Dr. Ransiri Malalasekera, Botany specialist lecturer 1957-65

In the sphere of Sri Palee’s Science education, Dr. Ransiri Malalasekera’s name occupies a prominent place. He covered Biology, Zoology and Botany - an important area of science education, and supplemented the accompanying practical sessions for the medicine stream students. It’s a fact that everyone who entered the University in the Bio-medicine stream and allied fields had gone through his very well fathomed information and practical sessions. Though I have never had the fortune of becoming a medicine stream student, I was fortunate and had the privilege of listening to his lecture sessions during my free periods as maths students were occupying the last few rows of the same classroom.

I was deeply moved by the vivid descriptions and the painstakingly completed drawings on the chalkboard with immaculate hand writing and highlighted with coloured chalk – it demonstrated to a complete outsider the complexities and the heavy focus of Dr. Malalasekera to reach out the subject content to his students.

At times, I was thinking to myself about the delivery of his lectures, deep bassed voice with proper pronunciations, enunciations and voice clarity pumping sufficient volume so the students could clearly comprehend his complex subject contents.

My friend and eminent Gynecologist / physician Dr. Ranjith Pathiraja who was a bright and a proud product of Sri Palee, who treated me for all my health concerns, except the gynecological symptoms I never experienced, had (n+1) numerous stories to say about Dr. Ransiri Malalasekera.

I like to reproduce one or two stories as told by my good friend - Pathi. He indicated Dr. Malalasekera was far from a contemporary teacher. He had often told the students to analyze any statements in a different perspective. In scrutinizing any scientific issues to be reviewed before finally being accepted in your mind. He further stated Dr. Malalaskerera’s vision to conduct classes goes beyond the classroom to the dissecting table to the library and to a reference note-write-up for Dr. Malalasekera’s final assessment. This comprehensive procedures had created a unique background to have better focus and strength to grasp subjects and study to gain University admission to the Medical Faculty. He along with Mr. Russell Guneratne and Mr. Hubert Silva arranged annual trips to provide the students with exposure to medical college exhibitions in Colombo and similar educational exhibitions. In my mind these trips were a very special treat to us.

At the latter part of his life he worked with Mackwoods as their Managing Director – a very important organization that deals with pharmaceutical and agrochemical imports. It was really a prestige for us to recall his position as the Managing Director, and to refer him as one of our science teachers in Sri Palee.

He used to contact me when I was at Panasonic / Uni Walkers for clarifications on sound equipment. He was a hi-fi enthusiast and had a good technical knowledge in audio visual equipment and had incorporated all equipment enhancements to enjoy the modern high fidelity music at his residence.

Dr. Ransiri Malalasekera and other science teachers have inspired and produced a team of talented doctors for Sri Palee who continued to maintain Sri Palee’s science credibility.  I am certain Dr. Malalasekera will be too happy to have a comment by his student – our eminent specialist surgeon Dr. S. S. Jayaratne.  Dr. Jayaratne has summarized in his own words the appreciation of Dr. Malalasekera’s guidance and teaching at Sri Palee.

Dr.Malalasekara is one of the most remarkable and unique teachers who blessed our teaching staff of Sri Palee. When we were drifting and sinking in the sea of biology Dr.Malalasekara was the ship to get us aboard and direct us to the shore – where we could reach the higher echelons of education in Sri Lanka and in foreign countries.

He had a towering figure, a deep clear voice and he had a special smile, one would never forget. His teaching was clear and slow which we could easily understand. His biology drawings were beautiful and we copied his methods. He was never tired of teaching. We never had to go to tuition classes and besides they were nonexistent in that era.

It is with great respect I look upon Dr.Malalasekara who helped us to mould our future, our lives, and our places in the society.

Dr. S. S. Jayaratne gratefully attributed a story of three-four years in summary.  He indicated how Dr. Malalasekera and the other science teachers moulded them to be professional specialist doctors and to continue to serve the society at large in an exemplarily manner. 

I am certain that Dr. Malalasekera and other teachers who guided them (Dr. Jayaratne and other Sri Palee doctors) in their nascent stages would be very pleased to read the next few lines of a story providing a supplementary testimony.



Once Dr. Jayaratne and one of his House Officers came to Uni Walkers to thank my chairman – Mr. J. B. Wimalasekera for having helped to paint his ward by our staff. He brought a bouquet of flowers and thanked my chairman for arranging the painting of ward 44.

After Dr. Jayaratne went off, my chairman told me "KN...how many people have we helped, and how many have come to thank us - I'm confident about the professionals of Sri Palee.   Now I am further convinced that they are a set of refined personalities with living values. Please do thank him for his visit and let me know if Dr. Jayaratne wants any further assistance.”

Dr. Ransiri Malalasekera  - Sir, you can proudly walk with your chin up having served Sri Palee with enthusiasm and dedication.  Your dedication outcomes are really praiseworthy.  We copy these few sentences to show our appreciation and gratitude to you.

I add this few lines in order to highlight how important his services as a teacher and a motivator when I analyzed his contribution to the student population in Sri Palee. He was in and out in our annual past pupil events to provide the necessary dialogue to keep the Sri Palee flag flying high. Sir, Thank you very much for the invaluable contribution to us.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 December 2009 15:28