Sri Lanka Foundation Awards 2008
Each community has a group of individuals whose lives have been marked by extraordinary success which are, more often than not, matched by equally remarkable life stories. Every year, Sri Lanka Foundation joins hands with its fellow Sri Lankan expatriate community around the world to recognize and honor such deserving individuals in all fields of human discipline. A nearly year-long selection process, which includes receiving nominations, selecting judges, having nominations evaluated, and selecting qualifying recipients for an award, culminates in a grand Awards Ceremony that renders due recognition to those individuals within the Sri Lankan expatriate community who are chosen to receive an award.
This year, the Sri Lanka Foundation Awards Ceremony was a glitzy and festive luncheon banquet at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles featuring the time-honored aspects of the Awards Ceremony coupled with a high-end fashion show, beauty pageant, and a comedy performance. Nominations for this year’s Awards Ceremony came in for individuals from many diverse professions, including doctors, architects, musicians, diplomats, businessmen, and culinary chefs. Without a doubt, the panel of judges was faced with the enormous task of selecting only a few nominations out of the many highly qualified individuals that were nominated.
This year’s Award Winners are: 
  • Professor Wimal Dissanayake – Sri Lanka Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Valentine Gunasekara – Sri Lanka Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Sanjiv Gunasekara – Sri Lanka Foundation Srimerican of the Year 2008
  • Dr. Raj Barr – Kumarakulasinghe – Sri Lanka Foundation Exceptional Achievement for Sustainable Design and Green Architecture
  • Patrick Mendis – Sri Lanka Foundation Exceptional Achievement in the Field of International Relations and Diplomacy
  • Dr. Ananda Dasanayake – Sri Lanka Foundation Exceptional Achievement for Pioneer Research Work in Epidemiology and Oral Cancer
  • Professor Nalin Kulatilaka – Sri Lanka Foundation Exceptional Achievement in the Field of Financial Economics
  • Rohan De Silva – Sri Lanka Foundation Exceptional Achievement for Classical Piano Music
Adding to the already respected awards-giving tradition, new items such as a designer fashion show lent a new twist to the Awards Ceremony. Beautiful models paraded the latest fashion in Eastern attire from renowned sari designers such as Satya Paul among others. There’s certainly no doubt that the crowing of Miss Sri Lanka – America 2008/09 and Miss Teen Sri Lanka – America 2008/09 was one of the most glamorous parts of the afternoon. Donning their new sashes and crowns, Miss Sri Lanka – America, Dinuki Suraweera, and Miss Teen Sri Lanka - America, Dasuni Chathurika, wowed the audience with an amazing singing performance and a mesmerizing dance act, respectively. The Awards Ceremony gracefully concluded to the music of Mr. Rukshan Perera and Mr. Tony Samaranayake - two of the most well loved musicians in the Sri Lankan community.

Ceremonial lighting of the oil lamp by Ambassador HE Jaliya Wickramasuriya,
Mrs. Wickramasuriya, Consul General Ananda Wickramasinghe,
Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, and Mrs. Ashea Jayasinghe
Ceremonial lighting of the oil lamp
Dr. Walter Jayasinghe addressing the gathering
Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, founder, Sri Lanka Foundation addressing the gathering
Address by Consul General Mr. Ananda Wickramasinghe
Consul General Mr. Ananda Wickramasinghe
Ambassador Hon. Jaliya Wickramasuriya
Ambassador HE. Jaliya Wickramasuriya
Miss Teen Sri Lankan American
Miss Teen Sri Lanka - America 2008/09, Dasuni Chathurika
Miss Sri Lanka America 2008
Miss Sri Lanka - America 2008/09, Dinuki Suraweera
Fashion show
The Fashion Show sponsored by Atirma Collections
Awards luncheon
The awards luncheon at the Crystal Ballroom of the Historic Biltmore Hotel
Award winners
The 2008 Award Winners. From left to right: Dr. Ananda Dasanayake, Dr. Raj Barr-Kumarakulasinghe, Sanjiv Gunasekara, Valentine Gunasekara, Professor Wimal Dissanayake, Rohan De Silva

To see more pictures of the 2008 Awards Ceremony and to learn more about nominating someone for a Sri Lanka Foundation Award, visit
Last updated: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
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