BOYCOTT ANTI-BUDDHIST SRI LANKAN MEDIA flouting journalistic ethics and denigrating Buddhism & Buddhists
Posted on June 26th, 2017

Shenali D Waduge

 The only language that entities that survive and thrive on profits understands is when their profits dwindle and sales decrease. The Sri Lankan media has been on a very visible witch hunt against the Sinhala Buddhists & is all out to negate the place held by Buddhism promoting other religions instead. While previous years this endeavour has been subtly approached, of late they show no remorse or have no qualms about the manner they are attacking Sinhala Buddhists virtually 24×7. While right of replies are generally refused, the media stands guilty of purposely denying broadcasting/publishing as per ethnic ratio – 7 out of 10 are Sinhalese but even the Poya Day supplements of these newspapers, generally owned by non-Buddhists carry articles by Buddhist writers who enjoy denigrating Buddhism for payment or non-Buddhist writers ridiculing Buddhism. The latest is to use writers with pseudonyms to write. It is time Buddhists rose against this gutter journalism and stop buying the newspapers or prescribing to their magazines as a sign of protest until a formal apology is initiated and the Press Complaints Commission is formally presented a petition of the abuse of media freedom.

To prove the allegations made, all that anyone needs to do is prepare a content analysis of the Sri Lankan media (print & electronic) in particular the English media given that international readers pick up and quote from these articles, giving them a totally obscured and wrong view of Sinhalese & Buddhism.

With the entry of social media though they too are taking sweeping shots at Buddhists/Buddhism at least there is opportunity for people to defend and counter the lies.

There are some media websites operated by journalists living in self-exile in the UK probably well-funded by non-Buddhist foreign governments/lobby groups and entities who are paid to unseat the place of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

The gameplan is to make Buddhists feel ashamed, make them incapable of defending their people or their faith, mentally make them believe Buddhism is inferior to other religions and virtually to denationalize people from defending their nation and the values on which the country was built. Instead, what is being promoted is some liberal, material, valueless, culture-less, character-less, integrity-less, free-thinking, a dog for any dog approach to life and is the type of society now being laid out in Sri Lanka. We do not need to elaborate on the lack of integrity & character among those promoting these notions presently in Sri Lanka.

What needs to be clearly stated is that the media and the journalists are simply paid employees and they are part of a profit-making organization. Thus, other than reporting they have no role to play as police, the judge, the prosecutor or the judiciary. They can certainly debate but they have not been outsourced the role of deciding who is guilty, who is innocent, who should go to prison, who should not etc. There are people who are tasked and qualified for this job.

However, the biased nature of Sri Lanka’s media owned by non-Buddhists has a history that it cannot be proud of. The 1964 Press Commission Report is important for many reasons. Little has changed since then in the reporting.

The Report specifically refers to the ‘ Ceylon Daily Mirror ‘, ‘ Ceylon Observer ‘ and the Times of Ceylon ‘ as newspapers largely responsible for spreading the communal propaganda line that the minorities in this country were denied their due rights, and that they were treated as second class citizens.

Some extracts sums up beautifully the sad status quo:

” With regard to the English reading public, the impression has been created that the communal and religious minorities must get together and oppose the Sinhalese Buddhist majority if they are to get any rights at all. The point of view is put forward that the Sinhalese Buddhist majority is intolerant and is trying to deprive the minorities of their rights. As a matter of fact it is not so.’” (PCR para 46, pages 25 -26)

The Lake House and the Times of Ceylon are chiefly responsible for the prevailing disunity of the various racial and religious groups living in this country. Their English language newspapers are primarily accountable for this. The Editorial staffs of those newspapers readily fall into line with the wishes of the management to fight for the preservation of the undue privileges that a certain class had obtained from foreign rulers. (PCR para 111, pages 55 -56).

