The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader and Minister of City Development and Water Supply Rauff Hakeem issued a condolence message on the demise of Chief Incumbent of Kotte Naga Vihara Ven. Sobitha Thero.
The message stated: “The passing away of Ven. Sobitha Thero, Chief Incumbent of Kotte Naga Vihara and Chairman of the National Movement for a Just Society, has deeply saddened me. We Muslims revered him; honoured him; loved him. He was a beacon of light that guided us to hope and security. His very presence made us feel safe to be around when our community was under relentless attack by extremist elements. We looked up to him to guide us and direct us when we the Muslims found ourselves marooned in a sea of hostility. His passing away I fear may leave a deep vacuum in our national reconciliation efforts.”
He continued: “Ven. Sobitha Thero made strident attempts to rid the nation of corruption and venality. His audacious enterprise to restore democratic governance and the rule of law received the support of all religious and ethnic minorities who claim Sri Lanka as their island home.
His selfless and brave leadership helped us dismantle a corrosive regime that held the nation hostage to the machinations of a cabal that preached a corrosive nationalism and marched towards a neo fascist autocracy. In this hour of grief, words fail us in expressing the depth of our sorrow.
Whenever I sought his sage advice, he gave it willingly and diligently. He was a leader and a sage. He was a teacher who explained matters in meticulous detail. He was a teacher who demonstrated with example. Above all he was a teacher who inspired with great confidence.”