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Indresri Karunatilaka wins ‘The Ray’ award

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has extended a grant of Rs 1 million to award-winning Sri Lankan inventor Indresri Karunatilaka, to commercialise his invention of a wave-less boat that can traverse inland waters without disturbing riverbeds.

Karunatilaka was the winner of the inaugural ‘The Ray’ award for invention presented by the Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust in collaboration with Sri Lanka Inventors Commission and powered by Commercial Bank, Sri Lanka’s largest private bank.


Indresri Karunatilaka receives the grant of Rs 1 million from Ravi Dias, Managing Director and CEO of Commercial Bank in the presence of Senior Minister of Scientific Affairs Prof. Tissa Vitharana and Prof. Malik Ranasinghe, Chairman, Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust.

An accountant by profession, Karunatilaka inherited a dormant passenger and cargo transport business from his grandfather, but could not resume the service along the Kalu Ganga because environmental regulations now prohibit motor boats on Sri Lanka’s rivers due to the damage caused to riverbeds by the waves they generate.

This inspired Karunatilaka to design a unique new 4,000 kg rectangular boat with a revolutionary hull shape that can travel at speed without creating a wave, and even minimises ripples, an invention that was chosen from six shortlisted for the prestigious ‘The Ray’ award presented at a gala ceremony on October17. As Principal Sponsor of this award, the Commercial Bank has committed its support, including a grant of Rs 1 million to enable Karunatilaka to prepare the invention for commercialization.

Ravi Dias, Commercial Bank’s Managing Director and CEO, who formally presented the inventor with the grant, said: “We are particularly pleased that this invention has the potential to contribute to environmental preservation, while promoting trade and commerce by offering another option for passenger and cargo transport. Karunatilaka’s invention is an example to others of how innovative thinking can enable people to comply with laws and progress instead of being deterred by them.”

Presented in memory of Sri Lanka’s legendary inventor Ray Wijewardene (1924 – 2010), he Ray Award is open to all Presidential Award winners of the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission.

The Commercial bank is the only Sri Lankan Bank to be listed two years consecutively in the world’s Top 1000 Banks.

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