LOTUS COMMUNICATION NETWORK
Creating Cross-Cultural Communication Links Among Buddhist Communities of Asia
Lotus Communication Network Projects
Mindful Communication for Sustainable Development
Lotus Communication Network (LCN) is collaborating with the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) and a number of universities across Asia to introduce a journalists/communicators training program under the banner of 'Mindful Communication for Sustainable Development'. This is a follow up to a project that was initiated at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok with funding from UNESCO in 2016-17 which was coordinated by Dr Kalinga Seneviratne, founder of LCN. Course proposals to introduce 2 weeks, 2 months and year long certificate and diploma programs have been drawn up by LCN and a stakeholders workshop cum seminar is expected to be held in India or Sri Lanka in late 2020 with the aim of introducing a 2-week long pilot program in 2012. Educational Institutions that have expressed interest in the program are: Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy, University of Colombo (Sri Lanka), Visva Bharati (Shantiniketan, India), Yangon University (Myanmar), Thamasat University (Thailand), Central Tibetan University (Sarnath, India) and Nalanda University (India). Some private educational institutions in Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos and Philippines have expressed interest. A book titled 'Mindful Communication for Sustianable Development: Perspectives from Asia" has been published by SAGE, India and it was edited by Dr Kalinga Seneviratne. This book is expected to be the base text for the program.
Asian Lotus Television Network (ALT Network)
Lotus Communication Network (LCN) is collaborating with the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) and a number of Buddhist television channels in Asia to launch an English language Buddhist television channel using IPTV - internet based transmission. The platform for it is developed by a Singapore based IT company and a Buddhist foundation in Sri Lanka has offered to provide a building in Hambantota to host its headquarters. The network will focus on 'mindful' news about Buddhist communities across Asia - this will be linked to the mindful communication training program - where through news broadcasts we aim to promote Engaged Buddhism and Sufficiency Economics. Another component of the project will be a Buddhist MTV program that will broadcast songs with Buddhist themes promoting Buddhist values especially targeted at youth. Cultural travel programs would also be broadcast as well as panel discussion/interviews in applying to Buddhism to contemporary issues. The TV channels that have expressed interst in contributing to the channel are Thai PBS (Thailand), AWAAZ TV (India), Bodhi TV (Nepal), CTV (Cambodia), and The Buddhist and Shradha TV (Sri Lanka). A number of Buddhist TV producers have also expressed interest to contribute. LCN is currently looking for sponsors to fund the channel and a community TV model is being explored to attract subscribers who pay to support the community based initiative rather than getting access to the channel - which will be offered free of charge.
Consultancy for Dalai Lama Foundation
LCN was commisisoned by the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Hollinessthe Dalai Lama to do a consultancy report for the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) on the communication needs of Buddhist communities in South and Southeast Asian countries. The research was done by Dr Kalinga Seneviratne who visited a large number of Buddhist communities across the region between October 2018 and December 2019 for grounded research. The report titled ' Learning from the Past and Planning for the Future' was submitted to the Foundation at the end of February 2020. It was to be tabled at the Governing Council meeting of the IBC on 28th March 2020, but the coronavirus fears have forced that meeting to be postponed. The findings are an alarming list of threats to the very existence of Buddhist communities in most countries, where poverty among the poor or desire for modernisation among the urban youth are exploited by both Christian and Muslim groups for proselytism right across the region. There is a large degree of apathy among Buddhists towards this problem with modern communication methodology lacking to tackle it, as well as the need for Buddhists to help fellow Buddhists economically to tackle this threat. The report will be available through this site, once it is submitted to and accepted by the IBC.
2nd Asian Buddhist Media Conclave
LCN is working closely with IBC to organise the 2nd Asian Buddhist Media Conclave in Bangkok in association with the Thai PBS network. It was scheduled for 30 April to 2 May 2020. However, due to coronavirus fears the Conclave has been postponed and new dates will be announced when the crisis is over.
Inaugural Nalanda Arts Festival
LCN has prepared a funding proposal for IBC for submission to the Indian Government to hold the Inaugural Nalanda Arts Festival in Nalanda - tentatively scheduled for mid-December 2020. This is expected to bring together Asian Buddhist artistes from across the region to rekindle the Nalanda Arts traditions and perhaps invent new ones.