Bangladesh vows to uphold religious harmony

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 …

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Bangladesh vows to protect Buddhists after attacks set off by Facebook photo of burned Quran

AP: Hundreds of Buddhists who fled their southern Bangladesh villages in the wake of attacks by Muslims started returning home Monday amid heightened security and more than 160 arrests.

The Buddhists moved to safety after an overnight weekend attack in which thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims burned at least 10 Buddhist temples and 40 homes in anger over a Facebook photo of a burned Quran.

Army soldiers, paramilitary border guards and police were deployed, and the government has banned all public gatherings in the troubled areas near the southern border with Myanmar, said Lt. Col. Jaed Hossain, a military commander who was helping to install tents for …

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Bangladesh to introduce meditation in prisons

Bangladesh has introduced a meditation course for its jail inmates with prison officials saying the pioneering work at India’s Tihar jail prompted them to launch the service to reform prisoners.

“In the past three years of my experience as the prison chief, I saw same people are coming back to jail committing the same crime as our routine counselling service appeared to be of little use. They actually need spiritual and mental purification,” Inspector General of Prisons Brigadier General Mohammad Ashraful Islam Khan told PTI.

Khan, an army doctor with expertise in preventive medicine serving as the prison chief on deputation, said that he expected the course would help to rectify prisoners and prevent recurrence of crimes through the meditative practices as “it worked in Tihar jail in India and prisons in Sri Lanka”.

Quantum Foundation, the leading and pioneering meditation school in Bangladesh, offered its free and voluntary service designing a special 10-day course outline for the inmates.

“We want to hate the sin, not the sinners – this was our principle in offering the service for the jail inmates,” said founder chief of Quantum Foundation.

The foundation’s director Suraiya Akhtar said 40 males and similar number of female inmates, who joined the maiden meditation course separately for the second consecutive day today, “massively responded”.

The prison chief said they selected the 80 prisoners, who were languishing in jails with longer term sentences, were selected for the maiden course as “we planned to develop the meditation instructors from them for running the practice sessions”.

The initiative came a month after Dhaka hosted an international jail conference, also joined by famous former Indian police official Kiran Bedi, who earned a special repute for introducing the meditation course in Tihar jail while she was in charge of the correction centre there.

Via Outlook India

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