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Ven. Nyanaponika Thera is seen handing over a Buddha Statue and an Ola Leaf Book containing Buddhist scriptures to Mr. Asoka Weeraratna ( Hony. Secretary, German Dharmaduta Society) at the Ratmalana Airport on 20th February 1953 prior to Mr. Weeraratna's departure to Germany on a Dharmaduta Mission. In the centre of the picture is Ven. Akuretiye Amarawansa Thero.

Today July 02, 2014 marks the 15th Death Anniversary of Asoka Weeraratna (Ven. Mitirigala Dhammanisanthi Thero). 

Asoka Weeraratna, an indefatigable Buddhist worker, founded the German Dharmaduata Society, Berlin Buddhist Vihara, and the Mitirigala Forest Hermitage (Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaye), which is nearly 500 acres in extent and constitutes the largest Buddhist Meditation Retreat in Sri Lanka. He passed away on July 2, 1999 as Ven. Mitirigala Dhammanisanthi Thero, having spent nearly 27 years in robes mostly as a forest monk. 

He was 80 years at the time of his death. In his later years Ven. Dhammanisanthi Thera led a public campaign against State sponsorship of Inland Fisheries and the State promotion of wrong livelihood among Buddhists, and this campaign eventually resulted in President R. Premadasa withdrawing State support for the Inland Fisheries scheme in 1990. 

The German Dharmaduta Society pays tribute to its founder Asoka Weeraratna and all others who assisted him in his various ground breaking Buddhist initiatives annually on a day set aside and designated as ‘ Founder’s Day’.

We are intending to organize the Founder’s Day at the Mitirigala Nissarana Vanaye (Mitirigala Forest Hermitage) this year. Further details of this event will be announced shortly.

Senaka Weeraratna

Hony. Secretary

German Dharmaduta Society

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