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Sinhala and Tamil New Year in Santa Barbara, California

Horanage family in Santa Barbara celebrated the Bakh Maha Sinhala and Tamil New year last week Honoring the Sri Lankan traditions that we usually carry out back home.

Aruni Boteju oldest of the Horanage family hosted and prepared the beautiful Avurudhu table with a variety of Sri Lankan food for the family and used all traditional Sri Lankan table decor with Go Green concept, followed by Aurudhu rituals and customs.

“We are immigrants and our children are the first generation who were born in the United States. It is our responsibility to teach and pass our culture and traditions to the next generation, so they can pass it on to theirs”. Said Aruni Boteju. She also said “we all have our preferences and the way we live our lives, but we must always remember who we are and where we came from”.

When we celebrate and honor our customs with pride, others join and enjoy and learn about our culture. This is the beauty of diversity.

“We must be proud of who we are”.

Embassy of Sri Lanka celebrates Sinhala & Tamil New Year Sunday 18 April 2021 from 1100 EST onwards

The Embassy of Sri Lanka, in collaboration with its ‘Overseas Sri Lankans (OSL) Network’ in the USA, will celebrate Sinhala and Tamil New Year on Sunday, April 18, 2021, from 11.00 am onwards. Modeled on the “Ratawata Aurudu” programmes done connecting main cities in Sri Lanka during the New Year, the celebrations conducted via zoom/facebook to allow connecting small gatherings consistent with COVID guidelines, will be joined by members of the Sri Lanka community and Friends of Sri Lanka from cities across the USA.

Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Christian religious blessings will precede the observance of New Year customs and rituals that will re-create the sense of festivity and provide an understanding of Sri Lankan traditions and culture, especially to children who have grown up in the US, as well as to the Americans who will be joining.

The Message for the New Year from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and greetings from Ambassador to the USA Ravinatha Arysinha, Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Ambassador Dr. Mohan Peiris and Consul General in Los Angeles Dr. Lalith Chandradasa will also be featured during the webcast.

The cultural programme that will follow will showcase 25 colorful dance/musical items from children, youth groups and adults from Washington D.C and over 15 States across the US – Maryland, California, Missouri, Texas, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Illinois, South Carolina, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Washington, Florida, and Hawaii.

The Embassy invites Sri Lankans and Friends of Sri Lanka living across the US to join in these festivities organized as part of the Embassy’s outreach programme through the recently established ‘OSL Network’, which now spans all 50 States and contributes to advancing Sri Lanka’s interests through political advocacy, economic empowerment, socio-cultural engagement and several other cross cutting areas.

See Program Details:

Embassy of Sri Lanka – Washington DC
Sinhala & Tamil New Year Celebration on Sunday 18th April 2021 at 11.00 EST
onwards.

Programme:

Hoisting of the National Flag followed by the National Anthem

Lighting of the Oil Lamp

1)The most Venerable KatagasthotaUparatana NayakaThero 2)Swami Ragubathi Kurukkal 3)Mr. Seyed Rizwan Mowlana 4)Reverend Father Dilantha Arachchilage 5)H.E. the Ambassador 6)Deputy Head of Mission

Welcome Speech by H.E. the Ambassador

Religious Observances
Buddhist – by most Venerable Katagasthota Uparatana Nayaka, chief Islamic – by Seyed Rizwan Mowlana
Christian – by Rev. Father Dilantha Arachchilage
Reading the New Year Message of H.E. the President
Remarks by PRUN/ NY 

Remarks by Consul General , Los Angeles
Sinhala & Tamil New Year – Customs & Rituals
Lighting the hearth & Boiling milk
Commencement of work/ Ganu Denu
Partaking of traditional Sri Lankan sweet meats
Offering betel leaves to parents/ elders
Anointing oil

