“Omicron Facts & Fiction” Medical Webinar Hosted by Sri Lanka Foundation Medical, Los Angeles, USA



Date- Sunday, January 30th, 9.00am,(PST)-12.00PM (EST)- USA
Date- Sunday, January 30th, 5.00pm- UK
Date- Sunday, January 30th, 10.30pm- Sri Lanka
Date- Monday, January 31st, 4.00am (ACT)

Moderator- Dr Dineshi Liyanage M.D
President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association North America- Western Region.
Dr Dineshi Liyanage is a Palliative Medicine physician in private practice at Community Medical Centres and St. Agnes Medical Centre in Fresno. She attended medical college and completed a Family Medicine residency along with a Palliative Care fellowship at McGill University in Montreal Canada. She is currently the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at St Agnes Medical Center. President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association North America- Western Region.

Panel of Speakers:

Prof. Deepthi Jayasekera, M.D, FACP, M-IDSA-USA
Topic:”Omicron Outpatient Treatment Guidelines”
The Medical Director of the Sri Lanka Foundation, 
Infectious Disease Specialist from US, Clinical Professor, Western University, 
Chief of Infectious Disease, Emanate Health & San Dimas Hospital

Prof. Dushyantha Jayaweera, M.D, FACP, MRCOG-USA
Topic:”Testing Quarantine Protocols”
Professor Infectious Disease Specialist, University of Miami School of Medicine and University of Miami Hospital

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“When women work together, it’s a bond unlike any other,” Victoria Principal.

For this week’s edition of She Can, I thought of featuring three inspirational women, instead of one; They Can! This trio have dedicated their lives to not just establishing and managing a successful business in the education sector, but also continues to work towards empowering women and underprivileged children in Sri Lanka. They are the perfect example of women being able to do it all; wives, mothers, successful entrepreneurs and philanthropists! Each of them bring an enormous dose of knowledge to the table, and one conversation with them leaves you yearning for more. They are kind, compassionate, warm and gentle, and they all have a very positive aura, that instantly puts you at ease when in their presence. They are creative, innovative, diligent and diplomatic power women with magnetic personalities; Ayoma Fernando, Adhirupini Tyagarajah and Surangie Munaweera.

For more information go to:

Program launched to provide water to the needy

The MoU was signed by Nanda Abeywickrama, Chairman I/D/E/A/S and Dr Tanuja Ariyananda, Chief Executive Officer LRWHF on behalf of their respective organizations.

Initiatives in Development of Entrepreneur Approaches and Strategies (I/D/E/A/S) and Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum (LRWHF) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for a period of three (3) years to collaborate in providing financial and technical assistance to supply drinking water to water stressed households in selected areas of Sri Lanka. The MoU was signed by Nanda Abeywickrama, Chairman I/D/E/A/S and Dr Tanuja Ariyananda, Chief Executive Officer LRWHF on behalf of their respective organisations. The signing took place on December 12 at the LRWHF offices located at New Parliament Road, Pelawatte, Battaramulla.

Initiatives in Development of Entrepreneur Approaches and Strategies (I/D/E/A/S) is a non-profit company launched in April 1996 dedicated to promoting socio-economic growth through entrepreneurship, empowerment and community-led development projects. It extends technical and (completely collateral- and interest-free) financial support to micro and small enterprises, youth, women, the differently-abled and the disadvantaged. In addition to entrepreneur development projects, IDEAS offers outright grants to critical and highly-deserving community initiatives such as LRWHF and Biodiversity Elephant Conservation Trust (BECT).

Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum (LRWHF) is a Non-Governmental Social Service Organization established in 2007 with the aim of promoting the use of rainwater harvesting to satisfy and sustain people’s water needs. I/D/E/A/S and LRWHF have collaborated since 2017 in a thematic and institutional partnership focused on supporting the efforts of LRWHF to construct and hand over rainwater harvesting tanks to households with family members afflicted with CKDu in the Northern, North Central, North Western and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka as well as to hospitals caring for CKDu affected patients (see photos).

The new Memorandum of Understanding reflects the commitment of the two parties to formalise and strengthen this collaboration whereby I/D/E/A/S will provide assistance in the form of grants and interest-free loans to selected water stressed households in Sri Lanka for the installation of rainwater harvesting systems, while LRWHF will act as the Executing Agency to administer these grants and loans, taking responsibility for the installation, monitoring, servicing and repair of facilities, and to train beneficiary households in the operation and maintenance of these systems.

