Donation of funds raised by spouses of the Japanese Embassy Staff
A sum of Rs. 253,178 was donated to two NGOs, namely “Surangani Voluntary Service(SVS)” and “Only One World(OOW)” at a donation presentation ceremony presided by Ms. Asako Okai, Minister/ Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan at the Japanese Ambassador’s official residence on Monday, 2 March 2015.
The fund was raised by the Association of Spouses of the Japanese Embassy Staffs (ASJES) through an international bazaar held with the participation of 17 countries and 12 organizations at the Hilton Colombo Residence on 30 November 2014. The Association has been supporting activities of many NGOs in Sri Lanka over the past 30 years.
SVS was founded in 1992 and supports mainly preschool education in Sri Lanka. The organization was represented by Director Ms. Shigeko Baba at the ceremony. The donation from ASJES will be utilized to construct a wheel chair ramp made of concrete blocks in a centre for handicapped children in Buttala, Monaragala. This has been the 14th donation from ASJES since 2001. Ms. Baba also mentioned that a workshop complex was newly opened in her centre to support income generation activities of people with disabilities with a grant assistance of the Government of Japan.
OOW was founded in 1991 by former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan Mr. Arthur Basnayake and his wife Mrs. Damini Basnayake. OOW grants scholarships to excellent students who could not attend schools due to their poverty, and donates medical equipment to hospitals. The donation from ASJES will be utilized for awarding scholarships to one male and one female student studying at public schools to pursue their higher studies at universities. This has been the 3rd donation from ASJES since 2013.
Ms. Rumadu Weerakkodi, a medical student who was awarded a scholarship through OOW by ASJES last year expressed her gratitude at the ceremony. She used the scholarship to buy books and other necessary materials for her studies. She was the first female student awarded the scholarship from the ASJES’s donations through OOW. ASJES had proposed OOW to offer a scholarship for a female student. Mrs. Basnayake mentioned that many talented students would have to give up their studies without support from donors like ASJES.
Japan extended US$ 215,866 to the Project for the Construction of
Udaiyarkaddu School Building in Mullaitivu District
The Government of Japan has provided US$215,866 (approximately Rs.28 million) grant for ‘The Project for the Construction of Udaiyarkaddu School Building in Mullaitivu District’ under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).
‘The Project for the Construction of Udaiyarkaddu School Building in Mullaitivu District’ will be implemented by Save the Children Internationalin Mullaitivu DS division in Mullaitivu district. The project aims to construct a suitable school building in realizing children’s right to receive education in a conducive environment.
Udaiyarkaddu School in Mullaitivu District currently accomadates 529 students with just a single building with 5 classrooms for its use while thirteen other classes are being held under temporary shelters made of cadjan thatched roof, galvanized sheet walls and partly cemented floors. With this grant of the Government of Japan, Save the Children International will be able to construct a two–storied building for the school with thirteen classrooms which could enable students to study in permanent classrooms with adquate learning facilities.
Japan provides assistance to this project underthe ‘Development of Emerging Regions’ pillar of the Country Assistance Policy for Sri Lanka. The Government of Japan believes that recovery of livelihood and economic growth of the people who live in poverty stricken areas, need to be also complemented by infrastructure rehabilitation. An integrated approach in this nature will pave the way to durable peace and inclusive development in all parts of the country in the long run.
Save the Children International Country Director William Lynch stated that this grant is a wonderful opportunity to partner with the people and government of Japan to make a real difference in the lives of children for many years to come and that they are grateful to work with the Embassy of Japan.
The Grant Contract was signed between His Excellency Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan andMr. William Lynch, Country Director, Save the Children Internationalon February 19,2015 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo.
19th February 2015
Special Commendations from Ambassador of Japan
to two Sri Lankan Academicians
H.E. Mr. Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan, accorded special commendations to Dr. Sunil Ernest Wijesiriwardena and Mr. NaganathanSelvakkumaran, two senior academicians of Sri Lanka, at a ceremony held at the Ambassador’s residence on 18th February 2015,in recognition of their outstanding voluntary services towards promoting Japan-Sri Lanka relations.
Dr.Wijesiriwardena and Mr. Selvakkumaran areamong members of the Sub-Selection Committee of the Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund, and have served on this committee since 1977 on a voluntary basis. They have played important roles in identifying and screening prospective candidates for the Bunka Awards. They are among several other distinguished academicians who have been invited to serve on this committee in recognition of their outstanding competence and vast experience in the fields of culture and the arts.
The Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund was established in 1993 on the initiative of the Japanese Solidarity Association and the Japanese Commerce and Industry Association in Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan with a view to encouraging and promoting individual talent in the field of art in Sri Lanka, particularly mid-career individuals and organizations on the basis of their on-going creative activities in culture and the arts by presenting the Bunka Awards.Over these 21 years, the Fund has presented the Bunka Awards to a total of 118 Sri Lankan artists and organizations.
Dr. Wijesiriwardena has obtained a PhD from the State University of Moscow and has been a full time writer, and a highly respected literary, cinema and theatre critic and also served as a member of many panels of judges of arts festivals in Sri Lanka and the International arena. He is avisiting lecturer and consultant to the Universities of Colombo and Kelaniya as well as the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. He also played a pioneering role in the establishment of the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts (VAFA) and is a currently a member of its board. From 2005-2012 he served as a permanent member of the ‘International resource group on ethics education’ organized by Arigato Foundation (Geneva- Tokyo) in collaboration with UNICEF and was also invited by the Japan Foundation on a cultural study tour of Japan in 2003.
Mr. Selvakkumaran is a Bachelor of Law of the University of Colombo and an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and currently serves as a Senior Lecturer in Public and International Law, at the University of Colombo. He is also a senior member of many academic management boards as well as other advisory councils and has vast experience in serving on several public commissions.
9th January 2015
Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan,
on the Presidential Election in Sri Lanka
Japan welcomes the peaceful and successful holding of the presidential election in Sri Lanka on Thursday, January 8th and expresses its congratulations for the election of Mr. Maithripala Sirisena as the next president of Sri Lanka.
Japan also commends President Rajapaksa for his decision to transfer power in a smooth and peaceful manner respecting the will of the people of Sri Lanka.Japan hopes that, under the leadership of President-elect Sirisena, all parties concerned in Sri Lanka will work together to further promote national reconciliation, democracy and economic development.
Japan will continue to support Sri Lanka’s efforts in these areas and further develop our cooperative relationship.