Cultural Performances

Traditional Drums performance – Maryland
Traditional Dance ‘Mangalam’ – California
Tamil Classical Dance ‘Bharathanatyam’ – Texas
Recital in English (Solo) – Maryland
New Year Celebration- Missouri
Avurudu Dance ‘Ama wilata basa’– Texas
‘Sinhala Awurudda Awilla’ – Ohio
Dancing Performance ‘Game Suwanda’ – Texas
Sri Lankan Folk Song – Georgia
Dancing Item ‘Thuranga Wannama’-Maryland
Bharatha Dance – Maryland
‘Erabadu mal pipila dakkama hari asayi’– New Jersey
Greetings – Washington DC
Dancing item ‘Sirilaka piri Awurudu Sihine’ –California
Kandyan Dance -Maryland
Sinhala Song – Massachusetts
Dancing Item ‘Sirilaka Piri Awurudu Sihine’- Illinois
Dancing item ‘Lande ukula uda’ – South Carolina
Children Item – Hawaii
Dancing Item ‘deega nogiya punchi nano’& Tamil dance – New Mexico
Avurudu Dance item – Washington
‘Kiri Ithirewa Nawa Wasare’– Maryland
Drum Performance –Maryland
Kotta Pora – Florida
Kana mutti bindeema – New York

Traditional Avurudu Games

Playing the Rabana
Pancha Keliya
Tug-of-war
Scraping Coconut
Dice Game

Conclusion.

ZOOM ID- 872 0135 2083
PASSCODE- 742949

Improving Sri Lanka’s Market Access to the US – Growing beyond the traditional products

The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) is partnering with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington D.C. (SLEMB/DC) to better inform Sri Lankan exporters regards the evolving trends in the US market and strategies that could help navigate challenges and overcoming bottlenecks.

At a webinar held recently, over 40 Sri Lankan registered exporters, engaged with 10 selected business entrepreneurs identified by SLEMB/DC, following its State level interactions of the recently constituted Overseas Sri Lankans (OSL) Network. The event was also live streamed through social media of the Chamber, making the discussion accessible to a broader base of those interested in exporting to the USA. Moving forward, it was agreed to conduct sector specific dialogues, where the Sri Lankan exporters will be provided with the opportunity to engage in discussion with the business community of the particular sector, in order to foster mutually beneficial trading relationships. Further a separate event is proposed as a dialogue to enhancing long term trade related relationships such as partnerships, Franchise and Investment opportunities between the two countries.

Inaugurating the session, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the USA Ravinatha Aryasinha said, while increasing the value of apparel exports to the US, a concerted effort is presently being made to diversify the export product basket to US. He noted that while the USA has remained the largest single buyer of Sri Lanka’s exports since 1979 and in 2019 had a share of 26.3% of all exports, the products basket to the US had seen very little diversification. Apparel has been the dominant export item accounting for 74.5% of the total value, and did not benefit from GSP facility. The rest which enjoyed GSP, were mainly rubber based products which accounted for 7%, and the other products included tea, iron and steel articles, activated carbon, precious and semi-precious stones and sea food. The Embassy was reaching out to the OSL community in the US and to Americans who are interested in doing business with Sri Lanka and helping them in identifying the products which they could import from Sri Lanka to the US. The increased production of some of these products, could also encourage greater US investment in to Sri Lanka.

In the discussion that followed led by Chairman of the NEC Shiham Marikkar, focused on obstacles faced by importers when importing from Sri Lanka including quality assurance, pricing, promotion and communication and shipping and logistics. The need for adaptation to the largely e-commerce marketing strategies to increase exports. SLEMB/DC Minister (Commercial) Sumedha Ponnamperuma shared insights on the introduction of the US market, import system and current trends.

