Obituary: Chesmal Siriwardhana

It is with deep sadness that I must tell you our colleague Dr Chesmal Siriwardhana, Associate Professor in the Department of Population Health, died on Sunday following a collision on Oxford Street.

Chesmal joined the School in 2016, conducting research on global mental health, supervising PhD students and contributing to the MSc in Global Mental Health. Both his teaching and research were of the highest quality and he made a real difference to the Centre for Global Mental Health. His work on armed conflict, migration and mental health put him at the forefront of some of the major public health challenges of the day. His research helped to improve understanding on mental health needs and the effectiveness of mental health services for conflict-affected persons, particularly in Sri Lanka. He also sought to improve research practice, leading a research study on improving ethical research standards in humanitarian crises. Chesmal was a deeply valued friend, colleague and mentor.

Our sincere condolences go to Chesmal’s family and friends.

Details of arrangements to commemorate Chesmal’s life and work will be shared in due course. At this time, all messages for the family may be sent c/o Lindsay Melling, Faculty of Epidemiology and Public Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT. Any comments on this blog will also be passed onto Chesmal’s family.

Peter Piot

Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


  1. Duke J Maher

    It deeply saddens me to hear of this tragic accident. May we pray for an end to suffering. His, that of his family, and that of all sentient beings in our universe.

    And may we all strive to do a bit of good for others as this beloved individual devoted his life to doing the very same.

  2. Martin Prince

    Chesmal’s work, on ethics, rights, and attention to the needs of the most unfortunate and disadvantaged, perfectly reflect his character. He was a humanitarian, a superb colleague, a talented researcher, communicator and advocate. His many friends and admirers in the field of global mental health mourn his passing, and will miss him greatly. May he rest in peace, and may his work, and the values and causes he espoused with so much commitment live on.

  3. Pubudu De Silva

    I read Chesmal’s tragic accident with deep sadness. He was devoted to high quality research. He was an inspiration to all researchers. His loss is unbearable.

  4. Dr.P.S.Hettiarachchie

    Sorry to miss you.A great son of Russian peoples’ friendship university .May you attain supreme bliss of enlightenment!