In Conversation with Dr Mohammed Buhari Mohammed Ajvad. Reconciliation happens when we understand each other.


“We build up social relationships by understanding each other. I think then we do not need building reconciliation anew,” says Dr Mohammed Buhari Mohammed Ajvad.

Dr. Ajvad was born in the Ottamavadi village in Valachchenai and is married to Konara Mudiyanselage Rukma Maithri Kumari Pamunuwa.  Dr. Ajvad met Rukma when he was serving as a young doctor in Kandy general hospital where she was a nurse. The two  fell in love and married five years later. The Ajvad-Rukma love story now spans three decades but feels as new as when they first fell in love.

“We were in a relationship for five years. We didn’t have any ethnic conflict between us. We simply made the effort to understand each other. Irrespective of what ethnicity we belonged to, we needed to have a mutual understanding. That will lead to reconciliation and we do not need to work artificially for reconciliation,” said Ajvad.

Dr Ajvad is an experienced doctor who has worked in hospitals across the island. “My first appointment was with the Kalpitiya District Hospital where I worked for two years before I was transferred to Eravur peripheral hospital in Batticaloa district in 1986. I worked there for just one year before I was appointed as the District Medical Officer of Medawachchiya District Hospital. I gained a wealth of experience from that hospital by working as both doctor and medical administrator during a chaotic time.

Medawachchiya was close to the border of the Northern Province. Security checks were constant and even hospital staff were subject to checks. Sometimes staff were detained and I had to go to Army camps and police posts to appear on behalf of them so that they would be released. Due to the emergency situation in the district, the ambulance of our hospital was called to Anuradhapura general hospital in the night. So we had no way to transfer a patient to Anuradhapura hospital during an emergency. This meant I had to transfer all the patients in critical condition to Anuradhapura before dusk.”

Dr Ajvad pointed out that if he had chosen a policy of serving only one community it could be an insult to humanity. Today Dr Ajvad is retired from public service as is Rukma. Before retirement, Ajvad created a fully-fledged medical centre in Polonnaruwa with channelking and paramedic services. Their daughter Kalida also follows in her parents footsteps as a medical professional.

The lesson Ajvad teaches us is that many services can be rendered to society if people focus on humanity.

This article was originally published on the

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Sri Lanka Press Institute.

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