Management Committee:
President: Mr. Ravi Jayawardena, Vice President: Mr. Jayantha Karunaratne, Vice President: Mr. Indra Kaushal Rajapaksa, Immediate Past President: Mrs. Ramya Weerakoon, Past President: Mr. Ramal Jasinghe, Hony. Secretary: Mr. Dilshan Rajapaksa, Hony. Treasurer: Mr. Rajeev De Silva, Hony. Assistant Secretary: Mrs. Thushari Weerakoon, Hony. Assistant Treasurer: Mr. Lakshan Algama, 1 Representatives from the Council: Mrs. Nilrukshi De Silva & Mr. Farhath Amith

The participating Sri Lankan professionals residing and doing business in USA shared insights regarding the current market conditions and the opportunities available. Mr. Aruna Abeykoon from Las Vegas discussed obstacles faced by importers when importing from Sri Lanka, Mr. Jeevaka Fernando from Laos Angeles shared his experience on aspects related to Quality assurance, pricing, promotion and communication. Mr. Anjana Aluthwatte provided insights on sales and marketing strategies in the USA, Mr. Rick Miller from Virginia explained about the shipping and logistics including the including the potential to increase warehouse facilities to help mainly the SMEs exporting to the US in smaller quantities, Mrs. Udeni Abeykoon from New York focused on the selling of Apparel Products in the US market online and marketing strategies to increase exports, while Mr. Jeevaka Fernando from Los Angeles elaborated on important aspects regarding quality assurance, pricing, promotion and communication. Former Director General/Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka Nimal Karunathilake also shared his experience regarding the regulatory aspects of the USA market.

Some of the key highlights of the discussion were; • US is a highly competitive market due to the size of the market as well as the prominence in the world economy, therefore the businesses often dominate the trading terms. It is important for the exporters to understand this background when negotiating their business, as well as be well prepared to face challenges. The customs system and the import structure is unique and complex. Importers operate separately from the vendors.

• The importers face challenges when importing from Sri Lanka due to issues arising in quality, commitment and seriousness of exporters. Further lack of knowledge on the regulations in US market was also highlighted. Therefore, it is important to keep the commitment to source products as and when required, quality of the product as agreed.

• Discussing regarding GSP scheme, it was informed that the US GSP for Sri Lanka has expired on 31st December 2020 and currently the US Congress is in the process of deciding the next phase of GSP Scheme for all countries. Further discussing the beneficiary products range, it was mentioned that the Sri Lankan Exporters are requested to submit their suggestions to be included in the GSP eligible product list, when it comes for review of the scheme later in 2021.

• Another key feature that was highlighted was the quality. Quality is important, from process to storing stages, therefore the exporters need to be aware of different quality standards they have to comply with as well as the overall offering of the product.

• Pricing plays a key role and it is expected to be consistent. When exporters determine prices, it is important to analyze pricing elements in a broader perspective, including raw material, processing, transportation costs, storage costs, custom tariffs and insurance costs.

• It is important to support the SMEs and help them expand in the market as they could bring in quality products.

• US market due to its complexity and different regulations, finding partners is one of the key strategies to overcome barriers in exporting to US. The partners are often well conversant to cater to the market needs as well as assist the exporters to comply with the regulatory requirements. Further it is seen as an advantage regarding communication with multiple stakeholders given that partners are present in the US Market. Further another aspect to be mindful is the time differences between Sri Lanka and different zones.

• With the current situation there is a surge in usage of online platforms for selling and for marketing. However, it is important to focus on brand building rather than solely focusing on selling.

•Discussing regarding the apparel sector exports to USA, it was highlighted that the shopping patterns of people have drastically changed. More people prefer online shopping to physical stores and USA is a price sensitive market with high competition from competitors such as China and Bangladesh. However, the consumers are concerned regarding purchases from China, and this could be a positive opportunity for the Sri Lankan exporters in the sector. Another noteworthy change that has occurred in this sector is the reduction of stock turn-around time, as the consumers change their preference rapidly, as opposed in the past, further season specific colors and styles are preferred, and therefore the Sri Lankan Exporters should be ready to cater to the demand.

• Focusing on logistics, strategically locating businesses activities are important to ensure delivery on right time in right quantities, hence focusing on the timing and direction. East coast is one the convenient areas to reach the market, given the times and the convenience in reaching from Sri Lanka. The USA cities are connected with a rail road; therefore, it takes 3 to 10 days generally. For exporters who are hoping to expand in e-commerce, 19 to 20 days’ transit time is to be specially considered and for the exporters with smaller shipments, especially LCLs, it is important to select transit locations wisely in order to reap the best benefits of market opportunity.

