A Bodhi Pooja against the Tobacco Cultivation Ban

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Background

A Bodhi Pooja is a ritual conducted by the Buddhists to seek the blessings of the Bo tree. Bo tree is considered sacred by Buddhists because it was under a Bo tree that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.

In 2016, the government announced a plan to ban tobacco cultivation in Sri Lanka by the year 2020.[1][2][3][4][5]

Tobacco Company Organising a Bodhi Pooja

The “Bodhi Pooja” was organised by the All Ceylon Cigarette Tobacco Barn Owners' Association at Sri Sambodhi Viharaya in Kalegama, Dehiattakandiya, in October 2017. According to Jayantha Egodawela, the president of the Barn Owners' Association, this event was facilitated by the Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) as a response to the government’s plan to eliminate tobacco cultivation. Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC), the subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT), holds the monopoly of manufacturing and sales of cigarettes in Sri Lanka. Media was invited to the event and it received a positive coverage in mainstream and social media (Image 1).[6][7][8]

Image 1: A national newspaper (Mirror) related website reporting the event with photographs and videos[7]

Cigarette tobacco barn owners, registered directly with the CTC, function as the extended arm of the tobacco company coordinating tobacco cultivation for the company at the ground level. You can read more details in our TobaccoUnmasked pages All Ceylon Cigarette Tobacco Barn Owners’ Association and Jayantha Egodawela.

Further details on the Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC)’s attempts to sustain tobacco cultivation in Sri Lanka can be found in our page Attempts of Ceylon Tobacco to Sustain Tobacco Cultivation in Sri Lanka.

TobaccoUnmasked Resources

Other relevant TobaccoUnmasked pages

Notes

  1. World Health Organization, Sri Lanka -NCD joint programming mission [1], 22 August 2017, accessed March 2018
  2. Daily News, Tobacco cultivation to be banned by 2020 [2], 22 August 2017, accessed March 2018
  3. Independence Television Network News, 2020 දී දුම්කොළ තහනම එලෙසම ,[3],31 May 2016, accessed March 2018
  4. President Media Division. ලෝක දුම්වැටි විරෝධි දිනය සැමරීමේ උත්සවයේදි ජනාධිපතිතුමා විසින් සිදුකළ කතාව, 31 May 2016, accessed March 2018
  5. Hiru News.දුම්කොළ වගාව 2020 න් පසු තහනම් කිරීමට පියවර, 07 June 2017, accessed March 2018
  6. Ceylon Today. Tobacco farmers seek divine assistance to avert imminent tobacco cultivation ban, 20 October 2017, accessed March 2018
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sri Lanka Mirror. Tobacco Farmers seek Religious Blessings, 18 October 2018, accessed March 2018
  8. Interviewslk. දුම්කොළ ගොවීන්ට බෝධි පුජා පවත්වන්න සිද්ධ වුනේඇයි?, You Tube, 19 October 2017, Accessed March 2018