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Erudite Most Venerable Bellanvila Vimalarathana Thero No More With Us.

Colombo, Feb. 4 -- The body of the late Most Venerable Bellanvila Vimalarathana Thero is to be moved to the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya.

The Cremation Ceremony of late Professor Venerable Dr Bellanwila Wimalaratana Nayake Thero will be held on February 08 at the Sri Jayawardenepura grounds.

The decision has been taken during the special discussion held regarding the cremation of the Thero this evening.

The Viharadhikari of the Bellanvila Rajamaha Viharaya and Chancellor of the Sri Jayawardenapura University Venerable Professor Bellanvila Vimalarathana Thero passed away on the afternoon of, February 3, while being treated at a private hospital in Colombo.

The venerable thero suffered serious injuries following a sudden accident at the Temple on the morning of Friday February 2, and was rushed to the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital.

According to reports, venerable thero usually feeds the elephant named 'Miyan Kumara' between 6.00-6.30 am as a practice on a daily basis. On Friday morning, he had approached the pachyderm, chained to a tree in the backyard of the temple premises, to feed it around 6.30 am when the animal suddenly attacked him, the sources said.

"The tusker had struck the monk with its trunk and tried to move forward with its head down when the mahout raised cries and, with the help of some others, evacuated the fallen monk to safety", the sources said.

The venerable thero was taken immediately to the Colombo South Teaching Hospital and later transferred to a private hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries yesterday morning.

Initial reports indicated that the monk had suffered broken ribs in the attack and also injured his right hand.

Most Venerable Bellanvila Vimalarathana Thero was a well known speaker. He was 77 years old at the time of his passing.

Born on April 14, 1942 as Gilbert Perera, he was the fourth in a family of six.

He was educated at the Nikape Sri Vijayaraja School and thereafter moved to the Piliyandala Central College.

At the age of 13 he attained robes and took the name Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero.

He followed the footsteps of his elder sibling Venerable Bellanwila Dhammarathana Thero and entered the Molligoda Pravananodaya and then in 1957 moved into the Peliyagoda Vidyalankara Pirivena for further education.

In 1963 he entered the Vidyalankara University and then was appointed assistant lecturer for the University of Sri Jayawardenapura.

An erudite monk, Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Nayake Thera (77) was the Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardhenepura since 2000. Earlier, he served as professor, associate professor, lecturer and visiting lecturer of the university.

He was also a visiting professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies University of London, United Kingdom. He read for a doctorate in Philosophy (Ph.D) in 1980 at the University of Lancaster, United Kingdom.

The prelate also served as the Deputy Chief (Anunayaka) of the Kotte Sri Kalyani Samagri Dhamma Maha Sangha Sabha of the Syamopali Maha Nikaya.

He served as a pioneer in establishing the National Sangha Council and well known for taking leadership at struggles concerning the nation and the Sasana.

He is well respected for his services in the language, arts and literature sectors of the country.

A widely respected monk who had earned plaudits internationally as well, the Ven. Thera he was actively involved in creating inter-religious harmony in Sri Lanka, particularly easing ethnic tension in the country.

Most Venerable Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero may you attain Nibbana.

Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from Asian Tribune.

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Geographic Code:9SRIL
Date:Feb 4, 2018
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