1. China policy on Tibetan freedom of religion may face change as self-immolations continue

    Comment

    As tensions between Chinese government security forces and Tibetans in the region rise, Tibetan monks protest in Dolma Square in the Rongwo monastery in Renbkong Amdo (Chinese: Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Tongren County, Qinghai) following a self-immolation attempt by 36-year-old monk Jamyang Palden in March 2012. Since this time self-immolations have continued throughout the Tibetan autonomous region. Some of the deaths have been blamed by the Chinese government on “psychological instability and personal troubles” says Chinese officials. Image: VOAvideo

    By Carla Friedman, Women News Network
    August 31, 2012

    (WNN) Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: A Tibetan woman has died after drinking acid and performing self-immolation in the Tibetan region of the western Chinese province of Gansu after she was accused of embezzlement at the bank where she worked, a source close to the family said.

    Jamyang Metok, 25, died on Saturday after drinking sulfuric acid and setting herself on fire at the front entrance of the ICBC – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Kanlho (in Chinese known as the Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, said sources close to the family.

    Despite increases in self-immolations in the region, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, has been reluctant to respond to queries regarding the rising tide of self-immolations in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. In lieu of the delicate political ramifications on the issue, the Dalai Lama has chosen to remain visibly neutral, but he has acknowledged the suffering of Tibetans under the system as it exists today. He has also formally relinquished his political duties to the elected Tibetan leadership in exile.

    “I will not give encouragement to these acts, these drastic actions, but it is understandable and indeed very, very sad,” said the Dalai Lama in a recent interview with Reuters news. “Now the Chinese government, they should investigate what are the real causes. They can easily blame me or some Tibetans but that won’t help solve the problem,” added the Dalai Lama. Continue reading

  2. Reflecting monastic criticism

    Comment
    Disco Buddha will be on display at Kathmandu Photo Gallery from tomorrow to Oct 28. The opening ceremony is tomorrow at 6.30pm. The gallery is located on Pan Road (near the Indian temple) off Silom Road, and is open Tue-Sun from 11am-7pm. Call 02-234-6700.

    Disco Buddha will be on display at Kathmandu Photo Gallery from tomorrow to Oct 28. The opening ceremony is tomorrow at 6.30pm. The gallery is located on Pan Road (near the Indian temple) off Silom Road, and is open Tue-Sun from 11am-7pm. Call 02-234-6700.

    Bangkok Post, August 31, 2012

    Kathmandu Photo Gallery presents “Disco Buddha”, a photographic exhibition by Kamthorn Paowattanasuk whose latest collection of digitally-altered surrealist pop photographs reflect what Thai Buddhist temples really contribute to the life of the common man.

    Eighteen folk art icons of celebrated Thai monks, crudely fashioned from cement, their imperfections covered up by gold paint to make them worship-worthy, are placed in front of various backdrops _ from your basic angels and fairies, heaven and hell, to ATM machines and monks’ begging bowls _ in order to juxtapose pleas for divine help with contemporary lust and desire for wealth, job promotion, love and sexual charisma.

    Hallucinatory and mesmerising, hysterical and incisive, the visions of “Disco Buddha” are a comical summary of rising public criticisms of Thai Buddhist monasteries today.

    They are the follow-up act to “Holy Alloy, Pearly Gates” of 2008, Kamthorn’s photographs of the environs, bling decorations and atmosphere of temples on Bangkok’s outskirts.

  3. Sri Lanka Buddhist party to bring an act for prevention of animal sacrifice and torture

    Comment

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka, August 31, 2012

    Aug 31, Colombo: A parliamentarian of Sri Lanka’s Sinhala Buddhist political party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Athuraliye Rathana Thero says the party will bring an act in parliament for preventing animal sacrifice and torture in the country.

    The legislator has already brought a draft act in the parliament for animal welfare.

    The Thero further said that the animal sacrifice is banned in Tamil Nadu state of India and all Hindus do not approve this act that is carried out by a minority.

    The All Ceylon Hindu Congress (ACHC) in a release said the animal sacrifice or any cruelty to life is an Act of Sin and it is unacceptable to Hindu religion. The ACHC appealed to the Kovil authorities not to proceed with the ritual of sacrificing hundreds of goats and fowl.

    The JHU was protesting the animal sacrifice that was to take place in the Munneswaram Sri Badra Kali Amman Hindu Kovil in Chilaw on September 01.

    However, the Kovil authorities suspended the annual ritual on a request from the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

  4. Two Tibetan teenagers die in self-immolations

    Comment

    Mmegionline, August 29, 2012

    ABA: Two Tibetan teenagers have died after setting themselves on fire in Sichuan province, activists and United States’ media said.

    Lobsang Kalsang, an 18 year-old monk, and Damchoek, a 17 year-old former monk, set themselves on fire on Monday morning, London-based Free Tibet said. It happened outside the Kirti Monastery in Aba county, where many of the self-immolations have taken place.

    This brings the number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire since 2009 to 51, the group added. The BBC is unable to verify this figure. Foreign media are banned from the region, making reports hard to confirm.Chinese state media have confirmed some of the self-immolations but not all.

    “More than half of those who have set themselves on fire are believed to have died. The teenagers died on Monday evening after being taken to a hospital by Chinese authorities,” Free Tibet said. The young men were shouting slogans against Chinese rule and policies in Tibet as their bodies burned, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported, citing witnesses.

    “Witnesses saw them run about 20 steps with their bodies on fire, and then they fell to the ground,” two monks based in India told RFA. “Former monk Damchoek has been identified as the brother of Tenzin Choedon, a teenage nun who died after setting herself on fire earlier this year,” the reports said. Lobsang Kalsang’s roommate at the monastery was detained on Monday, both Free Tibet and RFA reported. “Aba county police said they had no information on the self-immolations,” an Associated Press report said.

    Kirti Monastery, which has been the focus of protests for more than a year, is surrounded by heavy security.China’s leaders blame the Dalai Lama, the Tibetans’ exiled spiritual leader, for inciting the self-immolations and encouraging separatism. He rejects this, and both activist groups and the Tibetan government-in-exile say the self-immolations are protests against tight Chinese control of the region and religious repression. (BBC)

  5. Journalist who took iconic photographs of Vietnam and monk’s suicide by self immolation dies age 81

    Comment

    In June 1963 Malcolm Browne, who has died at aged 81, captured the moment a Bhuddist Monk set himself on fire in Saigon to protest the Vietnam War

    Mail Online, August 29, 2012

    The phone calls went out from Saigon’s Xa-Loi Buddhist pagoda to chosen members of the foreign news corps. The message: Be at a certain location tomorrow for a ‘very important’ happening.

    The next morning, June 11, 1963, an elderly monk named Thich Quang Duc, clad in a brown robe and sandals, assumed the lotus position on a cushion in a blocked-off street intersection. Aides drenched him with aviation fuel, and the monk calmly lit a match and set himself ablaze.

    Of the foreign journalists who had been alerted to the shocking political protest against South Vietnam’s U.S.-supported government, only one, Malcolm Browne of The Associated Press, showed up.

    The photos he took appeared on front pages around the globe and sent shudders all the way to the White House, prompting President John F. Kennedy to order a re-evaluation of his administration’s Vietnam policy.

    ‘We have to do something about that regime,’ Kennedy told Henry Cabot Lodge, who was about to become U.S. ambassador to Saigon. Continue reading

  6. Two Tibetans die, burning protests top 50: groups

    Comment

    Lobsang Kalsang, a Buddhist monk, and former monk Damchoe died in hospital after setting themselves on fire in Aba town (AFP/File, Str)

     

    By Claire Cozens (AFP) , August 28, 2012

    BEIJING — Two teenagers burned to death in southwest China, taking to over 50 the number of Tibetans who have set themselves alight in protest against Beijing’s rule, rights groups said on Tuesday.

    Lobsang Kalsang, 18, a Buddhist monk, and former monk Damchoek, 17, died in hospital on Monday after setting themselves on fire in Aba town, which has become a flashpoint for such protests by ethnic Tibetans.

    China’s Tibetan-inhabited areas have seen an explosion in the violent form of protest since March 2011, when the self-immolation of a monk named Phuntsog at Aba’s revered Kirti monastery sparked riots and a police crackdown.

    The first recorded similar incident was in February 2009, and there have now been 51 such fiery protests, according to tallies compiled by overseas-based pressure groups Free Tibet and the International Campaign for Tibet.

    In 2009, a young Kirti monk doused himself in oil and set himself on fire carrying an image of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, before being shot by police and taken to a local hospital. Continue reading


Live & Die for Buddhism

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Maha Ghosananda

Maha Ghosananda

Supreme Patriarch of Cambodian Buddhism (5/23/1913 - 3/12/07). Forever in my heart...

Problems we face today

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Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected...

Major Differences

Major Differences in Buddhism

Major Differences in Buddhism: There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgement Day ...read more

My Reflection

My Reflection

This site is a tribute to Buddhism. Buddhism has given me a tremendous inspiration to be who and where I am today. Although I came to America at a very young age, however, I never once forget who I am and where I came from. One thing I know for sure is I was born as a Buddhist, live as a Buddhist and will leave this earth as a Buddhist. I do not believe in superstition. I only believe in karma.

A Handful of Leaves

A Handful of Leaves

Tipitaka: The pali canon (Readings in Theravada Buddhism). A vast body of literature in English translation the texts add up to several thousand printed pages. Most -- but not all -- of the Canon has already been published in English over the years. Although only a small fraction of these texts are available here at Access to Insight, this collection can nonetheless be a very good place to start.

Just the way it is

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor... read more