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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.

Prof. Rangita De Silva De Alwis elected as SL representative for CEDAW

Professor Rangita De Silva De Alwis was elected to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for the term 2023-2026 representing Sri Lanka.

Prof. De Silva-De Alwis was elected during the 22nd Meeting of the State Parties to the CEDAW Convention at the United Nations in New York on 23rd June.

At this election, State Parties to the Convention elected 12 members out of 23 candidates, to the Committee of the Convention. Sri Lanka obtained 124 votes obtaining the 5th highest number of votes. Other countries elected are Cuba, Uganda, Nigeria, Egypt, Israel, Spain, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Trinidad and Tobago and Japan.

Sri Lanka became a State Party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1981.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention, which consists of 23 experts on women’s rights from around the globe.

Professor Rangita De Silva De Alwis is currently serving as the Associate Dean of International Affairs and the Academic Director of the Global Institute for Human Rights at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, in the USA. She earned her Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Colombo and her LL.M and Ph.D from Harvard Law School.

She is an expert on matters coming under the purview of the CEDAW, with over 25 years of experience globally, advocating for equal representation of women.

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SL’s Melanie first-ever Asian woman elected as CIMA President

Sri Lanka’s Melanie Janine Kanaka, FCMA, CGMA yesterday became the first-ever Asian woman elected as the President of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the world’s largest professional body of management accountants and Co-Chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association), which represents the combined membership of CIMA and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

She was elected as the 89th President of CIMA at an event held in London.

During her year in office, Melanie will focus on reinforcing the accounting and finance profession’s commitment to being a trusted adviser for their organisations and serving the public interest. In addition, she will champion the profession’s need to continuously upskill and reskill to meet ever-evolving market demands.

Melanie will also put a strong emphasis on inspiring younger generations to join the dynamic profession, advancing the profession’s digital skills and capabilities, and the importance of fostering diversity, equity and inclusion.

Melanie will work closely with Anoop Natwar Mehta, CPA, CGMA, who will serve as AICPA Chair and Chair of the Association, to represent the world’s largest public and management accounting bodies (AICPA and CIMA) to meet the demands of a constantly changing, disruptive world.

On her appointment, Melanie said: “It is a true privilege to have been chosen by my peers to serve our members and students around the world, and represent our profession on the global stage.

“Over the past few years, the profession provided vital support and guidance to organisations to help them, not only survive, but also adapt and thrive in a world that has irremediably changed. As the world continues to undergo radical, disruptive changes at an accelerating speed, we must as professionals offer bold leadership.”

Melanie also said: “Now is the time for the profession to lean in and take the next step forward. We must make sure that we continue to deliver innovative solutions to create value, build trust, seize new opportunities and help deliver prosperity for individuals, organisations, economies and society as whole.”

Melanie became a CIMA member in 1992 and obtained her fellowship in 2000. She has been an active member of CIMA for over three decades and has held several volunteer positions both in Sri Lanka, her home country, and internationally. Melanie also currently serves on the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants’ Board of Directors.

Melanie has extensive experience in corporate finance and development banking across the USA, Germany and South Asia. She currently leads the finance and administration function for the World Bank in Sri Lanka and Maldives where she is responsible for finance, resource management and performance review and is part of the World Bank’s South Asia regional unit.

Melanie is a Fulbright Scholar and an accredited SAP consultant who holds an MBA specialising in international finance and corporate strategy from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She also holds a 1st Class B. Com (Hons) Degree from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, and is a distinguished alumna of Bishop’s College, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Other appointments ratified at the CIMA annual general meeting were Sarah Ghosh, FCMA, CGMA, as Deputy President and Simon Bittlestone, FCMA, CGMA as Vice President.

Sri Lankan scholar on America’s fondness for commerce, freemasonry and astrology

Like the famous French author Alex de Tocqueville, who wrote Democracy in America, Sri Lankan-born scholar and diplomat, Dr. Patrick Mendis has traced America’s penchant for commerce freemasonry and commerce in an insightful account of American roots. His book is titled “TRADE for PEACE: How the DNA of America, Freemasonry, and Providence Created a New World Order with Nobody in charge.”

Dr. Patrick Mendis presents a copy of his book, TRADE for PEACE, to his Professor Joseph Nye Jr., the former dean of the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, at the Henry Kissinger Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C.

He provides irrefutable proof of American founders, especially George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, delving into astrology and freemasonry and principles of commerce in designing the Capital-Washington D.C. and the nascent commercial republic of America. Dr. Mendis sees cultural connections those born in the U.S. often ignored.

