Readers of my writings about Bomjon regularly complain that the links to Nepali media stopped to work. Nepali media apparently is forced to delete entire articles about Bomjon’s violence and witch-hunts, or make them unsearchable on Google, while from September 2012 there is an overall ban to write anything new and controversial about him at all, in coincidence with the announcement of Ram Bomjon’s self-styled PR activist, US-Nepalese Kishore Sherchand to “clear the Internet” of any ugly information about he “guru”…* (see emptied links below this article)
Featured image: Snapshot from धर्मका नाममा दादागिरी little buddha ram bahadur bamjan (if links stops to work, try to search with title on YouTube.com ). Journalist showing his damaged camera after the attack in March 2012 by Bomjon’s attendants.
MEDIA HAVING PLAYED A CRUCIAL ROLE IN ESTABLISHING BOMJON’S FAME
When Buddha Boy started his meditation in 2005 under a hidden tree in a big jungle near a middle-of-nowhere village, the rest of Nepal and the world did not know about him. Locals were at that time often illiterate (many of his “committee” as well) , and his village Bongjor did not have even electricity, not speaking about the facilities of TV or Internet… It was only thanks to the Nepali media, that the news about this villager meditating boy had been spread in the rest of Nepal, and soon in the whole world. Had the Nepali media never arrived there, foreigners would have no chance to ever learn about this boy…
Yet nowadays, forgetting to be grateful to this very same media, the foreign, as well as Nepalese followers of Bomjon (‘Maitriya Guru Dharma Sangha’) are demonizing the media as source of “lies” and “harming the reputation” of their allegedly totally “innocent guru”. Below I give a chronological overview about how the previous attitude of using media as his propagation tool, Bomjon (it means also his Official Sangha with whom he identifies) switched to the current total media-ban.
Not taking into the account the dozens of praising and sensationally positive articles about the “meditating Buddha Boy” in The Himalayan Times, Kantipur, Kathmandu Post, La Republica and other mainstream Nepali media as a proof that the Nepali media is far from being negatively biased, the current fashion is to spread conspiracy theories about how everyone in the media is his enemy and only wants to harm him – when informing the public about his real deeds…
If one takes the time and makes a profound Internet research, it is still possible to find, browsing through media archives of old articles, that there had been an originally very positive attitude from Nepali media towards the “reincarnation of Buddha”. Obviously, most Nepalese felt proud to “host” a promising “new reincarnation” of Gautama Buddha, as his followers were claiming him to be. Things started to alter with his own inconsistent, chaotic and erroneous behavior, when after exclamations about where he would go and stay, and what he would do, he never fulfilled his promises and changed his places, disappearing for months. His behavior and words were losing on credibility, were confusing and suspicious.
BOMJON’S CONTROVERSIAL DEEDS COVERED BY MEDIA “SENSITIVELY” TO RELIGIOUS SENTIMENTS
Later, when in 2007 he attacked a Ratanpuri boy with a sword in Halkhoria, and just a little later abducted his very first foreigner female devotee, a Spanish woman, the media, as it is its “bad habit”, obviously had the responsibility to inform the public about these events… Yet Bomjon still not having a huge organized cult behind himself, based on foreign donations, it was easy to sneak out from the attention and probably to pay some money to those who wished to write more…(when he was found with his sword 10 months later after the attack in Bhagjora Jungle, it was also not the Nepali media, but the French TV, who dared to film him with it).
Media was still allowed to come, make photos, videos and even ask questions in 2008 – 2010 though. With limits and often angering Bomjon’s “committees” who were “protecting” him, but there was still general good-will on the side of Bomjon. This situation started to deteriorate in 2011, when khenpo lama Sonam Gyurme took over the “committees”, and made a ban on free information. Only censored and reputation-minding information could leave Halkhoriya under his rule. Yet even during this time, media was still allowed to participate and publish “pre-chewed” news about Bomjon’s Mahadarshan in May-June 2011.
JOURNALISTS ATTACKED BY BOMJONISTS
Obviously the big blow came when Bomjon had kidnapped and held captive 2 women in his Halkhoria compound in 2012. The Slovak Marīci and Nepali Maata Ani. Marīci’s Simara friends alerted the police and… the media (!) to try to search for her in Bomjon’s jungle and eventually free her. Yet typically, none of them had enough authority to enter the Buddha Boy’s compound – created illegally on a governmental land. The reason is a specialty of Nepal, when small local “kings”, who became powerful due to property and money speculations, are more powerful and respected than state police forces, army or media… This was exactly the reason why police and media was unsuccessful in finding the captives: Buddha Boy’s has some such “local godfathers” as his main supporters. Moreover, when a handful journalists arrived to Bomjon’s Puja, he sent his attendants Jyampa Foonchok (Darshan Limbu), Tomek Tarnowski Dorje, and Bal Hari Rai to attack them physically and break their cameras…As we can see from an article on Ekantipur (Not free yet), this is apparently a just normal act in Nepal, and noone got prosecuted for it.
