Jaffna’s first Cardiothoracic Surgeon in 30 years operates free of charge

Dr. Sithamparanathan Mugundan and his team in Jaffna.

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From Mahesh Abeyewardene

Eminent Jaffna Medical and Cultural personalities to be honoured in Canada

The first consultant cardiothoracic surgeon in Jaffna in nearly 30 years, Dr. Sithamparanathan Mugundan and prominent personality in the field of Tamil arts and theater Dr. K. Chidambaranathan will be honored for their services rendered in Sri Lanka at an awards ceremony here in Toronto organized by Canadian Tamil digital media outlet E-Kuruvi.

Dr. Mugundan was credited with helping to establish the operating theatre, Intensive Care Unit and obtaining equipment (CPB machine) necessary for heart surgery at the Jaffna Hospital. Since his appointment, the first surgeries were carried out successfully.

“It is a significant event in the growth of the Jaffna Hospital. It is a matter of pride that the Jaffna Hospital is now one of only four government hospitals where open-heart surgeries are being performed in Sri Lanka,” organizers of the awards ceremony in Canada told lankareporter.com.

“He changes the philosophy of only rich people can save their lives. It is noteworthy to emphasize that Dr. Mugundan is doing free heart surgery for the people of Jaffna,” organizers added in their statement.

Healing Through Theatre

Meanwhile, Dr. Chidambaranathan was the head of the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Jaffna, and one of the founders of the Jaffna University Cultural Association, and considered as one of the most prominent personalities in the field of Tamil arts and theater.

He is the Director of the Animators Theater, a group which has origins in grassroots level campaigns in the early nineties to assist the Internally Displaced People from High-Security Zones in the North. Their initial efforts were guiding these people who were then new to living in welfare camps.

Dr. Chidambaranathan with his Theater Group.

The Theatre Group through political plays such as “Mann Sumantha Meniyar,” (Soil Hauling Mortals), “Mayaaman,” (Mysterious dear) and other plays since the late eighties. The couple visited many towns and villages in North and East, such as Vavuniya, Muttur, Trincomalee, and Batticaloa, working with the children who are traumatized due to war. They did plays in the schools to make them laugh and forget the past. Workshops for adults were held several places, consisting of music, dance and meditation.

“When people have left to adrift amidst several political and natural crises, they continue to live in fear and without any hope for the future. A group setting provides much-needed confidence to begin a new life and bring awareness. The Theatre Action Group has traveled to many towns and villages in the North-East over the past several years to alleviate these fears and held several interactive cultural events in those communities,” organizers said in a statement.

E-Kuruvi awards ceremony is expected to draw several dignitaries including media personals, professionals, and award recipients. The event will be held at the Scarborough Convention Center Hall on Friday, April 6th at 6.00pm.