Kelaniya University’s Professor W. S. Karunatillake, scholar of linguistics, passes away

Via a Facebook item from Wisdom Publications this morning comes news of the passing of W. S. Karunatillake, a scholar and a coauthor of the book A New Course in Reading Pali: Entering the Word of the Buddha. It reads as follows:

“We regret to announce the passing of Professor W. S. Karunatillake, who passed away two weeks ago in Sri Lanka. A professor of linguistics at Kelaniya University, he trained generations of scholars worldwide in linguistics, history, and religious studies. He was a public intellectual in Sri Lanka and a supporter of the Sangha, and in addition to his many works on the Pali, Sinhala, and Tamil languages, he also published on the topic of Buddhism. Professor Karunatillake insisted that research on Buddhism take into account the lived experiences of Buddhists, and he and his students have contributed greatly to our understanding of Buddhism as it is lived today in South and Southeast Asia.”