ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 34

Jail if Lord Buddha’s image is misused

By Isuri Kaviratne

A two year jail term or a fine of Rs. 100,000 is to be imposed on those found guilty of misusing the image of the Lord Buddha.
These penalties are included in the Buddha Sasana Bill to be presented in parliament soon.

The use, display, printing, manufacture, sale or distribution of a picture of the Lord Buddha or figures similar to a picture of the Lord Buddha, statues or Buddhist sign or signs relating to Buddhism in a manner that disgraces the Buddha Sasana will be an offence.

A Commissioner General is to be appointed and he will have the authority to request the Inspector General of Police to ensure protection of temples or Buddhist monuments. Further additional protection can be sought from the Defence Ministry.

A media advisory council is also to be set up and it will be empowered to issue directions to the government media to broadcast or publish events or programmes. Any violation of this directive will be a punishable offence.

A Rs. 100,000 fine or prison term of one year could be imposed for failing to follow directives of the council. If a person appears as an ordained monk without having his name in the register of ordained Bhikkhus or in the register of Samaneras he will be liable to be fined Rs. 10,000 or face a one-year jail term.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.