SLF Int, Bringing Outstanding Medical Professionals Around the Globe to Present, “Scientific Session on COVID-19, What We Know Now! Webinar Coming UP

STAY TUNED!! Webinar Coming Up Hosted By Sri Lanka Foundation International in Collaboration with Highly Qualified Medical Professionals Across the Globe!

“Scientific Session on COVID-19, What We Know Now”

Date and Time

April 24th: 7.00pm US (PST)
April 25th: 7.30am Sri Lanka
April 25th: 1.00pm Australia
April 25th: 10.00am Hong Kong
April 25th: 3.00am UK

Speakers and Moderator

Dr Paul Holtom, MD from US
Professor of Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine, USC
USC Keck School of Medicine


Dr Deepthi Jayasekara, MD, FACP, M-IDSA, 
Infectious Disease Specialist from US
Clinical Professor, Western University, 
Chief of Infectious Disease, Emanate Health & San Dimas Hospital

Dr Malik Sriyal Joseph Peiris from Hong Kong
Professor, in Medical Science
Professor: Chair of Virology
Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences
MBBS, FRCPath, D Phil (Oxon), FHKAM (Path), FRCP, FRS

Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama, M.B.B.S, MD, MRCP (UK), FCCP
Consultant Physician of National Institute of Infectious Disease ( IDH), Sri Lanka
External lecture/examiner in faculties of Medicines and a member of the National Medicines, Regulatory Authority of Sri Lanka.
President of the Ceylon College of Physicians for the year 2020. 

Professor Suranjith Seneviratne from UK
DPhil(Oxon), MBBS, MD, DPath, MRCPath, MRCP, FRCP, FRCPath, FCCP
Professor and Consultant in Clinical Immunology and Allergy
Institute of Immunity and Transplantation and Health Services Laboratories, London, UK
Nawaloka Hospital Research and Education Foundation, Sri Lanka

Dr. Dushyantha Jayaweera, M.D, FACP, MRCOG from US
Professor Infectious Disease Specialist, University of Miami School of Medicine and University of Miami Hospital.

Please click in the link below to register:

For more information contact:
Keshini Wijegoonaratna, Director of Project Management & Public Relations
213-400-7705 or

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: and click on causes.

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.




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



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

Please make sure you register first!


For more information call:

Achala Weerasinghe
Director of Cultural Affair and Director of Operations for the Academy of Performing Arts:
Tel: 213-400-1662

SL Reports Do’s and Don’ts of COVID-19 Vaccines

Since the invention of the Small Pox vaccine by Dr. Edward Jenner in 1796, vaccines have saved millions of lives that would have otherwise perished because of infections. Vaccination or its end result which is known as immunization has thwarted epidemics of deadly diseases such as whooping cough, tuberculosis, and measles. Smallpox was eradicated from the world since1977 due to a successful vaccination campaign. The paralytic disease polio has seen near eradication because of an effective vaccine.

Exactly a year ago, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. According to António Guterres the UN chief, after a year of chaos, vaccines provide “some light at the end of the tunnel”. Yet with numerous different vaccine brands being introduced by leading biopharmaceutical companies, some serious conflicts of opinion have surfaced.

This article will provide simple guidance on the “Dos and Don’ts of the COVID-19 vaccine” based on the expert opinion of two leading personalities of Ceylon College of Physicians (CCP) Professor Senaka Rajapakse and Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama. Professor Senaka Rajapakse is the current president of the Ceylon College of Physicians and the director of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama is the immediate past president of the CCP, Senior Consultant Physician at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), and was the first Sri Lankan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ceylon College of Physicians is the central body of all specialist general physicians and specialists in different subspecialties. The CCP came into being in 1967 and has since then remained committed to promote the dissemination of up-to-date medical knowledge, promote research and thereby foster postgraduate education in medicine. In disseminating medical knowledge the CCP effectively influences the national healthcare agenda and provides significant benefits to physicians and the community. The specialists at CCP believe in educating the public with correct facts, enabling them to take correct decisions regarding COVID vaccination without being misled by inaccurate facts which are being circulated on social media.

