“Omicron Facts & Fiction” Medical Webinar Hosted by Sri Lanka Foundation Medical, Los Angeles, USA



Date- Sunday, January 30th, 9.00am,(PST)-12.00PM (EST)- USA
Date- Sunday, January 30th, 5.00pm- UK
Date- Sunday, January 30th, 10.30pm- Sri Lanka
Date- Monday, January 31st, 4.00am (ACT)

Moderator- Dr Dineshi Liyanage M.D
President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association North America- Western Region.
Dr Dineshi Liyanage is a Palliative Medicine physician in private practice at Community Medical Centres and St. Agnes Medical Centre in Fresno. She attended medical college and completed a Family Medicine residency along with a Palliative Care fellowship at McGill University in Montreal Canada. She is currently the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at St Agnes Medical Center. President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association North America- Western Region.

Panel of Speakers:

Prof. Deepthi Jayasekera, M.D, FACP, M-IDSA-USA
Topic:”Omicron Outpatient Treatment Guidelines”
The Medical Director of the Sri Lanka Foundation, 
Infectious Disease Specialist from US, Clinical Professor, Western University, 
Chief of Infectious Disease, Emanate Health & San Dimas Hospital

Prof. Dushyantha Jayaweera, M.D, FACP, MRCOG-USA
Topic:”Testing Quarantine Protocols”
Professor Infectious Disease Specialist, University of Miami School of Medicine and University of Miami Hospital

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“When women work together, it’s a bond unlike any other,” Victoria Principal.

For this week’s edition of She Can, I thought of featuring three inspirational women, instead of one; They Can! This trio have dedicated their lives to not just establishing and managing a successful business in the education sector, but also continues to work towards empowering women and underprivileged children in Sri Lanka. They are the perfect example of women being able to do it all; wives, mothers, successful entrepreneurs and philanthropists! Each of them bring an enormous dose of knowledge to the table, and one conversation with them leaves you yearning for more. They are kind, compassionate, warm and gentle, and they all have a very positive aura, that instantly puts you at ease when in their presence. They are creative, innovative, diligent and diplomatic power women with magnetic personalities; Ayoma Fernando, Adhirupini Tyagarajah and Surangie Munaweera.

For more information go to:

Program launched to provide water to the needy

The MoU was signed by Nanda Abeywickrama, Chairman I/D/E/A/S and Dr Tanuja Ariyananda, Chief Executive Officer LRWHF on behalf of their respective organizations.

Initiatives in Development of Entrepreneur Approaches and Strategies (I/D/E/A/S) and Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum (LRWHF) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for a period of three (3) years to collaborate in providing financial and technical assistance to supply drinking water to water stressed households in selected areas of Sri Lanka. The MoU was signed by Nanda Abeywickrama, Chairman I/D/E/A/S and Dr Tanuja Ariyananda, Chief Executive Officer LRWHF on behalf of their respective organisations. The signing took place on December 12 at the LRWHF offices located at New Parliament Road, Pelawatte, Battaramulla.

Initiatives in Development of Entrepreneur Approaches and Strategies (I/D/E/A/S) is a non-profit company launched in April 1996 dedicated to promoting socio-economic growth through entrepreneurship, empowerment and community-led development projects. It extends technical and (completely collateral- and interest-free) financial support to micro and small enterprises, youth, women, the differently-abled and the disadvantaged. In addition to entrepreneur development projects, IDEAS offers outright grants to critical and highly-deserving community initiatives such as LRWHF and Biodiversity Elephant Conservation Trust (BECT).

Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum (LRWHF) is a Non-Governmental Social Service Organization established in 2007 with the aim of promoting the use of rainwater harvesting to satisfy and sustain people’s water needs. I/D/E/A/S and LRWHF have collaborated since 2017 in a thematic and institutional partnership focused on supporting the efforts of LRWHF to construct and hand over rainwater harvesting tanks to households with family members afflicted with CKDu in the Northern, North Central, North Western and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka as well as to hospitals caring for CKDu affected patients (see photos).

The new Memorandum of Understanding reflects the commitment of the two parties to formalise and strengthen this collaboration whereby I/D/E/A/S will provide assistance in the form of grants and interest-free loans to selected water stressed households in Sri Lanka for the installation of rainwater harvesting systems, while LRWHF will act as the Executing Agency to administer these grants and loans, taking responsibility for the installation, monitoring, servicing and repair of facilities, and to train beneficiary households in the operation and maintenance of these systems.

I/D/E/A/S has pledged up to Rupees Three Million (Rs 3,000,000) over the 3-year duration of this joint undertaking which will be used to provide financial support to eligible individual households for the installation of rainwater harvesting tanks on a Grant cum Interest-free Loan basis. The outright grant would cover approximately 60% of the cost of each household tank with the balance being covered by the loan component, ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 45,000, recoverable over a period of thirty (30) months commencing with the commissioning of each tank. Eligible beneficiaries will be identified through LRWHF’s extensive network and presence in several provinces and districts of Sri Lanka. Selection criteria will include factors such as distance to drinking water source, women headed households, number of young children, chronic kidney disease, disabled persons, and income level.

The partners to this agreement also intend to promote a scheme entitled “Well-Wishers” wherein individuals or organisations would volunteer to support and underwrite loan repayments of the neediest households and foster income generating and skills development activities among them.

Further information could be obtained by reaching Dr. Tanuja Ariyananda, CEO, LRWHF; Email:

Videos Attached, Giving life to the golden ideas of our youth – Derana STARTUP 2021, Launched

Concerning the national interest of fostering a culture of entrepreneurship among Sri Lanka’s youth, Derana STARTUP 2021, the much-needed entrepreneurial TV show is now ready to showcase the Top 30 competitors. Implemented in Sri Lanka through a tripartite partnership between YouLead, USAID’s youth skill development and entrepreneurship program together with the TV Derana network and a Jordanian nonprofit organization, Partners for Good, Derana STARTUP 2021 seek to create a culture of entrepreneurial job creators while promoting demand for entrepreneurship among youth across the island.

Addressing the need of the hour, statistics show that less than 5% of Sri Lankan youth who complete technical training advance to start their own business. This is partly because Sri Lankan youth are less inclined to pursue a path down the entrepreneurial avenue as a negative social perception exists towards youth who are seeking out to be an entrepreneur. Derana STARTUP 2021 seeks to break through this unfortunate stigma through an exciting and competitive TV program. By attracting youth to share what could be potentially groundbreaking ideas with the masses, a culture of entrepreneurship will be introduced to Sri Lanka. Working for the man is no longer what drives our youth, being your boss will become a reality through Derana STARTUP 2021 and youth unemployment will be an issue of years gone by.

Derana STARTUP 2021 is called out to all youth entrepreneurs below the age of 35 who have an innovative product or service with business operations not exceeding over 24 months under the entry categories of individual, group and school levels. Over 4000 applications were received representing a diverse applicant pool. The applications were reviewed by a selection committee consisting of industry professionals and academics based on several factors including but not limited to the level of innovativeness and creativity of the product or service, commercial viability, potential competitiveness, sustainability, employment generation, social acceptance and the potential to expand the business. The top 30 finalists were selected from four selection rounds and went through various training and development workshops. They were also assigned a successful industry leader as mentors to develop and guide their entrepreneurial journey. The top 30 finalists are now ready to present their entrepreneurial projects to the general public through the TV reality show Derana STARTUP 2021. The program telecasts on Saturday 9.30 PM, Sunday 8.30 AM on Ada Derana 24 Channel and Monday 11 AM on TV Derana starting from the 8th of January 2022. The LIVE online telecast will be broadcast on Saturday at 9.30 PM on Ada Derana 24 Youtube channel. The viewers can vote for the best entrepreneurial project through SMS. The winners get to take home a cash prize of LKR 4 Million.

Derana STARTUP 2021’s end goal is to use this innovative approach to support innovation, increase the outreach, change behaviors, perceptions and increase demand for entrepreneurship while creating a support network, mentoring culture and access to resources which will, in turn, provide the required support for youth to become innovative entrepreneurs. For more details on the program, interested parties may visit

Project launched, click on the link below to watch the video:

Watch the video of the first three contestants:

For more information contact:
Natalie Samarasinghe-94 71 321 1138 or
Keshini Wijegoonaratna- 213-400-7705 or

Book Launch – Life Examined: Lessons in Buddhist Philosophy by Venerable Mahathera Madawela Punnaji

This wonderful book has been transcribed from five lectures on Buddhist philosophy. It follows on the heels of his successful book, Letting Go of ‘Self’: Lessons in Buddhist Psychology (June 2021, Amazon).

Life Examined: Lessons in Buddhist Philosophy reveals the pitfalls of an unexamined life and shows how a change in our philosophy of life can free us from suffering by:

• Exploring how human thinking evolved up to the present.

• Discovering how the Buddha’s thinking surpassed all human thought with an extraordinary view of life.

• Learning stepwise the meaning of truth, goodness, happiness, existence, and non-existence.

• Integrating and experiencing the above philosophical analyses into your life and verifying them in your own experience.

• Living an authentic life guided by the Buddha’s philosophy with confidence.

Book specifications:

Title: Life Examined: Lessons in Buddhist Philosophy
Size = 6” x 9”
Pages = 281
Format: Paperback (An eBook format is also available)
Price = US$ 7.04; CA$ 9:34; UK£ 5:85; Au$ 13.69; EUR€6.62… In the spirit of sharing the Dhamma for free, the price is the minimum set by Amazon with zero profit for the publisher.

Venerable Mahathera Madawla Seelawimala
Professor of Theravāda Buddhism
Institute of Buddhist Studies and Graduate Theological Union
(Affiliated with University of California, Berkeley).
Founder and Spiritual Director of the American Buddhist Seminary, Sacramento, California.

Martin A. Barroll, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology and Sociology (retired).
Request: Please distribute this announcement to your circle of friends.
With metta,
Mahendra Wijayasinghe, Ph.D.
Pure-mind Publishers
Edmonton, Alberta

SLASSCOM People’s Summit to Engage, Coach and Lead People into a Hybrid World

The enormous scale of the Pandemic and it’s impact has caused much fear, uncertainty and anxiety across the globe that also culminated in a paradigm shift in the workplace. What was once a primarily in-office model has transformed into a remote-first working environment. For many companies, the novel coronavirus spurred a sudden and dramatic shift from the majority of employees working in the office to everyone working remotely.

Moving forward, employers should not expect work environments and practices to snap back to a pre-pandemic reality. As companies gear up for the return to work, some workforces will stay fully remote, some will return fully to the office, and others will embrace a hybrid approach.

This in turn creates the urge for businesses to increase employee engagement, voice empowerment, recognition, work life integration, well-being, coaching attributes as enablers to manage workforce in the hybrid world.

Sri Lanka Association for Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM)’s Annual flag ship event “People Summit” under the theme “Engaging, Coaching and Leading People in a Hybrid World” will share best practices in a hybrid world and beyond. To be held on 25th to the 27th of January 2022, it is slated to attract over 500 HR Professionals across Sri Lanka’s Technology Industry. The Summit consists of 12 speakers who are at the very top of their professional fields, who will conduct several riveting panel discussions on some of the most pressing matters for those in the IT /BPM industry.

Participants of the summit will have the opportunity to listen to subject experts on the theme Engaging, Coaching and Leading at the People Summit 2022. Key-note speaker David King CEO of Tribal Habits, will discuss on virtual engagements with employees in a Hybrid world and focus on digital detoxing to help improve employee wellbeing. Dr. Aditi Raghuram Founder and CEO of Birjendu Gupta & Associates will discuss how Digital Coaching, Individual Coaching and Team Coaching have changed due to prevailing pandemic. Dr. Michael Mol, who is a Global Speaker and Medical Doctor, will speak on leading a remote team, leading an organization and leading towards high performance. Nikhil Raval, Author of Target Gen Z Leadership & Learning Advisor Org Culture & Strategy Expert and Ted Speaker, will speak on “The Leadership Challenges and Opportunities of a Hybrid Working Model”.

Additionally, Pia Lauritzen, who is a Philosopher & Founder of, will speak on the topic “The four leadership hacks on how to use questions to ensure impact” and Alex Draper, CEO & Founder of DX Learning, will speak on “How to rapidly build psychological safety with a dispersed and diverse team”. Similarly, Sureish Nathan (Managing Director at DDI Singapore and Vice President of Asia-Pacific, Leadership Consultant, Executive Coach and Speaker), Ole Bent Rye (Founder & Principal OBR Coaching and The Hybrid Workplace Experts) and Sarah Bolton Howard (Change Leader, Global Strategist and Business Innovator) are also all slated to speak along the topics of “Leadership” in a hybrid workplace.

The event is organized by the SLASSCOM HR Forum and will be held in partnership with Sysco LABS as their Exclusive Strategic Sponsor and 99X as the Silver Sponsor.

Photo Caption

From left to right – Shehani Seneviratne-Board Director – HR Forum, Nuwan Dishan-HR Forum Head and Sharon Kern -HR Forum Co-Head

For more information go to:

Young Sri Lankan scientist’s research gains attention in the US

Sri Lankan born young scientist Dr. Gayani Senevirathne, who has excelled in the fields of Zoology and Molecular Biology brought pride to the country, since her latest research on finding an answer to a human abnormality had gained attention in the United States.

Dr. Senevirathne’s doctorate work discovered a gene in frog development that could be used to answer an abnormality that we can see in the axial column of human babies before birth. This work gained attention in United States and was published in a high-ranked journal called Proceedings of the National Sciences. Dr. Gayani Senevirathne is an exceptional scholar, who studied in the biological science stream for her G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination at Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy and entered the Science Faculty of the University of Peradeniya in 2009.

She received two Presidential awards and an award for the Best Science Research from Sri Lanka Research Institute for her research. However, she earned another award for academic excellence after several publications. After graduating with a First-class degree specializing in Zoology and Molecular Biology, she got a fellowship to complete her doctoral studies at the University of Chicago, which is ranked top 10 in the world.

She completed her PhD in 4 ½ years and joined Harvard University as a post doctor to understand how the pelvic girdle of the humans develop and diseases associated with it. The excellence in her academic career made her win the Helen Hay Whitney fellowship, a prestigious award, given to few of the well-recognized Nobel Laureates in the World. Her goal is to serve the country one day after returning to Sri Lanka by helping girls in science to achieve their dreams. Gayani’s greatest desire in her career life is to run her own laboratory, to build an environment where everyone is accepted, to empower females and minorities, and to address scientific research questions in vertebrate evolution using cutting-edge techniques.

Dr. Senevirathne’s father, Upul Senevirathne is an Assistant Commissioner of the Excise Department and her mother Bhagya Senevirathne is a research assistant in the water purification company, ‘CETEC’. Her brother, Ashan Senevirathne works as a Senior Engineer at the Testra company in Melbourne, Australia, whilst Gayani’s sister, Salani Senevirathne is currently reading for her undergraduate degree majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA after receiving the ‘Chancellor’s Award.’

For more information go to:

Queen’s Baton arrives in Sri Lanka

The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay arrived in Sri Lanka this afternoon, reaching the 25th destination out of the 72 Commonwealth nations. President of Commonwealth Games Association (CGA) in Sri Lanka, Suresh Subramaniam, and other dignitaries from the Ministry of Sports and British High Commission officially welcomed the Baton at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

Pix by Nimalsiri Edirisinghe

Mahela becomes Sri Lanka’s new ‘Consultant Coach’

COLOMBO (News 1st); Former Sri Lanka Captain Mahela Jayawardena was appointed as the ‘Consultant Coach’ for the National Teams, effective 1st January 2022, said Sri Lanka Cricket.

Jayawardena, in his new role, which is effective for a period of one year, will be in charge of the overall cricketing element of the national teams and will provide invaluable strategic support for the players and management teams at the High-Performance Center.

‘’We are extremely happy that Mahela is joining the National Team for an extended role, especially given the context that Sri Lanka has a heavy international calendar during the year 2022,’’ said Ashley De Silva, CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket.

“Mahela’s contributions during the first round of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup became invaluable for the overall performances of our team in the concluded event,’ De Silva, further added.

Despite the new appointment, Jayawardena will continue to perform in his role with the Under-19 team, as it prepares for next year’s ICC under-19 World Cup to be held in West Indies.

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with the national cricketers and coaches in our various development squads, including the U19 and A Team teams, to help us do justice to the enormous cricketing talent and potential in Sri Lanka,” said Mahela Jayawardena.

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MoU signed for Sri Lanka’s first ever smart phone manufacturing plant

COLOMBO (News 1st); Hypro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd (Chairman, Dhammika Samarawickrama) and Lodule International Ltd.(CEO, Byungehul Kim) signed a Memorandum of Understanding recently in Colombo for the first-ever Made in Sri Lanka Smart Phone manufacturing plant.

In attendance were the Secretary, Ministry of Industries, General Daya Ratnayake (Former Army Commander), Former Korean Ambassador and Foreign Economic Affairs Director-General, Dr. Saj Mendis and the Head of Human Resources Sri Lanka Cricket, Major Tanesh Dias.

Hypro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd is the SmartPhone Manufacturing Company under the umbrella of Micro E.I. Group of Companies (Pvt) Ltd.and will be the first-ever Made in Sri Lanka Smart Phone manufacturing plant.

Creating history in the Sri Lankan ICT sector, the island’s first assembled 4G enabled mobile smartphone, would be released to the market by Micro Electric International Pvt. Ltd Colombo by December 2021. It has been branded Hypro 4G, it was announced earlier.

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