Galkande Dhammanada
Country: Sri Lanka Language: Sinhala, Pali
Organizations: Walpola Rahula Institute for Buddhist Studies
Expertise: History Focus area: Religious, Academic Religious affiliation: Buddhism

Executive Director, Walpola Rahula Institute for Buddhist Studies

The Venerable Galkande Dhammananda Thero is a Sri Lankan national and a monk of Theravada Buddhist tradition. After completing the monastic training Dhammananda Thero joined to the university of Kelaniya and received his B.A. Degree in History. After winning the commonwealth Scholarship in 2003 he completed his Masters and M.Phil degrees at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India and is now reading for his PhD. Dhammananda Thero heads the Walpola Rahula Institute for Buddhist Studies where educational and training programs are offered for religious leaders and lay persons with an aim to support social healing. He is a full-time lecturer attached to the Department of History, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Dhammananda thero is actively engaged in issues related to social justice and harmony that promotes an inclusive plural society. He has been actively using social media to propagate the message of nonviolence during resent interreligious and interethnic conflicts in Sri Lanka. Some of his videos titled Bahujana Hitaya (for the betterment of all) can be found at the following link: Over the years he has been in dialogue with religious leaders on issues related to social justice and healing and wishes to support others to enter in to similar dialogues. He is inspired by the Buddha’s teaching of ‘Bahujana Hitaya’ (for the betterment of all) calling for one to work beyond religious, ethnic or social labels to actively uplift the society - especially supporting those who are vulnerable, marginalized and discriminated. 

 Fellows Project: Rahula Dialogue: An Interreligious Dialogue Programme on Social Healing

Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thero’s project was designed to develop a sustained dialogue among lay and religious leaders affiliated with the four main religious groups in Sri Lanka: Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims. By working together to address community problems, religious leaders and activists can strengthen their bonds with colleagues from

other religions. However, Dhammananda admitted that the implementation of the project was a challenging experience. “Although, it wasn’t easy, we managed to have a satisfactory number of participants by constant communication with different stakeholders. Furthermore, building trust among participants was a challenge which facilitators creatively overcame through various tools and community building activities.”