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Teen Karmapa Raises Controversy
Posted on 2001/3/11 22:47:02 ( 582 reads )


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BODH GAYA, INDIA, March 9, 2001: Authorities in eastern India have ordered an investigation after teen-age Tibetan leader Ugyen Thinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa Lama, was accused of wearing his shoes when he visited the sanctum of the Mahabodhi Temple in the state of Bihar. The Karmapa is one of the highest-ranking monks in Tibetan Buddhism, recognized by both Beijing and the exiled Tibetan religious leader, the Dalai Lama, and is considered by his followers to be the reincarnation of his predecessor. Bhadant Anand, the general-secretary of the All India Monks' Association, demanded the Karmapa be punished for "trampling'' upon the Vajrasana, the place where the Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. Although there is no restriction on wearing shoes inside a temple in Tibetan Buddhist tradition, a 1949 law that governs the Mahabodhi Temple bans footwear inside the complex. Those defying the law may be fined $2.20, according to the law. The Karmapa was defended by Tenzing Lama, the monk-in-charge of the Tibetan monastery in Bodh Gaya, who said: "It is the heart and not the shoes that is important.''




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Looting Of Kabul Museum
Posted on 2001/3/11 22:46:02 ( 639 reads )


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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN, Sat, 23 Sep 1995 - This article in the Far Eastern Economic Review details how the National Museum of Afghanistan was first damaged by rocket fire in May, 1993, and then looted. The rockets caused a fire which melted supporting beams holding up the ornate vaulted roof, sending it crashing down on the upper galleries. The next day, Najibulla Popol, the 37-year-old museum curator, and a few staff members salvaged what they could to vaults in the museum's basement. Factional fighting had been swirling around the museum since the mujahideen captured Kabul in April 1992. In the months following the first rocket attack, mujahideen soldiers repeatedly looted their contents guided by detailed instructions from Afghan and Pakistani antiquities dealers. In January 1994, United Nations agency Habitat bricked up the museum's windows and repaired the doors, but looters broke in. Leading a party of journalists in 1995, museum director Popol showed destruction and mayhem, stacks of empty metal trays that had held one of the largest and oldest coin collections in the world-some 40,000 coins-covered the floor. Less-important artifacts were left smashed on the floor, while those too heavy to carry such as life-sized statues of Kushan warriors from 200 BC and the largest Buddhas were badly damaged. According to Sayed Delju Hussaini, Afghan minister of information and culture, 90% of the museum's collection has been looted. "It was one of the richest museums in the entire region, covering 50,000 years of history in Afghanistan and Central Asia," Hussaini laments. The breaking of all remaining statues in this museum by the Taleban in the last few weeks completes the museum's demise.




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Revolutionary Transport Device
Posted on 2001/3/11 22:45:02 ( 621 reads )


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MANCHESTER, NH, March 7, 2001: Inventor Dean Kamen's invention, called "IT" or "Ginger," is a two-wheeled hydrogen-powered scooter that is emission-free. The print publication of Inside.com says, "Ginger represents the first generation of a new mode of transportation that will compete with and possibly replace automobiles. The ramifications of a 'hydrogen economy' would be profound on everything from the environment to the energy business to global politics." IT is already generating financial support from Steve Jobs of Apple and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, who reportedly have seen the machine. Kamen, a successful inventor who has come up with innovative, stair-climbing wheelchairs and an insulin pump, created a company called ACROS to build "motorized, self-propelled, wheelchairs, scooters, and carts."




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Police clampdown on Malaysia violence
Posted on 2001/3/10 22:49:02 ( 621 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, March 11, 2001: Tension remains high in a squatter settlement on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, following clashes between Muslim Malays and Hindu Indians which have left at least five people dead. More than 150 people have been arrested in the troubled squatter district of Kampung Medan since trouble first erupted on Thursday. Journalists who toured the area on Sunday morning say a heavy police presence, backed up by water cannon, remains in place. The fighting had origins in a row last weekend between an Indian funeral procession and Malays celebrating a wedding. According to stories circulating in the area, a drunken Indian man kicked over a chair at the Malay party, leading to the fighting.




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Giant Buddha Statues Lost Forever
Posted on 2001/3/10 22:48:02 ( 638 reads )


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BAMIYAN, AFGHANISTAN, March, 11, 2001: The two giant Buddha statues had stood guard over the Bamiyan valley for centuries until they were destroyed by Afghanistan's ruling Taleban. Foreign minister, Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, told UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Pakistan that demolition was still continuing, and all the country's moveable statues had been destroyed. While the Taleban say they acted because the statues were "un-Islamic," a delegation from the world's largest Muslim body, the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) had travelled to Afghanistan to try to change their minds. The statues were once a big tourist draw and dated back to between the second and fifth centuries AD, before the coming of Islam, when Afghanistan was a centre of Buddhist learning and pilgrimage. Egypt's top religious leader, Mufti Sheikh Nasr Farid Wassel, who is travelling with the OIC delegation, said: "The proof that these statues have no negative impact on Islam is that throughout Islam's history in Afghanistan they were preserved and no Muslim doctrine has suggested their destruction."




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Renovation at Srirangam Temple
Posted on 2001/3/10 22:47:02 ( 722 reads )


Source: The Hindu





TIRUCHI, INDIA, March 6, 2001: During a recent renovation, the honored deity of the Srirangam temple has come under close scrutiny by the temple heritage protection committee. Asking for reassurance from the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister that a significant one centimeter image of Sri Vatsa-Lakshmi be restored to its proper place on Lord Ranganatha's chest, the committee has been questioned as to the image's validity. Supported by scriptures, the Lakshmi embossment will take its rightful place on the Lord's chest and the tantric triangle symbol that was mistakenly approved and placed there in the renovation will be removed. Further renovations will be monitored more closely. Temple devotees anxiously await the worship to commence again on March 15th.




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Minorities Vital to U.K. Economy
Posted on 2001/3/10 22:46:02 ( 650 reads )


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UNITED KINGDOM, March 7, 2001: Ethnic minorities in the U.K. are being viewed in a different light. In order to deter the negative results of an aging population and falling birth rates, Britain needs a youthful work force to fund public pensions and health care. Minorities who start their own businesses and those who work in the transport and health industry have become vital to the U.K.'s economy. As a result, it has been proposed by a study done by Dr. Vaughan Robinson, head of the Migration Unit at Swansea University, that immigration be increased by at least 20%. This increase will keep the economy viable well into the 21st century.




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Iconoclasm Through The Ages - Not A New Trend.
Posted on 2001/3/10 22:45:02 ( 666 reads )


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LONDON, U.K, March 8, 2001: William Dowsing arrived in Cambridge in December, 1643, filled with Puritan zeal, determined to smash the lingering reminders of the old Roman Catholic faith. A similar determination inspired the Taleban in Afghanistan to destroy ancient images of the Buddha, horrifying the world. "Images, symbols, whether religious or not, always attract violence when there is conflict because religious symbols are more densely packed with meaning,'' said Carlos Eire, professor of religious studies at Yale University. Iconoclasm marked the Protestant Reformation in Europe. In the eighth century, there was conflict in the Eastern Church over the use of icons. Christian iconoclasts have drawn inspiration from parts of the Bible which condemn idols and images. Dowsing had the authority of the British Parliament which had enacted an ordinance "for demolishing ...monuments of superstition and idolatry'' regardless of value of art or history.




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Korean Memorial to Indian Princess
Posted on 2001/3/6 22:49:02 ( 607 reads )


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AYODHYA, INDIA, March 6, 2001: In the northern Indian city of Ayodhya, a visiting Korean delegation has inaugurated a memorial to their royal ancestor, Queen Huh. More than a hundred historians and government representatives, including the North Korean ambassador to India, unveiled the memorial on the west bank of the River Saryu. Korean historians believe that Queen Huh was a princess of an ancient kingdom in Ayodhya. She went to Korea some two thousand years ago and started the Karak dynasty by marrying a local king, Suro. Today, the historians say, Queen Huh's descendants number more than six million, including the South Korean president, Kim Dae Jung. But a senior official in Ayodhya told the BBC that no information was available about Queen Huh in Indian history.




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"Safe" Colors This Holi
Posted on 2001/3/6 22:48:02 ( 683 reads )


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KOZHISSERI, NEW DELHI, March 04, 2001: Holi, the Indian festival of colors, will see the use of natural colors made from the extracts of flowers and fruit this year, to the relief of those worried about hazardous chemical colors being smeared on them. "We can get yellow from the 'tesu' plant, black from husk and blue from 'neel' and many more colors that are completely natural and safe," said Vandana Shiva, a noted environmental activist speaking at the program Abir Gulal (named after the colored powder used on Holi), organized by Navdanya, a movement to protect biodiversity. The natural colors will be sold in the capital's Dilli Haat fairgrounds by Navdanya. Often industrial colors are used could cause cancer. We have always stressed toxic-free food, and it is time for toxic-free color," Shiva said. Generally, people play Holi with commercial colors, with carcinogenic properties such as aluminum bromide. "The natural colors will save health and protect nature," said Shiva.




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More Animals Slaughtered to Eradicate Disease
Posted on 2001/3/6 22:47:02 ( 627 reads )


Source: India Abroad





LONDON, ENGLAND, March 5, 2001: Foot and mouth disease that affects all cloven hoofed animals has rampaged through the countryside of the U.K. Determined to eradicate the virus, government officials have slaughtered an estimated 46,000 animals to date, many thousands of which are cows. Protesting the killing, Hindus in Britain, have spoken out about the way animals are treated in the U.K and blamed the epidemic on poor animal care.




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Maha Kumbha Mela Ends on Maha Sivaratri
Posted on 2001/3/6 22:46:02 ( 625 reads )


Source: News-India times





ALLAHABAD, INDIA, March 2, 2001: The grand Maha Kumbh Mela which started January 9th and ended February 21st on Maha Sivaratri nourished over 100 million pilgrims at the "Sangam." Hindu pilgrims travelled long distances and suffered hardship to participate in the event. Certain auspicious days during the 42-day festival attracted millions of fervent devotees. Having left Allahabad on February 8th to participate in the festivities in Benares, most Holy Men had moved on by February 21st. Those seeking peace, after the crowds left, stayed for the last sacred bath.




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Women Making Delhi "Women-Safe"
Posted on 2001/3/6 22:45:02 ( 573 reads )


Source: The Pioneer





NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 5, 2001: Spearheading the celebrations in the capital, nearly 5,000 poor women will join the Delhi Council for Women (DCW). Plans including forming a human chain and pledging to make Delhi a safer city for women on the millennium's first international Women's Day, Thursday. According to DCW chairperson Anjali Rai, women from various resettlement colonies and slum clusters will interact with representatives from 89 NGOs. According to Ms. Rai, the DCW for the past few months has been promoting the concept of Mahila Panchayats, a sort of women's court, across the city to keep a vigil on acts of domestic violence in resettlement colonies providing para-legal aid to the victims. See also the article on these Mahila Panchayats at http://www.timesofindia.com/ 190101/19mdel15.htm. The DCW run helpline has alone recorded 2,630 cases of harassment and violence against women in the past one year.




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World Press Treats Islam's Hajj Pilgrimage Carefully
Posted on 2001/3/5 22:49:02 ( 662 reads )


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MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA, March 5, 2001: It is interesting to Hinduism Press International to observe the stark difference in reporting of the on-going Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and the recently concluded Hindu Kumbha Mela. In the Hajj report, of which "source" above is but one example, there is not a hint of the sarcasm, ridicule and demeaning portrayals that permeated nearly every report on the Kumbha Mela. The single most notable point is that the Western Press makes nothing of this: "Once they complete the stoning ritual, pilgrims shave or cut their hair and then slaughter more than a half-million camels, cows and sheep near this tent city that only comes to life during the Hajj. For pilgrims in Saudi Arabia this year, most of the animals will be sacrificed at a large slaughterhouse in Mecca that was built at a cost of about US$125 million. Pilgrims can go to slaughterhouses to buy and slaughter animals themselves or they can pay a bank or company to do it on their behalf. Meat is sent to the needy in 27 countries." All this is presented without comment of any sort. Imagine what would have happened if a slaughter house of this immense proportions were set up at the Kumbha Mela and one-half million animals offered to the Deities? At least, there would have been photos of it on the wire services, but a search of the major wire services -- AP, Reuters, AFP, UPI and 31 others -- revealed not a single photo or even mention in a caption of the ritual slaughter at Mecca. Nor have we seen any comment in any article on the practice.




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Buddhists Protest Christian Conversion In Sri Lanka
Posted on 2001/3/5 22:48:02 ( 669 reads )


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COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, March 6, 2001: The Centre for Buddhism International (CBI) in Kandy, the central province hill town where the Temple of the Buddha's Tooth is the focal point, has accused Christian missionaries of invading rural villages and tea and rubber plantations, using "unethical, coercive and sometimes barbaric methods" to proselytize their faith. The organization said in a statement that at least 73 foreign and local evangelical groups, with names like Campus Crusade for Christ and Christian Literary Crusade, had been studied by the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies. CBI asked the government to act according to the country's constitution and protect the Buddhist faith, charging that other Christian organizations tried to justify the work of the evangelists and decry opposition from Buddhists as "the work of extremists." The evangelists are from among newly sprung up groups with foreign links who blend religion with relief work, doling out jobs and material aid to converts, said the CBI.




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