The release of the book ‘The History of Surgery in Jaffna’ by Dr. S. Rajendra took place in the Nurses’ Training School hall in the Teaching Hospital, Jaffna. In this book Dr. Rajendra has recorded the history of Western surgery in Jaffna beginning with the work of the American missionaries from 1816. Special mention was made of Dr. John Scudder who started working and carrying out operations from 1820 thereby making Jaffna the place where Western medicine and surgery was made available to the general public not just in Jaffna but in Ceylon and even South Asia. The next notable achievement was the establishment of the first medical school in Ceylon in Manipay by Dr. Samuel Green who also carried out the surgery. His locally trained students also carried out operations making them the first nationals in the country to practice Western medicine and surgery.


The book records the establishment of the Jaffna Civil Hospital(now Teaching Hospital) with the help of Dr. Green whose students were the first to work there. The book records the work and achievements of the many surgeons who have developed the speciality in Jaffna.


The occasion was attended by consultants, academics and medical students. Among those who spoke were the Vice Chancellor University o Jaffna,UGC standing committee member and former Vice Chancellor Snr.Prof Vasanthy Arasaratnam, the Dean, Faculty of Medicine University of Jaffna, the Director Teaching Hospital who gave the first copy to Prof. Raviraj.


Dr. Thayalan Ambalavanar made the introductory comments and Dr. Nachinarkunian former Director Teaching Hospital Jaffna reviewed the book adding his own anecdotes. Dr. Rajendra gave the final speech explaining how he had come to write this book and recorded his gratitude to the many who helped him. All those who spoke had commended Dr. Rajendra for this major contribution and hoped the book would be made widely available so that many in this country and elsewhere would learn this great history.