Sinhala Bauddhaya: 100 years of publishing

The continuous publication of a newspaper for a hundred years is indeed a proud achievement and a cause for celebration.

May 7, 2006 (Sunday) marked the completion of 100 years since the Mahabodhi Society publication of the 'Sinhala Bauddhaya', the Sinhala weekly started by Anagarika Dharmapala who was also the founder editor.

The establishment of the Mahabodhi Press and the release of the 'Sinhala Bauddhaya' took place in May 1906. Anagarika Dharmapala used the newspaper as a vehicle to strengthen his campaign to awaken the Sinhalese masses who were in the clutches of Christian missionaries. He focused attention, through the newspaper, of the rights and responsibilities of the Buddhists. It was not restricted to discuss religious and moral issues but was effectively used to talk about economic, social and educational matters as well. The Anagarika was a firm believer that a solid foundation in education and a base for a strong economy and development activity were prerequisites for the national revivalist movement.

The 'Sinhala Bauddhaya' was started as a weekly with eight pages but soon expanded into 16 pages and became a popular publication among the readers. Following the riots of 1915, the newspaper was suspended on the orders of the Colonial Ceylon Government but was restarted in July 1922.

The early days saw the Anagarika burning the midnight oil to produce the newspaper. He wrote most of the articles himself and used pseudonyms too. He tried hard to get the 'samanera' monks at Saranath to contribute weekly columns.

A commemorative stamp carrying the portrait of Anagarika Dharmapala and an early issue of the newspaper was issued to mark the centenary of the 'Sinhala Bauddhaya'.

Top   Back to News

Copyright © 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.