It is with profound sorrow that this Mission learned of the passing of Ven. Kurunegoda Piyatissa Maha Thero, Chief Incumbent of the New York Buddhist Vihara.
Ven. Kurunegoda Piyatissa Maha Thero came to New York in 1981, having been appointed as the President of the American-Sri Lanka Buddhist Association, Inc. The Ven. Piyatissa Maha Thero founded the New York Buddhist Council and established the New York Buddhist Vihara in 1981, which is the oldest Buddhist Vihara in the Tri-State Area. Ven. Piyatissa Maha Thero was also President of the Sri Lanka Sangha Council, Vice President of the World Sangha Council of North America, Executive Committee Member of the World Conference on Religion and Peace and a Faculty Member of the New School University in Manhattan, New York City. Ven. Piyatissa Maha Thero has authored several books in Sinhala and English and conducted regular group discussions on Dhamma and meditation at the vihara.
In September 2017, President Maithripala Sirisena presented a felicitation scroll to Ven. Piyatissa Maha Thero in recognition of his social and religious services to the society. The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka and the New York Buddhist Vihara, under the guidance of the Venerable Maha Thero, have closely collaborated on several occasions, including in commemorating the annual Day of Vesak at the United Nations and the initiative to have the “Thripitaka” declared as a national heritage in the UNESCO “Memory of the World” Register.
The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in New York joins the Sri Lankan Community in the Tri-State area in respectfully paying tribute to the late Ven. Piyatissa Maha Thero for the dedicated service extended in the Dhamma.
May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana.