Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA, donated to the V2U Organization founded in Canada to support the third project in Monaragala, to prepare land for raising crops to cultivate a field which Medagama Chandaloka Thero spearheaded in three different locations.

The main objective of the V2U Community Organization is to educate Sri Lankans on food cultivation to create self-generating employment opportunities in agriculture and other related fields.

Food insecurity in Sri Lanka will likely worsen amid poor agricultural production, price spikes, and ongoing economic crisis. An estimated 6.3 million people in Sri Lanka face moderate to severe acute food insecurity. Their situation is expected to worsen if adequate life-saving assistance and livelihood support are not provided.

To avert a further deterioration of food security conditions and to support the restoration of agricultural production, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA, Dr. Walter Jayasinghe’s vision for this project is a multi-faceted initiative to rebuild villages struggling educationally and economically. The ambition is a replicable model to create sustainable and holistic transformation through land cultivation. He believes a thriving economy is a system of production, distribution, and consumption that efficiently uses all available resources to benefit all stakeholders of that economy.

With the support of SLF, V2U Community Organization is reaching out to farming areas that are often underdeveloped with a lack of resources, skilled people, and economic development. They encourage volunteers to gain experience in community development while helping with various tasks that contribute to the local people’s long-term goals. They have already identified the next project in Dehiathakandiya in the Ampara District.

This project will continue to empower poor rural women and men to connect to markets by scaling up value chain development, developing public-private-producer partnerships, and mobilizing innovative financial products tailored to the rural poor in the country.

Ceylon Coffee- Will the New Hype Usurp the Good Old Ceylon Tea?

Sri Lankan plantations are planning to brand Ceylon coffee as a globally sought-after brand of coffee. The growing preference for coffee over tea renders an excellent opportunity for this venture. In the last decade, Sri Lankan coffee has shown remarkable growth in production volumes. Due to the industry’s expansion, exports of coffee brought in USD 0.32 million in 2019.

According to the Lanka Coffee Association (LCA), the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) entering this market segment are using this opportunity to be the key movers in this sector. The already established brand value of Ceylon Tea and the excellent terrain in Sri Lanka will surely benefit this endeavor.

More smallholder farmers are now progressing into coffee farming. In areas like Nuwara Eliya and Welimada, smallholders commonly cultivate coffee as a secondary tea crop. Plantation firms are highly considering growing coffee as an alternate crop as the output of tea declines. After being harvested, the coffee berries are transported to the factories for processing. However, this network also has certain drawbacks because the farmers care less about the quality and would pick the berry before the proper harvesting stage. However, RPCs can set stringent standards to mitigate this issue.

Currently, the two processing factories at Kotmale and Welimada are supported by the Market Development Facility (MDF), funded by the Australian Government. In favor of this venture, MDF recently pitched at an international coffee event in Australia and held the inaugural Sri Lankan coffee festival this year. They are now focusing on specialty coffee for export because of its growing popularity.

Several businesses are now growing coffee on at least 25 to 30 hectares. Growing coffee is an excellent option for using marginal lands unsuitable for tea. It is also less labor intensive than tea; coffee only requires less than 50 labor days, with picking carried out twice annually.

Ceylon Coffee will initially be launched on a smaller scale to test the waters. Ten companies have already diversified into coffee, dedicating about five percent (5%) of their total land cultivation. However, according to LCA, it is less likely that the popularity of Sri Lankan Tea will be replaced by Ceylon coffee.


Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA, donated to the V2U Organization founded in Canada to support the second project in Mahiyanganaya, to prepare land for raising crops to cultivate a field which Keenathumulle Chuulawansa Thero spearheaded in five different locations.

Agriculture is an important part of the Sri Lankan economy, engaging one-third of the working population. However, most farm households have limited knowledge of production methods and also face a financial struggle to access land for cultivation. These obstacles constrain their ability to compete in the market and increase their incomes. In response to these challenges, Sri Lanka Foundation International and V2U Community Organization are partnering on the Supporting Opportunities in Livelihoods Development projects, which trains farm households in the eastern regions of the country on improved agricultural practices. 

