Peradeniya Medical School Aumni Association - United Kingdom
Prof Chelvarayan Barr Kumarakulasinghe
His demise in Australia yesterday the 13th May, saddened all of us who were his ‘Golayas’ and friends’. Barr- Kum' to all of us, was ‘ a Man for all Seasons’.
‘ Time’ to him was not staccato’d by mundane events such as eating schedules; he would hold forth on his erudite discussions with medical students. His meandering mind waded through, from the nuances of surgery, through social policy, to music and whatnot. They enjoyed the ride, even with aching belly’s. I remember once his wife ringing me his Golaya, in the operating theatre (OT) in the wee hours of the morning trying to find the ‘where a bout’s of Barr Kum'. Informing her that he had left the OT around 8 pm, I stepped out of the OT to find him. As I stepped out to the compound I heard the characteristic laugh, almost a guffaw, from outside, where yours truly and the anaesthetist Dr Kumar de Silva were in Barr’s car enjoying a joke and munching into a ‘thosse meal’ bought at Muslim Hotel!
Concerned about the downtrodden he would go to lengths to help. His patients enjoyed his kindness and competence. An insightful diagnostician with a sound decision-making ability, a surgical craftsman with immense natural ability. I was privileged to be trained by him in the late ‘60s.
That was a time when the Peradeniya Medical Faculty and Kandy were teeming with talent. Names of Senaka Bibile, Valentine Basnayake, T. Vargunam, Brian Seneviratne and Mark Amerasinghe come readily to mind. A Piano is shifted into the physiology dept: Barr’s wife Nirmalini, a keyboard artiste in her own right, joined them to make music, the night air made melodious with their endeavours.
Academia was Barr Kums forte. Curiosity, innovation a natural gift. The youngest Professor of Surgery to grace this land; his talents so special to this country, pruned by the fell stroke of a mindless rabble, in ’83 communal riots. His mother’s house was set on fire in Mt Lavinia, just because her close relation was the Leader of the Federal Party, Mr. Chelvanayagam. The country lost many consultants who were gifted, as many emigrated - Barr Kum and family left for Australia. May his memory be etched indelibly in the annals of the surgical history of this land.
Dr Channa Ratnatunga
Prof Barr Kumarakulasinghe
A Memorable picture: Prof Barr Kumarakulasinghe with Prof Varagunam and Dr Brian Seneviratne at 1966 Batch Reunion in 2001
Professor Chelvarayan Barr Kumarakulasinghe
Condolences message from PeMSAA-UK
(to be read at the funeral on behalf of the association.
Peradeniya Medical School Alumni Association,
United Kingdom - PeMSAA-UK)
The Management Committee of peMSAA-UK, its members and the UK alumni are saddened by the
loss of a most caring and humble person Professor Barr Kumarakulasinghe, our
esteemed teacher and an eminent Surgeon with a great deal of expertise in his
The demise of our beloved teacher, colleague and friend is an irreplaceable loss
not only to his close loving family and friends but also to the medical
professionals and many more around the globe.
The PeMSAA-UK extends their sincere condolences to his family and
Dr Krish T Radhakrishnan
President – PeMSAA-UK