Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamath 'Bribes' Journalists In Public

Sri Lanka's Thawheed Jamath group, a hard-line Muslim organization who held a press conference in Colombo yesterday, had given Rs. 500 each to every jounalist who covered the event. 

Although there is a tradition of giving tokens of appreciation to journalists who cover press events, no one gives 'cash-prizes' to journalists for it could also be construed as a bribe! On the other hand, it is a disgrace on professional values and standards of journalism. Giving and accepting bribe strongly contravene the norms and traditions of Islam. 

The journalists who attended the press conference confirmed Asian Mirror that they given Rs. 500 each by organizers of the event upon the conclusion of the press conference. The majority of journalists found themselves in an embarrassing position when they were offered money.  

Despite giving 'cash-prizes' to journalists, the Thawheed Jamath press conference did not receive much publicity in the mainstream Sinhala and English media the following day (June 18). It should also be noted that the majority of media institutions in Sri Lanka exercised a great deal of "caution" when it came to the entire issue. 

Addressing the press conference, leaders of the Thawheed Jamath called for the arrest of members of the Bodu Bala Sena, including its General Secretary Galagodatathe Gnanasara Thera, who incited violence in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga town. 

A few weeks ago, a stalwart of Thawheed Jamath was prosecuted for insulting Buddha. He was asked to apologize from Maha Sanga, including Mahanayakes, for derogatory statements he made on Buddha and Buddhism.  

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