Emirates and Dilmah Tea celebrate 30 years of partnership

Emirates and Dilmah Tea have enjoyed a longstanding partnership of brewing the finest teas on board and in Emirates’ airport lounges around the world for the past 30 years. To mark the milestone on International Tea Day, all Emirates’ customers will get a special tea box when they fly from Dubai on Saturday.

In addition, First Class customers on flights to the UK will be treated to a food pairing, and Emirates’ Onboard Lounge will offer Dilmah Tea infused mocktails on Saturday. The special tea pack for all customers who fly on Saturday contains three different flavours: Ceylon Breakfast, an Emirates exclusive Turmeric Coconut and Vanilla, and the popular Earl Grey with Honey.

In First Class, Emirates offers the Brilliant Breakfast tea created by Dilmah founder and passionate tea maker Memill Femando and will be paired with the afternoon tea service on board.

Moroccan Mint Green tea can be exquisitely paired alongside Labneh – a tangy and creamy yoghurt – with roast vegetables for vegetarians. Sushi and seafood goes well with Sencha Green Extra Special Tea – a fresh delicate flavour and smooth, herbal finish with a touch of sweetness.

“Emirates focuses on dishes that emphasise fresh ingredients of the highest quality. We pay special attention to every detail and the quality of the tea we offer our customers is no different. The fact that we have served Dilmah Tea for 30 years across all our cabins is proof of its quality and our satisfaction with the perfect cup of tea. We have an exceptional partnership with Dilmah and we have grown in tandem for the last 30 years. Over 9.6 million tea bags are used each year across our fleet with more than 10 tea varieties on offer, including an exclusive Emirates Signature Tea served in First Class,” said Thomas Ney, DSVP, Service Delivery at Emirates.

Dilhan C. Fernando, son of Dilmah Founder and CEO of the family company explained: “For 30 years we have grown a tea inspired collaboration with Emirates, offering customers a uniquely Emirates experience in tea. To celebrate the Pearl Anniversary of our partnership in tea, we made a tea that is as rare as it is magnificent. A seasonal tea with extraordinary finesse, handpicked from tea bushes prepared for months and crafted into a numbered limited edition tea. Our co-operation with Emirates truly presents the luxury in fine tea, and – in our tea mocktails and food pairings –contemporary, tea inspired hospitality. For the last 30 years we have created these unique moments for Emirates customers either on the ground in its lounges around the world or at 40,000 feet and this year is no different. We are excited to have the special 30 year blend on board Emirates’ fleet.”

A world-class partnership:

Millions of world class cups of tea have been poured for Emirates’ customers since the airline’s partnership with Dilmah began in 1992.

The airline brings the finest products on board through long standing partnerships worldwide, including support for local suppliers and artisans. Emirates takes the Dilmah brand to more than 130 destinations on six continents.

The teas offered on Emirates are chosen by popularity amongst customers, catering to different preferences like minty or citrus infusions as well as by looking at tea drinking trends. With an increasing focus on wellness amongst customers, the airline recently introduced a new tea in its airport lounges – Turmeric, coconut and vanilla featuring antioxidant properties.

On board, the most popular tea in Economy Class is the Dilmah Ceylon Black Tea while passengers in First and Business Class favour Moroccan Mint and Breakfast Tea. Emirates serves a selection of six teas in Business Class and its airport lounges and a further six teas in First Class.

SLF International, USA Donates Urgent Medical Consumables to Sirimavo Bandaranayaka Specialized Children’s Hospital in Peradeniya

On Friday, May 6th, Sri Lanka time at 3.00pm, Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA donated urgent medical consumables to the Sirimavo Bandaranayaka Specialized Children’s Hospital in Peradeniya to save lives.

Dr Aruna Herath, Pediatrics Pulmonologist accepted the most needed medical items in large quantities such as Sildenafil 50mg, Laryngeal mask airways 1.5,Laryngeal mask 2.0, Syringe 10ml, Urine catheters 6,Umbilical catheters 3.5(PVC), Umbilical catheters polyurethane 3.5, Umbilical catheters, E.T Tube 2.5/3/3.5/4 with great appreciation as many children were in a life and death situation due to the shortage.

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, Lanny Lin of Capital City Rotary & his Team for facilitating the delivery and other support extended to execute this project in Sri Lanka.

Click on the link to listen to a special message of appreciation from Dr Aruna Herath.
Click on the link below to donate as we have received many other urgent requests:
For more information contact:
Shirani Stanislaus:213-304-7500 or
Keshini Wijegoonaratna: 213-400-7705 or

Sri Lankan Americans urge Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus to urge US-AID  to allocate more funding for  much needed medical supplies and food.

A concerned group of Sri Lankan Americans met with a member of the Congressional Caucus of Sri Lanka Congresswoman Dina Titus and her legislative Director Joel Kohn to initiate a dialog with the US-AID to allocate more medical supplies and food funding.

In attendance was Keshini Wijegooneratha, the Director of Project Management and Public Relations of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, Sanje Sedera – President of Sri Lanka America Chamber of Commerce, Directors of Sri Lanka America Chamber of Commerce, Lalindra Wickremaratne, Douglas Perera and Daya Gamage along with Dushantha Kurera and Col. Lucky Rajasignha of Los Angeles California.

The group also urged Congresswoman Titus to contact the Department of Justice to find out why the severe economic crisis the country is facing and investigate the accountability of funds brought into the country.

Colombo Wedding Expo 2022

Colombo Wedding Expo 2022 was launched at the BMICH yesterday. The exhibition showcases, bridal wear, decoration ideas, hair dressing and make up, wedding cars and cake wrapping and many more. The exhibition will be held for three days.

Pix by Kithisri de Mel

For more information go to:

Build SL 2022 Housing & Construction Expo

The 17th Annual Build Sri Lanka Housing & Construction Expo was launched at the BMICH on March 18th and will be held until March 20th.
Pix by Kithsiri de Mel

“The Premier Housing & Construction Related Exhibition in Sri lanka”

Build SL 2022 – Housing & Construction Expo is organized by the Chamber of Construction Industry of Sri Lanka (CCI), with the objective of providing a platform to the construction industry stakeholders to display their products, services, new technologies and capabilities to the potential customers and general public. In addition this Expo will highlight the recent development projects undertaken in the country with an insight towards the plans for building a new Sri Lanka.

For more information go to:

Higher Education Reforms in Sri Lanka for positive peace

(L -R) – Prof. Shanti Nandana Wijesinghe, Professor in Sociology, Member – Presidential Task Force – OCOL, Member – Standing Committee for Social Reconciliation – UGC; Mr. Anuradha Wijekoon, Secretary, Ministry of Youth & Sports; Prof. Premakumara De Silva, Chairman, Standing Committee for Social Reconciliation, UGC; Mr. A.B.M. Ashraff, Director, National Centre for Leadership Development and Dr. T. Mangaleswaran, Vice Chancellor, University of Vavuniya (Virtual)

The ‘Future-Ready Youth Leadership Programme’ at the National Centre for Leadership Development in Embilipitiya, a historical event in the history of the University System of Sri Lanka, which began on March 10 with the participation of over 250 Vavuniya University students will continue till March 16.

Prof. Shanti Nandana Wijeysinghe, Member, Standing Committee for Social Reconciliation, University Grants Commission, Chairman, Education, Research and Training, Centre for Social Reconciliation, University of Vavuniya, and Member, Presidential Task Force, addressed the gathering.

The event is the first leadership workshop for university students and was held at the National Centre for Leadership Development under the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

“After 30-years of conflict, there has been no complete social reconciliation in the community. So, it is possible to prepare future leaders through national unity by bringing about reconciliation at the community level,” Prof. Wijesinghe said.

“The first Social Reconciliation Centre was inaugurated by the President at the University of Vavuniya on February 11 when the 17th University of Sri Lanka, University of Vavuniya. “The Social Reconciliation Centre to be set up in all Sri Lankan universities covers areas such as education, research and training. In addition, the university will start a programme to improve the education of students who are unable to enter the courses and issue relevant certificates, which will help to further improve higher education for youth. It is noteworthy that these Centres will be established in all the universities in Sri Lanka.

“Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim students from the University of Vavuniya are also participating in the one-week training programme on leadership, empowerment, entrepreneurship and reconciliation. I hope this training will prepare them for the challenging world and move forward with leadership to break down the barriers including ethnicity, religion, caste and class.

Health Regulations were emphasized as Undergraduates of the University of Vavuniya followed the Future-Ready Youth Leadership Programme in Embilipitiya.

