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Sri Lanka Foundation International Awards 2024

May 1, 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 in his inimitable style: “This is a day for winners,” he said. “There are no losers here!” A surprise award was then presented to Dr. Jayasinghe by special guest Mr. Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, an immense honor in recognition of his unrivaled contributions. An inspiring traditional dance presentation by members of the Academy of Performing Arts came next, and then it was on to the main event, the awards themselves.

Achala Weerasinghe and Sajeevani Perera served as Masters of Ceremony while awards were presented to the winners. As each recipient took the stage, they spoke about their unique journeys and the powerful connection they felt to their motherland, Sri Lanka. Each awardee had traveled a different path, but their shared cultural heritage led them all here. Once a delicious lunch was served and the awards concluded, a fabulous fashion show displaying the work of Kushan Jayasinghe was presented by Achala Weerasinghe. When the models took to the catwalk, it was another reminder of the abundance of creative talent from our small island nation. No Sri Lankan event would be complete without music and dancing, which was the next order of business. The popular band, Heat, brought the crowd to the floor as the celebration continued late into the afternoon.

As another successful Sri Lankan International Awards event enters the history books, it’s important to reflect on the inspiration behind this ongoing tradition. For over two decades, the awards have paid tribute to Sri Lankan expatriates from all over the world who have excelled in their fields. After collecting nominations from diverse parts of the globe, a rigorous verification process follows and applicants are judged by a panel of highly qualified anonymous judges who make the final decisions. The extraordinary individuals honored by the Sri Lanka Foundation deserve to be recognized for their hard work, their achievements, and the impact they have made on the world. Their struggles and successes serve as inspiration for future generations, proof that nothing stands in the way of their dreams. Bringing our community together to honor our best and brightest is a proud tradition for the Foundation. We look forward to many more celebrations of Sri Lankan excellence and cannot wait to see what the future brings.

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