Archives

Buddhist Ceremony conducted at the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy on Dr Walter Jayasinghe’s Birthday

On the occasion of the SriLanka Foundation International USA, Chairman of the Board, Dr. Walter Jayasinghe’s birthday on 17th of August 2022 Gilanpasa Pooja and Medicine Pooja were conducted according to ancient rituals with the participation of the Maha Sangha and 250 children at 7 pm at Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy.

In addition, nutritious food parcels were distributed to the children of Unuvinna primary school and medicinal plants were distributed to 300 farmers in the villages of Delthota area of ​​Kandy district initiated by the Vice President of the Sri Lanka Foundation, Mrs Aeshea Jayasinghe.

The Ceremony was organized by Udawaththe Wimala Buddhi, Thero, (MA,BA) Pandit, Director of the International Center, Kandy and Buddhist Studies, Hanthana.


About the “Philanthropist Dr Walter Jayasinghe” Read Below:

“If you mean philanthropy like giving money – it started only after I made money. If you mean helping humanity and doing things for man and living things – it was from birth,” he describes.

Crediting his father in leading by example, Dr. Jay describes even as a very young child, seeing his father offer free medical care to their community and understanding the importance of philanthropy in the form of time and willingness to help. Dr. Jay is also a proud Sri Lankan and avidly engaged philanthropist. He became a Founder of the first ever Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Hollywood, Los Angeles and has provided the means to restore and grow many temples and centers of Sri Lankan community throughout Los Angeles and elsewhere.

This led to Dr. Jay’s establishment of The Sri Lanka Foundation. The primary purpose of The Sri Lanka Foundation is to help rebuild the community and lives of Sri Lankans and inspire hope worldwide by promoting Sri Lankan culture and heritage. From this point, Dr. Jay also created the Sri Lanka Foundation Awards Ceremony, which is an event with the sole purpose of acknowledging and celebrating exceptional individuals in the Sri Lankan community worldwide.

Dr. Jay also founded a secondary non-profit organization – The Los Angeles Medical Center Foundation to provide healthcare services to the low income residents in and around Downtown Los Angeles. He operated a free clinic every Saturday for many years to the homeless population of Downtown Los Angeles, providing free outpatient medical services and medications to all patients.

Since his early years of success, his philanthropic sphere has only increased. Dr. Jay was awarded the “Philanthropist Award” by Sri Lanka Medical Association of North America, Western Region Inc. and now additionally helms the positions of Founder-President of the Institute of Buddha Dhamma Studies (A non-profit organization in the State of California) and Founder/Trustee of the Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara of Pasadena and Sri Rathana Buddhist Center in Anaheim.

Described by many as a humanitarian, to the very breadth of its meaning, Dr. Jay only continues to discover and form alliance with new institutions, cultures and people across all walks of life.

Click on the link below to watch the video created by Venerable Udawatthe Wimalabuddhi Thero, BA.MA Pandit, Director of International Center for Buddhist Studies, Hanthana Kandy.

https://youtu.be/FwU-mCxgWW8

Click on the link to read more about Dr Walter Jayasinghe:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwi-wunxp9j5AhUvBUQIHWaND7wQFnoECBkQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thelakeonwilshire.com%2Fen%2Fnews%2Fphilanthropist-visionary-and-entrepreneur-dr-walter-jayasinge-receives-philanthropist-award-from-slmana%2F&usg=AOvVaw0AdEt50d1_QdG5GQAKquJB

The City of Los Angeles, USA Celebrates the 3rd Annual Sri Lanka Day in Honor of Dr Walter Jayasinghe

On December 4th, 2019 history was created within the walls of the magnificent Los Angeles City council chambers on a rainy morning amidst a gathering of distinguished leaders, where a community came together to celebrate Dr. Walter Jayasinghe and his invaluable philanthropic services rendered to this beautiful city of Los Angeles and the Sri Lankan community declare Sri Lanka Day to be celebrated every year on August 17th.

Today, August 17th, 2022 around 11.00am, the Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA Chairman of the board, Dr Walter Jayasinghe, Vice President, Aeshea Jayasinghe and staff, and the City of Los Angeles celebrated the 3rd annual Sri Lanka Day, in honor of Sri Lankan culture and the remarkable contributions of Sri Lankan Americans in the City and beyond.

This year’s celebration was held outdoors and was marked by flags of USA, Sri Lanka, State of California and cultural exposition at the city of Los Angeles City Hall.

Click on the link below to watch the video of the Ceremony in 2019 when the City of Los Angeles declared to celebrate Sri Lanka Day on August 17th every year on Dr Walter Jayasinghe’s Birthday!!!


https://youtu.be/nT9f-NoTGw4

Her Excellency, Julie Chung, Met With Sri Lanka Foundation In Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Foundation International (SLF) USA is expanding by including new projects in Sri Lanka to serve the community!