The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) is the only private sector Chamber which exclusively provides services to Sri Lankan Exporters, who make a vital contribution to the economy of Sri Lanka earning valuable foreign exchange. The Chamber has a membership of over 500 export companies, including some of the biggest Export houses in Sri Lanka, as well as a number of SME exporters. They are responsible for over half of the foreign exchange earnings of the country.

With a view to engage in successful market access promotional activities, the NCE is coordinating with all Sri Lankan Mission and their trade officers to jointly create awareness on the new market needs. Currently plans have been made to conduct a series of webinars, to provide valuable informative insights to the Exporters as well as connect them to relevant stakeholders.

The Chamber would like to invite Sri Lankan exporters to hold hands with the chamber’s initiative to enable expanded market access, whereby the destinations where proud Sri Lankan brands reach are expanded. Interested Sri Lankan exporters are encouraged to contact the chamber via nce@nce.lk to indicate your interest in participating in future event, where the Chamber will register you accordingly.


HE Ravinatha Aryasinha

Sri Lanka Foundation Int, Distributes 25 Essential Baskets to underprivileged Pregnant Mothers!

Availability of an organizational structure for provision of maternal health services in the rural areas of Sri Lanka is an ongoing problem. Despite the availability of universal healthcare and education, and good health indicators at the national level, maternal and child undernutrition continue to pose a major challenge for Sri Lanka.

This project that we are supporting was initially started in year 2000 by Buddiyagama Dhammasena Thero to help and support the deserving pregnant women in rural areas with the essential items that they need at the hospital for a new born. The goal is to provide 10,000 give away essential baskets per year Islandwide, in the areas served such as Monaragala, Mathara, Hambantota and Gampaha.

On April 10th, 2021, Sri Lanka Foundation donated 25 essential baskets to underprivileged mothers with items that are urgently needed for a new born baby at the Marthara Beliwatta Sri Sudharmastha Viharasthanaya, Sri Lanka distributed by Buddiyagama Dharmmasena Thero. The foundation has pledged to continue this project every month to the most needed pregnant mothers in Sri Lanka.

If anyone is interested to know more about this project and would like to donate to this cause please go to the Foundation website: http://www.srilankafoundation.org and click on causes.

Honoring the Contribution of Honorable Bhante Aluthnuwara Sumanatissa in Spreading Buddhism Across the Globe

Unveiling of the Sumanatissa Memorial Library

On Sunday, May 2nd, 2021 at 10.30am, PST
By
Bhante Thanlangama Devananda, Chief Abbot of Lankaramaya Temple, LA and Indiana Buddhist Vihara.

Join us Via Facebook Live:
Lankaramaya temple Facebook page
Indiana Buddhist Vihara Facebook page
Rajamaha Viharaya Kotte Facebook page


SUCCESS STORY!! Nirosh Mataraarachchi, First-Generation Sri Lankan-American, accepted to over 5 Top-Ranked U.S. Medical Schools, including full-ride Scholarships to the Nation’s Top Schools.

Nirosh Mataraarachchi was born and raised in Los Angeles, California to immigrant parents, Piyal and Janitha Mataraarachchi. Starting from his early childhood and beyond, Nirosh cultivated a passion for teaching, a desire to connect with others, and an understanding of social determinants of health.

As a future physician, Nirosh intends to connect with each patient to first understand who they are as people and what other factors in their life are contributing to their diagnoses. He hopes that by meeting the diverse needs of his patients, he can then empower them to make informed decisions.

Today, Nirosh has accomplished great feats and achievements. Nirosh graduated John Burroughs high school at the top of his class in 2016 and was granted several acceptances to universities throughout the U.S. Nirosh attended the University of California, (UC) San Diego, due to its highly ranked Biology program (#1 in Neurosciences at the time), the vast amount of research in both Basic Science and Translational work, the vast array of clinical opportunities available, a generous scholarship, and its proximity to family/home.

