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19th October 1997

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A caring priest dies

By Kshalini Nonis

Members of the pub lic from all walks of life paid their last respects to the Chief Incumbent of the Sri Sambuddhaloka Vihararaya Ven. Vitharadeniye Chandrajothi Thera 79, who was killed in Wednesday's bomb blast in Fort.

A somber atmostphere prevailed at the Viharaya as the mourners expressed their sorrow at the loss of someone whom they said was virtually a part of them and many of them wept openly.

The Chief Incumbent of the Sri Sambuddhaloka Vihararaya Ven. Vitharadeniye Chandrajothi Thera was killed in Wednesday's bomb blast in Fort.

He passed away on the way to the hospital in an ambulance.

Ven. YasassiRecalling what happened on that fateful day General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Buddhist Congress, Ven. Diviyagaha Yasassi said that Ven. Chandrajothi Thera was chanting pirith in the morning to devotees when they heard shots being fired.

"We all took cover whilst a young boy was running helter skelter in the premises. Thereafter, a grenade was thrown close to the place where Ven. Vitharadeniye Chandrajothi Thera was hiding," Chandrajothi Thera said.

The Chief Incumbent's death will be greatly felt by the society he showed much compassion.

"He was caring towards everyone irrespective of their race, caste or creed. Just recently he distributed uniforms to school children in remote areas. Anyone in distress could come to him knowing they will not be turned away," Chandrajothi Thera added.

Some of the mourners had taken leave from work and walked from places such as Kotahena to attend the funeral despite heavy security in the area.

"We feel very sad and the Venerable Vitharandeniye Chandrajothi Thera's death is indeed a terrible blow to all of us," lamented Bandara Menike who was at the cremation.

pl3b.jpgThe funeral of the Chief Incumbent took place last Thursday amidst a large gathering.

May he attain Nibbana.



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