Ven. Aluthnuwara Sumanatissa Chief Abbott of Lankarama Buddhist Institute of La Puente, California was conferred a special honorary title as “Chief Sangha Nayaka of North America” on August 30, 2017. The title ceremony was held at the Chapter House of Kotte Rajamaha Viharaya amidst leading Sangha members of Kotte Sri Kalyani Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Secretary to Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gothabhaya Rajapaksa and former Minister of Justice and Buddasasana Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa was also present. A large number of devotees and well-wishers of Lankarama Buddhist Institute, Gangatilaka Viharaya and Vijayasriwardenaramaya also witnessed the ceremony.
Sumanatissa Thera hailed from Aluthnuwara in Balangoda of Ratnapura district and, entered the Buddhist Order on June 13, 1964. Venerable Sumanatissa is the the Chief abbot of Lankarama Buddhist Institute, La Puente California, Vijayasiriwardenaramaya, Arawwala, Sri Lanka and Gangatilaka Viharaya, Iyamporuwa, Kotte, Sri Lanka.