Brigadier Rohan Jayasinghe, Defense Attaché to the Embassy of Sri Lanka, along with Anthony Lake, Chairman of the Board of the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI), and Perry Baltimore, President of the Marshall Legacy Institute, were honored at a dinner hosted by Sophie and Derek Craighead of Jackson Hole, WY, on Thursday, September, 25th. The dinner completed a series of kick-off events of MLI's new national initiative, CHAMPS, to raise funds to train and deploy a mine detection dog to Sri Lanka. CHAMPS, CHildren Against landMines Program, is a two week educational and fundraising program designed to engage schoolchildren in the global effort to rid the world of the threat of landmines. The children of Wyoming are the first in the nation to participate in the CHAMPS campaign. They are learning about the effects of landmines on children in severely affected countries. Wyoming schoolchildren, in turn, are encouraged to take action to ease the scourge of landmines by contributing a quarter to sponsor their very own mine detection dog. Their dog, to be named Wyoming, will sniff-out landmines and save lives in Sri Lanka. Guests at the Craighead dinner, along with students in selected schools throughout Wyoming, have been treated with a demonstration by dog trainer, Chris Timmer, and his lifesaving dog Rosa, who has worked in Bosnia, Croatia and Namibia. According to Sophie Craighead, a Jackson Hole philanthropist, "if the schoolchildren can raise $20,000 to sponsor a mine detection dog, we will work to do the same with private donors." Dinner guests pledged contributions to sponsor a dog named "Jackson." MLI is a Virginia-based, non-profit organization dedicated to donating trained mine detection dogs to severely contaminated countries. MLI raises tax-deductible private contributions to purchase the dogs, and uses matching government funds to train local handlers to employ the dogs effectively in national mine clearance campaigns. The Sri Lankan Government has requested MLI's assistance in establishing an indigenous mine detection dog program in Sri Lanka. According to Brigadier Jayasinghe, despite the ceasefire after 18 years of fighting between government and rebel forces, "an estimated 700,000 landmines continue to cripple and kill innocent people, instill fear, discourage development and deny use of land in the northern and eastern portions of Sri Lanka." Mrs. Diana Enzi, spouse of Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and CHAMPS chairman, has spearheaded the efforts to launch the school-based program in Wyoming. Anthony Lake, National Security Advisor to former President Bill Clinton, noted that without additional funding and the CHAMPS program, it may take as long as 30 years to free Sri Lanka of mines. "This is unacceptable and unnecessary," said Mr. Lake. By participating in this fund-raising effort, private donors can help reduce the timeline dramatically. Dinner guests also included Tina Close, Bettine Close, Shirley Craighead, Carolyn Dejanikus, Stephen Dynia, Astrid Flood, Ann Frame, Carol and. John Gonella, Renny Jackson, Lucinda and Ed Krajsky, Jackie and Michael Lessac, Tatiana and Paul Maxwell, Bob McGregor, Trish Pillsbury, Benji Podmaniczky, Cathy Poindexter, Susie Rauch, Ed Smail, Ann and Patrick Smith, Liz and Dave Speaks, Bobbi and Ken Thomasma, Melissa Thomasma and Clark Wooley. Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC USA 19 September 2003
Lt. Gen. L. P Balagalle RWP RSP VSV USP ndc IG Commander of the Army recently attended the five-day long Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (PACC) in Seoul, South Korea from 31 August to 4 September. This Conference on ''Regional Cooperative Approaches to meet common Security Challenges" was attended by representatives from 24 countries, including U.S, Australia, Japan, India, China, Russia and Canada. The Korean and US Armies co-hosted the event. Air Marshal G D Perera VSV USP, Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force is presently in Hawaii at Headquarters Pacific Command to attend the Pacific Air Chiefs Conference. He is due to arrive in Washington DC on September 11th to attend the Global Air Chiefs Conference (GACC) commencing on Monday 15th September. He is accompanied by his wife Dr Mrs Ranjani Perera , his Aide De Camp Squadron Leader Gajanayake and the US Defence Attaché Lt Col Richard S. Girven. The GACC is attended by 93 Air Force Chiefs from all over the world. Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC USA 12 September 2003
MLI kicked off its latest initiative - CHAMPs, Children Against Landmines Program, at the offices of Campbell, Crane & Associates. MLI Chairman Anthony Lake, members of Congress, US State Department officials and community members gathered to launch this innovative project to involve the nation's schoolchildren in fighting the global landmine problem. The pilot program for CHAMPS will begin in Wyoming in September 23. Mr. Perry Baltimore, Director Marshall Legacy Institute addressing the distinguished guests at the event. CHAMPS is a two-week educational and fundraising program designed to engage schoolchildren in the global effort to remove landmines. The program promotes awareness of the landmine problem and generates funding to provide highly trained dogs to severely affected countries. As Wyoming's children learn about the impact of landmines on threatened populations, CHAMPS will encourage them to TAKE ACTION and help others by sponsoring a lifesaving dog named "Wyoming." "Wyoming" will go to Sri Lanka along with an elite team of five other mine detection dogs to help Sri Lankans free their country of mines, restore land to productive use and allow the safe return of hundreds of thousands of refugees to their homes. In partnership with the U.S. Department of State, the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) and the Government of Sri Lanka, all Wyoming students (K-12) will have the opportunity to participate in the sponsorship program. MLI Chairman Anthony Lake, MLI President Perry Baltimore, Diana Enzi (wife of Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi) and Ambassador Devinda Subasinghe of Sri Lanka will visit Cheyenne, Casper and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, along with a mine detection dog team, to deliver landmine presentations and demonstrations at area schools. "I am so thrilled that Wyoming is the first state to participate in this national campaign where children will be helping children around the world," said Mrs. Enzi at the kick-off hosted by Jeanne Campbell of Campbell Crane & Associates. Brigadier Rohan Jayasinghe, defense attaché to the Sri Lanka embassy, explained how landmines continue to threaten the safety and stability of many in Sri Lanka as it emerges from two decades of civil war. In the past 20 years, an astonishing 700,000 to 1 million landmines have been laid in the ground. Many mines have been placed in heavily populated areas and fertile farmland. This has resulted in disastrous effects upon agricultural land, villages, roads, water resources, and livestock. In Chavakachcheri alone, one of the most ravaged villages, it is estimated that it will cost $3.2 million to clear the landmines. Specially trained dogs are one of the best detectors of landmines available in the field today. Carefully selected dogs sniff the odor of explosives and alert their handlers as to the precise location of landmines for removal. Some 700 dogs are working in 23 countries around the world, but many more of these wonderful animals are needed. Through CHAMPS, MLI will help satisfy this need. Notable guests included Senator and Mrs. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Rep. Foley (R-FL), Rep. McDermott (D-WA), Rep. McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Neal (D-MA), and James Lawrence from the Office of Mine Action Initiatives & Partnerships at the US Department of State. For more information on the Marshall Legacy Institute, visit the website at www.marshall-legacy.org Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC USA 10 September 2003

