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President Biden appoints SL-born Dr. Ashani Weerarathne to US National Cancer Board….

John Hopkins scientist Ashani Weerarathne, Ph.D., a leading cancer researcher who is specialized in melanoma and the effects of aging on cancer has been appointed by President Joe Biden to the National Cancer Advisory Board. Ashani Tanuja Weeraratna is a Sri Lankan-born American, a ground breaking cancer researcher and she is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor. She currently serves as a co-leader at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Johns Hopkins, and a professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

She was born Sri Lankan and was raised in Lesotho in Africa. She stepped on USA for the first time in 1988 to study biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She earned her doctoral degree in Molecular and Cellular oncology at the Department of Pharmacology of George Washington University.

Currently, in the world Cancer has become leading cause of death despite progress in prevention, early diagnosis and breaking therapies. Dr. Ashani is one of the pioneering researchers to study how the aging microenvironment affects metastasis and therapy resistance. She is the President of the Society of Melanoma Research.

Succeeding in the competitive world of Science as women scientist is kind of inspiration to the women who are engaged in STEM and for Sri Lanka, she is a true gem who can improve the living standards of the human kind on the world.

“Heights by great men and women reach and kept were not attained by sudden flight but they, while their companions slept, toiling upward in the night”
-Henry Wordsworth-
More information on
http://www.dailynews.lk

See Attached Video, President addressed the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday left the country for the United States to attend the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, his office said in a statement.

This is President Rajapaksa’s first foreign conference he will take part in outside the country and it is also his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

President Rajapaksa is expected to address the General Assembly and is also expected to hold bilateral discussions with several heads of state during the session, the statement said.

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

See below link attached:
https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2FDSP3q_ymNO0&data=04%7C01%7C%7Cb85f9b53a88a475fe37308d97ded2b0b%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637679279842064721%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=CplPSY9W0FDBTD%2FqAA4oW6%2FX6LLjaannOkYLYmOSVYo%3D&reserved=0

Congresswoman Dina Titus meets with Community Leaders in Nevada & California to discuss COVID Relief Efforts

On September 9th, 2021 the Hon Consul General, Dr Lalith Chandradasa, Sanje Sedara, The President of the Sri Lanka America Association of Las Vegas, Samantha Kurera, President of the Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California, Keshini Wijegoonaratna, the Director of Project Management and Public Relations of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, Lucky Rajasinghe, Daya Gamage, Dushyantha Kurera along with the staff of the Congressional District office of the Congresswoman Dina Titus met on a zoom meeting to discuss further details of COVID Relief efforts in Sri Lanka.

Congresswoman Dina Titus from Nevada’s 1st Congressional District is the strongest ally Sri Lankan Americans have in the Congress. As the Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus of Sri Lanka she always stood for the best interest of the people of Sri Lanka. As recently as last month, Congresswoman Titus was instrumental in getting 1.5 million doses of Covid -19 vaccines to Sri Lanka and currently advocating the US government to provide much needed medical aid to Sri Lanka.

See links below letters written to the Department of State and the response from the Department of State.

Letter to Sec. Blinken on COVID in Sri Lanka (3)


Response from State to Sri Lanka COVID letter 9-2-21 (2)


See links below to recent articles published in Island News Paper about the Congresswoman’s involvement with Sri Lanka. .

https://island.lk/us-foreign-affairs-committee-member-dina-titus-advocates-stronger-us-sri-lanka-bonds/?fbclid=IwAR03u1oSEa9taxhLS2086Ov_dS-S5zK_JKfaXJmbBjrwREWDn_6wbpG4iKk

https://island.lk/sri-lanka-expatriates-reach-us-congress-for-military-mobile-medical-units/?fbclid=IwAR3vob0zg5wwreJX1JEQ4ycoEcVw3SUCON6GUTCVSfs_AiAAp4QoyKApBuM

Ambassador E. Rodney M. Perera is now the CEO of the Sri Lanka Foundation

Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, Founder and the Board of the Sri Lanka Foundation have appointed the former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States of America, Mr. E. Rodney M. Perera as the Chief Executive Officer of the Sri Lanka Foundation.

Ambassador Perera joins the SLF with nearly four decades of professional education, global travel, speaking engagements, and delegations involving Sri Lanka and its relations with all nations of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, and the Americas.

The SLF stand to benefit from Ambassador Perera’s 32-year diplomatic service experience, bringing together key personalities from the political, business, civil society and media spheres to address regional and global issues of the highest importance for Sri Lanka in numerous regional and multilateral discussions. Having worked across all regions of the world, he possesses a uniquely global perspective in the realm of foreign affairs and international relations, involving in efforts leading to the recognition of the sacred Vesak Day by the United Nations and issues relating to environment and climate change, sustainable development, conflict resolution and peace building,

Ambassador Perera will lead the many endeavors of the SLF centered on Sri Lankan communities across the globe given his vast experience in diaspora outreach along with economic and cultural diplomacy programs successfully carried out for Sri Lanka.

Ambassador Perera attended St. Joseph’s College of Colombo, representing the school in Cricket and Track and Field. Having spent a year in Tokyo to study computer programming, he went on to obtain a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from the University of Toledo in Ohio. Later, he earned a Master of Arts Degree in International Studies from Columbia University in New York. He has completed specialized study and training programs in several leading institutions in Asia and Europe and at the US National Defense University and Harvard University.

After recruitment to the Sri Lanka Foreign Service, Ambassador Perera served in many important capacities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo and several Sri Lanka Missions overseas in a distinguished career of public service.

Ambassador Perera has functioned as the Spokesperson and Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (senior most rank in the Sri Lanka Public Service) and oversaw key areas relating to Political Affairs, Public, Cultural and Economic Diplomacy, Administration, and welfare of Sri Lankan workers overseas. He also played pivotal roles in organizing the SAARC Summit as well as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Sri Lanka in the past decade.

During his tenures overseas, Ambassador Perera served as, Second Secretary of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo, Japan; First Secretary of Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York; Acting High Commissioner of the Sri Lanka High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya and concurrently as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat). He was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Rome, Italy while concurrently functioning as Ambassador to Greece and Albania, High Commissioner to Cyprus and Malta, as well as Permanent Representative to the Rome-based Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Program (WFP) and Governor at the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). He also served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Oslo, Norway from 2009 to 2012 during the penultimate phase of the Norwegian peace facilitation in his country.

Mr. Perera, most recently, was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka to the United States of America in Washington D.C. Prior to that, he served in Brussels as Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union for almost five years, playing significant roles in regaining EU GSP+ trade benefit for Sri Lanka along with the removal of the ban on Sri Lanka’s fishery exports to the EU and counter-terrorism initiatives of Sri Lanka.

Among the recognitions he has received for his professional work is the “Grande Ufficiale—Ordine della Stella della Solidarietá” (Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity—highest Italian civilian honour), bestowed by the President of the Italian Republic for his tenure in Rome. He also received the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation’s 2019 Distinguished Alumnus award.

The war veteran Dinesh Priyantha Herath scripts history for Sri Lanka, winning the first-ever Paralympic gold medal for the country…

A war veteran, the captain of Sri Lanka’s Paralympian team, the Javelin thrower, Sergeant Dinesh Priyantha Herath claimed gold in the Men’s javelin throw – F46 event at the Olympic stadium today, breaking the world record and winning Sri Lanka’s first-ever gold medal in Paralympic Games history.

He established his new world record, registering a throw of 67.79m, surpassing the previous world record (63.97 m) set by the Indian Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia in Rio Summer Paralympics 2016, who also had to settle for Silver in Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020.

Sergeant Dinesh has surmounted so many challenges to be on top of the world and bring glory to his mother country. He was affiliated with the Gajaba Regiment of the Sri Lankan army. He was subjected to injury in the war front against LTTE terrorists in the Kilinochchi area on 16 December 2008. It took around four years for him to recuperate himself. In his sports career, he has previously participated in Army Para Athletic Meet in 2012 winning gold (52 m), In Malaysia’s Para Athletic meet in 2012 winning gold (52.95 m), in Rio Summer.

The City of Los Angeles Celebrates the 2nd Annual Sri Lanka Day

On December 4th, 2019 history was created within the walls of the magnificent Los Angeles City council chambers on a rainy morning amidst a gathering of distinguished leaders, where a community came together to celebrate Dr. Walter Jayasinghe and his invaluable philanthropic services rendered to this beautiful city of Los Angeles and the Sri Lankan community declare Sri Lanka Day to be celebrated every year on August 17th.

Today, August 17th, 2021 around 11.00am, the Sri Lanka Foundation, and the City of Los Angeles celebrated the second annual Sri Lanka Day, in honor of Sri Lankan culture and the remarkable contributions of Sri Lankan Americans in the City and beyond.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebration was held outdoors and was marked by a flag raising ceremony and cultural exposition near Los Angeles City Hall.

Russia Granted Three Flights per Week to SriLankan Airines

The aviation regulatory body of the Federation of Russia, Federal Air Transport Agency Russia (FATAR) has granted three flights per week to SriLankan Airlines. SriLankan airlines resumed scheduled weekly flights on 30th of July 2021 to Moscow and the negotiations were held parallel to this occasion. During the discussion of Sri Lanka bilateral relations, the Sri Lanka delegation skillfully negotiated by securing three weekly flights instead of approved two between Colombo to the Russian Capital Moscow.

Photo:
Upul Dharmadasa, Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, Alexander V Neradko, Director General of FATAR, Vipula Goonathilaka, Chief Executive Officer of SriLankan Airlines and senior officers of FATAR attended the negotiations.

Sri Lanka to receive over 720,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from Japan today

Sri Lanka will be receiving a consignment of 728,460 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by Japan under the COVAX facility this evening (July 31), says the State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals.

Thereby, the shipment is scheduled to be airfreighted from Japan on SriLankan Airlines flight UL455 today.

This vaccine consignment has been made available by Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Tokyo, Sanjiv Gunasekara and his staff of the mission, who made numerous appeals and met with many Government Bureaucrats as well as politicians to convince the necessity.
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In the meantime, a similar amount of coronavirus jabs of the same brand is expected to arrive in the country next Saturday (August 07), Prof. Channa Jayasumana said further.

When rolling out these vaccines, the priority will be given to those who have already received the first dose of AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine.

For more information: adaderana.lk

Sri Lankans on the road to the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020 – part II…

This is the unveiling of another three Sri Lankan Olympians who are on the road to the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020. The record-breaking swimmer Matthew Abeysinghe Swimming sensation Abeysinghe is a 25-years-old US-based Sri Lankan who currently attends the Ohio state university and majoring in the Sports industry. He is the current Sri Lankan record holder in 50m freestyle (22.28), 100m freestyle (49.11), 200m freestyle (1:50:97), 400m freestyle (4:03:90), 1500m freestyle (16:23:61), 50m backstoake (26:94), 200m Individual medley (4:40:47) and 100m Butterfly (54.71).

The female swimmer Anika Gafoor, the 16-years-old young girl Anika Gafoor who dreamt to make it to the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020, was finally qualified under the recommendations of the Sri Lankan Aquatic Sports Union from the wildcard system for the Olympic games. She smashed Sri Lanka’s national women’s relay record by more than 15 seconds, coming in at 4:00:18 to win the Silver medal. She also secured the bronze medal in the 100m butterfly at the last South Asian Games in Nepal. She represented the country at the 2019 World Aquatic Championship in South Korea. Let us all give her our heartiest wishes to bring glory to mother Lanka in the international arena of the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020.

The Badmintonist Niluka Karunaratne
National badminton champion Niluka Karunaratne will be representing Sri Lanka in the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020. He is the 6th player to make it to the Olympian squad from Sri Lanka. So far, he has claimed to be the national champion in badminton for the 17th time. In the Olympian squad, he is the most experienced of all. He made his debut as a shuttler in the 2012 Summer Olympics and also he was the captain of the Sri Lankan team by then. Claiming the first international win in 2011 at the Peurto Rico International, Sri Lanka’s most decorated shuttler has bagged a total of 10 international titles so far.

He has high hopes of winning a medal and bringing mother Sri Lanka fame. More information on
http://www.olympics.lk
http://adaderana.lk

U.S. donates over 1.5 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka — The U.S. has donated over 1.5 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Sri Lanka. These vaccines, delivered through COVAX, will save lives and increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage essential to ending the pandemic.

“These vaccines are given at no cost to the Government of Sri Lanka as part of America’s commitment to ending the global pandemic and our enduring partnership with the people of Sri Lanka. They will help Sri Lankans get back to work and to stay healthy, a gift we make in reflection of the long-standing friendship between the United States and Sri Lanka,” said Alaina Teplitz, the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives. “Our partnership with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, UNICEF, and other global COVAX partners to deliver these vaccines is critical to controlling the pandemic, slowing the emergence of new variants, and helping to restart the global economy.”

This vaccine delivery builds on the United States government’s ongoing leadership on global vaccination efforts as the world’s largest donor to COVAX. The 1.5 million doses delivered to the Sri Lankan Government today are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to providing equitable global access to safe and effective vaccines. As noted by the White House, “Our vaccines do not come with strings attached. We are doing this with the singular objective of saving lives.”

COVAX is a platform that provides safe, effective, and high-quality WHO-authorized COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world. As the global leader in public health assistance and the largest single donor supporting COVAX, the U.S. has already donated $2 billion to the program to combat the pandemic.

The United States has worked closely with Sri Lanka since the pandemic began to protect public health, providing over $8 million in emergency supplies and critical services, plus an in-kind donation of 200 ventilators, to support the Sri Lankan Government’s response to the pandemic. This assistance has reached millions of people in all 25 districts and nine provinces of Sri Lanka to control the spread of COVID-19, address the urgent health needs of the Sri Lankan people, mitigate the pandemic’s negative economic impacts, and ultimately save lives.

The U.S. is committed to leading the global response to this pandemic, not only because this will keep people safe, but because it is the right thing to do. These doses are delivered in coordination with COVAX, in partnership with Sri Lankan government. We are proud to partner with Sri Lanka to build back a better world.

https://lk.usembassy.gov/category/press-releases/