Social Service & Philanthropy
Hailing from a family where the Buddhist precepts of brahmavihara - loving-kindness or benevolence (මෛත්රී/මෙත්තා) compassion (කරුණා) empathetic joy (මුදිතා) and equanimity (උපේක්ෂා/උපේක්ඛා) were and are a way of life, Thilanga Sumathipala and his six siblings ideated, organized and support the numerous philanthropic and social service efforts of the family led by their mother. These included relief at both National and local scale such as humanitarian assistance to those affected by the devastating 2004 Tsunami, donations in cash and kind to hospitals, donations of spectacles and wheelchairs to the elderly, building homes, providing scholarships and economically empowering women in impoverished families across the island.
In 2004, during his tenure as President of Sri Lanka Cricket, Sumathipala spearheaded the formulation of Cricket Aid to assist victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and through efforts conceptualized and led by him, was able to contribute towards the relief of Tsunami affected citizens of Sri Lanka through building four villages - fully equipped with homes, WaSH facilities, schools, & playgrounds as well as through a scholarship program for students orphaned by the disaster.
Thilanga Sumathipala Foundation
In 2006, he established the "Thilanga Sumathipala Foundation" with the primary mission of "Service for Human Needs" through which he initiates and extends projects across a sphere of societal needs such as humanitarian and medical assistance, poverty alleviation, disaster assistance, urban and environmental development, rehabilitation and more. Currently, and over the next several years, the Foundation will focus its attention on initiatives designed to benefit vulnerable sections of society such as Women, Children and the Elderly. The Foundation, rooted in Buddhist principles, also conduct regular religious, meditational and meritorious activities.
Milina Matha Foundation
Following the demise of his beloved mother in 2017, Sumathipala established the "Milina Matha Foundation" in commemoration of her exemplary and benevolent life, and it through this Foundation that the legacy of the late Mrs. Sumathipala PhD is continued by her children, through projects designed and implemented provide educational assistance, and support for the dissemination and elevation of Buddhist teachings across the land. Activities include acknowledging and promoting the quality of of Buddhist teaching in the Daham Schools, awarding scholarships for university candidates & students who have excelled at GCE O/L & A/L as well as annual donations of school books and educational needs of children of the staff of the Sumathi Universal Group of Companies.
Celebrating its 25th year in 2021, the prestigious "Sumathi Awards", conducted annually by the Sumathi Group to encourage, reward, honor & celebrate invaluable contribution to the Arts, were conceptualized and spearheaded by Thilanga Sumathipala in 1995 as a tribute to his late father, U W Sumathipala. In its history of a quarter century, the Sumathi Awards have become synonymous with excellence in the Sri Lankan Television industry, and are an anticipated, and coveted award for its recognition of creativity, innovation and craft.