Posted on March 25th, 2017

By Dr. Tilak S. Fernando

A Burger boy arrived, about 25 years ago, at David Jansze’s doorstep looking out for any type of work, showing signs of malnutrition and prominent burn scars on his face and body. Tyrone Bottoni hailed from a middle class family. His father was an engine driver at the CGR, married before and had some children, but the two families had no amity with each other.

They lived in their own apartment opposite Kanatta cemetery at Borella. The family consisted of a boy and two girls. Father was an embittered alcoholic, disgruntled and disagreeable person with a vicious temper. Once when the father came home inebriated mother beat him up severely with a broomstick and chased him out of the house. Apparently, she has had a clandestine affair with a postmaster residing in the same garden and had an illegitimate son from him. The bastard, during his adolescence, became a drug addict and a male prostitute and his whereabouts became unknown. Tyrone’s mother upon hearing about her younger sister becoming pregnant through indiscretion battered and insulted her, which led to her self-immolation. Tyrone sustained severe third degree burns attempting to save her from getting scorched.

During that time he worked as a barman at the Ceylinco Akasa Kadé. On recovery of scalds he returned to work to be told by his manager that “customers abhorred his severely disfigured features.” Eventually he found a job in a grimy hotel to clean filthy toilets where stench stunk to high heaven. He threw the towel in and sought jobs in middle class residencies.

On the sick list

Unexpectedly he began to suffer from asthmatic attacks that needed hospital visits to nebulize. A compassionate person he met offered him work in Polonnaruwa, but he could not retain the job for unknown reasons and had to return to Borella. While he was looking out for odd jobs his health began to deteriorate.

He visited Welisara Chest Hospital to get treatment for asthma. David Jansze referred him to the Ceylon National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis [CNAPT], that offered Tyrone financial assistance plus nutritional supplements including Sustagen. Once his health records were clear CNAPT suspended its assistance.

In his struggle to eke out a living, he embarked on selling clods of grass from Bauddhaloka Mawatha, but that also proved to be strenuous. Jansze volunteered to purchase king coconuts for Tyrone to sell, which he tried from a place near the cemetery, yet the profit margins of the business were meager. As an alternative, Jansze organised a franchise to sell lottery tickets and hired a bicycle and bought a new set of clothes to look presentable for Tyrone, but that too eluded him from success due to aggressive competition in the business.

Flying off the handle

David Jansze unhesitatingly was inclined to help the unfortunate lad. In his next move, he wrote to his former boss Lalith Kotelawela about Tyrone. Kotelawela responded positively and authorised the Golden Key Hospital to carry out all tests, X-rays and scans. After tests Tyrone was transferred to Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital for treatment and Kotelawela continued to pay all medical expenses and also instructed the finance division to release Rs.5,000 monthly to Tyrone to help him buy nutritional food.

Tyrone Bottoni’s visits to obtain his monthly allowance became futile as the delegated officials at Lalith Kotelawala’s office discounted his instructions with futile excuses; instead the staff took the piss out of him with humiliating remarks. When such insults became unbearable, Tyrone’s anger got the better of him and smashed two office computers in a rage. Police were called to the scene and Tyrone was remanded. After such degrading manipulations, the staff concocted a jaundiced report to Kotelawela that infuriated him and discontinued all charity to Tyrone.

Once, Lalith Kotelawala’s brother-in-law was abducted on his way to the Borella Golf Club. It was Tyrone who had spotted the kidnapping and informed Kotelawala’s sister about it, which aided the police to capture the culprits. David Jansze remembering this incident persuaded her to explain matters to the brother and help the destitute. Once more Tyrone’s funds were reinstated, yet for his ill fate, within two months of the incident Ceylinco scam bubble burst and Tyrone was back to a square one.

From frying pan to fire

From the frying pan to the fire situation, next he received the bad news about his father dying after being run over by a moving bus. David Jansze directed Tyrone to the Pensions Department to transfer his mother’s pension to his name but father’s earlier wife had already legalized it.

Tyrone once again detected blood in his sputum. Maharagama National Cancer Institute detected a lump in his lungs and a course of chemotherapy managed to neutralize the malignant growth. In desperation he approached the “Foundation of Goodness,” the Board of Trustees included prominent Cricketers. The Foundation approved a sum Rs.5, 000 per month to be remitted to a bank account direct, which lasted only for three months. It was due to the Foundation’s revelation about fraudulent claims made by dishonest relatives of beneficiaries.

Jansze referred Tyrone to the Dutch Burgher Union of Ceylon for help, however he was disappointed when the union turned Tyrone away. That made Jansze to distance from the Dutch Burgher Union on a matter of principle after being a member for 50 years.

A few weeks ago Jansze found Tyrone passing blood with urine. Investigations revealed it was due a dysfunctional kidney. He had to undergo dialyses treatment and now surgery has become compulsory. He is now awaiting the surgery at the National Hospital.

After surgery will be largely incapacitated; he would require money to at least to buy his essential nutritional needs, for the rest of his life. The objective of the foregoing narrative is to draw the attention of philanthropists and good Samaritans to fathom the compounded miseries of a single human being and those who have access to charitable institutions convince them to extend a helping hand to this poor soul. His photograph taken two months ago summarises the lot minus words.

Anyone willing to help him may contribute to a special account opened for him at the Commercial Bank by a Samaritan.

Name:Tyrone G.L. Bottoni. NIC No: . 62 095 4344V

Bank: Commercial Bank of Ceylon; Branch: Gampaha

Bank Address: No.51, Queen Mary’s Road, Gampaha.

Savings Account No.844-004-9371: Bank Contact details: Tel: 033-2224136, 033-2224137.

Fax: 033-2224135- Email:

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