Tissa Wijeyeratne

I have lost a family friend and a very dear pal of our university days in the demise of Tissa on the 11th of July 2002. Though afflicted by crippling ailments latterly, his intellect was clear, his memory remarkably good for his age and above all his characteristic wit and humour sparkled, making his company a delightful experience, as always.

My last meeting with Tissa was just a few days only before his sudden and peaceful death, when I was happy that I fed him myself with his favourite ‘moru’ or whey, prepared in our traditional orthodox home, which he enjoyed immensely and then looked up at me with a twinkle in his eyes and added "Sanka, do come even more often and don’t forget the ‘moru’! "- those were Tissa’s parting words, so symbolic of his wit and affection, throughout our association from our boyhood days. Many of our university colleagues have often repeated to me that in our jaded moments, one has only to make a visit to Tissa - a few moments of conversation with him was more than a tonic.

An outstanding asset of Tissa which I admired was his exceptional command of the English language - never long winded or repetitive, his speeches were a classic example of choice oratory - brief and to the point - short and sweet, as we would say. Tissa reserved his anecdotes for his conversations in which too his talent was so evident. As a student in school, as an undergraduate and as an alumnus of the inns of Courts, U.K, he laid the foundations for a successful and distinguished career as a lawyer and as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Paris. In this he followed in the footsteps of his eminent and distinguished father, Sir Edwin Wijayaratne, who was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador both at New Delhi and in London. As Tissa grew older, he in fact, resembled more closely his father in physical stature and bearing too.

Tissa’s late wife, Visakha, hailing from the ancient Bulankulame family, was a source of strength and stability to him in all his endeavours. To their dear children, Kalpana and Ravana, our family extend their sincere condolences and prayers to the Divine for solace and strength of mind in their hour of loss and grief.
C. Sankarakumaran,