Lankans fete Ven. Piyadassi

by Sujeeva Nivunhella - Our London Corr.
Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi Thero, Head of the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre, Kingsbury, who was honoured by the Queen by awarding a MBE (Member of British Empire) was felicitated last week by the Sri Lankan community in the UK.

A large number of guests and well-wishers gathered at the Brent Town Hall to felicitate the prelate. Among the guests were Ven. Udugama Buddharakkitha Thero, Head of Asgiriya Chapter, Ven. Dr. Medagama Vajiragnana, Chief Sangha Nayaka in the UK, Ven. Pallegama Sirinivasa, Ven. Ratanasara, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhita, Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka, Ven. Akuretiye Nanda, Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London, Faiz Musthapa, Nimal Siripala de Silva MP, Barry Gadiner, a British MP., Dr. Ananda Guruge and Peter Lemon, Mayor of Brent.

High Commissioner Musthapa said in his speech that Ven. Piyadassi Thero has been engaged in a wide range of religious, social and cultural activities. He has been passionately devoted to catering to the spiritual needs of Buddhists in the UK. At the same time, in a true expression of compassion and love, he has reached out to the adherents of other faiths and has been very active in promoting inter-faith dialogue and religious harmony.

He has particularly interested himself in promoting goodwill among all the ethnic groups of the Sri Lankan community. He has provided leadership for the World Buddhist Foundation, the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre and the Muditha Foundation, which runs an orphanage and a home for youth in Sri Lanka, Musthapa noted.

The award of the title of MBE is a well-deserved recognition of his contribution to Buddhist learning, his exemplary conduct and participation in community service.

Ven. Dr. Medagama Vajiragnana and Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhita also spoke about Ven. Piyadassi’s contribution to Buddhism and to the Society. Nimal Siripala de Silva MP read out a message, from President Kumaratunga.