Author Archive for Shelton Gunaratne

Abolish all press restrictions and codes in Buddhist Sri Lanka

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

By Professor Shelton A. Gunaratne The recent presidential elections showed that the majority of Sri Lankans are well versed in distinguishing between propaganda and unbiased news. They paid little attention to the Goebbelsian propaganda spewed out by the Lake House press and the state-owned broadcasting and television networks and toppled an arrogant regime that was […]

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New book calls on journalists to practice mindful journalism—a genre befitting Digital Era

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

By Shelton Gunaratne, professor of communication emeritus  This article is excerpted from the introductory chapter of the book “Mindful Journalism and News Ethics in the Digital era: A Buddhist Approach” to be published in March 2015 by Routledge in London. Edited by Shelton Gunaratne  (Minnesota State University Moorhead), Mark Pearson (Griffith University), and Sugath Senarath […]

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Complexity theories, science and scientism  

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

By Shelton A. Gunaratne (1) I am both a journalist and a social science scholar. I have authored several publications on the shortcomings of social science, a creation of Western thought, and the need to De-Westernize it by seeking the “truth” through a method combining systems thinking, complexity theories and quantum physics—all of which are […]

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Investigate NGO heads: Coughing Human Rights for plush lifestyles

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Shenali D Waduge  Mega millions has been disbursed to the bank accounts of organizations set up to deliver ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ to ‘undemocratic’ nations. These NGOs set up have an explicit object and it has nothing to do with human rights to democracy and everything to do with preparing the groundwork for agendas of […]

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Reply to Opperman

Friday, May 30th, 2014

By Shelton A. Gunaratne Paul Opperman (“An argument based on silliness,” The Forum, May 11, 2014) questions the purpose of my essay titled “Natural law says it’s all in flux” published a week earlier on May 4, 2014). My purpose was to point out the Buddhist approach to conflict resolution that is hardly known and […]

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Dhammapada and Bhagavad Gita can help Lanka foster ethno-religious amity

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Shelton A. Gunaratne This week, by chance, I experienced the joy of reading the two jewels of Buddhism and Hinduism—the Dhammapada and the Bhagavad Gita respectively. Until I read these two ‘jewels,’ I had no idea that Hinduism and Buddhism were so close to each other in terms of the pathway one should follow to […]

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Natural Law Says It All: Because everything is in flux, it’s silly to shout for lasting solutions

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

By Shelton A. Gunaratne (1)  The above headline should not come as a surprise to anyone living in Sri Lanka irrespective of his/her religion or ethnicity. It sums up a natural law that anyone can test through personal experience: Everything in this world is inconstant (anicca). Therefore, nothing is permanent; and it’s the mistaken belief […]

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Minnesota Buddhist Vihara celebrates 10th anniversary

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

By Shelton Gunaratne  The Minnesota Buddhist Vihara (MNBV) will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sunday (March 30, 2014). A guest monk, the Venerable Pallebage Chandrasiri Nayaka Thera, chief monk  of Oregon Buddhist Vihara, will conduct the Atawisi Buddha Puja and anusasana. The Venerable Witiyala Seewalie Nayaka Thera, the founder-president of the vihara, said that he came […]

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It’s time to use the 10 royal virtues to judge our ruling class irrespective of ethnicity and religion

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

By Shelton A. Gunaratne(1)  The dasa-raja-dharma or the ten royal virtues contains the Buddhist ideal of governance or kingship. These virtues are applicable to all leaders in society, but particularly to those whom we chose to govern us. The people in Asia have used them for more than 2,500 years to judge the performance of their […]

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An Open Letter to Mr. Sampanthan

Friday, March 14th, 2014

By Shelton  A. Gunaratne [1)  Dear Mr. Sampanthan: May I suggest that the TNA and the GoSL consider ahimsa and dharma principles of Hinduism and the dependent co-arising (paticca-samuppada) doctrine of Buddhism to bring about amity and harmony between the Sinhala and Tamil ethnic communities in Sri Lanka.  If you try to resolve problems in […]

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Belligerent Babble on Bible and the Earth’s tilt

