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Sunday 7 April 2013

Arsenic as the cause of CKDU -II

When the Kelaniya group announced to the media that Arsenic is the main cause of Chronic Kidney Disease, unidentified etiology (CKDu) all hell broke lose and those who had come out with various other causes began to attack the group. There were many accusations such as it was not scientific to get ideas from gods and the group should have published in so called peer reviewed journals before divulging the “findings by the gods” to the media. Of course these so called scientists in Sri Lanka have double standards, and when Prof. Chandra Wickremesinghe came out recently with Hoyle’s theory on life coming to the earth from outer space in connection with what he called matter from outside the solar system found with various coloured rains nobody questioned him on publishing in peer reviewed journals. We do not know the reasons behind his announcement to the media but in our case our intention was to inform the public and the government with whatever knowledge we had as soon as possible. It has to be placed on record that a paper in a so called international journal has been published by the other members of the group recently, and if anybody wants he/she may obtain further information on the paper from Prof. Priyani Paranagama of the Department of Chemistry University of Kelaniya who is the Chair Professor of Chemistry. I do not have much respect for these peer reviewed papers and I am not interested in publishing my original work in peer reviewed journals. I publish my original ideas in “The Island”, “Divaina” and “Vidusara” and I challenge anybody to show that those ideas are not “correct”.

The word was also spread that we did not carry out any research at Kelaniya and the equipment were out of order, and that we were only repeating something that the invisible “gods” had told us. In any event it was pointed out by various people we had not followed the so called scientific method by engaging gods in spite of our repeated explanations that what we announced was what we had experimented successfully in the laboratories of the University of Kelaniya. We did not go by the word of gods alone in announcing our results though I had no reason not to believe what they told. It was the first time in the history that Arsenic was identified as the main cause of a Kidney Disease and the great scientists in Sri Lanka challenged us to show any reference in the literature to Arsenic as the cause! The problem with these great scientists and medical personnel is that they want us to cite precedents, and they would not believe such new results could come from experiments done in Sri Lanka.

Until we announced our results western medicine had not identified Arsenic as a cause of any kidney disease and the World Health Organization (WHO) had not published any report interim or otherwise, but some scientists who had obtained funds from WHO had announced the presence of some other heavy metals in water, flora and fauna in affected areas. Some of these great scientists were behind the stories spread against us, and at least one Dean of a faculty of science said in public while welcoming the students who entered the faculty that we were insane. I suppose all these scientists were adopting the so called scientific method.

The great scientists were not satisfied with their propaganda and a person who has obtained third class degrees in Engineering and Sociology was instrumental in getting the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) to issue a statement against what I believe without even asking me what I have to say in my defense deploring me. It was an unprecedented statement and I challenged them to sack me from the SLAAS if I had done anything wrong. This happened more than a year ago and so far they have not responded to my challenge. The SLAAS went to the extent of threatening Profs. Priyani Paranagama and Mala Amerasinghe with the possibility of SLAAS not considering them as scientists if they continued to work with me. The National Academy of Science not to be outdone issued statements and reproduced cartoons against me in their website. The Fellows of this august academy have so far failed to produce a single new concept or theory though they consider themselves to be the cream of the cream of scientists in Sri Lanka. The retired scientists including octogenarian Botanists went to town with criticizing me and our group while preaching on the scientific method from their pulpits.

I have my reasons to believe that western science is nothing but a set of damned lies (patapal boru) consisting of stories created by western scientists, and given broadcasting time by any television channel I would prove so in half an hour . Popper formulated his so called falsification theory more than half a century ago, and it only reveals that though the philosophers of science would like to claim that falsification distinguishes western science from the other systems of knowledge, very often called myths degradingly, it is science that can be called myths, the well known theory of gravitation being the biggest lie created by Newton. Western science is based on induction in order to formulate abstract generalized statements which cannot be observed though the scientists make a hue and cry on the so called experimental method. The western scientists have no prathyaksha knowledge of abstract concepts and theories whereas the systems of knowledge created by many cultures are concrete. I am not claiming that prathyaksha knowledge is true in an absolute sense as all knowledge is created due to avidya.

The great scientists not satisfied with their degrading statements told the public that the laboratories at the University of Kelaniya were not accredited. What they meant was that the experiments carried out at Kelaniya could not be trusted. However, some of these scientists who are Fellows of the National academy of Science forgot that they themselves had carried out their recognized research in laboratories that were not accredited. It has to be mentioned in their defense that two credited laboratories in Sri Lanka one at ITI and the other at Atomic Energy Authority had come out with negative results on the presence of Arsenic in various samples of water, flora and fauna from Rajarata areas.

It was at this stage, and definitely not before, Ven. Athureliya Rathana Thera took some samples to an accredited laboratory in Malaysia and obtained positive results on the presence of Arsenic. While we are grateful to the Thera for help, it has to be emphasized that we had finished our preliminary work in our laboratories before the Thera went to Malaysia. Our announcement to the media was made in January 2011 while the Thera went to Malaysia after March 2011.

We would not have hit upon the presence of Arsenic if not for Mrs. Priyantha Senanayake who obtained knowledge on the presence of Arsenic in agrochemicals that mixed with hard water causing CKDu from the gods. Also if not for the untiring efforts of Prof. Paranagama we would not have been successful in showing that Arsenic was present in pesticides and body parts of the patients using tests in western Chemistry. It has also to be mentioned that had not the cabinet of ministers given me an extension we would not have been able to complete our research. I was the Dean of the Faculty of science at the University of Kelaniya from January 2009 and was to retire in October 2010. However, the Department of Mathematics wanted me to continue but I was not interested. The Head of the Department was keen to retain me and when I realized that without me our group would not be able to continue their work on Arsenic and CKDu, I gave my consent when he invited me the second time to continue my work in the University. The Department wrote to the Vice Chancellor and the council of the University communicated with the Ministry of Higher Education through the UGC requesting an extension for me. The Ministry of higher education and the Federation of University Teachers Associations under the chairmanship of Prof. Sampath Amaratunga were against the extension, but divine intervention made the secretary of the ministry of higher education to change his mind and submit a cabinet memorandum on my extension. The cabinet approved it and gave me an extension for three years with effect from November 2010. However, there was a doubt as to whether I could continue as the Dean of the Faculty but though the goda perakadoruwas were of the opinion that I could not continue as the Dean, the legal opinion was otherwise. Thus I continued as the Dean of the Faculty as I had been elected for the post for three years. The goda perakadoruwas did not go to courts challenging my extension though some disgruntled former Vice Chancellors of other universities who ran after the President of the country to be appointed as the Vice Chancellor, but who think that the universities have collapsed after their retirement, and others wrote to the press on my extension. I am grateful to the university and the cabinet of ministers for giving me the extension as without me as the Dean of the Faculty the whole project would have collapsed, as has been demonstrated by certain incidents that took place after my retirement. It should also be mentioned that though I was given an extension for three years I relinquished my duties after one year when the major part of the Arsenic work had been carried out. (To be continued)