The Himalayan Times had closed access to its own archives, which intriguingly, contain also currently undesirable articles about Nepal’s famous ‘Buddha Boy‘ (Ram Bahadur Bomjon or Bamjan, also calling himself Maitriya Guru or Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha). These, apparently, they are not allowed to, or are afraid to publish. No one can blame The Himalayan Times. Threats and money are two means which always somehow work, even with the toughest idealists of “freedom of speech”. Be it because of bribes offered by the person who does not wish the truth about his past dark crimes to be known publicly anymore, or be it because of the threats that the journalists regularly receive for covering real events truly (in the past journalists had been even physically attacked and their cameras damaged by Mr. Hot Potato’s assistants*), no one can judge and blame them.
It can be left only on the conscience of those responsible for the changes, which caused that the formerly high-standard newspaper has no accessible online archive anymore, and though established in 2002, they deleted all traces of its past, and on its Wikipedia page the old claim that it is a “recent entry into the Nepalese newspaper market” can be misunderstood as concerning the year 2015.
Instead of focusing on access to its older articles, it started to focus on a tabloid-journalism, with so-called “life-style” topics like recipes, fashion and celebrities… How “recent” is THT, we can see in the below snapshot from the Internet archiving service Wayback Machine:
The above snapshot from the Wayback Machine proves that automatic archives of The Himalayan Times had been saved from at least the year 2002. Not surprisingly the most read and sought-after THT pages ever saved in the Wayback Machine were the ones published in 2012 (clearly seen above that it had the most entries): the year when Ram Bomjon started his main “mission” to kidnap alleged witches, torture them, let them raped and attack his family members and just anyone, providing regular sensational headline-topics for the Nepali media.
2012 is but also the year when, in September, the Sangha of this ‘Buddha’ decided, by the announcement of its Nepali PR activist Kishore Sherchand, to clear the Nepali online media of any negative news about their guru, at any cost… As we see soon, that cost must have been very-very high: the formerly heroically daring THT entirely stopped to deal with the ‘Buddha Boy – Ram Bomjon’ topic, not surprisingly from about exactly the same time of Bomjon’s Sangha’s announcement of their over-all censorship of all Nepali media. Thus, as the consequence of bribes and silencing, the amount of entries in the above diagram of archived THT pages started to decline from 2013. No wonder: THT obeyed the Sangha’s command and stopped to publish about Ram Bomjon anything at all. The high-level politicians who support Bomjon and played part in this censorship, are well-known to the public.
But,as we can easily learn from archives, the newspaper followed the developments concerning ‘Buddha Boy’ Ram Bomjon already as early as 2006, and was far from bad intentions, as most media at the time:
It was one of the first and most faithfully informing media about Nepal’s news religious celebrity, though the style of publishing about Bomjon was neutral and realistic (far from propagatory, but as well far from using any derogatory words). That was fine until the boy did not actually do anything else than occasionally disappeared from his boringly stereotype meditation.
Yet when he started to attack people, the very first one in 2007 being the then 22 years old Ratanpuri childhood friend, Anil Khatri, with swords, sticks and bare hands – and kidnap women (the very first being the Spanish devotee in 2007, whom he held many weeks in torture in his jungle), obviously even the most neutral media had to write the truth… This is the point when it started to clash with Bomjon’s political interests. Media was useful to him when it was his propagation tool to attract devotees from Nepal and abroad, but media became an enemy when it started to inform the public about Bomjon’s real deeds in Halkhoria Jungle…
Nowadays (from June 2015, when the former online version of THT was abolished) there is no way to get any link to the dozens of articles about Bomjon on THT, at least not safely and anonymously.
The Himalayan Times which was brave to publish about a criminal guru’s endeavours until 2012, betrayed her own past. Yet no one explained anything on the website about the changes in the ownership, but certainly fans of the THT cannot see the names of same journalists as before.
Is the current THT a plagiate?
Was the publishing house destroyed in the recent catastrophes?
Did something unfortunate happen to its owners, journalists?
We cannot read any obituary, any announcement. Just a silent shift, unnoticed, with the intention to convince the English-reading public, that there had never been any THT before June 2015… How easy!
Anything can be explained by “technical reasons”, a term to hide the more shocking truths… Or the earthquake, which is supposed to have damaged the Internet as well? It is still surprising that until now no-one could make the archives of The Himalayan Times accessible online, though there had been a well-functioning online archive of the same newspaper before. Probably it makes a lot of work to filter out the clandestine content from the rest…
There are a few similar cases from the past of this newspaper, when the “hot potato” topic Ram Bahadur Bomjon, who recently gained the support of the highest-level politicians, was shifted from place to place, from hidden link to hidden link, then the article links were made unsearchable on Google in the past, only to disable the possibility of referencing, when those links had been used in other critical websites… Was this the very intention, based on some silent agreement to do anything possible what would stop Bomjon-critics to use the article links of THT from the past?
In fact the best solution for a “hot potato” which caused so much head-ache and bombardment from foreign followers and some Nepali politicians, is still to delete a whole online newspaper, and make a new one acting as if there had never been any other before. Obviously such a “recent addition to Nepali media” will not have much of an archive…
Currently the THT archive is accessible only if you provide your email and the topic of your quest:
That would be maybe OK, if you don’t also learn a long list of whom what you are providing by your email (and let’s be honest, automatically also your IP address, country and other identification depending on your Internet security):
You have to endanger your privacy and safety, just to get a chunk about Ram Bomjon’s past, which was covered so intensively by The Himalayan Times. Fair enough. On the other hand the new version of The Himalayan Times does not provide you a safe browsing experience, at least according to the window you are getting when opening it:
Also, entering “The Himalayan Times hacked” to Google, one can get an impression that this media had been hacked nearly every month. These problems started to appear especially after the followers of Ram Bomjon protested against the THT publishing his crimes and making him a bad name by it.
Earlier searches for the Hot-Potato-Archives on Google often brought results claiming that THT had been hacked, and the “boy buddha nepal”, as we seein the below snapshot, was apparently an important factor in the motivation:
THT had been hacked, allegedly, numerous times, and we can rightfully speculate that the reason was the anger of Bomjon-followers that this newspaper informed the public about his dark side. As a result of regular hacking, THT was often inaccessible, or at least its Bomjon-topic articles, which disappeared or became unsearchable from time to time. The links to them, used by many critics of Bomjon’s criminal deeds, thus repeatedly stopped to work. If it was an intention based on a secret mutual agreement, or a unfortunate consequence of hackings and threats, we will probably never learn… Yet one must necessarily recall Kishore Sherchand’s fanatic project of “clearing the whole Internet of the negative image about Ram Bomjon” in 2012, and the logical connection with THT stopping to publish about ‘Buddha Boy’ at about the same time.
There is nothing more desirable for a criminal than to start with clean cards…Those links to The Himalayan Times articles about Ram Bomjon were just a thorn in the eyes for his ardent followers… Now enough money came in due to naive “earthquake relief” donations from Westerners, so it is easier to convince anyone, that free access to information about criminal gurus and cults is just creating problems to them…
Until that Dark Age of total dictatorship about what content the Nepali media is allowed to publish, arrives – it had started already, in the principles of free access to information, I will try to publish that “politically incorrect” content of The Himalayan Times archived articles about Ramlal Bomjon (his civil name), especially from the years 2012. The archived articles are published in their original forms as copied texts and snapshots of the online version, easily back-tracable. Links to existing public archives are also provided, though I had experienced succesful efforts to delete such public Internet archives (from the followership of the above mentioned person) in the past.
*The below snapshot is of a Himalayan Times article describing the violent attacks of Ram Bomjon’s assistants – Darshan Subba Limbu, Tomek Tarnowski Dorje and Bal Hari Rai against 4 journalists in 2012 in the full view of present police forces, which explains why is the media so afraid of this influential but ruthless ‘spiritual’ celebrity:
Please be patient, the archive is being filled up in a few days.
Links about the attacks of Bomjon’s attendants against journalists during the time when he held two women tied in his jungle:
ABOUT THE HIMALAYAN TIMES: