9 August, 2020

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London Buddhist Monk Child Abuse Case: First Victims Was Threatened, Second Victim Was Given Sweets

By Colombo Telegraph –

Ven. Pahalagama Somaratana, chief monk of Thames Buddhist Vihara

The chief monk of Thames Buddhist Vihara, who allegedly abused his position of trust to sexually exploit two underage girls will appear to give evidence tomorrow. The case against Ven. Pahalagama Somaratana had started proceedings at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday and continue for third day.

Court heard that the first victim was abused several times and raped once. She had not complained as a child because of monk’s threats court further heard.

The second victim described to the court that she remembered ‘being alone’ in Ven Somaratana’s room on the pretence of discussing upcoming temple services. Describing the placing of furniture in detail, the she stated that it was “no bigger than a box room”. The crown court was told of incidents of abuse when the victim was taken to the bedroom alone with Ven. Somaratana. She told the court that she was given sweets by the monk and abused and she has memories of “sitting on his lap”. She continued on describing the alleged sexual abuse that she was subjected to during the course of 2 to 3 years.

The monk who was initially charged with one count of rape of a female under 16 and three counts of indecent assault during his tenure at Chiswick temple in1977 and 1978 .Subsequently on Friday, 11 November he was further charged with 8 counts of Indecent assault on a female under 14 between January 1, 1985 and December 31, 1986 at an address in Croydon,London Metropolitan police told Colombo Telegraph.

65-year-old Ven. Pahalagama Somaratana, chief monk of Thames Buddhist Vihara at Dulverton Road, Croydon, has pleaded not guilty of all charges.

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    He cannot be a Buddhist Monk but a Monster in saffron robe. His story goes parallel with Child abuse by Catholic Bishops and priests all over the World. If the yellow robed man had learnt at least A of Buddhism, the situation would have been totally different.

    Now wait and see how his big friend, the King of Sri Lanka will come to rescue him.

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    Those who aid and abet this kind of sexualism they too may have committed this in the past , That’s why they pretend to be a good buddhist but nudge and wink to the predator who had comitted this grave offence and pretending to be supporting Pahalagama. In fact they are justifying their crime too. That is pure human psychology. Once the case is proven guilty will they change their guilty conscience too. No they will go on harping injustice had been done. but we’re in Britain and these kind of predators will never can escape. Truth will prevail.Sadu Sadu.

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    I firmly believe that for one to be a Buddhist monk, first should lead a lay life in full and renounce all desires. When children are ordained naturally they will be tempted for desire as they have not renounced human desire wilfully, but compelled by strictures. Further being ordained as a child one loses one’s childhood and grows up as a misfit. Not very long ago there was a photograph in this very blog of some young samaneras playing cricket. If only adults are allowed to become priests, such would reduce the number of Buddhist priests present today, but certainly will enhance the quality of the few. Today Buddhist priests are seen all over the place at all hours of day or night. They are present at Court houses involved in litigation, at Inland Revenue mitigating taxes from their private businesses. Car Sales looking for purchase of vehicles. Motor garages getting their vehicles repaired. Tile sale outlets looking for tiles to beautify the temples. They are also seen at Super Markets, Bus Halts and Tuition Classes and sometimes very late in to the nights. Almost all are possesing hand phones, some with computers and cameras. There seem to be none in control as they freely roam about and could easily slip into layman’s clothes as they have a sufficient head of hair for their escapades to mingle with the crowd. It is none other than the Buddhist laity who are responsible for this situation.

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    I agree with Gamini, and lately completely lost my faith in most of present day Buddhist clergy everywhere in the world, not just in Sri Lanka. I would however say that the errors of Sri Lankan ones are magnified because our monks claim that Sri Lanka is the chosen seat of pure Buddhism. That may be the case as far as written scripture is concerned, but the monks in general might be the most indisciplined lot in the whole world according to what I observe in the press and things that go on in Sri Lanka. As to the laity, huh,the vast majority are lip service Buddhists, and you can find out what Buddhists they are, if they happened to be your neighbours sharing a fence or accidentally stepped on a toe in a crowded train, or in a taffic queue. My God, beware of Sri Lankan Buddhists if they knock on your Pearly Gate seeking admission, they will have a document claiming multiple returns for their merit committed on earth. As to cheating and hypocrisy look at Maha Raja, who carries trays of jasmine to Danta Dhatu, yet revengfully incarcerate his saviour the General in a dungeon. They set wonderful examples, these Sri Lankan Buddhist clan of mongols.

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      wait till the judgment is passed Bo. Otherwise it is prejudice, you know.

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    The case is being heard. There is no judgement yet and all these comments against the priest seems to be “jumping the gun”.
    A number of young people have made allegations about their parents and various other older people under hypnosis and these allegations have been proven to be made unwittingly. We can suggest to a younger person that there is a hare in the moon and allow them to go on believing that until one day they learn that all the stories in the Bible and various other “good books” must be taken with a pinch of salt. Sexual abuse Gnanakoon will find out from his US based lawyers, needs to be supported by other evidence. If a person seeks to prove that the allegations are fact then it is harder if there is evidence. The reason colombotelegraph is highlighting this case is to provide the world with a reason to believe Buddhist priests are sexual predators. So what about the Christian Priests? When are you going to write some story on tyhe Tamil people cheating the tax payer or cloning credit cards and selling drugs here in Europe? Proves you people are biased.

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    why do some comments here always brings something totally irrelevent to confuse the topic ,It’s their habbit of trying to make black whiter than white. Not all cases are similar to this so called highly respected buddhist priest who is facing the judges in a crown court for allegation of the nature. Every Srilankan wants to know the progress of this case,Colombo telegraph is very right in following this story, well done C.Telegraph. Forget about those sour grapes ,ask them to shut their eyes if they don’t like to read. No one forced them to follow this major story .

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    These misfit Buddhist in robes has become the curse of buddhism today, Buddhism is beautiful when you practice, but in Sri Lanka, a large number of Buddhist priests have become the cause for all evil. Oh lord, please save our miracle of Asia from these misfit vultures in robes

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    I pitty the Ladies thouse who run to the tempal all the time, With out even prepairing meals for the Husband and Children and leaving the house hold duties to the Husband. They say it’s a sin to comment on going to tempal.Monks get all there meals in these Tempals but still these socalled Ladies are looking after the Monks or pretending to be. Chief Priest of Malwatte Chapter and Asgiriya has to look in to these as there are So called Adikarana sanganayaka’s to protect the Buddhism, If the Chief’s are realy interrested they will talk other wise the will continue to be like the others.

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    It is natural that every human have the sexual feelings let your monks lead a normal life with family then all these nonsense won’t happen

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    London Buddhist Monk Child Abuse Case: First Victims Was Threatened, Second Victim Was Given Sweets

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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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    HATARA KENDARE PALU APATHA NEETHA KULE EVUN SASANA GATHA UNAMA APE PODI EVUN PANSALAKATA YAWANNA BAHA THANIYAMA. The logic is Buddhism is now out of date Please let them get married for god sake.

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      That has to happen sooner or later.

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    Ban The Budhism to protect children

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      Are you still in that maniac’s world? he ended up at Nanthikadal and with that, the stone age murderous culture dissappeared. But elements like you are still around?

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