Sri Lanka Foundation International Awards 2024

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In a city known for its award shows, the Sri Lanka Foundation organized an event to rival Hollywood’s best. The International Awards 2024 was held on Sunday April 21st at the Sheraton Universal Hotel Grand Ballroom; it was an all day affair celebrating a unique array of achievements that only the Sri Lankan diaspora could produce. Fifteen awardees were recognized for their outstanding contributions in fields ranging from medicine to science, engineering, philanthropy, and even table tennis! Rounding out the event were cultural performances, a silent auction, a fashion show, live music, and dancing. The International Awards 2024 began with a glamorous red carpet entrance. Traditional dress was the order of the day, and colorful sarees dazzled the eye in all directions. After special guests mingled and perused the silent auction, the ceremony began. The man behind it all, Founder Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, took the stage. He greeted the crowd
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Meet the 2024 Winners: Tiana Kameel Piyadasa

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Meet Outstanding Achievement Junior Award winner Tiana Kameel Piyadasa We are awarding Tiana Kameel Piyadasa because of her outstanding achievements in table tennis at such a young age. She is a tremendous athlete and a force to be reckoned with. Tiana Kameel Piyadasa was born in Pasadena, California, to Sri Lankan parents, Thilina Piyadasa and Rifkha Kameel. She is currently attending elementary school in Southern California. For the Kameel Piyadasa’s table tennis is a family tradition. Tiana’s father, Thilina, was a Sri Lankan national table tennis champion for 8 years and is a national-level coach for Team USA. Tiana’s mother, Rifkha, was also a national table tennis player in Sri Lanka. Tiana’s older sister, Tashiya, is a national table tennis champion. Tiana is already a fierce competitor at just ten years old! In 2021, when she was just eight years old, Tiana was the youngest table tennis player to represent
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Meet the 2024 Winners: Tashiya Kameel Piyadasa

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Meet Outstanding Achievement Junior Award winner Tashiya Kameel Piyadasa We are awarding Tashiya Kameel Piyadasa because she is such a fierce competitor in table tennis. Her achievements at the national level are outstanding! Tashiya Kameel Piyadasa was born in Pasadena, California to Sri Lankan parents, Thilina Piyadasa and Rifkha Kameel. She is currently attending middle school in Southern California. Table Tennis clearly runs in her blood! Tashiya’s father, Thilina, was a Sri Lankan national table tennis champion for 8 years and is a national-level coach for Team USA. Tashiya’s mother, Rifkha, was also a national table tennis player in Sri Lanka. Tashiya’s younger sister, Tiana, is also a table tennis champion. Tashiya is the only Sri Lankan American to become a national champion in Table Tennis in the USA and represent the USA national Table Tennis team. In 2022, she won a gold medal at the 2022 US Open Table
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Meet the 2024 Winners: Sayuri P. Jinadasa, MD, MPH

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Meet Rising Star Award winner Sayuri P. Jinadasa, MD, MPH We are awarding Sayuri P. Jinadasa, MD, MPH, because of her contributions to the field of acute critical care and her impressive educational achievements. Her lengthy list of accomplishments at such an early stage in her career and her dedication to training the next generation of physicians is genuinely worthy of a Rising Star! Sayuri P. Jinadasa, MD, MPH, was born in Rahway, New Jersey, where her parents lived after they came to the United States from Sri Lanka. At the young age of five, she had already decided to become a physician. Her impressive educational accomplishments include three Ivy League degrees. She began with an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Princeton University in New Jersey, she then got her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, and lastly, she earned her Master’s of
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Meet the 2024 Winners: Aruni Boteju

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Meet Srimerican of the Year Award Winner Aruni Boteju We are awarding Aruni Boteju because of her work in creating the Ceylon International Film Festival, a film festival that shares Sri Lankan culture with the world. Her success in charitable causes has made an organizational and monetary impact in helping the U.S. and Sri Lanka. Aruni Boteju was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and she is the oldest of three daughters of Manel and Ariyadasa Horanage. She attended Buddhist Ladies Collage, Colombo 7, which laid the foundation for her academic pursuits. In her teenage years, her family relocated to Santa Barbara, California. She continued her studies at Santa Barbara City College and subsequently achieved a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. Aruni is the Founder and CEO of the Ceylon International Film Festival (CEYIFF). The CEYIFF is a non-profit arts and educational organization founded in 2021.
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Meet the 2024 Winners: Tanya Egodage, MD, FACS

