Buddhists and violence

September 17, 2013

Aaron AlexisIt’s been reported that Aaron Alexis, the former U.S. Navy reservist who went on a shooting spree on a naval base, leaving 13 people dead, including him, was a Buddhist.

This isn’t of course the first time a Buddhist has acted violently. While Buddhism generally has a peaceful history, Buddhist institutions have persecuted non-Buddhists and those from other Buddhist traditions and have sometimes supported war (Japan in the Second World War is a notable example). And Buddhist individuals have committed pretty much every violent act you can imagine, for their own personal reasons, whether that’s greed, hatred, or, in Alexis’ case apparently, mental illness.

Is it possible, in the face of all this, to say … Read more »

Bangladesh vows to uphold religious harmony

October 8, 2012

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 …

Read the original article »

Of a sustained Buddhist extremism in Sri Lanka

October 5, 2012

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 …

Read the original article »

French tourists guilty in Sri Lanka over Buddha photos

August 21, 2012

Charles Haviland, BBC: A Sri Lankan court has given suspended jail terms to three French tourists for wounding the religious feelings of Buddhists by taking pictures deemed insulting.

Two women and one man were detained in the southern town of Galle after a photographic laboratory alerted police.

The pictures show the travellers posing with Buddha statues and pretending to kiss one of them.

Most of Sri Lanka’s majority ethnic Sinhalese are Theravada Buddhist.

Mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is strictly taboo in the country. The incident is alleged to have taken place at a temple in central Sri Lanka.

Website posting
Police spokesman …

Read the original article »

Sri Lanka Buddhist monks destroy Muslim shrine

September 15, 2011

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…

Read the rest of this article…

Oasis of meditation amidst bustle of the city

March 30, 2010

In the heart of Colombo is a serene place where professionals, businessmen and women, fathers, mothers, grandparents and children gather to follow an age-old discipline—meditation.

The Nirodha Trust City Center (NCC) declared open just over a month ago at 15/1A – 1/1, Duplication Road, Colombo 4 is aimed at English-speaking Buddhists and non-Buddhist meditation enthusiasts in and around Colombo who want to receive proper, in-depth training in meditation. Its founder who goes only by the name of Dhammaruwan is a meditation expert who has undergone professional teacher training in the US.

The Nirodha Center is a project of the Nirodha Trust (www.nirodhatrust.org), again founded by Dhammaruwan, a non-profit organisation whose goal is to foster, preserve … Read more »

Peace meditation in Sri Lanka’s Parliament

December 22, 2002

In view of ushering peace and prosperity to the country, all parliamentarians will observe meditation and take part in inter-religious services. Read more