International recognition for activist

Wednesday, 7 December 2011 00:03 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A humanitarian award – a framed accolade of excellence – was presented to Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera by the Open International University for Complementary Medicines (OIUCM) at its 49th World Congress held last week at the BMICH in Colombo.

Dr. Ajith Perera receiving the accolade of excellence from Sir John Hopson (right), Professor Theresa Thuy and Professor Mayisvren Ellappen

This honour was conferred in recognition and appreciation of the invaluable contribution and excellence of Dr. Ajith Perera’s work, with unreserved commitment and competence in fostering the ideals of humanitarianism in promotion of accessibility to the built environment enhancing social inclusion for all. This award was presented to Perera by Professor Dr. Dame Nguyen Theresa Thu Thuy – International Vice Chancellor of OIUCM, Victoria Australia; Professor Dr. Sir John Hopson – Grand Master of the Knights of Charity, England; and Professor Dr. Sir Mayisvren Ellappen – Dean, Faculty of Complementary Medicines, Allianze University College of Medical Sciences, Malaysia. Dr. Perera is a Chartered Chemist, a Fellow of many reputed international bodies including the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry London and had gained national honour in being appointed to the test match panel of cricket umpires of Sri Lanka in November 1992.

Exactly a day later a wayside tree crashed on his moving car in Colombo to kill his chauffer and leave young Perera instantaneously a paraplegic for life.

Unhesitatingly, he has bounced back to play simultaneously different productive roles and voluntarily be an inspirational leader of a laudable humanitarian mission of national importance.

He was also instrumental in persuading and promoting the Sri Lanka Standards Institution to establish for the first time in March 2009 a Sri Lankan standard for design in building construction.

Dr. Perera appeared in person on his wheelchair in April 2011 at the Supreme Court successfully to pursue single-handedly a public interest litigation fundamental rights application to require unhindered access to all parts of new public buildings, thus requiring compliance with design standards that laws specify and to bring ‘punitive repercussions’ for violators.