Department of Medical Humanities – Gallery
Dr Tharanga Thoradeniya, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo speaks about animal welfare and her metamorphosis is becoming sentient about animal welfare as a scientist and much more.
Have you ever thought how difficult it must be for a lab worker to watch an animal used for research die as a result of captivity or the research processes? How do the workers feel?
Have you ever lost a pet? How does the grief of losing a pet change our emotions? How does that experience change our perceptions of love, loss, longing, reconciling with emptiness? In this video Udesh Fernando talks about losing a pet and much more.
The Cruelty to animals ordinance of Sri Lanka is over a 100 years old. The Animal Welfare Bill of Sri Lanka will soon go in to parliament to be passed. How will the future look like. In this video Dr Chamari Kannangara speaks about that and more.
What does it mean to be a wild elephant or a wild animal in Sri Lanka today? Are we losing our morality in the wilderness? Why is bushmeat so common around sacred cities in Sri Lanka. Should you sit on an Elephant
In this video Samanmalee Kotakadeniya , former Sri Lankan National Athlete speaks about her love for animals and why she feeds them.
While we salute her animal loving heart we encourage all Sri Lankans to practice responsible domestic and community dog ownership and to vaccinate pets and other animals where indicated for the prevention of the spread of rabies in our communities.
In this video Senior Professor Priyadarshani Galappatthy, Head of the department of Medical Humanities offers some remarks about the Humanitas Programme themed on animal welfare. The Humanitas Programme is an initiative by the Department of Medical Humanities and the Humanities, Society and Professionalism stream of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
Three medical students from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo speak about their unusual animal fascinations and love and compassion for animals. Shavi Madhushanka, Shanuka Komalage and Poojani Chandrasekera present their compassion and passion. They have a message to the world:
1. Please do not harm animals.
2. If you are scared of a snake please don’t kill it- reach out to many Facebook and online platforms to confirm if the reptile you see is poisonous.
3. Respect even the small animals- without the bees life on earth is compromised for humans.
4. Let’s share this world with the animals
Professor Panduka Karunanayake leads the discussion where the concept of one welfare and specicism. Can we actually live with other animals in an ecological balance, why are we more likely to kill a snake as opposed to a cat or a rabbit? This video has comments from Dr Tharanga Thoradeniya ,Udesh Fernando, Dr Deepani Jayantha and much more.
In this video the resource persons of Humanitas Programme, the academic staff and the medical students of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo share their love for their pets and wild animals.
Have you noticed that you can say the words that we say to the humans we love, to the animals too?

The poetry presented by Dr. Lavanya Wijesekara and Eram Rickardo (A student of AL 2019 batch, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo)

The discussion with Ms. Madhubhashini Disanayaka Ratnayake

The discussion with Prof. Saroj Jayasinghe (Founder Head of the department of Medical Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo)

The speech presented by Prof. Priyadarshani Galappatthy (Head, Department of Medical Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo)

The speech presented by Prof. Panduka Karunanayake (Chairperson, Humanities, Society and Professionalism Stream, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo)

The founder head of the Department of Medical Humanities, Professor Saroj Jayasinghe bid farewell to the Faculty of Medicine in January this year after 40 long years of teaching and an exceptional academic career. The Department of Medical Humanities staff under the guidance of the current Head of the Department, Professor Priyadarshani Galappattthy organized an event to felicitate Professor Jayasinghe for the service he rendered establishimng the Department and promoting Medical Humanities.

This was held immediately after the Professor Carlo Fonseka Oration on the 4th of March 2021 in the Faculty board room as a hybrid event. Dr Santushi Amarasuriya spoke of the immense contribution made by Professor Jayasinghe to the Department and Professor Panduka Karunanayaka spoke of contribution to the Behavioural Sciences Stream (BSS) which is evolving into the Humanities Society and Professionalism stream (HSPS). Dr Karma Tenzin, Deputy Dean, Academic Affairs, Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan spoke from Bhutan on Contributions of Professor Saroj Jayasinghe in the introduction of Medical Humanities/ Behavioural Sciences at the postgraduate level in Bhutan. A video prepared by medical students on the life of medical students was shown and president of the medical Faculty students union Mr Punu Jayakody also spoke at this event.

The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Vajira Dissanayake, Professor Colvin Goonerathne, Professor Panduka Karunanayake, Professor Prasad Katulanda, Dr. Damani Jayasinghe and many other members of academic and non-academic staff attended this event.

A newsletter with tributes to Professor Jayasinghe was launched at the event. Following the event, a photograph of Professor Saroj Jayasinghe was unveiled at the Department of Medical Humanities.

