COMMANDER DR. LAKDASA DISSANAYAKE: A NOBLE SRI LANKAN MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL (SURGEON)
This article was sent to me by my cousin who did not know that Lucky studied with us
Here is the photo of that gathering in SL, in 1989- 90- when the SL group
got together .
This is the event that Dalpe mentioned in his comment , when
after a month or so, Lakdasa passed away . Most likely, this would be one of
the LAST photos of Lakdasa .
11 thoughts on “COMMANDER DR. LAKDASA DISSANAYAKE:”
Thanks Praxy for passing on this write up about a very dear colleague.Laky was an exceptional human being and a trusted friend.His practice of our profession was as his mother has written.He was smart,clever,compassionate and more importantly a gentleman to his finger tips.I often think of him when I see what is happening to our profession in Sri Lanka.He would have been a shining light in these turbulent times.Eddie.
Let me thank Sam and Praxy, for posting this Memorial Tribute, which is a Symbol of Respect, Honouring the Life of Lakdasa.
The Highest Tribute to the deceased, is not Grief, but “GRATITUDE “
Thanks Praxy and Sam,
I too endorse every word Eddie and yourselves published about one of our grestest sons of Sri Lanka.
Like Eddie I too was priviledged to associate him closely by virtue of bieng in the ‘ D’ group.
His humane qualities certainly we all admired during the early days of our professional training.
Most generous, selfless man as Eddie mentioned and a shining example of an upright excellent human being.
Those qualities we saw in him as a keen caring and erudite medical student certainly he carried into his
Not only during the student days his guidance was crucial to many of us and I am ever so grateful for having
had the opportunity to know Luckdas Abhaya Dissanayaka.
As his name prompts he certainly was a highly dedicated servant of Sri Lanka. His was a life of selfless giving.
A brilliant surgeon with the most compassionate heart, Lucky dedicated most of his professional life treating
the most vulnerable set of patients ; the cancer patients. Having known him closely I can well deduce his most
benovolent motive to champion the cause of easing the burden of a groip of patients who deserves to be taken
care by a surgeon with the most caring humane attitude.
Another excellent quality of this giant among men throughout we observed, was his unassuming nature.
Literary he had everything a man can ask. Looks, strength, wealth, nobility and brains. Yet he was the most
unassuming and the humblest, jovial and friendly and was always there to stretch the hand of friendship and
help to the needy. I still see his very pleasant smiing face after craking a very innocent joke.
In fact the reputation Lucky built while working not only in Sr Lana was immence even in the Unitrd Kingdom.
and I was fortunste to hear from a reputable mighty Scotsman.
Theimpression Lucky created among the hearts of the good and the grests of surgical field,I came to
hear during one of my most fortunate circumstances.
Soon after results of the finals of surgical fellowship in Edinburgh was released.the tradition dictated, newly
elected fellows be assembled at College President’s s office along with the board of the examiners.
It was a charm ceremony to introfuce the new fellows to the president and offce bearers of the College.
In that iccassion I was introduced to the vice president of the RCS Edinburgh and as soon as he knew
I was from Sri Lanka, his face blossomed and asked, if I knew one Mr Dissanayaka.
Lucky had been his surgical registrar for two preceedingb years and the entire conversation turned out to be a
competition between myself and the good professor, searching superletives to describe one of the most
wonderful sons of mother Lanka Lucky named Lucky Dissanayake. Lucky had been during his under study for
Returning to Sri Lanka, Lucky was the surgeon at Base Hspital Nawalapitiya while I was only 12 miles away in
Kandy as the Resident Obstetrician Kandy. Our chats were entirly invested on reminicing the wonderful five
years spent in the medical school sharing the good fortune we both had been in the grestes batch in the history
of the medical school.
Lucky had an excellent memory and a charming manner of presenting every joke, every incident reliving and
sharing with such wonderful human being, I truly felt being immensley fortunate.
Lucky was not only the pride of his parents and family, his clan, his friends and class mates at Royal, he
certsinly was the friend of everyone of entry batch ’64 and was the ‘toast of mother Lanka’.
Na so sabbaththa jayati
Yaththa so jayati dhiro
Tam kulam sukhamedhati
Hard to find is a man of great wisdom
Such a man is not born everywhere
Where such a wise man is born
That family thrives happily
(Dhammapadaya – 193)
Certainly agree with all the well deserving sentiments expressed. Feels like mother Lanka had a lost a beloved son.
Thanks Praxy and Sam for posting that Memorial on Lak. We had been childhood friends though going to opposite schools, as both our mothers were friends. Justin has forwarded the above comments to his sister Sriani who was very appreciative and she has forwarded it to Laks children.
I owe him my life.I had just returned from a conference in UK (and our 21 anniversary reunion) in 1989 , and he had heard that I was reopening the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital that had been closed for a day on JVP orders. The country was in turmoil. He came home early one morning and told me ways to avoid the bullet which I followed. He continued to visit me encouraging me. I think I am alive today because of him. Earlier around 1982 he(from the Navy),Ananda Perera (from the Army, and another batchmate) and I (from the the Air Force) went as a medical team with Army Commandos on an operation to the North In readiness to attend on the then President if he was shot.
LAK was the most decent person I have met with a heart of gold. His concern for patients , rich or poor ,was immeasurable. That fateful Day on January 14 will remain a sorrowful day etched in my memory. At his house that night in the washroom was his Bible, the quiet way he derived his spiritual strength- and respecting all religions.
His death was as the Lord Jesus Christ said: No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (Jn. 15:13). The Lord Buddha said in the Dhammapada:One day in the life of a person who strives towards perfection is better than hundred years in the life of an indolent , idle person (Sahashra Vargaya). The Bhagvadgita Ch.2,Text 30 says: This soul dwelling in the bodies of all can never be slain;therefore, you should not mourn for anyone. Holy Quran, Surah 21: 35 says : Everyone who tastes death, to Us you shall be recalled.
We celebrate your life Lak. Rest In Peace and rise in glory my friend.
Narme and Nirmali
Narme,I wholeheartedly agree with those well expressed sentiments about Lak. I do remember your trip to UK in 81 but wasn’t aware of the events later when he saved your life. Thanks for your remarks.
I agree with everything that had been so well expressed by Ariya and Narme. Many thanks to Praxy and Sam for posting the tribute by his mum.
i came to know Lak very closely during our intern days at Castle St. I remember on one occasion he got the scalpel , suture material etc from the theatre staff and performed a gynae procedure on a cadaver as he did not feel right to perform such a procedure on a live patient as a learning exercise.Such was the integrity of this great human being who cared for the less privileged in the society with enormous compassion.
Another instance I recall very vividly when he attended to leg ulcers of the servant in the quarters with daily dressings etc when he was seeking alternative ayurvedic treament . Lak had a great sense of humour and when servants wife came to help him out , Lak named her “Cooks Joy” !! ( for those unfamiliar with cooks joy ,there was a brand of cooking oil , I think, by that name )
Thank you Praxy and Sam for this most heartfelt tribute to a very Proud Son of Lanka, written by his own Mother .
There is really no yard stick to measure the Greatness of this Proud Son of Lanka .
We- the Class of 64 have the honour of calling him One of Us ..
Tomorrow will be the anniversary of that fateful day …Jan 14th . from a long time ago …..
The tribute written by his mother, brought tears to my eyes and even more tears, as I was reading through the comments by Eddie, Ariya, Narme , and Abey .
I remember, soon after Lak passed away, I wrote to Laki Senanayake- who replied ( no e-mail back then, only that old blue paper aerograms ) saying ” This one doctor, Dr Lakdasa Dissanayake is worth a Thousand Doctors like me … “– Such was Lakdasa’s Greatness and the Humility of Laki Senanayake .
I knew him in Med School, as Savitri’s most loving boy friend, who would visit the Girls Hostel to see her and later her husband and the father of Savi’s only child , and he passed away trying to save their son …
When I heard the news, my grief knew no bounds …
Sadly— both Savi and Lak are gone from us now ….
It is ironic that this tribute should be posted now, as Rajes and my self, we were talking about Savitri and Lakdasa, Nirmala and Sandy Perimps, Deva, only a few days ago ..
Lakdasa- May you Rest in Peace in The Eternal Garden of Peace …, while We The Class of 64, now scattered around the Four Directions of the Globe , Celebrate Your Life …
I was heart broken reading the wonderful tributes about Lakdasa. Thank you Praxy and Sam for posting the tribute to Lakdasa written by none other than his own mother. The very little I knew about Lakdasa was that he was a superb Physician , a through gentleman and a wonderful human being. Now I know a lot more about him , thanks to Narme , Ariya and Abey. It brings tears to my eyes when I realize that his life , a life of a super human being on earth , was limited to such a short time.
I knew Savi long before we entered medical school. I was in the Richmond college English debating team and Savi was a member of the English debating team from Mahinda college. I met her for the first time at the annual collegiate debate.We were both pleasantly surprised when we met again in Medical school.I was also very much saddened by Savi’s untimely death.
As Deepthi aptly put it this episode of the RU 64 web is a celebration of the life of a class mate. a superb physician and a wonderful one of a kind human being.
I will be failing by Lucky if I don’t say a few words in remembrance of a dear friend & school mate.
There are many fond incidences I can recall. But would like to add a few to what has been said by my batch mates.
Savithri was my body partner & Lucky would finish his dissections and then come and helped us complete ours when he was courting Savi. I remember when we had to do the head & neck he was the one who cut the skull for us.
Then once we went to RIO to see I think it was Sound of Music or was it West Side Story(Selva or Indira might remember) & after the film he gave me a lift back home on his mobike & it started to rain cats & dogs. He said Dalpe shall we drive on & I agreed. When we came to my place we were fully drenched. I can remember him telling my mother as usual smiling (with a twinkle in his eyes some of you may recollect) that we were any way going to take a bath so we did not mind the rain. Of course my mother could not say anything gave us some coffee & a towel to Lucky to wipe himself dry before driving back as it has stopped raining by then.
Last I met him was when we had our RU 25 at Hotel Renaissance (Now Cinnamon Lake).
Myself, Lucky and Dharme (Dharmasena)we were in the same group right throughout the five years at Medical College & after serving ourselves he said Dalpe shall we sit on the ledge facing the lake & enjoy the dinner using our hands as we were used to do in our College days.
Then the devastating news just a month or so after this event. I was in New Delhi attending a WHO conference and we were having drink and a get together in one of our school mates apartment when he got a message from home telling Lucky is no more. That was one of my saddest moments in life, here we were enjoying while my dear friend has been drowned trying to save his son and his friend. Further I knew it was not possible for me to come on time to attend his funeral and I was really downhearted.
May you Rest in Peace my Friend
If I were to say things of Commander Dr Laki Dissanayaka, I will be repeating what my colleagues has said before me. I will say that all those sentiments are true & appropriate. Because my last name is two steps away from him, I was in a lot of Med School groups & had personal contact with him. He was really a very soft & kind hearted person ,even though his external appearance showed he was a “Tough Guy”!!.He would give his shirt off to anyone who needed it more than him, gracious, sympathetic & a truly a remarkable human being. There is a saying “Good Die Young”; true words of wisdom & proves why I am still here!!.
My friend, Laki; May you rest in peace.