Sri Lanka Express

Is Trump really scrubbing democracy promotion?

USAID’s ongoing invasion of SL civil society: new megabucks “democracy” programs 

Despite widespread speculation that the Trump administration will scrub democracy promotion from US foreign policy  the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Colombo is plowing ahead with grand hegemonic plans.  Under the purported goal of advancing “democratic values and government accountability,” it just added another milestone – a new 8-million-dollar federal grant -- to its roadmap for the takeover of Sri Lankan civil society and doing away with the “nationalist” narrative of the Rajapaksa regime.

Rienzie Edwards:
U.S. slaps new charges

Sri Lankan businessman Rienzi Edwards who calls himself a "proud patron" of St. Anthony's soup kitchen and whose wife Punya Edwards donated Rs. 1 million to Karu Jayasuriya to build homes for the poor is being charged in the US with using homelessness to scam investors.

In a superseding indictment filed August 31 in a United States federal court, a grand jury added new charges against Edwards and his co-conspirators ....... .

Rienzie Edwards

Lankan-born designer's sculpture puts Santa Monica Blvd. on the world map

Read the story by Hassina Leelarathna



The Island's Shamindra Ferdinando highlights Sri Lanka Express' "sensational" article on USAID interference in  the 2015 elections. Read more.

Immigration: “Extreme vetting” requires green card applicants to face interviews.  Read more.

Feminism: "Good Sri Lankan girls" and the tattoo taboo. R ead more.

Religion:  Eid ul-Adha greetings from Secretary of State Tillerson.  Read more

FCID lied about clause in controversial Los Angeles Consulate lease agreement?

Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) officials investigating alleged misappropriation of funds in the leasing of a residence for the Los Angeles consul general apparently lied to the Fort Magistrate about the terms of the lease at a hearing held July 31.

As reported by the state-run Daily News (“Rs. 40 million paid for non-existent Consul General.”  8/1/17), in  submissions before Magistrate Ms. Lanka Jayarathne, the FCID  had informed the court that “a sum of Rupees 40 million had been misappropriated in the guise of paying for rent for the Consul General office in Los Angeles.”   Read more

Krishanti Vignarajah's eligibility to run for Maryland governor’s race challenged

Sri Lankan American Krishanti Vignarajah is the first woman to join the race for the 2018 Democratic nomination  for Maryland’s gubernatorial race.  But her candidacy is being challenged on the grounds that she does not meet the state’s residency requirements.

Immediately after the 37-year old former policy staffer to Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton announced August 9 that she was running for Maryland governor questions were raised about her eligibility.

   Krishanti Vignarajah

USAID urgently called for $3.4 million to support UNP in 2015 elections

The return of the UNP to power in Sri Lanka in both the presidential and general elections in 2015 has been attributed as much to corruption and other missteps of the Rajapaksa regime as to foreign interference. The US with its long history of meddling in Sri Lankan elections in support of the pro-west  UNP is the prime suspect with India coming in a close second. 

The tone and contents of a congressional notification (CN) written by the USAID office in Colombo in early 2015, soon after Mahinda Rajapaksa’s defeat and just  before the August general elections, sheds light on just how badly the US wanted to install the UNP in power and how willingly it parted with millions of US taxpayer dollars to ensure that eventuality.   Read more

Nauru Island Tamils could be denied asylum in U.S.

More than 100 Tamil asylum-seekers on Nauru and Manus Island are likely to be excluded from Australia’s refugee deal with the US due to their links with the LTTE which remains on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Read more..

Los Angeles expats help Sri Lankan flood victims

Several Buddhist temples in Los Angeles sprang into action to help victims of the recent floods in Sri Lanka that affected nearly 700,000 people across 15 districts and killed at least 208 people.

Photo at left shows volunteers at Sarathchandra Buddhist Center in North Hollywood ....  Read more


Ambassador Kariyawasam lands new position

Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Prasad Kariyawasam has been appointed the new Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs replacing Mr. Esala Weerakoon.

Mr. Kariyawasam assumed duties as ambassador in Washington D.C. in June 2014.  He joined the Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1981 and has held several high-ranking diplomatic assignments including High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to India, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York.

Mr. Werakoon who once served as Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC will be taking over duties as Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs.

Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam