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New law to prohibit publications defamatory of the major religions

15 August 2013 10:06 pm - 15     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Ministry is to introduce a new law seeking action against publications, either in print or online, that defames the original teachings and traditions of the major religions, officials said yesterday.
As a first step in this effort, the Ministry has drafted a bill that provides for the establishment of a Buddhist Publications Regulatory Board with authority to regulate any publication that is in violation of Buddhism, its philosophy or traditions.

The Board, if established under the proposed bill, will have two ex-officio members -- the Ministry’s secretary and the Commissioner General of Buddha Sasana. Besides these, there will be other members: one member will be nominated by each of the Mahanayakes of the four chapters (Malwatta, Asgiri, Amarapura and Ramagna), each of the heads of the departments of Pali and Buddhist Studies of four major universities will also nominate one member, and the subject minister will nominate another two.  

Ministry secretary M.K.B. Dissanayake said that this bill was now with the Attorney General pending approval.

“After approval by him it will be sent to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval,” he said.

Mr. Dissanayake said the Board would have the authority to specify standards, norms and criteria that should be adhered to in written and oral Buddhist publications. It would also have the power to examine any Buddhist text to see whether it conforms to the Buddhist teachings and traditions practiced in Sri Lanka.

Once the new bill is enacted to deal with publications regarding Buddhism, another law is to be introduced to deal with publications that are contrary to the original teachings of other religions. (Kelum Bandara)

  Comments - 15

  • lkboy Friday, 16 August 2013 05:59 AM

    good. these will control extremists of all religions.

    Sammy Friday, 16 August 2013 06:09 AM

    Purported original teachings!

    BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 16 August 2013 07:44 AM

    The biggest joke of the century. The sinhalese are the worse example of buddhism to the world i.e. one has to ban meat and alchohol on Poya to make sinhalese not partake the same... thus it is these same criminal minded race that is planning to become the protector of buddhism. This is the greatest insult to the teachings of Lord Buddha.

    Nanda Friday, 16 August 2013 10:11 AM

    Let's join the fundamentalist, paranoid club, another step into total morondom! Only approved publications by King kekille would be allowed!!

    M Arachchi Friday, 16 August 2013 10:13 AM

    So, is it okay to defame the teachings of minor religions?

    Perumal Friday, 16 August 2013 10:30 AM

    The so called original teachings could be incorporated in Mahinda Chinthana!

    cine Friday, 16 August 2013 11:04 AM

    Buddhism is build around the idea of freedom. Including freedom to follow and experiment with different view and ideas. How can a committee of Majority lay people and politicians decide what is and what is not Buddhist?

    xlntgson Friday, 16 August 2013 11:08 AM

    Selective justice? The law is already there without implementation for eg. if the law is strictly applied which religion has many not removed unauthorized structures?

    azath Friday, 16 August 2013 11:11 AM

    This is another law to practice restriction on minority religion though it is said to introduce them to other religion. it would never happen and first of all, stop the activities of BBS, Sihala ravaya etc they are the ones spreading hatred blatantly and violently in public with total impunity

    Douglas Friday, 16 August 2013 11:15 AM

    Will this zip the likes of gnassara......

    Ellison Jayawardene Friday, 16 August 2013 12:54 PM

    Well said Sir BuffaloaCitizen. Don't you think it has a STINT to State Controlled Faiths? You may interpret Dhumma or Christian principle quite different to that of Wimal Weerawanse or Dr Harath.
    All Sri Lankans enjoyed a Secular State to an extent and this is also against our Constitution.

    Noel Friday, 16 August 2013 01:15 PM

    Freedom of Speech, people. Take that away and you have the "Taliban". Leave things alone. Sooner or later, people will come to their senses and give up all this voodoo called religion.

    Fawzan Friday, 16 August 2013 07:40 PM

    Please.... including clause to ban destruction of worship places used by minorites as well :-)

    CEEDEEBEE Saturday, 17 August 2013 02:17 AM

    Why only major religions? who decides which religions are major or minor. The worshippers of some religions which may be deemed to be minor may not think so - Sri Lanka is known for it's openness of all religions - please keep it that way.

    paul watt Monday, 19 August 2013 01:51 AM

    Another tricky situation created by the crafty Govt.

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