Dr. Mendis found encoded in America’s DNA the ability to trade with an uncanny zeal. Trade for peace dominated that doctrine for most of the two and quarter centuries of American existence. He provides an interesting approach for analyzing the nation’s commercial roots.

Dr. Mendis demonstrates in his book that the beginning of Constitution Avenue is the Andrew Melon “Zodiac” Fountain adjacent to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and it ends with the celestial statue of Albert Einstein near the State Department. He believes that the new U.S. Institute of Peace at the end of Constitution Avenue would be the major landmark of America’s founding vision: TRADE for PEACE.

While growing up in Sri Lanka with Buddhist monks and Catholic priests, Dr. Mendis has evidently mastered the basics of astrological science and early Christian esoteric knowledge which prompted deeper probe of the American psyche. Most recently, he studied the ‘secret’ knowledge of Freemasonry that had clearly influenced America’s founders. After receiving the Benjamin Franklin Award from the State Department, he learned more about Franklin, America’s famous astrologer and the first diplomat.

Founding Mission of America

The 624-page tome that combined history, politics, economics, architecture, esoteric knowledge, foreign policy strategies and global trade relations proves a rare foray into American discourse on a variety of matters. The thesis that America’s founding mission has always been to promote trade to integrate the global community for peaceful living and unity as it was the case for the original 13 colonies in the Union comes out as a challenge ever present even after 230 years of the Republic.

A combination of interstate commerce (not the religion) and freedom as depicted in the Constitution has paradoxically bound and expanded the United States together as one nation. Dr. Mendis argues that the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the final frontier of the American Experiment in order to bind the community of nations together.

Dr. Mendis grew up in Ja-ela and the suburbs of Polonnaruwa and had a full immersion into the ethos of Sri Lankan cultural heritage. He brings that insight into the making of America in his book. With a lineage to the stratifying details of American foreign policy acquired by being associated with the prestigious Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Mendis took wings working as a student UN ambassador, seasoned diplomat and research scholar. He was one of the three recipients of the first Humphrey Leadership Award in 1986 along with Ambassador Max Kampelman and former Vice President Walter Mondale.

In 1985, Dr. Mendis worked as Sri Lanka’s “Youth Ambassador” at the United Nations in New York. Later, he was often consulted on international matters by the State Department and Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the tenure of Secretaries Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell.

Rethinking global role

In the foreword to his book, Professor Brian Atwood, former USAID administrator under President Bill Clinton, writes, “This highly readable synthesis, whose main theme derives from the Constitution’s preface, pleads for a rethinking of the American role in global leadership.” Both Professor Atwood (current dean of the Humphrey Institute) and Dr. Mendis are former AFS exchange students.

Dr. Mendis would perhaps compete for the title of the most sought after scholar on America’s national profile. His interest would lead him towards greater research studies. Professor Mendis currently serves as the vice president of the Osgood Center for International Studies and a visiting scholar in foreign policy at the Johns Hopkins University’s Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. An adjunct professor of international diplomacy at Norwich University, Dr. Mendis is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and a life member of the Society for International Development.

Vote Sri Lankan for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Office #118 Primary Election on June 7, 2022

Candidate for Los Angeles County Superior Court Seat 118
On June 7th, 2022, Vote for Deputy County Counsel for L.A. Superior Court Judge.”

Mr. Thever has had a long history of service. He has served with distinction at local state and Federal levels in a wide range of positions.

He is particularly passionate about serving the residents of Los Angeles City and County. He has served as Los Angeles Mayors’ appointee to Municipal Improvement Corporation of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Airport Advisory Committee, and the Los Angeles Local Development Bank.

“Shan has been and continues to be a pioneer in the proactive involvement for the improvement of the practice of law, minority business development, and the furtherance of social causes.” – Congresswoman Hon. Linda T. Sanchez. Congressional Records.

Endorsements

“I am proud to endorse Shan Thever, for JUDGE of Superior Court Office #118. Shan Thever has the experience, temperament and skill needed in our Los Angeles courtrooms. On June 7th, 2022, Vote for Deputy County Counsel for L.A. Superior Court Judge.”

By Hon. Don Knabe, Former Supervisor of Los Angeles County.


Hon. Yvonne Burke, Former Supervisor of Los Angeles County.


Hon. Autumn Burke, Former California Assembly Member


Hon. Phillip Chan, California Assembly Member





For more information go to:
http://www.shantheverforjudge.com

Linking the China-US rivalry to Ukraine and Taiwan

WARSAW (May 16, 2022) — Earlier this year, former U.S. diplomat Patrick Mendis, Ph.D., arrived at the University of Warsaw to teach a summer course. When the Russian invasion of Ukraine began to unfold, he quickly adapted the practice of diplomacy and war into his seminar on Sino-American relations and international organizations.

Having worked at the United Nations and taught courses in China, Taiwan, and the former Soviet Union, the transition was a natural one for Mendis.

“Sad, but I learned a great deal of agonizing human conditions of war from my Ukrainian colleagues and students,” Mendis said.

Poland has more than three million Ukrainian refugees.

Speaking at a special faculty seminar on the topic of democracy and autocracy, Mendis actively engaged with his colleagues from India, New Zealand, Ukraine, and the European Union. He shared a wide range of observations that the Russian war in Ukraine has differences, but similarities do exist with a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

Mendis then decoded the meaning of the “no limit” Sino-Russian friendship pact signed by Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February.

The Minnesota and Harvard educated scholar, who served as a U.S. military professor in the European and the Indo-Pacific Commands, explained that President Joe Biden’s galvanizing speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw was “a turning point” of global geopolitics and the “rebirth of the Truman Doctrine.”

After World War II, President Harry Truman addressed Congress by arguing that the United States must save Greece and Turkey from falling into the family of communist states. Truman said that “every nation must choose” between “freedom” and “oppression.” He then established the CIA and NATO. Altogether, the Truman Doctrine underpinned the American containment policy throughout the Cold War.

In Warsaw, Biden said that Ukraine is part of a global struggle “between democracy and autocracy.” This “great battle for freedom” will define the future of the world, he added. Identifying China as the “strategic competitor,” the Biden White House now focuses on Beijing’s military activities around the Taiwan Strait crisis.

After his engaged dialogue with faculty colleagues and diplomats, Mendis concluded that there emerged a new Truman Doctrine of Biden to contain the rise of China.

U.S. Ambassador Mark Brzezinski gave his public lecture on the “global leadership and the lessons from the Ukraine crisis” at the University after the seminar organized by the dean of the Faculty of International Studies and Political Science.

Click on the links below for more information:
Asian American Press
https://aapress.com/community/linking-the-china-us-rivalry-to-ukraine-and-taiwan/

University of Warsaw:
https://youtu.be/WRQ3QxynHag

Sri Lanka Awarelogue Lecture Forum
https://youtu.be/2dEkQL99dJ0

Cassandra Fernando becomes first woman of SL descent elected to Australian Parliament

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan-born Cassandra Fernando has won a Parliamentary seat at the Australian General Election this time.

She represents the Holt constituency in Australia from the Labor Party.

Fernando has arrived in Australia with her parents in 1999, when she was 11 years old. She’s the first woman of Sri Lankan descent to be elected to the Australian Parliament.

Ranj Perera, another Sri Lankan, had contested against Fernando from the Liberal Party in the same constituency.

Fernando received 57.5% of the vote, while he received 42.5%.

Her Excellency, Julie Chung, Met With Sri Lanka Foundation In Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Foundation International (SLF) USA is expanding by including new projects in Sri Lanka to serve the community!

Director of Cultural Affairs, Achala Weerasinghe represented SLF with its future projects to the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Her Excellency, Julie Chung in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Her Excellency said on Twitter:

“The American people are supporting SL in this time of need. Today I met @SlfNews, a California org raising funds to supply critical medical equipment to SL hospitals. This builds on previous donations of medical supplies, including items delivered to a Colombo hospital this week.”

 

Community in Nevada hosting a Fundraiser for Steven Horsford for Congress

Fundraiser for Steven Horsford

You are invited to our host committee, Douglas Perera & Vanitha Perera, Aruna Abeyakoon & Sujani Abeyakoon, Arushan Yoagalingam, Daya Gamage, Prageeth Perera & Shashini Perera, Lalindra Wickremaratne & Dr. Ruchika Wickremaratne, Sanje Sedera & Dr. Yoojin Lee-Sedera for a fundraising reception in support of Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-4).

Friday, April 22nd
7:00 – 8:30 PM PT
Location- 9979 Rockside Avenue, Las Vegas, CA 89148

Checks can be written to “Nevadans for Steven Horsford” and brought to the event. They also can be mailed to P.O. Box 336664, North Las Vegas, NV 89033. If mailing, please include a note about this fundraiser.

Click on link below for more information:
https://secure.actblue.com/donate/fr-srilanka