Dr. B.D.J. De Silva:
Uncrowned King of Maharagama
Dr. B.D.J. De Silva passed away on June 9, 2007. An inaugural Dr.
B.D.J. De Silva Oration was delivered by Dr. D.P.L.C. Namaratne during
the sessions of the College of General Practitioners of Sri Lanka. The
topic was "A Foot and a Long Stride". Dr. Silva was an uncrowned King of
Maharagama. He rendered yeoman and dedicated service to the entire area
for more than 50 years. He had treated patients of four to five
generations in the same family. He had a very simple lifestyle and did a
tremendous service to the patients. He was a principled doctor par
excellence in diagnostic skills. He was an excellent doctor, teacher,
artist, photographer, electrician and a carpenter. He was involved in
all aspects of social life and played many roles in his career.
Dr. B.D.J. De Silva was a product of St. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia.
After having completed the London Matriculation in 1941 and premedical
course, he joined the Medical College and passed out with a second class
at the finals of the MBBS with distinctions in forensic medicine. In
1952 he resigned from the government service and started his own
practice in Maharagama. At that time Maharagama was a remote village
with no electricity and no proper roads. He treated patients from
surrounding areas and from distant places. Patients were free to consult
him day or night. He was the only General Practitioner for the entire
Maharagama area. His charges were minimal and he did not charge from
He was a doctor who gave very little medicine. He never charged from
the clergy of any religion. He never prescribed any expensive drugs. He
followed and practised the method of Rational Prescribing taught by Dr.
D.J.T. Liyanage of the General Hospital, Colombo.
Patients believed that even if he prescribed a bottle of water they
would get cured. It was an excellent indication of how the
doctor-patient relationship prevailed. Most of the time, he asked his
patients to take corriander water and refrained from giving medicines.
Even if he prescribed medicines, it was only a couple of tablets. He had
his own concoction of mixtures and creams.
Dr. Silva engaged in all types of social activities in clubs,
societies, and organisations. He was a founder member and at the
inception, was elected to the Council of the College of General
Practitioners of Sri Lanka of which he later became the President. In
his presidential speech he spoke about Rational Prescribing. He
mentioned with thanks to his teacher Dr. D.J.T. Liyanage that 80% or
more ilnesses are SLD (Self Limiting Diseases) and the treatment was ADT
(Any Damn Thing) and it was appreciated by people of all walks of life.
He was a founder member of the Vajiragnana temple Dharmayathanaya,
Maharagama. In 2003 he was bestowed a lifetime award in recognition of
his services rendered to the Vajiragnana temple at the Vidurenena Pranam
a Ceremony. He was a close associate of the late Ven. Madihe Pannaseeha
Thero and Ampitiye Rahula Thero.
In 2003 Dr. B.D.J. De Silva was the first doctor to receive an award
in recognition of his services from the General Practioners of Sri
Lanka. Between 1961 - 1975 he was the Vice President and later the
President of the Independent Medical Practitioners Asscociation of Sri
He was a Council Member of the Sri Lanka Medical Association and a
Member of the Health Council. He was a Senate Member of the Board of
Management of the Sri Jayawardnapura University. He was also a member of
the Board of Management of the North Colombo Medical College. In 1989 he
won the Dr. A.M. Fernando award for the best research paper submitted at
the Annual Sessions of the College. He was a past President of the Lions
Club of Maharagama and did yeoman service to the community.
We must not forget his wife Doreen for being by his side and giving
him the strength to achieve all what he did like the saying 'Behind
every successful man is his wife".
May he attain Nibbana!
A close associate.