Nirosh was highly involved during his four years at UC San Diego. He was President of a Pre-Health organization on campus where he founded several initiatives to help educate underserved youth on health-risk behaviors as he led a committee of undergraduate students to collaborate and develop seminars. Furthermore, Nirosh was the Founding President of the inaugural Sri Lankan Students Association (SLSA) on his campus, and he helped co-found several SLSAs at sister UC campuses, in an effort to bolster community and belonging for other Sri Lankan students pursuing higher education. Following his passion for education and teaching, Nirosh was also a Teaching Assistant for three years, where he helped teach several upper-division Biology and Psychology courses at UC San Diego, like Metabolic Biochemistry, Human Physiology, Cell Biology, and Behavioral Neuroscience. Nirosh also continued playing American Football, as he did for all four years of high school, and cutting his roommates’ hair throughout college as a Barber. Outside of his extensive extracurricular involvements, Nirosh thoroughly enjoyed his time volunteering in several hospitals and working as both a Medical Scribe and Clinic Coordinator.

Remarkably, Nirosh demonstrated incredible academic excellence as he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and Neuroscience with a Minor in Psychology within an extraordinary three years in 2019, graduating Summa Cum Laude, the highest academic distinction placing him in the top 1% of his class. Nirosh received several honors and awards during his undergraduate, including the highly competitive Gabriele Wienhausen Biological Sciences Award, entrance into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and the Top Honor’s Research Presentation Award at the 2019 Biology Research Showcase. Within one year after graduating, Nirosh completed a Master of Science degree in Biology with emphases in Molecular and Biomedical Science at UC San Diego in 2020, where he continued his Senior Honors Thesis into his Master’s Thesis on Genetic Cardiac Disease. Upon entrance to his Master’s program, Nirosh was awarded the 2019 Diversity Fellowship due to the barriers he overcame in pursuit of his education and his efforts to improve educational access and quality of life for diverse groups at UC San Diego.

Nirosh’s most recent and commendable achievements have been his acceptances to the most prestigious and highly ranked medical schools in the US. To this date, entrance into U.S. medical schools remains the most difficult and competitive admissions process in the U.S. as many elite institutions have acceptance rates of less than 4%, accepting only the top applicants who demonstrate academic excellence, dedication to service, and a passion for medicine and other interests. Nirosh was accepted to 6 medical schools, 3 of which are of the U.S. News & World Report 2022 Top 10 Medical Schools. Within his acceptances, Nirosh was selected for the most prestigious merit-based Geffen Scholarship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine and the highest scholarship awarded at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, both of which fully cover the cost of attendance, which includes tuition, fees, and cost of living. For reference, UCLA received 11,778 applications, 175 students were selected to matriculate, and only 25% of the incoming class were selected for the prestigious Geffen Scholarship. Both UCLA and UCSF Schools of Medicine have acceptance rates close to 2%.

Nirosh is beyond honored, grateful, and ecstatic to have the opportunity to attend medical school and to treat his future patients holistically. Despite his own apparent aptitude and extraordinary work ethic, Nirosh attributes his successes to his overwhelmingly supportive family and mentors, as he states “I am nothing without the support and love of my parents, peers, and mentors. My parents, specifically, emphasized the importance of education, what it means to work hard, and how to show compassion and care to all. Their incredible sacrifices and teachings have helped shape who I am today.”

After much thought, Nirosh will be attending the UCSF School of Medicine, one of the most, if not the most highly ranked medical school in the nation. UCSF was ranked #2 in primary care, #4 in research, and was the only medical school ranked in the top 5 of all 8 specialty areas surveyed. Nirosh plans to practice in Internal Medicine first, before possibly specializing in Cardiology, Gastroenterology, or Oncology. Of significance, UCSF was ranked #1 for its Internal Medicine residency program, in front of Harvard University. To this date, UCSF has remained the #1 public university medical school in the US for over ten consecutive years due to its excellent clinical education, extraordinary faculty, and world-renowned research.

We share this news, today, in an effort to not only showcase and congratulate our fellow Lankan, Nirosh Mataraarachchi, on his incredible achievements but to also inspire and motivate other Sri Lankan students aspiring to attend medical school and practice medicine in the U.S. Please welcome us in congratulating Nirosh!

