Who We Are?

Welcome to Sri Lanka Optometric Association.

Sri Lanka has a tradition in eye care that extends back to the mist of history. It is well documented that during the reign of King Bhuvanekabahu the IV (AD 1346 – 1353) of the Gampola period the ancient tradition of optical lens making with natural stone was revitalized and given royal patronage. However, there is ample indications that this craft and the technical knowhow existed and flourished dwell before this period. To further develop the crafts, the practitioners and artisans were given royal protection and a vast area of land was designated so that they could live and practice their craft free of any taxes levied by the king and the produce of the land area allocated to them was for their personal use. A few of the craftsman still live and practice in the original hamlet given to the exponents of the craft by royal decree even today. The natural stone originally used for the manufacturing of these lenses was clear Beryl. However, due to the scarcity of this natural stone clear quartz is used today.

The modern eye care industry of Sri Lanka can be traced back to the late 18th century when the British who conquered the island brought their apothecaries who also dabbled in the supply of a basic and rudimentary crude spectacle. The early 19th century saw a more scientific approach to spectacles with various British and Australian firms dominating the industry in Ceylon as it was then called.

There was no regulation or standardization of the products or the service provided during this period. This was the main reason together with the need for a united voice representing the industry for the establishment of the then Ceylon Optometric Association (COA) in 1961 with Mr. Hector C Fernando, a pioneer in the industry being invited to be its first president. Thereby, the COA which was renamed the Sri Lanka Optometric Association (S.L.O.A) to signify the name and status change of the country is the oldest established Optometric association in South East Asia.

The S.L.O.A. celebrated its 50th anniversary in grand scale in 2011 in the presents of representatives from many of the optical associations of Asia including India, Pakistan, Malaysia and Hong Kong as well as the world regulatory bodies. The world council of Optometry as well as the Asia Pacific council of Optometry which are the world governing and regulatory bodies for the profession has recognized the contributions made by the SLOA and made the association the local representative for these two organisations and have conferred full membership to the S.L.O.A.

In the past 5 decades and more since the establishment the SLOA, the organization has made a very significant contribution to the primary eye care of the masses of this island nations as its membership is spread across the island even in the most remote locations. During the half a century of its existence it has conducted many eye clinics to the most economically challenged of our society and distributed scientifically and optically correct spectacles whilst also diagnosing patients with cataracts as well as Glaucoma and other pathological changes in the eye directing them for further treatment. These services are carried out free of charge. The SLOA regularly conducts seminars and meetings to educate the public on basic eye care and the recognition of various eye ailments. The SLOA has also regulated its membership in the ethical practices of the profession as well as having regular updates in the latest developments in the industry so that its membership is upto date in the latest methods and innovations in the profession. Having established its own education program from foundation level upwards it now also conducts a higher Diploma in Optometry together with the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. All of the above education programs are conducted at subsidized rates so that any person interested in the profession can commence a career within the profession.

To widen the scope of its education program and increase the numbers of student intake the association has further developed its library and also set up added class room space and facilities at its college premises in Colombo. It has also set up a mentoring program for its new students. The SLOA recognizing its unique position as the representative of the profession as well as the business aspect of Optometry and its social responsibilities has set up its own permanent eye clinic where refractions are carried out free of charge as well as spectacles distributed.

The dedicated and highly motivated administrative staff together with the Principal for College of Optometry, a committed group of mentors and a dedicated faculty and its active professional membership ensures that the future of the Sri Lanka Optometric Association, the profession as well as the business aspect of the profession is in safe hands for the future.

Compiled and written by Mayur Varia (Chairman/Director Finance) m77_about

Our Vision


Our Mission

The mission of the Sri Lanka Optometric Association is to ensure quality and timely primary eye care to the public irrespective of their social or economic standing by advancing all modes of optometry and by providing members with the resources and support to practice at the highest levels of ethics and professionalism.

Past Presidents


Hector F C Fernando

30 May 1961 – 17 June 1962



Eric Rajapakse

6 Sep 1962 – 7 Dec 1969



D L F Pedris

7 Dec 1969 - 13 Oct 1974



Albert Edirisinghe

13 Oct 1974 – 24 Nov 1979


D L F Pedris

24 Nov 1979 - 2 Oct 1980


Ruparatne Wijetunga

17 Nov 1985 – 11 Sep 1988

Gamini Edirisinghe

11 Sep – 1988 - 9 Sep 1990



C M Vasa

9 Sep 1990 – 6 Sep 1992

Mangalika Samarakoon

6 Sep 1992 – 5 Sep 1993


Rohan Rajapakse

5 Sep 1993 – 4 Sep 1994

Elizabeth Perera

4 Sep 1994 – 3 Sep 1995



S D Gunasekara

3 Sep 1995 – 8 Sep 1996

Sarath Weeraratne

8 Sep 1996 – 19 Oct 1996


Past Chairpersons


Sarath Weeraratne
19 oct 1996 – 07 sep 1997


Ranee Ratnayake
07 Sep 1997 – 13 Sep 1998

Douglas Wijethunge
13 Sep 1998 – 05 Sep 1999



Nissanka Dissanayaka
05 Sep 1999 – 03 Sep 2000


M H C J Ian
03 Sep 2000 – 09 Sep 2001


Nalin Malagoda
09 Sep 2001 – 08 Sep 2002

Sharmali Kodagoda
08 Sep 2002 – 07 Sep 2003


Renuka Dhatabaya
07 Sep 2003 – 05 Sep 2004

Horatius Rajakaruna
05 Sep 2004 – 04 Sep 2005


Gwen Gurusinghe
04 Sep 2005 – 03 Sep 2006

Raymond Subasinghe
03 Sep 2006 – 02 Sep 2007


Sandaka Lenagala
02 Sep 2007 – 13 Sep 2009

Suranjan De Silva
13 Sep 2009 – 18 Sep 2011


Dasantha Fonseka
18 Sep 2011 – 13 Oct 2013

Jehan Rajapakse
13 Oct 2013 – 14 Dec 2014