We are eternally grateful to our Faculty and University of Peradeniya for laying strong foundations and nurturing us, to reach the positions we hold in the medical profession and the society today, thank you. Now it is our turn to payback. The great Nelson Mandela famously said, “there is no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.” PeMSAA-UK Management Committee and I will continue to dedicate our services and share our experiences for the development of alumni and alma mater without expecting anything in return. In short, the PeMSAA-UK exists, wholly and solely, to help our alumni and by extension, the Peradeniya Medical Faculty itself succeeds.
The COVID-19 situation in UK and other countries is unprecedented and it’s an evolving state of affairs. This has caused huge disruption to our normal day today life and may have affected our alumni mentally and physically. I would like to offer PeMSAA-UK’s sincere thanks to all our UK alumni and other Sri Lankan Postgraduate trainees in UK, nobly volunteering to work in the frontline during this crisis.
Despite of all the interruptions and distractions PeMSAA-UK has continued to adapt to the changes, respecting the rules, guidance and managed to function as normal with meetings and exciting Webinars using Zoom platform and networking with the alumni in UK and globally.
Our highlight activities for the year 2020 were; introduction of the Newsletters and hosting two excellent, Webinars; “COVID-19, The Current & Future Developments” in August with internationally renowned speakers and “Reminiscing the Peradeniya Days” in November with Prof Channa Ratnatunga as our guest speaker followed by incredible social events. We held the AGM on 28th November 2020 and we thank you all for your participation and contribution. The AGM approved the existing committee to continue until the 2021 AGM and new members were elected to those vacant positions following stepping down of three committee members. At the AGM those executive committee members who stepped down were thanked, for their valuable contributions and the new committee members were welcomed and we are looking forward to working together for another exciting term. The AGM also ratified the revised PeMSAA-UK Constitution in addition to approving the continuance of our projects and activities.
PeMSAA-UK is committed to working together to promote education, research and advocacy; I will give you a brief update on our current progress. PeMSAA-UK has set up three scholarships for less fortunate, academically achieving students. We continue to support the “PeMSAA-UK annual academic awards” to encourage junior alumni in Sri Lanka to participate in research/audit/quality improvement projects at a grass-root level. To enhance the investigative thinking and evidence-based healthcare practice, from 2021 we are also encouraging the undergraduates to submit their research projects towards a new “PeMSAA-UK Undergraduate academic award”. We are continuing to sponsor the delivery of International Medicine and Surgery journals to the library and remain committed to supporting the faculty library and students by donating numerous medical textbooks. We are to support post MD alumni from Sri Lanka, wanting to visit UK for their overseas training.
Please do look out for PeMSAA-UK Webinars and furthermore I kindly request you to mark your diaries to attend PeMSAA-UK 2021 International Academic Conference, Professor Varagunam Memorial Lecture and annual Ball on 18th September 2021; we are optimistic and anticipate by then there will be some global normality for us to hold a traditional conference and get together.
We would encourage many of our UK alumni becoming paid up annual or life members of PeMSAA-UK and we want to inspire the alumni connect with each other as well as our alma mater.
I like to finish with another quote by Nelson Mandela “vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time and vision with action can change the world.” PeMSAA-UK has the vision and action plans to make a difference for our alumni and alma mater and we kindly request you all to join us.
Dr Krish Thambiah Radhakrishnan
President – PeMSAA-UK