“The Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays” was conferred on Mr. Kachchakaduge Manoj Caushalya Fernando, Executive Vice President of the Sri Lanka Baseball/Softball Association (SLBSA), by H.E. SUGIYAMA Akira, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, on 7 October 2021 at the Ambassador’s official residence in Colombo.
As a vital member of SLBSA, Mr. Fernando has dedicated himself to promoting baseball in Sri Lanka for more than three decades. His contribution has been instrumental in excelling the Sri Lankan national baseball team in the region, as showcased in winning two consecutive championships in 2017 and 2019 at the West Asia Baseball Cup. Through his great passion for baseball, Mr. Fernando has vastly contributed to strengthening the bilateral relationship between Japan and Sri Lanka, notably by liaising and receiving successive Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) in the area of baseball since 2002. Mr. Fernando also played a pivotal role in realizing a dream stadium at Diyagama (Sri Lanka – Japan Friendship Baseball Ground) which was completed with the support of the Government of Japan and JICA donation.
At the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Samurai Japan earned the glory of gold medal in baseball. We look forward to the day, when Japan and Sri Lanka will encounter in the field of dreams of the Olympic Games, to find the fellow spirit imbued and nurtured respectively under the same school of baseball.
“The Order of the Rising Sun” is the highest order conferred by the Government of Japan, in the name of His Majesty the Emperor, on individuals who have made distinguished achievements in the international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, among others.