By Cam Lucadou-Wells
In what is touted an Australian first, a Buddhist Sinhalese radio show has hit Casey’s airwaves – and via internet streaming.
Its presenter Gamini Fonseka, of Lynbrook, says the Casey Radio program Sadaham Handa will bring news from the region’s Buddhist temples in Berwick and Keysborough, and interviews with local Buddhist priests.
It will also air community announcements and Buddhist songs.
“My main idea is to educate the people,” the experienced broadcaster, interpreter and Justice of the Peace says.
“For a range of reasons, a lot of people, especially the elderly, can’t go to the temples and talk about Buddhism. So we bring them local Buddhist news.
“We also have a lot of activities in the temples, so we can inform the community about them.”
The show welcomes all listeners who can understand Sinhalese, including the one-time warring Tamil and Sinhalese groups, Mr Fonseka said.
It would aim not to be political but to build bridges. It would have more of a religious and cultural focus, he said.
At Casey Radio, Mr Fonseka also presents an “unbiased” Sri Lankan news-and-views program Lak Handa as well as Casey Multi-faith Network’s Voice of Faith show.
“There’s some controversial news,” he said of the Lak Handa show.
“This is a very unbiased program. Our listeners have very different political ideas, but we don’t present a political agenda on the radio.”
“Community radio is very useful to the people especially those from ethnic backgrounds.
“It’s very close to my heart.
“If we want to do something for the people, we have to sacrifice our time.”
The show is on Casey Radio on Sundays 5-6am and podcast from the radio’s website.