A brief obituary note on sudden death of most venerable Ranthiligma Ratnajothi Thera of Hemmathagama Kapurakka Buddhist temple:
People in Hemmathagama area mourn for the sudden death of one of its greatest human personalities in our area. The chief monk of Kapurakka Buddhist temple passed away on 27/03/2014. He has been an architect of Muslim and Singhalese friendship association in Hemmathagama. He has been working hard to bridge the gaps between two Muslims and Singhalese people in the areas. He has always always calling people to live in peace and communal harmony. It has been his dream to build up a strong communal and social relationship between Muslim and Singhalese communities in the area. He loved to see people living in peace and harmony.
He is a highly respected Buddhist monk not only in Hemmathagama area but also beyond Kegalle district. He has been one of chief Buddhist sanga of Subrgamuwa district. He earns respect of all communities in the area. A large number of Singhalese and Muslims of area participated in his funeral rites. This tells us that he has earned good will and respect of people in Hemmathagama region: it is believed that he was one of the keepers of Kandy Daladamaligawa temple.
Since unfortunate incident in Mawanella in 2001 he has been working hard among Buddhist people of the area to build communal harmony among Muslims and Sinhalese. In gratitude to his communal and religious services, Hemmathagama mosque federation provided lunch parcels to the people who participated in his funeral rights.
Indeed, this is one the historical precedents in our Muslim and Singhalese relation in this country. people of different faith and culture should interact and share human feeling in time of sadness and happiness. I think that this is the first time these two communities come very closer in our communal interaction. It can be said this a historical event in the history of Sri Lanka that Muslims people offer lunch in a funeral of Buddhist monk in our history of hundreds of years.I hope that people in all other areas too share human feelings in the time of tragedies and sadness like this. Mr Azhar the principal of Kotegoda school and a member of Buddhist Muslim association in Hemmathagama noted that Hemmathagama people have lost one of noble and venerable monks and a friend of Muslim people in our area. He also noted that the venerable monk has been a founder member of Buddhist and Muslim association in our area. It should be noted that a large numbers of Muslim participated in his funeral to appreciate his sense of humanism and kindness. Singhalese people too highly appreciated and welcome Muslim presence in his funeral rites.
We hope that people of Hemmathagama set a good example by expressing their condolence and sadness. We all express our heartfelt condolence to the family and friends of venerable monk.
-by Dr. Rifai (UK)-