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Whistle Blower exposes monk's corruption

The Buddhist Channel, May 18, 2006

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- A whistle blower has succeeded in exposing the illegal deeds and acts of corruption by Dr. Dodamgoda Rewatha Thero a Sri Lankan national and Buddhist monk who embezzled funds belonging to the Maha Bodhi Society of India (MBSI), considered to be the head quarters of the Buddhist movement.

<< The Bodh gaya Temple

The actions of this monk who headed the MBSI has hurt the sentiments of lakhs of Buddhist disciples associated with the MBSI that was founded by Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala a great Buddhist revivalist from Sri Lanka who established the MBSI in 1916 at Kolkatta, in India.

He liberated the Bodh Gaya temple from the clutches of the Mahants(Hindu head priest who controlled the Bodh Gaya temple )and restored the ancient Buddhist sites. He also built the Mulagandhakuti Vihara(is a Buddhist temple built near the Dharmmeka stupa where Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining the enlightenment) at Sarnath.

The first Prime Minister of India after it achieved its freedom in 1947, the late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, had taken a keen interest in the development work that were undertaken at Sarnath and other places for providing facilities for travelling pilgrims.

The irregularities committied by Dr. Rewatha came to light when a whistle blower made it as an issue at the annual general body meeting of the MBSI held on 20-9-1998 at Kolkatta. The AGM was informed that between 1989 and 1997 Dr Rewatha had siphoned off donations of money received by the MBSI by not reflecting these transactions in the accounts books of the society. Dr Rewatha was unable to satisfactorily explain the alleged irregularities.
A complaint was then filed by the whistle blower before the Enforcement Directorate (E.D) on 30-09-1998 . A show-cause notice No. T-4/3-c/2000 (For Document Proof Click Here ) was served on Dr.Rewatha by the E.D for contravening section 8(1) and 71(1) of FERA 1973 by selling the Foreign Exchange to the tune of 000 and 5,53,00,000 Japanese Yen  to Unauthorised persons without any permission from the Reserve Bank of India (R.B.I) and thereby rendered himself liable to be proceeded under section 50 of the said Act.

The central Bureau of Investigation filed a charge -sheet against Dr.Rewatha thero in 2000 . The chief Metropolitan court Delhi passed an order and imposed a penalty of Rs 50000 ( For Document Proof Click here)

In the Adjudicating proceeding No.ADJ/SDE/5/2004/AO/HB(53) File No. T-4/3-c/2000 dated 30-11-2004 a penalty amount of Rs.350,00000/- (For Document Proof Click here ) is imposed on Dr.Rewatha and he has filed an appeal before the tribunal court New Delhi.The E.D has filed a criminal complaint on 4-5-2002 against Dr Rewatha before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Varanasi and he has obtained a stay order on his arrest warrant( For Document Proof Click here )
Dr.Rewatha did not disclose the fact to the tribunal court, New Delhi that he had been charge-sheeted nor did he tell the court about the penalty imposed on him by the CBI. He deliberately concealed the Adjudicating penalty imposed by the E.D.

Dr.Rewatha did not disclose the fact to the tribunal court, New Delhi that he had been charge-sheeted nor did he tell the court about the penalty imposed on him by the CBI. He deliberately concealed the Adjudicating penalty imposed by the E.D.

In the AGM held on 26-09-2004 he oppointed Dr. B.K. Modi the secretary of the Vishva Hindu Parishad as the president of the MBSI and both of them announced the celebration plans on the occasion of the 2550th year of Buddha Jayanti in 2006. Plans to produce a mega budget film of lord Buddha at the cost of Rs. 200 crores and a massive donation collection drive to finance the film are currently being undertaken by Dr.Rewatha & Dr. Modi.

Sir Lanka is a Buddhist country that follows the highest traditions of Theravada. Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala had propagated Buddhism not only in Sri Lanka but also in India and other parts of the world through the establishment of the MBSI Branches/Centers.

It is unfortunate that the Sri Lankan Government is turning a blind eye and maintaining silence on the sordid affairs of the MBSI under Dr. Rewatha's leadership. Dr Rewatha has brought disgrace to the great Buddhist revivalist of Sri Lanka which has been widely publisided through the media. Surprisingly, not a single Buddhist organisation in Sri Lanka, who without exception hold a very high regard for the sentiments of the MBSI founder Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala have openly condemned Dr Rewatha.

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