*Take paracetamol if you experience the usual after-effects of any other vaccine in the form of body aches, fever, headache, and joint pain for up to 48 hours.
*If there aren’t any major side effects, it is advised to carry on with their routine day-to-day activities without hindrance.
*Seek medical advice in instances of continuous fever.
*People can have a bath or a body wash after being vaccinated.
*It is of paramount importance that all those who are vaccinated continue their safety precautions.
*Patients who have diabetes, long-standing lung conditions like asthma/ COPD, adult heart disease (heart attacks) patients, those who have had heart disease since childhood, kidney disease patients, patients with arthritis, and those who suffer from liver diseases including cirrhosis should undergo vaccination.
*People who smoke and consume alcohol are also encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

*People who are having ongoing fever-related illnesses, those who are pregnant, and breastfeeding mothers are not included in the vaccination campaign.
*However, there’s no reason to worry if you have already received the vaccine during pregnancy or breastfeeding without your knowledge.
*The vaccine also will not cause the PCR test to become positive.
*There is no need to stop warfarin before the injection. If the INR test value is more than 3, these patients will have to seek an opinion from their medical specialist before the vaccine.

What are the benefits of being vaccinated against COVID-19 infection?
There are numerous benefits out of which the following are the most important. Vaccination reduces the chance of contracting the disease by nearly 70%. It also brings down the severity of the disease and the need for hospitalization by 94%. Simply said, the chances of acquiring the deadly disease is brought down by vaccination and even if a vaccinated person gets infected, there is only a remote possibility of severe medical complications and death.

Two vaccine brands have been approved for use in Sri Lanka namely the Covishield vaccine (AstraZeneca, Indian vaccine) and Sputnik V vaccine (Russian vaccine).

What is the current vaccination procedure?
All eligible people should be vaccinated. Currently, there is ample scientific evidence for vaccinating everyone above the age of 18 years if there are no contraindications. The first dose provides us around 70 % protection against COVID-19 infection. The second dose which is the booster dose further increases the immunity to give up to 95% protection against this deadly disease. The 2nd dose is recommended to be taken 10 -12 weeks after the first dose if it’s the Covishield vaccine and 3 weeks if it’s the Sputnik V vaccine. The injection is given into the muscle, preferably the upper left arm hence called an intramuscular injection.

There are lots of queries on whether this vaccine can cause actual COVID-19 disease. There is no such possibility as it does not contain the virus. The vaccine also will not cause the PCR test to become positive.

What are the common side effects?
Some people could experience the usual after-effects of any other vaccine in the form of body aches, fever, headache, and joint pain for up to 48 hours. However, if one has fever beyond 48 hours of vaccination, it could be due to some other disease like dengue fever. Therefore the public is advised to seek medical advice in instances of continuous fever. There is no scientific evidence supporting an enhanced risk of blood clot formation/ thrombosis following the injection.

A frequent question asked by many people is what they should do immediately after the injection. They can take paracetamol for the above symptoms but if there aren’t any major side effects, it is advised to carry on with their routine day-to-day activities without hindrance. People can have a bath or a body wash after being vaccinated. Another constant query is about the relationship between experiencing side effects and the degree of protection. There is no such connection between after-effects and the efficiency of the injection.

One important fact that we wish to highlight is the need to comply with wearing masks, hand washing, and social distancing after receiving both doses of the vaccine. As immunized people also can have the disease without symptoms, there is a possibility of them spreading the virus to healthy individuals. Therefore it is of paramount importance that all those who are vaccinated continue their safety precautions.

Who shouldn’t be vaccinated?
People who are having ongoing fever-related illnesses, those who are pregnant, and breastfeeding mothers are not included in the vaccination campaign.

The vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding as there is no long-term safety data. However, there’s no reason to worry if you have already received the vaccine during pregnancy or breastfeeding without your knowledge.

Can people with chronic medical conditions or those who lead unhealthy lifestyles receive the vaccine?
Patients who have diabetes, long-standing lung conditions like asthma/ COPD, adult heart disease (heart attacks) patients, those who have had heart disease since childhood, kidney disease patients, patients with arthritis, and those who suffer from liver diseases including cirrhosis should undergo vaccination. These diseases put them at a higher risk of having serious complications due to covid. Therefore we emphasize the importance of providing the COVID-19 vaccine to those who have long-standing illnesses.

People who smoke and consume alcohol are also encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. There are certain studied done among smokers which indicate an additional risk of getting COVID-19 related complications and therefore we advise the vaccine in these categories of individuals.

There is no set upper age limit for the vaccine and therefore the elderly are advised to take part in the vaccination drive.

