Appreciation: Sarath Vidanagama



On Friday morning when I was enjoying breakfast with my grandchildren my phone rang. The caller was my friend Upananda. His message made me stand up. The shock, the grief and the emptiness enveloped me. All three generations seated at the table were taken by complete surprise wondering what has changed my mood. Our dear Sarath is no more. That was the message. Sarath had a long chat with me only two days before the angel of death has called upon him.

Sarath is not the only friend who passed away recently. But Sarah is so special and exceptional. The vacuum left by him will remain a vacuum forever. Sarath was senior to me in the University of Ceylon. The difference was not in his vocabulary. Everyone was equal to him. Sarath was not extraordinary in anything, but he had something to deliver to anyone and he had something to collect from anyone.

Sarath did not take long to be a popular lecturer among students of University of Colombo. He took even a shorter time to be the man sought after by his colleagues. His pupils are spread all over Sri Lanka and abroad. But he was not a man who asked for a favour. He was a believer that he gets what he deserved. And he got whatever he wished. He belonged to a different school of thought. He did not believe in mending and meddling with day-to-day issues. His economic vision and philosophy was different from many of his colleagues. He was not ready to accept any ‘ism’ blindly. He believed that until and unless the macroeconomic structure is put in place all the ‘isms’ would fail. He did not believe in scratching the surface. He wanted to go deep down in search of causes and where they lay.

My dear friend, Sarath! Goodbye until we crossed our paths someday in future. Until then we will live with lingering memories!

Chandra Maliyadde


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