If these English language newspapers were sufficiently patriotic they could have made a very useful contribution to bringing about unity among the various communities after the country achieved its independence. They should have advised the minority groups to adapt themselves to the changing circumstances and exhorted the majority to be generous towards the former. They failed to do that. What they consistently did was to poison the minds of the minority groups and encourage them to fight to retain the unjust privileges they had received during the era of foreign domination.” (PCR para 112, page 56)

The journalists manning the Sinhala language newspapers knew fully well that this policy was wrong and unpatriotic but they themselves were compelled to follow, though unwittingly, the same policy due to pressure exerted on them by the management” (PCR para 113, page 56)

On Virakesari : Virakesari is owned and run by Indian nationals, and as such their purpose is to spread the idea of Indian domination of this country and condition the people”

On Thinakaran and Virakesari : ‘these papers are infecting the Tamil population with communalism, thus disrupting the unity of the Sinhalese and Tamil people. These papers should be properly controlled to enable us to play up national unity.’

Can the editors of the English newspapers provide a single editorial that has backed the Buddhist grievances or balanced coverage giving what issues the Buddhists have put forward? Even regarding the issue of Aluthgama did the media ever cover the harassment that the Buddhist temple and the Buddhist monks had been subject to, even throwing dead carcasses inside the temple & who threw the first stone?

Ven. Narada Thera’s comments are prophetic:

In this Memorandum I wish to point out that a similar process of infiltration has been going on in this country (Ceylon) since independence was granted. The extent of the infiltration shows the danger with which we are faced. As a Bhikkhu I know what would happen to the Sangha if Catholics gain control of the State ”

It is well known that Catholic Action controls the English newspapers. The two Managing Directors of the Times Group of newspapers are ardent Catholics. The Editorial Staff of their English newspapers are almost entirely Catholic. You will be most surprised to know the number of Christians and Catholics on the Editorial Staff of the ‘Daily News” and the Observer”.

As I mentioned earlier Catholic Action is always bent on creating social unrest and this they do through the newspapers by distorting facts and presenting news in a particular manner. The Catholic Church with Press support has opposed almost every national and progressive movement in this country. They were opposed to Free Education; to the use of Sinhalese as the Official Language; the teaching of Buddhism to Buddhist children in State Schools; and the use of National dress and Prohibition.”

Fast forward to the present times and the name calling promoted by the media has reached appalling heights.

The owners, the Board and the editors must really feel ashamed at how low they can stoop to. Here are some of the headings that have been used to understand the quality of journalism and the venom with which they display their hate

  • Buddha’s disciples were never a horde of uncivilized beggars”
  • Is BBS an existential threat to the Dharma” (people writing in pseudonyms and featured prominently in the main English daily newspapers in Sri Lanka)
  • Gnanasara: Monster of Right Wing populism” See the manner that a thero is being called without any respect! Why is no one arguing against the contents of what he says instead of always targeting his behaviour? To be fair by the thero, he has not killed anyone. Why do these writers not write the same of Bishop Rayyappu Joseph who was openly canvassing for the LTTE and even opening LTTE offices? How many innocent people has LTTE killed over 30 years including Tamils?
  • Kill the Buddha”
  • Which Buddha, whose Buddhism”
  • The Face of Buddhist Terror”
  • Mahavamsa an insult to the Buddha”.
  • ‘Saving Sri Lanka from the Monkish Terror’ (Sunday Island) – . Buddhist monks were referred to as ‘mob of monks’, ‘marauding monks’, ‘monkish terror’ ‘monkish violence….represents evil incarnate’… ‘thug monks’, ‘these are the modern day Devadattas and Buddarakkithas who are out to destroy Buddhism’….‘delegation of saffron robed horrors’ ‘most revolting of all is the capitulation of the Mahanayake of the Malwatte chapter in the face of this unprecedented monkish thuggery’, ‘saffron robed barbarians’. The Malwatte Mahanayake is accused of ‘limp acquiescence’ and accused of turning himself ‘into a cipher’, ‘bhikku death squads’ ‘monkish anarchy’ and alleging that these Kudahapola balakaya have now become chief monks of their temples in an effort to align the monks being accused of ‘horrors’ as those that took part during JVP uprising. Does this not connote to inciting hate speech or is it only Buddhists who are to be guilty of hate speech?
  • ‘Why Gnanasara has to be dealt with’ (Sunday Island written under pseudonym) As the Asgiriya chapter in the press interview recently said, the behavior of Gnanasara thero is condoned but the contents he makes have substance and need to be investigated.
  • Fascists’ in saffron robes? The rise of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist ultra-nationalists
  • Buddhist extremists attack innocent
  • Barbarism of Sinhala Buddhist extremist forces against Muslims
  • Bodu Bala Sena’s Thug Leader Gnanasara Thero Should be Flogged Publicly and Chased on the Road with Full Exposure on TV – by all means take Gnanasara thero to task but using contents of what he says not be calling him horrible names and indirectly attacking Buddhism.
  • Saving Sri Lanka from the Monkish Terror
  • Buddhist fanatics on the streets
  • Mad men of Dambulla
  • Buddhist Extremists Hope to Attain NIBBANA” by Attacking Muslims, Mosques and Muslim Owned Businesses
  • Saffron robed destroyers of Sinhala-Buddhism (Island)
  • The ‘Mad Monk’ Phenomenon: BBS as the underside of Sinhala-Buddhism
  • In August 2012, then Justice Minister (and leader of the Muslim Congress) Rauf Hakeem at a meeting in Kalmunai had demanded President Rajapakse should defeat ‘yellow-robed terrorism’

