Colombo, Nov 8: An influential Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka who was instrumental in launching a campaign against former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rule and bring Maithripala Sirisena in the forefront during presidential elections died today in Singapore while undergoing treatment.73-year-old Venerable Maduluwave Sobhitha who led his ‘Movement for a Society with Justice’ became the rallying point for all anti-government forces as he became a vociferous critic of the then Rajapaksa rule while asking for far reaching democratic and constitutional reforms. (read: Madhesi parties obstruct Nepal parliament meeting)
He played an significant role in getting the opposition political party approval to field Sirisena as the common opposition challenger to Rajapaksa in the presidential elections held in January this year.
Offering condolences to Sobhitha, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap in a statement said the Thero was respected for his efforts to?nurture and protect democracy, promote respect for people of all faiths and improve the lives of all Sri Lankans”. President Sirisena has declared?a mourning on November 12 whn the funeral take place. The funeral will be held with full state honours near the country’s parliament building