18 July, 2019

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Victim ‘Mistaken’ Says Pahalagama Somaratana Thero

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 during the 1970s and the 1980s took to the stand on Friday.Testifying at Isleworth Crown Court on the fifth day of proceedings the accused Ven Pahalagama Somaratana thero said he was 32 years old when he first arrived in England, in 1978, BBC Sinhala reports.

He was part of Chiswick Temple from 1978 to 1981, and thereafter went on to create his own Temple in Selsdon, South Croydon, where he remains today.

Ven Somaratana said that he does not remember the first victim during the time of the alleged rape and sexual abuse.

He further exclaimed that as a monk he does not “touch people, especially the women as it is wrong and considered a sin.”

Video call

When asked by his own lawyer whether he attempted to rape the first victim or touch her in an inappropriate way during the said time, the Buddhist monks response was: “not at all no.”

The prosecution brought attention to the statement that the chief monk had made in his first police interview, after he was arrested in September 2011 at Heathrow Airport.

He had suggested to the police that the first victim might have got him mixed up with someone else and also that she may have said it was him due to the victim’s family having issues at that time with the monk.

The prosecution team stressed that this simply could not have been the case.

In regards to the victim getting Ven Pahalagama Somaratana mixed up with someone else, the chief monk himself confirmed that “priests in their robes were distinctive” and could be told apart.

Further, the issues that he said he had with the victim’s family which would have encouraged the victim to accuse him of rape and sexual abuse, was confirmed by both the chief monk and the prosecution team as only having occurred very recently in 2010.

The victim had made the complaint about Ven Somaratana to her sister much earlier, between 1991 and 1992.

The defense team or the chief monk has not contested the alleged rape of the first victim in the Buddhist Temple in Chiswick, during 1978-79.

The case continues next week when the defense plans to bring witnesses, from London and from Sri Lanka via video call, to confirm to the jury the nature of the monk’s character.

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Latest comments

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    A huge number of perverts hiding under saffron robes.
    This would be swept under the carpet in sri lanka.

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    Please call Mervyn Silva from Sri Lanka to the stand. He knows more about this monk. They are birds of the same feather!!

  • 0
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    Is this Free Media or only reserved for people who agree with your articles?
    Awaiting moderation I suppose and then you will delete anything that we say that does not suit you way of thinking. I hope they close ypour website down forthwith.

    • 0
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      A fool……hmmm

      • 0
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        One Fool recognises another, Thambi. At least the man has the guts to put his real name down. He may be a fool but at least he is a brave fool. You are a foolish coward and that makes a big difference.
        My comment will wait moderation as well. Or will it? After all I am a reasonable Tamil gentleman and I should have more more rights as a Tamil to express my self on a Tamil website.

  • 0
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    Let us wait for the verdict and not speculate.

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    No one is guilty unless proved by the law of Court hence do not commit beforehand and sustain evil karma

  • 0
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    Oh well this monk will get way from thid!!! He ‘s got plenty of MPs support!!!!

    Basicaly this monk got a hotel in Gampaha harbouring Whores. And customers base is all MPs in Sri Lanka.

    • 0
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      This is very true. He does this with the “cordial assistance” of Thug Minister Mervin. Mervin does this on recommendation of the King. The King wants to see that everything runs smoothly but unfortunately, only the corruptions are running very smoothly.

      Independent from this particular court case, this so-called Monk is a rogue. It is true that no point of accusing him on rape case, when a case is being heard in a British court at the moment. But we should not forget that there cannot be a smoke without fire.

  • 0
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    I am from Gampaha and what Sam Perera tells is perfect truth. This monk had a business of running a tutory in 1970s and Bandula Gunawardane had his tution classes there. Now so called hotels. Of course he is from a family close to the temple

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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
      http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

    • 0
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      there are many religion priests invest millions of money in stock market and other business.tutions and kungfu do by many temples ,churches.

  • 0
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    The followers and preachers of Lord Buhdda’s principles are the most barbaric criminals in the world in the present time..

    And they commit all the crimes in the name of Buhdda……..

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      You are telling a new truth what Jesus and Mohamed never uttered. So you must be more than a Christian or Islam. Luckily the followers of Abrahmic religions have never violated ethics, rules and regulations in the human history. Hitler, Prabhakaran, Bin Laden they all were ardent Buddhists including the commentator of this great words on Buddhists.

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    It is bit funny when this accused “Monk” says that touching women is a sin. While invoking blessings with Pirith Thread, the monks may come in touch with female devotees without any intention to touch them. I do not want to jump into conclusion that this culprit said so as he feels guilty of what he might have done but with that utterance he cannot be free from his sin. Touching a woman by a monk is not a sin as long as the monks behaves himself as a pious person.

    Lord Budha clearly disclosed ” CETANAHAN BIKKAWE KAMMAN VADAMI …”

    • 0
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      I am sorry. you are wrong, any monk who follows the Vinaya properly will not tie a “Pirith Noola” to a female let alone touching her. Only so called liberated monks do it! Sorry I had to correct you.

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        On the subject of ‘Pirith’, it appears that all labelled Buddhists believes that, Pirith has some kind of power and that power could be trnsferred to a thread and the wearer will be blessed and protected. Hence many a Buddhist, especially the Politicians and business people wear so many ‘pirith nool’ on their wrist for greater protection I presume. As for Pirith, is blared over loud speakers all the time and when one sees the villany committed in society one wonders whether Pirith has any meaningful effect or good on the masses. If Pirith is to posses of any such power, then necessarily pirith should be a manthra and Lord Buddha should be a Mantharakaraya. Lord Buddha was not a mantharakaraya and never preached so, or adviced accordingly. Then what is Pirith?

        Lord Buddha attained enlightenment at the age of 35 years and preached his doctrine for a period of 45 years travelling the Bharatha. Some of his disciples followed him and listened to him when questioned on issues that were raised. Lord Buddha answered and explained the issue in Pali stanza. The disciples who listened to Lord Buddha subsequently narrated what Lord Buddha said as (in Pali) ‘Evang may suthang ekang samayang baghava’ followed by the place and explaining the issue. That is, the Pirith starts with the saying that, ‘I once listened to the Bagyawathun at such and such place, refering to Buddha how he explained an issue. To understand what that issue was, one has to have a knowledge of Pali. Therefore repeating or listening to Pirith even a hundred times will not do any good unless one is able to understand what Lord Buddha meant. Chanting of Pirith may sound rhyming to the ears and that is all. Today Pirith is distorted as the doctrine itself, that some sounds of words (Swara) in Pirith has benificial effects.

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    Blindly and aggressively supporting these kind of perverts are themselves perverts according to psychologists.They creep and crawl and scream in support of this sinful action I mean of paedophilia. Even to the extent of calling for this web site to be blocked. COWARDS. The truth prevails cowards.

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    this culprits brought in to the justice becouse of it happened in England. if it happned in sri lanka you will see the power of stupid buddist devotees and politecians including marvin silva and MR. Any way wimal weerawansha is redy to start campane agenst the england and judges of the trial court. if you wants to save the buddisam in country fist thing is to do disrob the this kind of unfaithfull, miscunductd, malpracticed, kalakanny monks.

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