The Inaugural Professor Carlo Fonseka Oration in Medical Humanities was held on 4th March 2021, in the Board Room of the Faculty of Medicine, which marked the 88th birthday of Professor Carlo Fonseka, born on 4th of March in 1933.  The Professor Carlo Fonseka oration in medical Humanities is another unique addition to the activities organized by the Department of Medical Humanities and is the first named oration in the Medical Faculty, organized by a department.

Professor Carlo Fonseka was a pioneer in many fields of inquiry. A special area of his interest was the promotion of the arts and its links with health. His work in this interface of medical humanities includes authoring numerous songs, poems and essays. He was active in promoting the field and contributed in many ways to promote its development in his alma mater, the Faculty of Medicine Colombo.

The Department established this oration to honour this great artist, teacher and visionary by an annual oration related to Medical Humanities. The field of Medical Humanities encompasses a wide range of disciplines, such as ethics, psychology, the social sciences as well as the critical use of artistic and literary works to understand the human experience in health and illness. Professor Carlo Fonseka, who was a multi-faceted medical professional, being a musician, lyricist, orator, political activist and an effective communicator to the public was an excellent role model for the humane doctors that the Medical Faculty aspire to produce with the influence of this new Department of Medical Humanities, established in 2016.

Professor Saroj Jayasinghe, the founder head of the Department of Medical Humanities, was selected unanimously as the inaugural orator considering his contribution to the field of medical Humanities and his close association with Professor Carlo Fonseka. Professor Jayasinghe not only founded the Department of medical humanities but also pioneered serval activities of the new Department to promote the field including organizing the inaugural International Conference on Medical Humanities in July 2018, a lecture series relevant to medical humanities by eminent personalities and proposing establishment of an oration in medical humanities named after Professor Carlo Fonseka. Professor Jayasinghe retired recently from the Faculty of Medicine after 4 nearly decades of service to the Faculty and delivered the inaugural oration on the title Professor Carlo Fonseka: Retracing the steps of an iconic teacher and a multifaceted intellectual’.

The oration was held as a hybrid event with a few distinguished invitees gracing the occasion which was webcasted live by the Audio-visual team of the Faculty of Medicine.  Mrs Pearl Fonseka, beloved wife late professor Carlo Fonseka, the daughter and few family members joined the event.  Professor Chandrika Wijeyaratne, the Vice Chancellor attended as the chief guest and Professor Vajira Dissanayaka, Dean, Professor Saroj Jayasighe the orator, Professor Priyadarshani Galappatthy the Head of the Department of Medical Humanities, Professor Panduka Karunanayaka, Chairperson of Humanities, Society and professionalism stream, Dr Santhushi Amarasuriya, senior lecturer in the Department and a few other staff members joined the academic procession.

On 2nd September 2020, the 1st death anniversary of Professor Carlo Fonseka, the Department of Medical Humanities commemorated him at a function held at the Physiology Lecture Theater of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. It was nostalgic to most of his students who were in attendance as the same venue where Professor Fonseka used to deliver most of his lectures while he was a lecturer in physiology in the faculty.

The event was held as a hybrid event due to social distancing guidelines with a limited audience invited onsite with a large number of participants joining online via Zoom and YouTube.

It was graced by the attendance of the family of late Professor Fonseka including his Wife Mrs. Pearl Fonseka, his daughter and the son-in-law. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo, Professor Chandrika Wijeyaratne attended the event as the chief guest and Professor Vajira Dissanayaka, Dean of the faculty also graced the occasion.

Professor Priyadarshani Galappatthy, Head of Department of Medical Humanities gave a welcome address and the event followed with several speeches covering various aspects of Professor Fonseka’s life.  These included the Philosophy of Professor Carlo Fonseka, his involvement in politics, the musical and lyrical creations he had done, and his support in creating the Department of Medical Humanities in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, which were done by Dr. Panduka Karunanayaka, Professor Narada Warnasuriya, Dr. Hemantha Perera, and Professor Saroj Jayasinghe.

Dr. Chandana Athapattu spoke about Professor Fonseka’s last days and then his long-term colleague, Prof. Colvin Goonaratna spoke about Prof. Fonseka as a friend.

Before conclusion of the session, there was a discussion and a reflections session moderated by Professor Saroj Jayasinghe, for which most of the attendees contributed and Dr Santushi Amarasuriya, Senior Lecturer in the Department gave the vote of thanks.

During this event, a photograph of Professor Carlo Fonseka was officially unveiled at the physiology lecture theatre among the other renowned physiologists who have worked in the Department.