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China To Build World's Largest Buddha
Posted on 2001/5/8 23:48:02 ( 723 reads )


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CHINA, May 6, 2001: China has announced plans to build the world's largest statue, a 509-ft Buddha. The statue of Bodhisattva is to be built at Jiuhua Mountain, one of the four major Buddhist shrines in China. It is will be the largest statue of Bodhisattva, the Buddha of Compassion, in the world. When completed, the statue will consist of 1,100 pieces of copper and weigh over 1,000 tons. Construction will begin in September and is scheduled for completion in 2004. The entire project is estimated to cost around $55 million. Meanwhile, Indian and British planners, connected with the Maitreya project, may be dismayed at the announcement. A 500-ft Buddha, currently underway in the northern Indian province of Bihar, was in the running for the title of the world's largest statue. The Chinese appear to be planning to outdo their Indian competitors at the finish line also, with a projected finish date of 2005. The Indian Buddha will be completed a year after the Chinese project.




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Ganesha Displayed in Cambodia's National Museum
Posted on 2001/5/8 23:47:02 ( 754 reads )


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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA, May 9, 2001: Phnom Penh's National Museum of Art, forgotten for many years, is once again showing the world its true colors. The extraordinary collection of bronze and stone statues on display here is unmatched elsewhere in the world. Tragically, looting and war have removed most of the decorative statues and reliefs from Angkor's temples, making the museum's collection all the more important as evidence of the artistic achievements of this ancient culture. The first temporary exhibition in the museum's history took place last year, with a display of statues of Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god. Other gems include the 7th-century statue of the horse-headed Vaijmukha and a delightful tiny 11th-12th century bronze figure of a dancing woman on a lotus flower. Beauty is only part of it. For these are sacred objects, and the museum has taken care to position them much as they would have been placed in temples. Indeed, many of the Cambodians who come to the museum are not simply admiring art works -- they are paying homage to holy icons and small shrines have been set up where offerings of flowers can be made.




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Campaign to Stop Use of Live Animals in Medical Schools
Posted on 2001/5/8 23:46:02 ( 722 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 27, 2001: Many American schoolchildren now have the right to dissect a virtual frog or a plastic model rather than the real thing. Now American Medical schools are catching up and recommending others do the same. Dr Jerry Vlasak, a trauma surgeon, is in India to introduce methods that replace animals. Computer simulators allow students to view the effect of drugs and invasive procedures by watching actual operating room footage or working with life-like human models. He encouraged Indian medical colleges to follow the Harvard Medical School example where such methods were used as they were less expensive, more effective, and relevant to human physiology. Students work without guilt and at their own pace. First year students should observe human bypass surgeries, rather than "veterinary medicine," he quipped. The use of animals for medical training is anti-educational, states the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington DC. More than half of the 126 Medical schools in the US had stopped using live animals for their physiology labs.




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Ganesha Purana Project Commences
Posted on 2001/5/8 23:45:02 ( 891 reads )


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May 9, 2001: The first three chapters of the Ganesha Purana in English translation are now available at "source."




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Shiv Sena Wants McDonalds and Their Fries Gone
Posted on 2001/5/4 23:49:02 ( 665 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 5, 2001: Taking the controversy of use of beef extract in the famous "French fries" of McDonald's further, Shiv Sena activists on Saturday demanded closure of all 28 McDonalds in the country. Describing the alleged use of beef extract as "attack on the religious sentiments of Indians," Delhi Shiv Sena leader Jai Bhagwan Goyal said, "we don't believe McDonald's clarification of not using beef extract in the French fries in India." The Shiv Sena is conducting its own test on the the fries for traces of meat.




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Even the People of Goa Go Vegetarian
Posted on 2001/5/4 23:48:02 ( 659 reads )


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PANAJI, INDIA, May 1, 2001: The meat-loving people of Goa are now turning toward vegetarianism, thanks to the concerted efforts of nongovernmental organizations to spread information on the ill-effects of meat. The NGOs point out that by virtue of an amendment to the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, the central government has officially recognized vegetarianism as the benchmark for a "healthy diet." The amendment stipulates that non-vegetarian food-items should carry an indication, by way of a symbol and red color code displayed just above the brand name of nonvegetarian products. This report did not indicate how closely this coding system was followed.




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Three-Parent Kids Born
Posted on 2001/5/4 23:47:02 ( 730 reads )


Source: BBC News Online





NEW JERSEY, USA, May 4, 2001: In what may be a momentous milestone in our history, scientists have confirmed that the first genetically altered humans have been born. These births are the first cases of human germline genetic modification resulting in normal healthy children. According to researchers at St Barnabas Institute for Reproductive Medicine in New Jersey, up to 30 such children have been born, 15 as a result of one program at a US laboratory. One is four-years old. Genetic fingerprint tests on children confirm that they contain a small quantity of additional genes not inherited from either parent. The additional genes were taken from a healthy donor and used to overcome their mothers infertility problems. The just-disclosed project has created a strong reaction worldwide, and the work would be illegal in many countries. It is being regarded as a back-door entry to genetic modification of humans with the objective of getting such procedures made socially and legally acceptable.




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Sikh Day Parade in Manhattan
Posted on 2001/5/4 23:46:02 ( 660 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, April 21, 2001: Forty-thousand onlookers witnessed the 14th Annual Sikh Day Parade, April 21, in Manhattan as part of the Baisakhi celebrations. The parade was led by Gurbax Singh Malhi, a member of parliament from Canada, who was the chief guest and members of the organizing committees from various Sikh gurdwaras and societies in the tristate area, Pennsylvania and even from Baltimore. Immediately following them was the float with Sri Guru Granth Sahib, their scripture, led by five Sikhs in yellow robes carrying Sikh flags. These five represented the "Panj Pyaras," who were baptized by the tenth master, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, on Baisakhi Day in 1699 at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab. Twelve more floats from different gurdwaras and societies followed, with groups of Sikh men, women and children from the respective areas, chanting hymns from the Sikh scripture, with full devotion and reverence. There were a number of bands in between the floats and one gurdwara even had a karate team displaying martial arts. As is traditional for Sikhs, vast amounts of free food were provided for spectators and participants.




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Las Vegas Hindu Temple
Posted on 2001/5/3 23:49:02 ( 694 reads )


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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, May 03, 2001: A US$2.2 million Hindu Temple and Cultural Center complex, which formally opened last month, will serve the more than 500 Indian American families in Las Vegas, Nevada and neighboring areas. The temple, which has taken six years to come to fruition, was inaugurated with the installation of the "utsav murtis," Radha-Krishna, Balaji, Ganesha and Laxmi, during three days of elaborate ceremonies. Large marble idols of Shiva, Ram, Mahavir and Durga will be brought from India in the coming months to be installed at the temple. Located on five-acres of land, the temple currently has a 5,000 sq. ft. prayer hall and a smaller building with priests quarters, library and classrooms. Plans for the second phase include a two-story building with 7,000 sq ft in each floor, to house a cultural hall, dining room and commercial kitchen.




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US Government Grants for Hindu Artists
Posted on 2001/5/3 23:48:02 ( 771 reads )


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WASHINGTON, D.C, Friday, May 4, 2001: The US Government-funded National Endowment for the Arts announced that it will provide nearly $54 million to arts organizations across the country in its second and final round of grants for the fiscal year 2001. They include the Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose (US$5,000), bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Parijat Desai (sharing a $10,000 grant), the Natya Dance Theatre ($5,000) and the RASIKA India Arts and Culture Council ($5,000). The Abhinaya company will use it to expand their program of instruction in dance for youth. Desai will use her grant in collaboration with other artists of the "Grand Performances" of Los Angeles for free programs. The Natya theatre will work on a project in collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. RASIKA will use its grant to support the Prodigies of India Classical Music Project.




