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Leading Sri Lankan paper coerced to abandon serial on Dalai Lama autobiography

China has arm-twisted Irida Lankadeepa, a leading newspaper in Sri Lanka into abandoning mid-way its weekly serialization of the first autobiography of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
China has arm-twisted Irida Lankadeepa, a leading newspaper in Sri Lanka into abandoning mid-way its weekly serialization of the first autobiography of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

(TibetanReview.net, Jan09, 2018) – China has arm-twisted a leading newspaper in Sri Lanka into abandoning mid-way its weekly serialization of the first autobiography of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Mr Prasanna Sanjeewa Thennakoon, the paper’s segment which has already carried three initial episodes from ‘My Land My People’, beginning Nov 19, 2017, has said the management had told him to hold back further serials, citing pressure from the Chinese Embassy in Colombo.

The autobiography’s main translator Mr Ruwan Harischandra and President Dr Damenda Porage of the Sri Lankan Tibetan Buddhist Brotherhood Society, its publisher, have both urged Irida Lankadeepa to resume the publication.

Copy of Irida Lankadeepa.
Copy of Irida Lankadeepa.

They have said the members of the society had been greatly inspired by the publication because it has been working to promote Buddhist brotherhood between Sri Lankans and Tibetans for nearly three years in spite of difficult circumstances.

The original plan was to publish the autobiography in 50 episodes. The autobiography was translated in Sinhalese by Ruwan Harishchandra and published by Sri Lanka Tibetan Buddhist Association.

Dr Damenda has said pressures and disturbances from the Chinese Embassy and their allied associations in Colombo were not new to them. “We have had experience of this disturbing nature to our Buddhist activities which aim to promote Buddhist brotherhood of these two age old Buddhist nations, Sinhalese and Tibetans. When we organised the photo exhibitions ‘Dalai Lama in Frames’ in Kandy and Matale, they had complained to the Criminal Investigations Department and they held an inquiry into our activities,” the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) Tibet.net Jan 8 quoted Dr Damenda as saying.

On Dec 6, the Sinhala translation of ‘Nature of All Things’, the autobiography of Mr Chope Paljor Tsering, a retired CTA official and diplomat, was launched on Dec 6 at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura. And the Chinese complained to the country’s Ministry of Defense, which therefore sent an investigating team.

Dr Damenda has called these ridiculous and shameless acts because his society was only working to protect and promote the Buddha Sasana, for “Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country like Tibet”.

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