The English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) of the University of Kelaniya marked the achievement of the departmental status making it the 10th Department of the Faculty of Humanities on the 5th of June 2017. The building housing the Department of English Language Teaching was named as “Manique Gunesekera Memorial Building” in memory of late Prof. Manique Gunesekera and was formally acknowledged at the same function.
The Department of English Language Teaching was founded as a sub-unit of the Department of English in the 1960s and its first Head was Mr. Reggie Siriwardene who was an eminent poet and dramatist in Sri Lanka. Amidst many struggles, the dream of establishing an ELTU was achieved in 1991 with Prof. Manique Gunesekera as its Head. The ELTU was shifted to the Faculty of Humanities building in 1992. It obtained its own building in 1997. Undoubtedly, the DELT was made possible because of the vision of late Prof. Manique Gunesekera and naming the building was a tribute to her. Ms. Mahishi Ranaweera, the first Head of the Department of English Language Teaching speaking at the event said that not only the DELT at Kelaniya, but the entire ELTU system of this country owes Prof. Manique Gunesekera a debt of gratitude for making this wave.
Prof. Mohan de Silva, the Chairman of the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka, while congratulating the achievement of the DELT stated that a basic knowledge of English Language is important for a profession. He expects that the DELT will continue to support the undergraduates and the nation’s efforts to improve the standards of English Language.
This event was graced with the presence of Prof. D.M. Semasinghe, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Sarath Amunugama, the Former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lakshman Senevirathna, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Patrick Ratnayake, the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, , Deans of Faculties, Heads of Departments, Retired Academic staff members of the DELT, many academic and non-academic staff members and the undergraduates.