On this snapshot from Himalaya TV’s documentary Shanti ki Aatanka as well on the Dharma ko nama ma dadagiri documentary we see the Polish Tomek (Dorje) in red T-shirt, Jyampa Foonchok (Darshan Subba Limbu) in striped jumper and Bal Hari Rai (Kakarbhitta) between them, in white shirt and vest running towards the journalists, whom they would attack in the few next seconds, breaking their cameras, seizing cameras and taking out the films and physically fighting with them. The whole scene had been happening in front of the eyes of Ram Bomjon, preaching on the stage about non-violence and peace, and thousands of his followers. The trio attacking the journalists had been involved in torturing Marici and Maata, in two occasions: October 2011, as well as during this Puja in March 2012. Both kidnapped women had been still held tied and in extreme conditions in the jungle just behind Bomjon’s preaching stage.
The Himalayan Times had courageously published an article about the attack, yet hiding in in the deepest archives, it is practically unsearchable, and found only as a reference on other sites and blogs (understandably only in media based in foreign countries, like the Bahrain based Nepal News.net , or the international The WorldNews (WN) Network ). No Nepali media or private blogger would dare to publish any critical article about Bomjon’s violent attacks from inside Nepal though, where Bomjon’s gang could retaliate). After one finds the original link offered by these references, it tries to run a malware when copied to the computer. That’s why I am showing here its Snapshot and unformatted copied text only (at the bottom of this article):
Apart from this news agency only a few websites which are read mainly by journalists and human rights activists like the page of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) or Human Rights Journalist Association (HURJA), or non-mainstream unknown news websites like the Kathmandu Insider ever mentioned the violent attack, yet no further information was released about how the Nepali Government punished the attackers. As the attackers were exactly those who had also tortured and sexually assaulted the two kidnapped and captive women, the issue of IMPUNITY is even most alarming. And interesting result of the insensitivity of the responsible government forces is the fact that one of these 3 attackers, identified wrongly as a “German national” (in fact the Polish Tom, known as Dorje), yet filmed on the journalist’s documentary about the attack, had been welcome at the meeting of Ram Bomjon with the Prime Minister in October 22, 2014, in his office in Baluwatar.
These websites are but more detailed than The Himalayan Times, and show the names of the attackers as well:
Five Journalists Beaten Up, misbehaved
Thursday, 22 March 2012 08:08 Editor
Five journalists have been beaten up and verbally abused in Bara, a district in the southern plain in the central region of Nepal on March 21, 2012.
The followers and protectors of Ram Bahadur Bamjan who is claimed to be little Buddha for his years long meditation and seclusion beat up journalists while taking photographs of Bamjan as he was being made public for sermon.
(Link: IFEX) Talking to Freedom Forum’s Media Monitoring Desk, Bibhu Adhikari, reporter with the News 24 Television, said, “Although we (I, Resham Tiwari of Nepal Television, Binod Pyakurel of Tarai Television, Basanta Khatiwada of Ghatana Ra Bichar weekly and Prakash Lamsal of Image Television) were called to make news, some of the followers and protectors including Darshan Limbu, Bolhari Rai, and a German national beat us, seized our cameras and damaged the reels while taking photographs about Bamjan who was being made public for sermon after meditation.”
The followers of Bamjan also spoke foul on them, he said, adding that they reached to the police for help.
It is the latest incident as a series of attack and threats on journalists from different quarters.
The incident is condemnable as it is the incident of press freedom violation. The local administration needs to mete out action on those who beat up journalists so that it would help minimize impunity and make journalists feel justice.
MEDIA CONSPIRACY AGAINST BUDDHA BOY’?