Why is it that only Sinhala Buddhists are only put on the dock? How much of media coverage was given when the Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddhas? What kind of media coverage was given when 25,000 Muslims rank amok in Bangladesh killing Buddhist monks, ransacking temples, destroying ancient artefacts or when the Museum in Maldives was attacked and Buddhist artefacts were destroyed? Were these Muslim gangs called names? The same media that enjoys christening Gnanasara thero in all types of derogatory terms are stoic silent about the child rapes by the Catholic Church? Is it not unthinkable that Church fathers have been raping thousands of children all over the world and the Church are defending the fathers in court cases instead of the victims!

The monopoly days are over. No longer does the print media command the same public attention that it did decades earlier. Social media whatever its faults has a platform for people to defend themselves and counter false allegations and fake news. It is more open and the liars get exposed easily and transparently.

Given that Sri Lanka’s population of 20million people of which 14.8million are Sinhalese, it is time Sri Lanka’s media was taught a lesson given that it is not disciplining itself and following the principles of journalistic ethics.

In buying papers that are anti-Buddhist we are only helping the anti-Buddhist cause. This must stop immediately. By boycotting, a clear message is being conveyed to the owners, the editors and the Boards of these papers that they are flouting their duty.

Therefore, Sinhala Buddhists whatever political party they belong to must boycott all anti-Buddhist media in any form until they function without bias and provide news in proportion to the ethnic ratio in the country.

Shenali D Waduge

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2014/08/15/the-freedom-with-which-sri-lankas-media-denigrates-sinhala-buddhists/

http://www.onlanka.com/news/buddhists-are-victims-of-hate-speech-and-media-manipulation-in-sri-lanka.html

8 Responses to “BOYCOTT ANTI-BUDDHIST SRI LANKAN MEDIA flouting journalistic ethics and denigrating Buddhism & Buddhists”

  1. Senerath Says:

    There are two types of Media. ‘Anti-Buddhist’ Sri lankan Media and ‘Boru-Buddhist’ SriLanka Media. Both should be condemned. These are run by politicunts one group aiming to get rid of Buddhism (if possible) and the other bunch who want Buddhist to votes but do everyting to promote other religions and dilute the Buddhists aiming for a secular state. This second one is even more dangerous as they pretend to be big Buddhists.

    More warnings from Shangha. Baby is kept in the bath by different water !

    යහපාලනයට රෝහණ පාර්ශවයේ මහා සංඝරත්නයෙන් අනතුරු ඇඟවීමක් !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTyLMpo_q3Q

  2. samurai Says:

    PUBLIC SEMINAR ON BUDDHISM AND MASS MEDIA

    held on February 15,2002

    Sponsored by the Lanka Bauddha Sanrakshana Sabhawa

    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 I IN, 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 take 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.

  3. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    All Sri Lankan media are controlled by non Buddhists and they have been doing everything to destroy Buddhism at
    every chance they got. At present anti Buddhist, anti Sinhalese, anti Sri Lankan traitor catholic-run UNPatriotic
    party ruling Sri Lanka, so they know this is the best time to do whatever to achieve their goal of destroying Buddhism from the land. Traitor chief die hard
    catholic token Buddhist Bay Gal Karaya Mega Thief wolf in sheep’s clothing pol pot r@nil wickramaSinhalakiller
    at the helm is also an added bonus to these guys. Sri Lankan media have been hoodwinking Sinhala modayas for
    a very long time. Prime examples are BHEESHANA SAMAYA which was in fact a Sinhalese cull carried out by
    catholic run UNPatriotic party with their catholic top police brass. Did any of the media utter a word against them or
    utter what is the background to dragging this for 6 years’ killing spree? Not at all. Sinhala modayas were clueless.
    Not a single newspaper was keen to publish Batalande Commission Report since it was showing the C club’s hand.
    So they managed to keep the Sinhala modayas in the dark.

    Then the catholic tigers of tamil drealam 30 years war. Catholic run UNPatriotic party didn’t want to end it since
    the majority of the victims were Sinhalese. So they kept sacrificing Sinhalese lives when they could’ve stopped
    it the beginning or later on. What for was their response when they doing a great job of Sinhalese cull? They even
    took on board the norwegians who are staunchly catholic as the peace makers. Questionable? Who is going to
    say a word against it? All the anti Buddhist media with them of course!

    Since the catholic run traitor UNPatriotics
    got to the driving seat through the back door, thanks to traitor puppet maru sira they have been at it like there
    is no tomorrow. They know monks are the only obstacle to them since all the traitor Sinhala deshapaluwan not
    going to utter a word to safeguard Buddhism. So they imprison the monks, all mud slinging, trying to stop Kandy
    Perahara etc (citing cruelty to animals; where were your hearts when you were burning your own in tyres in town
    centres? For them Sinhala Buddhists come below the elephants of course! That’s the catholic run UNPatriotic party to you Sinhala Buddhist modayas!), latest plan is to steal
    donations from Dambulla Temple etc. Reason? If the temple has money it will guarantee its survival for long time. If the catholic run Yamapalan thieves can pocket it, will be another bonus for them and guarantee the end of the temple. These anti Buddhist activities going on unabated while all the Sinhala
    deshapaluwan looking for the next big chance to lining up their pockets. Only the Buddhist monks protests. So
    the catholic controlled media hell bent on destroying this last defence. Multiplying mussies multiplied and multiplied like xxxx
    and destroyed the east including ancient Buddhist temples. If anybody says anything against them? These
    newspapers shout from roof tops Sinhalese racists etc. Still Sinhala modayas don’t see the true colours of the
    anti Buddhist, anti Sinhalese, anti Sri Lankan media and UNPatriotic party is a tragedy for the Sinhalese, Buddhism
    and Sri Lanka!

  4. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Anti Buddhist, anti Sri Lankan, anti Sinhalese Sri Lankan media will never report these. So they successfully
    manage to keep Sinhala modayas in the dark. You can see these only on www. Question why Buddhist jaathidhrohee vermins party aka jvp burnt in tyres while catholic tigers of tamil drealam were given half the
    country by catholic run traitor UNPatriotics. Also question why catholic tigers of tamil drealam attacked and killed
    pilgrims at the most sacred places for Buddhists Sri Maha Bodhi, Sri Dalada Maligawa, and Aranthalawa Bikku
    massacre; still catholic run UNPatriotics didn’t want to do anything to stop those attacks. Catholic tigers of tamil
    drealam attacked 0 churches, killed 0 priests. Wonder why? All the staunchly catholic countries supported catholic
    tigers of tamil drealam. Even archbishop two three of south africa, convent educated jayalalitha from tn were
    ardent supporters. Wonder why? If you click on the following links you will find the answers Sinhala modayas!

    http://ltte-christian-ties.blogspot.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV6_o9txURc

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/08/05/christianizing-of-sri-lanka-unps-betrayal-of-buddhism/

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/05/27/ranil-wickremasinghes-new-unp-3/

    http://www.lankagrid.com/soma-thero/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_eJ1gX_fuU

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/09/26/ltte-terrorism-church-links-can-someone-explain-these-photos/

  5. ranjit Says:

    After reading your article maybe wise men and educated persons might stop buying English news papers for sure. You are saying the truth so I hope people will think twice before they buy news papers again. I of course stopped reading English news papers long time ago during LTTE war. It was disgusting to read their lies. I am fed up of the local media for their bias writings. Sinhala buddhists take Shenali’s advice and boycott English news papers today itself.

