Congresswoman Susie Lee meets with H.E Ambassador and Community Leaders from Nevada & California

On December 14th, 2021, H.E Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe, Hon Consul General, Dr Lalith Chandradasa, Sanje Sedara, the President of the Sri Lanka America Association & President of Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce, Keshini Wijegoonaratna, the Director of Project Management and Public Relations of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, Lucky Rajasinghe, Daya Gamage, met with the staff of the Congressional District office of the Congresswoman Susie Lee on a zoom meeting to discuss how Sri Lanka is preparing to handle the next wave of virus, and the economic impact Sri Lanka is facing due to Covid, and how US can play a role in the recovery process. The meeting was initiated by Sanje Sedara of Nevada.

Congresswoman Susie Lee from Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District is dedicated to serve the people of Sri Lanka to assist the prevention of the spreading of the Omicron virus by providing vaccinations from US for the booster shots. H.E Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe informed of the current situation Sri Lanka is faced with and how US could play a big part in the recovery process.

Sanje Sedara stressed the importance of working together and keeping the congress informed. He invited Keshini Wijegoonaratna to share additional information of urgent requests from the medical staff in Sri Lanka who are monitoring the situation of the Omicron Virus closely.

Congresswoman Susie Lee’s remarks in conclusion of the meeting was that she will work on the requests and to provide with further details of the current developments.

NEWSLanka-America Chamber of Commerce inaugurated in Las Vegas with Congress blessings

The Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce, in American was inaugurated and established on Dec 9 by a group of professional Sri Lankan expatriates centering the City of Las Vegas with the blessings of the United States Congressional leaders.

The Sri Lankan expatriates selected the City of Las Vegas to make it the Chamber’s headquarters because of the global attraction it has for international conventions that brings trade and commerce activist leaders and influential economic peddlers to the city.

Sensing the importance of a twin-nation commerce, trade and investment arrangement of this nature that could bring more meaningful economic engagement between the United States and Sri Lanka, five Members of U.S. Congress – both House and Senate – apart from sending their immediate staff to the event, communicated through video messages, commending the initiators of the Chamber project, some of whom they knew, and aired congratulatory messages. They expressed confidence that the Chamber could bring conducive atmosphere for American entrepreneurs to search avenues for investments and economic enhancement in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce, in American was inaugurated and established on Dec 9 by a group of professional Sri Lankan expatriates centering the City of Las Vegas with the blessings of the United States Congressional leaders.

The Sri Lankan expatriates selected the City of Las Vegas to make it the Chamber’s headquarters because of the global attraction it has for international conventions that brings trade and commerce activist leaders and influential economic peddlers to the city.

Sensing the importance of a twin-nation commerce, trade and investment arrangement of this nature that could bring more meaningful economic engagement between the United States and Sri Lanka, five Members of U.S. Congress – both House and Senate – apart from sending their immediate staff to the event, communicated through video messages, commending the initiators of the Chamber project, some of whom they knew, and aired congratulatory messages. They expressed confidence that the Chamber could bring conducive atmosphere for American entrepreneurs to search avenues for investments and economic enhancement in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s new Ambassador to Washington, Mahinda Samarasinghe, delivered a congratulatory message on a video clip.

The Sri Lanka Consul-General for the Western States of the United States Dr. Lalith Chandradasa, and Minister-Counsellor of Commerce of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington, Charitha Yattogoda, represented the Government of Sri Lanka.

The nine-member Board of Directors of the Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce is led, as President, by Sanje Sedera, who maintains close rapport and discourses with lawmakers in both the U.S. House and Senate, and being a leading entrepreneur himself, is destined to work with another accredited 12 directors who have higher academic achievements in business management, investment, public affairs and public diplomacy, and broad knowledge of the manner in which global trade and commerce work, as well as the deep understanding of the manner in which the American system functions, including the agencies and departments in Washington, the Chamber intents to work with.

State of Nevada Judge Kalani Hoo administered the oath of office of the Board of Directors and the key-note address was delivered by States of California and Nevada leading entrepreneur and Taiwanese-American professional Teddy Liaw.

The Chamber proposes developing an action plan to set up economic ties at Macro and Micro levels. At the micro-level, Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce will be targeting small and medium entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka to provide a firm launching platform to their products and services to global markets. The Chamber has currently established an e-commerce platform to fulfill this task, and it was announced at the December 9 inaugural session.

