Archives

President Biden appoints SL-born Dr. Ashani Weerarathne to US National Cancer Board….

John Hopkins scientist Ashani Weerarathne, Ph.D., a leading cancer researcher who is specialized in melanoma and the effects of aging on cancer has been appointed by President Joe Biden to the National Cancer Advisory Board. Ashani Tanuja Weeraratna is a Sri Lankan-born American, a ground breaking cancer researcher and she is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor. She currently serves as a co-leader at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Johns Hopkins, and a professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

She was born Sri Lankan and was raised in Lesotho in Africa. She stepped on USA for the first time in 1988 to study biology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She earned her doctoral degree in Molecular and Cellular oncology at the Department of Pharmacology of George Washington University.

Currently, in the world Cancer has become leading cause of death despite progress in prevention, early diagnosis and breaking therapies. Dr. Ashani is one of the pioneering researchers to study how the aging microenvironment affects metastasis and therapy resistance. She is the President of the Society of Melanoma Research.

Succeeding in the competitive world of Science as women scientist is kind of inspiration to the women who are engaged in STEM and for Sri Lanka, she is a true gem who can improve the living standards of the human kind on the world.

“Heights by great men and women reach and kept were not attained by sudden flight but they, while their companions slept, toiling upward in the night”
-Henry Wordsworth-
More information on
http://www.dailynews.lk

Professor Malik Peiris from Sri Lanka and Professor Yuen Kwok-Yung awarded the ‘Life Science Prize’ under the 2021 Future Science Prize….

Sri Lanka Foundation Intl, USA 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Hong Kong-based scientists Kwok-Yung Yuen and Sri Lanka’s Joseph Sriyal Malik Peiris won the prize in life sciences in the 2021 Future Science Prize, alias ‘China’s Nobel Prize’ for their major discoveries of SARS-CoV-1 as the causative agent of the global SARS outbreak in 2003 with impact on combating COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases.

The Future Science Prize is a privately funded science honor established by a group of widely known and esteemed scientists and entrepreneurs in 2016, aiming at recognizing scientific breakthroughs and innovations in China with long-term significance to the world. The prize is given in three categories with $1 million for each award, namely the Life Science Prize, Physical Science Prize, and Mathematics and Computer Science Prize.

The science committee of the prizes consisted of 23 illustrious scientists, is at the heart of the award selection. Mau-Chung Frank Chang, chairman of the committee, said that the nomination and selection of the prize proceeded similarly to the Nobel Prize system, in which the committee invites international experts as nominators and then solicits evaluation letters from experts in relevant fields of the nominated work. Based on the evaluations, the committee then votes to select the final award winners.

As Sri Lankans, it is a proud moment for us as Professor Malik Peiris is a SL-born renowned Pathologist and virologist at the University of Hong Kong. He was graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, and was awarded the Commonwealth scholarship to pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Oxford. Mother Sri Lanka would definitely become proud of her gem Prof. Malik who is committed to making the lives of humans better on the earth and the world a better place.

More information on
http://www.dailynews.lk

Sri Lanka: A Hidden Gem for Global services hosted by SLASSCOM

Date – 29th September 2021 at 7.00 – 8.00 PM EDT, 4.00 – 5.00 PM PDT (30th September 4.30 AM IST)

Explore opportunities and gain insights to the Global Business Services/BPM industry represented by expert panellists from Board of Investment Sri Lanka, SLASSCOM and London Stock Exchange Group followed by a Q & A session.

Target Audience: Venture capitalists, consultants, CXOs and industry professionals with offshore capability or evaluating offshore delivery. Learn the compelling value propositions and key attributes of Island of Ingenuity.


Register Now:https://slasscom.glueup.com/event/sri-lanka-a-hidden-gem-for-global-services-43156/

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. .

https://island.lk/us-foreign-affairs-committee-member-dina-titus-advocates-stronger-us-sri-lanka-bonds/?fbclid=IwAR03u1oSEa9taxhLS2086Ov_dS-S5zK_JKfaXJmbBjrwREWDn_6wbpG4iKk

https://island.lk/sri-lanka-expatriates-reach-us-congress-for-military-mobile-medical-units/?fbclid=IwAR3vob0zg5wwreJX1JEQ4ycoEcVw3SUCON6GUTCVSfs_AiAAp4QoyKApBuM

URGENTLY NEEDED 25 OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS DISTRIBUTED TO THE RURAL AREA HOSPITALS BY SLF & OTHER SL ORGANIZATIONS

SL ORGANIZATIONS IN Southern California, GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR DONATION!!!!!

