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Sri Lanka Foundation Int, Distributes 25 Essential Baskets to underprivileged Pregnant Mothers!

Availability of an organizational structure for provision of maternal health services in the rural areas of Sri Lanka is an ongoing problem. Despite the availability of universal healthcare and education, and good health indicators at the national level, maternal and child undernutrition continue to pose a major challenge for Sri Lanka.

This project that we are supporting was initially started in year 2000 by Buddiyagama Dhammasena Thero to help and support the deserving pregnant women in rural areas with the essential items that they need at the hospital for a new born. The goal is to provide 10,000 give away essential baskets per year Islandwide, in the areas served such as Monaragala, Mathara, Hambantota and Gampaha.

On April 10th, 2021, Sri Lanka Foundation donated 25 essential baskets to underprivileged mothers with items that are urgently needed for a new born baby at the Marthara Beliwatta Sri Sudharmastha Viharasthanaya, Sri Lanka distributed by Buddiyagama Dharmmasena Thero. The foundation has pledged to continue this project every month to the most needed pregnant mothers in Sri Lanka.

If anyone is interested to know more about this project and would like to donate to this cause please go to the Foundation website: http://www.srilankafoundation.org and click on causes.

FCCISL joins Sri Lanka-Americans’ donation of medical equipment to IDH

From left: FCCISL Secretary General and CEO Ajith D. Perera, FITIS Immediate Past President Dr. Kithsiri Manchanayaka, Consultant of Infectious Diseases Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama and IDH Hospital Director Dr. Hasitha Attanayake

The Sri Lankans living in Southern California spearheaded by Prof. Deepthi Jayasekara, an Infectious Diseases Specialist in collaboration with Sri Lanka Medical Association of North America Western Region (SLMANA WR) collected much-needed funds for the purchase of equipment to National Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDH).

The project was conducted with the help of Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries in Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and liaised by Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) Immediate Past President Dr. Kithsiri Manchanayakke.

Some of the equipment purchased with the funds were four ICU Trendelenburg beds, bedside ultrasound scanners and probes, ambu scopes, television sets for isolation rooms and PPE including N95 masks

The project was planned as an emergency fundraising event to help the country in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama, Consultant in Infectious Diseases at the IDH Hospital, provided the appropriate guidance to the current needs of this hospital which was in dire need of some upgrades during this pandemic. Prof. Deepthi Jayasekara and SLMANA will be further looking into helping other hospitals in need of upliftment in the future.

SLYO Project Makes A Difference! Education Without Boarders | Operation Rise Above

Approximately 20 percent of youth in Los Angeles suffer from poverty, which interferes with their ability to purchase essential school supplies, and thus access a quality education. In addition, the pandemic has created further disruption for students as classes temporarily halted, interrupting learning.

To help mitigate these issues, SLYO and Project POH have partnered with Migalay’s Tamales restaurant and Yasel Puig’s Wild Horse Foundation to create the Operation Rise above initiative. The purpose of the initiative was to provide essential school supplies such as pens, backpacks, pencils, crayons, and colored pencils to underprivileged youth residing in the San Fernando Valley district. The event was hosted at Migalay’s Tamales Mexican restaurant on Saturday, October 3rd 2020 and was facilitated successfully with the help of many enthusiastic volunteers. Overall, school supplies were given to approximately 700 school-aged youth. SLYO and Project POH were grateful for the funds and essential school supplies provided by their sponsors: TJ Maxx Westlake Village, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Sri Lanka Foundation, Team Rugby LA, the Go-Fund me donations and Facebook donations.

As a result of the donations, SLYO was able to purchase 700 backpacks with school supplies to provide to youth and families in need. The committee was also able to provide these individuals with free packaged meat sponsored by Yasel Puig’s Wild Horse Foundation. SLYO and Project POH would like to extend a special thank you to all the people that donated funds or supplies to make this event possible. Overall, Operations Rise Above, was able to help children ranging from Kindergarten to High School obtain important school supplies to help them get through the school year.

