28 January, 2021

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Breaking News: Ven. Pahalagama Somaratana Was Convicted

By Colombo Telegraph –

The Venerable Pahalagama Somaratana

Ven.Pahalagama Somaratana, 65, of Dulverton Road, Croydon was convicted at Isleworth Crown Court on today,Tuesday, 1,  May, of four counts of indecent assault on a female under 16 between January 01, 1977 and December 31,1978 at an address in Chiswick.

He will be sentenced at the same court on 1 June.

He was found not guilty of the rape of a female under 16 between January 1,1977 and December 31,1978 at an address in Chiswick and not guilty of indecent assault on a female under 14 between January 01,1985 and December 31, 1986 at an address in Croydon.

In May 2010 Child Abuse Investigation Command officers began an investigation into historical allegations of indecent assault and rape. On Tuesday, 14 September 2010 a (then) 64-year-old monk was arrested on suspicion of an historical indecent assault and rape. He was questioned at Heathrow police station and later bailed pending further enquiries

He was charged on 12 September 2011 and further charged on 11 November 2011.

On Friday, 23 September Pahalagama Somaratana thero chief incumbent of Thames Buddhist Vihara, of Dulverton Road, Croydon appeared on bail at Feltham Magistrates’ Court charged with rape of female under 16 between January 1, 1977 and December 31, 1978 at an address in Chiswick and indecent assault on a female under 16 between January 1, 1977 and December 31, 1978 at an address in Chiswick.

Pahalagama Somaratana Thero, has been charged with another eight counts of sexual abuse on Friday, 11 November, the London Metropolitan police told Colombo Telegraph. According to the metropolitan police these eight indecent assaults on a female under 14 took place between January 01,1985 and December 31,1986 at an address in Croydon.The 65-year-old Pahalagama Somaratana thero appeared on bail at Feltham Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 2 December and was bailed to appear at Isleworth Crown Court on December 20, 2011.

 

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    Right or wrong you the Monk should have known better during his early days to associate correct people, Not to get a bad name in your old age. Karma has to punish you so with out trying to tell more lies It is better for you to Disrobe your self without bring in more shame to Buddism. How ever much you know, that the Karma can not be saved by any President.As he also will face same if he has done thing to sin. This is Dhamma.

    • 0
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      Better comment dear.We can do what ever bad things behind the curtain,But we cannot hide it from our own heart.that is called “Conscience”

  • 0
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    Buddism and SL Buddism are a world appart

    It was a Buddist priest who shot SWRD
    Architect by a high priest
    An ex-monk killed the two old monks in temple recently
    Backed by dayaka nilame
    Also a Dambulla monk was found guilty of child abuse Feb-March
    Now Dambulla monks invoved in rioting

    Child ordination is a crime
    Discrimination is a crime
    Needs to be addressed

  • 0
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    WAKE UP YOU FOOLS, THIS IS ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE FABRICATED STORIES CIRCULATED BY THE TAMIL DIASPORA TO INSULT THE SINHALESE, IF ONLY THE DIASPORA LIVING OUTSIDE SRILANKA CAN BE BROUGHT BACK TO SL THE SAME THAT WAS DONE TO VELUPILLAI PRABHAKARAN AND HIS STUPID LTTE CADRES SHOULD BE DONE TO THEM AS WELL

    • 0
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      thats your stupid view and bury your head in sin you fool. another child molester supporting the CONVICTED ONE. there is a limit for stupidity.when you wake up tomorrow you may see it differently. no point in crying over now.

  • 0
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    Child molesting and abuse has been an age old practice with the Church and they had been doing it all over the world. Has Any where discussed that as Breaking News ? Has Colombo Telegraph at least published any such articles ?

    What about, three Chrsitian priests having gang sex with two married women, the recently story in the Sri Lankan North ?; What about the story of the NUN stealing children in Colombo area ?

    How about the stories, in those LTTE days, priests transporting suicide jackets from North to South. Beacuse, any other one would be checked ?