The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA, Dr Walter Jayasinghe’s vision for this Project is a multi-faceted initiative to rebuild villages struggling educationally and economically. The ambition is a replicable model to create sustainable and holistic transformation through land cultivation. He believes a thriving economy is a system of production, distribution and consumption that efficiently uses all available resources to benefit all stakeholders of that economy. 

The project focuses on providing training on value chains of food production to have a sustainable impact in the rural economy, to promote residual income and healthy organic meals to families to be self sufficient.

With the support of SLF V2U Community Organization has disseminated this project proposal to a wide range of villages across Sri Lanka. Another land is been prepared for the next project in Dehiattakanndiya which is due to start next week.

The main objective is to build a sustainable agriculture, and management of resources, a solution to the hunger crisis in Sri Lanka.

DON’T MISS OUT!!Sri Lanka Day Expo & Parade Worldwide Virtual Event Begins in a few more days


Spectacular Cultural Program

Virtual Expo will be open to the public from August 10th – August 20th

Amazing Virtual Parade

Resourceful Presentations

Get ready to “Dance Baila” with the Band, “HEAT”

Live MC’S from US, Australia and Sri Lanka

There are many new features added this time for our worldwide audience. Including new online games to win prizes worth $5000!!


Sri Lanka-themed virtual Global Celebration will be launched in the United States on the Sri Lanka Foundation International platform introducing to a worldwide audience Sri Lanka’s historical heritage and culture, music, dance forms, and local food and products. All that and more, while being entertained by breath-taking cultural performances, you can enjoy lounging in the comfort of your living room!

If that were not enough, a dazzling parade would pass by you, and a glittering fashion show will be brought to your living room, bringing post covid fashions never before seen. The show will originate from Australia and Sri Lanka. You will not only be entertained with a variety of such attractive offerings; you will also be invited to Special Presentations in the Networking Lounge relating to Education, Medical, Culture, and Cooking.

This unique virtual event takes place on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August 2022, when traders, manufacturers, and service providers, will meet virtually all under one roof to market their products, network, and do business. It will also serve as a business platform for Sri Lankan traders to make inroads into the global market and develop strategic partnership programs with Australian, British, Canadian, and U.S. firms while virtually meeting and networking with them. Added highlights for the vendors and sponsors will include audio and Video features in the booths to directly speak with the customers. The auditorium will be available to present promotional videos of their businesses during the Cultural Performances. The platform will open a few days early and will remain open a few days later for people who missed the event on the weekend.

When the annual Sri Lanka Day was last celebrated in the historic city of Pasadena in 2019, the thousands of visitors who filed along the historic route of the New Year’s Day Rose Parade gasped in amazement as they watched the ‘Pageant of Lanka,’ a miniature Kandy Perahera with decorated elephants on rollers and traditional Sri Lankan dancers, parading on the streets of Los Angeles. That day, Sri Lanka took its rightful place among the ethnic festivals held in America.

This year, Sri Lanka Foundation International is organizing the event on a virtual platform for the second successive year making the pre covid era annual Sri Lanka Day celebrations in Los Angeles a worldwide event. Although virtual events are not quite like seeing an event in person, these “quarantine events” play a fascinating role in keeping the public arts alive while public life is in lockdown

Throughout the two-day festivities, it will feature events staged from around the world when the sights and sounds and the unique taste of Sri Lanka will virtually come alive. Mesmerizing dance and music performances will be staged throughout the two days. It will feature Sri Lankan traditional music, dances, art, and theatre staged from Sri Lanka, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, The U.K., and India.

The performances are to be interspersed with a cultural fashion show with Sri Lankan models showcasing Sri Lankan costumes on the catwalk. The audience will also be treated to a tour de force of Sri Lankan art, artifacts, fashionable clothing, jewellery, sweets, spices, and food to promote indigenous products and entrepreneurs.

Sri Lanka Day celebrations are sponsored and organized by the Sri Lanka Foundation, based in Los Angeles, California, a brainchild of Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, a leading expatriate physician who came to the U.S. in the early 1960s. In 2003, he established the Foundation to promote Sri Lankan cultural activities in the U.S.

The mega event is cosponsored by a leading group of Sri Lankans and Sri Lankan companies, including Bold Gems, HSBC, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Hatch’ Delmege Forsyth & Co Ltd, Ceilan Coir Products Export, Salota International, Mireka Homes Havelock City, Jmed, Uniformity, Raju Rasiah Jewelers, Rupavahini (Ethera Methara), Derana TV, and ITN.

By. Nandasiri (Nandi) Jasentuliyana
Former Deputy Director-General, United Nations, Director, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and President Emeritus, International Institute of Space Law & Policy
For more information contact:

Shirani Stanislaus-213-304-7500 or shirani@srilankafoundation.og
Keshini Wijegoonaratna-213-400-7705 or
Achala Weerasinghe-213-400-1662 or

Meet our AccelerateHer Founders Curated By Hatch, Sri Lanka

The AccelerateHer program provides a platform for women to access the skills needed to sustain a business, such as legal, operational, and financial assistance. This program is devised to enable women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and become investor-ready. In addition, we will also tackle gender-specific nuances that prevent women from succeeding in business.

A selected number of female entrepreneurs and their startups will be placed at Hatch for 3 months throughout this program opening opportunities to collaborate and co-create together with the larger entrepreneurial ecosystem while also skilling up their knowledge.

Our target audience includes women, ideally from under-represented groups, with a validated tech or tech-enabled product and operational income (with at least 1 paying customer) and those who are focused on scaling up their startups globally.


Founded by Shenuka Umagiliya ,BALAMU is your essential travel Guide in Sri Lanka! Bringing together three essential travel tools to create one versatile mobile application. First: An Audio Guide that provides entertaining and informative descriptions, of the places and things you see. Secondly: A digital map, with a carefully curated route and geo fenced locations. And Lastly: A collection of images, giving visitors, not just a view of what they should be looking at, but also providing an enlightening glimpse into the past with historic photos, of places and events. BALAMU allows the independent traveler to explore freely around our beautiful country with no set schedules or agendas, well equipped with a comprehensive guide available at their fingertips.
Investment ask: LKR 5 Million for 10%
SDG 20,000


Founded by Lasni Silva, Spice Carriage (Pvt) Ltd initiated operations in lactation cookie manufacturing in August 2020. As a micro-scale, home-based business, Spice Carriage produces lactation cookies under the brand Lactoboost which is the first lactation cookie manufactured in Sri Lanka. These cookies are used to increase breastmilk supply in breastfeeding mothers and are an enjoyable and healthy snack.
Investment ask : LKR 4.5 million for 10%
SDG 10,000


Founded by Bhagya, Bluefish provides exceptional quality homemade canned fish products made with individually handpicked export quality fish, free from any added preservatives or flavors and made using only healthy ingredients with an authentic signature taste. Bluefish believes in delivering healthy Blue Fish products to the nation by giving the best value for money
Investment ask: LKR 5 Million for 10%
SDG 20,000


Leo The Label began as a 100% female-run operation in 2021, founded by Sashini Jinasena in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was born out of the intention to develop a label that utilizes the skills of local artisans in a non-exploitative manner, moving away from the traditional mass production structure that dominates Sri Lankan factories today, and instead, steer towards a more conscious system of production. Each piece is ethically handcrafted in limited batches by their local artisans, using locally-sourced, biodegradable linen fabric. An amalgamation of styles of the past and present, their clothes are designed to be versatile enough to be dressed up or down, and the beauty of this is – each piece is open to interpretation and will be given a personality by its owner, you.
Investment ask: LKR 4.5 Million for 10%
SDG 10,000


