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56th Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka Celebrations in Hawaii On February 7th Saturday, at the invitation of Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Hawaii, Ms Kusuma Cooray the Sri Lankan community gathered at the University of Hawaii's Ka'Ikena Dining Room to celebrate the 56th Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka. The proceedings started with lighting of the traditional oil lamp by 7 community members. The Honorary Consul Kusuma Cooray made a welcome speech and introduced the Guests of Honor for the evening - the 5 Sri Lankan Armed Forces officers and a Professor from the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy who are presently in Hawaii as participants at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS). APCSS participants with Honorary Consul Kusuma Cooray. In the picture left to right - Brigadier Nimal Jayasuriya, Air Commodore Roshan Gunatilake, Professor Dayani Panagoda, Ms. Kusuma Cooray, Commodore Harsha Mayadunna, Brigadier Mendaka Samarasinghe and Brigadier Mohanthi Peiris Messages sent by the President of Sri Lanka H.E. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, the Prime Minister Honourable Ranil Wickremasinghe and Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando were read out. Commodore Harsha Mayadunne from the Sri Lanka Navy offered the vote of thanks and Lalith Jayawickrema presented a slide show on Sri Lanka which was the highlight of the evening. Finally the dinner prepared by the community members was enjoyed by all. Mrs Kusuma Cooray thanked the community and her committee for helping her put this event together. Independence Dinner for USPACOM On February 19th, 2004, the Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Hawaii, Mrs Kusuma Cooray hosted a dinner as a part of the ongoing celebrations for the 56th Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka. The dinner was held at the University of Hawaii's Tamarind Room. The guests of honor were the Commanding General U.S. Army Pacific, General James T. Campbell and Mrs. Carol Campbell, General William Begert Commander Pacific Air Force and Mrs. Begert, and Commander Marine Forces General W.C. Gregson. Other guests were Honorary Consul of Denmark and the Dean of the Consular Corps Larry Vogel, and Mrs. Anna Lisa Vogel, Chancellor Dr. John Morton and Mrs. Willow Morton. Mr. Fred Honda GM of the Halekulani and Mrs. Julie Honda, Dr. Robert Lee and Mrs. Bertie Lee. The 5 officers from the Sri Lankan Military (Brigadier Nimal Jayasooriya, Brigadier Mohanthi Peiris, Brigadier Mendaka Samarasinghe, Commodore Harsha Mayadunne, Air Commodore Roshan Goonethilleke and Professor Dayani Panagoda from KDA also attended the dinner.) At the 56th Independence celebration dinner hosted by Honorary Consul Kusuma Cooray - In the picture left to right - Brigadier Nimal Jayasuriya, Air Commodore Roshan Gunatilake, Mrs Julie Honda, General James T Campbell, Ms Kusuma Cooray - Consul Sri Lanka, General W.C. Gregson, Mrs Anna Lisa Vogel General Begert made the first toast to Sri Lanka. In his speech, General Begert reminisced about his visit to this beautiful South Asian island and praised its people and culture. Chancellor John Morton and Consul Larry Vogel too proposed a toast to Sri Lanka and its people. Consul Cooray spoke and thanked all the Commanding Generals for their support and assistance extended to Sri Lanka. She invited them to visit Sri Lanka and mentioned that since they frequently visited other South Asian countries to please include Sri Lanka in their itineraries as well. Consul Cooray also conveyed greetings to the Generals from His Excellency Ambassador Devinda Subasinghe. Consular Corps Hawaii Inc Inaugural Ball The Consular Corps of Hawaii which was established in 1824, held their Inaugural Ball on February 20, 2004 at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental, in the Maile Ballroom. 300 guests of the consuls attended the ball. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Hawaii Justice Moon Swore in the Executive Committee. Consul of Denmark Larry Vogel was sworn in as the President of the Executive Committee and the Dean of the Consular Corps. The swearing in ceremony was followed by a sit down dinner. The first item on the dinner agenda was a toast to Sri Lanka in honour of its 56th Independence Anniversary. A toast to Sri Lanka was made by Consul Ms Kusuma Cooray. The chief guests at the Sri Lankan table hosted by Consul Kusuma Cooray were Deputy Commanding General US Army Pacific, Lt Gen William Brandenberg and Mrs. Brandenberg. Chancellor John Morton and Mrs. Morton, Brigadier Mohanthi Pieris and Prof. Dayani Panagoda from Sri Lanka were among the guests. Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC USA 10 March 2004