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Loss of Buddhist scholar, Mr. Kariyawasam passes away

Colombo - We inform our readers of Buddhist Spectrum page with profound sadness that the hand that penned the column Buddhist Mirror stilled on last 27th of December.

With A. G. S. Kariyawasam's passing away, the country has lost a Buddhist scholar, a Buddhist writer of rare calibre an editor and most of all an exemplary human being.

He was 71 years at the time of his death.

An old boy of Mahinda College, Galle, Siri Kariyawasam passed out from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya with Second Class Honours in Sanskrit with Sinhalese. Then he joined the teaching staff of St. Anthony's College, Baddegama - for two years.

Thereafter his whole career was mainly devoted to Buddhist writings and Buddhist publication activities until his very last days. For 26 years since 1960, he was the assistant editor in Buddhist Encyclopedia and later Deputy Editor in Chief until retirement in 1989.

In the sixteen fascicles of the Buddhist Encyclopedia so far published. Sixty six articles have been written by the late writer.

Under the Buddhist programs of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) he gave a series of talks under the titles of 'The word of the Buddha', and 'In the steps of the Sakyamuni".

Associating closely with Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi during 1991-1998 he edited the Ven. Bhikkhu's publications. Then since the passing away of Ven. Piyadassi Maha Thera, who was the editor of Sinhala Buddhist publications of the Buddhist Publication Society he undertook editing both Sinhala and English publications of the Society.

He was the translator of several valuable books from English to Sinhala. He translated the Second and Third volumes of 'Hinduism and Buddhism by Charles Eliot and volume III of A History of Indian Literature by Winternitz.

He translated and authored Sath Anupassana - a Sinhala book on Buddhist meditation authored by Matara Nanarama Maha Thera as Seven Contemplations of Insight. This was published by the Buddhist publication society, Kandy in 1997.

Buddhist ceremonies and Rituals of Sri Lanka published by the Society in the same year - is an original piece of writing by him. It was our writer who edited 'The Buddhist' during the years between 1978-1986, which is published by Colombo YMBA.

In addition, the number of Buddhist articles he has written to many journals and magazines exceed one hundred and fifty in number.

Until his passing away in Kandy he was a dedicated worker for Buddhist Publication Society. While being engaged in his scholarly Dhamma activities, he was mindful of the sound upbringing of the young minds. Until his last days he taught at Kandy, English medium Dhamma school, Samadhi.

A dear father to his two daughters Vasundhara and Ashvinee, he was the dutiful husband to his wife Daya Swarnalatha.

May he attain Nibbana! [LANKA DAILY NEWS]

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