True is a family run business founded by Tina Lobo in 2020, in Sri Lanka. Becoming a new mum to her now 3 year old daughter was a life-changing experience. True is proudly a pioneer in its field, being the first silicone tableware and teether brand in Sri Lanka. It is a purpose led brand with impact that strongly believes in building & giving back to the community, with a strong focus on fair trade and profit distributions to underprivileged children in Sri Lanka. True also aims to inspire, educate and motivate parents & caregivers not only via our product offering but through easy access to information and an engaging platform with a human & relatable fee.
Investment ask: LKR 7.2 Million for 10%
SDG 29,000


Miris by Islandmom is a proprietorship that was launched in June 2020, soon after the pandemic restrictions were lifted. The brand manufactures and supplies chili based condiments (especially naimiris which is known as Scotch Bonnet pepper) to retail and bulk customers.

Miris birthed with a mission of producing preservative free all-natural naimiris condiments for like-minded naimiris addicts, food explorers, adventurous eaters, and spicy food connoisseur around the globe. Naimiris connects all Sri Lankans around the world for its unique taste and pungency hence, their taste and preferences bring Lankans (around the globe) under one roof to celebrate this beautiful spice as “Certified NaiMiris Addict”
Investment ask: LKR 6.7 Million for 10%
SDG 27,000

”Sri Lanka to Global (#SL2G); nurturing local enterprises to sail through the storm”.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are the engine of the economy of a country. They create new demands, markets, cultures and most importantly they create various job opportunities. SMEs contribute 52% of Sri Lanka’s GDP, which the sector now is in a very crucial stage.

Curve Up (Pvt) Ltd. is a Sri Lankan consultancy and empowerment firm who work with and support 500+ SMEs across the island to develop and sustain through business development, empowerment, business coaching/ mentoring programmes. As an exports-based stable economy is crucial to overcome the current economic situation of Sri Lanka, Curve Up launches the “Sri Lanka to Global” (#SL2G) campaign to support to sustain Small and Medium Enterprises in the island that are struggling during these troublesome times.

What is #SL2G? It is an export-oriented campaign to enable locally manufactured products to reach to global markets. That helps the SMEs from the grassroots to earn revenue from global markets, enhance their brand’s visibility and reachability. This will help the SMEs sail the turbulent times they are facing with the breakdowns in the local markets.

The #SL2G campaign facilitates the process from production to delivery of the products. Quality curation is done and the best of the products are produced with necessary value additions. The products are promoted through the campaign and shipped to the customers to their doorsteps. Presently a range of products are available such as artworks done from Sri Lankan gemstones and minerals, craftwork done from coconut shells, Batik bags and apparel, handloom apparel, soft toys, palmyra leaf based handicrafts (eg- baskets, tote bags, mats, table coasters etc.), banana fibre based products (handbags, hats, wall hangings etc.), spices (eg- cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, pepper, turmeric, chili etc.), value added tea, woodcrafts, cane crafts (eg- baskets, trays, lamp shades etc.), ceramic products etc.

Curve Up invites you to be a part of the supporting elements contributing to build the economy and progress towards stability. It could be a purchase, or at least spreading the word; every contribution can make an impact to the Sri Lankan grassroots and the communities.

For further details on the campaign, our products, or to learn about our SMEs,
contact us through WhatsApp at (+94) 77 673 6090 or email your inquiries to


Independent Television Network Limited (also known as ITN or simply as ITN Sri Lanka) is a Sri Lankan state governed television and radio broadcaster located in Wickramasinhapura, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka. ITN, a Shrama Abhimani Award winner (Oct 2009), broadcasts content to a wide demographic within Sri Lanka as well as the expatriate community. The programs are high quality and creative to promote the country’s economic and social development, cultural diversification and preservation as well as the environmental protection and promotion broadcasted in three languages; Sinhala, Tamil, and English. The ITN broadcast coverage extends to 99% of the island of Sri Lanka.