Director of Cultural Affairs, Achala Weerasinghe represented SLF with its future projects to the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Her Excellency, Julie Chung in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Her Excellency said on Twitter:

“The American people are supporting SL in this time of need. Today I met @SlfNews, a California org raising funds to supply critical medical equipment to SL hospitals. This builds on previous donations of medical supplies, including items delivered to a Colombo hospital this week.”

 

Vote for Prof. Janaka Ruwanpura to win Top 25 Canadian Immigration Award

We are so proud to share that Sri Lankan Foundation’s Life Time Achievement Winner of 2016, Professor Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (international) – equivalent to Pro-Chancellor of International and Research, has been nominated and selected as one of 75 finalists for this year’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.

Canadian Immigrant magazine has opened the online voting portal and is inviting all to vote for your favorites among the shortlist of 75 finalists at:

https://canadianimmigrant.ca/canadas-top-25-immigrants

Presented by Western Union, this coveted award recognizes and celebrates the untold stories of Canadian immigrants who have made a significant contribution to Canada, in a variety of professions and from coast to coast. The past winners have been examples of true nation builders, from entrepreneurs to artists, academics, community volunteers, sports heroes, philanthropists, inventors and visionaries, from across Canada. Their motivations, circumstances and timing for coming to Canada are as varied as their backgrounds. Nonetheless, each of the winners’ stories shares a common theme: rising to a challenge and using that opportunity to make Canada a better place for all.

The public can now vote for Prof. Ruwanpura online up to June 10, 2022.

Here are the instructions on how to vote:
1.Click:https://canadianimmigrant.ca/canadas-top-25-immigrants/vote?fbclid=IwAR1zvalrSRPiadCrznoiX6JmizGJ0uXawvioyijOfjDVDbSRwABMjYYcZpg
2.Click the small box “Vote Now” below Janaka’s picture (to easily find his picture, hit CTRL+F on your keyboard and search for “Janaka”)
3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page
4. Enter the email address inside the grey box and click “VOTE NOW” (red button)
5. You will then receive a confirmation message indicating your vote has been submitted

About Prof Janaka Ruwanpura:

An outstanding educator, prolific scholar, impactful, award-winning academic leader and administrator, Janaka Ruwanpura, Ph.D., P.Eng, PQS, MRICS, FCSCE, NAC, is the vice-provost and associate vice-president research (international) and a tenured professor at the University of Calgary. Ruwanpura has been an influential educator and scholar in construction engineering and project management, and an innovator in global engagement. He has published over 180 referred technical papers, supervised 100+ graduate students, and produced 30+ best practices and tools, including commercialized products. He has been a prominent keynote speaker and panelist for both engineering and internationalization organizations around the world. Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Ruwanpura holds degrees from the University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka), Arizona State University and the University of Alberta.

Previously, Ruwanpura served as the Canada Research Chair in Project Management Systems, director of University of Calgary’s Centre for Project Management Excellence, and was the fourth Canadian inducted into the National Academy of Construction in the United States. He is a professional engineer and professional quantity surveyor in Canada. Ruwanpura has generously shared his expertise with numerous professional and community organizations. He served as the convener and co-leader for the International Institute for Infrastructure Resilience and Reconstruction, a 20+ multi-university global consortium. He was elected as the chair of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) Commission on International Initiatives (2019), the first Canadian to chair any commissions or councils of APLU. Ruwanpura is a board member of the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) and also volunteers his time with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, the Immigrants Society of Calgary and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, among others.

Ruwanpura has won international, national, provincial and municipal awards for his academic accomplishments and leadership for teaching, research, innovation, service, leadership and internationalization. A few recent awards include the Distinguished Alumni Award (Arizona State University), City of Calgary’s International Achievement Award and CBIE’s Board of Directors Leadership Award for Internationalization.

LinkedIn Profile:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/janaka-ruwanpura-phd-peng-6a118a5/ University of Calgary Profile: https://ucalgary.ca/international/about-us/contacts/vice- provost-and-associate-vice-president-research-international

Breaking the Silence – Empowering our Women

On Wednesday, April 6, 2022, we had the privilege of meeting a team of women who have committed themselves to protecting and empowering women and girls victimized by sexual and gender-based violence in Sri Lanka. Women In Need –since its inception in 1988, has saved hundreds of thousands of women and girls from life-threatening abuse, mostly those faced with domestic violence.

Violence against women is a violation of human rights, which has stifled the development of women and girls in Sri Lanka.

Today, WIN as they are fondly called is a nationally recognized non-governmental organization located in 6 Districts, providing key crisis intervention support for women and girls through psychological counseling, legal advice, court representation, and emergency shelter facilities absolutely free of charge for some of the most vulnerable people of Sri Lanka. 

They have a professional team of dedicated psychological counselors, lawyers, and social workers working and engaging with multiple stakeholders and pushing boundaries to ensure the safety and security of women and girls victimized by sexual and gender-based violence, while also advocating for the recognition and exercise of their rights as human rights to prevent this grave violation of human rights.

From Left to Right: Shyama Perera (WIN Board Member), Diloka Kamalgoda (HR Manager WIN). Kavindi Wijesekera (WIN for Her Manager), Savithri Wijesekera (Executive Director WIN), Dishan Jayasinha M.D. (President SLF USA), Mrs. Zuigly Jayasinha (Creative Director DG Studio USA), Ms. Achala Weerasinghe (Director, SLF USA)



On our visit to WIN; SLF’s President Dishan Jayasinha M.D., Mrs. Zuigly Jayasinha, and Ms. Achala Weerasinghe – Director of Cultural Affairs; were able to hear real-life stories of survivors, and learn of the inequality and discrimination women from multiple ethnicities faced, given the many genders, social, cultural and religious norms which encouraged and reinforced patriarchy and violence against women in Sri Lanka. 

This grim reality for thousands of women in Sri Lanka is changing – with the support and leadership of Women In Need. They carry out multiple programs, focusing on a multi-pronged approach to address the issue of gender-based violence, ensuring principles of inclusivity, fairness, and non-discrimination, working with multiple ethnic communities and women from varied backgrounds; to better their lives, ending the traumatic emotional, physical and economic abuse they are forced to endure.

WIN also firmly believes that financial independence of women is essential to put an end to the cycle of violence. WINFORHER is a business with a cause – a social enterprise that empowers women survivors of violence through the production and sale of beautiful, hand-made recycled paper and products, giving survivors of violence new hope, confidence, and self-worth.

It was heartwarming to see the dedication of WIN’s team – taking up the many challenges they face as a non-governmental organization and non-profit organization in Sri Lanka, working day in and day out on a very challenging issue to create an inclusive society free of violence against women and girls where all have mutual respect for one another, creating a respectful society which will contribute to the development of our country and its values.

Sri Lanka Foundation proudly supports the WIN organization in Sri Lanka and we ask that you donate to this important cause that is changing the lives of embattled women and children in Sri Lanka.

Please visit our Causes page to learn more



         

Queen Elizabeth recognises Lankan charity founder with Commonwealth Points of Light award

Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth, has recognised Deborah Edirisinghe, representing Sri Lanka, as the 211th Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of her exceptional voluntary service

Deborah Edirisinghe
supporting and caring for disadvantaged children.


Debbie, aged 38, is the founder of ‘Child Action Lanka’, a network of children’s shelters based in the city of Kandy which cares for over 1,500 children. Deborah leads a team of 110 volunteers to deliver a holistic approach to care which targets the underlying causes of inequality and provides development that is sustainable and community-based.

‘Child Action Lanka’ offers housing and food, schooling and education resources, as well as counselling to ensure lower school dropout rates.

As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognizing one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week.

Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why the Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.

The City of Los Angeles Celebrates the 2nd Annual Sri Lanka Day

On December 4th, 2019 history was created within the walls of the magnificent Los Angeles City council chambers on a rainy morning amidst a gathering of distinguished leaders, where a community came together to celebrate Dr. Walter Jayasinghe and his invaluable philanthropic services rendered to this beautiful city of Los Angeles and the Sri Lankan community declare Sri Lanka Day to be celebrated every year on August 17th.

Today, August 17th, 2021 around 11.00am, the Sri Lanka Foundation, and the City of Los Angeles celebrated the second annual Sri Lanka Day, in honor of Sri Lankan culture and the remarkable contributions of Sri Lankan Americans in the City and beyond.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebration was held outdoors and was marked by a flag raising ceremony and cultural exposition near Los Angeles City Hall.

Thusitha Wijayasena – the magnanimous philanthropist who has touched many lives by generosity…

Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference. Thusitha Wijayasena is such a big-hearted philanthropist in Sri Lanka who has undertaken numerous charity work to make a life by donating to worthy causes volunteering his time, effort, and wealth. He is a true Sri Lankan who loves his country immensely, willingly confront to inspirit Buddhism and also stake many campaigns to improve the living condition of the destitute people.

He is the key figure who entirely staked the ‘Helitours’ operation which carried a brass bell, an eternal flame oil lamp, and other construction material from Nallathanniya to the Uda Maluwa in Adam’s peak using an aircraft. This slung operation was pioneered by the Sri Lanka Air Force and the wing commanding officer Kalinga Mahipala along with 42 personnel from the Sri Lanka Air Force. They transported a total of 2.2 tons to the Udamaluwa. This was a massive task that took seven days to complete the entire operation. Thusitha Wijayasena sponsored the charity with the help of the Tri Forces and other contributors. After the New eternal flame oil lamp and the bell tower with the new brass bell were unveiled at sacred Adam’s peak, Thusitha Wijasena along with the Tri Forces offered alms (Kiripidu Pooja) and worshipped the ‘sacred footprint’ of Lord Buddha in Adam’s peak. He also paid homage to the Saman Devalaya and got the blessings from the holy place. Furthermore, he lit the eternal oil lamp, amidst the blessings of the Maha Sanga.

Also, this great man declared the opening of the new lighting system at the hilltop which was long felt necessary for the devotees. Also, to seek the blessings for the successful completion of the slung operation, a pirith chanting ceremony was held with the participation of 500 bhikkus at the Nallathanni temple prior to the unveiling of the New eternal flame oil lamp and the bell tower, followed by almsgiving, which was entirely patronaged by this great philanthropist. Not only that, he has contributed a lot towards the renovation of several temples including the ‘Thiriyaya’ temple; the first Buddhist temple with a historical value. Furthermore, annually he bequeaths the caparisons for 15 notable tuskers including the tusker who carries the sacred Tooth relic, in the Kandy Esala Perahera.

Thusitha Wijayasena who spent his life according to the advice and the admonitions of the Bhikkus has a very tight bond towards Buddhism. Annually, he celebrates his birthday on the 27th of June by organizing almsgiving to the Bhikkus. Due to the prevailing pandemic condition in the country, he could not organize this year’s almsgiving yet he celebrated his birthday, undergoing an exceptionally good deed. During the pandemic situation, there is a dire wanting of supplying dry food items to the temples since devotees, are unable to come to the temples because of the travel restrictions imposed. Therefore, for the 27th consecutive time, he organized the annual almsgiving in a new countenance. Accordingly, he and his KCC crew, took measures to distribute dry food items to all the temples affiliated with Malwathu and Asgiriya Abhayarama temples. He was highly praised by the Bhikkus for his altruistic activity amidst this pandemic situation.

The KCC Charity Circle also pioneered by him, undertook a great task by distributing dry food items to the neediest people who usually do not gain recognition as cleaners, watchmen, coolies, workers and etc. Moreover, they distribute dry food items to chosen 250 families, and 20 Social Service Institutes Moreover, being a sponsor member of the Sri Lanka Federation of Visually handicapped is another charity work of him.

In a time the goodwill and the generosity of people deteriorated, Thusitha Wijayasena and crew stand out as exemplary to follow up. It is because philanthropy lies at the heart of human greatness.

HEAR FROM DR JAY!

Dr. Walter J is a father, brother, doctor, entrepreneur, patriot, artist, humanitarian and at his very core, a friend to all. With a lifetime of accomplishments and involvement across many fields and sciences, came the need to establish an online presence across social media to recognize all he has done, and continues to do. And so friends began work on a presence project, to create and manage internet resources and social media platforms for any and all to learn more about, and keep up with, Dr. Walter Jayasinghe.

We invite you to explore the new Dr. Walter Jayasinghe website, Facebook page, YouTube page and Instagram page. Find one on one interviews with Dr. J on YouTube with stories from his early days as a physician, to stories of family and longtime friends. Follow the Dr. Walter Jayasinghe Facebook page for old photos and new updates, and to leave a message for Dr. J. Enjoy the brand new Dr. Walter Jayasinghe website for a brief biography on how he became the man he is today. Dr. J loves to hear from his friends and stay in touch with them, and looks forward to connecting with you on the following platforms now!





The City of Los Angeles Celebrates the 1st Annual Sri Lanka Day

On December 4th, 2019 history was created within the walls of the magnificent Los Angeles City council chambers on a rainy morning amidst a gathering of distinguished leaders, where a community came together to celebrate Dr. Walter Jayasinghe and his invaluable philanthropic services rendered to this beautiful city of Los Angeles and the Sri Lankan community declare Sri Lanka Day to be celebrated every year on August 17th.

Today, August 17th, 2020 around 1.30pm, the Sri Lanka Foundation, the Jayasinghe Family and the City of Los Angeles celebrated the first annual Sri Lanka Day, in honor of Sri Lankan culture and the remarkable contributions of Sri Lankan Americans in the City and beyond.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebration was held outdoors and was marked by a flag raising ceremony and cultural exposition near Los Angeles City Hall.