The Sunday Leader

Intoxicated Monk Behind The Wheel

By Nirmala Kannangara

The vehicle, Ven. Thripalagama Pannajeewa, Chief Incumbent of Gothami Viharaya AND Bitter truth revealed

Last Week, a Buddhist monk  was involved in a head on collision on the High Level Road in Pannipitiya was found to be under the influence of liquor.
Ven. Thripalagama Pannajeewa the Chief Incumbent of Gothami Viharaya, Jambugasmulla Mawatha, Nugegoda was involved in a head on collision with a Toyota Land Cruzer bearing registration number 31 Sri 4563 on Thursday, February 23 around 11 pm.
The monk was at the wheel in his metallic coloured Suzuki A-star car, bearing registration number WP KS 0593 and he was intoxicated at the time of the accident, Police Spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana said.
“I was on my way to Maharagama from Kottawa when this car came at high speed and crashed into my jeep. The car was coming towards Kottawa from Maharagama,” Jude Thyagarajah the driver of the Toyota Land Cruzer told The Sunday Leader.
According to Thyagarajah, it was this Buddhist monk who was behind the wheel and he was bleeding from his nose after the crash.
“I was on the left corner lane when the Suzuki car slammed in to my vehicle, turned many rounds before it came to a halt. When I went to his car to see as to what had happened, his head was on the steering wheel and the horn was beeping continuously. People from the area who rushed to the scene  helped me to take the monk out of the car. At first since he could not stand on his feet I thought that he was seriously injured. It was the onlookers who told me that the monk was intoxicated and there were three bottles of arrack, a packet of cigarettes and some cans of beer together with a parcel of wild boar meat in his car,” Thyagarajah recounted.
Meanwhile, Ven. Pannajeewa had begged of Thyagarajah to let him go offering to pay him any sum of money he wanted.
Sources from the Colombo South General Hospital (Kalubowila Hospital) speaking on condition of anonymity told The Sunday Leader that a few cans of beer had fallen from the monk’s bag when the hospital staff was helping him get onto a stretcher.
“We wanted to put him to a special room but, after finding out that he was intoxicated and was carrying beer cans, we transferred him to a general ward. He had sustained compound fractures to his right hand and underwent an operation on Friday,” added the sources.
According to the sources, the monk had told hospital staff that he was on his way to the temple after attending a party where there had been booze a plenty.
According to the Maharagama police, the accident was due to negligence, dangerous driving and intoxication.

39 Comments for “Intoxicated Monk Behind The Wheel”

  1. anton

    We should stop patronsing this race called “Buddhist Monk”. I don’t want my money to be spent on feeding any of the Buddhist monk which is a crime.

  2. This is only one incident of SRI LANKAN Buddhist Monks doing in the world.

  3. Ice Mama

    Put him in the stockade and throw away the key

  4. Agast

    These are the jokers to tell us how to lead good lives and our devotees venerate. Hypocrites!

  5. Benett

    Corrupt buddhist monks in politics, buddhist monks grabbing land and cheating people, buddhist monks molesting children and women, buddhist monks murdering and getting sentenced to death and buddhist monks drinking and driving recklessly. Ah yes, and let’s not forget the true Buddhists who order the abduction of journalists and the killing of white flag bearers. What has become of the Lord Buddhas favorite island?

  6. Guzban

    There is so much evidence against this monk that it sounds very much like an overkill of planting evidence. Arrack bottles, beer cans…. even meat? for a vegetarian who doesn;t eat after 12 noon, I rather doubt he would have everything stacked against him. I’d be very skeptical.

  7. Ram Perera

    He could be a monk. I am a practicing Buddhist. In my view these are the people who should be disrobed and put in jail for others to learn. Stiff punishment is necessary to curb drink driving.

  8. meeharaka

    Let us hope that The Mahanayakes Of the relevant Nikaya takes Serious note and disciplinary action is taken in accordance with the code of conduct for Buddhist monks

  9. yakolis

    This type of Men In Saffron Robes Will Bring Absolute Shame on Buddhism. This shameless man should be disrobed immediately.

  10. Chamalka

    Mr. Hamuduruwo must have been heading towards Dharmarajya with all that stuff :-)

  11. Eddy

    Oh Lord Buddha, how sad this would have made you?! This miserable man in yellow robes(He’s not fit to be called a monk!!) should be De-robbed, and given a jail sentence, for the offenses he caused. He should not be allowed to wear that respected robe ever again!

    • Her Bee

      This miserable damnable horrible brute drabbing in yeallow robves is a disgrace to Buddhist the society. He recently had got invlved in a similar car accident driving under influense of liquor and charged in courts and has been healy fined. We have some mockery play houses describedas Sangaadikaranya, what madness it perfoms no one knows, while its constitents feel and act as if the are some sort of prmay Judges. Most of the young buddhist priests are highly indesiplined. From most of those we see in buses eminates a slight sweet fragance,some have in one finger a faint paint of cutex and manucured fingernails his head has a growth of an inch of hair and carry a Wlkie Takle and a mobile phone. They have everything sana the Sagaha Sobana, whichj is essential to a priest. At lest the Buddhist Ministry must now get up from the logn lumber and take some action.

  12. Maha

    Who’s job is it to disrobe monks these days? The Mahanayakas, the Presidents?

  13. “these things can happen when you take little more than
    adequate “gilan Passa”
    Our sacred religion must be saved from these safron – beasts

    • TrainDriver

      He is not an exception. He is the norm.

    • Chandra

      There is nothing to save as almost all Bikkus are there in the Sasanaya just for the sake of being there while enjoying all the perks in the world. As ” Dayakayas” we are to be blamed as we are the ones who nurtured and fed the monsters. I know one famous Bikku who carries a sound system with him whenever he goes for a night ” Bana” preaching and charged a fee for the services renders. He is very popular among ” Dayakayas” and ” Daikavas” and regularly showers with him gifts. They says he is ” very good at Bana ” preachings !! And we all know where some of the baby elephants from Pinnawela ended up in a top sacred place in Kandy. If the top of the ” Sasanaya” is corrupted then what do you expect?

    • Kosala

      nowadays it is the norm to go under religious cover to get what they want, this is not restricted to one section only; no human can live an ascetic life, liquor, sex and other vices are a must mostly needed by men and the easy way to get it, is to be a monk, priest, poosari and etc. Even in the Western world some cool looking priest had been sexually abusing boys and it came to light recently.

  14. kennethchelian

    The main problem of SRI LANKA is there is no accountability. This is because the people does not demand high level of accountability from politicians, government servants or other people of authority and responsibility.

    So the simple reason for the STATE OF SRI LANKA IS THE FAULT OF ORDINARY PEOPLE not demanding ACCOUNTABILITY.

    Now let take this incident……

    If this type of incident happens in Canada that relevant religion leader will be removed from the clergy of that religion and send home. Also serious charged layed by the police against drinking and driving.

    Now what will happen in Sri Lanka. Forget about the Police. This buddhist priest will continue to be the chief buddhist priest of that temple. No self resigning. No system in that Nikaya to boot him out. People will forgive the priest in couple of months. Things will run same… NO ACCOUNTABILITY for Wrongdoing.

    A democracy to work there should be responsibility, duty of care and ACCOUNTABILITY.

  15. Carolis

    I guess nowadays gilan pasa must include scotch. By the way where did he get the car from? Is that also a modern entitlement. Great progress for the buddha sasanaya wonderful keep it up.

  16. Ghost

    These are the people who are “running” the country and the “leaders” are worshiping them. Pathetic.

  17. Indepedent Observer

    A mechanism must be legally established which could disrobe any Bhikku who misbaves and disrespects the robes he wears . These are matters which should be initiated by the Mahanayake Theros , and the Theors who are in Parliament .

  18. Don Quixote

    At last these things that are not unheard of, have been highlighted. This is the aspect of the sasanaya in our country that needs to be addressed. If this is done there will be no problems with forced conversions.

    People change their religion when they get disillusioned by people like this using the sacred chiwaraya to further their lavish life styles.

    No politician will ever have the guts to do something about this ! It is up to the Mahanayake of Malwatte and NO ONE else !

  19. Samarasiri

    It is going to be great seeing he Great Buddhists of Sri Lanka trying to spin this one. The downfall of Buddhism in Sri Lanka (not the religion itself but its practice in Sri Lanka) will be caused, not by the drunk or raping monks but by those who defend their behavior.

    What a shame!!!

    • Against Idiots

      You deserve a medal for speaking this truth! The corruption runs much deeper than one drunken monk behind the wheel of a vehicle and reaches to the very top of the Buddhist hierarchy in this country.

  20. Perera

    This clearly indicates the true nature of most of the monks at present. In the future we can experience more of these on our way to Miracle of the Asia.

  21. Garawi

    These are the so called ‘Monks’who discredit the religion. They should be given the maximum punishment! And who are these people who invite ‘monks ‘to their liquor galore parties! Did they trap him into this? Worthwhile investigating and punishing them too!

  22. padme

    Gilan Passa without soda….

    • Mohamed Zahran

      Disrobe this Chief Priest

      According to Panca sila in Buddhism, Buddha has said Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness. (Fifth of the five precepts)
      Allah (Glory be to Him) says in the Holy Quran in Chapter 5 verse 90 “O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan’s handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper.
      Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has said: “Allaah has cursed alcohol, the one who drinks it, the one who pours it, the one who sells it, the one who buys it, the one who squeezes it (squeezes the grapes, etc), the one for whom it is squeezed, the one who carries it and the one to whom it is carried.”

      I thought of sharing with /reminding the readers of your newspaper which highlighted the criminal act of the Chief Priest of Gothami Viharaya in Nugegoda of the above admonitions.What a shame it has brought to the Sangha by his despicable conduct.I think the Minstry for Buddha Sasana should undertake a very comprehensive investigation into the above incident and disrobe this priest. He deserves to be flogged which is the punishment in Islam for taking liquor. Isn’t this Chief Priest a very appalling role model for the subordinate priests in the temple?

      Parents nowadays have to think twice of sending their children toTemples to learn the Dhamma or for tution classes if these priests conduct thmemselves unbecoming of priests.

      Mohamed Zahran
      Colombo 3

  23. Vishwa

    Be mindful of the fact that ‘everything changes’. Fortunately for practitioners of Dhamma it is ones own practice that is important than the worship of images or monks. Take nothing for granted, inquire , question , before you bow your head, provide lunch. Fortunately practitioners will not be effected by something mundane as this in the days of many claiming to be bodhisathvas, arahaths and even enlightened. In Sanathan Dharma (hindunism) it is said that the seeker will meet the teacher when he is ready, so bear in mind when we are serious in our practice we will meet the ‘Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the unsurpassed field of merit for the world’.

  24. Cohene

    If the monk belongs to the right camp, he won’t be charged!!

  25. godaya

    We all know majority of monks in this country does not practice true Buddhism. Some are alcoholics and some have families even in holiest places. And so called Buddhists turn a blind eye for that.That doesn’t mean its a problem of Buddhism but the people who follow it and the inability to understand it! Stupid people in |Sri Lanka take these things personally and try to discredit Buddhism forgettin Buddhism condemns those things! Some none Buddhists take this as a golden opportunity to discredit Buddhism!

  26. So sad…! What is going to happend to our Buddhasasanaya in SL. Doom -day is at hand

  27. Tac Tly

    Hush! They can do anything but we can say nothing. Mervyn is watching you!

  28. You got to be kidding! What a disgrace to all the Buddhists and to the entire country! This drunked should be kicked out from the temple and the Buddha sasana. Every single so called monk who is “fooling” the public should be kicked out before we ruin the Buddha Sasanaya!

  29. Mervyn

    These are people who has ordained in the system as monks only to help themselves. These people had joined and wear this precious robe which is respected by everybody only to have free board and lodging facilities provided by the innocent people. These culprits disgrace the purity of Buddhism. They should leave the robe if they cannot truthfully follow the rules laid out for monks. The followers should apply TAR on the heads of these impostors and kick them out.

  30. Devadattha

    Hats off to Leader for having the guts to expose this. This is better than the inhuman practice of molesting junior monks, some who are little children. Like University ragging, the victims turn out to be perpetrating monsters, freely operating under the cloak of clerical immunity. This is no different to the recruitment of child soldiers by LTTE. Is our tax money being used to encourage destruction and molesting of our precious youth? Minimum age of consent to join clergy (any religion) should be 18, regardless of “graha apala” or whatever other reason. Ven. Kolonnawe Sumangala is a committed monk, having joined clergy at age 26.The Buddha himself, well into adulthood. Lets speak up for our precious kids.

  31. Orpheus

    The Mahanayaka’s of all Captors should get together and have a Sangayana and get rid of monks like this and put strict disciplinary rules for monks. They should not be even allowed in Cinemas(ugly scene I witnessed at Impala cinema of Rakjagiriya), they should not be allowed in political stages. If a Buddhist monk want to serve the country as a politician he should de- robe. Only time they should be allowed to involve in politics is when preaching to politicians or setting them on five precepts. True we live in a new world now. If Baddish monks want the same freedom as laymen, we don’t need Buddhist monks.

  32. Bruz

    No big deal. Many of them are doing everything they are not supposed to do.
    No need to panic, they cannot destroy Buddhism in Sri Lanka by any means.
    Presidents,patriots & prelates must take some action at least to curb it spreading.
    That’s all ! There are people of this sort in any religious sects.

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