Jagath Sumathipala was privileged to serve as ACBC President for three consecutive terms in the past from (2006 to 2014).  During his tenure, he has delivered exemplary, disciplined and skillful leadership for the ACBC, bringing unprecedented operational stability from its disarrayed past, thus fostering respect, significance and esteemed community perception towards ACBC. Jagath Sumathipala’s leadership strategies have successfully and consistently achieved fine balance of economic viability and reputation building of ACBC, which was understandably a challenging and arduous task.  But, most importantly, he has launched and completed numerous initiatives, nationally and internationally, to deliver unparalleled contributions to promote Buddhism and culture through ACBC activities.  Wider Sri Lankan and overseas Buddhist communities, and the ACBC membership have overwhelmingly recognized and endorsed with gratitude his intense personal devotion and the highest priority given to uphold Buddhist values in a society fast changing  with diminishing respect for Sinhala cultural traditions and Buddhist tenets.

Serving the cause of Buddhism and its advancement is an inherent trait in his personal character and belong to a very strong and conservative Buddhist family.  This disposition was enhanced by the guidance and direction that he has received from his education at Ananda College, the leading Buddhist School in Sri Lanka. Even during school days he developed an enthusiasm to participate in Buddhist social activities. He was actively involved in the school Buddhist Society, which he continued even after leaving school by becoming the President of the Old Anandians’ Buddhist Association.  He is currently the Patron of this Association.

Supported by Jagath Sumathipala’s established family business background, he has pursued in adulthood his life-long ambition to serve Buddhism. Jagath Sumathipala’s association with ACBC commenced when he initially worked alongside his late mother Mrs. Milina Sumathipala, who was the ACBC’s first lady President.  Subsequently, he was elected as ACBC President.  In both these phases, he made well-regarded and unique contributions to the consolidation of Buddhism of which some milestone achievements/deeds of the highest significance are listed below for purpose of information and reference.

Jagath Sumathipala acted as Chair of ACBC’s Media and Publicity Committee whilst his mother was the President. At that time, ACBC was in a grave financial crisis with highly diminished and negative recognition coming from virtually all sections of the Buddhist community in Sri Lanka.  It needed an immediate and urgent salvaging operation. Jagath Sumathipala’s entrepreneurial strategies and acumen coupled with foresight, effectively addressed the precarious financial situation the ACBC was in, reversed the decline, and made it into a financially sound institute of high repute.  The public assessment of ACBC was thus elevated to high unprecedented levels, helping sustenance and re-vitalization of Buddhism all over Sri Lanka.  Key underlying evidence of these includes:

  • Establishing Buddhist Society Branches in Kovil Kanda Purana Rajamaha Viharaya and Udukawa, Matara

Jagath Sumathipala and the Executive Committee of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress were participated in this event in Matara on 23 February 2018.

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  • The Annual Buddhist Literature Festival

The Buddhist Literature Festival was conceived and initiated by Jagath Sumathipala in 2007, to highlight and celebrate on – going contributions to Buddhist literature and felicitate dedicated Buddhist writers and authors and place on display their literary work and publications.  

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  • Bauddhaloka Vesak Festival

Bauddhaloka Vesak Festival was commenced in 2002 under the guidance of the late Dr. Mrs. Milina Sumathipala, to illuminate Colombo during Vesak celebrations and showcase the Buddhist themed artistry and festivities at Bauddhaloka Mawatha to the larger world. Since then the Bauddhaloka Vesak Festival has continued as an annual 'Festival of Lights with Buddhist Themes' event.

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  • 2600 Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi Festival

In commemoration of 2600th year anniversary of the Enlightenment of the Buddha, ACBC organized the 2600 Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi Festival on a grand scale. Furthermore, Mr. Sumathipala was served as a Steering Committee Member for organizing the Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi festival.  

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The commemorative coin which was manufactured to mark the occasion of the 2600 Sambuddathwa Jayanthi Festival was presented to Jagath Sumathipala by the then Hon. Prime Minister D M Jayaratne

  • Vishwa Shanthi Buddha Pratima Vandana (Exposition of Jade Buddha Statue)

Acting on the initiative taken by Jagath Sumathipala, the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress  joined hands with the President’s Office in getting down the Jade Buddha Statue for Buddhists and other well wishers to view and pay respect. The Jade Buddha Statue was exhibited at both the BMICH and ACBC with all facilities provided to the devotees for their convenience.

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  • 60th Anniversary of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB)

The WFB was founded by Dr. Gunapala Malalasekera in 1950 with 129 foreign delegates from 29 countries, attending the inaugural session held in Colombo. Under the guidance and the leadership of Mr. Jagath Sumathipala the 25th General Conference marking the 60th anniversary of the WFB was held in November 2010.

Around 500 participants including Officer Bearers, Delegates and Observers from 65 Regional Centers of 26 countries attended the Conference.

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