By Achini Ediriweera –
How is Mr Eliyantha White a ‘doctor’ today? How is it acceptable for the state to function this way and advocate the works fraudulent persons with no accountability what so ever? This is nothing new for sure in Sri Lanka, yes. However, for me to sight Mr Eliyantha White being flaunted in this manner, both saddens me and angers me. It saddens me because I can vouch on him being a fraud. It angers me because this is what is endorsed for the people of this country as being an acceptable standard. Mr Eliyantha White treated my father back in April/May 2005 when my father was in Durdens Hospital, Colombo. He reached out to my mother and claimed he will cure my father’s cancer but my father passed away 2 weeks into Mr White meddling with my father’s life. Mr White was fearless and confident when he reached out to us making this proposition. If he works miracles then was my father a miss? Also, which medical board certifies him a medical doctor? Will the Sri Lankan Medical Board now suddenly come up with papers to say Mr White is a doctor? Today Eliyantha White labelled a miracle ‘doctor’ and has been appointed as the Royal Chief Physician (Raajakeeya Vaidya) to the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. He is seen performing mystic rituals with Government Minister for Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi with hopes of eradicating COVID-19.
Sri Lanka Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi performing mystic ritual with Eliyantha White – Vihara Maha Devi?
Is this a good example? In a country where the median man lacks practicality and is in dire need of being directed towards the right pathway and towards the light – Are these the leaders leading people to the light? Are these leaders triggering progress? Is this what is endorsed for the people to follow? I understand that this is done in good faith, but this is leading people to be more blind. This is neither practical nor is it wise to be endorsing further superstition in a country where ‘superstition’ and ‘mythology’ must be eradicated. I strongly assert that. Furthermore, those with a platform i.e. ministers, must not use mythology and superstitious acts to resolve national yet global issues under any circumstance – this pandemic is a global issue requiring ‘skilled’ ‘experts’ in play and a tactful, systematic approach to contain, resolve, repair and rebuild. Not resort to superstitious and mystical acts and speak about that in Parliament too!
According to minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, the current health minister, – she is ready to sacrifice herself to the ocean if it would mean she could eradicate this COVID-19 pandemic. It is not too far-fetched to assume, and it is very plausible that she is attempting to relate herself to hon Vihara Maha Devi’s act of bravery as recorded in the history of Sri Lanka. She was seen throwing clay pots in the river filled with what was apparently blessed water with an individual named Eliyantha White who is referred to as ‘doctor’ and also is reportedly the ‘official’ physician of the current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. How is this individual a ‘doctor’ tell me? He treated my father and my father died merely 2 weeks into him meddling with his health and I strongly assert the fact that he is not god nor is he a medical doctor. He must not be endorsed as being a medical doctor and allowed to conduct medical activities without a sufficient license. The heads of state especially must not endorse him and uphold his activities at all. This is ludicrous and is illegal. Then again – when was the law ever adequately upheld in this country.
We must indeed learn from our history and take into account the historical acts that speaks volumes and refer to ‘lessons learnt’. Accordingly, we are expected to do better using history as an inspiration and a teacher. However, it concerns me to understand that this is in fact a confession in relation to the health minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi’s intelligence, when all that she could gather from this recorded piece of history in relation to the noble acts of King Kelanitissa and his daughter princess Vihara Maha Devi’s sacrifice – was merely her being sacrificed to the ocean. Also, minister Pavithra grandly announcing in the Parliament that she is ready to sacrifice her life to the ocean as a solution, is in fact a further confession of her intelligence and it is an indication of the dire state of the competence of those handling affairs of our country.
Something I have always noted is that they all like to bring their history lessons to the Parliament and quote incidents from history so grandly – either this makes them feel smart and intelligent or this is all they know! Just waving it around. Note – we want this country to ‘progress’ and ‘evolve’.
I like to highlight to minister Pavithra that she must use history as an example to act ‘today’ – but, all whilst being ‘intelligent’ therefore by being ‘practical’ and ‘realistic’. As oppose to the times of Vihara Maha Devi (205BC – 161BC) that she makes reference to, we have advanced knowledge, science and tools available to us in the world today. When tragedy hit more human lives were often lost back in those historic days due to lack of those resources. It is humorous yet very concerning, in a serious time like this, to see minister Pavithra reducing her onus to perform the duties within her role in this manner.
If honourable Vihara Maha Devi being the king’s daughter happily sacrificed her life and sailed away on a boat into the ocean to save her country from a Tsunami which was being regarded as a curse brought upon the country as a result of her own father’s, the king’s, acts – then, the moral of that story is not for us all to jump into the ocean or uphold human sacrifice if a tragedy hits the country, or that we must all sail away! The story of King Kelanitissa and princess Vihara Maha Devi strongly highlight morals such as (and is not limited to): courage; devotion and love for the people/land they ruled; their ability to own up to their own wrong doings; their virtuous thus unbiased nature; their dire understanding of the impact of their existence and rule on people’s lives -mind you, all whilst being people of power! I also would like to highlight the ‘innocence’ of people back in the day. Even in those people of power.
Just to give a short run down for this Minister – As per the world’s recorded history, the world faced many phases since that Vihara Maha Devi era. Even after that era of Vihara Maha Devi the world still faced a historical period referred to as being the ‘Dark Ages’ from 1350 to 1600 until the ‘enlightenment period’ came when people started to ‘think’, and world’s revolutionary philosophers started to immerse one after the other. We saw the rise of notions such as ‘democracy’ being born – then came the period of ‘industrial revolution’ in the world where inventions started immersing and there was a technological growth in the world.
It is also understandable that, back in the day mythology and mystic beliefs were strongly upheld. We must understand during Vihara Maha Devi’s time there were no Tsunami detectors available to them. Not only was the Tsunami detector was even invented back then, a ‘tsunami’ was unheard of. They tackled that issue best they could in their capacity at that time. The best they could do back then was to be noble statesmen and therefore be led by morals and virtue. However, I would like to remind the Minister that we are in 2020 now – again, this is a serious pandemic! This is a ‘global’ issue affecting lives including hers. We live in an innovative world which has progressed since the Vihara Maha Devi era which is historically periodized as being in a time ‘Before Christ’. Expectation is not for minister Pavithra to perform mystic acts and appear selfless doing these things with the involvement of an apparent ‘miracle’ doctor nor is it to speak on silly things or make nonsensical references. Expectation is for her to do some ‘real’ work, take continued action to ensure current measures are being constantly reviewed if not new measures are put into place in accordance with the current needs there.
Instead of being inspired to go sail into the ocean, it would have been a ‘grand’ favour for the whole nation if minister Pavithra was able to see that – the true essence of the moral of that story and be inspired to be noble, virtuous and moral just as those characters from history which she makes reference to.
It baffles me that a person holding such vast responsibilities within state affairs possess a brain the size of a pea. This is a confession of the capacity of those who run this country. This is not the first politician I can personally identify as having this issue. Gets worse every day. It is laughable, yet very serious that the health minister would make such ignorant remarks and follow such ignorance in terms of addressing such a serious global issue i.e. COVID-19.
I remind the health minister that, it has been approximately 2200 years since the Vihara Maha Devi’s time. Here we are 2000+ years later dealing with such grave incompetence and ignorance. I wonder if the health minister can comprehend this and sorry – but it won’t surprise me if these politicians in this country ponder on whether the earth is flat!!!!
If you refer to history, refer to the moral connotations and lessons learnt instead. In terms of using the precedence set by Vihara Maha Devi when addressing issues – be forthcoming, noble, virtuous, serious about the moral obligations arising from your duties, love the people, genuinely seek for betterment and seek to eradicate corruption. Therefore, if the health minister Pavithra would like to be Vihara Maha Devi – she should then firstly start following those lessons and do right by following the duties of her esteemed ‘role’ of representing the rights, choices, and lives of people who have voted her in and start doing right by them- hence the nation. She should learn from the true essence of the morals of the story of hon Vihara Maha Devi and not promote her superstitious practices, mythology and mystic beliefs. – ‘Pea’ sized brains leading my country and this corruption is my problem!
‘Dr’ Eliyantha White?! – This is how Mr Eliyantha White’s miracle worked on my father, Ediriweera Premarathna, and his death
In 2005, Eliyantha White claimed he has mystic powers to cure my dying father when my father was unconscious and dying at the Durdens hospital. Eliyantha White was unknown, and unheard of to us, until he approached my vulnerable mother making this proposition to us saying he will cure our father’s cancer through his miracle portions and mantras. I refuse to believe he is a doctor. He is just a self-proclaimed mystic, who allegedly performs strange rituals to heal people. Did he heal my father? No – my father died approx. 2 weeks into Eliyantha White taking over. This was before Eliyantha White was ever taken in by the current prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who was also the prime minister back then.
My father was suddenly admitted at the Durdens Hospital in Colombo end of April 2005 and he passed away on the night of 18 May 2005 at Durdens. It is only during that hospitalisation the doctors found out my father was dying. I can still recall, a few weeks before my father passed on, my father’s doctor, Dr Janaka De Silva, sat me down and he relayed to me that they have done everything, but they cannot save my father. Dr Janaka De Silva further said that, my father can go home but he won’t be the same and that he will have to be in hospice care whilst at home and the maximum number of years my father will live for is – 6 years.
Eliyantha White had heard about my father’s plight and he reached out to us. Mr Eliyantha made a proposition to us – he claimed that he can perform miracles and asked that he be allowed to cure my father. This was around the end of ‘April’ 2005 to start of ‘May’ 2005. At that time Eliyantha White performed his rituals at the Eeyam Poruwa Raja Maha Viharaya in Battaramulla.
He asked that we light a lamp every single day in the evening at the same time at the above-mentioned temple in Battaramulla – which we did. He said that every night he leaves empty bottles out and these bottles somehow get filled with the relevant medicine for my father by the influence of some superpower. Each day he would give a bottle of this medicine to us and we were asked to feed that to my father.
Eliyantha White said that if his mystic portions were to work to save my father’s life then we must: ask the hospital to stop administering my father with the doctor’s medicine and ensure we only feed my father his ‘miracle’ portions taken from him daily; that we DO NOT let any Buddhist or other religious monks that came from all over Sri Lanka to see my father to chant any pirith (Buddhist chants aka blessings) to my father; also asked we don’t even allow a ‘pirith noole’ to be tied on my father’s wrist. All of this was a hard call, however being deeply vulnerable at the time, wanting to save our father against the impossible, my mother followed his instructions and ensured only his ‘miracle’ portions are fed to my father daily and no monks are allowed to chant any pirith to my father or tie any pirith noole on my father, during their visits.
However, although Mr Eliyantha White claimed he will ‘miraculously’ cure my father’s cancer – my father passed on a week or two into his nonsense on the night before my father was going to be released to go home to be in hospice care at home. My father’s life span as per the predictions of experts, Dr Janaka, was up to 6 years max. That was however before Mr White entered the picture. These are facts!
I feel very frustrated today knowing I had no say in this because I was only a child then. Even when telling this story like this, I cringe because it makes me feel utterly stupid, although I never made the calls to accept this man’s confident offers. It makes me feel frustrated that my mother did not see how stupid this man’s plan and requests sounded, but I try to understand my innocent mother was so blinded by her extreme vulnerability at the time and her need to save my father’s life. Moreover, on top of all that, it was compelling that this man was confident and unafraid enough to approach her this way and claim such a huge thing like being able to save his life knowing who he was at the time.
Eliyantha White is not a doctor within his capacity but instead merely a self-proclaimed mystic person claiming to be able to perform miracles, including medical miracles. I strongly contest the idea that he is a ‘medical doctor’ or a ‘doctor’. I am intrigued to learn the credibility to this. The facts I know contradicts with the information he has submitted during one of his interviews in which he has stated that he met the Rajapaksa family in 2004 via the Bharatha Lakshman family. I find that timeline hard to accept. He was not a known entity then.
With all due respect for Mr Eliyantha White, I am sorry – he is full of nonsense and I strongly make the assertion that he uses some form of black magic and I believe they are negative energies. Why not allow pirith? Or pirith noole? Sounds crazy to me now that we allowed him to insert himself when we were all vulnerable like that – but I get it. We wanted a solution to the issue of mortality. What is even more crazy is to prey on people’s vulnerability for fame thus in their eyes, fortune.
I gather that he practices a superstitious doctrine and is no medical doctor. I beg your pardon, but the only ‘miracle’ about him for me is that he is apparently a ‘doctor’ now and if he is capable of performing miracles – what about the non-famous, non-powerful mass population in that country in need of medical assistance who could even barely afford a living who could really use a miracle ?!
If you cured Sachin Tendulkar’s hand – was my father a miss then?; how are you a ‘medical’ ‘doctor’? are all questions I choose to raise here for Mr Eliyantha White to answer.
If Mr Eliyantha White is using the powers of the Universe to only help ‘VIPs’ – how is that acceptable? Moreover, can he not help these apparent ‘VIPs’ solve issues of this country and develop it so the country will no longer have a reality where a young mother will no longer have to leave their new born child/children to go work under dire circumstances in the Middle-East and get raped? So that those children that are then left behind won’t have to grow up distanced from their mothers? So that, those fathers of those children won’t have resort to alcohol because no matter how hard they work – this is the reality of their life – because this life will be theirs forever? Also – what about everyone who will jump at the opportunity of leaving that country for a better living? The rich and the poor! – I urge Eliyantha White to use his apparent powers via the powers of the universe to then ‘help’ these apparent VIPs to progress the livelihoods of the people of this nation.
This is all nonsense – you got the world laughing. Innocent men will follow – such a sad reality.
My father: A man strongly against mythology and all things superstitious
Thus, it shatters me that we allowed Eliyantha White to perform his nonsense on my father while he was unconscious and had no say in it. My father disliked these acts and beliefs. My father was a strong believer of logic and a very realistic man who appreciated the notion of ‘cause and effect’. When I was growing up, sadly I viewed my father as being ‘abnormal’ – because he was such a different man with different views to what a majority accepted. Importantly my other closest person, my beloved mother, was the complete opposite and just like most from this country, she believed in these things including fortune tellers and superstitions. Accordingly, my father was viewed as being strange by myself in my childhood: he would not even go for poojas my mother wants to do for him; gets annoyed if he sees my mother wasting her time on these things; thinks it is really silly if he sees people being brought to our home to check for any black magic done to us; he never even wears the ‘suray’ (spiritual pendant) around his neck my mother makes to protect him. I can still recall how mother often argued about these. Consequently, growing up, my father was the strange one in my eyes. It was truly abnormal given everyone I knew followed these things. This was however different to what my beloved mother was used to, just like so many people in Sri Lanka. I am in no way discrediting my mother – these practices are universally accepted in Sri Lanka. Everyone is into this and this is the culture which I believe should be triggered to change, so I am highlighting it. I am happy to see my mother has vastly reduced her belief in these things today.
My father was ‘almost’ unconscious and had no say when White’s magic portions were being fed to him and he could not chase Eliyantha White off – But – I know, even though he would have loved to stay back with us, his family, in my father’s conscience he would have said ‘oh White stop with your nonsense, it’s time for me to go, this is nature’s law!
Getting back to my point – I do not resent Eliyantha White for killing my father. He did not kill my father, potentially reduced his life by a few more days? week? or few months or years up to 6 years. As mentioned above Dr Janaka De Silva, my father’s doctor, had already relayed to us that our father will only live up to 6 years. It was my father’s time to go.
While that is nevertheless an awful act by Eliyantha White, I am not enraged by that – I am shaken by the thought of him being upheld this way. I am angry that people like this are going around making use of people’s vulnerabilities. I am angry due to the gravity of his lies to mislead innocent people. The scope of it. I am enraged by what people do in vain, for fame and fortune. I am enraged by the what most officials of this state, past and present, uphold endorse and advocate for these people. I am enraged by these falsehoods and the corruption.
No, I do not condone these acts by Eliyantha White and the minister of health Pavithra Wanniarachchi. Flaunting and endorsing Eliyantha White, whom I strongly and confidently can say is a fraud – is yet again a symptom of how truly broken this system in Sri Lanka is. Leaders of this country advocating mystic acts, mythology and superstition as means to resolve global issues or for anything, is beyond my ability to comprehend. Endorsing someone who I am not afraid to suggest is someone who uses dark energies and black magic then giving him the title of royal chief ‘doctor’ to the Prime Minister??? – this nonsense is beyond my ability to comprehend and this is all so wrong.
If Eliyantha White is capable of miracles – there are hundreds and thousands of Sri Lankan population, people with no ability to afford the cost of their medical expenses (or living expenses!) why not make it is service for them? Instead – Why were you “from the very beginning” searching for prominent, famous, powerful people??? And why are you still doing that now?
If the term ‘doctor’ is to be awarded to someone, they must be eligible to use it. Which medical board awarded you this title? Will the Medical Board of Sri Lanka now miraculously have papers to prove he is a medical doctor?? There was at least little integrity and authenticity in this country before – and all that is now gone.
Then again, politicians who should be in jail for robbing people are ministers and members of the parliament today – they are all endorsed in this nation. No one truly guilty is found accountable for their wrong doings. What more can I say about what is endorsed as being acceptable standards within this Country.
I too went after these superstitious acts back in the day
It is also noteworthy, although my father’s words of disagreement in relation to these empty acts would echo in my head, I too was once someone who indulged in these hocus pocus superstitious nonsense – always questioned how everything said to me contradicted each other statement. I was at conflict, but I took part. I must admit that. When times were hard in my life, I sought the help of superstition and magic too. I too was once someone who hoped to change the course of my life when my life was hard through these things – because it was normal to me. These were after all a part of my inherited ideologies, although my late father was the odd one in my life who completely disagreed with these things.
However, when I turned to these things during difficult challenging times in my life and nothing was changing in my life with the use of these myths and superstitious nonsense – I had no choice but to take the time to reflect and challenge these acts that were normal in my eyes. I had no choice but to remember my late father’s words of wisdom “we cannot manipulate cause and effect” and “things happen in our lives to push us to learn new skills, think and become better – these are all opportunities for us to evolve – we have a life time to unravel and become who we are”. It is only when I took charge of my own life, became conscious and aware of my own reality, that my suffering ended. I encourage you all to question these norms we are so comfortable with. Life is about evolvement, it’s about ‘growth’.
I strongly believe we must endeavour to never die with the same set of views, and the same version of who we are. No one is born perfect. That is where ‘life’ and ‘living’ comes into play giving us room to ‘live’, to be flawed, to make mistakes, to learn and then to evolve.
Gladly my father was persistent with his disagreement and surely although he was gone from this world when I realised this, he impacted me to change and caused me to not turn to these things when life got hard again. He impacted me to be intrigued to question these acts at least at a very later age in my life when I was challenged. I hope parents with young kids can also take something from this – you are your children’s inspiration -be a fruitful one.
I am today
Like my father – today, I too am a strong believer of the fact that we must all die someday. I too believe when it’s due and when it is time for us to go, we must all leave this world. We cannot change that. ‘Immortality’ is not possible. Today, thankfully I have grown up, and I am not a fan of these nonsensical practices that blinds us from truth, reality and life. I consciously try my best not to be tempted by these things. Definitely don’t run to them when things go wrong as I used to when that is all I knew, hoping to manipulate the natural course of life, my lessons and my blessings.
Finally, although I will never stop missing my father, I am at peace with his passing. This is a strangely contradictory statement only those who have lost a loved one can understand.