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

By Shelton A. Gunaratne  My hometown newspaper, The Forum of Fargo-Moohead, carried an unusual editorial (on Feb. 18, 2014) appreciating the change of seasons wrought by the Earth’s axial tilt of 23.4 degrees. Wisely, the editorial did not attribute this natural phenomenon to a creator God thereby leaving the readers to infer whatever they wished. However, […]

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Pros and cons of ‘Curry Smell’ approach–A letter to the editor of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

By Shelton Gunaratne The (Fargo, ND) Forum’s recent attempt to focus on the Asian minorities in its circulation area is commendable. However, as a long-time journalism professor who trained some of the leading journalists in this area, I wish to confess my culpability for some of the lapses in The Forum’s shallow reporting approach. Let […]

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The pursuit of happiness?

Monday, January 13th, 2014

By Shelton A. Gunaratne  professor emeritus in communication, lives in Moorhead, Minn.  Tracy Frank’s story titled “The pursuit of happiness?” in the Sunday edition of The (Fargo, N.D.) Forum’s She Says section (Jan. 12, 2014) drew my instant attention because it was the exact topic of our monthly Buddhist Discussion Group on Saturday. However, after […]

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Stop treating expatriates as cash-cows: Patriotism isn’t a one-way street

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

By Professor Shelton A. Gunaratne  A long-time friend of mine, Gamini Gunawardena, has been circulating an appeal to Sri Lankan (presumably non-Tamil) expatriates  to boost up their patriotic  fervor to think of “ways and means of meeting the poor Sri Lanka lobby in the U.S.,  which is easily overwhelmed by the LTTE propaganda machinery.”   […]

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Try Buddha’s eightfold path to restore amity and sanity

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

By Shelton A. Gunaratne –professor emeritus in communication(1) Eastern philosophies, particularly Buddhism, have caught the attention of the American public even though the U.S. mass media have failed to highlight this processual development. Although some might construe Buddhism as an Oriental intrusion intended to discombobulate the predominantly Judeo-Christian culture of the Occident, those who revere […]

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CHOGM IS A PUZZLE IN THE AMERICAN MIND

Monday, November 4th, 2013

By Shelton A. Gunaratne*  The insular American press has ignored the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting  (CHOGM), scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka from Nov. 15-17. It comprises 53 independent countries (with a total population of 2.25 billion occupying almost one-third of the world’s land area) that were once British colonies. I wrote […]

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Ethnocentrism, in Guise of ‘National Identity,’ Mars U.S. Immigration Debate in Age of Globalization

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

By Shelton A. Gunaratne –The writer is a professor emeritus and the author of three recent books including “Village Life in the Forties: Memories of a Lankan Expatriate.” J. P. Calvert, who identifies himself as a former college educator, has been writing to the Red River Valley newspapers for at least the last five years […]

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Codes won’t improve journalism. Instead, promote sila dimension of Noble Eightfold Path

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of The Dao of the Press: A Humanocentric Theory (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2005)  The draft of a code of media ethics drawn by the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, Sri Lanka, early June 2013 has generated a lot of heat in the so-called international community, which in this case […]

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Travels of a journalist [2013 Series # 10] Hobnobbing with kith and kin in Kurunegala and Colombo

Friday, July 19th, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of Village Life in the Forties: Memories of a Lankan Expatriate (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse); and From Village Boy to Global Citizen Vol. 1& Vol.2 (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris).  As I write this essay, the 10th installment on my latest excursion to Sri Lanka (March 27 to April 16, 2013), I am saddened […]

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Travels of a journalist [2013 Series # 9]-CCF must re-think its policy of ‘fleecing’ foreigners at Cultural Triangle sites

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of Village Life in the Forties: Memories of a Lankan Expatriate (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse); and From Village Boy to Global Citizen Vol. 1& Vol.2 (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris). During my early April 10-day tour of Sri Lanka, the country where I was born and raised, I tried to examine my experiences as […]

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Travels of a journalist [2013 Series #8] Trinco offers Hot Wells, forts, beaches, Koneswaram Kovil & smashing dosa

Monday, July 8th, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of Village Life in the Forties: Memories of a Lankan Expatriate (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse); and From Village Boy to Global Citizen Vol. 1& Vol.2 (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris). This year’s was my first trip to Trincomalee (pop. 99,135), the administrative center of the Eastern Province occupying an area of 750 hectares spreading […]

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Travels of a journalist [2013 Series #7] Kiri Banda offers polos for lunch As we hobnob in Uda Iriyagama

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of Village Life in the Forties: Memories of a Lankan Expatriate (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse) We, my spouse and I, were enthused about continuing our “detective” skills for finding our “lost” kith and kin, as evident from our exploits in Matara and Bandarawela. So, when we sat down for breakfast at Kandy […]

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Travels of a journalist [2013 Series #6] Saga of Bandarawela Bappa: We ‘detect’ his wife in Diyatalawa

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of Village Life in the Forties: Memories of a Lankan Expatriate (Bloomington, IN: iUni I dramatized the exploits of Bandarawela Bappa or Punchi Thepal Mahattaya in Chapter 5 of my Village Life in the Forties. The memories that I have of him are still those of a “young, handsome man with […]

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Travels of a journalist [2013 Series #5] Matara brings memories of good old ‘50s; Cousin shows us Southern hospitality

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of Village Life in the Forties: Memories of a Lankan Expatriate (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse) Once upon a time, during my transition from Ananda College to University of Ceylon, I traveled daily by bus from Weligama to Matara to teach at a private academy called Nilwala Vidyalaya on the south bank of […]

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Travels of a journalist [2013 Series #4] – Eastward Ho from ‘Home Sweet Home’ to Weligama Bay

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of From Village Boy to Global Citizen, Vol. 1: The Journey of a Journalist; and Vol. 2: The Travels of a Journalist (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris) We—my spouse Yoke-Sim and I—gave top priority to visiting my birth village of Pathegama, a couple kilometers west of Weligama, on my tour of the Deep […]

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Travels of a journalist [2013 Series #3] Weligama Podda tours his native South in the guise of a global citizen

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of From Village Boy to Global Citizen, Vol. 1: The Journey of a Journalist; and Vol. 2: The Travels of a Journalist (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris). “There’s no place like home” is the last line of the 1822 song “Home Sweet Home” written by John Howard Payne. From music, the phrase passed […]

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Travels of a journalist—The Yala Adventure: SRI LANKA REPLACES NEED WITH GREED AT ALL TOURIST ATTRACTIONS—STEEP ENTRY FEES FOR EXPATRIATES TOO

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of From Village Boy to Global Citizen (Vol. 2): The Travels of a Journalist (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris). On my island wide tour of Sri Lanka last month (April), I was taken aback by the official ticket checkers’ insistence at some tourist attractions that I should pay the incredibly high entry fees […]

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Travels of a journalist: MAKE ADAM’S BRIDGE MORE ATTRACTIVE TO TOURISTS

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of From Village Boy to Global Citizen (Vol. 2): The Travels of a Journalist (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris).  I wanted to visit Adam’s Bridge (or Rama Setu) straddling Talaimannar (on Sri Lanka’s Mannar Island) and Dhanuskodi (on India’s Rameswaram/Pamban Island) for a long time. The putative “bridge” is a 30-km long chain […]

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‘Meegamuwa’ sets the trend for an investigative provincial press in Sri Lanka

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, professor of mass communications emeritus @ MSUM  I spent a couple weeks touring Sri Lanka late March and early April after an absence of 13 years. One main purpose was to attend a book debut event organized by the mass communication faculties of the Sri Palee Campus and the Kelaniya University to […]

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Asian educators should do more to de-Westernize social sciences, says Asian-American professor in forthcoming publication

Friday, March 8th, 2013

By Professor Shelton Gunaratne  Asian educators should cease to reify Western social science theories and models by creating their own.  My recent incursion into textbooks written in Sinhala for mass communication education in Sri Lanka showed unmistakable dependence on the Western masters and the authors’ lack of originality. I hope that the following excerpts from […]

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