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Vegetarians Have a Beef With McDonald's
Posted on 2001/5/3 23:47:02 ( 770 reads )


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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, May 4, 2001: McDonald's french fries have slipped from the frying pan into the fire with the company's admission that the one billion pounds of fries served yearly in the USA are flavored with beef. Several articles have appeared today on the issue, including the one at "source." Hindus and vegetarians here in Seattle have filed a class action lawsuit against the company. McDonalds announced in 1990 that it was switching from using beef tallow to fry the fries to vegetable oil. Vegetarians assumed this meant the fries were safe for consumption. But now comes the revelation from their US head office that small amounts of beef are used in the fries, in order to replicate the flavor previously achieved by frying in beef tallow. The India branches of McDonalds have been inundated with inquiries, and the Mumbai branch trashed by Hindu activists. However, McDonalds in India maintains no beef is used to flavor their fries, although the prepackage fries cartons say, "Made in New Zealand."




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India bans radical Muslim group
Posted on 2001/5/3 23:46:02 ( 695 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, May, 4, 2001: The Indian Government has banned a radical Muslim group it blames for a series of bomb attacks on Christian churches in southern India last year. A government statement said the group, Deendar Anjuman, had the potential to disturb communal harmony and disrupt the secular fabric of the nation. Members of Deendar Anjuman accused the government of trying to divert attention from domestic political problems. The Muslim group has denied any involvement in the attacks on churches, in which more than 20 people were injured. Evidence linked them to the attacks, however.




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U.S. Commission Again Criticizes Religious Freedom in India
Posted on 2001/5/2 23:49:02 ( 621 reads )


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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2001: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said that India, while generally respecting religious freedom, may not be doing all that it could to prevent violence against minority religions. The commission singled out China for its most severe criticism, but, in addition to India, criticized Indonesia, Russia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Iran, Sudan, Vietnam and North Korea of either directly violating religious freedoms, permitting local or regional governments to restrict freedoms or ignoring intercommunity violence. This article doesn't mention it, but the commission has mainly voiced concern about the freedom of Christians in other countries, especially where Christians are restricted in their proselytization efforts. It is considered by some Americans as contrary to the Constitution's intention of separation of church and state.




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Christians Jointly Repent for Two Millennia of Anti-Semitism
Posted on 2001/5/2 23:48:02 ( 756 reads )


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JERUSALEM, ISRAEL, April 20, 2000: With heads bowed, more than 1,100 Christians stood in Jerusalem to confess and repent two millennia of anti-Semitism in the name of Christianity. The two-hour service, held April 20, included Bible readings, hymns, talks, historical narratives, music and a 256-word confessional that moved many Christians and Jews to tears. The biblical passages in the narratives were read by eight clergy from different faiths, including Lutheran, Dutch Reformed and Anglican churches, from several countries including Canada, Estonia, Australia, South Africa, the Netherlands and Germany. The repentance service was part of a three-day conference as a "time to reflect, to repent, to get right with God and our elder brother, Israel," according to The Jerusalem Post. There was no mention in this article of plans for Christians to apologize to the American Indians, Hawaiians, ancient Pagan religions of Europe, or any other the other cultures or faiths persecuted or wiped out in the name of "proselytization."




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Atlanta Church Upholds Corporal Punishment for Children
Posted on 2001/5/2 23:47:02 ( 768 reads )


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ATLANTA, GEORGIA, April 30, 2001: While many parents across the nation are finding nonviolent and effective ways of disciplining their children, there are those who still believe in "Spare the rod, Spoil the child." One such institution called the House of Prayer church in Atlanta has attracted the attention of police, social workers and the media when it was discovered that two young boys of their congregation displayed welts and wounds to their teachers at school. After investigation, ten members of the House of Prayer were charged with child abuse and 41 children were removed from these abusive homes and placed in foster care. By taking parenting classes and abiding by conditions laid out by the court, the parents could get their children back. Sadly enough, parents have refused to relinquish the teachings of the House of Prayer. The church pastor advocates a literal interpretation of Proverbs 23.13 which states, " Withhold not correction from the child, for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die." As a result of this case, debate has been kindled as to when corporal punishment becomes child abuse and the rights of parents to beat their children.




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