The truth about the alleged media-conspiracy against Bomjon from he time of the 2012 scandals is that the Nepali media would not even know when Marīci was supposed to be released, but it was Bomjon who instructed his then spokesperson, Marīci’s torturer and rapist, Darshan Subba Limbu (Jyampa Foonchok) to contact the media (The Himalayan Times and other) with “information” about the captive devotee, preventively creating a false image about her and the reason of her being kidnapped. Bomjon’s idea was to misuse the media for further harming of Marīci and Maata, so that their damaged reputation as “witches” and “mentally ill” and “disturbers of his meditation” would make them impossible to continue to be part of society anymore, even after being released by him after prolonged tortures**. This plan but soon sneaked out from under their control and the media started to be more and more intrusive, and the articles lost of their originally one-sided approach dictated by the Bomjon Sangha.
This was something that the Bomjon Sangha did not count with. That time in later 2012, I wrote that they were trying to play with fire, but the fire turned against them. If they had never wanted to hijack the media as a means to further humiliate and damage the ruined victims of their own crimes, noone would even know what Bomjon did to the two women, as they both were entirely dedicated worshipers of the Buddha Boy, and refused to make even a police report… Why did all this become a big affair was because the followers of Bomjon wished to use media against the victims! Nowadays the Bomjon followers demonize the same media, which they wanted to use as a tool to create a distorted and absurd image that their crime victims (two skinny and fragile middle-aged ladies) were actually the aggressors against the muscular young man and his tens of body-guards…
No normal person could simply believe this nonsense, no matter that some journalists accepted the deal (probably not for free). Yet knowing the Nepali realities, we can be nearly sure that the main motivation for a total boycott, embargo and taboo on all information concerning Bomjon were very strong threats from “upper circles”, fearing the international outrage which Bomjon’s rich foreign followers were ready to incite against Nepal, if their “guru” and his criminal assistants would have been questioned by police and courts for their activity against human beings.
TO APPEASE FOREIGNERS AT THE PRICE OF SUFFERING VICTIMS?
Comprised from mainly Internet-followers in the West, who had been prevented from seeing the truth concerning Bomjon, the international devotees are twisting all criminal events initiated by Bomjon as “human-rights violations” against his person by a “corrupt government”, “corrupt police”, “anti-dharma locals”…By this they push the Nepali Government to corner, paralyzed to act according the law against the violent guru and his gang.
This is just my speculation, but I think the Nepali Government probably had been convinced by Bomjon’s politically active supporters, that the “Buddha Boy” can attract foreign investments to the country and boost economy and its image in the West. Those few dozens of poor victims, money-less Sadhunis, Yoginis or poor villagers, who have to be sacrificed as objects to the desire of Bomjon to see blood and human suffering from time to time, as part of his “dharma”, are apparently not economically important for the Nepali Government to take seriously. They don’t have money for lawyers, they had been often devotees of Bomjon and spiritual people, not able to fight for their human rights alone. It is always easier to just hide these scandals under the carpet and believe that the rich foreigners will continue to be attracted to the country’s “second Buddha”…
After all, compared to the influx of rich foreign donors, those victims who have to pay the price for the impunity enjoyed by Bomjon and his group, are not so numerous: 1 Ratanpuri boy, 1 Spanish woman, 1 Slovak woman, 1 Nepali sadhuni, 17 Madeshi men, 13 Sarlahi youths, 1 Foreigner boy, 5 Ratanpuri men…This is a mere 40 human beings (not counting the victims of the latest, 2014 conflict and the 24 injured in the violent protest of Bomjon’s followers on the Highway in 2012).
As Ivy Jugoa (Jyampa Lhaden), the President of Ram Bomjon’s European Sangha wrote on her Facebook post for the public “there were only two women at all who had been ever held captive. And they were anyway two evil witches!”
The further events in 2012, unleashed by Bomjon’s self-confidence that nothing can happen to him in Nepal and encouraged by his total impunity, were only more and more convincing to media that this “Ascetic” is a rather controversial person. The forgery of his birth certificate, the attack on his own siblings and mother in April 2012, the violent clashes between his followers and villagers during a demonstration for his citizenship at Piluwa, his further “disappearances” (escapes) to different districts, where soon new and new affairs were coming to light… All this provided the media with an abundant source of topics.
Nowadays his (especially foreign) followers are claiming that the media is Buddha Boy’s enemy… Yet they were just doing their job. With all the logic and having all the overview about how media was informing about the meditating boy in the beginning, one must come to the conclusion that there is simply not a single reason, why would all Nepali media,mainstream and more independent as well, moreover the media of Nepali diaspora in the USA, Australia, Europe, Arabic countries etc. ALL be part of some negative conspiracy to harm Bomjon! Because when he does some violent act, somehow all these various medias are informing about it similarly. There is no country in the world where all media – national, international, official, unofficial, pro-government and pro-opposition would write about a single topic in the same way, in case they did have any agenda! Rather it must be for a simple reason: that Bomjon (no matter how much he wishes to believe this), is simply not considered a political figure by the Nepali media (as yet), and so they write down the facts as they see and hear them…
KISHORE’S ONE-MAN FIGHT AGAINST THE LAW AND COMPASSION WITH HIS GURU’S VICTIMS
At least this was the case till 2012 September. At that point the many articles about Bomjon’s real violent attacks and his group’s unethical and unlawful actions, were just too disturbing for the advertising department of his organization. So a devotee of Bomjon, a self-styled PR expert, US-Nepali reality company owner, Kishore Sherchand vowed to stop with this trend and called on his co-devotees to organize a wide-spread and profound total cleaning campaign: to delete the controversial articles – about the controversial deeds! – from the Internet. From that time he does not stop to bombard human rights organizations, politicians, popular personalities to “fight” for the right of Bomjon not to be subjected to Nepali Law, and not be “harrassed” by Nepali media.
Huge money was involved in this bribing-campaign, as I heard from a source very near to Bomjon, who had been present at these fierce discussions about whom to bribe first and how to obtain more donations for this permanent need. Yet where money did not work, probably political contacts (proved to be effective when he met the Prime Minister on 22 Oct, 2014) had been deployed, and if that also did not do the job, I suppose threats of many kinds could finish off every journalist. The fact is that from that announcement a huge amount of articles, blogs and videos had been literarily deleted from the Internet and even from archives. Obviously, only the ones which were writing about or showing anything about Bomjon’s violence and witch-hunting tortures. All the other news (from similar dates and the same medias), which would praise the “guru”, had been kept.
I had collected a long list of such “emptied links”* (see below article) from search machines, and it is happening till today. In the case of The Himalayan Times, during periods when I used their links in my articles to prove this or that event, they were playing “cat and mouse” with me, regularly displacing and shifting those links to somewhere else.
Google enables to anyone make other links unsearchable on search machines. Yet in the case of Himalayan Times it nearly seemed that they must have removed their own article links from search machines manually themselves. Because I had somehow foresaw this, I had copied a few articles and their links preventively, and downloaded TV news about Bomjon’s controversies, so that when all this had been removed from the Internet and media pages, I could still show them on my sites. The photos I am using for example on my Controversy article, are all photos from Nepali media, yet now noone could find them anymore, even if the articles were just two years ago (while we can still find easily, in the same medias, Bomjon articles with photos from a early as 2005!).
THE REALITY OF NEPALI MEDIA
Yet still the most courage and persistence had been shown by The Himalayan Times to inform the public about the truth concerning ‘Buddha Boy’s violent endeavors, and if someone is truly searching, this media, as nearly the only exception in Nepal, still enables to learn about his past. That’s why I personally refer to them often and consider them a high quality, professional media. All the above described problems with their links and unsearchability is more than certainly a sign of limiting freedom of speech and freedom of opinion by powerful means in the hands of powerful individuals.
And now, reading an overview of the situation of media in Nepal, I start to understand why was it just so easy for the attendants with criminal experience, political contacts, weapons and support by local “godfathers” to reach this state of informational embargo on Ram Bomjon. As not only that they managed to clear the Internet of the articles describing the attacks on Marīci or Maata, the 17 Madeshi men, Spanish woman, Anil Khatri, 13 Sarlahi boys and many other victims: the Nepali media is also made to entirely stop to publish anything about Ram Bomjon from about the same date, September 2012! The same applies to the Nepali TV as well.
While Bomjon is attacking 5 men to blood again in 2014 in Halkhoria, and continues his unethical cruelties against women and men, we can no more learn anything about his dark endeavors from the mainstream (local) Nepali media. Only US-based, Canada-based, etc. Nepalis are daring to publish, and thanks to them (like DC Nepal, Image TV Channel, Canadanepal, Wn.com, Nepal News etc.) we can still get some drops of the forgotten scandalous news…
*Examples of the “emptied links” to former critical pages of media and blogs (the amount is much higher and is growing, just it would fill this whole page):
http://www.mysansar.com/?p=1729 (about Buddhaboy attacking a 22 years old youth with sword in 2007)
**Further examples where Ram Bomjon had instructed his spokesperson Darshan Limbu to libel Marici as mentally ill, are the below articles: