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.

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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

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Queen’s Baton to arrive in Sri Lanka prior to Commonwealth Games

The Queen’s Baton will be taken across 72 countries ahead of the 22nd Commonwealth Games that will begin in Birmingham, England on the 28th of July 2022.

The baton is scheduled to be brought to Sri Lanka on the 3rd of January 2022 with an event held at Independence Square in Colombo.

It will be taken across several parts of Sri Lanka including Kandy until the 6th of January 2022.

Suresh Subramaniam, President of the National Olympic Committee said, for individual events, they have decided to only select athletes who can win. He said there are some team sports in which they are unable to win medals despite gaining a qualification and they assume that they will be allowed to compete because they have qualified. The final decision will be taken on the 31st of January. Subramaniam noted that it’s unfortunate to the teams that are selected only a month before the event and he decided that this can’t continue, so the pools will be selected six months earlier, as well as athletes, will be drafted into the team from those pools.

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Congresswoman Susie Lee meets with H.E Ambassador and Community Leaders from Nevada & California

On December 14th, 2021, H.E Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe, Hon Consul General, Dr Lalith Chandradasa, Sanje Sedara, the President of the Sri Lanka America Association & President of Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce, Keshini Wijegoonaratna, the Director of Project Management and Public Relations of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, Lucky Rajasinghe, Daya Gamage, met with the staff of the Congressional District office of the Congresswoman Susie Lee on a zoom meeting to discuss how Sri Lanka is preparing to handle the next wave of virus, and the economic impact Sri Lanka is facing due to Covid, and how US can play a role in the recovery process. The meeting was initiated by Sanje Sedara of Nevada.

Congresswoman Susie Lee from Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District is dedicated to serve the people of Sri Lanka to assist the prevention of the spreading of the Omicron virus by providing vaccinations from US for the booster shots. H.E Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe informed of the current situation Sri Lanka is faced with and how US could play a big part in the recovery process.

Sanje Sedara stressed the importance of working together and keeping the congress informed. He invited Keshini Wijegoonaratna to share additional information of urgent requests from the medical staff in Sri Lanka who are monitoring the situation of the Omicron Virus closely.

Congresswoman Susie Lee’s remarks in conclusion of the meeting was that she will work on the requests and to provide with further details of the current developments.

See Attached Video, President addressed the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday left the country for the United States to attend the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, his office said in a statement.

This is President Rajapaksa’s first foreign conference he will take part in outside the country and it is also his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.

President Rajapaksa is expected to address the General Assembly and is also expected to hold bilateral discussions with several heads of state during the session, the statement said.

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See below link attached:

Congresswoman Dina Titus meets with Community Leaders in Nevada & California to discuss COVID Relief Efforts

On September 9th, 2021 the Hon Consul General, Dr Lalith Chandradasa, Sanje Sedara, The President of the Sri Lanka America Association of Las Vegas, Samantha Kurera, President of the Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California, Keshini Wijegoonaratna, the Director of Project Management and Public Relations of the Sri Lanka Foundation International, Lucky Rajasinghe, Daya Gamage, Dushyantha Kurera along with the staff of the Congressional District office of the Congresswoman Dina Titus met on a zoom meeting to discuss further details of COVID Relief efforts in Sri Lanka.

Congresswoman Dina Titus from Nevada’s 1st Congressional District is the strongest ally Sri Lankan Americans have in the Congress. As the Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus of Sri Lanka she always stood for the best interest of the people of Sri Lanka. As recently as last month, Congresswoman Titus was instrumental in getting 1.5 million doses of Covid -19 vaccines to Sri Lanka and currently advocating the US government to provide much needed medical aid to Sri Lanka.

See links below letters written to the Department of State and the response from the Department of State.

Letter to Sec. Blinken on COVID in Sri Lanka (3)

Response from State to Sri Lanka COVID letter 9-2-21 (2)

See links below to recent articles published in Island News Paper about the Congresswoman’s involvement with Sri Lanka. .

Russia Granted Three Flights per Week to SriLankan Airines

The aviation regulatory body of the Federation of Russia, Federal Air Transport Agency Russia (FATAR) has granted three flights per week to SriLankan Airlines. SriLankan airlines resumed scheduled weekly flights on 30th of July 2021 to Moscow and the negotiations were held parallel to this occasion. During the discussion of Sri Lanka bilateral relations, the Sri Lanka delegation skillfully negotiated by securing three weekly flights instead of approved two between Colombo to the Russian Capital Moscow.

Upul Dharmadasa, Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, Alexander V Neradko, Director General of FATAR, Vipula Goonathilaka, Chief Executive Officer of SriLankan Airlines and senior officers of FATAR attended the negotiations.

U.S. donates over 1.5 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka — The U.S. has donated over 1.5 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Sri Lanka. These vaccines, delivered through COVAX, will save lives and increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage essential to ending the pandemic.

“These vaccines are given at no cost to the Government of Sri Lanka as part of America’s commitment to ending the global pandemic and our enduring partnership with the people of Sri Lanka. They will help Sri Lankans get back to work and to stay healthy, a gift we make in reflection of the long-standing friendship between the United States and Sri Lanka,” said Alaina Teplitz, the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives. “Our partnership with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, UNICEF, and other global COVAX partners to deliver these vaccines is critical to controlling the pandemic, slowing the emergence of new variants, and helping to restart the global economy.”

This vaccine delivery builds on the United States government’s ongoing leadership on global vaccination efforts as the world’s largest donor to COVAX. The 1.5 million doses delivered to the Sri Lankan Government today are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to providing equitable global access to safe and effective vaccines. As noted by the White House, “Our vaccines do not come with strings attached. We are doing this with the singular objective of saving lives.”

COVAX is a platform that provides safe, effective, and high-quality WHO-authorized COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world. As the global leader in public health assistance and the largest single donor supporting COVAX, the U.S. has already donated $2 billion to the program to combat the pandemic.

The United States has worked closely with Sri Lanka since the pandemic began to protect public health, providing over $8 million in emergency supplies and critical services, plus an in-kind donation of 200 ventilators, to support the Sri Lankan Government’s response to the pandemic. This assistance has reached millions of people in all 25 districts and nine provinces of Sri Lanka to control the spread of COVID-19, address the urgent health needs of the Sri Lankan people, mitigate the pandemic’s negative economic impacts, and ultimately save lives.

The U.S. is committed to leading the global response to this pandemic, not only because this will keep people safe, but because it is the right thing to do. These doses are delivered in coordination with COVAX, in partnership with Sri Lankan government. We are proud to partner with Sri Lanka to build back a better world.