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Details Emerge in Nepal Assassinations
Posted on 2001/6/1 23:49:02 ( 637 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, June 3, 2001: Dozens of stories are now appearing in the world press on the assassination of the Nepalese royal family. This New York Times report is one of the more complete. The king, queen and royal family were cremated yesterday. The report reads in part, "The bizarre massacre of most of Nepal's royal family was followed today by the bizarre ascension to the throne of Crown Prince Dipendra, a love- struck young man who, by most accounts, murdered his parents and at least seven other relatives during the family's Friday night meal. Dipendra's suitability to be sovereign is cast in doubt not only by the murderous acts attributed to him but also by the fact that he has fallen into a coma, kept alive by life-support machines. He attempted suicide, shooting himself through the head, soon after committing multiple homicide, authorities here say." The report explains that the dead king's brother, Gnanendra, is serving as regent and expected to be proclaimed king once Dipendra is taken off life support. The report goes on, "By most accounts, the royal family had sat down for its traditional Friday dinner in a banquet hall in the palace. A few dozen people were at the table, including the king and queen and their three adult children. Crown Prince Dipendra, 29, had been upset by his parents' -- and particularly his mother's -- disapproval of his choice for a bride, though the young woman came from one of the nation's leading families. That evening, Dipendra had been drinking, according to several accounts, and he left the table in a fit of anger only to return with at least one -- perhaps two -- semiautomatic weapons. 'Dipendra sprayed the room with bullets, and then he went out and got dressed in military fatigues before coming back to finish up,' said Mr. Dixit, a palace spokesperson. 'He was a gun lover, a hunter and a shooter. He was someone who even tested weapons for the Royal Nepali Army.' According to other accounts, the prince had changed into the military clothing before he fired any shots. Either way, he had locked the doors to the dining hall, the accounts say. No guards or aides were inside at the time. In one account, the prince, upon returning to the hall, carried a handgun. He then moved among the wounded, firing single shots into their heads. Finally, guards entered the hall. In one version, Dipendra attempted suicide, firing a single shot through his temple. In a second version, he briefly escaped to another room before attempting to take his own life." The report describes the cremations: "The king's body, held aloft by bare-chested brahmin priests, was covered to the neck with a saffron cloth. Behind him came the queen -- inside an ornate, covered palanquin -- followed by his Prince Narajin, Princess Shruti and Princess Jayanti Shah. The bodies were taken to the cremation site on the banks of the Bagmati River, near the important Hindu temple of Lord Pashupatinath. Mourners laid flowers on the covered bodies. Priests chanted the final prayers. One of them, with a torch in hand, ceremonially circled the king's body three times. Then he set the flame to the king's pyre."




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Asian Immigrants Flourish in America
Posted on 2001/6/1 23:48:02 ( 722 reads )


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CALIFORNIA, U.S. May 29, 2001: All across the United States from coast to coast and from North to South, the story is the same, the Asian Immigrant population has doubled in America since 1990. The following data from the U.S. Census Bureau was released this week and focused specifically on the Asian population in various states. Leading the way, the state of California boasts the highest population of Asian Indians with 314,819. Following in the next four places for Asian Indians to live in are the states of New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Illinois. States such as Wyoming, Montana, and Hawaii have attracted the least amount of East Indian Asian immigrants. Of the total Asian group nationwide, East Indians now predominate in 19 U.S. states and with this increase Indians are now looking for representation in the political arena. Still trailing the Chinese (2,432,585) and the Filipinos (1,850,314) across the land with a total population of 1,678,765, Indians were the fastest growing immigrant population in the last ten years.




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Prison Inmates Turn to Buddhist Meditation
Posted on 2001/6/1 23:47:02 ( 664 reads )


Source: New York Times





TORMVILLE, NEW YORK, MAY 30, 2001: Buddhist meditative practices have begun to take root inside the nation's prison system. Some organizations, beginning with Zen Mountain Monastery, have moved to help. Deep inside the Green Haven Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison that houses 2,000 men, the Lotus Flower Sangha meets weekly. The group gathers with a monk, who arrives from Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, to lead them in zazen, a sitting meditation. As many as 5,000 prisoners, seeking information about Zen, have contacted the monastery, established in 1980. Zen Mountain has established a computer database with the names of 1,000 male and female inmates, linking each to a volunteer committed to at least three years of corresponding about Zen practices, answering questions, offering advice and lending encouragement. They have also begun developing training manuals for inmates who want to develop meditative practice on their own.