  6. Wetta Says:

    Many thanks Shenali for your timely exposure of this seldom talked-about bitter truth.

    Sometimes, to attack is the best way to defend. Looks like simply complaining about the anti-Buddhist false propaganda will not work. Buddhists need their own politico-media arm to start attacking those myth believers, getting to spend their time and energy in defense rather than attacking Buddhists this way. That media unit must not be a Buddhist channel preaching Buddhism; we have enough of them. This must be just another “media unit” that can be an alternative for the people to get news, current affairs, sports, fashion, finance, fun etc etc like an ordinary media unit while working hard in exposing the true dark side of the myth believers. That will make it easier for the ordinary English readers to naturally “boycott” such “fake news” media.

    Anagarika Dharmapala did just that (by starting his own newspaper – “Sinhala Bauddhaya”) when anti-Buddhist media forces falsely attacked him and the Buddhism, just like today. History is repeating, therefore the response also must be repeated.

    Making it a non-profit organisation will keep it away from any possible financial take-overs by rich, myth believing, central bank robbing thieves and the white man’s local slaves. Print media as well as TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, web, advertising, social sponsorship etc etc must all be added step-by-step . It needs a lot of funding and Buddhists will be able to manage that with the support from rich Buddhist countries and businesses. There will be hell of a lot of Buddhists volunteers (writers, editors etc) who will be able to provide their services for free for such an effort. The standard lifestyle of Buddhists which is to keep the head down, lay low and look away in patience is currently being abused by those myth believers without understanding the pain they sustain if the sleeping snake bites back.

    There is no point in spending all the energy in answering the anti-Buddhist false propaganda by this media unit. It is certainly needed but rather it should spend more energy in news items that will harm (means attack) them with “common sense” which is very easy to do, because defeating the myths is the easiest on earth with logic. News about “crusades” both old and modern-day must be regularly exposed, forced and/or cunning and/or financially influenced religious conversion attempts, money laundering, sexual abuses and financial corruption at every corner of those myth believers must be exposed in daily basis. Until then this Buddhist bashing will not stop.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Excellent suggestion by Wetta.

    BUT it has to be PROFIT MAKING. Because you need MONEY to run these things. It has to have SOME BUFFER for bad times. That is why you need profit.

    I expect it to have PLENTY of court cases for defamation, inciting hatred, etc. So it needs money to pay for SOME lawyers. MOST will work voluntarily.

    It has to be PRIVATE so NO ONE can takeover.

    NO POLITICS! Expose even the VVIPs if they harm Buddhism. Night races in Kandy against prelates, CAROL CARTS sponsored by so and so near Buddhist shrines, torture of elephant calves, etc.

    Already many SLs are doing it in FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, etc. This new channel will BRING THEM TOGETHER.

    PART of the money collected in tills in rich temples can part finance it. DONORS around the world will also finance. I’m sure MORE people will help this type of thing than religious work.

    It can grow into a WORLD-WIDE channel bringing BURMA, THAILAND, etc. too.

    Endia will do everything it can to STOP this. If they fail they will try to first MIX it with Hindu stuff and eventually TAKEOVER. You have to be ready.

  8. charithsls Says:

    Why don’t you name them Shenali?
    As far as I know Prabath Liyanage Island editor is a Christian & reports mentioned this government appointed a Christian to Lake house Sunday Observer/ Daily News too. Are Wijewardena’s, owners of Upali group Christians? Rather than boycotting these papers I would say all Buddhists who can write to the opinion & other columns of these papers should bombard them with replies and articles supporting our cause. Shenali, have you been black listed by these Christian papers? Why don’t we see you in them? Don’t we have a few good Buddhist journalists who should be prompted to have regular articles in these papers? Isn’t there any Buddhist lay or clergy leader in our country?

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