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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

I wish all viewers of this blog, a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year - 2020 - the beginning of a new decade. We are fortunate to have lived all this time to see this new decade in.

Lucky (Blog Administrator) and Mangala.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Speedy's Greetings

Wishing all my valued colleagues and their spouses and families a very happy new year.

If you by some miracle, visited my own Blog (called Friendship), you would have read my opening statement:- 
“I am dedicated to humanism and refuse to judge people according to labels they are born with. Their actions and behaviour shall be my yardsticks, always cognizant of the challenges they faced in life”.

This brings me neatly to why I value the blog and commend it to all of you.
There are several major influencing factors in our lives.

1.    Our genes. This is probabilistic and not necessarily deterministic. If you have good genes, consider yourself lucky! Bad genes are not an excuse either!
2.    Your parents and your family and how they influenced you.
3.    Your schooling and especially your teachers
4.    The moral values you were subjected to - role models, religious precepts etc.
5.    Key Formative years, and in our case, our Medical undergraduate days.
The list is not exhaustive. The final factor I mentioned is of great significance to me. I changed from a wide eyed innocent boy to a mature adult. My teachers and my fellow undergraduates are and shall remain a key part of my life- not necessarily as a daily conscious thought requiring reminiscence and introspection, but certainly a key part of what make me what I am.
I am reminded of a few worthy quotes.
  1. "True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable." David Tyson Gentry
2.      "Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It's not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything." Muhammad Ali
  1. “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship." Ralph Waldo Emerson
4.      "Growing apart doesn't change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I'm glad for that." Ally Condie
To all my colleagues I say, “Thank you very much and let us always be friends, however far apart we are!”

Mahendra “Speedy”  Gonsalkorale

Sunday, December 29, 2019

E-mail from Sisira Ranasinghe

to me,, Sisira, Sisira
Hi Lucky, Hi Pramila,

Just an UPDATE FYI !

On Dec 27th. I managed to UNLOCK the MSN email account, and just discovered Lucky’s greeting!!!

I have a NEW YouTube channel----INDIANA BUDDHIST INSTITUTE---
                Please subscribe to the channel -Watch “Born to Save” that I posted. A Sri Lankan girl is singing there.

More videos are being produced …………………

PLEASE Do me a favor, pass on this link [] to the ENTIRE list of Batchmates.

Also visit, if anyone is interested in learning/teaching Sinhala….

I am working on the Tamil Teaching  website also.

Sincerely, Sisira Ranasinghe ……Retired Pathologist
But NOT retired from ALL other Involvements!!!!

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

Dr. Sisira Ranasinghe

Sat, 28 Dec, 02:33 (0 minutes ago)

Monday, December 23, 2019


Thank you and the committee members of Seminars, Workshops and Programmes Committee, of the OPA for granting us the permission to conduct the above seminar.

The following speakers will address the issues :

1. Prof Sanath Lamabadusuriya on "Free Education and Freedom for Private Medical Education in Sri Lanka" - 30 minutes
2. Prof Hemantha Senanayaka - Personal reflections on medical education for Sri Lankans - 30 minutes
3. Dr Ruwan "A Srilankan Consultant's View on the Performance of Foreign Medical Graduates" - 20 minutes
4. Dr Chandana "Quality of Foreign Medical Graduates As Reflected in the Summative Assessments" - 20 minutes

Prof Lamabadusuriya had been a Professor of Paediatrics and Prof Hemantha Senanayaka had been a
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Both had been involved in the undergraduate and
postgraduate education in Sri Lanka for many decades. Not only have they excelled at their respective fields and they are true opinion leaders in the field of medical education.

Dr Ruwan and Dr Chandanaare two young consultants again in Obstetric and Gynaecology who are currently actively engaged in the education of the Sri Lankan foreign medical graduates. Both of them are involved in the formative and summative assessments of the foreign medical graduates.

The presentations will be followed by a Question and Answer session.

A paper summarizing the proceedings of the day and the views expressed by the speakers and the opinions expressed by the audience in the Q and A session will be prepared and presented to the OPA.

Dr Ananda Perera IMPA president will be the moderator for the seminar.

The venue, date and time are OPA auditorium on 17th friday January 2020 at 6pm.

Thanking You,
With Kind Regards,

Dr Ananda Perera
IMPA President.

150th Anniversary of the Colombo Medical Faculty

Direct link to the 150th Anniversary celebrations.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

METROSIDEROS EXCELSA - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Here’s my promise of several moons ago to Sumathi that I would send photos of the Pohutukawas when they are in bloom.The delicate blossoms open close to Christmas, coloring the New Zealand coastline a brilliant red- hence also referred to as the New Zealand Christmas trees.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our batchmates a Very happy festive season, together with good health and happiness in the new year.

Sent by Rohini Anandaraja

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Speedy at the home of JC and Sura

Speedy Gonsalkorale is still in Sri Lanka. He is due to leave on 12 December.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

 This e-mail from Zita is self explanatory.

Dear Lucky and Mahendra,                              04 12 2019

           We’ve been talking of measures to ‘save the planet’ recently on the Batch Blog. And when I came across something our batchmate Prof Sanath sent me I thought this link which came with it would be good to share with our batch mates. This article deals with the damage done to sea life and to the environment by man’s use of plastic bags and our present unsatisfactory methods of dealing with waste.

I feel that it is only by being ‘bombarded’ with such news repeatedly, that human beings will take this subject seriously and do their bit to help.
 Yours sincerely,

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Speedy (Mahendra Gonsalkorale) in Sri Lanka

Speedy is on holiday in Sri Lanka. The main purpose of his visit is to attend his brother's daughter's wedding. Gnaniss and Lilamani hosted him to dinner last evening.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


Standing L-R: Ishan de Zoysa, Joe Perera, Narada Warnasuriya, Sarath Gamini De Silva, Saroj Jayasinghe, Ranjith Abeywickrama, Kushlani Jayatilake, Sumitra Tissera, Shathilal de Silva, Sahan Guruge, ,Anula Wijesundera, Gayani Ranaweera

Seated L-R: Lakshman Abeyagunawardene, AH Sherifdeen, Rezvi Sheriff, Iyanthi Abeywickrama, Jennifer Perera, Christo Fernando, Kalyani Guruge, Pramila Senanayake

Please note that this is not the new Committee. It's the total attendance at the last AGM!

Monday, December 2, 2019


Zita has sent this article about her own brother and although it is not directly connected with our batch, it contains many interesting facts on a period of time which is of great interest to us. As we all know, we entered the Medical Faculty in 1962 and this story happened in 1963, and as it unfolds, it brings back memories of significant happenings around that time. I have no doubt that readers will gain a lot of pleasure reading it.

It was 1963, Ceylon, as it was called then. The Ceylon Daily Mirror was “the new kid on the block” of the Fourth Estate of Ceylon. It was priced at ten cents while its peers were sold at fifteen cents. As a sporting thrust to their marketing strategy, the Daily Mirror launched a Cricket Quiz competition with weekly winners picked from correct forecasting of the results of weekly Sara Trophy Matches (a smaller version of English Football Pools), the Premier Cricket Tournament at the time. The weekly prize was Rs. 25/= and out of the weekly winners there would be a Jackpot Quiz with the prize being a Trip to Egypt as a guest of the U A R (Egyptian) Government.

How did Egypt get in to the picture and into Cricket?
It appeared that the Prime Ministers of Ceylon, Egypt and Yugoslavia were the founder members and the prime movers of the non-aligned movement. As such, Ceylon and Egypt had very close good relations. Later I learned that our prime minister was as popular in Egypt as Ceylon Tea!

At that time, I was working at the Central Bank of Ceylon. One of my colleagues at work was reading the Daily Mirror (not while working) and I glanced at it and saw the Cricket Competition. I cut the coupon from his paper(with his permission) and sent a forecast. On Sunday night, while listening to the Bristol Sports Roundup of Radio Ceylon, I realized that it was correct. On Monday morning I met Earle, our dear Cousin, who was really "Cricket Mad", (although he was not Cricket Made!) I told him that my coupon was correct. He laughed and said, "Ronald, every week I have one coupon correct, but never won a weekly contest". "How come?" I inquired. "If you fill 126 coupons with all combinations, you have to get one correct. So I buy, 126 papers and fill up the coupons with all possible combinations. But I never won a weekly competition as you have to be first drawn out as well”. I lost interest. Two days later, the Sports Page of the Mirror carried a caption, "This week's Winner - from Mutwal". I won Rs. 25/=. Mummy was intrigued and pleasantlysurprised when a few days later she found a Post Office Savings Bank Passbook in my name with Rs. 20/= initial deposit, which was out of the prize money.

A few days before the Jackpot Quiz competition was to be held, I had joined the Valuation Department and was posted to an outstation (Matugama - 40 miles away from Colombo) on duty. There were 16 weekly winners for the Jackpot Competition and it was held on a week day evening at the GOH (Grand Oriental Hotel). As I was not supposed to leave my station without permission, I applied for permission beforehand to leave station for a few hours to attend the competition in Colombo. I thought, if I win the competition (was I confident?), my name would definitely come into the papers and if I had left the station without permission, I would have got the sack!The Quiz contained three questions on Cricket and my answers were correct and also drawn out first. The prize was a trip to Egypt and two weeks tour there as guest of the U A R Government.

The morning after the night before, I left home at 4:30AM to travel to Matugama where I had to commence field work at 7:30AM. In Pettah I bought a Daily Mirror and opened it in the bus. I straight away went to the Sports Page (as I always do). To my amazement, the headline on the Sports Page captioned “Ronald jumps the Jet to Cairo” with a photograph and the story unfurled like this,
“It was top value for 20 year old Valuation Inspector, Ronald Perera of Mutwal, who …..”. I think it was the first time that someone in our big family hit the News Paper headlines albeit, the Sports Page.

In Matugama, I was nick named “Cairo”. By the time the trip came around, it was December 1964 (three months after Daddy passed away). During the Sirimavo Government of the time, it was near impossible to leave the country, thanks to the Socialist Finance Minister Dr. N. M. Perera who doctored everything. To obtain a Passport it was so difficult. You cannot buy an Air Ticket, it had to be prepaid. To leave the country you have to obtain an “Exit Permit”. To get an Exit Permit you have to obtain Police Clearance and a chit after surrendering the Rice Ration Book to the Food Control Department. The only exchange allowed for travel was “3 Pounds 10” i.e. £3 Sh.10, equivalent of Cey. Rs. 50/= on the Passport! The Travel Agent for United Arab Airlines (UAA), Sponsors of the prize helped me with the Passport and travel formalities. With all that, I received the Passport only a few hours before the scheduled Flight, that I did not even have the time to go to the Bank to obtain “3 Pounds 10”. However, I did not fly empty handed. I took Air Ceylon from Ratmalana to Santa Cruz, Bombay and from there UAA Jet to Cairo.

To illustrate the exchange restrictions, I will narrate a small incident of Reggie Michael, the Founder Editor of Ceylon Daily Mirror and well known inter alia for his wit and command of the Queen’s Language and for his famous obituary of D.E.M.O’Cracy (see note below).

Reggie managed to fly to London and was greeted at the Airport by an Englishman who remarked “Reggie, you have brought the Sun with you”. Reggie quipped, “That is the only commodity we are allowed to take out in plenty”.

As for the flight and the tour of Egypt, well, that is another story.

