Sinhala Budhists launch ultra-nationalist weekly

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sinhala Buddhist lobby which is campaigning against the PA's devolution package has brought out a weekly now to exclusively promote their cause. The broad sheet is appropriately called 'Sinhala Jaathiya' (the Sinhala race).

It describes itself as the War Cry of the Hela People(Heleyange Kaahala Naadhaya). 'Hela' is a classical term which refers to the Sinhala race.

Observers say that the well made out paper is an exclusive forum for a large number of Sinhala Buddhist nationalists who feel that both the state owned and independent Sinhala press have certain political and commercial considerations which prevent them from taking up the "cause" with adequate fervour.

The only journal that has thus far provided them a full forum is the 'Sinhala Bauddhaya' which was established in 1896 by the father of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism Anagarika Dharmapala.

The 'Sinhala Bauddhaya', though published without interruption for more than hundred years, is, however, limited in scope as it is a monthly with limited pages.

It is in this context that the new publication has come out, backed obviously by very powerful interest groups in the Sinhala south.

The editorial of the 'Sinhala Jaathiya' which was out yesterday makes a vehement case that the Sri Lankan government should ban the LTTE forthwith.

Dr. Gunadasa Amerasekera the doyen of the Sinhala nationalists in Sri Lanka attacks the Marxists for betraying the Sinhala cause in an editorial page article to the paper.

Prof. S.B Hettiarachi, author of a recent book damning the PA's devolution package and Kaushalya Kurukulasuriya, a regular contributor to the 'Sinhala Bauddhaya' have written invectives.

The three most powerful Buddhist monks in the campaign against devolution have also made very compelling arguments in the 'Sinhala Jaathiya'.

Madihe Pannyaseeka Thero who is the chief priest of the Amarapura Nikaya (order) writes - "we must strengthen ourselves to protect the race".

Madhuluwawe Sobitha Thero and Bengamuwe Nalaka Himi, the General secretary of the Deshepremi Bhikku Peramuna (Patriotic Buddhist Monk's Front) who have spearheaded campaigns on their own against devolution also argue that it is time for the Sinhala Buddhist nation to pull its act together.

The Sinhala Jaathiya's e-mail is <>


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