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US delegation requests Intl. Banks to provide assistance to procure medicines, essentials

The visiting high-level US diplomatic delegation has assured that they will support by requesting international banks to assist Sri Lanka when issuing Letters of Credit (LC) to obtain medicines and essential commodities, President’s Media Unit said.

They have also assured that the US Government will continue its support to strengthen the relationship with the International Monetary Fund at all levels.

The meeting between the US State Department and the Treasury delegation and the President held at the President’s House, Colombo, today (27).

President Rajapaksa commended the delegation for their visit to Sri Lanka and briefed them on the current economic and social crisis in the country.

The President also briefed about the progress of the ongoing discussions with the IMF. Kelly Keiderling, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, US Department State and Robert Kaproth, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Asia.

The US Department of Treasury further stated that US President Joe Biden is interested in the future of Sri Lanka.

The US President has also instructed to support Sri Lanka during this difficult time and to extend all possible assistance to the country.

The delegation expressed confidence with the implementation of the programme with the IMF will provide relief to the vulnerable families and will continue to have a positive impact on the future.

They said they were pleased with the similarities between the President’s understanding and their understanding of the economic reform process taking place in the country.

The delegation commended the President on the free space given to anyone to express their opinions without any hindrance to the right to freedom of expression.

The US government has provided US$100 million as medium term assistance to Commercial Bank to promote and uplift small scale businesses and also US$ 5.75 and another US$ 6 million financial assistance as humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka.

The delegation recalled about the other US supported projects such as polyester fiber and yarn processing project which are manufactured with disposable plastic materials.

Matthew Mohlenkamp, Treasury Office Director for South and Southeast Asia, John McDaniel, State SCA/NSB Economic Unit Chief, Julie Chung, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, US Embassy, Geoff Chanin, Acting Political Chief, US Embassy, Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath, Chief Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Chief of Staff to the President Anura Dissanayake were also present at this discussion.

High-Level US delegation to visit Sri Lanka tomorrow

A high-level delegation representing the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of State will visit Sri Lanka from June 26- 29, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo announced today.

Members of the delegation include Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Asia Robert Kaproth and Ambassador Kelly Keiderling, who is also the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.

The visitors will meet with a wide range of political representatives, economists, and international organizations, the embassy said in a statement.

In all their meetings, they will explore the most effective ways for the U.S. to support Sri Lankans in need, Sri Lankans working to resolve the current economic crisis, and Sri Lankans planning for a sustainable and inclusive economy for the future, the U.S. Embassy said further in its statement.

“This visit underscores our ongoing commitment to the security and prosperity of the Sri Lankan people,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung. “As Sri Lankans endure some of the greatest economic challenges in their history, our efforts to support economic growth and strengthen democratic institutions have never been more critical.”

Over the past two weeks, the U.S. has announced $120 million in new financing for Sri Lankan small and medium-sized businesses, a $27 million contribution to Sri Lanka’s dairy industry and $5.75 million in humanitarian assistance to help those hit hardest by the economic crisis.

The United States also committed $6 million in new grants to provide livelihood assistance to vulnerable populations, and technical assistance on financial reform that will help stabilize the economy.

In the coming months, the U.S. will continue to support Sri Lankans as they revive their economy, combat food insecurity, and promote public health and education.

The United States also strongly supports Sri Lanka’s decision to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund, which can provide the most durable resolution to the present crisis, the statement added.

Prof. Rangita De Silva De Alwis elected as SL representative for CEDAW

Professor Rangita De Silva De Alwis was elected to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for the term 2023-2026 representing Sri Lanka.

Prof. De Silva-De Alwis was elected during the 22nd Meeting of the State Parties to the CEDAW Convention at the United Nations in New York on 23rd June.

At this election, State Parties to the Convention elected 12 members out of 23 candidates, to the Committee of the Convention. Sri Lanka obtained 124 votes obtaining the 5th highest number of votes. Other countries elected are Cuba, Uganda, Nigeria, Egypt, Israel, Spain, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Trinidad and Tobago and Japan.

Sri Lanka became a State Party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1981.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention, which consists of 23 experts on women’s rights from around the globe.

Professor Rangita De Silva De Alwis is currently serving as the Associate Dean of International Affairs and the Academic Director of the Global Institute for Human Rights at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, in the USA. She earned her Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Colombo and her LL.M and Ph.D from Harvard Law School.

She is an expert on matters coming under the purview of the CEDAW, with over 25 years of experience globally, advocating for equal representation of women.

For more information:
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Vote Sri Lankan for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Office #118 Primary Election on June 7, 2022

Candidate for Los Angeles County Superior Court Seat 118
On June 7th, 2022, Vote for Deputy County Counsel for L.A. Superior Court Judge.”

Mr. Thever has had a long history of service. He has served with distinction at local state and Federal levels in a wide range of positions.

He is particularly passionate about serving the residents of Los Angeles City and County. He has served as Los Angeles Mayors’ appointee to Municipal Improvement Corporation of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Airport Advisory Committee, and the Los Angeles Local Development Bank.

“Shan has been and continues to be a pioneer in the proactive involvement for the improvement of the practice of law, minority business development, and the furtherance of social causes.” – Congresswoman Hon. Linda T. Sanchez. Congressional Records.

Endorsements

“I am proud to endorse Shan Thever, for JUDGE of Superior Court Office #118. Shan Thever has the experience, temperament and skill needed in our Los Angeles courtrooms. On June 7th, 2022, Vote for Deputy County Counsel for L.A. Superior Court Judge.”

By Hon. Don Knabe, Former Supervisor of Los Angeles County.


Hon. Yvonne Burke, Former Supervisor of Los Angeles County.


Hon. Autumn Burke, Former California Assembly Member


Hon. Phillip Chan, California Assembly Member





For more information go to:
http://www.shantheverforjudge.com

Cassandra Fernando becomes first woman of SL descent elected to Australian Parliament

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan-born Cassandra Fernando has won a Parliamentary seat at the Australian General Election this time.

She represents the Holt constituency in Australia from the Labor Party.

Fernando has arrived in Australia with her parents in 1999, when she was 11 years old. She’s the first woman of Sri Lankan descent to be elected to the Australian Parliament.

Ranj Perera, another Sri Lankan, had contested against Fernando from the Liberal Party in the same constituency.

Fernando received 57.5% of the vote, while he received 42.5%.

Higher Education Reforms in Sri Lanka for positive peace

(L -R) – Prof. Shanti Nandana Wijesinghe, Professor in Sociology, Member – Presidential Task Force – OCOL, Member – Standing Committee for Social Reconciliation – UGC; Mr. Anuradha Wijekoon, Secretary, Ministry of Youth & Sports; Prof. Premakumara De Silva, Chairman, Standing Committee for Social Reconciliation, UGC; Mr. A.B.M. Ashraff, Director, National Centre for Leadership Development and Dr. T. Mangaleswaran, Vice Chancellor, University of Vavuniya (Virtual)

The ‘Future-Ready Youth Leadership Programme’ at the National Centre for Leadership Development in Embilipitiya, a historical event in the history of the University System of Sri Lanka, which began on March 10 with the participation of over 250 Vavuniya University students will continue till March 16.

Prof. Shanti Nandana Wijeysinghe, Member, Standing Committee for Social Reconciliation, University Grants Commission, Chairman, Education, Research and Training, Centre for Social Reconciliation, University of Vavuniya, and Member, Presidential Task Force, addressed the gathering.

The event is the first leadership workshop for university students and was held at the National Centre for Leadership Development under the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

“After 30-years of conflict, there has been no complete social reconciliation in the community. So, it is possible to prepare future leaders through national unity by bringing about reconciliation at the community level,” Prof. Wijesinghe said.

“The first Social Reconciliation Centre was inaugurated by the President at the University of Vavuniya on February 11 when the 17th University of Sri Lanka, University of Vavuniya. “The Social Reconciliation Centre to be set up in all Sri Lankan universities covers areas such as education, research and training. In addition, the university will start a programme to improve the education of students who are unable to enter the courses and issue relevant certificates, which will help to further improve higher education for youth. It is noteworthy that these Centres will be established in all the universities in Sri Lanka.

“Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim students from the University of Vavuniya are also participating in the one-week training programme on leadership, empowerment, entrepreneurship and reconciliation. I hope this training will prepare them for the challenging world and move forward with leadership to break down the barriers including ethnicity, religion, caste and class.


Health Regulations were emphasized as Undergraduates of the University of Vavuniya followed the Future-Ready Youth Leadership Programme in Embilipitiya.

“Our goal is to develop Sri Lankan youth as global leaders in keeping with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the Centres for Social Reconciliation. There are several programmes including Diploma/BA/Masters in Peace and Development Studies, and Certificate Courses in Women in Politics and in Media. Sri Lanka’s university system teaches perspectives, theory and concepts, but not the skills to practically apply them. Soft skills are not developed through university education. We expect to address these deficiencies through the projects conducted by the Social Reconciliation Centres.

“President Goatabaya Rajapaksa recently made two revolutionary changes in university education. He established a Department of ICT in all the Faculties of Arts equipped with Computer Labs, Human Resources, Broadband Internet facilities and other infrastructure facilities.


Undergraduates of the University of Vavuniya who followed the Future-Ready Youth Leadership Programme in Embilipitiya were put through various activities including outdoor exercises

The other was to establish Social Reconciliation Centres (SRC) at all universities together with a Standing Committee on Social Reconciliation at the UGC. These steps were taken to convert the prevailing negative peace with doubts, prejudices, fear and mistrust to positive peace where all would have access to equal opportunities and resources. These changes have been made to meet the challenges as Asia prepares to take over global power by the year 2050 as Sri Lanka has the potential to give leadership to the socio-economic and political revival in Asia. A situation that is expected to be consolidated by the year 2100,” said Prof. Wijesinghe.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Anuradha Wijekoon was present on the occasion together with Prof. Premakumara de Silva, Chairman, Standing Committee on Social Reconciliation, the University Grants Commission, Ms. Prarthana M. De Mel, Director/Research and Training, World University Friends, and Dr. T. Mangaleswaran, Vice Chancellor, University of Vavuniya who participated via the ZOOM platform. Mr. A.B.M. Ashraf, Director, and other officials of the National Centre for Leadership Development were also present.

For more information go to:http://www.dailymirror.lk

New U.S Ambassador seeks to further strengthen the existing ties with Sri Lanka

The new US Ambassador emphasized that she was seeking to further strengthen the existing political, social and economic ties with Sri Lanka, Prime Minister’s Office said.

Ambassador Chung said that the United States will help keep the Sri Lankan economy strong in the face of the covid-19 epidemic and also expressed confidence that the U.S. would assist in the development of Sri Lanka’s energy and tourism sectors.

The Premier assured that the Government of Sri Lanka will work to maintain the existing relations between the United States and Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister offered congratulations and best wishes to Ms., Chung for success in her new post.

State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya and Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake were also present on the occasion.

Gamini Gunawardane Appointed High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to Republic of South Africa

After my basic education at St. Thomas’ In Matara and Ananda College, Colombo, I entered University of Ceylon at Peradeniya. Got a B. Sc. First Class (1965). Served as an Assistant Lecturer in Physics at University of Ceylon Colombo (1966) and an Assessor at the Inland Revenue Department (1966-1970).

Thereafter, did an MBA at then Vidyodaya University (now USJP) and joined that university. In 1972, I was selected for a Fulbright scholarship to USA and completed MBA and Ph. D. at University of Chicago, one of the top ten universities in the world, in 1977.

Thereafter, academic positions in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Zambia and USA and management positions in Sri Lanka and USA. Author of over 20 peer reviewed journal articles and 2 books: Service Management – Concepts, Principles and Applications for Sri Lanka (used in SL universities) and Modern Health Care Marketing (used in US universities).

Received a JD degree and was admitted to the California Bar as an attorney at law (1998).

President SLAASC (1988). Also served as an officer in the Sri Lankan army, Ceylon Light Infantry (v).

Invited gust lectures at U of Auckland, Economics Institute, Bangkok, and Universities of Moratuwa, Sri Jayewardenepura, Colombo and Ruhuna.

In November, HE President Gotabaya Rajapakse appointed me High Commissioner to Republic of South Africa, concurrently accredited to Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho and Swaziland/Eswatini. I will be assuming duties in March.

My main focus in this position will be developing stronger relationships between South Africa (a key member of the African Union) and Sri Lanka, including a possible preferential trade agreement currently planned by the Ministry of Trade, and several other projects (some already in progress through my Commerce Secretary) to increase exports of goods and services, and tourism (in association with the Export Development Board, Tourist Board, BOI, Port City Authority and the Chamber of Commerce all of whom I met recently in Colombo). Also seek the support of some of these ten countries who are members of (Namibia and Malawi), or active, in the UNHRC, to understand and appreciate Sri Lanka’s position and actions in this field.

I am married to Shirani, and we have a son Sajindra, a lawyer; a daughter Shalini, a CMA, and two grandchildren.

Video Attached! US Ambassador Designate to Sri Lanka, H.E Julie Chung meets for a Virtual Engagement with the Sri Lankan American Community hosted by SLF International, USA

The Sri Lankan American Community had the privilege to meet with the United States Ambassador Designate to Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Her Excellency, Julie Chung, for a Virtual Engagement hosted by the Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA on Friday, February 11th, 2022 at 12.00pm, PST.

A Warm Welcome and a note of gratitude was extended by Keshini Wijegoonaratna, the Director of Project Management and Public Relations of SLF to the US Ambassador Designate, H.E Julie Chung for this opportunity and also to the Panel of speakers, and handed over the platform to Shirani Stanislaus, the Chief Operating Officer to do the formal introduction of Ambassador Designate to invite her to deliver her opening remarks.

Ambassador Designate Chung started her remarks by saying,”I want to share with you and hear from all of you today, to hear your thoughts to leverage partnerships between Sri Lankan American community and the Embassy in Colombo to further support and to form bilateral friendship and relationship”. Furthermore Ambassador Chung continued to say that United States and Sri Lanka has collaborated in a wide range of areas and she is very interested to grow that partnership further. See attached link for full details of her remarks.

Dr Walter Jayasinghe, the Chairman of the Board of SLF International, USA shared words of appreciation to Ambassador Chung for meeting with the Sri Lankan American community and extended his support to work closely with the Embassy for the betterment of both countries.

The presentations of the panel of speakers were next in the program and Sanje Sedara started out by discussing the initiatives of the Sri Lanka America Chamber of Commerce plans to facilitate and enhance the bilateral trade and commerce between the United States and Sri Lanka, Dr Nirmalani Gunawardana clearly outlined the Educational Projects, followed by Dr Schiro Withanachi elaborated further requesting assistance, Thusitha De Silva was very appreciative for the opportunity to discuss his success stories as well his challenges obtaining visa’s for artists, Lucky Rajasinghe shared the information on Covid Relief Efforts and the support rendered by the US Government to distribute 3.4million Pfizer Vaccinations to Sri Lanka, Navaratnam Nandakumaran who represented the Tamil Community mainly talked about peace and unity among all Sri Lankans, Rohan Sourjah discussed his projects executed in Sri Lanka by the Muslim Community and lastly Andy Samarasena proudly presented his success in the movie business and requested assistance for further assistance to increase corporation from the US Embassy in Colombo to expand opportunities.

Ambassador Designate, H.E Chung responded positively with very encouraging words to each of the Panelists by giving them assurance to work on the projects presented to increase corporation from the US Embassy.

The program ended successfully in a timely manner with the Vote of Thanks by the President/CEO, Dr Dishan Jayasinha of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, USA.

Received many positive feedback from the attendees as well as questions and concerns to be forwarded to Ambassador Designate Chung of areas of projects.

Click the link below to watch the complete program:
https://youtu.be/3MgG1W8SCOs

To Felicitate Dr. Gamini Gunawardane & Dr. Lalith Chandradasa By ACOBA of West Coast, USA



About this event:
To Felicitate Dr. Gamini Gunawardane on his appointment as the High Commissioner to South Africa and to Welcome Dr. Lalith Chandradasa as the Consul General to Los Angeles. Event Highlights: Open to public , Felicitation, Lunch, Fellowship, Music, singing and Dancing.

Dress: Smart Casual

Proof of Covid-19, Vaccination is required to attend the event. Attendees need to wear a mask at all times except when having drinks & meals.

Tickets will not be sold at the entrance.
For any clarifications please contact – 909 223 5866
562 841 1376
909 730 2847
See link below to purchase tickets:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/to-felicitate-dr-gamini-gunawardane-dr-lalith-chandradasa-tickets-267287442937