Note: Reggie Michael was a pioneer Press Freedom Fighter. During the period when the Government imposed strict censorship of the Press, he inserted an Obituary Notice in the Daily Mirror which ran something like this –
         Death is announced of under tragic circumstances of D.E.M. O’Cracy, beloved husband of T. Ruth, loving father of L.I. Berty and Justitia ………. expired. Burial will be at Temple Trees …..

This Article may be continued.

Ronald Perera
7th November 2019

PS: It has been said that the now famous "obituary" notice was inserted by Dr. Riley Fernando, a GP in Dehiwela who was well known as a prankster. It was stated that even the then Daily Mirror Editor Reggie Michael was caught unawares! The late Dr. Riley Fernando was married to Professor Priyani Soysa's sister.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Appreciation 2 - H.N. Wickramasinghe

By Nalin Nanayakkara 

I was consumed with great sadness when I heard that  HN is no more.
We were batchmates from 1962-1967 although we burned  the midnight oil doing joint studies togetherwe were a fun loving bunch but took turns at combined studies at someone's home 
at times mine . I remember once , when we were studying the human brain , one of the guys had
left a human brain preserved in formalin under my bed. My mother had discovered this and was sure that our home was going to be possessed by this dead person. She promptly visited an exorcist for damage control. Needless to say she did not enter my bedroom for a very long time.

During the grueling first two years of medical school we crammed hard but let loose every two weeksafter a mini test that was called signatures. HN had befriended a florist across from the anatomy block who made his living selling flowers and wreaths and even coffins to the bereaved families ,although the owner was not aware that we were not in the wards yet he provided a bottle of the cheapest brew called Gal Arrack with the hope that we would refer families to him for his services. A bottle was Rs 8 then but as poor medicos we were lucky if we could afford 5 cents for a cheap cigarette.Armed with this bottle we headed to the beach at Kinross after a sing-song ended up inebriated or not at Mayfair restaurant on Galle Rd., for hoppers and coffee after which we managed to crawl home in one piece at about 3 am but managed get up and attend physiology lecture the next day at 8 am.

We studied together till we graduated in 1967.  He went to Kurunegala for his internship and I stayed behind in Colombo. I took off from the motherland seeking greener pastures in 1968. We did keep in touch during my visits to Sri lanka.  I remember visiting hime once in Hanwella . Sadly he was not present at our last reunion in 2017. 

My recollection of HN was that he was a very sensitive and gentle soul who would stand up for a friend any time.

We all will miss him dearly.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Dialogue with Death

By Zita Perera Subasinghe

Zita Death, my friend my dear chum!
 Sorry no chat with you awhile
Oh, Iknow that you’re not dumb!
 You’ve been eyeing me awhile

Death‘Come with me, to see the sights!’
Z.   Oh, you mean, walk hand in hand?
D.   ‘Yes, to the city to see the lights!’
Z.   Then you bury me under the sand?

D.    Trust me, my friend  so smart and clever!’
Z.     ‘Oh, Flattery will get you everywhere’!
D.    No! I won’t let you down ever!’
Z.    Except, six-foot underground? There!’

D.   No, I’m not doing any jiggery pokery!’
Z.  What? Have you gone a bit mad?’
D.   No, I just found it in the dictionary’
Z.    Oh! So, you’re an educated lad!’

D.  I love to see you all dressed up
Z.   And looking pretty but nowhere to go?
D.   Why not go to church all spruced up?
Z.       To hear ‘Requiem’ and even more?

D  You’ll be like in the Seventh Heaven!
Z.   Oh, the truth comes out at last!
D.  Friend Peter’s house has stories seven
Z. My burial will go with a blast?

D  A suspicious mind will get you nowhere!
Z  Oh Death, my dear, loving friend!
D. Oh yes! Flattery will get you everywhere!
Z. OK, OK! Let me go to my end!

D. Why the sudden change of mind?
Z. I want to make a decent job of it!
D. Then you’re indeed one of a kind!
Z.  Bye! No tears, not a drop of it!