Written by,
SLYO Executive Committee

10th day of the 5th Gammadda Door-to-Door initiative

(News 1st): Amidst split opinions on the Constitutional Amendments, political debates, and inclement weather, issues faced by the people of our country has to be given our attention as well.

Gammadda teams today visited the people living in the Districts of Anuradhapura, Galle, and Mannar under the 5th Gammadda Door to Door initiative.

Most people in Galenbindunuwewa in Anuradhapura are suffering from kidney disease as they have been drinking brackish water for a long time.

A well has been constructed for these villagers to fetch water about two kilometers away from where they live, but that too is located near a reserve.

Just three months ago, a villager was killed by an elephant while trying to fetch water from the well.

People in Galenbindunuwewa are in need of clean drinking water and an elephant fence.

for more information go to:http://www.dailymirror.lk

Project Pursuit of Happiness and SLYO Presents

Operation Rise Above Sri Lankan Youth Organization (SLYO) and Project Pursuit of Happiness (POH) will be providing all the essential school supplies to underprivileged schools and students. This is a trying time for all of us. However, some families are unable to provide for their families and are finding it extremely difficult to navigate these waters. We want to utilize our network and resources to fill that void and help alliviate some of the hardships that these families are currently experiencing. We decided that the best way for us to help is by ensuring kids are not forced to pause on their education. We believe that if these kids have the proper support system, they will be able to rise above this current climate as well as set a solid foundation for taking care of their own families one day. Education is at the core of being able to rise above the issues that society throws at us, and kids should not be alone in fighting for that journey. This is the reason why we created Operation: Rise above. The idea is simple: provide kids with the resources they need to succeed so they can use their knowledge for power. We can use all the help possible as we a realizing there are currently a lot of kids being forced to put a hold on their education all over Los Angeles. With your help, we will be able to make an impact on these kids lives and give them the necessary tools they need to succeed. With even one small donation, you make make a major difference in their lives and the world. See more to Register and Donate! https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/operation-rise-above?fbclid=IwAR3Z_oFeY3qUl2dUfMuBqv7oaPEN7vPs0ofVcunAZDA_SCC9TyNoEVMMrh8

PM appoints Archaeological Advisory Committee to look into archaeological sites

An Archaeological Advisory Committee was appointed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs Minister today to obtain assistance in protecting archaeological sites scattered across the country.

According to the Prime Minister’s Media Division, the letters of appointment to the members of the committee were handed over at Temple Trees by the Premier today.

The Prime Minister has appointed the 20-member committee in accordance with the Archaeological (Amended) Act and the committee is expected to provide instructions to the minister on archaeological sites, on special projects, policymaking, observation and development on archaeological sites and promotion of them.

Out of the 20 members, nine members are Buddhist prelates including Most Venerable Anunayake of Asgiri Chapter Wendaruwe Upali Thera, Ven. Mataramba Hemarathana Thera, Ven. Pallegama Hemarathana Thera, Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera, Ven. Alikewela Seelananda Thera, Ven. Yatigaloluwe Wimalarathana Thera, Ven. Pahamune Sri Sumangala Thera, Ven. Professor Induragare Dhammarathana Thera and Ven. Dr. Maduruoye Dhammissara Thera.

Other members include former Archaeological Director General Dr. Shiran Deraniyagala, Professor T.G. Kulatunga and Senior Professors Nimal De Silva and Raj Somadewa. (Lahiru Pothmulla)

for more information go to:http://www.dailymirror.lk

Great news, IF You Missed SLF COVID-19 Medical Webinar, Here’s Another Opportunity!

During this unprecedented COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, on June 7th, 2020 the Sri Lanka Foundation partnered with three Expert Medical Professionals from our very own community, Dr. Deepathi Jayasekera, Clinical Professor in Infectious Disease, Dr. Himanshu Wickramasinghe, Consultant Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Lasika Seneviratne, Consultant Hematologist/ Oncologist to address essential issues and share their knowledge with our community.

Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States, Rodney Perera was our special guest, and in his speech, he thanked the Sri Lanka Foundation for the selection of expert medical professionals to generate awareness of the Pandemic by organizing this Webinar.

No doubt it captured the attention of the audience as the purpose was to give the message to our community to be Safe, Healthy, and Well informed.

Many concerned and great questions were pouring in from the attendees which were answered by our speakers. We received many positive comments from our listeners thanking and applauding our panelist for a job well done and said looking forward to our next Webinar on COVID-19.

We extend our sincere gratitude to the Doctors and the Attendees, our SLF News email blast will be updated with appropriate resources and webinars on COVID-19 for our community.



Please see the feedback we received from our attendees worldwide:

“The discussion was extremely insightful and hence useful. Always proud to be associated with activities of the Sri Lanka Foundation that continue to bring together the Sri Lankan community in the United States. I salute the capable Sri Lankan American professionals for bringing honor to our beloved motherland. Let us continue to work together for more useful events and discussions for the betterment of our community. I thank Dr. Walter Jayasinghe and the team of the Sri Lanka Foundation for the opportunity provided to us all”.

E. Rodney M. Perera
Ambassador
Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC
|

Dear Keshini,

Thank you for organizing this event. I listened to part of it, but my router here had some issues due to heavy rain and lightning.


I shall be grateful if you would forward my thanks and best wishes to the experts who did an excellent job.

Would you be kind enough to pass this message and email to them. I am particularly keen to speak to Himanshu and Lasika both of whom I had the pleasure to teach.

Kind regards,
Dr Saroj Jayasinghe
MBBS (Col), MD (Col), MRCP (UK), MD (Bristol), PhD (Col), FRCP (Lond), FCCP
Chair Professor of Medicine University of Colombo
Former Head, Department of Medical Humanities, Faculty of Medicine
Hon. Consultant Physician, National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Colombo
saroj@clinmed.cmb.ac.lk
sarojoffice@yahoo.com



Hi Keshini: The SLF webinar on COVID-19 was very well organized and was highly informative. The speakers shared several real-life examples from their daily experiences. The hands own work of Dr. Himanshu Wickramasinghe, with the sickest patients in the ICU, was fascinating, as was the work of Dr. Deepthi Jayasekera, who is caring for patients in several area hospitals. His masterly responses to questions were helpful and impressive. Dr. Lasika Seneviratne’s vivid explanations of multiple complications that can arise due to abnormal coagulation made one appreciate that COVID is not only a respiratory disease affecting the lungs. SLF should be complimented for organizing such an impressive seminar. It was a creative way for the Foundation to connect meaningfully with the community during these trying times. I know it takes a considerable effort to make it happen, and you and your team should be proud of yourself for a job well done. Dr. Jay, I am sure, is very happy that he has such a great team to implement his vision. Well done.

Thanks. Nandi.
Nandasiri (Nandi) Jasentuliyana
President Emeritus, International Institute of Space Law
Former Deputy Director-General, United Nations, and
Director, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs



Dr. Lasika,

I wanted to congratulate you on your presentation today. It was one of the best seminars I attended. I have been following the COVID research and have attended many virtual seminars on COVID. All the speakers spoke lucidly with excellent clinical and research information and without too much self-promotions, followed by a robust Q&A.

I like this format and would not be surprised if this may be the format of the future CME replacing our usual live attendance. This Corona crisis is upending traditional business and practices with telemedicine and other forms of doing remote communication and new business burgeoning opportunities.

Please congratulate Himansu and Deepak.
 

Best,
Nage 



Dear Keshini Auntie,

I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy in these strange times. I attended the Zoom webinar today. It is a really great idea to hold these webinars monthly and is a true service to the community during this uncertain period! Since you were recording the meeting, will you be disseminating it on the SLF website, YouTube, and other social media so that more people will be able to benefit from the information at the meeting?

I especially enjoyed Dr. Wickaramasinghe and Dr. Seneviratne’s presentations, and hope that they return for future webinars! They spoke quite clearly and explained the issues in an effective and organized way. They used technical terms while also clarifying what they meant, without relying on jargon, and so could be understood by both an academic and non-academic audience. Dr. Wickaramasinghe and Dr. Seneviratne are incredibly useful panelists for webinars like this that are aimed towards a wider community!

Would it be possible to have a mental health professional, educator, and/or a child psychologist in future webinars? It would be useful for parents, or even children, to ask questions on how to handle altered family dynamics, behavioral issues, and deal with educational changes during shelter-in-place.

Further, as an Asian American and Ethnic Studies scholar, I see how prevalent myths and falsehoods about the virus have spread through social media in the last few months, many of them racist and anti-Chinese. I hope that as part of the next meeting agenda, panelists address myths, falsehoods, and rumors about the pandemic as detailed by the WHO at this link here and elsewhere. For next time, could you have the panelists include sources? It would be useful to check out the articles and papers for further information after the webinar.

This is a wonderful way for our community to connect and ask questions about the issues important to them. It is a very frightful time for all of us, and having an opportunity for community members to learn and assuage their fears and uncertainties is vital. Thank you so much again for organizing this!


Please stay safe and healthy,
Mihiri
Mihiri Tillakaratne
A.B. Harvard College
M.A. Asian American Studies | University of California, Los Angeles
PhD Candidate, Ethnic Studies | University of California, Berkeley



Hi Ms. Keshini,

The Webinar hosted by SLF was phenomenal. My mom and I attended it from start to finish and I also got the opportunity to have some of my burning questions answered.

The doctors explained everything thoroughly and the discussion was lively. The pulmonology, infectious disease, and hematology tie-ins were well orchestrated. Congratulations on the success!

Looking forward to your future events too.


Best regards,
Zainab Ifthikar- Medical Faculty, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia



Hi Keshini,

Please thank all those involved for hosting a well organized webinar. Clearly, everyone had invested much time and resources into this and it was well received and appreciated.

As you have asked, I do want to provide some comments about the event.

What I liked
* Obviously, these doctors are very well informed and I appreciated their candid opinions on the situation
* All gave great presentations, with useful information. I’m sure everyone learned something new during the webinar as I also did
* Discussion was moderated well, zero distractions, and effectively managed.
* As you have said, Zoom meetings can quickly become derailed by unmuted lines and poor audio quality. This was not the case.

Areas that we can improve:
* Some parts of the presentation were too scientific for the intended audience. I was able to follow along just fine, but I know of others who were not able to. In particular, I remember 2-3 slides going to the cellular level of how COVID-19 infects. In order to keep everyone’s focus, we should stick to communicating in layman’s terms.
* Let the audience know that their audio/video have been automatically turned OFF. Even I was struggling to figure out whether my audio/video was on as the Zoom meeting did not look the same as what I typically see in my work meetings.
* For potential topics for the next discussion, I think most people in the audience would have the same questions as what members of the SLF team would have. If you all have specific questions that you would like answered, that would be a good starting point. In addition, some guidance on what the panelists are doing themselves on a personal daily basis. I appreciated Dr. Deepthi stating what he does, such as taking Vitamin C/D, zinc sulfate, etc. This was the one thing that I saw Shanuki write down, so I know it was important to her and probably others also.
Please reach out if you’d like to discuss further.


Thanks,
Shanaka




Hello Himanshu/Deepthi and Lasika,

Just a quick note to tell you that I learned a lot from your webinar on Sunday.

All three of you came through as being professional, knowledgeable and believable.

Thanks for sharing your expertise with Sri Lankans and others worldwide.


Best wishes,
Jayam Rutnam
Founder of Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California



Hello Keshini
Many thanks for your email, look forward to receiving the recording/slides. It was an insightful presentation by US/SL amazingly talented Medical Specialists.

I receive updates from Jayam but not a member of SLF news, how do I become a member?

