The Siri Wickremesinghe Oration was instituted by the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists in 2004, in memory of the late Dr R S B Wickremesinghe, who was one of the earliest members of the College, and its’ President in 1994. Dr Wickremesinghe was a Consultant Medical Microbiologist at the Medical Research Institute for many years, the first Secretary to the Board of Study in Microbiology of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine of the University of Colombo, and a much revered and loved teacher of many postgraduate students. He passed away in 2003.
The Inaugural Siri Wickremesinghe Oration was delivered in 2004 by Dr Norbert Ryan, a Consultant Microbiologist who worked closely with Dr Wickremesinghe in Australia.
Since then, the Oration has been delivered annually by the following distinguished speakers.