R.B HERATH, – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
RB is a well-known author, poet, dramatist, and a peace activist. Once he established a political party in Sri Lanka at a time the country was threatened with a separatist war in the seventies. His party provided a political platform designed to ensure, among other things, genuine democratic rule in the country and thereby civil, human, and political rights of the entire citizenry. After the separatist war broke out regardless, he left the country in 1984. He is well traveled, and has lived in several countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. He has an excellent knowledge of the international scene. After immigrating to Canada in 1990, Herath pursued a professional career with the BC government. At the same time, he served as a member of the BC Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform and as a board member of several peace and democracy organizations. His latest book, A New Beginning for Humankind: A Recipe for Lasting Peace on Earth has led to the formation of the Global Peace Alliance based in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. He is currently serving as the President & Chief Executive Officer of this organization. He has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in engineering and a PhD in Organizational Behaviour. He is married, and has three adult daughters and one granddaughter. He lives with his wife in Surrey, BC, Canada.
MAEJOR K. SIDHU, BE (Gulbarga), M.Eng (UBC) – DIRECTOR DEVELOPMENT
Maejor has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Engineering. He is also registered with the BC Safety Authority as a Power Engineer – Class 4 and with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia as a fully incorporated Professional Engineer (P.Eng.). He has a 22-year track record of successes in designing, inventing, improving and obtaining results. In his student days, Maejor excelled in sports and played basketball, soccer and volleyball for his High School and University in India. He was also a Member of the Indian National Cadet Corp. He is well travelled and has made friends with people of varied faiths and cultures. He believes that the Global Peace Alliance provides a common platform for peace-loving people in all faiths and cultures to work together for a more secure and peaceful world for our future generations.
MARGARET LLOYD, BA, M.Ed. – DIRECTOR / PROJECT PLANNING
Most of Margaret’s professional career has been spent over forty years in the teaching and counselling field. She immigrated to Canada from the United Kingdom about twenty years ago. In Canada she has had the privilege of working with First Nations people in rural communities in British Columbia for about six years. This has given her a great opportunity to understand the concerns and issues around oppression, loss of culture, and broken communities, but more importantly the strength of resiliency and advocacy. On her return to the Lower Mainland she has been working with Non-Profit organizations in the Lower Mainland, providing counselling services to families. She believes that families are the foundation of societies, and therefore, any attempt for a peaceful society should start at the level of the family, and children in particular. Margaret is a well-experienced presenter both in facilitating and co-facilitating groups. With her excellent presentation and leadership skills, she has been extremely successful in collaborating with people to ensure they are well heard and understood. She sees the validity of the vision and mission of the Global Peace Alliance for the present state of the world we live in and hopes that it will be able to achieve its objectives.
RAMYA HEWAWASAM, BA, MBE, CMA – DIRECTOR / FINANCE
Ramya is responsible for record keeping and accounting financial statements of the Global Peace Alliance. She is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), who also holds a Master’s degree in Executive Business Management from the University of Jayawardanapura, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Ramya has a twenty-year track record of services in financial and accounting matters in the high-tech Sector. The specific positions she has held during this period include those of Office Manager and Finance Manager. Over the years she has gained extensive experience and a high level of expertise in many aspects of financial management, including compliance with accounting principles, preparation of relevant and concise variance analyses, and completion of value added reports to help improve internal controls and provide the bottom-line oriented solutions. Ramya’s experience also covers preparation of statistical reports, maintaining close liaison with operational departments, accurate billing and timely collections.
SANGEETA CHAUHAN, B.Ed., M.Com., M.Sc – Manager/Accounts
Sangeeta has a Master’s degree in Accounting from Kurukshetra University in India and long work experience in many aspects of accounting and finance in both India and Canada. She believes that the Global Peace Alliance, Surrey Society (GPA) has become a source of great inspiration in shaping the lives of people who come in contact with it. She also sees that the spread of GPA basic values, such as caring & sharing, forgiving & forgetting, always acting responsibly in a trustworthy manner, and treating the wellbeing and happiness of all humans just as one’s own irrespective of any identifiable differences has begun to change the lives of many people, both young and old. In her capacity as the Manager/Accounts of GPA, she is responsible for maintaining its general ledger and for the preparation of its accounting and financial reports as and when required. She also helps GPA in other office work whenever needed.
YASIN M. KIRAGA, B.A. (UBC) – PARTNERSHIP LIAISON
Yasin Kiraga Misago came to UBC through the WUSC Student Refugee Program. While living as a refugee in Malawi, he was selected as one of six students to be sponsored to study at a Canadian university from a group of over 300 students who applied to this program. He has also been involved with the Canadian Red Cross Society in Richmond to share his experience as a refugee to bring awareness and help inspire change. One of Yasin’s most admirable traits is his desire and commitment to give back and serve communities. He hopes to pursue a career in international law to address human rights issues. Yasin chose to follow his passion with the goal of becoming a diplomat and to create positive change socially, economically, and politically. He also wants his BA to be the foundation for a law degree in the future. Eventually, he wants to be a great politician creating change. In his years at UBC, Yasin was heavily involved in extra-curricular activities. He was a member of the Africa Awareness Initiative, a member of World University Service of Canada, an active member of Stand UBC, a panelist with Minister Mobina Jaffer on refugee issues. On top of all this, Yasin was a broadcaster UBC’s CITR radio station, hosting a program called “Sounds of Africa” where he was an investigative journalist, interviewer, and raised funds for CITR.
TANVEER SINGH SRAN, RESEARCH COORDINATOR
Tanny is currently a student at Queen Elizabeth Secondary School in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. From his very young days, he developed a habit of reading and writing. In the process he slowly turned to be a researcher, especially on topics of war & peace. The more he engaged in such research work, the more he saw the potential to prevent violence among conflicting parties. He also saw the need to focus more on children in implementing peace programs and projects as children are the ones who will shape the future. A wish he has is that everyone would resort to peaceful ways in resolving inevitable conflicts instead of following the failed and outdated strategies of eliminating the enemy. Tanny thinks that the power of loving kindness cannot be defeated by any other means, and that together we can build the world we like to have for our future generations.
PULOMA KAUSHAL – YOUTH WING COORDINATOR
Born in India and living in Canada, Puloma has found the joy in helping others ever since she was little. She has been involved in various activities, teams and organizations from her elementary school days. She also had a passion for peace from that time. In a Grade 7 public speaking contest on the topic “It’s Possible” she chose to speak on “It is Possible to live in a peaceful world” and even became the final winner. Over the years she has been raising awareness of global issues and has been fundraising for both international and local charitable organizations. Some causes she has raised money for include: building wells, constructing schools, providing education for girls, minimizing hunger, relief for natural disasters(earthquakes, hurricanes), cancer research and providing aid to those in need. The foundations she has worked with include The Red Cross, The Heart and Stroke Foundation, and The Canadian Cancer Society. Currently she is campaigning for Free the Children while organizing events for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in her school and community. She has helped organize events such as assemblies, concerts, theme days, book fairs, craft fairs, exhibitions, workshops, and art shows in her school and community. In high school, she has spent many volunteer hours gaining valuable experience in working as a director, chairperson, secretary, treasurer, promoter and a technical assistant. She has devoted many hours of her life to volunteering hoping that her community will remain strong, considerate, and peaceful. One day, Puloma would like to be remembered as someone who has made the world a better place by her actions. Her hardworking personality is shown in the work she does; in the future, she would like to study in Medical School and receive a degree in Oncology. She dreams of finding a cure for cancer to stop the suffering of millions around the world. After all, as Eleanor Roosevelt quoted, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
RITIK BAGRI – STUDENT COORDINATOR
Ritik is currently a student at Princess Margaret Secondary School in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. His passion is to further develop his skills and competencies in visual art and, in the long term, to build a career in architecture and/or civil engineering. He actively takes part in sports and enjoys playing soccer and cricket, while also playing the role of a Catering Supervisor at a main restaurant in Surrey on a part-time basis. His interests in working for the greater good led him to join the Global Peace Alliance Surrey Society (GPA). In his current role as a Student Coordinator, he enjoys spreading the GPA message of kindness, love and compassion encouraging them as well to be part of this peace organization. He strongly believes that the students of today are the leaders of tomorrow.
CHETAN CHAUHAN – WEB ADMINISTRATOR
Chetan is a High School student in Surrey, BC, Canada. He aspires to be a software engineer and to pursue a career in that field. While he is taking his studies seriously he is also busy with his cricket practices and community work. He wants to help anyone in need in any manner he could. The more he learnt about the major conflicts in the world and the dire potential for any of them to trigger the next big war – just as how some isolated conflicts led to WWI and WW!! – the more he saw the need for all living people to work for global peace in every possible way. By being part of GPA, he wants to play his own role in this. The world Chetan likes to see is one where every human treats the wellbeing and happiness of all just as one’s own. It is his wish that every other young person living around the globe to be a proud member of GPA and starts working for peace in the world. In his role as the Tech Support Lead of GPA, Chetan is coordinating all its matters related to social media marketing, website updates, and trouble shooting.
RAGHU RAJ THAMAN – TECHNICAL SUPPORT & CINEMATOGRAPHY
Raghuraj is a student at the Princess Margaret Secondary School in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. He first joined GPA as a means to complete the volunteer hours he needed as a high school student. The more he worked with GPA, the more he got attracted to its programs and projects that aim at a more peaceful and secure world for generations to come. At the same time he was also particularly inspired and encouraged by the level of sincerity, dedication and commitment to the cause of peace he saw among the leaders of this organization. He treats it as a great privilege to work with them, contributing in his area of interest to their ongoing efforts in making a difference in this troubled world. He is also a strong believes that if we need to change the present world of tension, fear, and uncertainty to one of relief, resilience and lasting peace, everyone needs to start acting NOW.