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Sunday 7 April 2013

Arsenic as the cause of CKDU

Arsenic issue, as usual, has taken a political direction. It cannot be helped as there is lot of politics around Arsenic. Politics in western Christian colonialism is bound with culture and the fight is not only against those who are responsible for the Chronic Kidney Disease unidentified etiology (CKDU) directly but against the cultural colonialists as well. The UNP, JVP and some three wheeler parties attempt to gain political mileage by accusing the government for not supplying the dialyzing machines and other equipment to the government hospitals in Padavi Sripura and other affected areas. However, western medicine that does not know the cause of the CKDU has no treatment for the disease. Dialyzing is not a cure and it is only a method of management of the disease. It is not bad idea to distribute filters but one should go to the root cause if one is interested in finding a lasting solution to the problem. We have found that Arsenic that comes from agrochemicals is the main cause of the disease and unless one stops agrochemical based agriculture the disease cannot be eliminated. Distribution of filters will maintain the filter producers and importers as well as Agrochemical firms. We have to find an alternative to agrochemical based agriculture meaning that we have to go back to Sinhala Govikama that did not kill pests and also to Sinhala Vedakama including Sinhala Nila Vedakama that has cure for the CKDu. Filters and dialyzing machines are only management of the disease and no better than “athisarate amuda geheema”. The CKDU has been in existence for more than two decades but neither the public, the so called intellectuals, the media nor the politicians paid any attention to it until we came out with the Arsenic issue, in connection with the CKDU. The irony is that the media in general, except for a very few newspapers and television channels, have forgotten the people who were responsible for informing that Arsenic is the cause of the CKDU.

Let us start at the very beginning. My attention to the CKDU was drawn by Dr. Channa Jayasumana, a probationary lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology at the Rajarata University. I have known Dr. Jayasumana from his student days at the University of Peradeniya and he had been interested in the subject of theory of knowledge (epistemology) for some time. When Dr. Jayasumana informed me of the plight of the patients in Rajarata I was naturally disturbed, and I thought of a way to help these innocent people who supply the food including the so called staple food. By this time I had been cured of several diseases by what may be called divine medicine through Mrs. Priyantha Senanayake who can communicate with a few whom she calls “deivaru” . Among them Natha Deviyan and Vipassaka Deviyan are the foremost in the sense that they are the most knowledgeable and also most spiritually advanced. I had no hesitation in directing Dr. Jayasumana to Mrs. Senanayake.

I am a Sinhala Buddhist and I am proud to be so, even though the Sinhala Buddhists at present are very imitative and hypocrite. The Sinhala Buddhists have a proud record of protecting Theravada Buddhism and building a rich culture that enabled the people to live in harmony with nature. The Sinhala Buddhists have acquired knowledge from the devas (Gods), like the ancient Greeks, Bharats and specially the Jews who have been in communication with their God who is known as Jehovah. The Greeks have obtained knowledge from their Gods such as Apollo, Jupiter and Goddesses such as Athena. In Bharat it is clear that they had had advice from Gods such as Krishna as in the case of Kuru Pandava “war”. The people either through meditation, yoga or some such method, reach high spiritual state and thus gain knowledge or become able to communicate with Gods from whom they acquire knowledge indirectly. The Sinhala Buddhists at least from the time of Arhant Mahinda Thero have recognized only “Prathyaksha” as a means of gaining knowledge, Buddha Prathyaksha being a very special kind of Prathyaksha. The Chullahaththipadopama Suththa the first Dhrama Deshana (For anybody’s sake not sermon) of Arhant Mahinda Thero to the Sinhala people was on “prathyaksha” as the only means of acquiring knowledge. I will come back to this aspect later, when discussing the so called scientific method. I had no doubt at all that Mrs. Senanayake obtained knowledge from whom she called Natha Deviyan and Vipassaka Deviyan as she did not know anything on Medicine, whether it is western, Ayurvedic, Sinhala or anything else. According to her the Medicine she practiced was “Sinhala Nila Vedacama” which she became “knowledgeable” of through the Devivaru.

When Dr. Jayasumana went to Mrs. Senanayake he was told by the Natha Deviyan and Vipassaka Deviyan that the main cause of the CKDU was Arsenic, the hard water and the particular soil called the “Kumburu Pasa” being the other two causes. What the Devivaru had told was that the “Kumburu Pasa” has a tendency to retain arsenic which finally mixes with the Calcium and Magnesium salts found in hard water. The arsenic gets into the Calcium and Magnesium salts in a peculiar way making it almost undetectable in hard water. The hard water or “kivul jalaya” contributes to the spread of the CKDU and people who consume water from “Vevas” that does not consist of much hard water are less likely to be victims of CKDU.

Now for mortals like us who have no direct experience with causative factors it is very difficult to identify the cause of something. Following Hume one may even say that there are no causes as such, as cause is not a direct experience. We only consider certain phenomena as causes of some others through induction and there is no way to “prove” that A is the cause of B. We after observing B following A on number of occasions come to the conclusion that A is the cause of B by induction, of course after having constructed the concept of cause. In any event in the case of CKDU the western medicine had not identified the cause of CKDU in Rajarata and other areas and thus called it Chronic Kidney Disease with unidentified etiology. I am told that Kidney diseases are caused of various factors Cadmium being one such causative factors. However western medicine had not identified CKDU as caused by Cadmium though Cadmium is the cause of one or several Kidney diseases. This meant that the symptoms of Kidney Diseases caused by Cadmium were not found among the patients of CKDU as if it was the case the western medicine practitioners at least from a western country could have come out with cadmium as the causative factor. As it is it did not happen, and the cause of CKDU in Rajrata and associated areas remained unidentified.

However, it must be said that a few years back a researcher from the Faculty of agriculture at Peradeniya, if I am not mistaken, had found that there was Cadmium in some fish in the Veavs of Rajarata and also in the lotus roots (nelum ala) and identified Cadmium with CKDU. It is true that some kidney diseases are caused by Cadmium and that Cadmium is found in Rajarata soil, fauna and flora. However, even if we do not go to the extent Hume went, from such data alone it is not possible to conclude that Cadmium is the cause of CKDU. As mentioned above the patients in Rajarata and associated areas did not show symptoms of Cadmium associated Kidney Diseases and the western medicine did not identify Cadmium as the cause of CKDU. Then some others had come out with fluoride as the cause of the CKDU but western medicine did not take much notice of these assumptions.

It was in this background that Mrs. Senanayake told us that Arsenic is the main cause of CKDU, with hard water and the particular soil known as “Kumburu Pasa” being the auxiliary causes. I presume that the devivaru did not have to go through what Hume had said on causative factors and they knew that Arsenic, Hard Water and the “Kumburu Pasa” are the causes of CKDU through some kind of “Prathyaksha”. Of course we did not have the means of showing that these were the causes of CKDU but we decided to test for Arsenic in soil, water and in the bodies of patients and also of those who had died of CKDU. Profs. Priyani Paranagama and Mala Amarasinghe of the Faculty of Science undertook to carry out the research associated with Arsenic with Dr. Jayasumana working as a postgraduate student. The latter registered for a postgraduate degree at the University of Kelaniya after all the relevant boards including the university senate approving his candidature for such degree. A special reference must be made on the commitment of and sacrifice made by Prof. Paranagama to see that the research was carried out successfully. Mainly due to her untiring effort the Kelaniya group was able to show that there was Arsenic in the samples of water, soil, flora and also in the body parts of patients. Instead of honouring Prof. Paranagama she was abused, intimidated, and threatened by people with vested interests. (To be continued)


Copyright Prof. Nalin De Silva