The successful completion of the Batch 17 Final Meeting at the CMA Auditorium on 1st July, gave more insight, encouragement and learning to Batch 18 which entered the record books of the CMA Speech Craft programme history as the First Batch to start and conclude all 11 educational sessions online, without ever having met physically. Nonetheless the rehearsal meeting was also held online and the Final
session conducted physically at the CMA Auditorium on Sunday 5th July 2020 was a phenomenal success. The limited audience was in ‘awe’, Professor Watawala, Keynote Presenter Facilitators Toastmaster and renowned Trainer Niranjan De Silva and TM Mohamed Zawahir were astounded by the performance of excellence, fluency, competency and professionalism worthy of experienced Toastmasters.

Professor Watawala speaking on the occasion showered lavish praise on the Course Director Mr. Dian Abeyewardene for doing the impossible of teaching presentation competency and performance excellence online to prove that technological advancement and virtual e- learning platform is the future and is the path to future success. The convenience to learn from home, enabling those from the outstations and overseas to attend, the avoidance of the travails and the hassle of transport, the massive saving of time and energy on the road etc; was greatly appreciated and acknowledged by Professor Watawal

The technological competency of the CMA administration staff connecting participants from Saudi Arabia, Qatar & Dubai to the live final meeting was highly appreciated by Mr. Niranjan De Silva being a Past President of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka and a pioneer in growing the IT industry in Sri Lanka and key note speaker at the sessions.

24 participants received certificates with a record number of 10 participants completing level 3 during the batch 18 sessions, which is a truly remarkable feat. Three level 2 speeches of the highest quality, “Being
ambitious” by Mohamed Husni connecting from Saudi Arabia, “Entrepreneurs at the Heart of the Economy” by Mohamed Rizlan from Kurunegala, and “Everyone has their own time-zone to shine” by Rajitha Nirmal, an amazing delivery with potential to win Toastmaster Contests.

The two level 3 speeches were taken to a higher level by Achini Vithanage who spoke on a sensitive topic “Gender inequality and sexual harassment in the workplace”, providing an emotional appeal to management and bosses to consider ‘humanity’ and ‘meritocracy’ to handle the job instead of having gender bias. The prepared speech session curtain was drawn by Mohamed Irsaath delivering an outstanding level 3 speech from Saudi Arabia on the topic “Together we will succeed”. The powerful message of bringing together people irrespective of colour, race, ethnicity, culture and religion considering the importance of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia, setting aside racial discrimination but rather uniting the strengths of the different cultures taking the example of the CMA Speech Craft programme comprising all communities and religions who worked together as a team and thanks to the vision of the CMA Management succeeded in getting empowered as good communicators and professional leaders to develop Sri Lanka as a model Nation. His appeal was without using a Platform to divide Society we should rather bring all together to Succeed!

The Awarding of Certificates ceremony conducted by the Course Director Mr. Dian Abeyewardene was entertainingly handled recognizing the dedication and commitment of all participants whilst the Certificates were presented by Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala Founder President CMA, IPP of CMA Toastmaster Club Shemal, Mr. Niranjan De Silva, Mr. M.M. Zawahir and President CMA Toastmasters Club Mayuran Ramanathan. The entire programme was exceptionally well organized by Ms. Shanthi Maheswaran Director CMA and the administrative team of CMA Institute, observing preventive and safety measures using facemasks, social distancing, limited number of invitees etc; achieving the highest possible performance standards studded with quality display from the Role Players, the President of the meeting Nalaka Gunawardena, Toastmaster Role by Bishara Samaraweera, Table Topics Master Kasup Harischandra, the General Evaluator Sajeev Mariyadas from Batticoloa. Additionally there were participants from Vavuniya, Puttalam, Kandy, Kurunegala, Mannar, Ambalangoda, Nattandiya in addition to Dubai, Saudi Arabia & Qatar, delivering speeches and speech evaluations. The Vote of thanks was delivered by Sampath Jayawardena.

The awards ceremony was followed by items of entertainment provided by the participants who excelled in singing songs in Sinhala, Tamil & English with facemasks and social distancing and hand-washing!

The participants gave a hearty Salute to CMA Institute recognizing the Visionary Leader Professor Watawala for making the Speech Craft program Mandatory as part of the CMA Course ensuring empowerment of Communication Skill and leadership attributes to CMA Professional Management Accountants.