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SLF Int, USA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Professor Ajit Yoganathan for his excellence in his contributions to Cardiac Surgery and Bio Medical Engineering

Professor Ajit Prithiviraj Yoganathan was born on December 6, 1951, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Son of Ponniah and Mangay (Navaratnam) Yoganathan, he received a Bachelor of Science in 1973 from University College, University of London. In 1974 as a graduate student, he became interested in the functioning of natural and replacements of heart valves, and then went on to receive Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering in 1978 from the California Institute of Technology. He then joined the engineering faculty at Georgia Tech in 1979.

Over the subsequent 40+ years, “Ajit,” as he is called by his colleagues and friends, has pioneered the field of applied cardiovascular engineering and through collaborations with clinicians and basic scientists has demonstrated the value of applying basic engineering science to develop and evaluate novel technology and devices that have benefited millions of patients.

His work has used experimental and computational biomechanics methods to study native and artificial heart valves, the structure and function of the heart, and has applied these techniques to not only help us understand the hemodynamics of complex congenital heart disease but also develop new surgical procedures to optimize the cardiovascular dynamics of these children’s hearts. The mission of his laboratory is “to provide answers to life-saving clinical questions using engineering approaches.”

The famous icon of Rock & Roll, Mick Jagger is alive today as he received in the spring of 2019 in a New York City hospital, and Prof Yoganathan had led the testing of every prosthetic heart valve design on the U.S market for safety and effectiveness. His Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics Laboratory (CFM Lab) has served as a valve approval site for the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for four decades. Prof Yoganathan invented the sciences of prosthetic heart valve engineering in that lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1979. It is his signature achievement and the primary reasons for his 2015 induction into National Academy of Engineering. He and his fellow lab members have had a profound influence on valve design including the advanced model in Jagger’s chest.

As the inaugural recipient of the Honorary Fellowship Award, the AATS has chosen Ajit P. Yoganathan, PhD, the Wallace H. Coulter Distinguished Faculty Chair in Biomedical Engineering, and Regents’ Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University.

As a teacher, Dr Yoganathan has mentored more than 50 doctoral students, 35 master’s students, and 30 postdoctoral trainees, many of whom have now gone on to become important leaders in their own right. He played a pivotal role in the creation of Georgia Tech’s master’s and PhD degree programs in bioengineering as well as the joint PhD in Biomedical Engineering with the Emory University School of Medicine. In 2005, he was awarded the Theo Pilkington Award for his contributions to Biomedical Engineering education by the American Society of Engineering Education. In 2010 he was appointed the Founding Editor in Chief of Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology, the newest journal of the Biomedical Engineering Society, which in 2015 was accepted to PubMed. He currently has 16 issued US patents, with another 5 patent applications under review, and to date has published more than 400 peer-reviewed journal articles and 40 book chapters.

Click on the link below to watch a Special Symposium in Honor of Dr Ajit Yoganathan:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l2iH8csHPQc

US delegation requests Intl. Banks to provide assistance to procure medicines, essentials

The visiting high-level US diplomatic delegation has assured that they will support by requesting international banks to assist Sri Lanka when issuing Letters of Credit (LC) to obtain medicines and essential commodities, President’s Media Unit said.

They have also assured that the US Government will continue its support to strengthen the relationship with the International Monetary Fund at all levels.

The meeting between the US State Department and the Treasury delegation and the President held at the President’s House, Colombo, today (27).

President Rajapaksa commended the delegation for their visit to Sri Lanka and briefed them on the current economic and social crisis in the country.

The President also briefed about the progress of the ongoing discussions with the IMF. Kelly Keiderling, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, US Department State and Robert Kaproth, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Asia.

The US Department of Treasury further stated that US President Joe Biden is interested in the future of Sri Lanka.

The US President has also instructed to support Sri Lanka during this difficult time and to extend all possible assistance to the country.

The delegation expressed confidence with the implementation of the programme with the IMF will provide relief to the vulnerable families and will continue to have a positive impact on the future.

They said they were pleased with the similarities between the President’s understanding and their understanding of the economic reform process taking place in the country.

The delegation commended the President on the free space given to anyone to express their opinions without any hindrance to the right to freedom of expression.

