Vale Dr Siri – A remarkable human being – By Dr Palitha Ganewatta

Vale Dr Siri – A remarkable human being – By Dr Palitha Ganewatta

Obituaries - Dr Siri Kannangara

The Sri Lankan community in Australia, particularly in Sydney, is in shock and saddened to hear the untimely passing of Dr Siri Kannangara, a doctor par excellence and kind-hearted and remarkable gentleman, who dedicated his professional life to serve not only the community he belonged to but the wider Australian multicultural community. Being a medical specialist, Siri never refused to treat any Sri Lankan, who requested his service, despite his busy professional life. Once I asked him the reason for this unparalleled generosity and Siri’s response was,

“My country educated me and made me a medical practitioner, so I must pay gratitude to it by rendering my service to Sri Lankans in Australia which I made my second home.”

 In addition to his yeoman service, Siri has voluntarily trained young Sri Lankan doctors to serve in Sri Lankan hospitals, which he visited frequently and shared his medical experience and knowledge with them.

It was a known fact that Siri did not accept our addressing him as ‘Doctor’ and requested us to call him just ‘Siri’, a testimony to his remarkable humility and unassuming nature.

I believe there must be very few within the Sri Lankan community in NSW, particularly in Sydney, who had not received his generous medical services.

Siri was an Olympian, a Sydney Olympic torch bearer, which was a unique opportunity granted to any Sri Lankan abroad. There were a lot of cricketers of international repute, who were fortunate to receive Siri’s medical advice.

One of the amiable features of Siri was his constant habit to follow up his patients’ condition by contacting them over the phone a day or two later, an unequivocal quality of ‘Hedakama’, which is a rarity in the modern medical sphere. The loss of Siri is irreplaceable, which reminds us of the Buddhist teaching of impermanence of human life.

May Dr Siri attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana!

Dr Palitha Ganewatta, Sydney, Australia

palitha ganewatta

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