    Some comments here are really anti-buddhist.

    • 0
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      WHY BLAME CT? IF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH STORY IS AS VERY IMPORTANT CLERGY AND WELL KNOWN AMONG SRILANKANS CERTAINLY THAT TOO WOULD HAVE BEEN A TOP BREAKING NEWS. POINT ONE VERY POPULAR PRIEST LIKE THIS AMONG US SRILANKANS COMMITED A CRIME SIMILAR TO THIS? CERTAINLY YOU CANNOT, NOT IN THE PAST 100 YEARS . I THINK YOU’RE JUST FOOLISH TO SPREAD FALSE PROPAGANDA IN SUPPORT OF THIS CRIMINAL. THE LAW HAS SPOKEN. YOU AND I CANNOT DO ANYTHING NOW. YOU’RE HAPPY TO BLAME EVERYTHING ELSE BUT THE TRUTH. GO AND HAVE A PARTY . POOR SOUL.

  • 1
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    If this article was a fair and investigative article which published the both sides of the story, then there is nothing to say. This looks really it is some animosity here.

    Anyway, according to Buddhism, if anyone does any bad thing it will chase him during his SAMSAARA just like the cart – wheel that follows the bull OR lets say, in these days, the wheel that follows the car chassis.

  • 0
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    I cannot understand how such an incident happened at a temple. We parents do keep an eye on our daughters in public places..anyway….Where were the parents while all this happened? At the end of the day parents have a responsibility to protect their under-age children?

    • 0
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      This is exactly my question . We have taken our children to the temple and nothing like this has ever happened .loads of parents still bring thier children to the temple and that says something .

  • 0
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    Rajitha Hewamallikarachchi,

    You make me sick! I have lived in UK for nearly 4 decades and this is a sick joke trying to blame the Tamils!!! You should be ashamed of yourself! With my own eyes I have witnessed this Somaratne touching young girls and saying “very well done duwa”(not calling him a priest because he has brought disrespect to the Sri Lankians and the Buddhism equally)
    I believe the parents should be blamed too.just look at the Sinhalese new year celebrations photos from previous years and you can see how some families take photos with their young daughters together with Soma.

  • 0
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    SOME FOOLS EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE LIVING IN UK THEY STILL TALK ABOUT THE CHURCH STORIES THERE. DO THEY KNOW ALL THOSE BAD PRIESTS IN SL? THINK MAN THINK, WE’RE LIVING HERE AND THIS HAPPENED HERE IN THE UK. NOT IN SL. WE KNOW SL JUSTICE SYSTEM SO WHY BOTHER. THERE WONT BE ANY BREAKING NEWS OF THIS NATURE. FACE THE FACTS BUT NOT BLAMING TOM DICK AND HARRY FOR ONES CRIME COMMITED. SPEAKING AS A TRUE BUDDHIST AND SRILANKAN. I WILL SPEAK FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILDREN. PLEASE DO NOT BURY YOUR HEADS IN MYTHS AND LET THESE PEOPLE IN ROBES {I MEAN SOME} TO RUIN OUR RELIGION.

  • 0
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    It is in News media, during the last whole century, that all over the world, Christian priests have molested children, beaten and abused children and many priests and Bishops have been prosecuted. Even in the UK, some people wanted POPE to arrested when he visited UK but those stories did not make a big fuss.

    How about three Catholic Priests gang banging two married tamil women whose husbands were working overseas ?

    As far as I know Catholic priests are also celibate.

    Among Tamils, I don’t know which Caste, child sexual molestation is a custom.

    • 0
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      Hello,,,, It has reached to almost 135 comments. Look at the gravity of the story among Srilankans among the buddhists. I don’t think I will be bothered to comment on any other religions. Simple as that. The story has woken up us the buddhists to the hilt. I think most of the comments are coming from us buddhists , Others would not give a hoot for this soap drama of Srilanka only us making it as a cheap soap. This is not a SOAP but a crime commited and convicted in this century. Wait for the sentence for the crime commited. Respect the law of this country as we all live here.

      • 0
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        I fully agree with Dr. Wijebahu; it’s the duty of parents to look after their children, particularly when we all know that today’s monks are not arahaths but ordinary mortals.

        • 0
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          Yes parents should supervise children carefully if they are crossing a busy road, or going out to a party of friends that would stay up late. But if they go to a Buddhist temple of monks, who are believed to be pious and above normal people for self-discipline, parents tend to entrust the children’s welfare to them. That is the primary reason for their going to the Sunday school, for them to be inculcated with good personal disciplines as per Lord Buddha’s teachings, by the teaching monks. In such circumstances parents expect a little relaxation of the rigorous supervision they put on children because they are in the care of trusted persons. If the said monk did these things that has been proven in a court, then it is he who is to be blamed, and no one else. He should be made an example of, so that other Buddhist monks that come to UK (or anywhere else) learn from this person’s crime and punishment, because it is the duty of the courts to protect the public.
          The courts have no say in the Buddhist form of Karuna and Metta to the monk. There is no need for Buddhists here to confuse the courts issue with Buddhist teachings. People can extend it to the monk according to their personal wishes and convictions, but that has to be left at private level. I have no objection to it.
          I am a Buddhist but I have gone off lots of monks who are in the UK, or for that matter in Sri Lanka too. Most of them are involved in money making activities for themselves and their families, or for self promoting egoistic nonsenses like chasing up knighthoods or political offices, power wielding and unsavory activities like black magic. Quite a few of them in UK and USA are earning sky high professional fees in universities, instead of propagating Buddhism as Lord Buddha and his followers at his time had done. Now its just jet setting monks in Silk Robes wearing robes in all sorts of colors in the spectrum. They are parading around in their fancy colored robic outfits like models in a Paris catwalk.I can also recall in the early 90s, leading monks of a North London temple (which BTW was recently fire bombed by an unknown persons) were involved in a female-scandal that was hushed up at the time. I was aware of a monk in Scotland practising astrology, whereas his declared purpose of mission in Scotland was to propagate Buddhism. Vinaya rules do not allow monks to do that sort of sidelines, because it distracts them from their primary mission to themselves and to the society that they must serve relating to the Dhamma. I was aware of another monk attached to the said North London temple doing Mechanical Engineering, but his declared purpose in the robe was to propagate Buddhism in the UK. These are just examples that I was aware of. They may be just the tips of the iceberg but we have no idea what is below the waterlines, so that we have no clue to whom we could pay respect or to identify which of the monks are rogues, no matter how good their name has been bandied about by the media or the society.
          All these events we see and hear about our Sri Lankan monks, bring disrepute to our faith and to the good name of the Lord and saints that we venerate. I should not want to single out Sri Lankan monks, There are also Tibetan monks who enter this country with a relaxed visa, to soon disrobe and to live with women. I have seen some of this type hanging around at a famous Tibetan monastery in Scotland across the border. It is all very disgraceful.
          I would like to see normal civilians who enter this country as monks to make money or to do anything other than the propagation of Buddhism or Meditation free of charge, to kindly leave this country and do whatever they want where they belong by birth. There ought to be routine and rigorous vetting of monks of all religions that enter this country, and their activities ought to be monitored by the government authorities. It is a fallacy of the administration of both the Government and the religious authorities to assume that clergy in robes are always honest and pious people. I do not wish to mince my words, and prefer to call a spade a spade. There are scores of mahanayakas in UK, and I have no idea who is the ultimate chief, but I call upon him to take control of this sorry affair and sort out your sangha now before the government does it for you.

  • 0
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    CT,,,,,,, It’s time to rest this story in peace. R.I..P. THANKYOU.

