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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

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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 his love.

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 Sri Lanka.

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.


D.V.J. Harischandra:

Rare Consultant

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 knowledge.

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 health.

He had treated a large number of war victims. I He was a true professional until his last day.

 

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