Resident Monks

SHORT PROFILES: Head Of Centre Venerable Akurala Samitha (Bhante Samitha)

Head of The Centre:

Venerable Akuala Samitha

(B.A. (Hons in Eastern & Western Philosophy) M.A. (Buddhist Psychotherapy), DET BTEC Level 5 (Diploma in Education and Training) – Diplomas in Psychotherapy, Stress Management & Counselling - Meditation Teacher (25 years))

Venerable Akurala Samitha (Bhante Samitha) is the Head of the Dhamma Nikethanaya Buddhist Centre for Education Meditation Psychotherapy & Counselling. He has been a Buddhist Monk for 30 years in Theravada School of Buddhism (Early Buddhism). He was born in Sri Lanka and graduated with special honours degree (2000) in Eastern and Western Philosophy at University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. He also obtained a Masters Degree (2002) in Buddhist Philosophy & Psychotherapy at University of Kelaniya (Colombo) in Sri Lanka. He had been a teacher for over 4 years in Government Sector in Sri Lanka and migrated to The United Kingdom in 2003 accepting an offer from Leeds University to study for his PhD.

He became the founder member and The Head of The Dhamma Nikethanaya International Community Centre for Education Meditation Psychotherapy & Counselling in 2004. This organization became a Registered Charity in The United Kingdom in 2006.

He is a well-known speaker in Buddhist Philosophy, Self-Esteem, Wellbeing and Mental Health promotions. He has been a meditation teacher (master) for over 25 years.

He is an associate fellow of The Manchester Academy for Transpersonal Studies (MATS).

He is the Secretary to the Sri Lankan Sangha (monks) Sabha (Council) of The United Kingdom.

He is the Chief Incumbent of Sunandaramaya Ancient Buddhist Temple, Paragahatota in Sri Lanka and also the international coordinator and the director to the Lanka Organisation for Education & Welfare (LOWE) that sponsors very needy and under privileged children for their health, accommodation and education and support rural communities for self-sustained living.

He is the patron to the Charity based in London named "Reality UK". This charity helps mainly to the special needs and less-able children in many part of the world particularly in UK and Sri Lanka.

He is a founder member and the Head of the Centre, of Milton Keynes Buddhist Vihara, Community Centre for Mindfulness Meditation, established in 2017.

Since 2017 he has been working as a chaplain (Buddhist and Mindfulness) at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust Lister Hospital and Mount Vernon Hospital. He offers regular Mindfulness Meditation courses, meditation programmes and wellbeing sessions for staff and patients and also other establishments based in the hospital such Macmillan Cancer Centre, Butterfly Volunteer Service and Hospice. 

He passed three Diplomas with distinctions in Psychotheapy, Counselling & Stress-Management at School of Natural Health Sciences (SNHS) in UK. He practices as a Psychotherapist and a Counsellor since 2006. He is looking forward to publish two books on "Buddhist Medical Science" and "Meditation (Art & Science of Well-Being)".

He is reading for a PhD Degree Course in Theraputical Aspects in World Religions at The School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is also following a MSc / PG Diploma in Systemic Psychotherapy & Counselling of KCC Foundation at University of Bedfordshire (Luton).

He obtained a Diploma in Education and Training (DET - BTEC Level 5) (Full Time Course) in 2022 from London School of Management Education.

He is the Official Buddhist Representative Member of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) both at Central Bedfordshire and Bedfordshire Council (2009-2022). He is a Religious Minister in UK. He is also an active member of the local and national Inter-Faith Organisations. He is a Committee Member of the North Herts Faith Forum (NHFF). He regularly visits RE students in schools.

It is a privilege for him to share his experiences as a Buddhist monk for 30 years and a meditation teacher for 25 years besides the academic credentials in Philosophy, Buddhist Philosophy, Psychotherapy, Counselling, Stress Management and Comparative Religions. Therefore, he is sincerely honoured to be standing co-founder member of The Body Mind Well-Being (BMW) Global Action Project aiming to raise the global awareness widely on "DECADE FOR PROMOTION OF MENTAL HEALTH (2010-2020)".