I/D/E/A/S has pledged up to Rupees Three Million (Rs 3,000,000) over the 3-year duration of this joint undertaking which will be used to provide financial support to eligible individual households for the installation of rainwater harvesting tanks on a Grant cum Interest-free Loan basis. The outright grant would cover approximately 60% of the cost of each household tank with the balance being covered by the loan component, ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 45,000, recoverable over a period of thirty (30) months commencing with the commissioning of each tank. Eligible beneficiaries will be identified through LRWHF’s extensive network and presence in several provinces and districts of Sri Lanka. Selection criteria will include factors such as distance to drinking water source, women headed households, number of young children, chronic kidney disease, disabled persons, and income level.

The partners to this agreement also intend to promote a scheme entitled “Well-Wishers” wherein individuals or organisations would volunteer to support and underwrite loan repayments of the neediest households and foster income generating and skills development activities among them.

Further information could be obtained by reaching Dr. Tanuja Ariyananda, CEO, LRWHF; Email:

Videos Attached, Giving life to the golden ideas of our youth – Derana STARTUP 2021, Launched

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

Project launched, click on the link below to watch the video:

Watch the video of the first three contestants:

For more information contact:
Natalie Samarasinghe-94 71 321 1138 or
Keshini Wijegoonaratna- 213-400-7705 or

Book Launch – Life Examined: Lessons in Buddhist Philosophy by Venerable Mahathera Madawela Punnaji

This wonderful book has been transcribed from five lectures on Buddhist philosophy. It follows on the heels of his successful book, Letting Go of ‘Self’: Lessons in Buddhist Psychology (June 2021, Amazon).

Life Examined: Lessons in Buddhist Philosophy reveals the pitfalls of an unexamined life and shows how a change in our philosophy of life can free us from suffering by:

• Exploring how human thinking evolved up to the present.

• Discovering how the Buddha’s thinking surpassed all human thought with an extraordinary view of life.

• Learning stepwise the meaning of truth, goodness, happiness, existence, and non-existence.

• Integrating and experiencing the above philosophical analyses into your life and verifying them in your own experience.

• Living an authentic life guided by the Buddha’s philosophy with confidence.

Book specifications:

Title: Life Examined: Lessons in Buddhist Philosophy
Size = 6” x 9”
Pages = 281
Format: Paperback (An eBook format is also available)
Price = US$ 7.04; CA$ 9:34; UK£ 5:85; Au$ 13.69; EUR€6.62… In the spirit of sharing the Dhamma for free, the price is the minimum set by Amazon with zero profit for the publisher.

Venerable Mahathera Madawla Seelawimala
Professor of Theravāda Buddhism
Institute of Buddhist Studies and Graduate Theological Union
(Affiliated with University of California, Berkeley).
Founder and Spiritual Director of the American Buddhist Seminary, Sacramento, California.

Martin A. Barroll, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology and Sociology (retired).
Request: Please distribute this announcement to your circle of friends.
With metta,
Mahendra Wijayasinghe, Ph.D.
Pure-mind Publishers
Edmonton, Alberta

Young Sri Lankan scientist’s research gains attention in the US

Sri Lankan born young scientist Dr. Gayani Senevirathne, who has excelled in the fields of Zoology and Molecular Biology brought pride to the country, since her latest research on finding an answer to a human abnormality had gained attention in the United States.

Dr. Senevirathne’s doctorate work discovered a gene in frog development that could be used to answer an abnormality that we can see in the axial column of human babies before birth. This work gained attention in United States and was published in a high-ranked journal called Proceedings of the National Sciences. Dr. Gayani Senevirathne is an exceptional scholar, who studied in the biological science stream for her G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination at Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy and entered the Science Faculty of the University of Peradeniya in 2009.

She received two Presidential awards and an award for the Best Science Research from Sri Lanka Research Institute for her research. However, she earned another award for academic excellence after several publications. After graduating with a First-class degree specializing in Zoology and Molecular Biology, she got a fellowship to complete her doctoral studies at the University of Chicago, which is ranked top 10 in the world.

She completed her PhD in 4 ½ years and joined Harvard University as a post doctor to understand how the pelvic girdle of the humans develop and diseases associated with it. The excellence in her academic career made her win the Helen Hay Whitney fellowship, a prestigious award, given to few of the well-recognized Nobel Laureates in the World. Her goal is to serve the country one day after returning to Sri Lanka by helping girls in science to achieve their dreams. Gayani’s greatest desire in her career life is to run her own laboratory, to build an environment where everyone is accepted, to empower females and minorities, and to address scientific research questions in vertebrate evolution using cutting-edge techniques.

Dr. Senevirathne’s father, Upul Senevirathne is an Assistant Commissioner of the Excise Department and her mother Bhagya Senevirathne is a research assistant in the water purification company, ‘CETEC’. Her brother, Ashan Senevirathne works as a Senior Engineer at the Testra company in Melbourne, Australia, whilst Gayani’s sister, Salani Senevirathne is currently reading for her undergraduate degree majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA after receiving the ‘Chancellor’s Award.’

For more information go to:

MoU signed for Sri Lanka’s first ever smart phone manufacturing plant

COLOMBO (News 1st); Hypro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd (Chairman, Dhammika Samarawickrama) and Lodule International Ltd.(CEO, Byungehul Kim) signed a Memorandum of Understanding recently in Colombo for the first-ever Made in Sri Lanka Smart Phone manufacturing plant.

In attendance were the Secretary, Ministry of Industries, General Daya Ratnayake (Former Army Commander), Former Korean Ambassador and Foreign Economic Affairs Director-General, Dr. Saj Mendis and the Head of Human Resources Sri Lanka Cricket, Major Tanesh Dias.

Hypro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd is the SmartPhone Manufacturing Company under the umbrella of Micro E.I. Group of Companies (Pvt) Ltd.and will be the first-ever Made in Sri Lanka Smart Phone manufacturing plant.

Creating history in the Sri Lankan ICT sector, the island’s first assembled 4G enabled mobile smartphone, would be released to the market by Micro Electric International Pvt. Ltd Colombo by December 2021. It has been branded Hypro 4G, it was announced earlier.

For more information:

International Civil Aviation Day celebrated under the patronage of President

The 77th Anniversary of International Civil Aviation was celebrated under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, Katunayake this morning (23).

Seventy-seven years ago in 1944, after World War II, the Chicago Convention for the Regulation and Coordination of Aviation was signed by 26 nations. As a result, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was established.

Sri Lanka became a member of the Organization on June 1st, 1948 and the ICAO currently has a membership of 193 countries.

On December 7, 1912, the first domestic flight took place at the Race Course Ground in Colombo, adding a new chapter to the history of aviation in Sri Lanka. The International Civil Aviation Day is celebrated in December each year to commemorate these events.

President Rajapaksa engaged in a cordial discussion with the employees of the Civil Aviation Authority and then visited the exhibition which showcased the creations made by the innovators on civil aviation.

A work by artist Ravindra Dissanayake was also presented to the President. Three short videos on “Aviation History and Journey”, “The Role of Civil Aviation Regulation and the Rolebof Civil Aviation in the face of Covid-19” and on the promotion of civil aviation have been created in view of the celebration.

President Rajapaksa presented awards to five seniors in the field of civil aviation in recognition of their contribution to the advancement of the civil aviation sector and to three students symbolizing a thousand students who won a competition organized by the Civil Aviation Authority via online in the period of school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as to several individuals representing various fields.

The Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority Upul Dharmadasa presented a memento to the President to mark his visit.

For more information go to:

Julie Chung confirmed as next US envoy to Sri Lanka

Julie Chung’s nomination as the next United States ambassador to Sri Lanka has been confirmed by the US Senate.

Confirmation for her came by voice vote as the Senate approved a flurry of nominations for overseas diplomatic posts.

Nominated by president Joe Biden in June for the position, the 49-year-old is a foreign service member, who previously served as acting assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs among other positions.

The Seoul-born Chung is fluent in Korean, Japanese, Spanish and Khmer l

For more information go to:

Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort celebrates X’mas

Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort heralded the festivities with their annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in the company of guests, team members and media personnel. This being the very first tree lighting ceremony after the opening of its doors to the public, the occasion surely spread the holiday cheer and brought in a magical start to the festivities.

Patrons were greeted with the melodious carolling of children from Our Lady of Lourdes Church of Halpatota, with whole-hearted renditions of cheerful performance from the young group of choristers. The delightful evening brought joy not only to the children but to all those present. Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort’s mesmerizing tree lighting ceremony was graced by Santa himself, who paid a surprise visit with gifts for children. The Christmas tree was adorned with sparkling lights and rich ornaments, bringing in the true feeling of Christmas. The evening progressed to cheerful chatter with the gathering of guests and patrons being hosted to homemade snacks and drinks.

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