Prof Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera’s demise Call for probe as questions remain in limbo
Posted on February 19th, 2018

By Leon Berenger Courtesy Ceylon Today

Two weeks after the untimely death of Professor Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera – Chief monk of the Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara more questions are being asked on the circumstances that led to his demise amidst calls for a thorough probe into the incident.

At first they said that the priest had been gored by the temple elephant- ‘Miyan Kumara’ while he was feeding the animal with tamarind and then later he is supposed to have lost his balance and crashed onto a rocky surface breaking many ribs, fracturing his shoulder and injuring his lungs.

Intensive Care

However, whatever the real case may be, the occurrence proved fatal as the victim died in a private hospital barely 48 hours after the incident, sparking many theories and claims that are still continuing.

The dying monk was initially rushed to the Colombo South General Teaching Hospital (CSGTH) where he was placed in intensive care as a group of doctors toiled for several hours to keep the patient stable.

However, as the night progressed that fateful evening the temple’s Dayaka Sabha is alleged to have persuaded the immediate family to move the patient to a private hospital for reasons known best only to them.

And so the late Thera was transferred in an ambulance to a private hospital situated nearby against medical advice from doctors who had attended on him at the (CSGTH).

The rest is now history.

Family Members

Director of the CSGTH Dr. Asela Gunawardene said that the patient was conscious and his condition stable at the time he was removed from the hospital.

We advised the family members and other interested parties to leave the patient at the hospital for at least another 24 hours till his condition improves before attempting to move him out.

However, no one was prepared to listen and there was no other option left but to allow the request of the family,
Dr. Gunawardene said.

He added that the only other State hospital that had the facilities to treat a lung injury was the Chest Hospital in Welisara but owing to the distance a nearby private hospital was chosen.

Sinhala Ravaya

He also questioned the decision to hold the inquest outside the area where the death took place.

“The proper procedure would have been to hold the inquest in the city Meanwhile, the Convener of the Sinhala Ravaya Magalkande Sudantha Thera has demanded a full probe into the death of the late monk saying that there were plenty of unanswered questions.

He claimed that the surgery at the CSGTH had been successful and therefore there was no purpose to transfer the seriously injured monk to a private medical facility against medical advice.

“It is claimed that the monk finally died of a heart attack and if this was the case were the specialists prepared for such a turn of events with the proper drugs and dosages”, the Thera questioned.

In addition to this standard procedures were also violated following the monk’s demise in connection with the inquest.

The death occurred within the jurisdiction of the Metropolis but the inquest was held elsewhere despite protests from the relevant Coroner, he added.

Dayaka Sabha

Initially an elephant handler told the media that the late monk was violently attacked by the tusker but this was quickly denied by relatives and the temple’s Dayaka Sabha.

“They went on to claim that the late Thera had slipped and fallen on to a hard surface while feeding the elephant.

“These claims do not tango. There is an attempt to cover up the true cause of the death and therefore the matter has to be probed at the very highest level”, Sudantha Thera who is also the Convener of the National Movement to Protect Tame Elephants said.

Fuming Coroner

Meanwhile, a fuming City Coroner Iresha Samaraweera said she has already complained to the Fort Magistrate after she was denied holding the inquest for unknown reasons.

She added that the Narahenpita Police had initially informed her on the death of the monk but were later silent after she pursued the matter.

“I was later to learn that the inquest was held at Kalubowila and that the Boralesgamuwa Police was involved.

This should never have been the case and I intend to make an official complaint with the Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera”, Ms. Samaraweera added.

However, the acting Head Priest of the Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara Ven. Boralesgamuwa Premarathana Thera rubbished all the claims saying that a probe was not necessary at any level.

He said that there were no eyewitnesses to the incident so therefore it is difficult to establish what exactly took place on that fateful day.

“It is possible that the elephant may have struck the victim unintentionally. The late Thera was also unstable in his foot movements in the recent past. There is also the possibility that he may slipped and fallen on to the ground. He suffered a fall some four years ago as well. Whatever the circumstances it may be it is now all history and it should remain that way”, he said.

He further explained that the decision to transfer the late Thera to a private hospital was taken by relatives and the Dayaka Sabha owing to many reasons.

While appreciating the dedication of the doctors and staff at the CSGTH it was also thought that there would be better treatment at a private facility.

“In addition a prestige matter was also involved since people may wonder that the temple was broke and could not afford a private hospital for the seriously injured monk”, he added.

Commenting on the simmering row related to the inquest he said that it was the decision of the private hospital and that they had nothing to do with it.

Festering row

“We are cold on such legal issues and they must be handled by the appropriate authorities. We were however, informed that since the incident had taken place Boralesgamuwa the inquest would also be held in the same area”.

Another temple insider who wished to remain anonymous told Ceylon Today that there is a festering row between two certain Coroners who are cheered on by interested parties in a section of the regional medical fraternity.

This development has led to many theories and allegations aimed at giving a draconian twist to the untimely death of the late Prelate, he said.

He added that the temple authorities or the relatives had nothing to do with the inquest since that matter was covered by the subject authority.

However, he also concluded that the tusker may have even placed his heavy trunk on the rib cage of the fallen monk that probably explains the serious injuries in that region.

Having said all that, at the end of the day the temple has lost its chief monk while the tusker at the centre of the tragedy is perhaps saddened but this will never be known.

One Response to “Prof Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera’s demise Call for probe as questions remain in limbo”

  1. Nanda Says:

    භික්ෂුව පක්ෂ දේශපාලනයේ මුරදේවතාවුන් නොවිය යුතුයි

    භික්ෂුව පක්ෂ දේශපාලනයට නතු වී යූ.එන්.පී. මුරදේවතා, ‍පොහොට්ටුවේ මුරදේවතා හා බුලත් කොළේ, අතේ, සීනුවේ මුරදේවතාවා නොවී ජාතියේ මුරදේවතාවා බවට යළිත් පත්විය යුතු යැයි අස්ගිරි පාර්ශ්වයේ
    ‍‍‍ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ අනුනායක වේඬරුවේ ශ්‍රී උපාලි නාහිමියෝ පැවැසූහ.
    මෙවර පළාත් පාලන මැතිවරණයෙන් භික්ෂුන් වහන්සේලා 26 නමක් මන්ත්‍රී හාමුදුරුවන් බවට පත්වී ඇති බවත්, භික්ෂුව ක්‍රියා කළ යුත්තේ බලය උදෙසා මන්ත්‍රීකම් ගැනීමට නොව ගිහි මන්ත්‍රීවරුන්ට දැහැමි පාලනයකට මගපෙන්වීම යැයිද අනුනාහිමියෝ අවධාරණය කළහ.
    මැති ඇමැතිකම් ගිහියාට උරුම දෙයක් නිසා එය උදුරා ගැනීමට ගොස් එක් එක් පක්ෂවලට හාමුදුරුවන් සීමා වීම භික්ෂුත්වයටද නොගැළපෙන්නක් බවද අස්ගිරි අනුනාහිමියෝ පැවැසූහ.
