Updated April 25, 2019​ 

Sri Lanka Express

Ramadan greetings from Secretary Tillerson

May 26, 2017

The US State Department issued the following  message from Secretary Rex Tillerson:

On behalf of the United States Department of State, Renda and I sincerely wish Muslims around the world a peaceful and blessed Ramadan.

Ramadan is a month of reverence, generosity, and self-reflection. Most importantly, it is a cherished time for family and friends to gather and give charity to those who are less fortunate. This time reminds us all of the common values of harmony and empathy we hold dear.

I wish all those celebrating a very happy Ramadan Kareem

  Rex Tillerson

Sri Lankan Culinary Show at the Embassy Chef Challenge in Washington

Sri Lanka presented its authentic culinary at the Annual Embassy Chef Challenge held on May 24th at the International Trade Center in the Ronald Regan Building in Washington DC.
At this well attended annual event over 30 Embassy Chefs showcased their culinary talents with food preparation skills and signature delicacies of each country.   
Sri Lanka was represented by the Embassy Chef Anuradha Wijesinghe, who received public compliments for his spicy kottu with chicken curry for its taste and presentation.  All participating Chefs were required to present one pre-prepared food item for sampling and for consumption by visitors.
The Embassy Chef Challenge event was a yet another platform for portraying Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage and attractive tourist sites. At the Sri Lankan culinary stall, an awareness program on Ceylon Cinnamon and Ceylon Tea was conducted which received appreciation by the visitors.  
The Embassy Chef Challenge event organized by the Cultural Tourism DC (CTDC) offers a rare opportunity to showcase authentic food by Embassy affiliated Chefs across oceans during the month of May as a part of month long celebration of international cultural awareness.  (Source: Sri Lanka Embassy)

  Photo credit Sri Lanka Embassy, Washington DC

Vesak greetings from Secretary Tillerson

The US State Department issued the following Vesak Day message from Secretary Rex Tillerson:

"On behalf of the people of the United States of America, I offer our best wishes to all those celebrating Vesak Day.

As Buddhist communities around the world gather, we wish you a joyous remembrance of the birth, enlightenment, and passing of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism. Celebrations on this day symbolize peace, compassion, and goodwill, universal values we all share.

Vesak is celebrated by diverse Buddhist communities worldwide including here in the United States. In honor of Vesak Day, we recognize the enduring contributions to thought, culture, and belief that Buddhism has made for over 2,500 years.

May you all enjoy a peaceful and joyful Vesak."
    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

SL undergrad to receive U.S. award honoring emerging young leaders

SLE News, May 3, 2017

Sri Lankan undergrad Chamathya Fernando will be among
ten young leaders from different countries who will be
honored with the Emerging Young Leaders Award by the
US Department of State, May 4.

Chamathya a student  University of Sri Jayewardenepura,
and other honorees, are being recognized for their
“tenacity and courage to promote conflict resolution
and prevent violence in their communities. Among other
achievements, this year’s group has been instrumental
in reducing crime, expanding civic engagement, improving
education, and promoting interfaith dialogue within
their communities,” the State Department said in a
press release.

Chamathya Fernando has worked on gender based violence
causes in Sri Lanka. She coordinates the “Stop the Violence”
Campaign of Sri Lanka Girls Guide Association (SLGGA) and is a
National Trainer for “Voices against Violence,” an educational curriculum
co-developed by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and UN Women. 

Among her achievements cited by the State Department, in 2016, Chamathya was chosen as the Girl Champion from the Asia Pacific Region for the WAGGGS’s #TeamGirl Campaign for her work under the UN’s development goal for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls. She represented Sri Lanka and WAGGGS as a Youth Delegate at the UN Commission on the Status of Women held in New York. Since 2013, she and her team have reached around 10,000 girls and boys across the country through various activities.

She also focuses on youth issues including education, skills development, reproductive health and rights, and combating racial discrimination and extremism. She helped lead a campaign against violent extremism through which a “Peace Hotline” was established and they organized interfaith dialogues around the country. As Assistant Director of Community Service of the Rotaract Club of National School of Business Management (NSBM) she organized many community service projects.

After participating in advanced leadership training and meetings with U.S. government officials and non-governmental organizations, the honorees will travel to Austin, Texas to participate in professional meetings and engage with their American counterparts. The young leaders will reconvene in Washington, D.C. to share project plans and explore future collaboration. Then, their program will continue in their home communities with mentoring and support through a virtual exchange.
   Chamathya Fernando works on gender-based causes in Sri Lanka