Shelton Amarasuriya, retired Assistant Governor of the Sri Lanka Central Bank passed away last month. A lawyer by training, he began his career in the Bank as Assistant Controller of Exchange in the Exchange Control Department.
In time he was appointed Director of Training and later Secretary of the Central Bank. He served the Bank for nearly thirty-five years.
Shelton Amarasuriya was known for his quiet efficiency and friendliness. He had the rare quality of being firm with his staff while maintaining a friendly relationship with them. Many of his staff felt happy and at ease while working under him.
The true ability and character of Shelton Amarasuriya came to the fore when he functioned as the Bank’s Director of Training. As Director he played a key role in furthering the Bank’s policy of training its staff in line with meeting the future needs of the Bank. Suitable officers were sent abroad on postgraduate study and short term programs thus enhancing the skills available to the Bank in carrying out its functions. He was diminutive but his physical stature belied his ability and influence. He reminded us of the saying “A man is ten feet tall” There was a rare quality about Shelton Amarasuriya.He was very sociable and mixed well with everyone. His entire staff worked with him like one happy family. In fact, after his retirement in 1992, he and his gracious wife Jayanthi unfailingly held annual get-togethers, where he kept in touch with his former staff and reminisced about the good old days in the Bank. He will be remembered as a gentle and soft-spoken officer, who endeared himself to all who came into contact with him.