Officials of the Department of Immigration and Emigration arrived at the Sri Naga Viharaya yesterday afternoon on a directive of Minister of Internal Affairs S. B. Navinna to deport the Korean monk Byung Moon Oh from the country.
The monk was deemed by many as the successor of the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, the former Chief Incumbent Kotte Sri Naga Viharaya.
Accordingly, the monk was deported from the Thai Airways flight TG 308 at around 1.15am today.
Following a four hour struggle at the temple, the Immigration authorities with the backing of Mirihana Police took the Korean monk into custody despite the stiff intervention of many supporters and lawyers who were backing the monk.
Moon Oh Thera had first met Ven. Sobhitha Thera in 1987 when he first visited Sri Lanka as a Mahayana follower. Since then he had been in close company of Sobhitha Thera until he started following Theravada and became a Buddhist monk and ordained in 2000 by his teacher.
Since then, Moon Oh Thera had been residing in Kotte Sri Naga Viharaya though his visa status in Sri Lanka was 'Tourist'. According to immigration sources, he had travelled many times back and forth to Sri Lanka while renewing his tourist visa.