Media Ministry summons TV station

The Media Ministry has summoned a private television station over the video footage it aired on the monk who set fire to himself in Kandy and eventually succumbed to his injuries.

Media Ministry secretary Charitha Herath said that the footage shows that the whole incident had been previously planned and the television station seemed to have had prior knowledge of the monk setting himself on fire.

Herath said that there was a question about media ethics in the way the television station had handled the incident as it seemed it could have been prevented and a life could have been saved.

The monk who set himself on fire outside the Kandy Temple on Friday succumbed to his injuries the next day.

The monk is a member of the Sihala Ravaya. Identified as the venerable Bohowatte Indararatna thero, the monk was also a one-time member of the JHU.

He set himself on fire outside the Kandy temple to protest against cattle slaughter in Sri Lanka. People in the area used water to douse the flames and he was then admitted to hospital in serious condition.

Leading Buddhist monks condemned his actions saying it set a bad example.

The private television station which ran a mini documentary on him soon after he set himself on fire and seemed to have known in advance of his attempt also came under harsh criticism. (Colombo Gazette)