Dear Dr. Jay, Dishan, and Shirani,
The attached article published in your web site was brought to our attention by members of the community. The Article contains misleading, and inaccurate information.
SLF Article states : “There has always been only the Independence Day Celebration organized by the Consulate Generals Office of Sri Lanka until last year”
Above statement is not an accurate statement. In year 2010, during the economic downturn, the Consul General Office backed out from the event, and Serendib Foundation continued producing the event with the donations from the community, under our signature title “”මාතෘභූමී වන්දනා – Tribute to our Motherland” . I’ve attached 4 pictures of 2010 event which shows the event was hosted by Serendib Foundation.
The entire Southern California Sri Lankan community is aware of Serendib Foundation’s contribution towards this event since year 2008, but you may not be aware, we have made significant contributions to this project with our production expertise, and as well as financially.
We went through several challenges in 2015, due to government change and then Deputy Foreign Minister, Hon. Ajith Perera instructed us to hold the event without the Consulate as a community event. We continued to follow same direction in 2016. We invited the Acting Consul General and staff to attend the event as distinguished guests in 2015, and we plan to do the same in 2016.
Since the initial response from the major donors was poor, we notified the cancellation to choreographers, production team and donors. We never cancelled the auditorium. We started working on staging the event on a revised budget, as children who were in the performing teams expressed the willingness to raise money through various fundraisers. On 12/26/2015 and 12/28/2015, “Lanka Vitthi” and “Sri Lanka America Association” contacted us by e-mail and by phone respectively, to find out the status of the event. We informed both parties, Serendib Foundation will host it in 2016. We managed to get the event back on track by 12/30/2015, and we informed our group of donors including Dr. Jayasinghe at 10:53 AM on 12/30/2015, we will be continuing with the event as planned, prior to Sri Lanka Foundation’s e-mail on 12/30/2015 at 5:33 pm informing, SLF is planning to host the event.
During this community turmoil created, due to two events, I’ve advised my production team to be transparent and accurate with the information they are providing to the community. My team has been very honest in responding to any inquiries from the community members, and we’re trying to conduct our event ethically and professionally .
We are disappointed that a reputed organization like Sri Lanka Foundation, had chosen to publish information without fact checking the history of this event, which is detrimental to our organization’s name. Please correct the information published in the article on your web site and give the same level of publicity as for your original article.
We will inform Mr. Malraj De Silva, on the section of the article, mentioning about him, for his reference and response.
Medini Ratnayake – President Serendib Foundation for Music & Performing Arts 626-627-2879