Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero dies following temple incident

The Venerable, Professor Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero, passed away today at a private hospital where he was receiving treatment following an incident involving the temple elephant.

Wimalarathana Thero of the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya was admitted to hospital yesterday following the incident.

The monk was reportedly attacked by the elephant when he was serving food to the animal but the incident was later played down as an accident.

The Venerable, Professor Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero for many years, been involved with interreligious harmony in Sri Lanka, in particular with regard to easing ethnic tensions in the country.

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

Wimalarathana Thero obtained a Doctorate in Philosophy (Ph.D) in 1980 from the University of Lancaster, United Kingdom.

He was the Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayawardhanapura and also held the position of Professor, associate professor, lecturer and visiting lecturer, respectively, at the University.

The monk was also a visiting Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies University of London, United Kingdom.

The cremation of Wimalarathana Thero will be held on February 08 at the Sri Jayawardenepura grounds. (Colombo Gazette)