Ven. Bellanwila Wimalarathana dies after attack by temple tusker
Posted on February 4th, 2018

Courtesy The Island

Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Nayake Thera, the chief incumbent of the Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya, died yesterday following what sources described as “an attack by the temple’s tusker”.

The prelate usually feeds the elephant named ‘Miyan Kumara’ between 6.00-6.30 am as a practice on a daily basis. On Friday morning, he had approached the pachyderm, chained to a tree in the backyard of the temple premises, to feed it around 6.30 am when the animal suddenly attacked him, the sources said.

“The tusker had struck the monk with its trunk and tried to move forward with its head down when the mahout raised cries and, with the help of some others, evacuated the fallen monk to safety”, the sources said.

The prelate was taken immediately to the Colombo South Teaching Hospital and later transferred to a private hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries yesterday morning.

Initial reports indicated that the monk had suffered broken ribs in the attack and also injured his right hand.

An erudite monk, Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Nayake Thera (77) was the Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardhenepura since 2000. Earlier, he served as professor, associate professor, lecturer and visiting lecturer of the university.

He was also a visiting professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies University of London, United Kingdom. He read for a doctorate in Philosophy (Ph.D) in 1980 at the University of Lancaster, United Kingdom.

The prelate also served as the Deputy Chief (Anunayaka) of the Kotte Sri Kalyani Samagri Dhamma Maha Sangha Sabha of the Syamopali Maha Nikaya.

A widely respected monk who had earned plaudits internationally as well, the Ven. Thera he was actively involved in creating inter-religious harmony in Sri Lanka, particularly easing ethnic tension in the country. (Suresh Perera)

8 Responses to “Ven. Bellanwila Wimalarathana dies after attack by temple tusker”

  1. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    The report says “The prelate was taken immediately to the Colombo South Teaching Hospital and later transferred to a private hospital”Initial reports indicated that the monk had suffered broken ribs in the attack and also injured his right hand.

    මේ අතර තවත් හිමිවරුන් කිහිප දෙනෙකුම කියා සිටියේ ඊට අදාල ශල්‍ය කර්ම සාර්ථකව සිදු කර තිබියදී උත් වහන්සේට ඇති වූ හෘදයාබාද තත්වයක් නිසා මෙසේ අපවත් වී ඇති බවයි.

    Looks like we Buddhists have made another blunder by transferring a high risk patient to a private hospital immediately after a major operation. We made the same blunder when we transferred Sobitha Thera to a private hospital after an operation.
    At least people in Sri Lanka should understand that they should not transfer high risk patients from government hospitals where the patient is looked after by a multi-disciplinary group of specialists doctors to a private hospital where only one specialist is responsible for the patient.

    I thank Lankaweb for publishing pertinent instructions issued to the the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI)

    where it says about one in 11 patients having major non-cardiac surgery will have a heart attack, and among these one in 10 will die within 30 days of the operation., Some 80% of postoperative heart attacks are clinically silent, with no physical signs or symptoms to show that they have occurred. It is only through testing blood for the biomarker troponin that such heart attacks can be detected.

    Prof. Sessler will emphasise that currently few postoperative patients get troponin screening, but available data suggest that many more should so that timely treatments can be provided for those who have a heart attack. ”Blood concentration of troponin is the best indicator of a post-surgical heart attack. Furthermore, the test for troponin is inexpensive, quick, and accurate.” says Prof. Sessler.

    Many of these patients appear outwardly to be recovering well from their surgery. In four of five patients who have a postoperative heart attack, there are no clinical symptoms or signs: no chest pain or shortness of breath, and electrocardiograms and echocardiograms are normal. Clinicians will thus miss most of these heart attacks without specific blood testing for troponin.”

  2. Dilrook Says:

    This is very sad. His demise comes at a time the nation needs consensual governance at which he excelled in advising politicians.

    He served the nation and the Sasana enormously in various capacities. May he attain Nirvana. His last act a meritorious act though the elephant was kept in captivity.

  3. nilwala Says:

    It is a very sad day for the Buddhists of Sri Lanka….the passing away of another erudite and outspoken monk in the middle of an election period, and at a private hospital does raise some serious questions as noted by NeelaMahaYodha above.

    May the Venerable Bellanwila Wimalarathana attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana!

  4. Christie Says:

    A great loss. May he attain Nirvana.

  5. aloy Says:

    He was an outspoken venerable monk. DS Senanayake too died under similar circumstances.
    May he attain nirvana.

  6. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    It is a sad day Buddhists, Buddhism and Sri Lanka. He was a patriotic monk unlike jaathi dhrohee thibbotte bath
    gotte. Suspicious though, why he was sent a private hospital, when Kalubowila Teaching Hospital probably have the
    best facilities. Another Soma Thero done locally? I wonder. Nothing is impossible with this traitor YAMA PAALANA
    gang of murderous thieves. Let’s ask the bank robber in chief walking crime bomb traitor chief die hard catholic
    token Buddhist Bay Gal kaaraya Mega Thief Mega Thakkadiya Batalande Wadakaya Pol Pot r@nil wickrama Sinhala

  7. ranjit Says:

    Sad day for all Sri lankans irrespective of colour or religion because of this unfortunate incident happened in Bellanwila temple yesterday. Ven.Wimalarathana thero is a well known scholar and a disciple of lord Buddha who did a great service to buddhism and mankind. May he attain Nirvana. It’s a great loss to Sri Lanka. We need “No fear” monks like him to save our motherland from evil conspirators within and abroad.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Wasn’t the govt hospital good enough the handle the problem ?
    We suggest that when such educated, able and honest Buddhist priests are ill, shouldn’t it be the duty of the govt to take good care of such priests ?

    May Ven Wimalarathana Thero attain Nibbana.

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