Rev. 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.

The Registrar 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.

Ven. Ellawala 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.

The report 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.

The Embassy 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.

The embassy 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.

Dr. Karunanayake 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".

Mr. Perera 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.

The report 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.

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