At the macro level the Chamber intends of exploring “Sister City” concept to tie up with the newly developed Port City Colombo, in Sri Lanka, with a major metropolitan city in the United States, to promote trade and commerce, and discussions were initiated by President Sanje Sedera and President-Elect for the Years 2023-2025 Aruna Abayakoon with Sri Lanka Consul-General for Western United States Dr. Lalith Chandradasa and Washington Sri Lanka Embassy Minister-Counsellor Charitha Yattogoda during their visit to Las Vegas to attend the Chamber’s inauguration.

To strengthen the nonprofit groups who are dedicated to alleviate people out of poverty in Sri Lanka and to strengthen the micro entrepreneurs, the Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce has developed a comprehensive plan to allocate resources. Just recently the Chamber was able to finalise an MOU with the “Mother Sri Lanka”, one of the largest nonprofit groups in Sri Lanka, headed by Dr. Janaki Kuruppu.


Aruni Wijesinghe, California-based Poet, set to release collection in 2022

Aruni Wijesinghe is a Sri Lankan-American writer. A project manager, ESL teacher, occasional sous chef and erstwhile belly dance instructor. She holds a BA in English an AA in dance and a certification in TESOL. Aruni is a native New Yorker, born in the Bronx and raised in Rockland County, New York and Orange County, California.

Her work has been published in journals and anthologies both nationally and internationally. She has a solo poetry collection forthcoming with Moon Tide Press and (2022) and a duet collection with Picture Show Press (2022). Most notably, her first full-length poetry collection is due for release in April of 2022. Titled 2 Revere Place, this collection of memoir in verse is a love song to her family; the subject matter is the first ten years of her family’s life in the U.S. and tackles subjects ranging from cultural identity to assimilation to the challenges of being an immigrant family in the United States during the 1970s. Though these poems are not her first publication, this volume is her first solo collection.

Aruni is the daughter of Drs. Nandi and Neelakshi Wijesinghe, and sister to Ashini Wijesinghe Harris and Dr. Manik Wijesinghe. Her parents were both raised in Galle, attended medical school in Sri Lanka, and immigrated to the United States in 1969. They made their first home in New York state, where their three children were born, then made the move across country to Southern California in 1979. Dr. Nandi Wijesinghe established his private practice in Obstetrics and Gynecology with specialty in Perinatology in Orange County while Dr. Neelakshi Wijesinghe worked as a Pediatrician and top administrator for the Orange County Health Department. Dr. Nandi Wijesinghe is the recipient of the Sri Lanka Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for 2012.

She lives and writes in Orange County, California with her husband Jeff and their cats Jack and Josie.

For more information go to:

Success story of two Sri Lankans in the IT world

Dilip Niranjan, Founder CEO of MediTech Data International, and Elfie America (Los Angeles and Colombo, Sri Lanka), joined hands with Dr. Yasantha Rajakarunanayake, a renowned technologist inventor, to collaborate at the cutting edge of technology seeking a breakthrough in the latest challenges facing the field of information technology. They are jointly undertaking a major endeavour for using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the healthcare and cyber security sectors.

Dr. Rajakarunanayake, a technologist and inventor, owns nearly a hundred patents from satellite communications to the chips in your iPhone, Android, Bluetooth, and WIFI. The richest person in the world, founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos, a fellow student at Princeton University, calls Yasantha the smartest person at Princeton University and credits him vicariously being part of the birth of Amazon. Yasantha is known as the genius that solved a mathematical problem that defeated Bezos, who ultimately gave up his dreams of becoming a theoretical physicist. But then the world has Dr. Rajakarunanayake to thank for inadvertently being the reason we have

. University

Dr. Yasantha Rajakarunanayake schooled at Royal College Colombo and scored the highest marks in the island at the AL exam with 4As in the Mathematics Stream. He entered the University of Moratuwa to study electronics engineering but not for long.

Within a few months, he received a merit-based scholarship from the prestigious Ivy League University and left the Island in 1982 to study at Princeton University in America. There he received a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1985 and went on to get a Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Caltech University, considered the temple of technology studies.

After working a few years as a university professor in Physics and semi conductors with more than 50 odd technical publications, he changed his career and jumped into internet technology in 1995. He worked initially on the world’s first cable modems and broadband networks. He later pioneered DSL modems, protocols, and ADSL networks. It allowed broadband internet to be deployed over existing phone lines in the world.

In 2000 he started his own company with a cloud-based content delivery technology and worked with Broadcom Corporation, developing digital satellite communication chips and protocols. That is what gives you a satellite television.

In 2008, he switched to Wi-Fi for research and development to work on wireless communications and bring Wi-Fi to all the smart phones and TVs through Broadcom chips. If you have an iPhone or Samsung phone, you are using a chip or product that he worked on and contributed to in a fundamental way. He is now working with the semiconductor chip giant MediaTek to research and develop Artificial Intelligence chips and algorithms, mm-Wave radar innovations, and autonomous driving applications.

MediTech Data, based in Los Angeles, is led by Dilip Niranjan Jayasekera has a strong reputation for reliability and innovation and provides the entire gamut of IT services from Consulting and Support Services, Application Design and Development, to Cyber Security and Advanced Networks, and solutions for medical IT infrastructure, ePHI maintenance, and EMR / EHR IT.


Dilip schooled at D.S. Senanayake College in Colombo, and later, he specialised in the field of Information Technology. He began life as a respected roving lecturer at tuition classes travelling around the country. He now functions as a software Engineer, having obtained a BSC in Computer Science from the University of Kelaniya, a Diploma in Computer System Design from the National Institute of Business Management (NIBM), qualifying him to be a Data Communication Analyst and a Diploma in multimedia and hypermedia from the Institute of Technology of the University of Colombo.

Before leaving for the United States, he functioned as an IT lecturer at the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES). By the time he came to the States, he had mastered the IT field, having learned coding in twenty different languages, which have come in handy in progressing in his new ventures. Thus, it is no surprise that his initial data entry and medical billing business blossomed out to manage nearly fifty healthcare facilities within a short time.

He was soon at a stage where he had turned to developing and marketing new apps through the Apple Store that are innovative and crucial to the operations, particularly in the medical establishments, but not exclusively. His creative work got recognition recently when the Harvard University Business School invited him to participate in a workshop for young IT entrepreneurs to present their work for discussion.

Dilip is a determined young man with a vision who is selfless in pursuing his ambition, as demonstrated by his desire to share his success and happiness with those like him that he left behind back in Sri Lanka when he left in 2004. That drive made him open an office in Colombo for the Development wing where a team of IT experts is doing creative work led by the Colombo-based COO Janith Champika and supported by Shashika Pradeep, Director of Developments, and Chamara Harindra, the Lead UI/UX.


The office is currently expanding by recruiting fresh talents and exploring new ventures in the field. If one enters Dilip’s office any evening in Los Angeles, one would see an array of computer monitors that light up one by one at dusk, delighting Dilip that his collaborators back in Sri Lanka are clocking in at dawn in Colombo, ready to begin their workday. He is committed to the task of carrying along with him the people in his workforce in Colombo, sharing with them his successes and happiness, a noble cause, indeed. The new joint collaboration between Yasantha and Dilip will take MediTech and ELife to the next level as an industry pioneer in using AI in healthcare and cyber security, a field that Yasantha has already carried out ground-breaking work, including the detection of cancer from CT with 95 percent accuracy.

By Dr. Nandi Jasentuliyana

Aruni Boteju, Founder of Ceylon International Film Festival Corporation Launched with Tea Ceremony in Santa Barbara, California!

Aruni Boteju, Founder of the Ceylon International Film Festival Corporation launched the Sri Lanka Film Festival this week in Santa Barbara, U.S.A. with a Tea Ceremony. Santa Barbara, the city of arts and culture is considered the Riviera of America, the home of the famous Santa Barbara film festival.

Present among the large gathering of guests were the Mayor of Santa Barbara, Ms Cathy Murillo, Honorable Consul General of Sri Lanka, Dr Lalith Chandradasa, Director of Direct Relief International, Dean Axelrod, Direct Relief Emergency Officer Chris Alleway, Dr Nandi Jasentuliyana, former Deputy Director General of the United Nations, Samantha Kurera, the President of the Sri Lanka America Association, Keshini Wijegoonaratna, the Director of Project Management & Public Relations of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, Aruni Ganewatta, the Founder of the Sri Lanka Youth Organization, USA, Miguel Avilla, Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber.

Let me first complement Aruni Boteju for organizing the planned film festival and its launch today. Aruni is constantly engaged in social service promoting the arts and also her motherland by coming up with creative ways of accomplishing her projects, and today’s event is no exception. Thank you all for sponsoring and supporting her commendable initiative in organizing the planned film festival.

I have been asked to briefly give you the background and contextualize the forthcoming festival. The Finest Island in the World- That’s how Marco Polo, the famous explorer, described it on his travel accounts. He landed in 1292 AD and was one of the many famous travelers who visited the country that was called ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean.

The Island’s history is well recorded in the chronicles and extensive archaeological evidence. There sits a host of ancient monuments, Buddhist structures such as stupas, and historical royal cities that once served as the center of early Kingdoms of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa and served the Sinhalese people and civilization. As a result, the Island offers some of the best-preserved historical and cultural archaeological sites comparable to any in the world, with five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which have attracted streams of tourists.

The Island of Sri Lanka is also home to tropical forests, and a wealth of endemic flora and fauna, with mesmerizing highlands and pristine beaches and naturally been the location for many western movies, including the Oscar Winning movies – Bridge over River Kawi, Elephant Walk and notably, Stephen Spielberg’s Temple of Doom.

Ceylon was introduced to the films early in the 19th century by the British occupants when the first film screening happened in 1901, and in 1903, photographer A.W. Andree, of Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka, was the first Ceylonese to form a local film company – Coric Bioscope. Having acquired a projector from abroad and gained access to an auditorium, he began to screen silent films from Europe.

Later, Madan, an Indian theatre and film producer, began building cinemas. By the 1930s, he owned an expansive network of cinemas of his company Madan Theatres Ltd. These venues predominantly screened Indian films and, in doing so, took some of the focus away from imported European films.

1947 marked the debut of the first film produced by a Sri Lankan called “Kadawunu Poronduwa,” or The ‘Broken Promise.’ This marked a new era for the industry, and with time a slew of films followed, and a number of them have won international recognition.  In the first decade since then, most films were made in South India, with Indian-style sets erected in film studios. Several artistic Sinhala films were also made in the late-1960s including Sath Samudura by Professor Siri Gunasinghe.During the 1970s, several talented productions came to the forefront while commercial cinema continued to steal storylines and plots from Indian films. Over the next few decades, artists attempted to breathe new life into the industry.

These include Dr. D.B. Nihalsingha with “Weilkatara”- Sri Lanka’s first film in Cinemascope ratio wide screen in 1972; Vasantha Obeysekera who followed up his well-received debut Ves Gatho culminating with Palangetiyo in 1979. Another major director who stepped forward during this time is Dharmasena Pathiraja who examined the tensions of city youth in such works as Bambaru Awith and Ahas Gauwa. Over the next few decades, artists such as Tissa Abeysekara, Chandran Rutnam, Udayakantha Warnasooriya, H.D.Premaratne, and Ashoka Handagama, continued keep the spotlight on the Sri Lankan movie industry. ably supported by exquisite cinematography by Dr. D.B. Nihalsinghe and other brilliant cinemetographers.

The most prestigious and influential filmmaker in the country, Dr. Lester James Peries, was the first to reach for the stars and achieve global acclaim. With many awards to his name, he was the first Sri Lankan to earn the prestigious award at the Venice Film Festival in 1972. Several other movies by leading producers have been shown at the Cannes, Venice, and London film festivals. Lester’s wife Sumitra Peries, an icon on her own right, also struck out during the 1970s with work that looked at the conflicting roles of women in society in Gehenu Lamai ‘Girls’ and Ganga Addara ‘By the River’. Sri Lanka’s film industry has been a fountain of fine literary films. Most of these works are based on Sinhala literature with controversial themes such as family relations, terrorism, abortions, and anguish. During and following Sri Lankan Civil War that ended in 2009, several films began to explore gritty subjects such as the results of the conflict between the military and brutal Tamil Tigers in the north. Sri Lankan cinema encompasses the films made almost exclusively in Sri Lanka both in Sinhala and Tamil, and the cinema has now become a flourishing industry.

The forthcoming festival is designed to depict the rich and vibrant canvas of Sri Lanka’s films made through the creative eyes of the award-winning Producers, Directors, writers, and actors, who are oureyes to the world, and who put our world in the broader context of history and act as advocates of a range of issues that impact society. They also call our attention to the things we miss in our everyday lives, and they call our attention to places, events, and people at a great distance from our own patch of the universe, as will be demonstrated by the films to be screened at the planned festival.

Excerpt of the keynote speech made by Dr. Nandi Jasentuliyana, former Deputy Director General of the United Nations.

Professor Malik Peiris from Sri Lanka and Professor Yuen Kwok-Yung awarded the ‘Life Science Prize’ under the 2021 Future Science Prize….

Sri Lanka Foundation Intl, USA 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Hong Kong-based scientists Kwok-Yung Yuen and Sri Lanka’s Joseph Sriyal Malik Peiris won the prize in life sciences in the 2021 Future Science Prize, alias ‘China’s Nobel Prize’ for their major discoveries of SARS-CoV-1 as the causative agent of the global SARS outbreak in 2003 with impact on combating COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases.

The Future Science Prize is a privately funded science honor established by a group of widely known and esteemed scientists and entrepreneurs in 2016, aiming at recognizing scientific breakthroughs and innovations in China with long-term significance to the world. The prize is given in three categories with $1 million for each award, namely the Life Science Prize, Physical Science Prize, and Mathematics and Computer Science Prize.

The science committee of the prizes consisted of 23 illustrious scientists, is at the heart of the award selection. Mau-Chung Frank Chang, chairman of the committee, said that the nomination and selection of the prize proceeded similarly to the Nobel Prize system, in which the committee invites international experts as nominators and then solicits evaluation letters from experts in relevant fields of the nominated work. Based on the evaluations, the committee then votes to select the final award winners.

As Sri Lankans, it is a proud moment for us as Professor Malik Peiris is a SL-born renowned Pathologist and virologist at the University of Hong Kong. He was graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, and was awarded the Commonwealth scholarship to pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Oxford. Mother Sri Lanka would definitely become proud of her gem Prof. Malik who is committed to making the lives of humans better on the earth and the world a better place.

More information on

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.

SLF Platform, One of a Kind, Never Seen Before!!!!!! Register Now










For more information contact:
Keshini Wijegoonaratna- 213-400-7705 or Achala Weerasinghe-213-400-1662

Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL), Achievements and Accomplishment based on His Excellency’s National Policy Framework

Achievements and Accomplishment based on His Excellency’s National Policy Framework – “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor”

Receives recognition under the leadership of Mr Upul Dharmadasa, the Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka,

View report with complete details:

Achievements and Accomplishment of the CAASL


As we are aware since the first case of a Chinese tourist with Covid-19 reported in Sri Lanka in January 2020, Sri Lanka’s response to Covid-19 can be reviewed as provocative. Relevant steps were taken in advance and Sri Lanka was able to hold back the spread till April of 2021, when the restrictions were relaxed.

However, lack of Personal Protection Equipment, a shortage of trained health care providers, unavailability of updated population registers at the local level and lack of consistency in action by the authorities in testing, lackadaisical response to second wave by people and the institution have stood as some of the major challenges to the country’s response to the current situation. Sri Lanka was unable to secure much needed Covid-19 vaccination due to India’s struggles with the pandemic.

Sri Lanka is adding up 2196 new Covid-19 cases a day while, losing 52 people a day. To date Sri Lanka had 246,109 Covid-19 cases and total deaths of 2,769. Sri Lanka has 11,447 Covid-19 infections and 129 deaths per one million population. Sri Lanka has the highest weekly death averages per million people in the region with 2.49 deaths (52 deaths a day), Compared to Maldives with 2.11 deaths, India with 1.27 deaths, Bangladesh with 0.39 deaths, Pakistan with 0.16 deaths. United States has a weekly death average of 0.89 deaths. On April 26, 2021, Sri Lanka Weekly death average per million was 0.18 Deaths. Eek ago, Sri Lanka had a weekly death average of 3.44, which was one of the highest in the world.

Currently Sri Lanka is losing nearly 52-60 everyday people. We all are at the risk of loosing our relatives and close friends in our motherland. Only solution is to obtain more vaccines. As we are currently shut out of vaccines from India (due to their own struggles), Sri Lanka’s only hope remains with vaccines from US and from China. Currently we have about 600,000 people who have got vaccinated with COVISHEILD (AstraZeneca) vaccine and not being able to get their second vaccine due to unavailability of the AstraZeneca Vaccine. USA has about 500 million doses of AstraZeneca doses and Biden Administration is planning to distribute them globally.

Latest communication indicates that approximately 16 million doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine being allocated for Asia to the following countries: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Cambodia, and the Pacific Islands. Population wise of the countries on the above list, Sri Lanka is only ahead of Bhutan, Maldives, Papua New Guinea and Pacific Island, thus our vaccine allocation needs to be made on our alarming death rate.

We need to make a push to obtain as many vaccines as possible to Sri Lanka. This can only be done by the Sri Lankan American Citizens calling their Congressmen/Women. We need everyone of you to call to save lives.

Firstly – Please call/email your congressman/woman today and leave/send a message. A guide on how to call and what to say is attached.

How to call your representative

Secondly – If you wish, please make a donation of $ 10.00 0r more for COVID-19 Relief Funds to one of the following trusted organizations:

Sri Lanka Foundation at:

Sri Lanka America Association at: