The Sunday Leader

Pedophile Chief Monk Convicted In UK – Runs Orphanage In Lanka

By Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

Convicted pedophile, Chief Sanghanayaka Thera of Great Britain and chief incumbent of the Thames Buddhist Vihara Pahalagama Sri Somaratana continues to run an orphanage for under age children in Gampaha.
Pahalagama Somaratana, was convicted at Isleworth Crown Court in London on Tuesday,  on four counts of indecent assault on a female under 10 years between January 1, 1977 and December 31, 1978.
Somarathana runs an orphanage called Pahalagama Orphanage in Gampaha. According to “THE GAZETTE OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA -Part II of May 07, 2010, the Pahalagama Sri Somarathana Nayaka Thero Foundation”, a private Bill presented in Parliament by Vijitha Herath, MP for the Gampaha District, Somaratana can establish and maintain institutions for educational and social service activities such as children’s’ homes, elders’ homes, hostels and other social service institutions.
“We would like to unequivocally request the Government of Sri Lanka’s institutions for Child Protection which are the Ministry for Child Development and Women’s Affairs, the National Child Protection Authority and Department of Probation to look into the orphanage run by Ven. Pahalagama Somaratne. A monk convicted of sexual violence cannot be responsible or trusted with tender young lives. This orphanage ideally should be brought under state control or be handed over to a respected and credible organization to run. In the alternative, it can be closed up and the children transferred to other orphanages. The state cannot abdicate its responsibility by the children of this country,” the head of Colombo-based “Justice for Victims” Visakha Tillekaratne said,
After visiting the Pahalagma Orphanage Visaka Tillekaratne said, “they look extremely vulnerable with not much happiness on their faces”.
“Children living in orphanages or homes are more prone to child abuse because of several reasons,” a former Chairman of the National Child Protection Authority Prof. Harendra de Silva said.  “They are powerless and have no parents or relations: to whom can they complain? Only to the authorities in the home who are likely to be the perpetrators or linked to the abusers through monetary or power gain. Some are dependent on the persons for employment and are likely to be silent – ‘passive perpetrators’”, Prof. Silva pointed out. However, Child Development and Women’s Welfare Minister Tissa Karaliyedda said that he was not aware of the conviction of Ven. Somaratana Thero and that he would have to look into the legal aspect of him running an orphanage if found guilty by the courts.
He said that there were other monks who operated orphanages in the country and was therefore unable to identify the Pahalagama Orphanage by name.
Karaliyedda said that he would now look into the matter.

17 Comments for “Pedophile Chief Monk Convicted In UK – Runs Orphanage In Lanka”

  1. What a disgrace to Budhism, the monks don’t practice what they preach & worst of all any Tom , Dick & Harry can become a monk. Do anything & everything & become a monk to cover all crimes, I need not elaborate the life of a monk, all over the world know who a monk is in The Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka under the rule of MaRa & Bros.

  2. Namal Peiris

    I knew Vijitha Herath is a PD,These JVP crooks would do anything for money.

  3. raj

    some people use religion to cover up their face when they commit crimes. Regardless of their religions, these are bad people for any religion. If you believe in God, you will never do any harm to others.

  4. kaputakukula

    This welfare minister Karialiyedda’s statement that he was not aware of the conviction of this monk, is strange. Where in this world is he living? His ignorance of the monk’s judgement by the British court is a clear proof that this Karaliyedda is NOT SUITABLE to hold the post “Child Development and Women’s Welfare” minister. On the other hand, it was only one or two newspapers in Sri Lanka mentioned this news of the monk’s child abuse in the U.K. In general, when buddhism and buddhists are involved the Sri Lankan majority media keep silence. It should be noted that in the recent past all the majority newspapers and media in Sri Lanka blasted for many days about that false allegations of child abuse in one of the Christian run orphanage.

  5. Vas

    These monks are shame to Buddhism

  6. These are the people from the Land of Buddha.What a disgrace to call them Buddhists

  7. kudu

    surely vijitha herath is no sping chicken
    he has to have known about the conviction
    the question is why did vijitha herath associate himself with this convicted child rapist
    I am sure with the Dambulla crisis
    Rauf hakeem the minister of justice
    will not be able to even investigate
    let alone take any action

  8. union

    If these crime were committed in Sri Lanaka, Ven.Sri Somaratana will be out as a free man. Our system create criminals by feeding monks at tax money. These idle monks are devils and our banana law always bend to accomodate these criminals. Recently I saw Ven. Inamaluwe Sumangala Thero and other monks in full action at Dhambulla. Their body language and action tell us that they are real thugs and not have any fear for our law and order. What a shame!!

  9. kiruba

    Please, I’ll beg you to find and interview a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka who has similar views and thinking like the great Lord Buddha.

  10. suren soysa

    People who can not maintain concentration & keep imagination without running riot,should never get into robes & tarnish the great philosophy of Buddha. After all this Monk is a human being who selected the wrong vocation! No wonder our politicians concerned get excited!

  11. Shiva

    What about Mahinda Rajapakse whose forces raped and murdered thousands of Tamil women and children?

    • jaliya

      what about those same forces rescued same tamils including terrorists and gave them shelter and food. You were not there after all either living in Colombo or Canada! Its easy to see why Tamils haven’t got a homeland. Because they are UNGRATEFUL HYPOCRITES!

  12. Sangaralingham

    let society take responsibility for children with purity of mind and soul guard them protect them feed them cloth them so they grow respectful trustful to respect fellowmen and women with love respect and become useful members of society. clothes does not make someone as is uniform robes veils etc. these are external may not reflect the inner soul of us all

  13. Audrey barber

    men in robes are worse than men in uniforms…. So what do you call a priest who rapes, assaults, abuses and insults… Are these people fit to be called clergy, monks, priests?.. Are they fit to be in robes? Are they fit to be given permission to handle children? Are they fit for anything decent?.

    So what happens next, are these robed men let free, allowed to prowl around in their colorful attire and charming smiles and holy thou art attitudes. Their ever so loving and giving hearts? Do they have hearts? if they did will they abuse a child?.

    Do they have souls. if they did, hwo can they face the the god they so venerate? Is this what the buddha preached? are they carrying out the buddha’s teachings? Where has the buddha said rape, abuse little chidlren. Why do they take to robes, what is the promise and oath they take when they first adorn the sacred robes?

    These men are a disgrace to buddhism, they are a abomination to the great teachers preachings They are a disgrace to themselves and the rest of the clergy be it Monks, or priets whatever This man has disgraced all clergy and his own community as well as the robe he adorns, He shoudl be stripped off his robes, and chased out from the place he is currently at. The UK must deport him or charge him on criminal grounds.

    Such men in robes who bring in disgrace and shame, must be publcally -de-robed and stoned. (it would be good to get the children from the orhanage to do the stoning).

  14. Dr

    What about Prabhakaran who forced rape and murdered thousands of Tamils and Sinhalese women and children….thankfully his days have come to an end…

    I guess a sinhalese woman/child being raped and murdered is humane…they are not humans to some people…They have stories to tell too…

  15. love2beTRAITOR

    send SL army to UK, invade UK n rescue the monk like how US seal team 6 killed osama bin ladden. after all, SL army is the best army in the world

  16. peace lover

    Even though he is a monk,he is not following the teaching of BUDDHA.Now at least he must repent for his indescent behaviour and start preaching the real dharma.

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