On September 4th, 2021 two lorries carrying urgently needed 25 Oxygen Concentrator’s took off to the hospitals in the rural areas in Sri Lanka for distribution. The rural area hospitals selected for the long awaited Oxygen Supply were Maslkeliya, Dickoya, Tricomalee, Meeghatanna, Karapitiya, Dankotuwa, Peradeniya and Thellapillai.

This project was funded by the Sri Lanka Foundation, Sri Lanka America Association, Sri Lanka Muslim Association, St Joseph’s College Old Boys Association, Ananda College Old Boys Association, Holy Family Convent Past Pupils Association, Methodist College Past Pupils Association and other generous individuals in Southern California.

We continue our efforts to raise more funds as we are now preparing to distribute 500 Pulse Oximeters and more Oxygen Concentrator’s to other rural area hospitals that are in crucial need to save lives.

If you wish to donate to this worthy cause please contact the following individuals:

Keshini Wijegoonaratna: 213-400-7705
Lucky Rajasinghe: 909-730-2847
Samantha Kurera:951-963-1030
Rakshita Dissanayaka: 562-254-4865
Rohan Sourjah: 310-567-8894
Rahim Mantara: 909-223-5866
Dushyantha Kurera: 909-974-9199


See attached Zelle Account for easy transfer:
Zelle Account Information

SLF Intl, Other Non Profits, School Organizations and Individuals in Southern California Community Join Hands to Provide urgent Medical Equipment to SAVE LIVES!!!

Sri Lanka Foundation Intl USA, Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California, Ananda College Old Boys Association, St Joseph’s College Old Boys Association and Holy Family Convent Past Pupils Association with many individuals in Southern California have come together to raise funds to provide most urgently needed Medical Equipment to the Hospitals in the Rural Areas.

Donations started to pour in and within less than a week the collection exceeded over $120,000. The following hospitals in the rural areas have been identified such as Dickoya, Maskeliya, Tricomalee, Dankotuwa, Meeghatanna, Peradeniya, Karapitiya and Tellapillai to deliver 3 to 4 Oxygen Concentrator’s which includes a two year warranty, installation and servicing. This is scheduled to go out in the next 24 to 48 hours.

After the completion of this project, we have over 15 other hospitals identified in the rural areas to deliver Oxygen Concentrator’s which awaits the next shipment to arrive.

We are extremely thankful to all the donors for their generous donations. All developments of the project will be posted on the website.

SLF Platform, One of a Kind, Never Seen Before!!!!!! Register Now

SRI LANKA FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL USA PRESENTS FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME A VIRTUAL PLATFORM, NEVER SEEN BEFORE IN THIS MAGNITUDE.

WE ARE PROUD TO SHOWCASE INTERNATIONALLY THE CULTURAL PERFORMANCES, CORPORATE SPONSORS, SRI LANKAN VENDORS, ALL UNITED USING OUR VIRTUAL PLATFORM WITH GLOBAL ATTENDEES.

WE ARE EXCITED TO SHARE THAT ATTENDEES CAN ALSO CHAT WITH THEIR FRIENDS, FAMILY, VENDORS AND ALL OTHER ATTENDEES WITHIN THE NETWORKING LOUNGE.

ALL THESE FEATURES IN ONE PLATFORM!!!!!!!

DON’T MISS OUT!!!! REGISTER NOW ON: slfplatform.org

RELAX FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME AND ENJOY!!!!!!

IN THE AUDITORIUM!!!!!!!! FIVE HOURS OF CULTURAL PERFORMANCES FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD. LIVE MC’S WILL CONDUCT A QUIZ TO GIVE AWAY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS WORTH OF PRIZES!!!!!!

IN THE EXHIBITION HALL!!!!! SRI LANKA SPONSORS AND VENDORS SHOWCASING OVER 100 PRODUCTS.

IN THE NETWORKING LOUNGE!!!!!CHAT WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD.

For more information contact:
Keshini Wijegoonaratna- 213-400-7705 or Achala Weerasinghe-213-400-1662

NEED YOUR SUPPORT ‘NOW’ TO SAVE LIVES IN SRI LANKA – CALL/EMAIL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE



As we are aware since the first case of a Chinese tourist with Covid-19 reported in Sri Lanka in January 2020, Sri Lanka’s response to Covid-19 can be reviewed as provocative. Relevant steps were taken in advance and Sri Lanka was able to hold back the spread till April of 2021, when the restrictions were relaxed.

However, lack of Personal Protection Equipment, a shortage of trained health care providers, unavailability of updated population registers at the local level and lack of consistency in action by the authorities in testing, lackadaisical response to second wave by people and the institution have stood as some of the major challenges to the country’s response to the current situation. Sri Lanka was unable to secure much needed Covid-19 vaccination due to India’s struggles with the pandemic.

Sri Lanka is adding up 2196 new Covid-19 cases a day while, losing 52 people a day. To date Sri Lanka had 246,109 Covid-19 cases and total deaths of 2,769. Sri Lanka has 11,447 Covid-19 infections and 129 deaths per one million population. Sri Lanka has the highest weekly death averages per million people in the region with 2.49 deaths (52 deaths a day), Compared to Maldives with 2.11 deaths, India with 1.27 deaths, Bangladesh with 0.39 deaths, Pakistan with 0.16 deaths. United States has a weekly death average of 0.89 deaths. On April 26, 2021, Sri Lanka Weekly death average per million was 0.18 Deaths. Eek ago, Sri Lanka had a weekly death average of 3.44, which was one of the highest in the world.

Currently Sri Lanka is losing nearly 52-60 everyday people. We all are at the risk of loosing our relatives and close friends in our motherland. Only solution is to obtain more vaccines. As we are currently shut out of vaccines from India (due to their own struggles), Sri Lanka’s only hope remains with vaccines from US and from China. Currently we have about 600,000 people who have got vaccinated with COVISHEILD (AstraZeneca) vaccine and not being able to get their second vaccine due to unavailability of the AstraZeneca Vaccine. USA has about 500 million doses of AstraZeneca doses and Biden Administration is planning to distribute them globally.

Latest communication indicates that approximately 16 million doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine being allocated for Asia to the following countries: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Cambodia, and the Pacific Islands. Population wise of the countries on the above list, Sri Lanka is only ahead of Bhutan, Maldives, Papua New Guinea and Pacific Island, thus our vaccine allocation needs to be made on our alarming death rate.

We need to make a push to obtain as many vaccines as possible to Sri Lanka. This can only be done by the Sri Lankan American Citizens calling their Congressmen/Women. We need everyone of you to call to save lives.

Firstly – Please call/email your congressman/woman today and leave/send a message. A guide on how to call and what to say is attached.

How to call your representative

Secondly – If you wish, please make a donation of $ 10.00 0r more for COVID-19 Relief Funds to one of the following trusted organizations:

Sri Lanka Foundation at:
https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KY287N6MD8ZJ8

Sri Lanka America Association at:
https://paypal.me/SLAASC?locale.x=en_US)

Kalubowila HDU: A heartfelt gift from the people to the people

By Kumudini Hettiarachch

With the hospital seeing a flood of COVID-19 positives by late April and five wards being dedicated to treat patients, healthcare staff go beyond their call of duty to fulfil a critical need


The need of humble men and women hit by the rampaging virus was dire and the response has been commendable.

Next week, the Colombo South (Kalubowila) Teaching Hospital which has been going from strength to strength, opens a state-of-the-art, 20-bed High Dependency Unit (HDU) for COVID-19 patients, with an estimated value of Rs. 150 million

A heartfelt gift from the people to the people, with the healthcare staff going beyond their call of duty to fulfil a critical need!

The HDU ensconced within the main hospital complex is a-bustle with activity, while the other services of this tertiary care hospital continue in these troubled pandemic times.

The Kalubowila Hospital got into the active treatment of COVID-19 patients as the New Year pokura (cluster) from the third wave went higher and higher and ambulances, red lights flashing, drove in frequently.

“One particular day, we had 180 patients,” explains Acting Director Dr. Pradeep Wijesinghe, reliving those tense moments when they were isolating these patients in the medical wards, having shifted the usual patients to other wards.

By late April, they were seeing a flood of COVID-19 positives and had dedicated five of their usual wards, about 230 beds, bringing about many changes in the infrastructure.


Soon to open: State-of-the-art 20-bed High Dependency Unit for COVID-19 patients

Usually the ‘catchment’ area of the 1,100-bed Kalubowila Hospital managed by around 400 doctors and 800 nurses, is very wide – ranging from Homagama to Padduka, with transfers even coming from Avissawella and in the other direction encompassing Piliyandala to Panadura.

With the staff seeing many COVID-19 patients needing oxygen and close attention, 10 beds had been demarcated as a high dependency section.

It was then in early May that both administrators and clinicians sat down and brainstormed amidst their taxing schedules and decided that they needed an HDU but would not burden the Health Ministry with requests to provide funding.

Getting the blessings of Health Services Director-General Dr. Asela Gunawardena (who was the hospital’s former Director), the clinicians and administrators banded themselves as a ‘Donation Coordinating Committee’. They tapped into their wide network of colleagues, friends and well-wishers both in Sri Lanka and abroad (United States of America, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, West Asia and more) and also social media, to help make this ‘need’ of the humble people of the country, a ‘reality’.

Slowly and surely, the funds flowed in and Dr. Wijesinghe is quick to point out that the committee did not handle a single cent, they only played the role of ‘matchmaker’.

Having on hand, a ‘List of Requirements’ of the ‘infrastructure’ and ‘equipment’, the committee systematically matched a donation to the need, asking the donor to deal directly with the agents providing these services.

There is a poignant moment when the Sunday Times is told that two cleaners had put Rs. 2,000 each from their precious savings, while the biggest single donation had been Rs. 10.3 million.

The committee had also been “very moved” when groups they had never imagined, such as schoolchildren who pooled their pocket money, small groups, old boys of schools, clubs, voluntary organizations, big and small, gave donations straight from the heart.

In one voice, the Donation Coordinating Committee waxes eloquent on the unstinting support provided by the Navy, with its personnel seeing it as a labour of love, starting early morn and working late into the night.

On Wednesday, when the Sunday Times visited the hospital numerous Navy personnel were going about hither and thither, some up on ladders or gently telling us not to step into that room as the special floor tiles had just been laid, while the krrrr-sound of cutters filled our ears.

Earlier, the Donation Coordinating Committee had gone around looking for a 4,000-litre oxygen tank, found it in a health institution which did not require it as urgently as the hospital, negotiated with the Health Ministry and brought it here, to occupy the garden adjacent to the HDU.

Less than six weeks after the idea was mooted, the HDU awaits its first patients – to treat, cure and send back home.


The 4,000-litre oxygen tank occupies the garden adjacent to the HDU

By:Sunday Times

Project Completed in Laggala & Mawathagama Hospitals implemented by OSL Network in Florida!

Thank you to everyone who donated to this project.

We are the Overseas Sri Lankan Network (OSL), a network of Sri Lankans who live all across Florida.

As of now we have members from four major Floridian cities: Miami, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach. We are working to expand to other cities and create more prospective members.

Today we are using this OSL network in collaboration with our fellow Sri Lankan physicians living in Florida to help Sri Lanka’s current COVID-19 situation by initiating to send some most needed PPE and medical equipment for example: HIPAA machines, Non rebreather oxygen masks with reservoir bags, High flow Oxygen concentrators, BIPAP machines, 3M surgical mask, pulse oximeters, non-contact infrared thermometers etc. to our front line workers and some disposable masks to the general public. Here we are requesting our community, for your support and contribution to fund this project by donating any amount you are comfortable with to this good cause.

Our organization started this fundraising campaign in response to the COVID 19 pandemic in Sri Lanka to provide medical equipment. As a North Americ a (Florida) based charitable organization, we will transfer all the funds to the hospitals in Sri Lanka in collaboration with Sri Lanka College of Internal Medicine. Some of the required equipment are given below and we hope you will be able to support our mission.

With these funds, our organization will be able to fund the list given below. As you can see Sri Lanka is in a devastating situation which is decimating the vulnerable. Realtime COVID numbers are given in the link below.

See Link below to donate:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/medical-equipment-to-sri-lanka-for-covid19/widget/large

https://gofund.me/473e5471