A high level committee met the other day to finalize the arrangements relating to conducting the funeral of the late Ven. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Anunayake Thera with state honours.
A secretarial one from the nerve-centre of the country’s administration was among the lay dignitaries present at this meeting. An organizer invited the secretarial one to speak first as the latter was representing the highest authority in the country.
The secretarial one who took the floor kept on referring to the departed prelate as “Ven. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Anunayake Thera”.
It soon became apparent to every participant that Ven. Bellanwila Dhammaratana Thera who was present as large as life at this meeting was feeling acutely embarrassed due to the ‘slip-of-the-tongue ‘gaffe repeatedly being made by the secretarial one.
So a lay participant leaned over and whispered into the secretarial one’s ear that the bhikkhu seated in front was none other than Dhammaratana Thera and it was Wimalaratana Anunayake Thera who passed away.
Then it was the secretarial one’s turn to go through a moment of severe embarrassment.