    ප්‍රකට ‍ලේඛකයෙකු, කවියකු, ග්‍රන්ථ කර්තෘවරයකුව වැඩ සිටි ත්‍රිපිටක ධර්ම විශාරද බලංගොඩ ජිනරතන නාහිමිගේ වර්ෂ පූර්ණ ගුණසැමරුම නිමිත්තෙන් බලංගොඩ නළුවෙල ශ්‍රී ප්‍රියදර්ශනාරාමයේ ඉදිකළ ශ්‍රී ජිනරතන භික්ෂු නේවාසිකාගාරය විවෘත කිරීමේ හා සමරු පින්කමේදී අස්ගිරි පාර්ශ්වයේ ‍‍‍ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ අනුනායක වේඬරුවේ ශ්‍රී උපාලි හිමියෝ ඉහත අදහස් ප්‍රකාශ කළහ.
    එහිදී අස්ගිරි අනුනාහිමියෝ මෙසේද කීහ.
    රටේ ජනතාව ගරු කරන්නේ ජාතියේ මුරදේවතාවුන්ට මිස පක්ෂවල මුරදේවතාවුන්ට නොවේ. අතීතයේ වාරිය‍පොළ සුමංගල හිමි, කුඩා‍පොළ හිමි, මිගෙට්ටුවත්තේ ගුණානන්ද හිමි, හික්කඩුවේ නාහිමි වගේ සඟරුවන මෙන්ම මෑත යුගයේ යක්කඩුවේ නාහිමි, මාදුළුවාවේ සෝභිත හිමි, ගංගොඩවිල සෝම හිමි හා බෙල්ලන්විල විමලරතන හිමි වැනි ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨ බුද්ධ පුත්‍රයන්ගේ නාමයන් අමරණීය ලෙස ජනතාවගේ හදවත්වල රැඳුණේ උන්වහන්සේලාට මන්ත්‍රීවරු පදවි තිබිලා නොවෙයි. ඕනෑම කෙනෙකුට ජනප්‍රිය විය හැකියි. එහෙත් එය ඉතා තාවකාලිකයි. කලක් ජනප්‍රිය වූ අය කාලයකදී හොයාගන්නවත් නැතිවෙනවා. නමුත් මා ඉහත සඳහන් කළ හිමිවරු ජනතාවගේ මතකයෙන් කිසිදිනක මැකී නොයන්නේ උන්වහන්සේලා ජාතියේ සැබෑම මුර දේවතාවුන් වූ නිසයි.
    අද සමාජයේ විවිධ අය උත්තරීතර යැයි සිතා සිටියත් අවසානයේ උත්තරීතර වන්නේ රටේ ජනතාව බව මෙවර ඡන්දයෙන් පවා පෙන්නුම් කළා. බෙල්ලන්විල නාහිමියන් අපවත් වූ පසු මෑත යුගයේ මෙරටට එළිය දුන් පහන් තුනක් නිවී ගිය බව පුවත්පත් කාටුනයකින් පෙන්නුවා. ඒ පහන් තුන සෝම හිමි, සෝභිත හිමි, බෙල්ලන්විල හිමියි. අපේ පුංචි හාමුදුරුවරු සිතාගත යුත්තේ ඒ හිමිවරු ගිය අඩිපාරේ යෑමට මිස මන්ත්‍රී හාමුදුරුවරුන්ගේ අඩිපාරේ යෑමට නොවේ. කීර්තිධර හිමිවරුන්ගේ මතකය ජනතාවගේ හදවතේ සැමදාම රැඳී තිබෙනවා. ඒත් මන්ත්‍රී හාමුදුරුවන්ගේ නම් තිබෙන්නේ ජනතා හදවතේ නොව හැන්සාඩ් වාර්තාවේ සහ ප්‍රාදේශීය සභා වාර්තාවේ පමණයි.
    අපවත් වූ බලංගොඩ ජිනරතන නාහිමියන් සිය අදහස් සෘජු ලෙස පුවත්පත්වලට ලියා ජාතියට නිසි මගපෙන්නුවා. එසේමකාව්‍ය නිර්මාණ තුළින්ද උන්වහන්සේ සිය මතය රටට හෙළි කළා. ඒ නිසා රටේම ගිහි පැවිදි සැමගේම ගෞරවය ජිනරතන නාහිමියන්ට ලැබුණා. ලක්බිම පුවත්පත හරහා උන්වහන්සේ ලියූ සාරගර්භ ලිපි ඒ යුගයේ ඉතා ජනප්‍රිය වුණා. ජිනරතන නාහිමියන්ගේ ගමන්මග වූයේත් අතීතයේ වැඩ සිටි නියම ජාතියේ මුරදේවතාවුන්ගේ මාර්ගයයි.
    ශ්‍රී ලංකා රාමඤ්ඤ නිකායේ අනුනායක මාත‍ලේ ධම්මකුසල හිමි හා නළුවෙල ප්‍රියදර්ශනාරාමාධිපති මුල්‍ලේගම විමලානන්ද හිමියෝ අනුශාසනාව කළහ. අමරපුර රාස්සගල පාර්ශ්වයේ මහානායක කරගොඩ උයන්ගොඩ මෛත්‍රීමූර්ති හිමි ඇතුළු සියයක් නමක් පමණ සඟරුවන මෙම පුණේ‍යා්ත්සවයට සහභාගි වූහ.

    සරත් වීරවංශ, බලංගොඩ

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