Several individuals of Asian descent have been acknowledged in this year's King's Birthday Honours List for their remarkable contributions to the eth
Several individuals of Asian descent have been acknowledged in this year’s King’s Birthday Honours List for their remarkable contributions to the ethnic community. Among them is New Zealand’s leading burns specialist, along with eight other Asian recipients who have been recognized for their valuable contributions in areas such as language, education, health, and the betterment of the country’s ethnic communities. There were two sri lankan related individuals on this list
DE SILVA, Dr Handunnethi Kolitha (Kolitha)
Dr. Kolitha De Silva has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for his contributions to the field of health. He has worked as a general practitioner for over 25 years and is a respected member of the New Zealand College of General Practitioners.
Dr. De Silva is a senior partner at the Naenae Medical Centre, which is one of the largest doctors’ offices in Lower Hutt. He is known for providing obstetric care to expectant mothers in the region, offering 24-hour prenatal services alongside his general practice duties. He often goes beyond his regular working hours to make house calls for urgent medical care, check on elderly patients after surgeries, and regularly communicate with patients who had COVID-19 during the pandemic.
In addition to his work at the medical center, Dr. De Silva has held various roles in the healthcare sector. He served as a director at the Lower Hutt After Hours Medical Centre and worked as a company doctor for the Geological and Nuclear Science Institute. He also contributes to the training of general practice registrars, medical students, and nurse practitioners. Furthermore, he has been a member of the Clinical Governance Board at Hutt Hospital and was appointed to the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in 2021. He worked as a doctor consultant at Lower Hutt’s Aroha Care Centre and has been involved as a standby doctor for Sky Stadium and a voluntary doctor for Naenae Boxing Academy. He has also been a voluntary member of the Hutt Valley Heart Trust organization.
Dr. De Silva expressed his joy at receiving the Queen’s Service Medal, noting that his older brother had also received the same award in 2005 for his community service. He emphasized the need for more resources to address the ongoing crisis in the healthcare sector. While he welcomed the initiative to provide free prescriptions from July, he stressed the importance of allocating additional funding to train new general practitioners due to a shortage caused by the retirement of older doctors.
SRIRAMARATNAM, Dr Sivagnanaratanam (Ram)
Dr. Sivagnanaratanam SriRamaratnam, known as Dr. Ram, has been recognized for his services to the Tamil community in New Zealand. Since migrating to the country in 1986, he has been actively involved in various initiatives.
Dr. Ram has dedicated his time to the Wellington Tamil Society, serving as both Secretary and President from 1990 to 2009. This not-for-profit organization aims to promote Tamil culture, language, and literature while fostering a sense of community. Under his leadership, he established the Lower Hutt branch in 1997, which has become the main center for Tamil education in Wellington.
In efforts to preserve the Tamil language and culture, Dr. Ram has participated in a Tamil language broadcast on Access Radio. He has supported young presenters in producing and co-presenting programs. Furthermore, he founded the Wellington Tamil Sports Club in 1988, providing mentorship to young individuals and creating a space for their physical and mental well-being. Over the course of 30 years, he has held various positions within the club, including Club Captain and President, and has represented the club in local cricket leagues.
Dr. Ram has also been involved with the Red Cross, assisting Sri Lankan refugees in their settlement process in New Zealand. He has provided support in English language courses for Speakers of Other Languages, facilitated school enrollments, and helped refugees find General Practitioners for their healthcare needs.
See the fill List here: https://www.dpmc.govt.nz/honours/lists/kb2023-qsm