The US government has provided US$100 million as medium term assistance to Commercial Bank to promote and uplift small scale businesses and also US$ 5.75 and another US$ 6 million financial assistance as humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka.

The delegation recalled about the other US supported projects such as polyester fiber and yarn processing project which are manufactured with disposable plastic materials.

Matthew Mohlenkamp, Treasury Office Director for South and Southeast Asia, John McDaniel, State SCA/NSB Economic Unit Chief, Julie Chung, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, US Embassy, Geoff Chanin, Acting Political Chief, US Embassy, Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath, Chief Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Chief of Staff to the President Anura Dissanayake were also present at this discussion.

High-Level US delegation to visit Sri Lanka tomorrow

A high-level delegation representing the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of State will visit Sri Lanka from June 26- 29, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo announced today.

Members of the delegation include Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Asia Robert Kaproth and Ambassador Kelly Keiderling, who is also the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.

The visitors will meet with a wide range of political representatives, economists, and international organizations, the embassy said in a statement.

In all their meetings, they will explore the most effective ways for the U.S. to support Sri Lankans in need, Sri Lankans working to resolve the current economic crisis, and Sri Lankans planning for a sustainable and inclusive economy for the future, the U.S. Embassy said further in its statement.

“This visit underscores our ongoing commitment to the security and prosperity of the Sri Lankan people,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung. “As Sri Lankans endure some of the greatest economic challenges in their history, our efforts to support economic growth and strengthen democratic institutions have never been more critical.”

Over the past two weeks, the U.S. has announced $120 million in new financing for Sri Lankan small and medium-sized businesses, a $27 million contribution to Sri Lanka’s dairy industry and $5.75 million in humanitarian assistance to help those hit hardest by the economic crisis.

The United States also committed $6 million in new grants to provide livelihood assistance to vulnerable populations, and technical assistance on financial reform that will help stabilize the economy.

In the coming months, the U.S. will continue to support Sri Lankans as they revive their economy, combat food insecurity, and promote public health and education.

The United States also strongly supports Sri Lanka’s decision to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund, which can provide the most durable resolution to the present crisis, the statement added.

The fast-paced journey of BISTEC Global

BISTEC Global Services (BTG), we are a proud homegrown IT service company providing Software, QA, IT & Digitally enabled services globally to 13 countries in 5 continents. Our 150+ experts deliver services based on a unique offshore delivery model that caters to specific business needs. Co-Founders of BISTEC Global Johann De Cruz, Anuradha Gajanayake, and Marlon De Cruz began the company’s journey with a single Australian client and by today BISTEC global has become one of the leading software companies in Sri Lanka.

At BISTEC we believe we have hearts and not heads and we have an open culture and promote freedom to be who you are at BISTEC. We believe that to provide our clients with the best possible services, firstly we need to focus on our core strengths and improve any weaknesses. We consider our family to be everyone who is connected to us some way or another. BTG had great opportunities to work with clients globally including a set of diversified industries, services, and domains. One of the biggest achievements is that we had the opportunity to work with a major e-government software including the opportunity to design and implement an application suite for digitizing population census for a Southeast Asian Nation. We also developed line of business (LOB) apps for Australian leading disability services companies. We are currently helping many customers including some who work with Rolls-Royce and the US government.

BISTEC Global has been working tirelessly for the past few years to deliver real value to its clients, as a result, BISTEC Global has invested in the development of the three new-age apps. Workflow – a cloud-based work management application for accounting practices that help them visualize bottlenecks in the planning process, plan with ease, and optimize their workload for increased efficiency and cash flow. BISTEC care – A patient management and booking system for the medical industry. At last, TAFI – A tax planning & lodgment application catered for individual income taxpayers, which automates the end-to-end process on the cloud.

Today as a company, BISTEC Global is looking forward to furthering developments, expansions, and addressing new challenges.

Check out BISTEC Global website for more on the company and news https://www.bistecglobal.com/

Find out more here: www.bistecglobal.com
WorkXFlow – https://www.workxflow.com/

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/bistec-global-services/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bistec.global/

For more information:
Phone: +94 77 768 1014 / +61 02 9052 4700
Email: hello@bistecglobal.com

Aruni Boteju, Founder/Chairwoman of CEYIFF Received Congressional Recognition Award from Congressman Salud Carbajal.

The First Ceylon International Film Festival (CEYIFF) kicked off at the Lobero theater on June 10th, 2022, and it happened in Santa Barbara. CEYIFF is the brainchild of Aruni Boteju who wanted to “create a cultural bridge from one paradise in the Pacific Ocean to another paradise in the Indian Ocean”.

The evening began with formal opening ceremonies during which Aruni thanked the local leaders for attending and making this truly an exchange between countries: First District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams, Mayor Randy Rowseand, Santa Barbara City Councilor Oscar Gutierrez (who is also a member of the CEYIFF jury given his film background). Erica Reyes, District Director with Congressman SaludCarbajal, represented him during the evening’s festivities issuing a Congressional Certificate commemorating CEYIFF’s launch in Santa Barbara and presenting it to Aruni during the opening ceremony.

Dr. Lalith Chandradasa, the Sri Lankan Consul General (a representative of Sri Lanka in the United States) addressed the Santa Barbara crowd, thanking them for attending and speaking to the ability of cinema to unite people.

CEYIFF had a very successful three day event with 10 movie screenings and closing ceremony with awards.

SLF Int, USA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Professor Asgerally (Asgi) Fazleabas for his excellence in the Research of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology

Professor Asgerally Fazleabas is a student of St Thomas College, Gurutalawa and Mt Lavinia, Sri Lanka. He received his initial diploma in Agriculture at the Aquinas University College in Colombo, Sri Lanka and earned his Bachelor of Science at the California State University in Fresno, California, then after received his Master of Science, Dairy Science and Reproductive Physiology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 

He became interested when he was in 8th grade in boarding school. One of the things that he did was work in a farm at the school and one of his responsibilities was to monitor the incubator where chicken eggs were being hatched. He had to candle the eggs by holding them up to the light to see if they were developing properly. He was fascinated by how quickly the blood vessels developed and that in a matter of a few days he could see a beating heart. Seeing these amazing developmental process really got Prof Fazleabas interested in Science & Developmental Biology.

Dr Asgerally Fazleabas received his Ph.D degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Florida. Following his training, he joined the Department Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he held the rank of Professor and Director of Women’s Health and Reproduction. In 2009, he became a Professor and Associate Chair of Research in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, Director of the Center for Women’s Health Research and Co-Director of the Reproductive and Developmental Sciences Program at the Michigan State University.

Dr Fazleabas is an expert in female reproduction and his research focuses on critical cellular events during pregnancy. In his distinguish career he has published over 200 manuscripts, several of which appeared in Biology and Reproduction. He received the 2010 & 2016 Society for the Study of Reproduction Distinguish Awards. He has also served on numerous NIH Study sections and as 2009-2010 President for the Society of the Reproduction.

Some of his originality in research consist of pioneered in the development of novel and significant areas of knowledge, including the development of creative and innovative hypotheses, which he developed new knowledge in a creative manner and with independent insight. Created new knowledge to expand the understanding of reproductive biology and/or extended the application of knowledge to technology.

Students from Sri Lanka crowned runners-up at the 2022 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Championship

Team Nana Shilpa—among the top three in the world—competed with tens of thousands of teams from over 160 countries at the 20th edition of Microsoft Imagine Cup

Meet Team Nana Shilpa—the runners-up of Imagine Cup 2022 World Championship at the Microsoft Campus Redmond USA!

Seattle, USA: Microsoft recently announced that Team Nana Shilpa emerged as the runner-up following an intense finale against Team V Bionic and Team Melodic at the 2022 Imagine Cup World Championship in Seattle, Washington. The team from Sri Lanka won a cash prize of USD 10,000, and with this win Sri Lankan technology got recognized as one of the top three novel solutions at the global competition.

Microsoft Imagine Cup is designed to inspire students to use their imagination and passion for technology to create innovative solutions that tackle some of the world’s biggest social, environmental, and health challenges.

“Our Imagine Cup competition is a great example of the possibilities,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “For 20 years, students have shown us what’s possible when they come together to apply technology to help solve the world’s challenges.”

Team Nana Shilpa emerged as one of the top three to advance to the World Championship out of the tens of thousands of students from over 160 countries who registered for the 2022 Imagine Cup. Last week, the team had the opportunity to showcase their original tech innovation to judges through a 3-minute pitch and a question-and-answer session. The team flew out to Seattle from Colombo for the last leg of the competition.

The team—comprising Kalpani Abeysinghe, Chamil Diluksha, Maheshani Makalanda, and Prabath Shalitha from Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) in Malabe—came up with Nana Shilpa, an application that screens and provides guidance for addressing reading, writing, and math learning disabilities in the Sinhala language. The team announced that the app would support different languages and cultures in a bid to help young children across the world.

Many children with learning disorders struggle in school long before being diagnosed. A learning disorder is an information-processing problem that prevents a person from learning a skill and using it effectively. As a result, the disorder appears as a gap between expected skills, based on age and intelligence, and academic performance.

“We live in a world where technology can address various problems. Nana Shilpa helps to eliminate the delay in learning disability discovery using localized languages. It captures input from a mobile device and processes it using advanced machine learning and computer vision algorithms. If a child is diagnosed positive for a learning disability, the app then provides curated activities to mitigate the condition,” Kalpani discloses.

Team Nana Shilpa presenting to the judges during the 2022 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Championship in Seattle on May 24, 2022.

“The screening AI models are trained using thousands of data points collected from children with learning disabilities,” says Kalpani. “The professional screening process to identify learning disabilities can cost between 400 and 2,000 dollars. With Nana Shilpa, we can cut that to just 60 dollars. We are on a mission to help every kid in the world to read and write.”

Derana launches ‘Api Wawamu’ national competition

Derana media network, marking another milestone in the history of television and reassuring its efforts to embark on a new national responsibility, launched the ‘Api Wawamu’ national competition today (June 03).

The aim of this competition is to encourage the people of the country to engage in cultivation in their own capacity to face the looming food crisis.

Accordingly, those who are interested in taking part in the competition can submit applications individually or in groups by cultivating short-term crops at their houses, piece of lands, apartments, schools, institutions or greenhouses.

People from all walks of life are invited to participate in this national competition.

The winner will be awarded Rs. 5 million.

More details can be obtained via 0115 300 800 or 0115 300 700 between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.

The applications can be submitted through the following link: derana.lk/apiwawamu

SLF INTERNATIONAL, USA DONATED URGENTLY NEEDED BLOOD BAGS TO THE NATIONAL BLOOD TRANSFUSION SERVICE CENTER IN COLOMBO

On Wednesday, May 25th, Sri Lanka time at 12.00pm, Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA donated urgently needed blood bags to the National Blood Transfusion Service Center in Colombo to save lives. The entire country has been experiencing a severe shortage of the triple and quadruple blood bags due to the present crisis.

This is the fourth project completed by SLF and we continue to receive many more requests from hospitals across Sri Lanka for Urgent Medical Consumables.

SLF extend their deepest gratitude to our ongoing loyal donors that made a difference to this life saving situation. Also our sincere gratitude to the President of the Capital City Rotary Club of Colombo for his assistance with the delivery and on going support.

Click on the link below to donate as we have received many other urgent requests. Need your support!!!!

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KY287N6MD8ZJ8

For more information contact:
Shirani Stanislaus:213-304-7500 or shirani@srilankafoundation.org
Keshini Wijegoonaratna: 213-400-7705 or keshini@srilankafoundation.org

Yupun Abeykoon breaks Sri Lankan & South Asian records in Italy

Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon set a new Sri Lankan & South Asian Record in the 200 M Men’s Sprint at the Castiglione International Meeting in Grosseto, Italy by clocking a time of 20.37 seconds.

He broke the Sri Lanka record of 20.68 seconds set by Vinoj Suranjaya de Silva in 2018.

He also broke the South Asian record of 20.52 seconds set by India’s Amlan Borgohain in April 2022.

Abeykoon posted the following on Facebook following the win.

60 m – 6.59 sec – South Asian Record
100 m – 10.15 sec – South Asian Record
150 m – 15.16 sec – Asian Record
200 m – 20.37 sec -South Asian Record

For more information: