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Help Do a Story on Hindu Press International
Posted on 2001/6/3 23:45:02 ( 794 reads )


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KAUAI, HAWAII, June 4, 2001: Kalyani Giri, correspondent for Hinduism Today magazine, is preparing a story on HPI. If you would like to help her with comments, observations or suggestions for improvement on the service, please email her at "source."




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Nepal Assassination Takes Strange Turn
Posted on 2001/6/2 23:49:02 ( 747 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, June 4, 2001: The assassination of the royal family members in Nepal is taking a strange turn as the Nepalese government issues a statement that the tragedy occurred when an automatic rifle went off "accidentally," according to this report, which is fairly comprehensive. Other news reports suggest that the government is in a very difficult position because they are compelled by law to declare Prince Dipendra, who is believed to have shot his family, the king, as long as he is alive. But having declared the comatose Dipendra king, they can't then accuse him of murder because it is not allowed to level any accusations or criticisms against the king in Nepal. Several reports suggest the country may become increasingly destabilized. One report said, "For months, tension over the proposed marriage had simmered between Dipendra, a stocky, belligerent young man, and his mother, a forceful character. The queen, 51, wished her eldest son to marry someone else, according to local diplomats, and the issue had come to a head. Other sources reported that the 55-year-old king, who has scrupulously maintained balanced relationships with Nepal's neighbors, China and India, had warned his son that he would be passed over in the succession."




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French Christians Fear Ramifications of Anti-Sect Law
Posted on 2001/6/2 23:48:02 ( 383 reads )


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PARIS, FRANCE, June 1, 2001: French Christians are bracing for problems resulting from the passage this week of a controversial new law aimed at controlling the activities of dangerous religious sects, but also likely to affect ordinary churches. Some churches were already considering removing the word "evangelical" from their names, the president of the French Protestant Federation (FPF), the Rev. Jean-Arnold de Clermont said. Opponents include human rights groups and mainstream Protestant and Catholic leaders. The law's sponsors argued that it would give the courts powers to clamp down on sects that use methods like brainwashing or drugs to attract young people. The law also makes provision for a new offense of "mental manipulation," punishable by a fine of up to $75,000 and five years' imprisonment. But exactly what is defined as a sect or cult is unclear. Organizations whose names appeared on the list ranged from unorthodox groups like the Raelians, to large sects like Scientologists, the Unification Church and Jehovah's Witnesses, to evangelical and Pentecostal-type churches.




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Press Release: Renowned Saivite Hindu Leader Tours Europe
Posted on 2001/6/2 23:47:02 ( 750 reads )


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KAUAI, HAWAII, May 20, 2001: Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami embarks August 10 on a two-week travel-study pilgrimage through Northern Europe and Russia with 70 devotees and monks. Along the way, Subramuniyaswami will be attending major functions of the Hindu community in London; Hamm, Germany; Oslo, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; and Copenhagen, Denmark. The chariot festival at Hamm is expected to attract 20,000 Hindus from all over Germany and neighboring countries. It is the U Thant Peace Awardee's first visit to Europe in six years. The "2001 European Innersearch" is conducted during a 12-day, five-star cruise aboard Holland America's MS Amsterdam, which serves as a temporary floating ashram for classes, meditations, personal study and time for deep inner reflection upon the part of each pilgrim. Every port will bring the opportunity for this international group of pilgrims to meet the local Hindus and visit their temples. The journey is a very special event for those of the Sri Lanka Tamil community now scattered across the nations of Europe by incessant warfare from their tropical island home. Subramuniyaswami is the successor to the great guru of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, Siva Yogaswami, and as such has continued to guide and counsel the Tamil community throughout the difficult years since the 1983 ethnic outbreak in Sri Lanka. The cruise departs Harwick, England, on August 10th, then proceeds to Norway, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Estonia, ending in Copenhagen on August 22. For over four decades the 75-year-old Subramuniyaswami, affectionately known as Gurudeva, has taught Hinduism to Hindus and seekers from all faiths. He is satguru of Kauai Aadheenam, a 51-acre temple-monastery complex on Hawaii's Garden Island of Kauai where 30 monks from five nations live a traditional Hindu lifestyle. His organization nurtures membership and local missions on five continents and serves, personally and through books, courses and an extensive website, the community of Hindus of all sects. Gurudeva is the recognized hereditary guru of 2.5 million Sri Lankan Hindus. Hinduism Today (of which HPI is a service) is the influential, award-winning, international bimonthly magazine founded by Gurudeva in 1979. Gurudeva is author of more than 30 books unfolding unique and practical insights on Hindu metaphysics, mysticism and yoga. In 1986, New Delhi's World Religious Parliament named Gurudeva one of five modern-day Jagadacharyas, world teachers, for his international efforts in promoting a Hindu renaissance. The Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders for Human Survival chose Subramuniyaswami as a Hindu representative at its unique conferences. At Chicago's historic centenary Parliament of the World's Religions in September, 1993, Subramuniyaswami was elected one of three presidents to represent Hinduism at the prestigious Presidents' Assembly, a core group of 25 men and women voicing the needs of world faiths. In August, 2000, while attending the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders held at the United Nations, Subramuniyaswami received the U Thant Peace Award for his contributions to global peace.




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Details Emerge in Nepal Assassinations
Posted on 2001/6/1 23:49:02 ( 721 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 ( 807 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 ( 772 reads )


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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 ( 870 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 ( 855 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 ( 761 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 ( 1345 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 ( 863 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 ( 796 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 ( 705 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 ( 770 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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