Posted on July 11th, 2012

by Walter JayawardhanaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

Following criminal investigations and arrest by the Police against Venerable Migettuwatte Sumitta, the Galle District Sangha Nayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Maha Nikaya, his Chapter has suspended his clerical titles.

The Asgiriya Chapter is the second largest group of the Siyam Maha Nikaya, the most powerful clerical group in the island.

Several news websites quoted Venerable Anamaduwe Dahmmadassi Thera, the Registrar of the Chapter as saying that the decision to suspend his clerical titles was taken after he was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ for aiding and abetting several robberies that took place recently.

The most recent one he had taken part in aiding and abetting according to police sources is the heist of nearly 40 million worth of cash and jewelry from a shop in Moragolla, Aluthgama.

A university graduate he served as Viharadhipathi , Induruwa, Bandarigoda , a head of a pirivena and he had authored several books in Sinhalese.

One website republished an interview ironically given by him to the Dinamina two years ago and quoted him as saying that the crimes in the country is due to the over indulgence of material comforts ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ people are seeking.

His ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ lawyers were quoted in the websites as saying that he had been framed up by illicit liquor merchants who wanted to operate close to the temple.


  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:


    May the Noble Triple Gem Bless the Asgiriya Chapter for virtually de-robing him for his participation in crime. I do hope the Police will tell the Country what crimes he had been connected with.

  2. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    Some years ago the most Venerable Ananda Maitreeya wrote an article in a journal in Sri Lanka. The essence of the article went like this – A Sri Lankan monk goes on Pindapaatha and the yellow robed crookes who commute in Benz cars calls him a hypocrite, the same monk goes to a temple to take refuge and chased away as he belonged another sect and few more instances where he was humiliated by Sinhala Buddhist monks. The final sentence of the article states that this monk was Buddha himself revisiting Sri Lanka.
    Those who come from our holy city of Anuradhapura would know the absolute corruption of some monks there. Media was silent on the events that took place near the Sri MahaBodhi few years ago. Embilipitiya monks are growing Ganja, according to a novice I met in Anu. Some monks are involved in trading and making money in Share market. This monk who was caught is just the tip of the iceberg. Our Saasana exists beause of monks, however there are no Sangaayanavas to expel corrupt monks as happened yesteryear. If that practice continues, most head priests would be de-robed and the Saasana will come to an end in a few years and non Buddhists will be happy, especailly the Catholics. Catch 22. The govt. can get involved through the the Buddhasaasana Ministry to expel monks who indulge in vices, you do not need courts. Well in that case monks will argue why only us? the parliamentarians, the govt. officials are too are corrupt to the hilt, with no proper leadership to end this manace. The whole world, not confined to Sri Lanka, is driven by corrupt forces driven by rich through uncontrolled greed. Root cause of all suffering, Craving (Passion, Aversion and Delusion). Buddha was absolutely right.

  3. herman Says:

    This is to be expected when monks are getting involved with money matters which is against the vinaya rules as laid down by the BUDDHA.

  4. nandimitra Says:

    The great institution of the temple is financially broken and the priests have been corrupted. The attempt at destruction of the temple started under colonialism when the temple lands were taken over. The sinhala buddhists are poor and therefore to maintain the temple is impossible and hence the need for the priests to get into business aided and abetted by the corrupt politicians. The first thing to do is to return the land that was confiscated by the british so that the temple gets independent. Next apply the rules of the vinaya and expel corrupt priests from the temples. Most importantly the politicians must be banned from the temple except for religious purposes. Hopefully then the temples will regain its lost prestige and return to its past glory for the benefit of the many.

  5. Dham Says:

    “The whole world, not confined to Sri Lanka, is driven by corrupt forces driven by rich through uncontrolled greed. Root cause of all suffering, Craving (Passion, Aversion and Delusion). Buddha was absolutely right.”

    Beautifully said.
    The worst criminals are the ones who say “we should stop corruption” while doing it to the best of their ability. Ponnaseka heads the list.

  6. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Let us be more truthful, first in the list is Sarath Fonseka the well-known CIA agent 1 with buddles of dollar bills under his pillow, Number two Wijedasa Rajapakse and then all others.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    Let’s face it – Sri Lanka is still recovering from 500 yrs of Colonisation. Among other aspects of Lanka such as the rural sector, the Buddha Sasana too has suffered greatly by the neglect and changes imposed through foreign rule. Foreign rulers did not care about the locals. As everywhere else, they were here to use the land and the people for their own gains. We had systems in place long ago that worked, and those systems were destroyed or neglected and fell to disuse during the Colonial times.

    The Sasana has to be re-structured to suit Modern Times, whilst keeping to the rules of the Vinaya etc. Only persons who can stay with the Vinaya or at least strive to, should become monks or priests. There has to be a Buddhist Central Committee composed initially of all the Nikayas to see that only suitable people are ordained. This Committee will have to overlook the disciplinary aspects too. The Ministry for Buddhist Affairs must lead the way and talk to all the Head priests first.
    The Dalai Lama has started a fund in Tibet to teach young Buddhist priests Science – that is a great leap forward.

    Some questions to ask ourselves :

    * Is it time to erase the various Nikayas and bring the Buddhist clergy under one Buddhist Central Committee ?
    * And who is to finance the various Temples all over Lanka ? Are the Temples to be left to their own resources to raise funds for upkeep ? Or are they to be left to the tender mercies of the Dayakayas who are poor themselves ?
    * What about the Temple lands ? How best to use them ? Who is to guide their use ?
    * How best can the Buddhist priests (as opposed to monks) serve the public ? We think Podi Hamuduruwo of Gangarama is a fine example to follow.


    These are the questions that have to be asked.

  8. appuhamy1 Says:

    Monks who cannot keep five precepts- who consume scotch and deliver speeches over TV attacking politicians whether they are loku or podi cannot be a solution to the problem. They are another side of the problem.

  9. appuhamy1 Says:


  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    The Buddha Sasana too has to be re-vamped (as in Education), in keeping with the needs of the people and the times. They must be given time to make the necessary changes. Whilst the truths expounded by the Buddha are eternal, how the Temples must run in modern times might have to be changed, and probably the roles played by Buddhist priests ( and monks), in relation to the public.

    It must be noted that tobacco growing as a cash crop was brought into the country by the Dutch, and liquor introduced into Lanka by the Portuguese. The British brought in over a million Tamils of low caste/Dalit origin to work in the tea plantations, upsetting the ethnic balance in Lanka forever and giving rise to false claims of an Eelam in Lanka.

    The Buddhist temples were run very well in keeping with the Vinaya prior to Colonial Rule which lasted nearly 500 yrs. During times of Colonial rule, the Sasana deteriorated. It is time for revival of the Sasana, with fresh approaches and hopes. The Sasana has to play a meaningful role in the day to day life of the lay Buddhist folk and the Temples must have reliable means to meet their expenses.

    Sri Lankans have spent most of their post Independence time of 64 yrs in sorting out problems from the JVP & ltte (still ongoing, at less intensity). Lanka is caught too in a globalised fiscal system inimical to Lanka, as well as globalised everything else including pharma ! Now is the time to reset the Nation to a path of Self sufficiency as much as possible, Peace & Prosperity.

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    Thinking further about the period of Colonisation in Lanka, let us do some math. 500 yrs of Colonial rule : 64 yrs of Independence boils down to a ration of 8:1 !!! Those who complain overmuch and rant & rave at Buddhists, ought to wonder now how this Sinhala Buddhist population ever survived in their own country.
    The Portuguese period was the worst, and next the British. The Portuguese broke down the southern Buddhist learning centres. It is said that the stones from those buildings were used for fortresses. Many Sinhala people were killed for non-compliance. Batches of people were brought forward to the then administrators and name change to Portuguese names were forced upon them, as the administrators could not pronounce the long Sinhala names. As we now know, the British never honored the Agreement signed with the Sinhala people of Kandy re giving Buddhism its due first place in the country, apart from other atrocities towards entire upcountry villages of Lanka, plus the 1915. Land was seized from the original owners with no payment under Colonial rule and state land used as they pleased.
    What I am trying to say is: Give the Buddhists TIME to sort out their present day problems and don’t crash all sorts of subtle, divisive Games on their heads.

  12. appuhamy1 Says:

    Dear Mr. Diaz

    The Sinhala and English versions of the Vinaya Pitaka is easily available in Sri \Lanka.
    Please read it before writing these nonsensical writings. Thank you.

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