The freedom with which Sri Lanka’s Media denigrates Sinhala Buddhists


  • There are accusations that there is no media freedom in Sri Lanka.
  • There are accusations that the majority are discriminating the minorities in Sri Lanka.
  • There are accusations that the minorities are unable to voice their views in Sri Lanka.

The following headlines are for readers to decide if this is the freedom that is claimed to be denied.

The below specimen samples are just but a handful of hundreds of other online and even print name calling.

Buddhist monks have been referred to as : ‘mob of monks’, ‘marauding monks’, ‘monkish terror’, ‘monkish violence…represents evil incarnate’, ‘thug monks’, ‘these are the modern day Devadattas and Buddharakkithas who are out to destroy Buddhism’, ‘delegation of saffron robed horrors’, ‘bhikku death squads’. ‘monkish anarchy’

The high priests were not spared as well:

‘most revolting of all is the capitulation of the Mahanayake of the Malwatte chapter in the face of this unprecedented monkish thuggery’.

The Malwatte Mahanayake thero was accused of ‘limp acquiescence’ and accused of turning himself ‘into a cipher’.

Given that Sri Lanka’s media has been only too pleased to carry such articles it is not difficult to imagine how people are commenting on the below titles too. These comments are too vile to showcase as examples however, most often the websites themselves make comments entering pseudonyms to project that in Sri Lanka the Sinhala Buddhists are hated.

What would be a nicer thing is to reveal exactly why they are angry but that is an unlikely option because behind the denigration there is another plan.



Justice Minister (and leader of the Muslim Congress) Rauf Hakeem at a meeting in Kalmunai had demanded President Rajapakse should defeat ‘yellow-robed terrorism’

Aug 2012

Fascists’ in saffron robes? The rise of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist ultra-nationalists

July 2014

Buddhist extremists attack innocent

June 2014

Barbarism of Sinhala Buddhist extremist forces against Muslims

June 2014

Bodu Bala Sena’s Thug Leader Gnanasara Thero Should be Flogged Publicly and Chased on the Road with Full Exposure on TV

4 May 2014

Why Gnanasara has to be dealt with’

3 May 2014

Saving Sri Lanka from the Monkish Terror

26 Apr 2014

Expose Thugs In Robes And Isolate Them

27 April 2014

The ‘Mad Monk’ Phenomenon: BBS as the underside of Sinhala-Buddhism

15 April 2014

Saffron robed destroyers of Sinhala-Buddhism

11 April 2014

An unholy alliance of Buddhists

April 2014

Email subject heading circulating amongst ‘intellectuals’ & Colombo elite

Yellow robed Jackals of the BBS invade Fatima Church”

Aug 2014

Summon Lord Buddha to Geneva – Sharmini Serasinghe


Jan 2014

Buddhist Extremists Hope to Attain “NIBBANA” by Attacking Muslims, Mosques and Muslim Owned Businesses

14 Aug 2013

Buddhist fanatics on the streets

Jun 2013

Mad men of Dambulla

Aug 2012

The editors were well aware of the contents of the articles. Yet they published them.

The newspapers owners were well aware that their newspapers were carrying articles with inappropriate headings, yet they allow such publications.

The 1964 Press Commission Report is invaluable for its findings remain valid in todays context and highlights the same issues.

No other minority religion has been called by such names to the extent the Buddhist priests have been subject to, even the Catholic priests who have been linked to LTTE have not been subject to the same denigration despite terror links.

There were and are no foreign envoys, UN special rapporteurs, UN human rights head, civil society organizations that came out to say that the trend of denigrating the majority Sinhala Buddhists of Sri Lanka via disproportionate media coverage was incorrect, unjustified and unethical. Yet, we ask, is this the freedom with which media should function?

When these examples are highlighted the easy way out is to claim that  these are attempts to incite ‘racism’ for it affords the perfect excuse to evade responding.

With the examples given it is for the readers to decide for themselves.


– by Shenali D Waduge

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