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Meet Rising Star Award winner Tanya Egodage, MD, FACS We are awarding Tanya Egodage, MD, FACS, because of her essential medical work and determination to share her knowledge and gifts with students in the U.S. and Sri Lanka. In the fast-paced world of critical care, Dr. Egodage is a rising star! Tanya Egodage, MD, FACS, grew up in Seal Beach, California. After graduating from the University of California Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, she attended medical school at the American University of the Caribbean, Coral Gables, FL. In a highly competitive profession, Dr. Egodage is making a name for herself. Dr. Egodage is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, NJ. Previously, she was an attending surgeon in Trauma, Acute Care Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care at Cooper University Hospital in Chicago, IL. Trauma surgeons specialize in emergency surgeries on people who’ve
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Meet the 2024 Winners: Enoka Imali Fernando

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Meet Outstanding Performance by a Young Professional Award winner Enoka Imali Fernando We are awarding Enoka because of her impressive work in aeronautical engineering, as her mastery and leadership are inspiring. Enoka Imali Fernando’s journey began at Musaeus College and Stafford International in Sri Lanka, where she won numerous awards for swimming and academic subjects. She went on to represent Sri Lanka at the Asian Games for swimming. After winning multiple scholarships for her final two years of college in the USA, Enoka graduated Summa Cum Laude from North Carolina State University with a double degree in Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering. Enoka has more than 20 years of experience as an aeronautical engineer. Beginning in 2000 as a Junior Loads Engineer for Butler Technical Group in Encino, CA, she has advanced in the industry to be the External Loads Engineer for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and the Lead Engineer for Boeing
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Meet the 2024 Winners: Binara Dharmawardana

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Meet Outstanding Performance by a Young Professional Award winner Binara Dharmawardana We are awarding Binara Dharmawardana because of his charitable contributions to patients suffering from terminal illnesses. He founded and spearheads the Cyril Dharmawardana Foundation, which provides a vital ambulance service for patients in Sri Lanka. Binara Dharmawardana was born in Sri Lanka, the only child of the renowned actor and public personality Cyril Dharmawardana and his mother, Swarnakanthi Rajapakse, an award-winning writer. He studied at St. Sebastian’s College in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, and completed his education in Melbourne, Australia. He holds an IT degree from Swinburne University and has worked at several multinational corporations, including General Electric and IBM. When Binara’s father, Cyril, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, he was grateful to receive the best care in Australia. Having witnessed the disparity of medical facilities in Australia compared to Sri Lanka, Cyril imagined a service that gave
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Meet the 2024 Winners: Cyril Weeratunge

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Meet Exceptional Achievement Award winner Cyril Weeratunge We are awarding Cyril Weeratunge because of his many charitable projects that have helped both Canadians and Sri Lankans. His selfless devotion to bettering the lives of others, especially by providing scholarships to students in need, is an investment in the future. Cyril Weeratunge was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he attended St. Thomas’ Primary School, followed by Christian College Kotte and then the Naval Engineering College in Poona, India. He has held positions at ADM Windsor, a Fortune 500 company, and worked in the forest industry at Weldwood of Canada Limited. Cyril has spent much of his life in the service of others. Since retiring as Chief Engineer of Windsor Energy Centre, he has continued to work tirelessly on his many philanthropic projects. He is still involved in his industry as a member of the Institute of Power Engineers Canada. He
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Meet the 2024 Winners: Roy Malleappah

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Meet Exceptional Achievement Award winner Roy Malleappah We are awarding Roy Malleappah because of his hard work in the creation of a polyvalent snakebite antivenom. His work has the potential to save many Sri Lankans. Born in Sri Lanka, Roy is a proud “old boy” of Carey College, a school he attended because, at that time, it was one of the few that offered English language instruction. Roy speaks fondly of the inclusive nature of the Sri Lankan society that nurtured him. He comes from a business-oriented family who owned a music instrument store called Harmonics in Colombo, Sri Lanka. They even have a line of percussion instruments named after him called “Royston.” By trade, Roy is a construction engineer in Los Angeles, California. However, Roy decided to handle the epidemic of snakebites in Sri Lanka, as it has one of the highest numbers of snakebite-related fatalities in the world.
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