Direct contacts will result in expansion of apparel exports

Five Apparel exporters from Sri Lanka visited New York, which is the central point in the US for apparel industry. The meetings were held between August 20th - 22nd 2003, with major apparel buyers and importers in the US to establish direct contacts with a view to increasing market share of Sri Lanka's exports. The programme of meetings in New York for the apparel mission was arranged by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board, as a part of the strategy to prepare for the quota free market after year 2005. The visiting Sri Lankan apparel exporters met on a one-to-one basis with a wide cross section of apparel buyers in the US. They ranged from major retaliators such as JC Penny to national brands such as, Tommy Hilfiger and Jordache and to large and medium size apparel buyers including Lollytogs, Roytex Apparel, Brylane, Jamie Brooke, Donnkenny Apparel, etc. The Sri Lankan apparel vendors learned first hand the future direction of the US apparel market, changes taking places in the supply chain management, and to establish new contacts and to renew relations with existing buyers. Sri Lankan exporters received a number of inquiries from potential buyers. Major retailers such as JC Penny and importers such as Haddad Apparel, Tommy Hilfiger, Lollytogs mentioned that they are planning to follow up their discussions by visiting Sri Lankan factories. The representative from JC Penny said that "The needlework from Sri Lanka is the finest needlework apparel buyers could get anywhere in the world. However, Sri Lanka needs to improve its price competitiveness to be far with prices quoted by other Asian and South American suppliers". A representative of Haddad Apparel which is the number one kids wear company in the US said that they are extremely happy with their business relations and that they are looking forward to grow their sourcing from Sri Lanka and thus provides increased US market share. He also pointed out the necessity to reduce the lead time required by Sri Lankan exporters and bring down the price level to that of Thailand and Indonesia. A visiting Sri Lankan Apparel Exporter expressing his satisfaction on the program said that the meetings were useful in establishing contacts with new buyers, learning what is going on in the US market and identifying market trends. He also emphasized the usefulness of making direct contacts with buyers and having one to one discussions. The Sri Lankan apparel exporters who visited New York includes; Shadow Line Apparels, Viking Fashions, Union Apparels, Kane Apparels and Hi Q Fashion Ltd. These companies also will participate in "ASAP" Show, which is scheduled to take place from 24th to 27th in Las Vegas. Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC USA 23 August 2003
The U.S. Government has awarded a $ 560,000 grant to the Government of Sri Lanka to fund a technical assistance program for providing consultancy services on the development of a 300MW coal fired power plant. This grant was awarded to Sri Lanka through the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

Mr. James F. Entwistle, Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka, and Mr. Charitha Ratwatte, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance,at the signing of a U.S. Government grant for development of a 300 MW power plant in Sri Lanka.

The agreement extending the grant was singed by Mr. James F Entwistle, Charge d' Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka on behalf of the U.S. Government and Mr. Charitha Ratwatte, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, at the Ministry of Finance, Colombo. Ambassador Devinda R Subasinghe said "I am pleased that the agreement for extending a technical assistance programme on the development of 300MW coal fired power plant was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the U.S. As discussed with Ms. Thelma Askey, Director TDA, I hope this is just the beginning of TDA assistance for many more projects in key sectors with potential for foreign investment in Sri Lanka. This grant and a few more in the pipeline, with undoubtedly, enhance bilateral trade and investment opportunities for US companies in Sri Lanka". The Government of Sri Lanka has identified power generation as a priority sector for foreign direct investment. The electricity generating system is in transition from a predominant hydro power generated system to a mixed hydrothermal system. Technical Assistance Programme for providing consultancy services on the development of coal fired power plant is vital to Sri Lanka's efforts to diversify its power generation system. The present total installed capacity in Sri Lanka, is 1409 MW, of which the hydro power generated capacity is 1,137 MW. A 10 per cent annual growth in power consumption is forecast. In order to meet this demand, the country needs to generate an additional 1530 MW by year 2008. Therefore, Sri Lanka looks, increasingly at non-hydro power sources i.e., thermal and other renewable energy sources to be developed under private sector initiatives. Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC USA 29 July 2003
On Wednesday, July 16, 2003, His Excellency Devinda R. Subasinghe, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States, and Anthony Lake, Chairman of the Board of The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI), jointly hosted a gathering of eminent personalities in Washington DC, to raise funds for mine detection dogs to "sniff out" landmines and save lives in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Government has requested MLI's assistance in establishing an indigenous mine detection dog program in Sri Lanka. The Ambassador noted that despite the ceasefire after 20 years of conflict, "an estimated 700,000 landmines continue to cripple and kill innocent people, instill fear, discourage resettlement, development and deny use of land in the northern and eastern portions of Sri Lanka". MLI is a Virginia-based, non-profit organization dedicated to donating trained mine detection dogs to severely contaminated countries. The Institute combines tax-deductible contributions from private donors with government funds to train local handlers to employ the dogs effectively in national mine clearance programs. Ambassador Subasinghe explained that with current landmine removal capabilities it will take 25 -30 years to free the country of mines. He made special mention of the untiring efforts of Mrs Diana Enzi, Wife of Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) who had been the initiator for the Children Against the Mine Problem (CHAMPS) program. He explained that CHAMPS allows children to become involved in the global landmine epidemic by working with schools to educate children about the threat of mines and raising funds to "adopt" a mine detection dog. Ambassador and Mrs. Subasinghe are expected to visit Wyoming with the Enzi's to participate in the fund raising for this project soon. Anthony Lake, former National Security Advisor, noted that a timeline of 30 years or so is "unacceptable and unnecessary." He suggested that donors could help reduce the timeline dramatically, and that while they 'may never know the names or see the faces of those they have helped, they can know that they have made a difference in their lives." Nearly 700 dogs are working reliably and safely in 23 countries today. MLI President Perry Baltimore noted that "a highly trained, explosive- sniffing dog is an extremely valuable & versatile resource in the deminer's toolkit, and is the best detector of landmines in the field today." Brigadier Rohan Jayasinghe, Defence Attaché of the Embassy explained the efforts taken by both the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and the NGOs in this endeavor to rid the affected areas of landmines. Guests included Senator and Mrs. Mike Enzi (R-WY), James Lawrence from the Office of Mine Action Initiatives & Partnerships at the US Department of State, and corporate executives from Campbell Crane & Associates, CHuBB International, DMS - Architectural Services Inc., Limited Brands, Sandler Travis & Rosenberg, Sara Lee Branded Apparel and Shell Oil Company. Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC USA 17 July 2003

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