The Tallest Man in Sri Lanka

Gunasingham Kasendran is considered the tallest man in the country. Standing at a staggering 7’ 3’ tall he is currently undergoing the government rehabilitation program for ex-LTTE combatants at the rehabilitation centre in Kandakadu in the Polonnaruwa district.

A rather shy and soft spoken man Kasendran shuns public functions which draws attention and instead prefers to lead a rather isolated life, even at the camp. He was a former LTTE member subsequent to his surrender to the Sri Lankan armed forces was under detention at the Bossa camp on 17 May 2009 and was later transferred to the Kandakadu rehabilitation centre on 22 February 2012. He is expected to complete one year of vocational training and rehabilitation at the Kandakadu rehabilitation centre prior to his release next year.

He is 33 years of age and is from Chavakachcheri in Jaffna and is the father of one three year old Abhinayan.

However due to his height he suffers from a heart condition that prevents him from engaging in strenuous activities.

Speaking to Ceylon Today he said that his gigantic height poses many obstacles too in his daily activities. “It is difficult for me to travel in a regular bus as getting in and off is also a great ordeal due to mu height. Many doorways too are hard to maneuver through and I have to crouch through many of the passage ways. Even health wise I am suffering from a heart condition and I feel tired and exhausted even when I engage in regular activities. Even if I walk for long periods or stand for too long I feel a lot of pain in my limbs. Even if I sit for long periods I suffer from excruciating back pains. Furthermore whenever I go out people just stare at me which draws a lot of attention and makes me uncomfortable,” he said.

On a lighter note Kasendran added that there are advantages too in being so tall. “where most people need ladders to carry out simple tasks like changing a bulb etc I can simply do it without the aid of a ladder. Well the best part is that people always have to look up to me while I get to look down on them,” he added with a mischievous smile.

By Camelia Nathaniel

Pic by Nuwan Amarawansa