Long-term medication and its impact
There are numerous studies done on receiving the vaccine while being on long-term medication for other diseases. Patients who are on one or two of the following blood-thinning drugs (antiplatelets); aspirin, clopidogrel, dipyridamole, ticagrelor, prasugrel can safely go ahead with vaccination. And there is no need to stop the medication before or after the injection. Those who are on the drug “warfarin” can get themselves immunized if their INR test value is less than 3. There is no need to stop warfarin before the injection. If the INR test value is more than 3, these patients will have to seek an opinion from their medical specialist before the vaccine.

Those who are on special medication such as dabigatran, apixaban, and rivaroxaban are advised to receive the vaccine. The next (post vaccination) dose of the above three drugs should preferably be delayed by about 6 hours.
Patients on drugs/treatment that reduces immunity (immunosuppressants) like anti-cancer drugs, radiotherapy, azathioprine, prednisolone, dexamethasone, cyclosporin, tacrolimus or similar types of medication can get themselves vaccinated without any issues.

Previous COVID-19 infection and vaccination What if a person already infected and deemed cured of COVID-19 is offered the vaccine? We recommend immunization 2 to 4 weeks after recovery. If another type of vaccine meant for a different disease is given recently, the recommendations are to have a minimum gap of two weeks since the last vaccination before embarking on the COVID vaccine. The next dose of a different vaccine should only be administered two weeks after the COVID injection.

Patients with known allergies are advised to obtain the vaccine under medical supervision.

Dispelling myths and supporting the vaccination drive There are certain myths about the vaccine and its impact on fertility. We wish to dispel these statements as there is no scientific proof whatsoever on infertility as a side effect of immunization.

As numerous different COVID-19 virus variants are emerging within the community a frequent question is about the efficacy of the vaccine against these novel strains. The current vaccine in use is known to protect people against the COVID variants which emerged from the United Kingdom.

This vaccine also reduces the severity of the disease due to the South African variant even though it does not prevent one from acquiring the disease.

In conclusion, on behalf of the Ceylon College of Physicians, we would like to encourage all eligible adults to actively take part in the COVID-19 vaccination drive. We strongly believe that this is the way forward in reducing the disease burden both within Sri Lanka and Globally.

(Article Compiled by Dr Chamila Mettananda, Secretary and Dr Himantha Atukorale, Council Member of Ceylon College of Physicians.)

Written By:

Picture Credit: AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena

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:

If You Missed, Video Attached! ACOBA COVID-19 Vaccines, Complications and Mental Health


Zoom Webinar presented by Ananda College Old Boys Association


Opening Remarks by Ambassador Ravinatha Ariyasinha

Date: Sunday, February 21st, 2021

Time: 10.00am- Join in from 9.45am

Please use this link to join:

Meeting ID- 390-328-1827

New Book Provides Students with a Path to Higher Test Scores and Better Grades during the Pandemic and Beyond

Many students today are struggling with school due to academic stress and distance learning. Nirosha (Nimalasuriya) Ruwan has published a new book, Mind Over Scatter: Conquer Any Test with Sharper Focus and Less Stress, that offers a solution.

Nirosha’s book shows students how to use mindfulness to overcome distraction, anxiety and stress, and perform better in school and tests. Mind Over Scatter is a #1 New Release and a #1 Best Seller on Amazon.

“My hope is that students will gain valuable skills that can help them not only as students, but throughout their life. The ability to focus your mind and accomplish a task is essential for success in any endeavor,” said Nirosha Jayaruwan, JD.

The book is available here:

Nirosha Ruwan, JD, IMTA CMT-P, is a certified mindfulness teacher and lawyer who teaches mindfulness and high performance skills to students and professionals. Nirosha sandaruwan, JD, is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and she received her training in mindfulness facilitation at the Semel Institute on Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.

Vaccine clusters in the making in Sri Lanka

Following President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s special instructions to vaccinate the public in risk areas, the Ministry of Health commenced its public inoculation campaign yesterday at several state health offices.

President Rajapaksa on Monday instructed officials to vaccinate members of the general public in the Western Province, which is has reported the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases since the virus outbreak last year.

Accordingly frontline health workers as well as personnel in economic centres including vendors of the Peliyagoda fish market and airport service personnel were innoculated over the past two weeks. The public vaccination programme which commenced yesterday, saw the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine administered to citizens above 30 years of age.

For more information go to: