The top portion, which looks like an award certificate with a fancy scroll lacing around it, is also filled out and often proudly displayed on the wall — serving as proof to the living that the pledge comes from a generous spirit.'Just think if we had that level of organ donation and commitment and belief system in the United States, where we have these long lists of people waiting for hearts, livers and kidneys,' said Dr.Alfred Sommer of Johns Hopkins University, who spent more than 40 years fighting blindness in the developing world.There is no waiting list for eye tissue in Sri Lanka, and its people get first access to free corneas.About 40,000 have been transplanted locally since the beginning, but that still leaves a surplus each year.S.-based Sight Life, an eye bank that partners with developing countries.It has been working with Sri Lanka's new government facility.'Sri Lanka has long been known to be a country with an incredible heart for eye donation and a willingness to share surplus corneas to restore sight around the world,' said Sight Life president Monty Montoya.
They did not directly refer to president Maithripala Sirisena's criticism that intoxicated local women had thrown their bras at the singer and kissed and hugged him."I don't advocate that these uncivilised women who removed their brassieres should be beaten with toxic stingray tails, but those who organised such an event should be," the president said on Sunday. Sisira Liyanage, director of Sri Lanka's National Eye Hospital in the capital, Colombo, where the new eye bank is based.Prime ministers pass on their corneas here along with the poorest tea farmers.Many Sri Lankans, about 67 per cent of whom are Buddhist, believe that surrendering their eyes at death completes an act of 'dana', or giving, which helps them be reincarnated into a better life.They started the Eye Donation Society, and in 1964, the first cornea sent abroad was hand-carried in an ice-packed tea thermos aboard a flight to Singapore. While the Society's eye bank was a pioneer, questions about quality emerged as international eye banking standards improved over the next 20 to 30 years.Concerns have recently been raised about less advanced screening for HIV and other diseases, and the eye bank has also faced allegations of mismanagement.