Welcome to Our Website

This website is about Sri-Lankan Americans, who are naturalized citizens of the US, or those born to them in the US Sri-Lankans are a multi-ethnic, diverse group of people-Singhalese, Tamils, Moors (Muslims), Burghers, and other of various religious denominations- Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians living together for many centuries.

Vision Statement:
The Unifying voice between President Obama, Sri-Lankan Americans, and the people of Sri- Lanka.

Mission Statement:
The Sri-Lankan Americans for President Obama seeks to foster a spirit of cooperation and harmony among all the people of the United States and the people of Sri-Lanka. We embrace the ideals of love, brotherhood, and non-violence to benefit the US and to free our brothers and sisters in Sri-Lanka from the vicious cycle of hate, bigotry, and extremism. We enlist educational and religious leaders to propagate social justice and peace. Finally, we a factual resource for accurate, unbiased information on the current situation in Sri-Lanka, and dedicated to the principles of the Rule of Law, Transparency, and Accountability.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Secretary General of the UN and his Reccommendations re; Sri Lanka

According to the Charter of the UN ,Chapter XV ,article 98 and 99 , your powers are well enumerated; The SG may bring to the attenetion of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintainence of international peace and security.

You are also entitled to have any advisor or advisors you choose to appoint to advise you on any matter you deem fit. However the reccommendations of those advisors are for you to make your next move,and that is to call upon the Security Council of the UN to deliberate on those matters.However you are not entitled to harrass soverign nations on any matter that is brought to your attention.

We the Sri-Lankan Americans kindly call upon you to seize and desist.

Thank you, With warm regards,

Dr. C. Kumarlal Fernando. Chairman

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Commemorating 2600 years of Buddhism.

The 2600th anniversay of the Lord Buddha's attainment of enlightment falls on the full moon day of May, 2011 .Although the annual celebration of Vesak, the most sacrted day in the Buddhist calendar commemarating the three-fold coincidence of the birth, attainment of enlightment and the passing away of Gauthama Buddha falls on this day,this year it is uniquly signifcant as it is also the 2600th year of his enlightment.In this era where the world is confronted with many conflicts and natural and man-made calamities , the Buddhist Doctrine of non-violence ,understanding,compassion and peace holds hope for humanity. The United Nations, by General Assembly Resolution 54/115 of 2000 , officially recognized the International Day of Vesak .This day is commemorated annually at the UN Headquaters and its worldwide offices ,the unique feature being that each year a different Permanant Mission to the UN hosts the event,complete with religious and cultural events,with the cooperation of other Member States. This year, the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York is honored to host the commemorative events for Day of Enlightment and the Day of Vesak. On 16th May 2011,the commemoration commences at 7.30 a.m. with an offering of Alms to 150 Buddhist monks from all over the world at the Dag Hammarskjold Park, opposite to the UN headquarters.A session of the UN General Assembly will then be convened at the UN General Assembly on the significance of the event ,followed by an interfaith dialogue.Dignitaries invited include, the Secretary General,The President of the General Assembly and all the Permanent Representatives of Member States.Buddhist Scholars and Monks of various nationalities are expected to attend ,as well as religious leaders of other world religions. From May 21st to May 27th Traditional Buddhist arts and artefacts from various countries will be on display at the Lobby to the UN General Aeeembly. On 21st May 2011,a Buddhist Procession depicting tradional and Buddhist dances will take place from 57th to 47th street along 2nd Avenue and end at the Dag Hammerarskjold Park,which will be followed by a tradional food festival. All are invited to participate in all these events.For further information please contact the Permanent Mission to The UN, in New York and the Buddhist Temple in Queens ,NY.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

We Support the President!

We have decided to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa to be President of Sri Lanka for the next six years.

We believe it is in the best interest of Sri Lanka, and the World at large, that he be elected again for the following reasons:

1. He defeated a ruthless enemy after 30 years of war,and without his focus and vision this should not have been possible.

2. As a Sri Lankan national, the President has the support of the majority Singhalese, and hence he and he alone and bring about a resolution to the on going Tamil problem. We believe the President has the support of the people of Sri Lanka to bring about implementing the 13th Amendment, thereby making peace with the Tamils of Sri Lanka and above all the Indian Government, whom he has promised to get this amendment finalized.

3. We strongly commend the President for standing against all the foreign powers who would have negotiated with the Tamil Tigers, even when the Tigers were on the verge of defeat. That we believe was bravery of the highest order, and we all salute him for his independent stance against the foreign Western Powers.

4. We strongly believe for the advancement of Sri Lanka, all the actions of the Government should be transparent and accountable. We strongly urge the Government of Sri Lanka to take all actions for swift punishment against those involved in the assassination of journalists, and allow journalist access to all government matters.

5. We also implore on the President to make sure the Sri Lankan Government adequately screens foreign NGO's prior to be given permission for entry, and that their activities are closely monitored.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Repairing US - Sri Lankan Relations: A review of the SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE REPORT


December 10, 2009


- By Dayan Jayatilleka

As a citizen of Sri Lankaand a political scientist by vocation, hardly a day passes when I do not envy the American people for the high intelligence of their political leadership and policy elites, the capacity for self-correction ensured by the functioning of their democratic political institutions, and the transparent, accountable, democratic and participatory character of their civic culture. (I didn’t feel this way during the Bush years of course).

One of the most superbly impressive of these institutions is the US Senate’s powerful Committee on Foreign Relations. That body has just issued a report dated Dec 7th, 2009, entitled Sri Lanka: Re-charting US Strategy after the War. Bearing the signatures of two of the most respected and influential USSenators, John Kerry and Richard Lugar, Democrat and Republican, it is an admirable combination of Realism and principle, balancing US interests with US values. Its sheer analytical intelligence and lucidity of perspective and presentation are in stark and welcome contrast with the preachy platitudes that pass for political and policy debate in Sri Lanka be it in the institutions or the public domain.

The Report shows that Sri Lankahas made its point. We didn’t blink, and fought the war to a victorious finish, using our friends to balance off the efforts of the West to secure a truce. Our balance of power strategy and countervailing efforts succeeded. The USunderestimated us, miscalculated. However – and this is crucial – the US has the “smarts” to strive to re-set the relationship, given its strategic interests. It also lets Sri Lanka know what its views, opinions and parameters are. The Report educates the USsystem and public opinion what reorientation is needed in US policy so as to best sub-serve US interests. In that sense it is an antidote to the anti-Sri Lankan propaganda of the pro-Tamil Eelam lobby. As importantly, it also seeks to educate the Sri Lankan political elite and opinion makers as to the deal that is on the table.

As someone who played a direct role in defeating a Western attempt to push through a UN resolution inimical to Sri Lanka, I’d strongly suggest we take the deal that is on the table, barring one matter that should be off limits. That is Sri Lanka’s relationship with China. Now it must be stressed that the US Senate Report does not even hint that Sri Lanka should cut back on that relationship, but it signals quite rightly that the USshould not let its own interests go by default and should enter the ring. That’s fine. Given that the Report itself indicates that China’s power of veto forestalled a possible Western move to push a truce through the UN Security Council, none can fault us for recognizing the grand strategic value – perhaps even primacy—of that relationship, on which we cannot and must not compromise, though we must carefully balance our relations with China and India as Madam Bandaranaike and Lakshman Kadirgamar did.

While our relationship with the US cannot be at the expense of our relationship with China, our relationship with China and India cannot be at the expense of each other, and our identification with the rest of the Global south must not be the price we pay for our relationship with the USA, the US Senate Report does not indicate any such zero sum games. Our relationship with the US can dramatically improve at virtually no cost to Sri Lanka, in a multiple sum game.

Our wartime foreign policy was an essentialist one, necessarily balancing off the East against the West and the North against the South. That is no longer necessary. It does not mean that we must dump our friends, shift our tested relationships or unmoor our existential identifications. It does mean that we have to re-balance; re-calibrate our relations, repairing the damage in our relationships with the USA, thereby plugging the gap in our external relations. This would enable us to have a multi-directional (multi-vector) foreign policy, suitable to an increasingly multi-polar global reality.

A powerful, respected segment in Washington DC is ready to reach out to Colombo. Their checklist of concerns (though the word “demand” appears once) is transparent and to my mind possible and positive; unexceptionable and desirable. No international friend of Sri Lanka that I can think of would suggest that we ignore or cold-shoulder it. As I have pointed out before, we have stretched our friends to the point of embarrassment with our confrontationist rhetoric in relation to the Obama administration and there’s not much more mileage to be obtained by staying that course at a time when the equations these friends (China,Russia, India) have with the US under Obama have significantly improved.

Indeed the Report provides a kind of roadmap for domestic reform and re-democratization that a consortium of concerned Sri Lankan citizens should have come up with, but has not so far. The states that supported us when the chips were down have all been urging these reforms on us in private. Thus we may say that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Report would command a broader international consensus on Sri Lankathan Sri Lanka’s own self –perception, claims and rhetoric. Our failure to win a majority of the Commonwealth over to our effort to host the heads of state summit in 2011 and its postponement to 2013 points to our position and predicament.

The Senate report recognizes some vital historical facts: “President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared total victory after government soldiers killed the Tamil Tigers’ leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, and took control of the entire country for the first time since 1983...It was a bitter and hard-fought victory, one of the few instances in modern history in which a terrorist group had been defeated militarily.” (My emphasis- DJ)

It correctly identifies, far better than any election propaganda, the challenges, tasks and programme for post war post –election Sri Lanka:“The war in Sri Lankamay be over, but the underlying conflict still simmers. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Sri Lankais not a post-conflict environment. While the fighting between the Government and the LTTE may have ended, the reasons for the political and social conflict (that also gave rise to youth militancy and armed clash in the 1970s and 1980s) will take time to address. Those root causes must be tackled soon and with a sense of urgency to prevent the country from backsliding”.

Tamil leaders and opinion makers should take note of the clear criticism contained in the Report, which indicates a course correction that should be made by the Tamil polity: “Thirty years of violence have taken a toll on the majority Sinhalese population, giving rise to a siege mentality toward the ethnic Tamil minority. For their part, Tamil leaders have not yet made anticipated conciliatory gestures that might ease government concerns and foster a genuine dialogue”. (My emphasis- DJ)

The Report also has some fascinating snippets-- such as Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s suggestion to the US to “keep up the pressure”. It also contains some discreet signals. While the name of the present Foreign Minister does not appear even once in what is after all a Report of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, one name crops up at least three times, in a clear indication as to who has presented the Sri Lankan case most successfully to the US: Justice Minister Milinda Moragoda.

Author's Profile

Name Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka was Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations at Geneva, Chairman of the Governing body of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Vice President of the Human Rights Council (HRC), Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration, Coordinator of an agenda item of the Conference on Disarmament (CD), was facilitator to negotiate for the Asian Region at the Durban Review Conference and coordinator of the Asian Group of the UNCTAD and the UN HRC. He was Minister of Planning & Youth Affairs in the North-East Provincial Council in Sri Lanka, and is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He obtained a First Class Honors degree in Political Science from the University of Peradeniya, winning the CL Wickremesinghe Prize for best results, an MPhil from the University of Colombo and a PhD from Griffith University, Brisbane. His most recent book is titled Fidel’s Ethics of Violence: The Moral Dimension of the Political Thought of Fidel Castro published by Pluto Press (London) and the University of Michigan Press (Ann Arbor). It was reviewed in the January 09 issue of Chatham House’s International Affairs by Prof Clive Foss of Georgetown’s History Dept, and earlier by the LSE’s Professor Emeritus Sebastian Balfour in the Bulletin of Latin American Research. Dr Jayatilleka’s essay on Che Guevara entitled ‘Che’s Visage on the Shroud of Time’, was featured in Granma, the official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, in its edition of Nov 12/13 2007.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

PPSRI Board Makes Progress on Rehabilitation Centers in Sri Lanka

Positive progress has been made towards the vision of two (2) rehabilitation facilities as Physical/Psycho-Social Rehabilitation Institutes (PPSRI): an Inpatient institute in the Northern Province with 20 beds, and an Outpatient Institute in the Southern Province.

At their Summer meeting, the Physical/Phycho-Social Rehabilitation Institute (PPSRI) Board of Directors decided that the site of the PPSRI facilites should be at a location in the Northern Province as designated by the Government of Sri Lanka.

In addition, the Board has decided to build an outpatient center in the Southern Province in an area designated by the Government of Sri Lanka.

The Board plans to build these Institutes and fully furnish them, including start-up supplies.

Once completed, it is the Board’s intent to hand these over to the Sri Lankan Government to serve the people of Sri Lanka.

“We are only waiting for the land to be designated by the Sri Lankan Government.” said Dr. C. Kumarlal Fernando, President of the PPSRI Board.

The Board also decided to retain “Give2Asia” as the 501.c.3 organization for these projects. Give2Asia will continue to collect all funds and work with the PPSRI Board to build the hospital. Donations will also be available on-line with Pay-Pal.

The Board also decided, for the purposes of transparency, that all expenses incurred by the Board President and other members of the Board towards the hospital project will be purely from their private funds and not from PPSRI funds.

Dr. Fernando and Dr. Menezes have agreed to bear expenses from their own private funds for all administrative expenses and secretarial work.

The PPSRI Board is made up of eighteen (18) prominent members of the Sri Lankan-American community from all across America, including: President Dr. C. Kumarlal Fernando, CEO of Island Rehabilitation Center of Marco Island, Florida; Vice President Dr. Ralph Menezes, MD, former Medical Director of Forest Hospital, Chicago, Illinois; Dr. Jiva Ganepola, MD, Professor of Surgery, Columbia University, New York, NY; Dr. Samuel Tambyraja, MD, Consultant Child Psychiatrist, Cincinnati, OH; Dr. Jayasiri Fernando, MD, Consultant Radiologist, Effingham, IL; Brian Thambi, Managing Director, Pharmaceuticals, Chicago, IL; Manel Samarashinghe, Montessori Instructor, Wilton, CT; Hihal Goonerwardene, President, International Science & Technology Institiute Potomac, MD; Priyan Guneratne, Chief Operating Officer, TF Stor Inc., Denver, CO; Diva Sandrasagra, Princeton, NJ; Mahinda Ranawake, Commissioner, International Visitors Commission, Springfield, IL; Dr. Ahmed Rahm Mowjood, D.O., Consult Physician, Aneheim, CA; Thalif Deen, Editor-in-Chief, IPS UN Journal, New York, NY; Indrajith Obeysekera, Esq., Consul to Kaiser Permanante, San Francisco, CA; Dr. Ananda Guruge, PhD, Former Ambassador for Sri Lanka to the USA, CA; Saliya Abeysekera, Chief Executive Officer, Aqua Regal Inc., Sarasota, FL.