It is with deep sadness that I learnt of the passing away of Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, Chief Incumbent of the Naga Vihara Temple, Pita Kotte and the Chairperson of the National Movement for a Just Society.

The Church of Ceylon joins the nation as it mourns the loss of this great son of Lanka with whom the church has had warm relations.

Greatly troubled by the direction that the country was heading to, Ven. Sobitha Thero worked tirelessly and selflessly to give leadership to the movement for creating a society based on justice, truth and sound ethical values. The changes that the country witnessed this year are due in large measure to his inspiring leadership at a critical juncture.

We ourselves have had the privilege of welcoming the prelate to the Cathedral at Bauddhaloka Mawatha several times, including for my own consecration as Bishop. On subsequent occasions thereafter, we have had discussions on the challenges facing us as a nation and the role the clergy could play, as well as joining him in the campaign to press for the passage of the 19th amendment to the constitution.

It is likely that the strain and stress of the past months had taken a toll on Ven. Sobitha’s health. The highest tribute we could pay to the memory of the late prelate is to continue with his struggle to ensure that the qualities of honesty, transparency and justice are strongly entrenched in the public life of this country.

May he find Eternal Bliss!

 

Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj R. Canagasabey

Bishop of Colombo

The Bishop of the Church of Ceylon, Diocese of Colombo

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