the past that include, Chairman – Sri Lanka Ports Authority (two stints), Chairman – Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (Sri Lanka), Board Director Urban Development Authority and Board Director of Ceylon Shipping Corporation.

From June 2004 to May 2017 he served as a Director of Aitken Spence PLC and the Chairman & CEO of its Maritime and Logistics sector.

He is also a Professor in Maritime Studies at Shanghai Maritime University and Dalian Maritime University.


Dr. R M Fernando
Managing Director

Dr. Rohan Fernando was appointed to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations PLC on August 01, 1997 and as Managing Director on May 14, 2004. He is the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Plantation Managements PLC and an Executive Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

Dr. Fernando, is currently responsible for the Plantations segment and Business Development of the Aitken Spence Group covering sustainability and branding.  Dr. Fernando has extensive experience in the plantation industry both in the public and private sectors, corporate management, corporate strategy and played a key role in the plantations privatisation programme.

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He was the Chairman of United Nations Global Compact Network. Sri Lanka, a former President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Sri Lanka Chapter and is also a Member of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Business of Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT).

He holds a PhD and a MBA from the University of Colombo and is also a Chartered Marketer and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), UK.

Mr. Merrill J Fernando

He is the Chairman of MJF Holdings Limited and one of Sri Lanka’s first tea tasters in the then British-dominated trade. He is the Founder of “DILMAH TEA” brand name which re-launched, redefined and re-established the quality of Ceylon tea. DILMAH is a much respected global name, renowned for its quality, and its philosophy of caring and sharing with the community.

He was the pioneer in adding value to tea at origin, branding and marketing Ceylon tea quite successfully. Value addition at origin created significant services industries in printing, packaging, graphics and introducing packaging technology to Sri Lanka.

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Mr. Fernando incorporated the MJF Charitable Foundation, to fulfill his pledge to make his business a matter of human service. His Foundation and Dilmah Conservation use a significant share of the earning from the sale of Dilmah tea and other companies in the Dilmah Group, towards creating better conditions for the underprivileged and the wider community, whilst implementing positive and sustainable environmental interventions.

Mr. Malik J Fernando

Mr. Malik Fernando was appointed to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations PLC in August 01, 1997 as a Director.

He is the Director Operations of the MJF Group, which comprises several tea growing and tea packing/exporting companies, supplying the ‘Dilmah Tea” brand around the world.

Mr. Fernando holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from Babson College, USA.

Dr. Anura Ekanayake

Dr. Anura Ekanayake was appointed as a Director to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations PLC on January 09, 2009. He was the Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce during the period August 2009 to July 2011 and the immediate past Chairman of the Industrial Association of Sri Lanka.

He started his professional career in the public sector and served in a number of senior Sri Lankan Government positions before moving to the private sector. He has held several key positions in the Plantation Sector, first serving as the Director of Planning at the Ministry of Plantation Industries and thereafter as Director General (Development) of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs and Plantation Industries.

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He served on the Boards of Janatha Estate Development Board (J.E.D.B.) and Sri Lanka State Plantation Corporation (S.L.S.P.C.) prior to their privatization and thereafter served on the Boards of all 23 RPC’s for several years. During this period, he also served as a member of the Tea Research Board as well as the Board of the Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture of University of Peradeniya. During his public-sector tenure, he also held a number of international positions including that of the Chairman of international Natural Rubber Organisation based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

He holds a PhD in Economics from Australia National University where he conducted research on ‘Economics of human capital’. He has widely published in Sri Lanka and abroad on economics, human capital, agriculture and environment related areas. His current professional interests are supporting businesses on organisational transformation including culture change and coaching young professionals to realise their full potential.

Mr. Sarath Ratwatte

Mr. Sarath Ratwatte who was appointed as a Director to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations PLC on April 10, 2013 is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK and has over 30 years work experience in the fields of financial and treasury management, project evaluation and development, investments, financing and risk management and joint ventures. Mr. Ratwatte has worked in several multinational organisations and conglomerates in Sri Lanka and overseas.

Prior to 2009, he worked at Aitken Spence Group of Companies for a period of 20 years in many capacities including that of Group Treasurer / Director – Aitken Spence Corporate Finance (Pvt) Ltd., Director of Ace Power Embilipitiya (Pvt) Ltd and Aitken Spence (Garments) Ltd. He also serves on the board of HNB Assurance PLC.

Mr. D A De S Wickremanayake

Mr. D A De S Wickremanayake was appointed to the directorate of Elpitiya Plantations PLC on October 2, 2017. In addition, he serves as a Director of Aitken Spence Plantation Managements PLC since July 18, 1997 and is a Director of Pelwatte Sugar Colombo PLC as well.

Mr. Wickremanayake has wide experience in the corporate sector, having pioneered many companies and served on the board of many others. He is the founder Chairman/ Managing Director of Master Divers (Pvt) Ltd, which created a landmark area of activity in the shipping industry. He is the Chairman of Pelwatte Dairy Industries Ltd which produces wide range of dairy products including milk powder and butter using locally produced milk.

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He also the Chairman of Mawbima Lanka Foundation, an organisation dedicated to promoting Sri Lankan goods. He is also a Director of Bogawantalawa Tea Estates PLC.

In the state sector, his experience was sought by the Government to help to run the National Livestock Development Board and the State Engineering Corporation where he served as Chairman of these two institutions, at difference times.

He is a Member of the University Grant Commission Standing Committee on Agriculture, Veterinary, Medicine and Animal Science.

Mrs. D.A.S. Dahanayake

Mrs. Anusha Dahanayake was appointed as a Director of Elpitiya Plantations PLC on 28th February 2022. Currently she is an Acting Director of the Department of Trade and Investment Policy of the Ministry of Finance. She possesses experience over 17 years in the public sector, including 13 years experience in the Sri Lanka Planning Service and is a Class II Officer of the Sri Lanka Planning Service. Mrs. Dahanayake obtained a B.Sc. General Degree from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and a Master’s Degree in Applied Science from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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She has wide experience at the national level, in the fields of Project Planning and Monitoring, preparation and Monitoring of National Budget. Previously Mrs. Dahanayake was attached to the Department of National Budget and the Department of
Trade and Investment Policy in the General Treasury for a period spanning above seven years. Further, she has undergone training and gained experience in countries such as India, Hong Kong, Indonesia and China.

Mr. Bhathiya Bulumulla

Mr. Bhathiya Bulumulla, the Chief Executive Officer of Elpitiya Plantations PLC was appointed to the Board of Aitken Spence Plantation Managements PLC in July, 2016. He possesses over 32 years of experience in the Plantation Sector, out of which for the past 19 years, he is serving at Elpitiya Plantations PLC.

Mr. Bulumulla holds a Diploma in Plantation Management from the National Institute of Plantation Management (NIPM) and holds a B.Sc (Hons) Degree in Plantation Management, awarded by the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka. He also hold a M.Sc degree in Environment Science from the Open University of Colombo.

Mr. Bulumulla is a fellow member of the National Institute of Plantation Management (NIPM) and Visiting Lecturer at Wayamba University & National Institute of Plantation Management (NIPM). He is also a honorary member of the Board Directors of the Estates’ Staffs Provident Society and the Plantation Human Development Trust.