Best regards,
Tessa Dissanayake




Did you miss our COVID 19 Webinar?





Fundraising for Coronavirus Relief: How You Can Help the Fight by Venerable Buddiyagama Dammasena Thera!

Venerable Buddhiyagama Thera says the impact of the coronavirus has extended far beyond those who have become infected. Entire communities now face emergency lockdowns, and in Sri Lanka alone, hundreds of people have been quarantined in an attempt to prevent further spread of the disease.

With such a staggering number of people in quarantine and more becoming sick, there is a need for quick action. Everything from basics, like food to emergency financial assistance to pay for things like rent is urgently needed as people experience lost wages due to illness or quarantine restrictions. For those who are already sick, paying medical bills has become an additional burden.

Venerable Buddhiyagama Thera steps up to embrace an entire community in the Matara District with the initial donation given by Dr Walter Jayasinghe, the founder of the Sri Lanka Foundation to lend a helping hand starting with the basic food items and also looking in to assisting with other crisis areas.

The past two months every morning he has worked diligently to visit at least 100 families in Matara not only to distribute the basic food items but also to assist with other financial needs that families are facing today. During the Pandemic he still continues his project committed to carry out the well being of pregnant mothers, he says which requires immediate attention and is a growing crisis.

As the crisis grows, so do the negative effects on peoples’ health and their financial wellbeing, but we can all do our part to help those affected. Here’s how making a direct donation to COVID-19 fundraisers can help:

Rev B. Dhammasena Thera

Sampath Bank, Kiribathgoda Branch

Acct: 100550268765

Venerable Pujya Maeliye Dimbulalankara thera struggles to support families effected by COVID-19 in Polonnaruwa

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing problem in Sri Lanka for many years and Venerable Dimbulalankara thera has been servicing the endemic areas of Polonnaruwa for the past five years.

Chronic Kidney Disease of uncertain origin has effected North Central Province (Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts) of Sri Lanka. The causes still unknown.

Following years of official research, the Sri Lankan health ministry and World Health Organization declared in June that low level exposures to the heavy metals cadmium and arsenic were “causative factors” for the ailment – which they have named CKDu, Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown etiology.

The most vulnerable age was 40 to 60 years. There is a male preponderance. Farmers are at a higher risk. Majority were in CKD stage 1. More than two thirds of the deaths of CKD/CKDu patients occurred within three years of diagnosis with disparities in 5 year survival rate among the two districts. There is clustering of cases.

Sri Lanka Foundation has been consulting with Venerable Dimbulalankara Thera in Polonnaruwa to provide filters to the residents of the Polonnaruwa district which is one of the most affected areas. Venerable Dimbulalankara has been working diligently to help the affected families.

Sri Lanka Foundation, after verifying the source and with a generous contribution from few other individuals, Padmini Joseph & Kanthi De Silva contributed a monetary donation for 26 filters to be installed in this district, at a cost of Rs.1,75,000/= per each filter. All 26 Aqua Masters filters were purchased from Jinasena-Polonaruwa branch, and all 26 were already installed in the Polonaruwa district.

There is an urgent need for 10 more filters to be installed immediately to control the situation in the surrounding areas.

A few months ago he dedicated himself to promote and encourage education among the families in the Polonnaruwa province and purchased school books for many children.

Today Venerable Dimbulalankara thera struggles to provide the basic food necessities to the families effected by COVID-19 in the Polonaruwa province. Due to the urgent need in that area he humbly request for donations to purchase dry food items to be distributed to 650 families that are mostly distressed by the Pandemic.

If you wish to donate please see below information:

PUJYA MAELIYE DIMBULALANKARA THERO

Name of the temple:

Sri Seelalankara Buddhist Center

Medagampitiya

Siripura

Polonnaruwa, Egodapattuwa

Name of Bank & A/c. No.103853333775

Sampath Bank, Kaduruwela Branch, 626 B, Dharmasiri Building, Main Street, Kaduruwela