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She’ll be long remembered for promoting native remedies in combating cancer

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An appreciation: Dr. Mrs. Cynthia Jayasuriya

The late Dr. Mrs. Cynthia Jayasuriya, top ENT surgeon would be remembered for promoting manioc, considered the poor man’s food, as a miracle nourishment that could hold the ultimate secret to curing cancer. Having undergone treatment for a long time, Cynthia declared she suffered from cancer and commenced a study of Western food practices before endorsing manioc. In public lectures and addressing gatherings, via Skype, Cynthia had no qualms in saying that she ate manioc three times a day and that manioc was the reason for her improvement.

 The media quoted her as having said: “So I ate the manioc minimum of 10 grams three times a day. After having consumed it for one month, I underwent a cystoscopy (examination of the bladder) at the General Hospital by the same surgeon who treated me. He was surprised that my bladder was absolutely clean and normal. “There was no place to take any biopsy”, were the surgeon’s very words to me.”

Cynthia strongly believed that comprehensive studies should be done on how manioc can be used in the treatment of cancer patients.

It is with immense gratitude I’m penning this appreciation of the much-adored Cynthia akki who passed away on April 12, 2020, a week prior to her 84th birthday. Cynthia belonged to an affluent Catholic family in Negombo. Her parents were Gladstone and Beeta de Livera. Gladstone’s elder brother, Michael de Livera, donated his spacious residence with more than five acres of land to then Cardinal Thomas Cooray to set up a home for the aged. Michael made the donation in memory of his parents. The Church established St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged for those who struggled to make ends meet.

Cynthia had one sister and six brothers younger to her. She had her early education at Ave Maria Convent, Negombo, before entering the Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya where she secured the required results to enter Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. Her dream was to become an E.N.T. surgeon. Having had her postgraduate studies in the U.K, she returned to the country where she served in many hospitals. Subsequently, she served in the private sector hospitals, too. She was well known for her diagnostic and surgical skills and was much sought after being very kind and generous.

She had no qualms in providing her services free of charge to those unable to make payments. She married Wilfrid Jayasuriya from Kalutara. He was a government servant cum teacher and one-time Commissioner of the R.M.V. Jayasuriya taught at the American National College, an extension of a consortium of American, Australian and British Universities. Jayasuriya was the holder of a Doctorate for English Language, also winner of the Art Council Award for Best Novel 1996 (Libyan episode). Jayasuriya also authored ‘Time Traveller’, ‘Sri Lanka’s modern English literature: a case study in literary theory’, ‘Christine’s Story’ and ‘The British Diaries’

 They had four children, two sons and two daughters, Saliya, Palika, Charitha and Menik. Except her son Saliya, other children live in the US. Saliya resides in Colombo and, like his mother, is so affectionate whenever time permits he visits me and my husband, Claude at our home at Katuwapitiya, Negombo. As the writer is married to one of Cynthia’s brothers, she had the opportunity to know closely how much Cynthia loved her parents, brothers, only sister, and their siblings. We are forever grateful for her adorable ways, always the Good Samaritan to help. Whenever we were sick or in trouble she was our saviour.

Whilst I go down memory lane, I recollect, a long time back, when my husband had an operation. We were asked to go to her residence at Borella, where we were looked after well. She was a fabulous pianist. The memory of Cynthia playing the piano while singing softly is still afresh on the writer’s mind. Cynthia used to make butter having milked the cow. Another loving memory is Cynthia leaving her home for Sunday mass driving her Benz. Lastly she was a fond and adorable grandmother of Lauren, Michael, Jessica, Amy, Sophia and Juliette. May the Almighty Lord look after her. Let the perpetual light shine upon her.

Yours lovingly,

Nalini de Livera.



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Opinion

Send them back to school!

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We are not talking about our children going back to school but about the request made by the Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella to allow parliamentarians to enrol in the Sri Lankan Law College, or any other university, to further their studies. How about the basic qualification to enter university? Talking about the basic qualification we remember there was a talk some time ago about some members who have not got through even their GCE (O)Level, a bare minimum qualification, required even for a peon in a recognised organisation or in government services. We request the Chief Opposition Whip to request, on behalf of these members, to allow them to go back to school, no matter how old they are.

We remember one SAARC member country brought in a regulation saying that all those who come forward to contest a seat in the parliament should possess a university degree and at the submission of nomination the officials detected that nearly 20% of the certificates were fake. Anyway, we are proud that such things are extremely rare in our country.

Finally, I urge Kiriella to include schools, too, for MPs, who need the basic qualifications for university admission.

S. H. MOULANA

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Opinion

Compensate victims of gas explosions

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There is no shortage of hot topics for the media these days, the latest being the unusual occurrence of gas related accidents. Any ordinary person would understand that the present series of accidents are certainly due to the release of newly arrived consignment of gas cylinders whose composition ratio of propane and butane has been altered to maximise profits.

The responsible institutions and authorities as well as some ambidextrous politicians are defending the culprits who deny any change in the gas composition. The special committee appointed by the President to investigate into the matter, seem biased. The other day the public saw (through the TV news footages) that these so-called experts were trying to bully the innocent victims of these accidents, accusing them of the use of worn out hoses and regulators as the main reason for the incidents. Why the hell can’t they figure out the fact that these accidents are all due to the use of the newly bought wrongly filled cylinders. A committee of this nature is useless if its aim is to serve the vested interests. Instead of blaming the victims, one compulsory question they should ask is if the cylinder is newly bought or an old one. It is sad that this Kekille committee of experts is also trying to put the blame on the innocent consumer and defend the businessman.

All that the government should do at this critical hour is to introduce a mechanism to collect the data of the victims of these explosions and pay due compensation to them forthwith at the expense of the concerned gas company. The ministry in charge should also issue an urgent order to the company to recall the return of all these defective gas cylinders distributed to all districts and take immediate action for refilling them with the correct prescription of the chemical composition and issue with a new label giving all required instructions. In the meantime, the Consumer Protection Authority must ensure that accessories like the hoses and regulators, conforming to the SLS standards, are available in the market at least from now on for the safety of the consumers.

M. B. Navarathne

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Opinion

Banks make a killing at depositors’ expense

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The motive of the government decision to lower the interest rates of deposits was predominantly to engross the banks to lend at lower interest rates for entrepreneurs to boost the economy of the country which is in dire straits. However, would this proposal prove productive?

Owing to this absurd stunt senior citizens and pensioners have been left high and dry high and dry, resulting in unprecedented agony and anguish. Many victims have highlighted their grievances on behalf of the distraught senior citizens and pensioners. This much spoken of government’s harsh decision to lower interest rates has made the lives of senior citizen’s and pensioners miserable with the escalating high cost of living, skyrocketing cost of medical expenses, etc. It is pertinent to mention that monthly interest rates on fixed deposits, which they mostly rely upon, have been reduced to alarmingly low 4% and 5 % which has added to the woes already the senior citizens face.

All senior citizens who are not receiving or entitled for a pension, depend solely on monthly fixed deposit interest as the regular source of income for their living. As a result of lowering interest rates of deposits, their plans have all been shattered causing them to be wondering how to make ends meet.At this dire juncture, the intervention of the President is needed to revoke this unreasonable decision of lowering the interest rates of deposits.

The only redress the senior folk benefits is by the Central Bank’s special scheme of 15% interest for senior citizens. However, in this too the senior citizens have been slapped and battered with a Rs 1.5 million ceiling.

In comparison to the reduction of interest rates of deposits, if one takes into account the number of loans granted to entrepreneurs at lower interest rates the answer would be very negligible, particularly as the bank’s do not take risks to lend to entrepreneurs whom they believe to have projects not viable. The banks of course, would show enhanced profits at the end of the year as they have paid the depositors lower interest rates which reflects as plus mark for their balance sheets. This is a blessing in disguise for the management of banks at the receiving end of impoverished pensioners and senior citizens.

In the above contest the intervention of the President Gotabaya Rajapakse is most needed to bring about redress to ‘distressed” senior citizens and pensioners

Sunil Thenabadu

Brisbane, Australia

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