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Yahoo Needs Some Hindu Experts
Posted on 2001/6/1 23:46:02 ( 788 reads )


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CALIFORNIA, June 3, 2001: Hindus might want to check out "source" for a Yahoo page dedicated to questions about Hinduism. The site is needing "experts" to provide answers to questions such as, "Why Hindu religion only exist in India? Like Islam and Christians are all over the globe?"




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Correction: South Africa's Tamil Eisteddfod
Posted on 2001/6/1 23:45:02 ( 768 reads )


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HPI, June 3, 2001: The Tamil Eisteddfod in Laudium, Johannesburg, was conducted in the Tamil language, not in the Afrikaans language as some readers thought. Our report only intended to identify the single word "eisteddfod" as Afrikaans for "festival," and not to indicate the entire event was in Afrikaans




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Nepal's King and Queen Slain in Palace Shooting
Posted on 2001/5/31 23:49:02 ( 667 reads )


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KATMANDU, NEPAL, June 1, 2001: Nepal's crown prince opened fire in the royal palace of this tiny Himalayan nation on Friday, killing the king, queen, his brother and sister before turning the gun on himself, a senior military official said. Four others died in the shooting, which apparently stemmed from a dispute over his choice of a bride. The official said Crown Prince Dipendra, 30, killed his parents, King Birendra and Queen Aiswarya, his younger brother, Prince Nirajan, and his sister, Princess Shruti. The princess is married and has two daughters. According to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the shooting was prompted by a dispute over the crown prince's marriage because his mother, the queen, reportedly objected to his choice of a bride. No other details were immediately available. The crown prince, educated at Britain's Eton College, was heir to the throne. A helicopter was sent to Chitwan, 75 miles southwest of Katmandu, to pick up Prince Gyanendra, the King's younger brother, according to sources at the airport. Prince Gyanendra, who is next in line to the throne, was expected to succeed King Birendra. The government was expected to make a formal announcement only after the king's brother replaces him. Katmandu, the capital of 1.5 million, woke up Saturday to news of the shootings. Hundreds of people began walking toward the royal palace in the heart of the city. Police cordoned off the outer periphery of the building.




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South Africa's Tamil Eisteddfod a Success.
Posted on 2001/5/31 23:48:02 ( 1208 reads )


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LAUDIUM, JOHANNESBURG, May 30, 2001: Almost 400 Tamil children from all across the Gauteng province of South Africa attended an annual children's eisteddfod, "cultural festival" in Afrikaans, hosted by the Gauteng Tamil Federation at the mainly Indian area of Laudium. Students were from various Tamil schools run as community service by the body. "This is a record," said the president of the federation, Naga Moodley. "We have virtually doubled the record of the past, with 373 children participating in 41 different categories that cover the full spectrum of our language, arts and culture." Mickey Chetty, president of the national South African Tamil Federation (SATF) and a special guest at the eisteddfod, was very pleased that the formerly dissenting organizations representing local Tamils came together in unity. Chetty said that plans were being made for World Tamil Conference to be hosted jointly by the International Movement for Tamil Culture, based in Canada, and the SATF in December in Durban.




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Shankaracharya Invited to China
Posted on 2001/5/31 23:47:02 ( 764 reads )


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BEIJING, CHINA, May 24, 2001: The Shankaracharya of Kanchi Peetham in Tamil Nadu, India, received an official invitation from the Chinese government's Association of International Friendly Contact to visit in October this year. The details of Jayendra Saraswati's visit are being worked out. In his seven-day tour, the Paramacharya will meet President Li Peng and other top Chinese leaders. It is not known why the Chinese extended this invitation to a top Hindu priest. The government has previously refused a visa to even the Catholic Pope. This is the first invitation of a religious figure by rulers who regard religion as a hindrance in the material progress of a nation.




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No More Easter Holiday In U.K.
Posted on 2001/5/31 23:46:02 ( 696 reads )


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UNITED KINGDOM, May 27, 2001: Schools are to be told to scrap Easter holidays and replace them with a non-religious "spring break." Despite objections from Christian pressure groups, supporters of the proposals say a specific Easter holiday is incompatible with a modern school system because it is on a different date each year. Moving to a fixed holiday would reduce teacher stress, pupil truancy and improve exam results. The proposals say schools should celebrate non-Christian festivals such as Diwali and the end of Ramadan. Head teachers will be allowed ten "flexible days" each year to hold holidays which reflect the ethnic make-up of the school. "Many schools will now have as many as 12 religions represented in the classroom," said Chris Price, the head of the Independent Commission on the School Year. "We want schools to be able to reflect that."