The Vision of ITN is to be the leader in Electronic Media, and their Mission is to Produce & Telecast Quality and Attractive people friendly media content consistent with the Sri Lankan Values and Culture to a wide range of audience.

On March 29th, 2022, at the Cinnamon Grand location in the Nugagama Premises in Colombo ITN Network organized a “Nuga Gama Aurudhu” Celebrations of the Sinhala & Tamil New Year to showcase the Sri Lankan Culture to the World Audience.

The President/CEO, Dr Dishan Jayasinha of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA and his wife Zuigly Jayasinha were the Guest of Honor to grace the occasion. The Director of Cultural Affairs & the Director of the Academy of Performing Arts, Achala Weerasinghe was also present to witness the occasion as well as many other tourists who attended appreciated the event to the fullest.

The event was gracefully organized with many different cultural performances by Ranwala Balakaya to promote the Authentic Culture of Sri Lanka.

Dr Dishan, in his speech said he was so pleased to be a part of this Amazing Cultural Event as this is one of the Missions of SLF to promote the culture to the Non Sri Lankan Audience around the world. The ITN in the vote of thanks expressed their gratitude to SLF for showcasing similar events as well as for all the relief effort contributions given to Sri Lanka.

The event concluded with a delicious meal offered to all the guests which included the traditional food items and also a handmade natural Sri Lankan product was presented as a token of appreciation for gracing the occasion.

Click on the link below to watch the event:

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.

Not Forgotten and Still Living

Prof. Patrick Mendis, a multidisciplinary scholar and award-winning diplomat, has represented both the governments of Sri Lanka and the United States in the United Nations system (Photo—courtesy of the University of Minnesota).

Who is the J’pura alumnus and American diplomat behind our scholarships?
By Professor Chandana Gunathilaka

It was for the first time at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura’s history that a single graduate of our Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce was awarded both the Dr. Patrick Mendis Prize and the Venerable Dr. Walpola Rahula Prize at the convocation ceremony.

That was one of our most outstanding students in the Department of Finance: Uwin Ariyaratna. He was recognised with the Dr. Mendis Prize for having the best performance in academic excellence and extra-curricular leadership at the university. He also received the Venerable Dr. Walpola Rahula Prize for having the highest average score obtained among 1200 plus students in all 12 departments of our faculty.

While serving as a lecturer at the University of Peradeniya, this high-achieving scholar is currently pursuing his MSc degree in applied finance in my department.

In most cases, these prizes and scholarships are often endowed in memory of well-known leaders, intellectuals, and diplomats. Neither Uwin Ariyaratna nor earlier recipients since 1994 have ever realised that Dr. Patrick Mendis is still living in the United States.

Yet, virtually everyone knew that the late Venerable Dr. Walpola Rahula was a legendary Buddhist scholar and the first Theravada monk to hold the American chair of Buddhist studies at the Northwestern University in Chicago. Internationally renowned for his highly influential book, What the Buddha Taught (1959), the venerable monk, who attended the London and Sorbonne-Paris universities, later served as an illustrious vice chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, and promoted management education in Sri Lanka.

Thanks to the legacy of the venerable Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mendis earned his BSc (first-class honours) degree in business administration and economics from our Management Faculty in 1983. He is an author of over 200 articles and more than 10 books, most recently, Peaceful War: How the Chinese Dream and the American Destiny Create a New Pacific World Order. The first recipient of the International Confucius Award from the People’s Republic of China and the Benjamin Franklin Award from the US Department of State, Dr. Mendis is currently a distinguished visiting professor of culture and diplomacy at the Chinese Culture University as well as a distinguished visiting professor of global affairs at the National Chengchi University in Taiwan, the Republic of China.

In addition to the Mendis Prize, this Harvard and Minnesota educated Sri Lankan scholar set up the Edward Burdick Legislative Award at the University of Minnesota and the Millennials Award for Outstanding Leadership at Harvard University.

Prof. Mendis was born in Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. The first student to receive the UNESCO Award in 1976, the professor was later invited to give the public UNESCO lecture on the “Ancient China-Sri Lanka Buddhist Discourse and the Colombo Lotus Tower” at the Polonnaruwa Museum in 2018. At that time, Prof. Mendis served as an American commissioner to the United States National Commission for UNESCO at the US Department of State in Washington. He was twice appointed as UNESCO commissioner by US Secretaries Hilary Clinton and John Kerry during the Obama administration. His government service ended when the Trump White House withdrew from the UN agency in Paris.

His childhood interests in UN and international affairs led him to represent the government of Sri Lanka as its first youth ambassador to the United Nations in 1986. He was recommended by his mentor and friend, Ambassador Karunasena Koddituwakku, then the vice chancellor of our university, who described the American diplomat as the “renaissance man of Polonnaruwa” who had a fortunate journey of serendipity from a “mud house” to the “White House” in the United States.

Recognising his wide range of scholarship and leadership activities at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and the University of Minnesota, the UN Secretariat in New York honoured him with the UN Medal for the International Year of the Youth (IYY). During its 10th anniversary in 1996, Prof. Mendis was invited to chair the UN World Conference on the IYY in New York.

After becoming a naturalised US citizen, he served as a military professor in the NATO and the Pacific Commands of the Pentagon as well as an American diplomat during the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. Beside his senior executive service experience in the US government, he also served on the staff of the late Honourable Edward Burdick of the Minnesota House of Representatives in St. Paul and Senator Rudy Boschwitz of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the Reagan administration.

When I chaired 14th annual International Conference on Business Management (ICBM) of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, I invited Prof. Mendis as the honoured chief guest to deliver a speech on “Managing Interface: China-US relations and Sri Lanka” in Colombo. He was then a distinguished visiting professor of Sino-American relations at Peking University in China while serving as a Rajawali senior fellow at Harvard University.

It was a proud occasion for all of us whose alma mater is Sri Jayewardenepura. Many corporate leaders and international researchers, including Prof. Evan Lau of Malaysia, graced the ICBM symposium. At the time, our Dean Prof. Anura Kumara and Vice Chancellor Prof. Sampath Amarasinghe ( Current Chairman of the University Grants Commission) were delighted to welcome the Harvard scholar—and most importantly, our esteemed friend and colleague.

Whenever he returned to Sri Lanka, Prof. Mendis often visited his former colleagues in the corporate and government sectors as well as professors and students at Sri Jayewardenepura. Nevertheless, he was officially invited to the Management Faculty more than 20 years after he had established the eponymous annual financial award. After the 2017 International Conference, former recipients of the Mendis Prize, faculty, and students gathered to greet the globally famous alumnus who has travelled to, and worked in, more than 130 countries.

Our well-regarded friend of Sri Jayewardenepura is listed on Who’s Who in the World as well as Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who among Asian Americans. He is also an elected fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, replacing the prominent late Prof. Cyril Ponnamperuma of the University of Maryland, where Prof. Mendis once served as a professor of international management.

While living in the United States and often travelling to China and elsewhere, Prof. Mendis has never forgotten his rural upbringing in his birthplace of Polonnaruwa. For this reason and many other contributions to higher education and international diplomacy, our celebrated alumnus is widely respected as “one of thirteen world’s famous people” born in Sri Lanka.

As I have demonstrated at the ICBM symposium, I fervently hope that one of our visionary leaders would reach out to Prof. Mendis for the benefit of developing our diplomatic tradecraft in foreign relations, corporate governance system, and post-graduate management education in our universities—or, at least inviting him as a visiting professor.

Over the years, I have observed that every “learning nation” like China, Japan, and South Korea has a vibrant character with designated programmes, such as the reversed “brain-drain” schemes. Likewise, Sri Lanka should reach out to its own illustrious citizens who live abroad for the advancement of our motherland.

*The writer is a professor of financial economics in the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

For more information go to:http//

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