Pahalagama Sri Somarathana Thero Foundation steals public tax payer money for Buddhist Propaganda

Several months ago I started collecting how religious institutions in Sri Lanka abuse tax payer funds for their religious propaganda programs.  These are supported by the corrupt politicians who use the religious institutions and their priests as instruments in their political campaigns.

One of the prgrams to "promote morality and buddhist values" is brought forward by the Somarathrana Thero who is now accused and remanded for rape charges.  See the full article below.


THE GAZETTE - English version  Quick View


Sinhala version:

http://www.documents.gov.lk/Bills/2010/Pahalagama%20Sri%20Somarathana%20Nayaka%20Thero%20(Incorporation)/Pahalagama%20Sri%20SomarathanaS.pdf
 
Source:
http://www.documents.gov.lk/Bills/2010/Pahalagama%20Sri%20Somarathana%20Nayaka%20Thero%20(Incorporation)/Pahalagama%20Sri%20SomarathanaS.pdf


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-14977807

Buddhist monk charged with raping girl in 1970s - BBC

Pahalagama Somaratana Thera Pahalagama Somaratana Thera has been charged on four counts of sexual abuse, police said

A Buddhist monk has been charged with raping an underage girl in the 1970s, the Metropolitan police has said.

Pahalagama Somaratana Thera, chief incumbent of Thames Buddhist Vihara, Croydon, has been charged with four counts of sexual abuse, police said.

The alleged rape and three counts of indecent assault occurred in Chiswick, west London, in 1977 and 1978.

The 65-year-old from Dulverton Rd, Croydon, will appear on bail at Feltham Magistrates' Court on 23 September.

There was no immediate response from Thames Buddhist Vihara, which is one of the major Sri Lankan Buddhist temples in London.



Chief Monk Of Thames Vihara U.K. Remanded On Rape Charges

By Faraz Shauketaly

Pahalagama Somarathana Thero

Pahalagama Somarathana Thero, the Chief Priest of the Thames Vihara in Croydon, Surrey, England was remanded by magistrates at Feltham Court, West London, on Friday 23rd till October 16th.
The Chief Priest, 65, was charged with having raped a Sri Lankan female in 1978 when he was attached to the Chiswick West London Vihara.  He further faced two other charges of sexual molestation. The Sri Lankan Buddhist Community in Croydon, Surrey, England was engulfed in controversy early this week when the Chief Monk of the Thames Vihara in Croydon, was questioned and ordered to turn up at a West London Court on Friday (23), to answer charges that he had sexually assaulted an un-named woman. The claim is compounded by the fact that the complainant has reported the Thera for an alleged assault she claims happened way back in 1978.
Speaking exclusively to The Sunday Leader, Pahalagama Somarathana Thera, the man at the centre of the controversy, denied the claims. Speaking at 6 a.m. British time, hours before his appearance at Feltham Court in West London, Somarathana Thera denied the charges, dismissing them as spurious. He added that “these claims were going back in time over 33 years ago. I was not even in England at that time. I came here in 1978.” The complainant maintains that this incident took place in 1978
When we asked him why these claims are coming out, he declined to go into detail but said that it was related to the tussle for Administrative control of the Vihara. The Thero said that the claim was made by a “Sri Lankan woman.” Scarcely hiding his sarcasm, he added, “ a good Buddhist Sri Lankan woman.” The Sunday Leader asked Somarathana Thero if he had been charged. He said he was “not sure” if that was the term but that he would appear in Court at Feltham Magistrate Court on Friday (23) morning where a decision would be taken whether to proceed against him or not. Somarathana Thero said that he was “being fully supported by the Sri Lanka High Commission”. Attempts to independently verify this information with the High Commission did not materialise.
Reverend Rahula a junior to the Reverend Pahalagama Somarathana Thera, (65)said that Pahalagama Somarathana Thero would ensure  that his instructions to his solicitors would be an unambiguous: ‘not guilty’;  Reverend Rahula bemoaned the fact that in ‘Britain anyone can complain about anyone about anything that happened a long time ago. In Sri Lanka in most cases you are given 21 days to lodge a complaint. In this case it  is alleged to have taken place in London in 1978 – more than 30 years ago”
It is understood that Pahalagama Somarathana Thero faced  one charge of rape and two charges of sexual misconduct. He was remanded till October 16, when he will next appear at the Feltham Magistrate Court.  A legal source in West London indicated that the Metropolitan Police appear to have convinced the Crown Prosecution Service that there is a prima-facie case against Somarathana Thero to answer – hence the date in Court.
Temple insiders said that an “almighty” battle was going on for control of the Vihara by various members and that Somarathana Thero had fallen foul of one of its most illustrious sons – sparking off the complaint against the Reverend.  However, other insiders at the temple say that these charges have nought to do with Administrative control and more to do with the claim made by a Sri Lankan woman who was a young child when the alleged incident took place. Sources requesting anonymity told The Sunday Leader that the girl was subjected to the assault when she was “very young” and that to ensure her father did not find out the facts, had kept a lid on the story until her father had passed away. In the absence of that predicament – wishing to save her father embarrassment and social stigma – she had lodged a complaint after her father’s demise.
The Thames Vihara in Croydon continued to deny any knowledge of the Court’s decision to remand Somarathana Thero. A new recruit to the temple, Dhammathilaka Thero told The Sunday Leader by telephone that the temple was aware of some incident many years ago only after the Police came in search of Somarathana Thero. “I am new here so I do not know any details. They all went to Court and have not come back yet. I cannot say whether my Chief Priest did anything wrong or not.”

Short URL: http://www.thesundayleader.lk/?p=47612



London Chief Buddhist Thero, 65, held by rape cops

http://colombotelegraph.com/2011/09/20/london-chief-buddhist-thero-65-held-by-rape-cops/

Posted by September 20, 2011 42 Comments
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By Colombo Telegraph -

Pahalagama Somaratana Thero with President Rajapakse

Pahalagama Somaratana Thero, chief incumbent of Thames Buddhist Vihara, Croydon, has been charged with four counts of sexual abuse, the Metropolitan police said.

The alleged rape and three counts of indecent assault said to have happened, in 1977 and 1978, in Chiswick, west London

The 65-year-old Pahalagama Somaratana from Dulverton Rd, Croydon, will appear on bail at Feltham Magistrates’ Court on 23 September.

There was no immediate response from Thames Buddhist Vihara, which is one of the major Sri Lankan Buddhist temples in London.

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