KINGSBURY TEMPLE MOURNS LOSS OF DR. ANANDA GURUGE - Pan Vadima Held On Saturday 9Th August 2014
The sudden demise of Dr Ananda Weihene Palihe Guruge, came as a shock to Aggamahapandita Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi, MBE, Head of the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre, as well as the devotees there, as he had enthralled them with his learned talks on Buddhism and Buddhist academics during his frequent visits there.
Dr Ananda Guruge was a great admirer of Ven. Dr Hammalawe Saddhatissa Nayaka Thero as well as Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi Thero and he had constantly assisted in the work of the SSIBC and its development , even establishing the link with the World Buddhist University in Bangkok, of which he was Vice Chancellor.
Therefore Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi Sangha Nayaka Thero arranged a ceremony to transfer merits to Dr Guruge on Saturday 9thAugust 2014, with his family members Milton, Bennet and Patthma Hettigoda and Mr and Mrs Weerasena Gunasekera participating. Among the friends and acquaintances of Dr Guruge who attended, were Dr Subadhra Siriwardena who was a contemporary of his at the University of Ceylon, Dr (Mrs) Kokila Waidyaratne- Minister Education at The Sri Lanka High Commission, Mr and Mrs Chandra Monerawela, Dr Senevi Athurupana, Mr Lionel Wijeyratne, Mr Nissanka Athukorale and Mr Yasantha Monerawela and Miss Chumani monerawela.
Dr HanduPelpola Mahinda Nayaka Thero, in his eulogy said Sri Lanka had lost one of its most famous sons, an Internationally recognised academic, a Buddhist Scholar of distinction, an orator of repute and one very much loved and admired by those who met or heard him. He was a student of Dharmaraja College, a well known Buddhist School in Kandy and a graduate of the University of Ceylon where he excelled and obtained a first class degree in Sanskrit, winning a Scholarship to the university of London. After joining the Ceylon Civil Service he had a distinguished career as Government Agent and Senior Assistant Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. He was responsible for coordinating the Buddha Jayanthi Celebrations in 1955. In recognition of his Buddhist and Cultural activities he was given a senior position in UNESCO and was its representative in Bangkok in the 1970’s.The government of Sri Lanka required his services and he was appointed as Ambassador to France and UNESCO, and later Ambassador to Washington.
One of the highlights of his academic career was his translation of the Chinese Samantha Pasadika Vinaya commentary into English after studying Chinese. He was also responsible for the Mahavamsa Tikawa in English and Deepawnsa Teekawa. He was a prolific writer on Buddhism and Sri Lankan history.
He spent his retirement at the University of the West in California as Director if Buddhist and Hindu Studies , attending International Conferences and giving talks. As Los Angeles where he lived had a rough neighbourhood, he established a n organisation to eradicate violence and crime , a crime watch group, in cooperation with the local police service and was popular and respected figure. He lived a full life, to be emulated.