Soma Thera's death: Public clamour for impartial inquiry
A large number of Buddhist organisations including the Sri Lanka
Amarapura Sangha Sabha had appealed to relevant authorities requesting
that impartial inquiries be held to inquire into the death of Ven.
Gangodawila Soma Thero.
of the Sri Lanka Amarapura Maha Sangha Sabhawa, Ven. Kotugoda Dhammawasa
Thera had submitted a written request to the Russian Ambassador
in Sri Lanka on December 22, appealing to the Russian Government
to a hold a full inquiry and reveal the real situation, citing the
death as being suspicious.
The All Ceylon
Buddhist Associations' Federation had appealed to the President
that a Presidential commission consisting of retired judges be appointed
to inquire into the real reasons and reveal to the general public
the truth behind the death of the monk, as much confusion has arisen
in the minds of general public. They have also submitted a letter
to the Prime Minister requesting the Government to take action to
appoint a commission.
Medhanandha Thera too in his speech at the cremation of the monk
had asked relevant authorities to appoint a commission and release
a report. The Maharagama Sasana Sevaka Samithiya, Kandurata Trinikayika
Bhikkhu Sanvidhanaya, Sihala Urumaya and a number of organisations
along with Don Sirima Wiretunga aracchchi (sister) and Kamburupitiye
Mahanaga Thera, the chief incumbent of Bambalapitiya Vaijiraramaya,
made similar pleas.
The staff of
the Bambalapitiya Vajiraramaya Dhamma School is organising a petition
to request that INTERPOL conduct an inquiry simultaneously with
investigations carried out by the Police.
The Sri Lankan
Ambassador in Russia, U.B.Wijekoon last week communicated by letter
to Sri Lanka, which contains a report of what took place in Russia
after late venerable Soma Thera landed there on October 11.
submitted by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia says that it seemed
that the Thera had felt a severe chest pain before he landed in
Moscow but in spite of the pain he had decided to fly to St. Petersburg
where he was to be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Buddhism
for a book named "Buddha Stupa" authored by him.
At St. Petersburg
airport Rev. Soma Thera had been received by a person identified
as Dr. Shanthi Jayasekera and after knowing the Thera's chest pain
he had been admitted to a hospital where he had recovered. Later
he had been transferred to a sanatorium to have some rest and to
be given physiotherapy exercises before he was to undergo surgery
(by-pass operation), the report from the Embassy adds.
says that it was informed of what happened by a person called Kosala
Jayasignhe from Australia in the last week of November and consequently
the Thera whom the embassy official met had said that he was very
satisfied with doctors and others.
said the priest had refused to go to Moscow on the invitation of
the Sri Lankan community there reiterating that he was satisfied
and they need not worry about him.
The report states
that doctor K.A. Karunanayake (Embassy panel doctor) and Rupasiri
Perera, the President of the Buddhist Society in Moscow were sent
to St. Petersburg on December 6 to inquire into the health of the
Thera. Further they had been given 9,000 US dollars to be spent
on the monks operation and by that time the priest had also received
the award from ITU after a simple ceremony at the sanatorium premises
itself on December 4.
who visited Rev. Soma Thera says in his report that the monk had
been suffering from diabetes mellitus type 2 for ten years and by
that time his condition had improved a lot and so "there is
nothing to worry about".
the other person to visit the Thero says in his report that they
met him and gave him the money and that the priest was worried about
the attitude of the people about his illness and that he had received
many telephone calls from people.
further says on December 8 the priest had been admitted to the hospital
again for further tests and examinations before he was to undergo
surgery and it seemed the doctors had favoured immediate surgery
as he was a diabetic.
On the morning
of December 12 the Thera seemed to have got a severe heart attack
and passed away at about 8.00 am, the report states. Dr. Jayasekara's
brother when contacted by The Sunday Times in Colombo yesterday
said that he was not aware as to what had transpired in Russia.