Little Monk Goes Viral

A little child dressed up as a monk in Fuzhou China has gone viral on Weibo

Robot Monk Unveiled In China

A buddhist temple, Dragon Spring Temple in Beijing, China has developed a robot monk named "XianEr" which was unveiled at the temple's National Day Gala celebration earlier this mont

Steven Seagal To Rebuild Buddhist Temple In Serbia

Steven Seagal Wants To Rebuild Europe's First Buddhist Temple

Buddhist Story - The Dog And The Pet Shop Owner

About A Dog And His Master, A Pet Shop Owner

Get Rid Of Bad Luck

Japanese Style

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Longest Buddha Statue In Vietnam

The inauguration and blessing ceremony for the longest Buddha statue in Vietnam was held at Hoi Khanh Pagoda in Bing Duong province in southern Vietnam on March 29, 2010.

The statue covers 3,200 square meters out of 13,000 square meters of Hoi Khanh pagoda. The centre comprises the longest Buddha statue in Vietnam, nearly 3000 square meters of floor paved by granite and 5000 square meters of yard paved by concrete.

The primary stairs to the Buddha statue, which is 24 meters from the ground, has 49 steps, symbolizing the 49 years he practiced his philosophy. Around the statue is a terrace and along the staircase and terrace are 52 stone lamps symbolizing the 52 articles offered to the Buddha.

The platform is carved with 20 reliefs showing the Buddha from his birth to when he entered Nirvana. Around the statue are 840 lotuses made of concrete.

Construction began in August 2008 at a cost of over 20 billion dong (around $1.2 million). The blessing ceremony was attended by thousands of devotees from all over Vietnam.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Buddhist Personality : Lee Wei

Stage Name : Lee Wei
Real Name : Lee Yi Wei
Nationality : Taiwan
Date Of Birth : 9th July 1980
Height : 175cm
Profession : Actor

Author Arrested In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has been in the limellight lately. Just a few days ago, a singer was barred from entering the country due to an "offensive" video and now the country is on the news again for arresting an author.

Sarah Malini Perera, a Sri Lankan author who has written two books about her conversion from Buddhism to Islam, has been arrested for apparently offending ethnic Sinhalese Buddhists.

According to the police, Sarah, who was born in Sri Lanka, has been living in Bahrain since 1985 and converted to Islam in 1999, was arrested last week under the country’s strict emergency laws.

They declined to provide details about Sarah’s offence, but suggested that her books were deemed to have caused offence to ethnic Sinhalese Buddhists.

The 38-year-old writer’s family members claim that she was detained for trying to mail copies of her books overseas.

Sarah’s sister has reportedly said that the police had acted on a tip-off by a member of a Buddhist nationalist party, who worked at the cargo company handling the books.

She added that Sarah had recently completed two books on her conversion to Islam. The two books are " From Darkness To Light " and " Questions and Answers " and were printed in Sri Lanka.

"Our lawyer said the police were unable to prove any charges against her, but they didn't allow him to visit her in jail."

Police reportedly asked Sri Lanka's most senior Buddhist to read the book, who confirmed there were no offensive words against Buddha.

Discover Islam earlier issued an international appeal to human rights groups to help secure her release, after being contacted by her family.

The group's Sharia adviser and director Shaikh Essam Ishaq said some of Bahrain's MPs were in talks with the Sri Lankan government to try and negotiate her freedom.

"They are optimistic something positive would happen and they would release her soon," he said.

Sri Lankan honorary consul P B Higgoda declined to comment until being given the green light from the government.

Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS) secretary-general Dr Abdulla Al Deerazi earlier said it would do everything it could to bring her back.

However, relatives in Bahrain fear the Sri Lankan may not be allowed to return here as her residence permit expired on March 24.

Ms Perera came to Manama in 1985 to assist her elder sister Mariam, who owned a gifts and flowers shop called Madhuri in The Palace Hotel, Adliya.

She latterly worked as a teacher at the Child Development Centre, Juffair.

Born and brought up in a Buddhist family, she embraced Islam in 1999 after studying religion at Discover Islam.

Her father Norbet Perera, mother Soma and sisters Padma, Rasa, Padmani and Malanie, later also converted to Islam at separate times.

Ms Perera is still being held in Mirihana Police Station, Colombo, while investigations continue

( i think the authority should just ban the books if they had discovered offensive contents instead of arresting her )

Meanwhile, the Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS) secretary-general Dr. Abdulla Al Deerazi has urged Sri Lankan authorities to free Sarah.

