The 90th Birth Anniversary of the Late Prof. Pundit, Dr. Sir Anton Chitral Jayasuriya, who was the founding father of Medicina Alternativa and the Open International University for Complementary Medicine, falls on the 20th June, while his demise was on 6th April 2005.
His collegiate education was at St. Sebastian’s College Moratuwa, where he excelled in studies and thereafter entered the Colombo Medical College and graduated with Honours in 1954 and practiced Allopathy Medicine until he was decertified in 2001.
In addition to his being a Doctor, he was a fellow of a number of international colleges and a visiting Professor in Acupuncture, Homoeopathy and Manipulative Medicines. He held fourteen Post-Graduate titles and eleven knighthoods, from countries that benefited from his vast experience and expertise.
He also qualified as a Consultant Rheumatologist in UK, USA and Canada, but gradually metamorphosed into an Acupuncturist. His life was never confined to Allopathic Medicine or treating patients in state hospitals alone, from 1st April 1954 till 1962.
He was also the visiting professor for 25 years to the Royal College of General Practitioners and to the Faculty of Medicine, Monash University of Australia.
He has treated over 3.5 million people from over 140 countries without ever charging doctors’ fees for consultation or treatment, both from local as well as foreign patients
By the year 2004 he had authored and published over 90 books on various disciplines of medicine and had them translated into nine languages, in addition to his books on Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism.
The last three books published by him were on, (1) How doctors do harm to patients (2) Principles and Practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (weighing over 3 kg) and (3) Manual therapies outlining the different methods of healing using the hands. Also over 3.5 million copies of his book on Clinical Acupuncture has been sold in over 140 countries and also translated into nine languages.
He has treated over 3.5 million people from over 140 countries without ever charging doctors’ fees for consultation or treatment, both from local as well as foreign patients. Truly a unique gesture from one of the healing fraternity. Of this, over one million have been from the Tamil community, both in Jaffna and Wellawatte (little Jaffna), where he has nurtured them for 40 years from his home at IBC Road, Wellawatte (according to the late Prof. Anton himself).
In 1962, he attended the W.H.O. Conference in Alma Ata in Kazakhstan (then in Russia) to study the recognition and application of traditional medicines worldwide and as a medical doctor, he was selected to look into the various aspects of Research, Teaching and Application Methodology.
His efforts, together with Prof. De Jos Schade, Neurologist at the University of Ultrecht, helped to create a teaching creative in Ultrecht, Holland. Later for economic reasons and to assist students in Sri Lanka this Teaching Unit was brought to Colombo South Hospital in Kalubowila.
The World Congress, was formed by Medicina Alternativa and the Open International University for Complementary Medicines, to honour his life and work.
He hosted every World Congress Session in Sri Lanka since 1962, the year the charter of Medicina Alternativa was declared, until his demise in 2005.
In 1974 the government of Sri Lanka and the W.H.O. granted him a World Health Organisation Scholarship to study Acupuncture in the Peoples Republic of China. He passed out first, in the very first batch of Allopathy medical specialists trained in China on W.H.O. Fellowship. It was during this time when in China, that he realised that there were therapeutic modalities that were cost inexpensive and at the same time effective. This was the answer to serving the poor without charging fees. Since then, over 27,000 Doctors, Clinicians and Medical Practitioners from 127 countries have taken advantage of his teaching methodology and they have been certified by him, to practice the art of Acupuncture and Traditional medicines in their respective countries, as recorded.
He was invited to be the chief Theme Speaker at the 1st World Congress of Chinese Acupuncture held in Australia in 2003, at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He was introduced as an Integrated Health Practitioner whose name appears in the B.B.C. English Dictionary, in the section defining the term Practitioner.
At the World Congress of Homeopathy, held by this International body in 1996, Lord, Pundit, Prof. Dr. Sir Anton Jayasuriya was conferred the designation of the Homeopathy Physician of the Year.
The 1st International Hahnemann Gold Medal, awarded by the B Jain Foundation of New Delhi, India, was awarded to Pundit, Prof. Dr. Sir Anton Jayasuriya for the integration of Acupuncture and Homoeopathy as Homoeopuncture.
He also spearheaded the movement that ensured that the Nobel Foundation in Sweden acquiesced and accepted, that complementary and alternate medical practitioners (e.g. Acupuncturists) were also eligible to receive the Nobel Prize/Award the world over, from the year 2004 onwards.
The former Secretary General of the United Nations Organisation Kofi A. Annan presented the Millennium Service Award posthumously to Prof. Anton Jayasuriya, for his great contribution in organising the Open International University for Complementary Medicine and Medicina Alternative to serve humanity.
The late inimitable Emeritus Prof. Dr. Carlo Fonseka in his Commemoration Orations on Prof. Anton has said that “his Alternate Medicines took the best from all systems. He promises to cure only those that can be cured, but always gives hope, courage and consoles them. Prof. Anton was a trail blazer, a pathfinder and a model Doctor. To meet him, is to have half your ailments cured. This placebo effect is due to his combination of personality, humour, wit and ambiguous statements that cuts both ways.”
Prof. Anton has treated over 3.5 million Sri Lankans during a period of 50 years. The majority of them from Jaffna and Wellawatte. While in Jaffna he established a Department of Physical Medicines, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation over the entire North of Sri Lanka up to Anuradhapura, Mannar and Batticaloa in the 1960s.
As Acting Director of Health of the Jaffna General Hospital, now Teaching Hospital, grateful citizens named the famous Casuarina Beach Resort, as Jayasuriya Avenue. Also when he was transferred to Colombo as an Assistant Director of Health, black flags were flown in Jaffna Peninsula. Further, the Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiappah, passed a unanimous resolution in the Municipal Council in August 1970, requesting Minister W.P.G. Ariyadasa to grant Prof. Jayasuriya an extension of another 4 years in Jaffna. The extension was not granted and over 100 Austin Cars escorted him to the Health Ministry on his transfer to Colombo.
Prof. Dr. Sir Chitral Anton Jayasuriya was a multi-dimensional personality and a unique and versatile genius, a great Teacher and Healer and a remarkable man of vision, the like of whom we are unlikely to meet again.
T. Don Augustine
(J.P. All Island)
Chairman - Sir Anton Jayasuriya Memorial Committee
Ph. D. Public Relations
Open International University