Friday 24 June 2022



24 June 2022

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam


[“Last Sunday, when a new mother began suffering dangerous bleeding at a major Colombo hospital, an urgent call went out to one of its main consultant anaesthetists.

The mother needed to be rushed to surgery but the specialist was three kilometres away, stuck in an hours-long line at a petrol station without enough fuel to drive to the hospital.

She started looking for tuk-tuks but couldn’t find one and even asked the police for help to get to the hospital,” Yasuni Manikkage, another doctor at the hospital, told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Fortunately, the anaesthetist was eventually was able to get there, as a vehicle from the hospital was sent to pick her up. The mother was able to go into emergency surgery and after further treatment in the intensive-care unit, she is now recovering.]

 The above was about Sri Lanka , interpreted by an Australian. The parallel of it happened to me here in Australia. I shared it as follows with the chairman of our body corporate:

[Yesterday, you saw being wheeled out by Ambulance staff.  Below is an account of it as shared with a group of doctors:

Yesterday, after my writing  work and in the middle of cooking dinner for the family, I felt chest-pain. Then I started sweating. Then I felt nauseous. I submitted to the Lord  first. Then I sought to call the ambulance but kept dialling 999 instead of 000. Both Param and our granddaughter who lives with us during her Uni studies – were at work. I thought of my lawyer friend Viji’s father who called the ambulance from a telephone booth – when he developed chest-pain. Then I felt I also could do likewise. I left the front door of my unit open and then lay down on the sofa. I heard the Ambulance. I had already given directions to ask the office to let them in. It so happened that Param came at the same time the Ambulance staff were asking about unit 906. I was taken to Prince of Wales hospital.”

If I had been alone on the weekend or after office hours, I would not have directed the Ambulance staff to the office. This, as you know, happened when your then neighbour was trying to open our door – thinking it was his. Then I raised the issue of us not being able to get the Police up – without risking injury to ourselves. You fitted a camera on the floor but did not resolve the problem. Yesterday’s incident is much more serious – as it is a matter of life and death. One of the doctors in our group said that in the case of one of their colleagues – they personally took the patient to the hospital, as the ambulance was getting late.

As advised previously, our son said that given the new lifts – it would be appropriate to facilitate our guests to come to our floor. Pradeep said that the wiring would need to be changed but that this would be easier done now when the new lifts are being installed. Relative to that – Roof Garden and other comforts seem to be a luxury.

I am informing you because you are the chairman of the community. If I fail to hear from you positively, I propose to take the issue up with the Council. This may lead to other similar structures getting a new, improved system.]


In the Ambulance and at the hospital, I was asked to state the level of my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 – where 10 was strongest pain. In both instances I said that to me it was the worst I had experienced. Hence it was 10. Hence I called the Ambulance.

Then a medically certified  Australian Tamil wrote :

Gaja, I am sorry but not surprised of what happened to you. I am your scape goat to put all the blame on me. From a mile I can assure you that all what you had was a hysterical or a panic attack due to anxiety. I can put my bottom dollar and say you had similar episodes in the past too. Now coming to ambulance and hospital, with your complaints they have to take you in and it is very basic, their believing you is besides the point. And soon with routine initial examination they would have understood your problem and not an acute cardiac issue at all. The rest is just reassurance, sympathy and empathy. By the way in hospital they don’t treat anyone as a princess and instead as a patient. ]

A New Zealand Tamil wrote to the Australian doctor:

[One thing I want to point out to you is that it is unwise to diagnose or pre-empt a patient's sickness without checking. One incident took place a week ago when 20 of our friends went out for dinner to a Thai restaurant. The one who sat next to me was having his food and suddenly collapsed. I immediately called the ambulance and the person who answered me asked whether he was breathing. I said yes. They said they will send the ambulance. We waited for 10 minutes but the ambulance didn’t turn up. So I called again. They said your person is breathing  so the ambulance is attending other urgent cases so it might take a bit longer. I thought this was not good  & we drove him to the hospital. Thank God we did that. He had anaphylaxis. If  we waited for the ambulance for another 20 minutes his life would have been in real danger.


All I am saying is that we don't know the seriousness until we check. So you being a doctor please give her some time to recover especially you mentioned she has the sickness before too.  I personally don't know you and lady Gaja but my humble request is  that let her recover first.

Please don't give overdoses.  

All I am saying is that we don't know the seriousness until we check. So you being a doctor please give her some time to recover especially you mentioned she has the sickness before too.  I personally don't know you and lady Gaja but my humble request is  that let her recover first.

Please don't give overdoses.  ]


In Sri Lankan Tamil, the above is stated as follows:

The pain of the boy who cries that the kanji (rice water) is lacking in salt and the boy who cries that his milk is lacking in sugar must be taken as the same. The two are parallels and would not meet.  

In the above case in terms of visible status – I am the parallel of Kinji-drinking boy. The Australian certified doctor is the parallel of Milk drinking boy. Our respective feelings cannot be measured on the same  scale of 1 to 10.

Likewise, the feelings of Sri Lankans and Australians would not meet.

When I had the problem, I relied on the social aspect of low ranking officials in the hospital and elevated myself to the level of Revenue Manager that I was at South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service where I completed my service successfully. Hence my ranking was true and not imaginary. The hospital staff would obviously be trained in such ‘mannerism’ . Some may wear it naturally and others as duty. But the way I took it was as per my truth.

In the case of the New Zealand Tamil – he called me a ‘lady’  - which meant he was a knight. This happened also with a high-ranking Sri Lankan doctor who also disciplined the above mentioned Australian Tamil doctor.

Sri Lanka’s economic collapse is the diagnosis. The cause is not yet identified by Economic Doctors. In the meantime, Sri Lankans are socially recognising each other as Royalty – thus filling the vacancy created by the Bandaranaike dynasty and their heirs the  Rajapaksa  dynasty.  It would therefore be counter-productive, if Australian media treat Sri Lankans as ‘poor’. We make up for loss of money – through stronger Human Resources.

The loss of money happened due to our dependence on leaders who failed to trust the voters. I presented this as follows to the group:

[More than anything else he lacks the trust a doctor needs to have in a patient. They say that we need to be honest with our doctor and our lawyer. In turn the doctor or the lawyer has to trust us until s/he knows we are lying.]

In Democracy, the voters are in the senior position. Politicians have the duty to be honest with the voters and the voters in turn, have the duty to trust the Politicians until they know that the politicians are lying. The group without any official portfolio, that is currently protesting is such a self-governing group.

When more and more Sri Lankans become self-governing, we will learn to live within our means by taking our earned position in global community – which gets  Human Resources for money resources. Towards this we need to believe in ourselves.

 By reacting to ‘what happened’ instead of finding out why it happened – Australians are insulting Sri Lanka’s sovereign status. That is ‘cheap’ mentality which makes Sri Lanka a ‘Thavicha Muyal’/ desperate rabbit that is easy to ‘catch’.

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