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February 06, 2018
Condolence Message on The Sad Demise Of Most Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thero,
Chancellor of University of Jayawardenapura
Council of Sri Lankan Muslim Organizations (COSMOS-UK), an umbrella organization of twenty six Sri Lankan Muslims organizations based in UK, hereby expresses its’ deepest and sincere condolences on the sudden demise of one of the most respected and erudite Buddhist monks, academics and scholars in contemporary Sri Lanka- Most Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thero. Ven. Thero was the Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and a visiting Professor of the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, UK, at the time of his demise.

As an educationist, Ven. Thero, felt the imperative need to take a leading role in addressing the twin problems of youth unrest and unemployment, and was in the forefront of taking many initiatives including establishing the Bellanwila Community Development Foundation which provides training to youth in many fields to-date. He was also an accomplished author, a regular contributor to newspapers and journals as well as a bold and courageous religious leader, well-known for expressing his views without fear or favor.

Sri Lanka in general will respect him always as a foremost peace activist and a champion of bringing peace and amity among people of all faiths specially as witnessed during the Post War period, where there were many attempts to hamper inter-communal harmony particularly between the majority Sinhalese and the Muslim communities which enjoyed more than 10 centuries of amicable relationship. The pivotal role played by the Ven. Thero during the infamous Halal crisis few years ago in bringing about a consensual settlement acceptable to all parties will be remembered particularly by the Muslims of Sri Lanka. He hailed this consensus as proof that problems between religious communities could be resolved through discussion instead of fisticuffs.

COSMOS therefore feels that the sad loss of this great peace activist, at a challenging time in history in Post War Sri Lanka will create a significant void when many vested interests and groups continue to conspire to divide the nation along racial and religious lines. Ven. Thero will therefore be greatly missed not just by the Sinhala Buddhist community, but by Tamils and particularly by the Muslims of Sri Lanka as well. COSMOS will pay its' highest respect to this erudite monk par excellence and also pray to Almighty Allah to bless the nation with more personalities of his caliber to champion the great cause of peace and harmony Ven. Thero had been espousing throughout his life.

Mr. Azahim Mohamed
Chairman-COSMOS UK

Contact: COSMOS UK
Phone: +44 79 009 588 76
Email:secretarycosmosuk@gmail.com
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