Chief Monk in Canada
(Rohana Sect of the Malwatta Chapter) and the Abbot of Ottawa Buddhist Monastery (OTBVCC)
Most Venerable Kekanadure Hemalankara Nayaka Thero is the Founder and Abbot of Ottawa Buddhist Monastery and Chief Prelate (Sanghanayaka) to Canada. Born 23 August, 1953 in Kakanadure, Matara, Sri Lanka, he ordained as a novice at age 13 as a student of Most Venerable Kithalagma Buddhapriya Maha Thero and Most Venerable Urumutte Somarathana Nayaka Thero at Pantharama Purana Viharaya in Pahala Peekwella, Matara, Sri Lanka. He received his Higher Ordination (Upasampada) in 1973 from Malwatta Chapter – Siyam Maha Nikaya. In 1989 he went to France to spread the teachings of Buddha for ten years before receiving an invitation from the Buddhist Congress of Canada to come to Hilda Jayawardanaramaya, Ottawa, Canada.
In 2007 he founded Ottawa Theravada Buddhist and Cultural Centre Inc, commonly called Ottawa Buddhist Monastery after it relocated in 2014. In addition to his service as Abbot of the monastery, he is Abbot of Pantharama Purana Viharaya in Matara, Sri Lanka.
He has participated in Buddhist services in 21 countries across Asia, Europe, and North America and was awarded an Honor Name Vishwakeerthi and offered the title Chief Prelate (Sanganayake) to Canada by the Rohana Chapter of Siyam Nikaya in Sri Lanka.
Venerable Dr. Gangodawila Chandima is a fully ordained Buddhist monk from the Siyam Nikāya (Rohana Sect of the Malwatta Chapter) in Sri Lanka, and a scholar of Sanskrit, Pali, and Buddhist studies.
He served as the resident Buddhist monk at the Buddhist Vihara Society in Vancouver, British Columbia from 2011 to 2016 until he moved to Victoria, British Columbia to work on a research fellowship on the project “How To Neutralize The Influence Of Bad Karma According To Theravāda Buddhism” at the University of Victoria’s prestigious Centre for Studies in Religion and Society. Upon completing the fellowship, in December 2016, he moved to Edmonton, Alberta where he served as a resident Buddhist monk at the Alberta Buddhist Vihara Association until January 2018. At the request of his monastic teacher Ven.Kekanadure Hemalankara, in January 2018, Ven. Chandima moved to Ottawa, Ontario to serve as a resident Buddhist monk at the Ottawa Theravada Buddhist Vihara and Cultural Center (Ottawa Buddhist Monastery).
Venerable Dr. Chandima has earned a Bachelor of Arts with First-Class Honours (2008), majoring in Sanskrit and minoring in Pāli and Buddhist Philosophy and a Ph.D. (2015) in Sanskrit on his work “An Annotated Translation Into English Of Ratnamālāvadāna With A Critical Introduction” from the University of Sri Jayewardenpura in Sri Lanka. He is also the 2008 recipient of the coveted Sri Soratha Gold Medal which is awarded to the student who scores the highest marks in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. In 2003, Venerable Chandima joined a handful of scholars who have earned the Royal Pandit Degree (Rājakīya Panditha), from the Oriental Studies Society in Sri Lanka.
Resident Buddhist Monk
Ven. Dhammapanna received both ordination and higher ordination in Thailand and came to serve as a resident monk at OTBVCC in December 2018.
Ven. Shanta Shobhana is the newest resident monk at OTBVCC. He joined our center in February 2019. He has earned his BA and MA degrees from the Buddhist and Pali University, Sri Lanka.