“There is something called freedom of opinion, if it’s not offending any religion. I believe the books written by Sarah are not against Buddhism,”
( Oh really ? Then what about the Danish cartoons and most recently the Swedish cartoons ? )

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thai Peace Talk Round 2

For those who are still interested, the 2nd round of meeting between Prime Minister, Abhisit and the Reds has started. All six particapants of the meeting are the same as yesterday's.

Here's what goes on in the discussion hall. ( Reds : Veera, Weng, Jatuporn )

Veera: "We are here to reiterate our demand, which is House disolution within 15 days. We don't want to call this the last round. But we would like a conclusion."

Abhisit: "It's like I said yesterday. There are conditions that we all should fulfil so as to make this really fruitful. I have consulted many parties. I have to tell the truth that many people don't want House dissolution now. I have no problem with House dissolution before this government lasts its term."

Abhisit: "Are we ready to talk within this framework? 15 days is impossible demand. If you are interested, we can continue talking. If you are not intersted... I'm not saying no to House dissolution. I'm just saying not today or within 15 days"

Jatuporn: "You have been PM one year and four months without deserving it. Double standard has left a deep scar on Thai society. Aside from being illegimate, your government has adopted various questionable policies."

(1) Amendment of Constitution should be done under new legislature, not under a pro-military structure

(2) The appointed PM is not a legitimate PM

(3) Increase opposition of the present government

(4) The government has borrowed a large sum of money thus increasing the nation's debt.

(5) He sees no chance of this government amending the Constitution

(6) This government is corrupted.

Jatuporn: "You and me and other groups should sign a ratification stating that all this must end with a new election. If you don't do it (dissolve House) you will be a tyrant.

Abhisit: "I thought we would not talk about what was already discussed. Accusing this government of being illegimate is an insult to the MPs that back this government. On me being illegitimate PM, I was chosen by MPs & up to each MP to vote for as per constitutional process. It has been normal parliamentary process all along, including by elections won by this government more than 20 out of 30. If you abhor this system, why did you contest in the election? On double standard it has more to do with Thaksin than me"

Jatuporn: "It's too late now to amend the Consitution. A new election has to be held to end the current political problems. All sides should ratify a pact that all sides would accept the result of the next election so that the political crisis could end"

Abhisit: "The money borrowed was utilised as part of stimulus package. It was not the largest amount borrowed. The largest amount was during Thaksin time. On corruption why don't you discuss corruption that has already been judged by court?"

Abhisit: "How many people believe we can have election under this atmosphere? You said you could control situation , but can you tell me who were responsible for the attack at Interior Ministry last year. You did not do anything to speak out against the violence at Interior Ministry when my vehicle was attacked. Your leaders were standing near where the Interior Ministry attack took place. Nobody said stop!."

Abhisit: "I have not said that i need to stay as PM until the end of my term but we need to have an additional time first.

Jatuporn: Back when PAD GovernmentHouse was seized, you called for dissolution. Korn even visited the Government House then, but now you disagree

( at this point Abhisit and Jatuporn were heatedly arguining, the other participants from both sides tried to get the discussion back on course )

Weng: "Reds are disciplined. Yellows ( supporters of Abhisit coalitions ) are mad and bloodlust. ( he then shows photos of what he says of soldiers aiming at red protesters ).

Abhisit: "I've never ordered those people be harmed. Please check my comments on the rally. I have never accused protesters. Look who's encouraging violence and aggressivness."

Veera: "If 15 days isn't acceptable. What's your offer?"

(Initially Abhisit can't give a definite answer but finally ... )

Abhisit: "What about the end of the year? We have the budget and other factors to consider.

Veera: From what I have heard on the time needed to get legal things in order from academics is that it can be down within 3 months

( Abhisit starts to explain on budgetary reasons why more time is needed )

Jatuporn: In 9 months will the economy actually get better? Will we be able to the constitution in that time?"

(Abhisit explaining that this financial year is different from others because of financial crisis)

Abhisit: "Referendum will take 3-4 months" Do you want to read sms that people sent to me? They said they won't vote for me if I dissolve House under pressure from just one group."

( The reds side start to question about Abhisit keeping his promise at the end of the year )
Korbsak: "We are here for thailand, not for Abhisit to continue to be PM or Pheu thai to be government. Let's be realistic if you want to do this for Thailand. We can each say we not trust each other. I thought I heard you say we have day 3. Meet again tomorrow?"