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

SUCCESS STORY?
IF ANYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY HAS A SUCCESS STORY TO SHARE, PLEASE CONTACT US, WE WOULD LIKE TO PUBLISH.

3000 FREE VACCINATIONS! DON’T MISS OUT, REGISTER NOW

SUPPLY IS LIMITED!

No insurance or legal status required!

3000 FREE COVID-19 vaccines! A day dedicated especially for the Sri Lankan Community!

The Sri Lanka Foundation in collaboration with the Sri Lankan community and in partnership with Kedren Health Clinic ECLA is happy to announce that we will be assisting the Sri Lankan community in Southern California.

DATE: Saturday, Apr 17th, 2021

TIME:9.00am to 5.00pm

ADDRESS: KENDREN HEALTH CLINIC

4211 S. AVALON BLVD, LOS ANGELES, CA 90011

Eligibility is anyone over the age of 16! Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity!

Please make sure you register first!

PLEASE REGISTER NOW IN THE LINK BELOW:
https://forms.gle/E2DWUoZrWnXKFiBL7

For more information call:

Achala Weerasinghe
Director of Cultural Affair and Director of Operations for the Academy of Performing Arts:
Tel: 213-400-1662
email:achala@srilankafoundation.org

Amazing Deals!!! Sigiriya Jungles WildEscape Hotels

Warm Greetings from Sri Lanka!

We are quite aware of the frustration building up presently due to Covid-19 and its effects on travel. People are very conscious when planning their holidays these days and for sure dreams are building up and real holidays will come sooner than later.

Taking into account these developments we are now fully equipped to serve you under the health & safety guidelines imposed by Sri Lanka Tourism. We were in fact certified as a “safe & secure compliance” Inbound Tour Operator, evaluated by the famous International Accounting & Audit company KPMG

We have some amazing offers at the moment to entice you to make Sri Lanka your next holiday destination or return to visit your loved ones.

There is no hassle at the airport & PCR will be done at the hotel, you could be free to relax in the hotels and tour to your preferred locations in Sri Lanka.

Team at your service
Thusitha Sampath – journeys@sltnelt.lk / +94 77 2975795
Nilukshi Kumarasinghe – nilukshi@journeyscapes.com / +94 77 5511709
Bernadeen Kaluarachchi – bernadeen@journeyscapes.com / +94 77 7369125
Samadi Divigalpitiya – samadi@journeyscapes.com / +94 77 3568825
It would be our pleasure to help you plan a hassle free journey

More Details:
Company Profile

Preethi Gunaratne: SL born scientist who has dedicated her life to fight the cancer from every possible corner…

Prof. Preethi Gunaratne, Ph.D. who can be introduced as a geneticist and a genomicist at the same time, is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston, with a dual appointment at the Human Genome Sequencing Centre and the Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Virology.

It is an honor for the Sri Lankans that she has been a part of the Human Genome Project, which is a 13-year effort (1993-2003), whose goal has been to completely map and understand the entire human genome.

She who has developed her passion in the field of Molecular biology wanted to put her skills to find a solution to attack cancer. Currently, most of her research work is focused on ovarian cancer, which is the fifth leading cause of death in women and, the most common gynecological malignancy.

Interestingly, her research team has made a very exciting discovery that micro RNAs can specifically kill the 90% of malignant cells that lead to tumor growth. And the rest of the 10% can be destroyed by developing personalized medicine therapies that mainly exploit RNA therapies. Simply, it is like when a patient walks into the medical center, his/ her genome is fully analyzed and then the therapies are developed in accordance.

Also, Prof. Gunaratne founded NEXTmiRNA Technologies, a company dedicated to developing tumor suppressor microRNAs for cancer. Prof. Gunaratne completed her Bachelor’s degree in Zoology (Honors) from the University of Colombo and earned her Ph.D. in Genetics and Development from the Cornell University, Newyork.

