Lives of the fellows

Kumaradasa Rajasuriya

b.2 December 1915 d.2 January 1975
LMS Ceylon(1940) MRCP(1952) MD(1954) DCH(-) FRCP(1964)

Kumaradasa Rajasuriya was professor of medicine in the University of Sri Lanka (Colombo Campus). He was born in Colombo, his father being Marshall Fernando Rajasuriya, a station superintendent of the Ceylon Government Railway, and his mother, Melgina Fernando, was the daughter of a building contractor and timber merchant, Deveni Jayarekera. Kumaradasa was educated at Nalanda College and the Ceylon Medical College, University of Ceylon, graduating LMS in 1940 and proceeding MD in 1954. He took the MRCP in 1952 and was elected a Fellow of the College in 1964. He did much to found the Ceylon College of Physicians, and was elected president in 1971.

Rajasuriya was a sound physician and an enthusiastic teacher, who contributed greatly to the maintenance of high clinical standards in the Ceylon Medical School. At this time Sri Lanka had limited facilities for specialized diagnostic investigations and he realised the importance of a sound clinical training for students. For some years he was seconded to the Government as Director of Health Services, but found the limitations of the post irksome. He returned to his clinical work and teaching with relief and pleasure. He served the General Hospital Colombo for twenty years and despite some degree of ill health continued in the chair of medicine until his death. He contributed valuable papers on cirrhosis of the liver and chronic pancreatitis in Sri Lanka.

A devout Buddhist, Rajasuriya was president of the University Buddhist Brotherhood, and deeply interested in his country and its history. In 1973 he published a paper in the Transactions of the Ceylon College of Physicians on the history of medicine in Sri Lanka from the 5th century BC and the influence of Gautama Buddha and his followers on the establishment of hospitals in the country.

His hobbies were painting, writing poetry, and model trains. He was unmarried.

Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
V Luniewska

[Lancet, 1975, 1, 177]

(Volume VI, page 386)

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