Sri Lankan Friendship Society (SLFS) is a charitable, incorporated community organisation in Waikato. It was officially established in 1994 but the history goes all the way back to the early 70s. The main objective of SLFS is to promote, uphold and honor the cultural heritage and to support all attempts to maintain the identity of Sri Lanka.

We organize and participate in various Cultural and Social events and also support Sports and other activities to promote the unity and well-being of the Sri Lankan Community in Waikato.

Our History

The origins of the SLFS go back to 1971 when three Sri Lankan families who had just migrated to Hamilton from Ceylon (as it was known then) used to have casual meetings at each other’s houses. Eventually, with the arrival of more Sri Lankan families, the meetings grew and became the basis for a close-knit group of Hamilton-Sri Lankan families.

At this point, Dr. Malcolm Martinez, the founding President of the Society, decided that the society had grown to a size where formality had to be given to the informal meetings. Thus in 1994 the SLFS was born and formally incorporated, with the first meeting held on the 21st of May 1994.

The inaugural meeting was chaired by Bennett Lecamwasam, a chief promoter of the concept, who emphasised the importance of fostering the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka and maintaining amicable relations among all Sri Lankans living in the Waikato Region. In January 2010, the SLFS was registered as a charitable organisation by the Charities Commission as a recognition of the charitable work done throughout the years. Since 1994, the society has grown in strength and numbers into the vibrant society it is now and continues to grow, with around 500 members in over 200 families spread across the Waikato region.

Our Vision

To promote and uphold the cultural heritage, values, and traditions of Sri Lanka in the region and to work with similar organisations to enrich the diverse New Zealand culture.

Our Mission

To Develop and facilitate cultural, educational, sports and recreational programs for children and adults to build strong and more connected communities and to make the process of settling into New Zealand as easy as possible for new immigrants.