  • 0
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    This is a British court.Don’t blame any one other than the priest.I know him since the days of Shooters Hill temple.As a person he was nice,but there was an element of non priest behavior.He tend to forget the normal in the presence of Mayors etc. and was too friendly with the ladies. But the charges are criminal. My children also went to this temple (Dulverton Road ) ,but we always stayed until the classes were over.I also think there was lack of parental supervision on the part of the victims parents.They also should be charged for child neglect

  • 0
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    If the monk indulged in those acts he is accused of, he has broken his vows of preisthood therfore done wrong. That is the religious side of it. If he has forced himself on these girls then it is rape for which charge he is aquitted of. Now he is charged and convicted of indecent assault on children. Please correct me if I am wrong,during the seventees in the western world it was considered old enough for girls to have sex when they are 14 and was concidered something wrong with them if they have not. It is only now that 14 is considred under aged and illegal to have sex even with consent.
    If the girls claims are true they were old enough then to know they were being molested and taken action then,that is if they were not willing participants. Why wait for 35 years?
    Then again,the monk is also human and he may have erred and he will be punished for it. Why punish or condemn buddhists and buddhism?

  • 0
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    In the light of these happenings, the ownership of a temple should be a public one, anyway not an individualist one.

  • 0
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    It is a fool who worship Buddhist monks. Majority of the Buddhist people I know does not even know the meaning of the Buddhist teachings. They blindly follow something they know very little about. Buddhist do not eat meat or kill any form of life for food. First one must understand the ingredients of the Buddhist way of life before one embarks on practicing it. Talk to 99% of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka, they are blind followers and knows nothing about the Buddhism. The parents of these victims are also responsible for exposing their young children to Buddhist monks without any supervision. Sri Lankan society is very backward and they do not want to move forward or change anything for the better. When a country lacks leadership and direction such behaviours are common in under developed cultures and colonised minds.

    A good honourable Buddhist does not have to visit places of worship and be exposed to sex mad priests, they are able to practise the Buddhist teachings at home and protect their children and themselves.

    Take the logical path to happiness where all are treated equal with utmost respect and dignity. Such communities from any religion thrive and they contribute much more to humanity and all life around them.

    Everybody wants to change the world. Nobody wants to change themselves.
    In war truth is the first casualty

    Lets move forward, natural justice will prevail.

  • 0
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    It is a fool who worship Buddhist monks. Majority of the Buddhist people I know does not even know the meaning of the Buddhist teachings. They blindly follow something they know very little about. Buddhist do not eat meat or kill any form of life for food. First one must understand the ingredients of the Buddhist way of life before one embarks on practicing it. Talk to 99% of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka, they are blind followers and knows nothing about Buddhism. The parents of these victims are also responsible for exposing their young children to Buddhist monks without any supervision. Sri Lankan society is very backward and they do not want to move forward or change anything for the better. When a country lacks leadership and direction such behaviours are common in under developed cultures and colonised minds.

    A good honourable Buddhist does not have to visit places of worship and be exposed to sex mad priests, they are able to practise the Buddhist teachings at home and protect their children and themselves.

    Take the logical path to happiness where all are treated equal with utmost respect and dignity. Such communities from any religion thrive and they contribute much more to humanity and all life around them.

    Everybody wants to change the world. Nobody wants to change themselves.
    In war truth is the first casualty

    Lets move forward, natural justice will prevail.

  • 0
    0

    Sexual abuse isn’t just a Catholic Issue

    I may be wrong on this but it seems rare to hear of a sexual abuse scandal in the Buddhist world but there has been one brewing for some time now in the Buddhist circle:

    “This article, among other revelations, presents a face of Buddhism not ordinarily visible to the general public. That is, how well known Buddhist priests and leading figures spoke and acted; or failed to speak and act, in the face of deeply troubling allegations and really severe problems. Thereby, the article also points to the underlying interests of this priest.

    These are some of the allegations that really seem to show the prist as having acted highly inappropriately. If true, (and they seem true) he has also defaced and mocked the Buddhist tradition. As well as Buddhism in general:

    Trust placed in an apparently wise and compassionate teacher, only to have that trust manipulated in the form of his sexual misconduct and abuse.

    This is extremely serious. This trusted monk was supposed to show people how to liberate themselves from suffering–not increase their suffering!! What an appalling perversion of Buddhism!! And he allegedly did it multiple times over DECADES!! He not only allegedly abused them but he has also lead people astray from the path, which is a very egregious action in Buddhism. And if other Buddhist teachers knew of these transgressions and did nothing about it are just as culpable in my view. A lot of Buddhists believe it is rare to find the path of the Buddha and to lead people astray from it is to hold the enlightenment of fledgling beings in the palm of your hand and then tossing that into a deep, dark and muddy hole. The karma that such a false leader incurs must be enormous.

    There is a saying in a Jataka which can be summarized as follows: “When a herd of cattle is traveling, if the leading bull strays, the whole herd goes astray. So it is with the people. If the appointed leader practices adhamma or unrighteousness, the multitude will also practise it. The whole nation will suffer if that one fails to abide by the Dhamma. When a herd of cattle is traveling, if the leading bull keeps to the proper course, the whole herd will do the same. So it is with the people. If the appointed leader abides by the Dhamma, the multitude will do likewise. The whole nation will be content if the leader upholds the Dhamma. This Buddhist saying is quite clear. The behavior of the leader is of great consequence to the masses as they will inevitably follow his example.”

    The Vinaya, which is a body of rules of monastics states, “Like a person, whose head is cut off, is unable to live with that mutilated body, a bhikkhu having associated with sex becomes a non-samana and non-sakyan-son (i.e. loses his monkhood and the membership among the Buddha’s sangha).” It might be tempting by some to ignore this uncomfortable issue but if we truly believe the essence of Buddha’s message was to help others over-come suffering then we owe it to these victims, and even the priest himself to address this completely. It is so sad that this drove some people away from Buddhism but regardless, I hope that they find the peace and relief from suffering that they deserve.

  • 0
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    Can any one please explain why the victim had to wait for 35 years or so to make a complaint and file a case against the priest. Can there be an unknown organization bribing the victim to come out and discredit a Buddhist priest. There is something fishy about this whole episode.

    You all know what the reality with law. Sometimes the law appears to bend with the power and money. There were several cases where the innocent people were sent to gallows while the criminals were exonerated. But the law is law and we have to respect the verdict and put up with the law. What else can we do?

    I am not trying to be sympathetic towards the priest. If he has actually behaved in an unacceptable manner he has to face the punishment according to the prevailing law.

    Please be sensible not to condemn a religion because someone belonging to a particular religion has committed a crime.

  • 0
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    please do not trust monks who living in this country.all are doing busness over here.

  • 0
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    I actually know the facts. Rev Somaranata Nayake Thero was only charged on four accounts of indecent assault. There was no evidence at all, just the words of a person and jury. Why wait 37 years for this. Why didn’t the parents say some thing at that time. This should have been dealt with 37 years ago, Responsible parents would have dealt with this immediately. We as Sinhala Buddhist, Sri Lankan’s should be together, have you ever heard of Christians/Muslims & Tamils send out e-mails and critiising their religious leaders.NO THEY DO NOT. Time will prove that Rev Somaranata Nayake Thero is innocent.An injustice has been done by our own Sinhala people. People who contribute to this and run down Sri Lanka/Buddhism and some Sinhala people are traitors, and one should be a shamed of your self. Most people who comment on this issue hide under incorrect or false names, Why !!!! I do Not.

    Some of you guys who comment do absolutely knothing to help sri lanka or its people- you guys can only find fault. For a change why dont you all help the poor and try to build Sri Lanka. Dont just sit there and criticise our culture/religion and our leaders. Think ! What have you done for others !!!! Your Country !!! The country you are living in ! Probably absolutely knothing !! therefore I urge you to shut up, stop being critical of others , and get a life.

    • 0
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      sujan , Do you expect the others to be as blind follow the blind too? This has nothing to do with helping Srilanka.The law has spoken and the job well done. The perpetrator whether a chief sanghanayaka or a layman there is no difference in this country. All treated equally in the court of law. Please do not live in the world of wilful ignorance. Those like you only creating karma on themselves in the name of buddhism. Look at the other side of the coin you will see a different picture. Please clear your head from evil thoughts stop and think. I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU.

