A Public Seminar on Buddhism and the Mass Media
Posted on March 16th, 2014

Lanka Bauddha Sanrakshana Sabhawa

Sponsored by the Lanka Bauddha Sanrakshana Sabhawa was held on February 15,2002 in Colombo.

The following Resolutions were adopted at this Seminar:

1) This House RESOLVES to request the Government and in particular its Minister of Mass Media to establish a Media Commission or a statutory authority with similar powers for the purpose of ensuring that the following requirements are met:

a)     to abide by the duty imposed by Article 9 of Chapter 2 of the National Constitution on the State to foster and protect the Buddha Sasana, and accordingly take steps to ensure that all state owned media institutions such as the Lake House group of newspapers, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Rupavahini and ITN, give due wide prominence to Buddhism in their written publications, radio broadcasts and television programmes, and further prevent these state owned media institutions from publishing, broadcasting or televising any material that attempts to mock, ridicule or bring disrepute to Buddhism, or engage any activity that would deny due prominence or sidetrack Buddhism in the content of the aforesaid publications, broadcasts or television programmes,

b) to inquire into complaints made by Buddhist organisations and the Buddhist public in respect to the possible infringement of the above mentioned rules, and accordingly mete out punishment to those found guilty, and further examine proposals made by these Buddhist organisations and Buddhist public towards making these rules more effective,

c) to ensure that the majority of the personnel of the management and the editorial staff of these state owned media institutions are Buddhists, and the overall staff profile is reasonably consistent with the ratio of the Buddhist population of this country,

ii)    to lake steps to ensure that 75 % of the Members of the Media Commission or a statutory authority with similar powers, are Buddhists, and all such appointments are made through a process of prior consultation with leading, well – recognised and stable Buddhist organisations,

iii) to appoint a Committee of Inquiry:

a) to review the findings and recommendations made by the Press Commission headed by former Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice K.D. de Silva, in its Report released in 1964, and evaluate their relevance to any contemporary media reform initiative, and

b) investigate whether there is a campaign by groups hostile to Buddhism and the national interest, that uses the various segments of the mass media, with the connivance of media personnel, particularly in the state owned institutions, to undermine and cause prejudice to the traditional status and good repute of Buddhism.

2) This House further RESOLVES to request the Government and in particular its Minister of Mass Media to establish a Media Review Committee to monitor and review the publications, radio broadcasts and television programmes of media institutions that aim to undermine Buddhism and its pre-eminent status as the leading moral and spiritual force in this country.

3) This House RESOLVES to request the Government to appoint an impartial Committee to inquire into the attempt made by the ‘Sunday Observer’ to publish an article (January 6, 2002) denigrating and ridiculing Buddhism and the Sacred Tooth Relic and questioning its authenticity. This House further requests that this inquiry should be required to be completed within 21 days of the appointment of the Committee and that any person (s) found guilty of being a party to this conspiracy to defame Buddhism and the Sacred Tooth Relic through the publication of this article, be dismissed from employment with the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

4) This House RESOLVES to request the Minister of Mass Media, to inaugurate a scheme providing better facilities and training to Journalists who are committed towards upholding the letter and spirit of Article 9 of Chapter 2 of the National Constitution, and the thrust of the above named Resolutions.

Lanka Bauddha Sanrakshana Sabhawa

42/1, Asgiriya Maha Viharaya, Kandy

4 Responses to “A Public Seminar on Buddhism and the Mass Media”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    First step to making Buddhism a state religion or placing Buddhism as the recognized religion that has defined the history and culture of Sri Lanka

  2. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Even though there has been a court ruling against animal sacrifice it still goes on in Sri Lanka. From the odd Sri Lankan Hindu practice of mass animal sacrifice to Lord Skanda or Goddess Kali to the similar Muslim practices of animal sacrifice. Even in the Secular western nations animal sacrifices are considered the ultimate statement of barbarism often compared to cannibalism and other savage and inhuman behavior.
    When the Sri Lankan Hindu Tamils settle in the Western nations they manage to give up this practice fearing not only the law but the society that would label them as savages and by that pariahs to the host culture. If the Sri Lankan Hindus are quick to give up such practices from Canada to the EU I simply cannot understand why Colombo makes it a crime to commit such practices.
    I Googled this issue and found that some Hindu temples still demand and get “exceptions” from the Sri Lankan courts to continue this practice. This is a shame to Sri Lanka, especially when one takes into account in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu this practice does not exist. In all her holy cities ranging from Madurai, Kanchipuram to Tanjore the killing of animals is an abhorrent act, let alone sacrificing them. South India is one of the most vegetarian oriented cultures of India and yet in Sri Lanka this brutal treatment of animals still continues. IT HAS TO STOP

  3. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Correction: If the Sri Lankan Hindus are quick to give up such practices from Canada to the EU I simply cannot understand why Colombo does not make it a crime to commit such practices.

  4. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    One more issue: If Sri Lanka were to eventually emerge as the “voice of Global Buddhism” she should start acquiring Buddhist relics outside of her land. The pre eminent relic is the Buddha’s bowl now held in the Kabul museum in Afghanistan. India is negotiating with Kabul that this most holy relic be gifted to India. India is even willing to pay for it.

    I strongly believe that the Sri Lankan Buddhist Sanga should approach Kabul to contest India’s bid and with the help of the Rajapakse government acquire begging bowl of the Buddha now held in Muslim nation rapidly going into the power of the Taliban. The Taliban was responsible in the destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas and the historic Buddhist deposits in the Kabul Museum.

    The Buddha’s begging bowl some how escaped disaster. It is imperative the the Sri Lankan Buddhist Sanga acquire this bowl before India does. India currently holds the most holiest Buddhist relic, the Kapilavastu relics in a majority Hindu/Islamic land.

    The Buddhist Sanga should also approach other Buddhist nations in South East Asia to translate ancient Buddhist scripts in their Sanga’s possession which is not in Sri Lanka. These South East Asian nations also have relics of Buddhism that belong to his disciples which can be shared such as strands of hair etc. so that Sri Lanka can emerge as the center of the Buddhist world and by that realize her station to be the voice of Buddhism in the same manner that the Vatican is to the Catholics or Saudi Arabia is to the Muslims.

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