Thomas Fuller, New York Times: The Buddhist monastery on the edge of this seaside town is a picture of tranquillity, with novice monks in saffron robes finding shade under a towering tree and their teacher, U Nyarna, greeting a visitor in a sunlit prayer room.
But in these placid surroundings Mr. Nyarna’s message is discordant, and a far cry from the Buddhist precept of avoiding harm to living creatures. Unprompted, Mr. Nyarna launches into a rant against Muslims, calling them invaders, unwanted guests and “vipers in our laps.”
“According to Buddhist teachings we should not kill,” Mr. Nyarna said. “But when we feel …
The name “Karmapa” means “the one who carries out Buddha-activity,” and for seventeen lifetimes, a karmapa has embodied the teachings of Buddha in tibet. The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was born a nomad in Tibet in 1985 and recognized by the Dalai Lama in 1992 as the 17th Karmapa. The young boy was brought to the Tsurphu monastery to live and study for his life as a spiritual teacher and activist.
At age 14, he made a daring flight from Tibet, and now works from a temporary camp in Dharamsala, near his friend the Dalai Lama. (After the Dalai Lama, he’s seen as Tibetan Buddhism’s second-highest-ranking spiritual leader, though the two men lead … Read more »
Unprecedented violence against the country’s Buddhist minority has outraged Bangladeshis. Officials say they detect the hand of extremist groups in what appears to have been a pre-planned attack.
Bangladeshis appear to have been stunned by the weekend attacks against the country’s Buddhists, who have lived there for generations without any known confrontation with their majority Muslim counterparts.
“Never before in our history have places of worship of a religious minority been ravaged on such a large scale and in so deliberate a manner,” Mahmuz Anam, editor of The Daily Star wrote. “And this happened against a community who are among the most peaceful …
Raashid Riza, Sri Lanka Guardian: The last few months have seen a rapid increase in anti-Muslim sentiment amongst sections of the political class in Sri Lankan society. The situation has yet to deteriorate to the extent that the default image of a Sri Lankan Muslim is one represented by an anti- Sri Lankan or anti-Buddhist element. But the trend that is developing is truly alarming and surely points towards such an inaccurate mental image.
The rise of extremist Buddhists in Sri Lanka is truly disturbing and does not bode well to the sense of national resilience that the government is trying to foster …
Andrew Lam: New American Media: For a country steeped in Buddhism, Burma is accruing terrible karmic debts.
Alarming news and images of attacks and killings by the Buddhist majority in Rakhine Province against a Muslim minority there have been slowly trickling out onto the Internet and the wider world. Pictures of charred bodies and crying parents have stirred largely unheeded calls for intervention, mostly from Muslim nations.
The attacks have been primarily one-sided, with Muslims generally and Rohingyas specifically the targets and victims,” Benjamin Zawacki, a Bangkok-based researcher for Amnesty International, told The Associated Press. “Some of this is by the security forces’ own hands, some by Rakhine Buddhists with the security forces turning … Read more »
The European Union said on Monday it was satisfied with Myanmar’s “measured” handling of the Muslim-Buddhist violence that engulfed one of its biggest towns at the weekend.
As rival mobs of Muslims and Buddhists torched houses in Sittwe, the biggest town in northwestern Myanmar, police fired into the air and Muslims fled to neighboring Bangladesh.
The fighting was the worst communal violence since a reformist government replaced a junta last year, began to allow political pluralism and vowed to tackle ethnic divisions – moves that helped persuade the United States and European Union to suspend economic sanctions.
Brussels made clear that it did not believe …
In the Maldives, a tiny Indian Ocean nation of 1,200 islands, a group of men stormed into the museum last Tuesday and ransacked a collection of coral and lime figures, including a six-faced coral statue and a 1 1/2-foot-wide representation of the Buddha’s head. Officials said the men attacked the figures because they believed they were idols and therefore illegal under Islamic and national laws, according to the New York Times.
The Maldives were Buddhist from around 250 BCE until the 12th century, when the king converted to Islam.
The vandalism is reminiscent of the Taliban’s 2001 destruction of the giant statues of the Buddha at Bamiyan, in Afghanistan.
The destruction of the Buddhist … Read more »
Charles Haviland: A group of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka led a crowd that demolished a Muslim shrine last week, the BBC has learned.
This incident took place on Saturday in Anuradhapura, an ancient Buddhist city and Unesco world heritage site.
The monk who led the group told the BBC he did it because the shrine was on land that was given to Sinhalese Buddhists 2,000 years ago.
But a prominent Muslim in the area said he was very sad and the sentiment was shared by many Sinhalese too.
A Sri Lankan news website showed photographs…
Nyoman Suryanata must have greeted at least 100 people at the National Monument complex in Jakarta last Sunday, trying to persuade passersby to sit down with him and try the controversial practice of Falun Gong.
“Please, Ma’am! Try out our meditation. It only takes a couple of minutes. Sir, have a go at meditation! Free of charge,” the 59-year-old businessman called out, offering brochures he had made himself.
Surya, as he prefers to be called, had prepared 100 brochures — at the end of the day there were none left.
From a distance, a young couple observed the practice carefully.
They were intrigued by the group’s slow-motion movements, designed to help members “cultivate” their mind … Read more »
When I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own Buddhist religion must be the best — and that other faiths were somehow inferior. Now I see how naïve I was, and how dangerous the extremes of religious intolerance can be today.
Though intolerance may be as old as religion itself, we still see vigorous signs of its virulence. In Europe, there are intense debates about newcomers wearing veils or wanting to erect minarets and episodes of violence against Muslim immigrants. Radical atheists issue blanket condemnations of those who hold to religious beliefs. In the Middle East, the flames of war are fanned by hatred of those who adhere to a different faith.… Read more »