  • 0
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    I also feel sorry for you too dear pittakotte.
    Do you know why the victim had to wait for such a long time to file a case. Don’t you see that there is something difficult to digest by an ordinary person. If you can find a plausible answer I salute to you.

    Some people who have been exposed to different cultures (specially to western culture) assume that they are more knowledgeable in everything compared to the fellow citizens left behind in the native country. Then they talk as if they know everything under the sun.Too much of intelligence also makes people blind and confused and they may not see the true picture.

    • 0
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      Karunaratne, Yes I do have a plausible answer for your conondrum. Children never realise that something had happened to them. They realise when they had grown older . The other factor for keeping quiet in the case of the victim number 1 . She was threatened to keep silent or else her father would die. This is the kind of line the perpetrators always follow . Keep our little secret. Not only the buddhist priests but the catholic priests or any other pedophiles. when the child becomes an adult this nagging hurt continues as there was a fear of no one would believe the child’s story. so the child turned adult suffer may be psychologically , luckilly in this case I presume she became an eminent [Edited out], some how I presume the victims need a closure for what ever happened even half a century ago. Who knows? the parents too suffered in silence when this highly respected powerful mahanayaka riding high in his world of deceit, who would have beleived.? Thats why i’m trying to explain the right time to speak up came with the help of the prosecution. I hope this would clear your doubts, Also think of the child 35 years ago when she realised that something had happened to her and how she had managed all these years. This is my theory.

  • 0
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    If my daugter was raped at the tender age of 9 I would not subject her to the ordeal of court proceedings and the humiliation of a child who has been subjected to rape and thus make make her a valueless merchendise in the marriage market when the time comes for her to get married.From this perspective it is understandable why the parents waited until the girl found a partner of her own choice who subsequently wanted her to go to the police.

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    Lakshmi Devi- You fool , In any temple in Sri Lanka monks say “very well done duwa” whhat is wrong in that!!! Where were the parents when this happened, playing Chess I suppose. Just because you have lived in this country or decades- does not mean anything, you sound like a old goat with no tail.

    Rev Somaratna Thero was wrongly accused, a fabricated story by [Edited out]and his cronies. Time will bring the truth out, and all who set Rev up “karma” will catch up with them. “Karma” has got one already. Lets watch and see, who gets the last laugh.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 0
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    “Many who wear the yellow robe are unrestrained in evil things, these evil ones by evil deeds, in hell do they arise.” – Dhammapada 307

  • 0
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    There have been and will continue to be many misdeeds by men wearing the robe of a Buddhist Monk. Sadly some/many, who knows for sure, are not worthy of the robe nor do they understand the responsibilities that come with wearing it……However, one might say that much of what is called or known as “Buddhism” in Asia has been corrupted by cultural mores. Many anecdotes regarding the Sangha the The Buddha started and teachings from The Dhammapada imply that he himself knew that men in the robes and The Sangha itself might not be worthy of the respect and alms that they were and are given……

