Cyril David Perera Gunawardana:
Advisor to institutions
It has been exactly one month since you went away and all of your
many friends, relatives and close family members miss your cheerful
presence, your great love and tender care. All who knew you moum the
passing of an exceptionally grand man.
If all the world were made up of people like our late father Cyril
David Perera Gunawardana, there would be everlasting peace, the utmost
enjoyment of simple daily life and constant consideration of the needs
of others. His long life exemplified the finest human qualities leading
to karma-enriching experiences for himself and everyone he met. Perhaps
his most endearing personality trait was his youthful zest. He seemingly
did not age as the years went by, never spoke of any aches or pains, was
invariably content and happy and regarded every occasion with a twinkle
in his eye.
When he was born we were still known to the nation as Ceylon and from
his young age he was imbued with a profound love of life, of learning
and above all a desire to be of real service. No doubt this was the gift
that kept him feeling youthful, optimistic and just plain happy to be
himself. Those who knew him well found him to be scrupulously honest,
intelligent, humble and kind. Throughout his life he helped so many
people in many, many ways. Our father's ultimate care for people showed
in his medical practice and the foresight and wisdom he evinced in
rearing three daughters who serve today in three of the top professions,
Accounting, Medicine and Law. He continued to do radiological research,
tutoring of students, private consulting and acting as an advisor to
various institutions. Even towards the very end he was accepting new
challenges. He actively pursued learning all about computers and was
thrilled by the latest technological developments. His daily phone calls
to friends and relatives locally as well as those living abroad were
filled with his ever-welcome 'joy-of-living' spirit. Remarkably, he
maintained all his many activities right up to his final day on earth.
We all loved him as much as he loved us, especially his late wife,
Lucille, his daughters, Srinie, Dr. Sathrika and Kumudu, his
sons-in-law, Kirthie Abeysekera, Prof. Indra Kumar and Sanath Imbulamure
each of whom he always called his 'sons', and his six grandsons, Opula,
Sonal, Ravin, Sachindra, Mithun and Thenuka.
Here was a man who truly was a mirror of goodness. While we dearly
miss him, it does help to know that his cheerful, productive life offers
an ongoing inspiration for each of us who had the privilege of sharing
May he attain the Supreme Bliss of Nirvana!
Dr. Anton Jayasooriya :
Everybody was equal to him
Dr. Anton Jayasooriya was a founder member of Medicina Alternativa in
He was born a noble man lived like a king and died as a simple person
on 6th April 2006. He cured an uncountable number of patients not only
in Sri Lanka but all over the world.
He delivered knowledge to those who aspired to be doctors and made so
many followers. He wrote so many medical books for use by the future
generation on acupuncture based on his practical experience.
He always showed that example is better than advice. Genuineness,
determination and gentleness were some of his noble qualities. When
international followers were praising and thanking him at congress, he
offered a humble smile. As students we absorbed so many things from him
which we could not gather from any one else.
He never supported any political party or religion but always fought
against injustice without fear and treated every one equally. Besides
all, he always identified the cause for sickness merely by looking at
the features of the patients without perusing laboratory reports.
In his last request he did not want anyone to pay their last respects
to him, although thousands of people queued to do so. That showed the
extent the people loved and respected to him.
From his efforts, our traditional acupuncture treatment was reborn in
our Sri Lankan. It was one of our oldest medical treatments,
subsequently taken to China. I am definite that all of his students all
over the world will practice his mode of treatment and continue in
training new followers.
His University of Medicina Alternativa affiliated to the Open
International University for Complementary at International Buddhist
Centre Road is open for free treatment and continue to serve tea for
patients. The Annual conference with worldwide participants is being
held at BMICH for the benefit of all.
I first met Dr. D.V.J Harischandra in 1998 when he came to deliver a
presentation on Euthanasia at the Brown's Beach Hotel in Negombo that
was organized by the Clinical Society of the Negombo Hospital. On that
day he gave an outstanding presentation on Euthanasia and Medical Ethics
and captured everyone's attention with his knowledge and language
skills. He was a superb orator.
Dr. Harischandra was an excellent media presenter and he had the
exceptional ability of presenting deep concepts of psychology and
psychiatry to the general public in simplistic manner. He was an
admirable teacher and an instructor. Trained as a Psychiatrist, Dr.
Harischandra served in a number of hospitals treating a large number
of patients. He was a friendly and a gentle specialist who observed
professionals ethics at all times. Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. D.V.J.
Harischandra had a profound knowledge in Psychiatry, Psychology,
Sociology and Philosophy. It was a rare combination. He was not a
traditional doctor who was trapped in his limited specialty. He could
eloquently speak of many subjects and I always considered Dr. D.V.J. as
a walking encyclopedia. He never gave up reading and exploration. He was
open to new subjects and never became a slave to any dogma. Until his
death Dr. DVJ actively engaged in the process of accumulation of
Dr. D.V.J. Harischandra used different treatment strategies to treat
his patients. Although he was trained in England Dr. DVJ never forgot
the traditional healing methods that brought holistic approach. He
strongly believed in the impact of culture in the healing process. He
did incorporate psychodrama to treat his patients. In 2002 he invited me
to visit his clinic in Galle where he used numerous successful
psychotherapies. He was an excellent and a gifted counselor who knew
Rogerian Therapy from A to Z. He offered empathy and treated his
patients in a nonjudgmental atmosphere. I had never met a Psychiatrist
who had a deep knowledge in Psychoanalysis as Dr. D.V.J Harischandra. He
knew the works of Freud, Jung, Alfred Adler, Melanie Klein and Eric
Fromm like the back of his hand. Dr. D.V.J Harischandra took a special
interest to study the Buddhist Jathaka stories.
He knew that the Jataka stories deeply analyzed the human mind and it
contained a profound universal humanistic philosophy. In his famous book
Psychiatric Aspects of Jataka Stories, Dr. Harishandra pointed out that
the Western Psychologists / Psychiatrists should carefully study this
ancient DSM which is a priceless piece of work. Dr. D.V.J Harischandra
adored the work of Munidasa Cumaratunga - the great Sri Lankan linguist
and a writer who had a reflective knowledge of the Sinhala language. Dr.
Harischandra believed that Munidasa Cumaratunga had similar views on
language like Jacques Derrida who introduced the theory of
Deconstruction. He knew that Munidasa Cumaratunga and Derrida were two
different people who lived in different academic eras, but they shared
something common. Dr. Harischandra highlighted the major child
psychology concepts that were used by Munidasa Cumaratunga in his works.
According to Dr . D.V.J. Harischandra, Munidasa Cumaratunga used
linguistic scaffolding in the language acquisition period to help the
children to grasp language skills.
Dr. Harischandra realized the psychological impact of the war in Sri
Lanka first hand and encouraged me to study combat Psychology. Once in a
TV program he quoted a few lines from one of my books that recounted
Combat Trauma in Sri Lanka. He knew the psychological repercussions of
the armed conflict and how it affected as a damaging factor in mental
He had treated a large number of war victims. I He was a true
professional until his last day.