Moreover, she can be mentioned as a key personality from SL, who empowers the women scientists to go and just conquer the world; it is the passion, a bit of motivation, and dedication you always need to pursue.

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

Written By:-Henry Wordsworth-
for more information:https://www.careergirls.org

Sri Lanka America Association Notice of 48th Annual General Meeting



Notice of Annual General Meeting

This is to inform you that the 48th Annual General Meeting [AGM] will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2021, at noon at the residence of Past President Senani Abeyagoonasekera located at Hidden Lake, 8395 Sedan Ave, West Hills, CA 91304.

The outdoor AGM will be conducted to the order and compliance set out by the Los Angeles County for the Personal Protection Measures as listed below.

v Correctly wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread, when outside your home and around others that are not part of your household.

v Avoid confined spaces – Actively stay away from indoor spaces that don’t allow for the easy distancing of at least 6ft between you and others.

v Avoid close contact – Stay at least 6 feet away (3 or more adult steps) from all other people who are not part of your household, especially while talking, eating, and drinking.

v Wash or sanitize your hands often.
v Clean frequently touched items regularly.
v If you are sick, or you have been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 stay home, and away from others.

The agenda of the AGM is as follows.

v Reading and adoption of the Minutes of the last AGM held on October 24, 2020, at 26857 Wyatt Lane, Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381.

v View and discussion on the reports submitted by the Secretary and the Treasurer for the fiscal year 2020.

v Any other business of which notices have been given.
v Appreciation to the outgoing President Sondra Wise Kumaraperu.
v Oath taking ceremony to the incoming President.
v Group Picture.
v No unscheduled business will be entertained at this meeting.

Only the Corporate and Life Members of the Association are eligible to make nominations (sign nomination forms) or accept a nomination. A nomination for the position of Member or Office Bearer of the Executive Committee must be supported and signed by two members who are not the nominee.

A nominee for the position of President or office bearer of the Executive Committee must accept the nomination by signing the acceptance clause on the nomination form.

If there are contested positions, nominees may be required to provide up to a 500-word statement before the AGM, for circulation to the membership in attendance at the AGM. Under these circumstances, nominees will also be provided with an opportunity to briefly address the AGM.

Only the Corporate Financial Members, Life Members and their Families (Spouse and Children between the ages of 18 and 26 years) in good standing of the Association will have voting rights.

Nominations close14 days before the AGM [i.e. on or before April 10, 2021], and the nomination forms must be returned to the Secretary of the Association by email [pa2slcg.la@gmail.com].

An authentic Sri Lankan lunch will be served along with the cocktail after the adjournment of the meeting.

Please RSVP on or before Wednesday, April 21, 2021, to organize the event efficiently and effectively.

Founding President
Jayam Rutnam

Office Bearers 2020/21

President
Sondra Wise Kumaraperu
Tel: 818-231-5605
Email:sondrawisek@yahoo.com

Vice President
Sujeewa Kariyakarawana
Tel: 310-431-5666
Email:sujeewak04@outlook.com

Secretary
Shanmuganthan Vaithilingam
Tel: 213-399-8964
Email:pa2slcg.la@gmail.com
Arjuna Dominic
Tel: 818-723-5296
Email: arjuna.dominic@gmail.com

Immediate Past President
Seruk Indika Pilanamanage
Tel: 818-984-7763
Email:colombo3102000@yahoo.com

Executive Committee

Dushantha Kurera
Senani Abeyagoonasekera
Sarath Goonetilleke
Mangala Jayakody
Ardni Pelpola
Mano Cabral
Sangeetha Kariyakarawana
Indu Wickramasuriya
Aruna Krishantha
Jude Abeygunaratne
Nedra Abeygunaratne
Samantha Kurera
Trevine Berty Fernando
Charmaine Raffel
Kaushika Geethani
Leslie Thomas
Nadhini Silva
Shirlene Fernando

Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California
A California 501 [c] [3] Non-Profit Organization, founded in 1973
Website: www.slaasc.org

For more information call:
Shanmuganathan Vaithilingam
Tel: 213-399-8964
pa2slcg.la@gmail.com