“Our goal is to develop Sri Lankan youth as global leaders in keeping with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the Centres for Social Reconciliation. There are several programmes including Diploma/BA/Masters in Peace and Development Studies, and Certificate Courses in Women in Politics and in Media. Sri Lanka’s university system teaches perspectives, theory and concepts, but not the skills to practically apply them. Soft skills are not developed through university education. We expect to address these deficiencies through the projects conducted by the Social Reconciliation Centres.

“President Goatabaya Rajapaksa recently made two revolutionary changes in university education. He established a Department of ICT in all the Faculties of Arts equipped with Computer Labs, Human Resources, Broadband Internet facilities and other infrastructure facilities.

Undergraduates of the University of Vavuniya who followed the Future-Ready Youth Leadership Programme in Embilipitiya were put through various activities including outdoor exercises

The other was to establish Social Reconciliation Centres (SRC) at all universities together with a Standing Committee on Social Reconciliation at the UGC. These steps were taken to convert the prevailing negative peace with doubts, prejudices, fear and mistrust to positive peace where all would have access to equal opportunities and resources. These changes have been made to meet the challenges as Asia prepares to take over global power by the year 2050 as Sri Lanka has the potential to give leadership to the socio-economic and political revival in Asia. A situation that is expected to be consolidated by the year 2100,” said Prof. Wijesinghe.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Anuradha Wijekoon was present on the occasion together with Prof. Premakumara de Silva, Chairman, Standing Committee on Social Reconciliation, the University Grants Commission, Ms. Prarthana M. De Mel, Director/Research and Training, World University Friends, and Dr. T. Mangaleswaran, Vice Chancellor, University of Vavuniya who participated via the ZOOM platform. Mr. A.B.M. Ashraf, Director, and other officials of the National Centre for Leadership Development were also present.

For more information go to:

Ratmalana Airport resumes int’l, regional flights after 54 yrs.

International and regional flight operations resumed at Ratmalana Airport today (10) after a lapse of 54 years.

The Maldives’ Island Aviation Services Ltd. and the Maldivian national airline have commenced the services between the two countries.

Three international flights per week to the Maldives will begin on 27 March.

Meanwhile, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi has launched a route between Abu Dhabi and Mattala.

It is the ultra-low-cost national airline of the UAE.

For more Information go to:

New U.S Ambassador seeks to further strengthen the existing ties with Sri Lanka

The new US Ambassador emphasized that she was seeking to further strengthen the existing political, social and economic ties with Sri Lanka, Prime Minister’s Office said.

Ambassador Chung said that the United States will help keep the Sri Lankan economy strong in the face of the covid-19 epidemic and also expressed confidence that the U.S. would assist in the development of Sri Lanka’s energy and tourism sectors.

The Premier assured that the Government of Sri Lanka will work to maintain the existing relations between the United States and Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister offered congratulations and best wishes to Ms., Chung for success in her new post.

State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya and Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake were also present on the occasion.

Video Attached! President/CEO of SLF International, USA Meets Derana Start Up 2021 Prize Winners

On February 25th, 2022, Dr Dishan Jayasinha the President/CEO of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA met with the Derana Start Up 2021 Entrepreneurs, Natalie Samarasinghe, Project Manager of Derana Start up 2021 and Roshan Fernando, General Manager Marketing & Project Chair of Derana at the TV Derana studio in Sri Lanka to handover the prizes for the Winners.

See attached Video:

Project Details:

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

SLYO Celebrates International Women’s Day

This year, SLYO will be celebrating International Women’s Day through a women’s empowerment conference on March 5th, 2022. We will be partnering with the Lighthouse Organization to feature a fashion show celebrating domestic violence survivors, and are also planning to have community members speak on topics such as financial literacy, women’s health, and female empowerment. We strongly believe that this conference will have a significant impact on empowering women in the community to be bold, brave, and #breakthebias.

All are welcome to attend the conference; please use the following eventbrite link to register:

If you are interested in volunteering at the event, please use the following link to sign-up:

We are happy to provide volunteer credit, if needed!
No walk-ins are permitted, so please register if you plan to attend.
Attire: Professional, shades of purple/lavender

COVID Guidelines: We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. As of right now, we will be mandating masks and requiring either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours before the event.