Archives

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

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.

For more information:
Go to:

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.

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

SLF Academy of Performing Arts Performed at the 25th Anniversary of Getty Center Museum

Sri Lanka Foundation Academy of Performing Arts was privileged to put our mission into action once again with our hands held with Getty to preserve, support, celebrate and present to a wide range of audiences; the culture, language, dance, and arts of Sri Lanka through performing our heritage. 

Getty is a cultural and philanthropic institution dedicated to the presentation, conservation, and interpretation of the world’s artistic legacy; an ideal platform for Sri Lankan heritage to converse with international art and culture. What portent can be greater than a conversation in this nature?

The event was open to multiple and a diverse set of communities in celebration of Getty’s 25 years of service to the international sphere of art and culture where they showcased the cultural diversity of Los Angeles by creating a series of free outdoor community art festivals, cultural performances, workshops, food stalls and many other colorful and diversified cultural experiences. It was a wonderful celebration with music, art and culture brought together by a global community, giving the expression of a global village.

Set up in KoreaTown, Liberty Park, home to many people from around the world, the most diverse part of the city of Los Angeles; the 25th anniversary of Getty was indeed a festival of diversity. Getty, being a cultural institute that is dedicated to celebrating beauty in the form of art and culture, has opened their arms for APA to join and perform at the 25th anniversary celebrations. The invitation was extended by Getty’s Lead Producer Mr. Albert, giving APA the opportunity to receive a free booth to distribute our marketing materials and to conduct a workshop to add a little bit of essence of Sri Lankan culture to the event. 

The workshop was conducted by our senior students, Umendra Kahadawaracchi who is the talented dancing teacher at APA and the Director of Cultural Affairs, Achala Weerasinghe. The workshop was dedicated to celebrating the beauty of Sri Lankan traditional dancing which is a huge part of Sri Lankan cultural inheritance. Sri Lanka is home to many different styles of dances such as Udarata Natum, Pahatharata Natum and Sabaragamu Natum which can vary in their styles of movements and motions, the style of dressing and the type of drums used for performances, the workshop has given prominence to kandyan Dancing, which is beautiful and deserves to be celebrated world-wide. 

The workshop was very colorful and engaging which also did not fail to enlighten the audience about many hidden beauties in Sri Lanka such as Dalada Maligawa which is a place where all these cultural performances come together, once a year, as a devotion to Sri Lankan religious belief systems. 

The workshop was appreciated by many in the audience including the event producers and parents of the foreign children who were privileged enough to immerse themselves in the beauty of a very foreign country to them which is physically miles apart. Traditional drums were in the center of attention for many of those kids and were keen on joining APA classes to learn drums such as thammattama, yak beraya and geta beraya.

It was indeed a day full of celebrations and our heartfelt gratitude goes out to our Founder and Chairman of the Board, Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, Vice President of SLF Aeshea Jayasinghe, Chief Operating Officer / Corporate Secretary, Shirani Stanislaus, Director, Research & Development, Rodney Perera, and our Media Director, Chamodh Amarasinghe not only for creating such platforms for

cultural celebration but also for being a part of this event and giving us a helping hand and courage to keep reaching greater heights as a Sri Lankan community away from home. 

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.

Sri Lanka Foundation Int, USA donated urgently requested Albumin Bottles to the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Pediatrics Hospital in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

On June 6th, 2022 Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA donated urgently requested 100 Vials of Albumin which is a life saving drug to the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Pediatrics Hospital in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

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

Dr Aruna Herath, the Consultant Pediatrics Chest Specialist of the Pediatrics Hospital sent the Ambulance to pick up the Albumin Bottles from the Delmege Forsyth Co LTD location in Colombo.

SLF extend their deepest gratitude to our ongoing loyal donors that made a difference to this life saving situation. Also our sincere thanks to the President of the Capital City Rotary Club of Colombo, Randika Piyasiri the owner of J-Tech and Adrian Schockman, the CEO of Delmege for their assistance with the delivery and on going support to find the necessary medicines and Medical Consumables with short notice.

SLF also would like to convey a special thank you to the ITN TV Network Creative Director, Sandaruwan Jayawickrama for his support to do a special coverage of the project that was broadcasted in the Headline News . Click the link below to watch the program.

https://youtu.be/qrQEwCD2LUA

Please click the link below to listen to Dr Aruna, the Consultant Pediatrics Chest Specialist of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Pediatrics Hospital.

https://youtu.be/efwnXDBxSYI

Please click on the link below to donate as we have received many more requests from Hospitals across Sri Lanka:

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

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.”

SLF Int, USA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Professor Nimal Rajapakse For his excellence as a Renowned International Researcher & Rank among the top in Civil & Mechanical Engineering

Prof Nimalsiri ( Nimal) Dharmakeerthi Rajapakse hails from Bopetta, Attanagalla and spent his formative years in Colombo with his maternal grandparents. He received primary and secondary education from Ananda College following the footsteps of his grandfather mentor, Don Elias Rajapakse, and his father. He was an excellent student of Ananda College and received several academic prizes. Ananda College honored him as the orator of Col. Henry Steele Olcott Oration in 2005, and he delivered a talk under the title, “New Frontiers of Engineering”

Prof Nimal is an internationally renowned researcher in Applied Mechanics and a recipient of several prestigious award/honors. He has received over $15 million in research grants as a principal investigator. He served four Canadian research universities for 35 years. He has over 5500 research citations in Google Scholar with a h-index of 44. Prof Nimal has mentored twenty-three Ph-D students and sixteen M.Sc. Students, as well as many post-doctoral fellows. He has co-authored a textbook published by Springer. He has collaborated and received support from IBM Research, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Highways, AECL, Ballard, Kinectrics and Westport Innovation. In addition, he is a highly accomplished academic leader with nearly twenty years of leadership experience in Canada. He is recognized as a transformative leader who inspires people through his work ethics, collaborative leadership style, merit based decision making, commitment to inclusively and transparency, and ability to engage people.

He joined the University of Manitoba UM as an Assistant Professor in 1985 and started his academic administrative career when he was appointed as Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at UM. During his term as Head of Civil Engineering of UM (1997-2000), he took initiatives to raise the profile of the department within and outside the university and implemented an effective strategy to increase the undergraduate enrollment through industry collaborations and outreach.

Prof Nimal was recruited to the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2000 as head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. UBC is ranked amongst the top 50 universities of the world. The Mech 2 Program which received highest national and International awards for curriculum innovation was introduced in 2004 during his headship. Annual research income and graduate enrollment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering nearly doubled during his headship. UBC Mechanical Engineering was ranked first amongst the Canadian Mechanical Engineering departments in research performance during the final year of his headship. He led the discussion with PACE Program ( General Motors-led) consortium for Advanced Collaborative Engineering), which granted in 2004 an over $200 million in-kind donation of software and computer hardware. The department received the Outstanding PACE Partner Award in 2008. Four research chairs were established during his headship. Prof Nimal was appointed Director of the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) at UBC in July 2007. ICICS is the largest multi-disciplinary research institute at UBC. A research team led by him obtained a $12.9m grant in 2009 to upgrade the ICICS research infrastructure.