Tribute-to-JANAKA-BALASOORIYA-Dreaded-Parkinson-snatches-life-cruerly-at-young-age-of-45-yearsby”Sunil Thenabadu in Brisbane
To every man upon the earth/death cometh soon or late”, is a memorable phrase of literary legend William Shakespeare. There is also a famous saying that ‘good die young’. It was dreadful Parkinson decease that snatched away the precious life of much loved Janaka Balasooriya at the age of only 45 years, when his life had just commenced to blossom while living in Melbourne having migrated perhaps in search of greener pastures in year 2008.After his secondary education at Isipathana College Janaka had graduated from the Ceylon-German Technical Training Institute in Moratuwa in the year 1991 when he was barely 20 years old. With the training received at the German Tech he was able to find employment effortlessly. He had been the transport Manager at DS Jayasinghe, Nawaloka group and Jefferjee brothers for one and a half decades before opting to mi>
In Melbourne he had met a lot of graduates of the Ceylon-German Technical Training Institute who were his colleagues while at the German Tech in Moratuwa . Janaka had excelled in multi-faceted social behaviour. He had been the Honorary Secretary of the Old Boys Association of the CGTTI, in Sri Lanka and after migration the Honorary Secretary of OBA CGTTI Melbourne. At the time of his demine he had been a member of the OBA Melbourne. Initially Janaka had been a “laser cutting technician in a firm and then had joined ‘Nelson Global’ Melbourne to suit his abilities.Janaka had also been instrumental in the formation of the” Ceylon-German Technical Training Institute Aluminium Global Forum”.
He had taken a gigantic part in organizing many social/ cultural events like “Bak Maha Ulelas “, sports tournaments constantly in Dandenong .Janaka with his colleague Kanishka Jayalath had presented the radio program 3zzz on every Thursday nights. Janaka had been the co-editor of the “Sihanada” Sinhala newspaper. In this context Janaka had been very active and been in the helm of many social and cultural activities in Melbourne. His sober habits and unassuming down to earth low profile mannerism was the hall mark of his immense popularity among the expatriate population. He was portrayed by his colleagues as a “Sonduru Minisek” .Janaka had received immense support from his friends and colleagues after he was initially diagnosed with the dreaded “Multi –System Atrophy Parkinson’s type disease in year 2014 . He was very unfortunate as he had acquired a very rare type of Parkinson decease. The initial symptoms of the rare breed of Parkinson decease had been losing balance and falling while walking It was very pity for Janaka as typically only the much-aged people acquire it. Initially he had made use of a ‘walker’ but still he had been losing his balance. His beloved wife Praboda had been assisting him from this initial stage in his movements. It is learnt from Praboda that she wanted to treat Janaka from home owing to the situation of the second son.In this regard there had been a tremendous support from the Palliative Care from which Doctors and Nurses had visited Janaka daily. Janaka’s friends and colleagues had rallied around him from the initial stages until his death in October 2017.To invoke blessings friends and colleagues had in addition to visiting him, looking to his needs had made 23 blood donations during blood donation campaigns. They had successfully organized “food fairs” for fund raising. The Consultant Specialists had predicted that he would not live until December 2017.According to his type of Parkinson decease his memory was finally lost completely before a few moths to his demise
Adding to the woes in Janaka’s family in addition had to confront after the birth of the second son Rivinu.He had been diagnosed as acquired “ Autism Spectrum Disorder” failing to walk and speak until 3 years This had been an extra burden on the Balasooriya family. Ravinu is now nine years old must be carried and is not conscious of what he does. He dislikes people and never mixes up even with kids of his age.He has to be fed and it is learnt that he only swallows food. However, it is learnt that he likes only to attend the “specialist school” to mix up with fellow disabled students.
It is pertinent to mention that entire funeral expenses amounting to nearly ten thousand dollars had been borne by Janaka’s friends. It is pleasing to note that the friends are still rallying around Janaka’s wife Praboda and sons Siluna 15 years and Rivinu 09 years. It is learnt that all the family needs are supplied by friends. It is a pity the Government of Australia had denied Janaka’s pension to Proboda. The only source of income for the family is the meagre “Centrelink’ payment that is paid to the disabled son. Praboda has lamented that is hardly enough to bear the household expenses. These needs are borne by Janaka’s very affectionate friends. The house mortgage needs to be paid. Fortunately for three years arrangements have been approved to pay the interest component only. All these have been made possible because of the endeavours of Janaka’s friends whom I was told that they even mow the grass at his garden. According to Praboda she cannot find employment as she must be with her abnormal son who needs total attention.
May the walk through the ‘sansaric’ circle be swift and short for Janaka until he attains Supreme Bliss of Nirvana….
Sunil Thenabadu in Brisbane