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    My wife and I knew Ven. Somaratana and all the other Buddhist monks at London Buddhist Vihara, Chiswisk very closely from 1977 when I was living in Chiswick so close to the temple. I am so confident Ven.Somaratana would never have done anything with this regard to this accusation. In my view it’s totally fabricated and malicious. At that time we went to the temple often and at times my wife waited at the temple for me to come from work. Giving a polo or sweets is nothing, what all priests did was anything remaining / excess from what they received from dayakas, they gave it to all of us (anyone who wanted). We were in London from 1977 to 1982 and now we live in Australia but I wish I was in London now to truly to come forward and defend Ven Somaratane, the Buddhists and Sri Lanka. The damage this false accusation (in my view and my wife’s view and I am sure shared by many others) has caused to Ven Somaratena, the Buddhists of the world and Sri Lanka as a whole is enormous. What I cannot understand is (1) Why was this allegation ever brought towards Ven. Somaratana (2) How come a lady (at that time 9 years old girl) bring this allegation after 35 years and (3) How come a jury found evidence beyond reasonable doubt of Ven.Somaratnas guit in Indecent Assault? (4) How can anyone ever imagine that a rape or indecent assault could have ever taken place at London Buddhist Vihara, Chiswick (at that time a very small building).
    If Ven.Somaratana would ever have even attempted to do anything like this he would have definitely be banished from the temple at that time. He was only a podi hamuduruwo at that time. Ven. Saddhatissa, Ven. Piyatisasa, Ven. Khemananda, etc., had so much power and influence. Further more if I ever got even a hint of this at that time I would never have even attempted to defend Ven. Somaratana. Why I am defending him is because I am so sure that he never even hinted of any such behaviour at that time (We were physically there and went to the temple at least twice a week). What he wanted at that stage was to get to know many people, develop positive realationships and learn English. All of which he has done so well for over 35 years. Yes ! he use to smile with us and joke and he treated us extremely well. He was an outgoing monk who had a lot of potential. Also originally being from Gampaha I know for sure that he did tremendously well for his Pahalagama temple. Our parents have been dayakas of Pahalagama temple for so many years. Now I am in Australia and I am sorry that I am not in London to be of assistance to Ven Somaratana at this time of need.
    Further more if anyone knows the then London Buddhist Vighara which had only 3 small rooms upstairs and one toilet kitchen and a shrine room cum hall down stairs no one could ever imagine that anyone could ever attempt to abuse a child or rape. It’s totally indecent for the lady (then a child) to have fabricated / or thought of how she (at age 9) has been at this small building all alone on Sunday. Obviously (if she ever went to the temple) she would have come to the temple with her father or mother or an adult Uncle or Aunty. Then where were these people when the said incidents happened? In London no child ever goes to Sunday school on her own. Also if it happened after Sunday school where were the other 20 or so children and their parents! Also Sundays were very busy days at the temple and in that temple on Sundays there was no privacy at all for anyone. What nonsense is to say that even an attempt of rape or child abuse could have ever happened in the Shrine room above all places. If the lady (then the girl) ..

    [Edited out]

    I would also kindly request all who write responses to be more thoughtful and avoid writing specially about things they hardly know about. If anyone can write “I was there in 1977 or 1978 and try to substantiate his / her point of view” I would like to hear your views with an open mind.
    About the conviction (which is definitely not rape) but only child abuse (I cannot believe that it ever happened !). How come the jury think that the lady was not truthful about rape but she was truthful about making her sit on the hamuduruwos lap, etc. When one can say one lie telling so many other lies is simple. That’s why as a positive thinker I believe one should not lie even once. Where is the evidence that it ever happened? Has anyone given evidence that they ever saw the hamuduruwo being ever involved in this type of an offence? How can a jury find this hamuiduruwo guilty purely on the word of one lady (then a child aged 9). In my view the jury could have easily been swayed by the lady’s breaking down (which is said to have happened in court). But the jury in my view should have found Ven.Somaratana innocent ! From what I know of law an accused is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond reasonable doubt:
    “ The presumption of innocence, sometimes referred to by the Latin expression Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, is the principle that one is considered innocent until proven guilty. Application of this principle is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial, recognised in many nations. The burden of proof is thus on the prosecution, which has to collect and present enough compelling evidence to convince the trier of fact, who is restrained and ordered by law to consider only actual evidence and testimony that is legally admissible, and in most cases lawfully obtained, that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If reasonable doubt remains, the accused is to be acquitted”. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presumption_of_innocence)

    (Edited out)

    I respect anybody’s views provided they are backed up with substantial evidence !
    I sincerely hope and wish for the sake of Ven. Pahalabama Somaratna, Buddhism as a whole and Sri Lanka as nation the real truth will come out soon.

    Yours Truly,

    Kushan Dharmawardena

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      ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE A LIER??????? Sorry lawyer
      PLEASE DONT PUT YOUR PICTURE HERE BECAUSE THE PUBLIC MIGHT RECOSNISE YOU AS A
      PEDO TOO . did you ask your wife if she liked POLO’S too??

      Suraj senanayake
      True sri lankan

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    Kushan, for your information, be aware that this monk has been given a 7-year prison sentence by the Isleworth Crown Court on the 1st June 2012. Check it out on the internet.

    It is not up to us to give you evidence to change your mind about the monk. That is all irrelevant. The issue was has there been sufficient evidence to convince the British Court. It seems that there has been. The monk too had able lawyers to defend his position, but they failed to change of the natural course of justice.

    As to your general observations about monks, and Chiswick temple in the 70s, those do not hold out the possibility that a sordid activity has taken place there out of sight of unsuspecting devotees. We too go to temples and talk to sweet speaking monks, but we have no idea what is going on behind the doors and what is deep in the minds of sweet talkers. Just think about it. This is a salutory lesson for the Sri Lankan monks and their devotees in the UK, and for that matter everywhere in the world and of every religion.

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    The vow of Celibacy, along with the vow of Poverty, as laid down by the Buddha to his disciples to follow, are extremely difficult to practise lifelong, for anyone.
    Our social behaviour is controlled by our early upbringing and education.
    Our physical behaviour is a product of our response to situations and depends on our neural impulses and hormones.
    Those who took such Vows but lacked sufficient will power,’fall by the wayside’.
    It is also said that morality (in some cases) is ‘due to lack of opportunity’.
    This monk most probably failed the “test”.
    Clergy of some religions – anglicanism,hinduism etc. – are allowed to marry & rarely stray from their vows.

    Such failures happen among clergy of all religions.
    Those who anticipate failure, give up the vocation.
    I know a catholic priest who ‘gave up’ the robe, married and entered a social service organisation.

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    May hsve the details of how this was proven beyond a doubt. Why does any victim stay silent for 35 years ?

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    Kushan
    DO YOU USE HIS HOTELS IN GAMPAHA TOO
    I THINK I HAVE SEEN U THERE ON AND OFF
    Suraj Senanayaka
    True SL

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      True Srilankan , I always thought these people who goes on supporting this convicted paedophile (he’s not a monk anymore) a criminal are themselves had been either themselves one or have gained all the benefits from this criminal. So they would not stop supporting this criminal. ACCORDING TO BUDDHA SASANA SUPPORTING A CRIMINAL ITSELF A CRIME WHICH BRINGS BAD KARMA ON US.
      Supporting this big charismatic, powerful ,child abusive, womaniser is a sin itself. From tomorrow in UK there will be a law be passed for those who support paedophiles themselves may be found guilty of colluding with a paedophilic monster. Unrepentent evil paedophilic supporters should be careful in the UNITED KINGDOM.Sometimes they are blinded by this powerful man’s sweet talk those men and women have lost their marbles I think.

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    Dear All,

    Looks like most of you are on a rigma role to blame the clergy, buddhism, Christianity or even the tamil tigers for this act of rape and child abuse.
    I have just one thing to say to the Sri Lankan buddhists who are reading this.I am a srilankan Buddhist, living in Sri Lanka, and if you are a true buddhist, you would accept that Ven. Pahalagama Somaratana as guilty of his crimes, and realize that it is true buddhism to see the reality of things and not hide them or justify them or blame it on anyone.Lord buddha lived a life of truth, all those people who deny a court judgement are shameless buddhists.
    For Christians all I can say is please don’t try to use this as opportunity to point the finger, as in the christian faith too these things happen, and lord Jesus never approved such things.
    What we have to understand is end of the day it is people, human beings who are there at both camps, no matter what teachings are learned, weak humans will always err, it is our duty to accept the guilty as they are guilty and prevent these things happening in the future, unless they are proven innocent, so that we may give a warning message to every pedophile, to protect our vulnerable.

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