President Biden appoints SL-born Dr. Ashani Weerarathne to US National Cancer Board….

John Hopkins scientist Ashani Weerarathne, Ph.D., a leading cancer researcher who is specialized in melanoma and the effects of aging on cancer has been appointed by President Joe Biden to the National Cancer Advisory Board. Ashani Tanuja Weeraratna is a Sri Lankan-born American, a ground breaking cancer researcher and she is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor. She currently serves as a co-leader at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Johns Hopkins, and a professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

She was born Sri Lankan and was raised in Lesotho in Africa. She stepped on USA for the first time in 1988 to study biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She earned her doctoral degree in Molecular and Cellular oncology at the Department of Pharmacology of George Washington University.

Currently, in the world Cancer has become leading cause of death despite progress in prevention, early diagnosis and breaking therapies. Dr. Ashani is one of the pioneering researchers to study how the aging microenvironment affects metastasis and therapy resistance. She is the President of the Society of Melanoma Research.

Succeeding in the competitive world of Science as women scientist is kind of inspiration to the women who are engaged in STEM and for Sri Lanka, she is a true gem who can improve the living standards of the human kind on the world.

“Heights by great men and women reach and kept were not attained by sudden flight but they, while their companions slept, toiling upward in the night”
-Henry Wordsworth-
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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.

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See Attached Video, President addressed the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday left the country for the United States to attend the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, his office said in a statement.

This is President Rajapaksa’s first foreign conference he will take part in outside the country and it is also his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

President Rajapaksa is expected to address the General Assembly and is also expected to hold bilateral discussions with several heads of state during the session, the statement said.

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Lion’s Roar welcomes Mihiri Tillakaratne as a new Associate Editor

Mihiri Tillakaratne recently became an Associate Editor at Lion’s Roar, where she focuses on Asian American Buddhist stories. Lion’s Roar, the largest-circulation Buddhist print and online publication in the English language, consists of Lion’s Roar magazine, the journal Buddhadharma, and the Lion’s Roar podcast.

As a Sri Lankan American Theravada Buddhist, Mihiri knows how important it is to highlight the complexity of Asian American Buddhist communities on a national and international scale. Mihiri is excited to feature lay and monastic Sri Lankan American Buddhists in upcoming publications. She is currently working with Sri Lankan American monastics, academics, activists, artists, scientists, and designers on future stories. If there are stories that you would like to share, please send your ideas to Mihiri at

Mihiri is also featured in this NBC News article by Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil, “Young Asian American Buddhists are reclaiming narrative after decades of white dominance,” about how Asian American Buddhists are re-centering themselves and their stories in discussions on Buddhism in the U.S.

Mihiri Tillakaratne is a PhD Candidate in Ethnic Studies and Gender, Women, and Sexuality at UC Berkeley, where she researches the Sri Lankan diaspora. She has a M.A. in Asian American Studies (UCLA) and a M.A. in Ethnic Studies (UC Berkeley), and graduated from Harvard with a major in History and a minor in Religion. Mihiri is the director of I Take Refuge, a documentary on Sri Lankan American Buddhist identity, and the founder of Sri Lankan Americans for Social Justice.

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Congresswoman Dina Titus meets with Community Leaders in Nevada & California to discuss COVID Relief Efforts

On September 9th, 2021 the Hon Consul General, Dr Lalith Chandradasa, Sanje Sedara, The President of the Sri Lanka America Association of Las Vegas, Samantha Kurera, President of the Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California, Keshini Wijegoonaratna, the Director of Project Management and Public Relations of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, Lucky Rajasinghe, Daya Gamage, Dushyantha Kurera along with the staff of the Congressional District office of the Congresswoman Dina Titus met on a zoom meeting to discuss further details of COVID Relief efforts in Sri Lanka.

Congresswoman Dina Titus from Nevada’s 1st Congressional District is the strongest ally Sri Lankan Americans have in the Congress. As the Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus of Sri Lanka she always stood for the best interest of the people of Sri Lanka. As recently as last month, Congresswoman Titus was instrumental in getting 1.5 million doses of Covid -19 vaccines to Sri Lanka and currently advocating the US government to provide much needed medical aid to Sri Lanka.

See links below letters written to the Department of State and the response from the Department of State.

Letter to Sec. Blinken on COVID in Sri Lanka (3)

Response from State to Sri Lanka COVID letter 9-2-21 (2)

See links below to recent articles published in Island News Paper about the Congresswoman’s involvement with Sri Lanka. .

Paralympic medalists arrive to Sri Lanka

The SriLankan Airlines flight carrying Dinesh Priyantha Herath and Samitha Dulan Kodithuwakku, who won gold and bronze medals respectively at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, arrived at the Katunayake International Airport this evening.

As soon as the players disembarked from the aircraft, they were taken to the PCR Testing Center at the Katunayake Airport.

Following the results of the tests, the Paralympic medalists were invited to a special guest lounge at the Katunayake Airport for a welcome ceremony. (Pix by T.K.G. Kapila)

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Ambassador E. Rodney M. Perera is now the CEO of the Sri Lanka Foundation

Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, Founder and the Board of the Sri Lanka Foundation have appointed the former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States of America, Mr. E. Rodney M. Perera as the Chief Executive Officer of the Sri Lanka Foundation.

Ambassador Perera joins the SLF with nearly four decades of professional education, global travel, speaking engagements, and delegations involving Sri Lanka and its relations with all nations of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, and the Americas.

The SLF stand to benefit from Ambassador Perera’s 32-year diplomatic service experience, bringing together key personalities from the political, business, civil society and media spheres to address regional and global issues of the highest importance for Sri Lanka in numerous regional and multilateral discussions. Having worked across all regions of the world, he possesses a uniquely global perspective in the realm of foreign affairs and international relations, involving in efforts leading to the recognition of the sacred Vesak Day by the United Nations and issues relating to environment and climate change, sustainable development, conflict resolution and peace building,

Ambassador Perera will lead the many endeavors of the SLF centered on Sri Lankan communities across the globe given his vast experience in diaspora outreach along with economic and cultural diplomacy programs successfully carried out for Sri Lanka.

Ambassador Perera attended St. Joseph’s College of Colombo, representing the school in Cricket and Track and Field. Having spent a year in Tokyo to study computer programming, he went on to obtain a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from the University of Toledo in Ohio. Later, he earned a Master of Arts Degree in International Studies from Columbia University in New York. He has completed specialized study and training programs in several leading institutions in Asia and Europe and at the US National Defense University and Harvard University.

After recruitment to the Sri Lanka Foreign Service, Ambassador Perera served in many important capacities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo and several Sri Lanka Missions overseas in a distinguished career of public service.

Ambassador Perera has functioned as the Spokesperson and Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (senior most rank in the Sri Lanka Public Service) and oversaw key areas relating to Political Affairs, Public, Cultural and Economic Diplomacy, Administration, and welfare of Sri Lankan workers overseas. He also played pivotal roles in organizing the SAARC Summit as well as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Sri Lanka in the past decade.

During his tenures overseas, Ambassador Perera served as, Second Secretary of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Tokyo, Japan; First Secretary of Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York; Acting High Commissioner of the Sri Lanka High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya and concurrently as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat). He was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Rome, Italy while concurrently functioning as Ambassador to Greece and Albania, High Commissioner to Cyprus and Malta, as well as Permanent Representative to the Rome-based Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Program (WFP) and Governor at the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). He also served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Oslo, Norway from 2009 to 2012 during the penultimate phase of the Norwegian peace facilitation in his country.

Mr. Perera, most recently, was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka to the United States of America in Washington D.C. Prior to that, he served in Brussels as Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union for almost five years, playing significant roles in regaining EU GSP+ trade benefit for Sri Lanka along with the removal of the ban on Sri Lanka’s fishery exports to the EU and counter-terrorism initiatives of Sri Lanka.

Among the recognitions he has received for his professional work is the “Grande Ufficiale—Ordine della Stella della Solidarietá” (Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity—highest Italian civilian honour), bestowed by the President of the Italian Republic for his tenure in Rome. He also received the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation’s 2019 Distinguished Alumnus award.

SLF Intl, Other Non Profits, School Organizations and Individuals in Southern California Community Join Hands to Provide urgent Medical Equipment to SAVE LIVES!!!

Sri Lanka Foundation Intl USA, Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California, Ananda College Old Boys Association, St Joseph’s College Old Boys Association and Holy Family Convent Past Pupils Association with many individuals in Southern California have come together to raise funds to provide most urgently needed Medical Equipment to the Hospitals in the Rural Areas.

Donations started to pour in and within less than a week the collection exceeded over $120,000. The following hospitals in the rural areas have been identified such as Dickoya, Maskeliya, Tricomalee, Dankotuwa, Meeghatanna, Peradeniya, Karapitiya and Tellapillai to deliver 3 to 4 Oxygen Concentrator’s which includes a two year warranty, installation and servicing. This is scheduled to go out in the next 24 to 48 hours.

After the completion of this project, we have over 15 other hospitals identified in the rural areas to deliver Oxygen Concentrator’s which awaits the next shipment to arrive.

We are extremely thankful to all the donors for their generous donations. All developments of the project will be posted on the website.

SLF Intl, USA Showcases 2021 Sri Lanka Day, One of a Kind Virtual Event!!!!! to the Global Audience

When 2021 Sri Lanka Day celebrations began many people logged in to the SLF Platform on August 20th from all around the world and entered the lobby were simply flabbergasted to witness such a detailed creation, with the information center, the Auditorium Exhibition hall, and the Networking lounge. The entrance to the Auditorium door opens and you are lead to the roof top in a elevator which is never seen any virtual event before. It was also breathtaking to see the creation of the virtual people moving around in the lobby and in their seats in the Auditorium and Networking lounge.

The attendees had the choice of deciding which segment of their interest and was able to enjoy it from the comfort of their homes.The five hour Amazing Cultural Performances from all over the world was viewed and enjoyed by many when some of the other Attendees were visiting and chatting with Vendors in the Exhibition Hall and the networking lounge was busy with people trying to connect.

The event continued on August 21st & 22nd, with excitement building up to win quiz prizes when our amazing live mc’s promoted enthusiasm and anticipation among the attendees to stay until the very end.

The “Pageant of Lanka” was showcased to give a feel of the original Parade that is hosted on the World Famous Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena.

We appreciate our Sponsors for their contributions to support the event as well as showcasing their products. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to all the volunteers for their valuable time to assist in many different ways.

The event ended with a Big Bang by the band “Sithara” to entertain the attendees with some nice Sihala Music.