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BUDDHISTS IN SRILANKA AND AUSTRALIA DEMAND A FULL INVESTIGATION INTO THE DEATH OF VENERABLE SOMA
Photo
Rev. Shanthi Pushpakumara Jayasekera.The man who invited Ven. Soma to Russia.
Venerable Soma being awarded the Phd. Jayasekera is seen in the center

By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles

December 16, 12.15 PM:The influential Buddhist organization, Maharagama Sasana Sevaka Samithiya and the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress demanded a full investigation into the sudden death of Venerable Soma, who died in St. Petersburg Russia while being hosted by a Sri Lankan fundamentalist Christian priest Reverend Shanthi Pushpakumara Jayasekera..

Reports show Venerable Gangodawila Soma, a dedicated fighter against what he called “immoral conversions of Buddhists” into Christian fundamentalism was invited to Russia on the initiative of Rev. Jayasekera to confer a doctorate on him for his book on Buddhist Stupa by the “International University of Fundamental Studies”, the rector of which is Rev. Jayasekera himself. Rector of a university in Russia is the equivalent of a vice chancellor in Sri Lanka.

Sources close to the Victoria, Australia temple where the late Venerable Soma was the incumbent told this correspondent that a brother of Jayasekera, Sisira Jayasekera, was working as the editor of Janavijaya, a foundation headed by the late Venerable Soma and he may have been influential in encouraging Venerable Soma , a monk already anxious of obtaining a foreign university degree, to go to Russia to obtain a Phd on his book

The Maharagama Sasana Sevaka Sangamaya also said Sisira Jayasekera was instrumental in encouraging the Venerable Soma to travel to Russia to obtain an honorary doctorate on his book

A spokesman for a fundamental Christian seminary in Pasadena, called International Theological University told this correspondent that Rev. Jayasekera who is the founder head of the Russian institution had obtained his law degree related to Christian theology, the JD (Juris Doctor) from their institution.

He said Jayasekera was a close friend of his and even made a telephone call few moments ago, before this correspondent’s call, from St. Petersburg. At that time it was past midnight in St.Petersburg on Sunday December 14, 2003, a day before the St. Petersburg inquest in to the death of Venerable Soma.

The International University of Fundamental Studies listed Jayasekera’s titles and degrees as follows: “Founder of the International University of Fundamental Studies and Rector - Chancellor of IUFS, Chairman to the Committee of Foreign Relationa - State Duma Sport Council - National Security Council , Vice President of the International Academy of Information, Communication, Control in Engineering, Nature and Society (Russia), Vice President of the Program of "Preservation of Mankind's Genefound", Vice Chairman of the World Scientific Association - Rev. Prof. Shanti P. Jayasekara, D.D, Ph.D., Ed.D., J. D., D.Sc., - Theologian (USA) - Professor in Satellite Television Systems - Academician (Russia) - Astronaut - Cosmonautics Federation of. Russia.”

Emails from this correspondent to Rev. Jayasekera requesting to explain from which universities the very impressive array of degrees were obtained by him was yet to be replied.

So, the attempt of this correspondent to check the credibility of at least the six doctorates he is claiming to hold failed.

Despite the claim that some of these doctorates were obtained in the United States of America , Rev. Jayasekera showed poor English writing skills in some of the emails he wrote to sources close to Venerable Soma’s temple in Victoria, Australia when they inquired from him about Venerable Soma’s condition.

In an email addressed to Kosala Jayasinghe of the Victoria temple congregation Jayasekera wrote among others the following sentences:

“I just called to H.E. Ambassador, and Ven Soma Thero and both of them got very bad news from you. I don't know how you got information about me like I am a monk , and IP is follwoing me. Somebody is give bad information to you. You are passing to Ven Soma Thero. He is going to earn very higher degrees. IUFS Fully accredited with UNESCO”

“Our IUFS Degrees are doing valuation of USA, UK and other countries as well . I can send you veryfication which is done by the US Government Bodies. Also Ven Soma Thero is going have IUFS PhD degree and Professorship ( for Buddastupa). With having this two degree he is earning another two higher Honours of the Russian Academicianship by the International Academy of ICCIA and membership of the World Scientific Organization.”

“ Please visit our web site and make sure who are at our Honour holders ( List). Some of them are very TOP Russian/US Government officers of FSB /FBI. Now IUFS have International Examination Board to issue PhD and D.Sc degrees. We have over 600 Scientists

“IUFS not issiung non-registerd and non-accredited degrees.

“My Rev. Post is given to me by the US International Theological University CA, USA after earning my Juris Doctor - Theologian Degree at ITU www.education.net . This is Ordination by the US University. I am not a monk. Of cause I got knight Passport as well. These are higher Honours like Yuri Gagarin Medal and Tsalkovsky's Order which are granted by the Space Federation of Russia for my service

“Now I am working with Dr. Bartnhart ( USA) President's Security Officer - US Vice President's Businee member, Dr. Richard Hoyer ( President of the Global Capital) and Bp. Dr.Chief Eagle . They appointed me as their US Representative to Russia.

“Of cause now I am working in Russia with TOP Government officers where you can get all correct information about me through FSB Office.. Now they appointed me as the Chairman to the Committee of Foreign Relation - National Security Council - Sport Council - State Duma.

“Now I am going to promote UN Programme of GKA Medical Systesm to Russian (CIS), Sri Lanka, India, and other countries and ccordinating the President's programme of "HEALTH OF NATIONS" ( UKAZ President - Putin V.V. - No. 10 ) Please go to IUFS web site at http://www.iufs.edu .

People who examined the writing of Jayasekera were amazed how a person who held six doctorates, some from the USA could write in such poor grammar and with that many spelling errors as writing “of cause” for “of course”.

The Maharagama Sasana Sevaka Samithiya said that nearly 20,000 US dollars had been sent to Rev. Jayasekera when a friend of the late Venerable Soma heard that his friend was suffering from a heart ailment but Jayasekera returned the money to Sri Lanka without using them.

Meanwhile sources in Australia charged that under their knowledge Sinhala Buddhists in Moscow handed over five thousand dollars to Jayasekera to help Venerable Soma but the late Venerable Soma died without adequate medical attention . They said if not for murder criminal negligence should be investigated in to the death of the Venerable Soma who went to Russia to return after ten days but died there after two months without proper medical assistance when sources in Russia as well as in Sri Lanka provided funds necessary for the treatment. Australian temple authorities said the Moscow Sinhalese arranged hospitals under best expert care in Moscow but under the pressure of Jayasekera the late monk preferred to stay in St. Petersburg.

Meanwhile the Maharagama Sasana Sevaka Sangamaya alleged Christian fundamentalist organizations in Sri Lanka had established funds to silence various elements in Sri Lanka who could become a threat to their movement: They said the money allocated to silence the late Venerable Soma and Ellawela Medhananda was nearly 24,000 dollars. They said all money came from the US from two organizations and one was Harvest World of America. Under the same project they had allocated funds to silence Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva, Supreme Court Judge Shiranee Bandaranayaka, and Diyawadana Nilame Neranjan Wijeratne who had taken certain steps in the course of their duties against Christian fundamentalists.

Many had demanded an autopsy on the body of the late Venerable Soma by a team of forensic experts when the body arrived at the Katunayaka International Airport today or tomorrow.

(12/16/03 go2lanka.com)