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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dr. Panagamuwa writes about THE METHTHA FOUNDATION

I have thus far refrained from using our batch blog for fund raising. But this request comes from none other than our own batchmate Sanath Lamabadusuriya. After all, it is for a worthy cause.

I don't know Dr. Panagamuwa personally, but I do remember meeting him once at Karapitiya in the company of Chandrasiri (Niriella) when "Johnny" (as we used to call Chandre) was living and I had to visit the Ruhuna Medical Faculty on official work over three decades ago. Chandrasiri was the VC at the time and Dr. Panagamuwa I believe, was a Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the Ruhuna Medical Faculty. If I am not mistaken, it was during that same trip that I, accompanied by my late work colleague Dr. Marcus Fernando (brother of former Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Joe Fernando) visited Lama at his Karapitiya Quarters.

I have reproduced below, Sanath's correspondence with Dr. Panagamuwa. I shall try to upload another document as a separate post.

Professor Sanath P. Lamabadusuriya

Attachments22:04 (1 hour ago)
to me
Dear Lucky,
This e-mail from Pana is self explanatory. As you can see he wishes it to be circulated. Could you please post it on our blog site giving Pana's e-mail address as well.?
Kind regards,
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: B Panagamuwa <>
Date: 2 December 2015 at 21:32
Subject: Raising funds for charity
To:, "Professor Sanath P. Lamabadusuriya" <>

Dear Usha, Dear Neville

I hope you both and child (?ren) are well.

I am sitting at my desk in Birmingham this cold and miserable winter afternoon thinking of ways to raise funds for our charity, the Meththa Foundation.  I am trying to recruit a few people who may be able help me now and carry the Foundation further when I am no longer there.  I have been wanting to ask for your help since I met you all briefly at the Water's edge 2 years ago but have not had the time to put my thoughts to paper.

Prof Lamabadusuriya has just joined our organisation and I got your email address from him.

Our work has grown exponentially and we now treat more than one amputee every working day.  We have a case load of more than 3000 amputees who seek our services regularly.  More recently, a number of neuro disabled children and adults have begun to come to our Centre at Mahawa seeking help from me.

We need approximately SLR 900,000-1,000,000 per month for our work. Until now, we depended entirely on donations from the Tamil diaspora and a few friends in the UK for our routine output and grants from agencies like the International Rorary Foundation for a few special projects.  Even though an European mobile telecom company named Lebara Foundation owned by a team of young people of a Sri Lankan Tamil origin supported us from 2011 and pledged GBP 45,000 for our services to the war injured Tamil people this year, there was a delay in getting this money and we faced a severe crisis in February.  I managed to keep things under control using our family savings of about 4.2 million rupees this year alone.  I will not have the resources to do this again.

There is an urgent need to find a regular funding stream to continue this valuable work because there is no other reliable service for amputee and other disabled people in Sri Lanka.  Everything is private, expensive and the quality, as far as I have seen is far from ideal

This is what I have in mind.  I taught three batches of students at Galle into their final year and I was very close to them.  Many of them are senior consultants now and all of them are no doubt affluent in their own ways.  I want to ask them if they would give up a small amount of money monthly by standing order for an indefinite time.  If I can recruit about 200 doctors, I can build up capital and eventually, bring our organisation to a stable level.  I have in mind about Rs 5000 every month but that is not a fixed amount.  I guess consultants like Neville, Ananda Perera, Sunil Perera, Kanishka etc to name a few can afford to give this amount and some others may not.

I shall be extremely grateful for your views on this proposal.  You and a few other girls showed leadership in arranging batch get togethers etc which were really enjoyable and I hope that you will agree to carry the same spirit to this venture.  I will be extremely delighted if you agree to support and advise us and in fact, join the Meththa Foundation (we are desperately looking for a Secretary to our Sri Lankan Board).  I will be disappointed if you decline but I will not be angry with you at all.  Please do not feel pressured in any way

I have attached a writeup about our latest work which we hope to take to the President of Sri Lanka and seek his support but I am not very hopeful of a long term solution through a political route. Personal contact and commitment of benevolent people will be more valuable for us and their support will be more solid.  Feel free to circulate the document if you wish to.  It should download through networks with a reasonable bandwidth  You may want to remove the highlighted section about reconciliation because of its sensitivity.  You have first hand knowledge about how your friends feel about these matters and you also probably know how I feel.

I am copying this to Prof Lamabadusuriya who is very interested in this work and asked for more information.  I have a feeling that he will contact you personally seeking help.

Our website is

Unfortunately, I will miss the first batch get together later this month but hope to catch up with you all in the new year.

Best wishes for a Healthy and Peaceful 2015.



  1. Dr Panagomuwa,
    Dr Pana, I have not met you-- that does not matter a jot,, but now that I have heard of you I shall do my best to 'rope' my son & daughters & friends (if possible) to contribute whatever & whenever possible, for a starter to this great altruistic project. I am glad that it is a non-political ,and cut across racial, religious, class, creed and caste barriers, which has always been close to our hearts where-ever in God's earth we live in..
    We wish you every success and prosperity in the future.
    Dr Razaque & Farina Ahamat., Dundee Scotland, UK.

  2. I shall pass on your sentiments to Pana. Thanks a lot my SG Friend:-

    " For the ones who are kind and wise
    it doesn't matter whatever your size
    it doesn't matter wherever you live
    Black,white, rich or poor we all thrive"

    1. I shall remember that rather apt, short and sweet quatrain..
      Thanks Mahen.for forwarding our above thoughts to Pana.
      Raz---- your GSF!!