Updated April 25, 2019​ 

Sri Lanka Express

SL Embassy Announces Appointment of New Honorary Consul in Chicago

Sri Lanka has a new honorary consul in Chicago and his name is Ronald James Sorini.

If the headline sounds familiar, this is Mr. Sorini’s second time being appointed to the same position.  His first stint was in 2004 when, again, the United National Party led by Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe was in power.   
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Vesak celebrations continue in Southern California

The Sri Ratana International Buddhist Center in Anaheim, California held its Vesak celebrations May 28 with a lineup of traditional religious and cultural activities. 

Sri Ratana serves the growing Sri Lankan Buddhist community in Orange County and has a large number of devotees participating in its regular religious programs.   The temple's daham pasala (Sunday School) offers  Sinhala language classes in addition to Buddhist studies.  


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Vesak activities in progress at Sri Ratana, May 28.

"Los Angeles Remembers" - Anniversary of the end of the LTTE War Commemorated

Sri Lankans in Los Angeles gathered May 19 at the Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara for a ceremony commemorating the defeat of the LTTE who waged a brutal 30-year war for a separate state.

The traditional Bodhi Puja led by Ven. Pandith Ambalantota Kolitha Thero was followed by Anusasana delivered by Ven. Walpola Piyananda Mahathero.  Ven. Dr. Medagoda Abayathissa, a senior lecturer at Sri Jayawardanapura University who is currently following a course of study in the US delivered a special sermon reflecting on post-war Sri Lanka. 
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Is our gratitude in deep slumber?

Hassina Leelarathna on
"Los Angeles Remembers"

Ven. Medagoda Abayathissa
Consul Gen. Ms. Swarna Gunaratne
Ven. Medagoda Abhayatissa's speech (video)
Flowers in remembrance of Sri Lankan troops

Floods: International Relief Pouring in, USA Chips in $50k, China zilch

America gives Sri Lanka $50,000 for flood relief, Nepal $100,000. 

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Vesak 2016 - Messages from President Obama & Governor Brown ( Click here)
Children singing Vesak Bakthi Gee at Sarathchandra Buddhist Vihara, May 21
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US Probes Corruption in David Miliband’s Refugee Aid Group
International Rescue Committee, headed by the former British Foreign Secretary, sees funding suspended amid allegations of systemic corruption in Syrian refugee projects.
 Miliband is  best remembered  in Sri Lanka for his failed attempts to save the Tamil Tigers from defeat in the last stages of the war in 2009.
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Expat children showcase Sri Lankan culture at Asian Pacific Heritage Celebrations, George Mason University
Sri Lankan children thrilled the audience with traditional dances such as Ukusa Vannama and Wadiga Patuna at the Asian-Pacific Heritage celebrations held at George Mason University Center for Arts , May 5. 

The opening address for the evening was given by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Prasad Kariyawasam who referred to the rich culture and traditions the Sri Lankan immigrants and their children bring to the mix from the small island of 20 million people.
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Australian Diaspora Groups call for Restoration of  Mahinda Rajapaksa's Security

Several Sri Lankan diaspora groups in Australia are appealing for the restoration of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s military security which was removed effective May 2 and replaced by police security.

In a letter to the Sri Lankan government, the groups said they were “extremely perturbed” by the decision to replace the elite Army Commando Unit with a police unit and called on the authorities to provide fitting security arrangements for the former president.

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Disgraced Billionaire Raj Rajaratnam in Latest Trove of Panama Papers
Billionaire Raj Rajaratnam who is serving an 11-year prison sentence in the US for insider trading is among the names found in the massive Panama Papers database released May 9.  The Sri Lankan-born founder of hedge fund Galleon Group who is known to have provided support to the Tamil Tigers was sentenced in 2011 to an 1l-year sentence on nine counts of securities fraud and five counts of conspiracy.
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First SL Theravada Temple in USA Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser attending the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Washington Buddhist Vihara on May 1, 2016 declared the day as “the Washington Buddhist Vihara Day”, recognizing in the Declaration that the District of Columbia is the home to the first Theravada Buddhist Temple in America and that the Vihara has been dedicated to presentation of Buddhism and extending welcome to all.  Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam joined Mayor Muriel Bowser on this occasion. 
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Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser with Ven. Maharagama Dhammasiri Nayake Thero and Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam
Mothers Day May 8, 2016

Mothers by the Numbers in the USA

"Dheepan" Action Thriller about LTTE Refugee Showing in US Theaters

“Dheepan” the Jacques Audiard crime action thriller  about an LTTE militant who gets asylum in France  opened in theaters in the US May 6.  The highly-acclaimed movie which received  the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year focuses on three Sri Lankan refugees (Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby) who pretend to be a family as they try to make better lives for themselves in a Parisian housing project.
43.5 m
Number of women between the ages of 15 and 50 who have children. These mothers gave birth to 95.8 million children.
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3.9 m
Number of women between the ages of 15 and 50 who gave birth in the past 12 months.

Vatican calls on Buddhists to Join Christians to Save the Environment

In a Vesak Day message, the Vatican has called on Buddhists worldwide to join hands with  Christians to work for the environment. 

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has sent a message to the Buddhists of the world to mark the “Feast of Vesakh, which commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha,” Vatican Radio reported.
5.2 m
Number of stay-at-home moms in married couple family groups in 2015
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Source: US Census Bureau
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran

Oregon Buddhist Vihara greenlighted for expansion

It’s been a long time coming but the Oregon Buddhist Vihara ‘s is finally primed to expand. 

The Theravada temple in Hillsboro, about 20 miles west of Portland, has just been greenlighted by the city for a 3,172 square foot, two-story building, its first expansion since opening in 2004 in a one-bedroom house. 
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Secretary of State John Kerry's New Year Greetings
On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I join you in celebrating the Sri Lankan New Year.

The past year's accomplishments have been historic, demonstrating the deep commitment of the Sri Lankan people for reconciliation, tolerance and peace.

I offer my best wishes for a happy New Year and continued success as you move ahead with the new constitution and further efforts to strengthen Sri Lanka's democracy and prosperity.

Sri Lankan Airlines - Who is the real Phoenix Duty- Free Contractor ?

Mangala Wants SL to Join TPP

It hasn't even been ratified yet!
Sri Lanka Express Archives Gallery

Take a walk down memory lane
Open Gallery
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More on Panama Papers: Clinton's campaign manager & Tamils' lobbyist Podesta involved Read full story


US Elections

Most Asians favor Bernie
"We came, we saw, he died"

Hillary Clinton's emails & new scrutiny of her role in Libya
Selections from the world of the arts & entertainment
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“We are more like the US now” – Ambassador Independence Event

Career diplomat Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, no stranger to many who had known him during his tenure in Washington (1995-1998) received an enthusiastic welcome at an Independence Day event at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles last weekend. But he also had his work cut out trying to convince his compatriots that things are moving in the right direction in Sri Lankan-US relations.   After all, many here suspect the US had a hand in the “regime change” that ousted President Rajapaksa last year. Read Full Story

FM Samaraweera in DC for US-SL Annual Partnership Dialogue

Washington, DC - Secretary Kerry welcomed Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to the State Department in Washington, D.C., on February 25 for the inaugural U.S.-Sri Lanka Annual Partnership Dialogue, which the two had announced during Secretary Kerry’s visit to the country in May 2015.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon led the U.S. delegation for discussions on democratic governance, development cooperation, people-to-people ties, economic cooperation, security cooperation, international and regional affairs, and other issues of mutual interest.  Read Full Story
Under Secretary for Political Affairs Tom Shannon and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera pose for a photo before their bilateral meeting at the U.S. Department of State  [State Department photo]

Bandula Gunawardane Slams US Double Standards

Opposition parliamentarian Mr. Bandula Gunawardane speaking to expatriates in Los Angeles accused the US government of double standards  saying that despite egregious violations of democratic and human rights the US has nothing but praise for the current Sri Lankan regime.   Read Full Story
US 7th Fleet Flagship in Colombo
The U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrived in Colombo for a port call March 26, the first visit by a U.S. Navy ship since October 2011. The USS Blue Ridge team consists of more than 900 sailors, who will interact with their Sri Lanka Navy counterparts... Read Full Story