Napoleon Bonaparte the Man of Destiny

God is on the side of the big guns.” Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte was a mystic man who will always remain as a riddle for his role in the human history. Born to a financially ruined Corsican aristocratic family Napoleon was destined to conquer and rule. He became famous for his military tactics and made the French Army as one of the finest military machines in Europe. His glory had no boundaries. Other European nations were feared when they heard his name. He was pompous, arrogant and controversial.

Napoleon Bonaparte’s father who had a far thinking mind was able to preserve a place for young Napoleon in the Royal Military College in Paris. His contemporary cadets described Napoleon as a quite and a solitary lad who could hardly speak French. But he was proud and ambitious. Read More

The Origin of Life in the Universe: Buddhist Perspective

Dr Ruwan M JayatungeM.D. –

‘There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our thoughts.’

Bertrand Russell

The origin of life has been a subject of speculation in all known cultures. In the modern era, this question has been considered in terms of a scientific framework. Lord Buddha’s’ explanation of the origin of the Universe, compatible with the modern scientific explanation. Buddha described the origin of the Universe and life in the Aganna Sutta 2500 years ago. According to Buddha’s explanation the universe being destroyed and then re-evolving into its present form over a period of millions of years. The Buddha did not believe in the existence of a supreme god or creator of the universe. The Lord Buddha presented a model of cosmology wherein the universe expands and contracts over extremely long periods of time, this description has been found by some to be consistent with the expanding universe model and Big Bang. The Buddha explained that the universe expands outward, reaches a stabilizing point, and then reverts its motion back toward a central point resulting in its destruction, this process again to be repeated infinitely. Read More

Importance of having Breakfast

Breakfast can help prevent strokes, heart attack and sudden death. Advice on not to skip breakfast!

Healthy living

For those who always skip breakfast, you should stop that habit now! You’ve heard many times that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Now, recent research confirms that one of the worst practices you can develop may be avoiding breakfast.


Because the frequency of heart attack, sudden death, and stroke peaks between 6: 00a.m. and noon, with the highest incidence being
between 8: 00a.m. and 10:00a.m.What mechanism within the body could account for this significant jump in sudden death in the early
morning hours? Read More

Why keep a diary?

Sunday Observer – by Chamitha Kuruppu

My dear neighbour, who just got rid of a pile of unused diaries makes sure that everyone down our lane will get her a new diary for 2006. “It’s very useful, you know” she tells everyone. The lady is very specific about her requirements – she wants Mr. Perera to get her an executive diary and Mrs. Samaranayake is busy looking for an organiser while I have already given her a pocket diary.

“It’s just a diary, why do you dislike her so much,” asks my husband. The problem is why she needs so many. She says she gives them to the postman, taxi driver, paperman, etc. But the fact remains that over 25 unused diaries will be piled safely on her bookshelf throughout the year. Read More

Three New Books by Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge who has written a vast number of books in both Sinhala and English has contributed a lot to the Health Education in Sri Lanka. His new books on Binninmadaya (Schizophrenia) Mano Vishleshana Prathikara (Psychoanalytic Therapy) and EMDR Sri Lankan Experience are highly useful to the Mental Health Workers.

Binninmadaya or Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality and relates to others. Schizophrenia has an altered perception of reality and there are considerable numbers of patients in our community. Dr Jayatunge has written this book in simple terms and in a reader friendly manner. Therefore it is an useful book to the Mental Health Workers as well as to those who look after the Schizophrenic patients. Also this book emphasizes the importance of drug therapy and psychological management of the illness and psychosocial rehabilitation which is beneficial to the patient. Read More

Leo Tolstoy and His Great Epic War and Peace

Dr. Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D. –

At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal force in the heart of man: one very reasonably tells the man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of avoiding it; the other even more reasonable says that it is too painful and harassing to think of the danger, since it is not a man’s power to provide for everything and escape from the general march of events; and that it is therefore better to turn aside from the painful subject till it has come, and to think of what is pleasant. In solitude a man generally yields to the first voice; in society to the second. Read More

POW s of Elam War

It’s so hard to express how that mental duress
Played especially torturous role
Like the termites that fed on the boards in my bed,
It was gnawing away at my soul. . . .

Against horrors so chilling, the spirit was willing
But the flesh was too weak to withstand.
Was it really a sin for a man to give in?
Could I better resist each demand?

Edward Alan Brudno
American POW captured by the North Vietnamese in 1965

Former POWs of the Elam War undergo a range of mental health problems. The Elam War which lasted for about 20 years in Northern Sri Lanka has caused numerous physical and mental health ailments among the survivors. The LTTE or the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has captured a considerable number of servicemen during the war and some of them were executed. The remaining POWs were handad over to the ICRC (International Red Cross) and now they are free. Many former prisonors have dreaded memories of their POW days. Most of them suffer from PTSD.

To become a POW is a traumatic experience although the Geneva Conventions protect POWs from maltreatment and assures them of certain basic needs. The words can hardly explain the physical and mental agony experienced by former POWs. They are like living dead. The psychological impact of being taken as a prisoner of war is devastating. POWs cope with utter difficulty. Although they are free they constantly live in fearful intrusions and spending their lives in dispar. Read More

Viragaya the Inimitable Psychological Novel

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge MD –

Viragaya novel is a turning point in Sinhala literature. Literary genius Martin Wicramasinghe vibrantly portrays Aravinda s character in Viragaya digging in to the inner psyche. Therefore Viragaya can be considered as one of the first and best psychological novels in Sinhala literature. Aravinda was a virtuous character trapped in biological instincts and cultural pressure. The complexity of Aravinda s character reveals the inner world of a man who was brought up according to the Buddhist village traditions and how he struggles to fulfill his hidden desires leading to a dramatic transformation.

According to the mundane eye Aravinda was a failure. His ambition to become a doctor and apparent haematophobia and aversion to dissect dead bodies prevented him from pursuing his goal. The untimely death of his father and subsequent financial problems forced him to engage in a petty job and to lead an insignificant life. When his girlfriend Sara offered her love and gave her consent to live with him Aravinda faces a moral dilemma. His Indecisiveness jeopardized the relationship and he becomes lonely for the rest of his life. Read More

King Seethawaka Rajasinghe the Monarch who suffered fromPTSD

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge –

According to the Western chronological records the first patients of PTSD were recorded in 1666. These records were based on Samuel Pepy’s diary which describes the bizarre behavior pattern of the survivors of the Great Fire of London. Samuel Pepy vividly portrayed the nightmares, intrusions and flashbacks experienced by these survivors. In 1876 American Civil War doctor Mandez Da Costa published a paper diagnosing Civil War veterans with PTSD like symptoms which he called Irritable Heart. During the World War 1 military psychologist explained a combat related stress feature called Shell Shock. In 1980 the word PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) was delineated by the American Psychiatric Association after series of research work with the Vietnam veterans.

Although the Western World recorded PTSD in 1666 the King Seethawaka Rajasinghe the 16th century monarch of Sri Lanka believed to be suffered from combat related PTSD. King Seethawaka Rajasinghe (born in 1580 AD) was a great warrior who came to the battle field at the age of 16. He fought against the Portuguese invaders and witnessed many deaths and destructions. He was a fearless fighter who used effectual war tactics and overpowered the fully equipped and fully trained Portuguese war machine. Following the long years of combat he was exhausted and definitely suffered from battle fatigue.
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Depression in Children

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge –

Depression is a mood disorder which can affect adults as well as children. In general terms depression is an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness, sadness and lack of self-worth. It is more than a sad feeling. Depression is common among adults. Unlike adults childhood depression is difficult to distinguish. They often express their feelings through behavior. Depression affects child’s overall energy, mood, expressions of emotion and behavior.

According to the British experts at least two per cent of children under 12 struggle with significant depression, and by teenage years this has risen to five per cent. Following the geopolitical and economic conditions in Sri Lanka a significant number of children are affected by childhood depression. Most of these cases are undiagnosed and not receiving adequate treatment.
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