Abhisit: "Buying time means doing nothing. We have a roadmap."

( Veera proposes more talks, Abhisit proposes private discussions on roadmap )

Abhisit: " "I will go to Bahrain tomorrow. When i return, we'll talk again on this Thursday."

( Weng talks about violence again protesters again )

Abhisit: This government and the army agree that protesters aren't our enemy."

Weng: "We don't come just three of us. We have 20 million people with us".

Abhisit: "I'm not debating numbers, or I'll dare you for a referendum on whether House should be dissolved."

Weng: "We have right to assemble"

Jatuporn: "Future is future. I'll go back and ask the protesters in regards to the difference between 15 days and 9 months"
( indicating he doesn't want more talks but to let the people decide )

Talks ended with no conclusion over timeframe for House dissolution; No date was set for future talks

Sri Lanka Comes Under Attack

3 days ago, i posted on Sri Lanka Buddhist going on rampage over Akon's music video which eventually led to the rejection of his visa by the Sri Lankan government. In denying Akon's visa , the government said that Sri Lankans were angered by the insensitivity of the music video and having a concert by the singer would wreck 'morality and good values' that exist in the pre-dominantly Buddhist country. To prove their points several frames from the said music video were cited.

However, it has been revealed to the country now that the ‘immoral’ act that the government suddenly discovered was created by government’s own people. What we see in the media is the arguments and counter arguments carried out by these people trying to put the blame of getting down Ekon on each other.

The media reported someone ( i believe someone from the opposition party ) saying " Everyone knows that the present government, though it talks about ‘Mathata Thitha’ (Halt to all intoxicants), is always in a state of ‘Thithata Matha’ (Always intoxicated). We are able to show our viewers that the morality of the government is no different from its policy on intoxicants.

A photograph showing Lord Buddha's picturd tattoeed on a back of a foreign woman was published along an article by the Ministry Of Tourism on " Daily News " on the June 26, 2009. The article was then distributed by the ministry to tourists as part of tourist promotion.

( not the said photo )

Is this offensive ?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Protest In Thailand Taking A New Twist

So the Reds retreated from the Government House last night to focus on their next target, the 11th Infantry Army base. At 4.30am today, 2 grenades exploded at the army base, wounded 4 soldiers on duty, 2 in critical condition.

By 7.00am a large group of protesters have already gathered near the army base. The Reds wanted to meet the Prime Minister, Abhisit and gave him an hour to decide if he was willing to meet them at a location of his choice otherwise they would storm the army base. Just before receiving the ultimatum from the Reds, Abhisit appeared on national TV, reiterated that he was willing to negotiate with the Reds but not under present circumstances where he was being pressured and threatened by protesters. At the same time, the government warned that Martial Law would be invoked if the Reds tried to intrude the army compound.

However later, through a minister of his, Abhisit announced that he was willing to meet the Reds, apparently to avoid any imminent confrontation with the protesters. He wanted all protesters to leave the 11th Infantry before that meeting could be held. He assigned his Secretary General, Korbsak to workout the details of the meeting with the Reds and to choose a location. Abhisit was given another ultimatum by the reds, to finalise the details of the meeting otherwise they would create trouble. General Korbsak later announced that the meeting would be held at King Prachadipok Insitute at 4pm today and would be broadcast live on national TV. Meanwhile, the Reds refused to leave the army base, they would remain there until the meeting is held.

Meanwhile for the first time since the mass protest started more than 2 weeks ago, thousands of Bangkok residents representing 1800 communities groups assembled at Siam BTS Station to protest against the Reds and the dissolution of parliament.

( wrong people at wrong places )

Blood drinking time ? No, just syrup

This is where the protesters rest and sleep at night

The meeting between the PM and the Reds started as scheduled.

Abhisit was accompanied by his Secretary General, Korbsak and Chamdi. While the reds were represented by Jatuporn, Weng, Veera
Here's roughtly what transpired during the meeting

- Veera says previously they ( the Reds ) were communicating with Abhisit through the media and thanks Abhisit for coming today so that they could meet face to face. He says the goal of their movement is the dissolution of parliament.

- Abhisit says he doesn't want a particular party to win but all Thais as winners and his government does not want enemies ( Veera nods in agreement ). He says that he has never refused to dissolve the parliament as dissolution of parliament is normal in a democratic country. He asks Veera " but for what purpose ? is the dissolution of parliament the answer ? "

- Veera blames all the problems on the 2008 coup which he claims was unconstitutional and that the present government is as a result of the coup. He says the coup resulted in unfair drafting of constitution. They wanted amendment of constitution, referendum and discussions but all these never happened. He gurantees peace if an agreement is reached. " I can't see how this ends without an election " he says. He says if a new election is held it will be referendum on charter amendments. Candidates can ask voters if they want amendments on consititution. He further assures that the Reds will respect whatever outcome of a new election.

- Abhisit says he is against the coup and agrees with Veera that the coup has created problems but the real problems started before that. He also says the 1997 charter is problematic and 2007 charter also has problem but it ( 2007 charter ) has been endorsed by referendum. He says that he comes to the meeting as a PM not as the Democrat ( his party ) leader and that he needs to seek opinions from his coalition parties. He tells the Reds that his government won't last forever. He says the Reds need to reach an agreement with him first as to whether dissolution of parliament and an election can solve all the problems. Even if nothing happens now, there will still be another election next year ( for new term ), he says.

- Abhisit does not agree that a new election is equivalent to referendum on charter amendments. He then refers to a doctored audio clip played on Reds stage where he was purpotedly plotting violent confrontation against protesters. He asks " what would happen if this tape is played during election campaign ? " He then ask the reds if they accept the present election rules, whether they would accept if their party wins in the election but is later disqualified because of present election rules.

- Abhisit tells the Reds that has tried to coordinate efforts to amend the charter even on points he didn't want to amend.

- Veera says the people are not happy with interference from the army. He says the Abhisit led coalition government was set up with interference from the army. He says this is what prompted the reds to hit the streets.

- Abhisit insisted that the dissolution of parliament is a different matter from the efforts to amend the constituion and is confident that many people share the same opinion with him. Abhisit also notes that the government used to push for charter amendments but the Pheu Thai Party itself boycotted the proposed amendments after former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said "no" to the amendments.

- Jatuporn tells Abhisit politely " It's alright if you do not want to dissolve the House but after the coffee wwe will return to the rally ". He assures that the reds wont seize government buildings. He then jokes " you are just a year older than me but you are aging faster than me ".

- Abhisit says they need to find answers to the problems not for just 6 people sitting in that hall but for 63 million Thais.

- Jatuporn answers " I still can't see how you staying on will solve the problems" Since you aren't dissolving, then we will keep on fighting.

- Abhisit asks " Can there be a middle way ? " and re-iterates that " no democratic country in the world would agrre to "change" under threat by anti government protesters. "I accept some of your reasons which I think are all right. But can we go out of this room and find the right answers?" Abhisit asks.

- Abhisit turns to Weng and asks " in your years of fighting for democracy, has another PM ever sat down and talked with you ?

- Jatuporn asks Abhisit a final question "Are you dissolving the House or not?"

- Abhisit answers "I've never said I would stay until the end of government term. 100,000 people coming withou reasons need to be explained to. One man coming with reasons need to be listened to. " He says " let's have clear cut talk on Constitution first which shouldn't take long ". He tells the Reds he hopes he can lay groundworks toward reconciliation. You have the rights to continue to rally under the constitution but further talk can resume tomorrow. I'll only go to Brunei for a day trip ".

- Jatuporn tells Abhisit " I know you are a very reasonable man but it just can't go on like this "

- Abhisit answers "I don't mind if I'll win or lose if House is dissolved. What I do mind is whether House dissolution now is the answer. If i deceive you, believe me, anybody who does that won't be able to stay in power.

- Jatuporn hinted a short time framed might be acceptable.

- It was reported many Thais at grassroot levels were satisfied with what the PM said during the just concluded meeting with the Reds.

The next meeting will be held tomorrow ( 6pm ).

Here's the video before the meeting commenced. Take a look at the antics of the photographers.

For those who understand Thai and wish to watch the whole meeting which lasted close to 3 hours, you may go to youtube. " mahhaudj " has uploaded videos for the whole session. Here is the 2nd video ( the above one is the 1st ), there are many other more.

To lighten the atmosphere i repost this video which i have posted on this blog last year.. Someone made this video when Abhisit was appointed as PM in 2008. The lyrics of the songs are exactly what Abhisit wanted to tell his people, especially to the Reds. Like what a farang ( westerner ) said " Abhisit isn't a bad man, he just isn't elected ". So give him a chance. Enjoy the video