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No Schooling for 59 Million Indian Children
Posted on 2001/5/31 23:45:02 ( 618 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, MAY 27, 2001: According to a report on the state of children in India, almost 59 million children in India under the age of 14 years are not attending school. The report was prepared as a follow-up to the World Summit for Children 2000, and notes the progress made at the end of the decade gone by in India. Among the reports findings were high instances of malnutrition among children under three and the lack of equal access to nutrition, health and medical care for females. The report spells out compulsory elementary education for all children by the year 2010 and special attention to the growth, education and development to the girl child.




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New Construction for Australia's Oldest Hindu Temple
Posted on 2001/5/31 23:44:02 ( 680 reads )


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, MAY 29, 2001: Construction has begun on a new temple building for Australia's first Hindu temple, Sri Mandir, located in the western suburb of Auburn. Approximately half of the estimated US$256,000 construction costs had been raised before the groundbreaking ceremony last Sunday. The temple will have Radha and Krishna as the presiding deities. Seven other deities will also be installed. Construction is expected to to be completed by Diwali in October.




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Hindu Leader Attacked in India
Posted on 2001/5/30 23:49:02 ( 644 reads )


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FAIZABAD, INDIA, 28 May, 2001: A prominent Hindu leader, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, and four others were injured in a bomb attack in the northern Indian town of Faizabad. Das was attacked while on his way to bathe in a nearby river. His condition is not said to be serious. He is a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and is one of the leaders of a group that has pledged to build a temple on the ruins of Babri Masjid in the town of Ayodhya.




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Iran Government and Canada's Jews Condemn Taliban's Dress Code
Posted on 2001/5/30 23:48:02 ( 613 reads )


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DUBAI, May 29, 2001: Iran has condemned the "discriminatory decision adopted by the Taliban" regarding Hindus in Afghanistan where Taliban militia recently issued an edict making it compulsory for all Hindus to wear a piece of yellow cloth as an identity label. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamidreza Assefi said that such moves are clear cases of religious discrimination against ethnic minorities, which is condemned in Islam. "An action of this kind goes against the progressive ideas of our religion and mars the image of Muslims around the globe," Assefi was quoted as saying. A similar condemnation was issued today by the Canadian Jewish Congress, which states in part, "We urge the Canadian government to convey to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan the horror of all Canadians at such clear discrimination against a religious minority and to call for this odious measure to be rescinded immediately." The Congress email is pacific@istar.ca.




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Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan Targeted for Christian Conversion
Posted on 2001/5/30 23:47:02 ( 654 reads )


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BHUTAN, May 30, 2001: Nestled in the Himalayan Mountains between Tibet, China and India, the tiny nation of Bhutan prides itself as being the only Buddhist kingdom in the world, where a tough stance is taken to keep Christian conversion tactics at bay. The native people, known as Drupka, make up a majority of Bhutan's approximately 600,000 citizens and are among one of 1,981 people groups in the world who, the Christian International Mission Board (IMB) claims, have never heard about Jesus Christ. The IMB is targeting this area which they call "The Last Frontier" during its 15th Day of Prayer and Fasting for World Evangelism. Randy Sprinkle, director of the IMB's International Prayer Strategy Office, hopes to deliver those "mired in Tibetan Buddhism and mixed with mysticism and superstition" and introduce them to the message of salvation through Jesus Christ," said Sprinkle. Bhutan's king has advised his people they would be better off following one religion: Buddhism.




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The Evolution of the Indian Immigrant in America
Posted on 2001/5/30 23:46:02 ( 608 reads )


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WASHINGTON,D.C., May 27, 2001: Over forty years ago, the first influx of Indian Asian immigrants arrived in America. As students and professionals, they paved the way for Indian immigrants to become one of the highest-paid immigrant groups. These hard-working and persevering forefathers also suffered cultural shock, from the unavailability of their favorite curries and spices to no place to worship their beloved Gods, plus the challenge of avoiding American casual dating. While many of these new immigrants remained strong in their religious and cultural beliefs and starting building temples in America, explains this report, many fell into the confusion of the ABCD-American born confused Desi, those who tried to fit into the American life-style of eating meat and dating. However in the last ten years things have changed drastically for Asian-Indian immigrants. They often arrive to start working on high-tech jobs in a community where many Indians have already settled. A Hindu Temple is usually within driving distance, Indian grocery stores are around the corner, and music and videos in their native tongue are readily available. Since 1990 in Washington, D.C. alone, the Indian population has grown from 38,000 to more than 78,000 in the year 2000 by attracting the high-tech educated sector. Indian families are now competing with each other to see how Indian they can be by practicing their religion, encouraging their children to develop the Indian arts and speaking their native tongue.




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