4 January 1952(age 69) Baddegama, Dominion of Ceylon
30 May 2021 (aged 69) Matara, Sri Lanka
Bogoda Seelawimala Thera, Hammalawa Saddhatissa, Witiyala Seewalie Thera
Baddegama samitha thero
Baddegama Samitha Thero is a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk and a politician. A member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), Ven. Baddegama Samitha Thero was a member of the Sri Lankan parliament for Galle District from 2001 to 2004. He currently represents the Southern Provincial Council under United People's Freedom Alliance. Samitha thero is the first ever Buddhist monk to enter the Parliament of Sri Lanka.
Born in Baddegama, Southern Sri Lanka, Ven. Baddegama Samitha Thero entered Kelaniya University in 1976, and got involved in student politics by becoming an active member of the left wing student politics in the university. He also served as the President of the Student wing. But in 1978 his studentship of the university was suspended due to a student clash that occurred in the university. He was not allowed to complete his degree at the Kelanya University.
Ven. Samitha continued with his politics and through the party, he attended many international seminars. It was while attending a seminar on third world development in Germany in 1986, that he went across to England where, he received a scholarship to the Lancaster University. There he read "comparative religions and third world development" for his degree. Even in university he got involved in the fight against apartheid . After completing his degree he returned to Sri Lanka in 1988, and became a member of the executive committee of the Nawa Sama Samaja Party.
In 1991 he entered mainstream politics when he contested the Local Government elections through the Nava Sama Samaja Pakshaya where he gained over 3000 preferential votes. He was elected to the Council. However in 1994 along with Vasudeva Nanayakkara he joined the Lanka Sama Samaja Pakshaya. In 1997 he was elected as a member of the Southern Provincial Council for the first time and later in 2001 he was elected to the parliament of Sri Lanka. But Samitha thero lost his parliament seat in the 2004 Sri Lankan general election and he currently serves as an active member of the Southern Provincial Council.