He is a young, devoted, clever and gratifying monk who was capable of bring the hearts and minds of people together from many walks of life, irrespective of race, religion, language, colour, gender and belief through his compassion, charming friendliness and talents in delivering the teaching of the Buddha both in English and Sinhalese languages.


02. Resident Monk
Venerable Waskaduwe Subodhi Thero (04-2004 till 04-2005)

Venerable Waskaduwe Subodhi Thero was the resident monk of the very beginning of the centre. He stayed untill the end of 2005.


03. Resident Monk:
Venerable Wadumraba Kassapa Thero (June 2004 - June 2005

Venerable Wadumraba Kassapa Thero came to United Kingdom for the first time to Letchworth Dhamma Nikethanaya Buddhist Centre to as the resident monk.


03 Resident Monks:
Venerable Ahangama Dhammalankara Thero (July 2005  -  July 2007)

Venerable Ahangama Dhammalanka Thero came first time to United Kingdom to reside as the resident monk of the Letchworth Dhamma Nikethanaya Buddhist Centre.


04 Resident Monks:

Venerable Rajanganaye Sumedha Thero (August 2005 - August 2007)

Venerable Rajanganaye Sumedha Thero came for the first time to United Kingdom to reside as the resident monk of the Letchworth Dhamma Nikethanaya Buddhist Centre.

04 Resident Monks:

Most Venerable Dickwelle Seelasumana Nayaka Thero (From 15-01-2020 till 20-12-2021

Most Venerable Dickwelle Seelasumana Nayaka Thero is a very senior and highly educated monk. He is duputy head of Budu Raja Maha Vehera, Vevurukanna, Dickwella Matara Sri Lanka and also the retired principal of Vidyathunga Vidyayathana Pirivena Colleage, Matara Sri Lanka. He arrived to our centre (UK) on 15th January 2020 with the invitation of Most Venerable Akurala Samitha and sponsor support of Mrs Yasa Amarasinghe. He stayed at our centre and supported all religious and educational programmes. After completing his tenure he went back to Sri Lanka on 20th December 2021.


05 Resident Monks:

Most Reverend Dr Dato Sumanasiri of Singapore Malaysia  (From 16th July 2020 till 20-12-2021)

Most Venerable Dr Dato’ Sir Sumana Siri of Singapore Malaysia (D.Th (Oxford), PhD (VN), D.B.S, B.A (Hons), D. Hom (Med)(UK), D.H.M, N.M.D (USA) FBIH (UK) Medical Consultant, CEO, Global Buddhist Realist Movement) is the Chief Sangha Nayaka of UK and Europe, visited Venerable Akurala Samitha to stay few months at the centre on 16th July 2020. Rev Dr. Sumana Siri, of Sri Lankan heritage, was born and brought up in Malaysia and Singapore. He is an exceptional student both at school and university. He has mastered 16 languages excelling in many fields of expertise. Of international fame and renown, he has been the leading light in modern Buddhist Missions. He is an academic and well experienced monk. He contributed to all our educational, spiritual and wellbeing services.

06 Resident Monks:

Most Venerable Dammala Piyananda Thero (From 07th March 2022 till 13th January 2024)

Most Venerable Dammala Piyananda Thero (BA, MA & Dip. Ed) is a very senior and educated monk. He is the resident monk of Dutugemunu Viharaya, Baddegama Galle and also the Principal of Sri Rathanasara Vidyayathana Privivena College, Baddegama Galle, Sri Lanka. He visited UK with the invitation of Most Venerable Gunnepana Sumanarama Nayaka Thero, Head Monk of London Edmonton Samadhi Meditation Centre. He arrived to our centre on 07th March 2022. He contributed to all our educational, spiritual and wellbeing services. After completing his tenure  as the resident monk of our vihara, he went back to Sri Lanka on 13th January 2024.

Resident Monks: