Meditations Conferences Seminars Workshops Events Sports Studies Pilgrimages Populations
Chakma in Pakistan
Islamabad, December 2009 (UJI): Former Chakma Raja Tridiv Roy virtually still unknown to the present Pakistanis generation. Raja Roy was just one of the East Pakistan Parliamentarian to reject the new country (Bangladesh) in 1971.
Raja Roy told on December 16, an anniversary of the “Fall of Dhaka”, as the event is remembered in Pakistan that he has “No regrets about that life-changing decision as his people continue to be discriminated against by Bangladesh. The main reason in his decision to support the Pakistani Nation rather than the rebels in 1971 was that “the people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) are not Bengalis”.
He left East Pakistan on November 11, before the war began.
The Pakistani forces surrender on December 16. Most of Raja Roy’s family, including his wife, remained behind in the new Bangladesh. Three children joined him later, but his eldest son, Debashis Roy, who remained behind with his mother and a sister, was anointed the new Chakma Raja. However, Raja Roy has never gone back to CHT, Bangladesh. He has studiously kept away from the Chakma issue over the last 38 years. He is now 76-year-old. He keeps a low profile, playing golf and bridge, travelling and working with Pakistan’s tiny Buddhist association.
“My overall advice is that fights for rights constitutionally, peacefully and do not go for violence and killings amongst yourself and with others. Of course, I miss my people, my home, my community,” he said.
Sanghamitra and Mahaparinirvan Express
The Sangha Mitra was the daughter of Emperor Ashoka, who was the ruler of Maurya Dynasty. Later, Emperor Asoka converted into Buddhism. Sangha Mitra was one of the prominent Bhikkuni (Nun), who went to Sri Lanka and propagated Buddhism there. In her named “Sanghamitra Express” train was introduced by Indian Railways Corporations in 2002. This Express runs in between Patna in Bihar and Bangalore in Karnataka. It has two A/C coaches, 11 sleeper class coaches and two general class coaches, a pantry car and luggage van.
For more information please: www.indiarailinfo.com/train
Mahaparinirvan Express is a special Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train launched by Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd in December 2009. The Corporation is targeted to Buddhist tourists from home and abroad. It is a unique express train connecting all important places of Buddhist pilgrimages in India besides one in Nepal. All amenities are provided by the Rajdhani Express trains. Tourists offered onboard and off-board catering and housekeeping services. This special train has 18 berths of first AC, 92 of two-tier AC and 256 berths of three-tier AC.
The Express is basically a 7 Nights/8 Days tour package covering all Major Buddhist destinations like Bodhgaya, Rajgir & Nalanda, Varanasi & Sarnath, Kushinagar, Sravasti, including Taj Mahal-Agra (India); and Lumbini (Nepal). This package includes your journey with exclusive AC Train & AC Coaches, Accommodation in Hotels, All Meals, Entrance Fee, Travel Insurance, Onboard Security, Service of Tour Guide and Escort, etc.
Class and Prices of the Express:
AC First Class Coupe: - USD 164 per person per night.
AC First Class: - USD 150 per person per night.
AC 2 TIER: - USD 125 per person per night.
AC 3 TIER: - USD 105 per person per night.
For more information: www.railtourismindia.com/buddha
Buddhism growing fastest in Australia
Australia (UJI): Buddhism is fastest growing religion and it is the second largest religious group in Australia. The vast majority of Australians are members of the Christian faith, but per capita the number of Buddhists has growing tremendously than any other Western Nations. Christianity is decreasing in every year. The Christian peoples knew now that Buddhism is the only Scientific, Humanistic and Peace-loving religion in the world.
According to the Australian Board of Statistics released a report in 2006 that claims a 79% increase in Aussies (Australian) who consider themselves Buddhists since 1996, now reaching more than 418,812 people. The few years since this report and visits by the Dalai Lama has probably increased this number considerably.
An interview on ABC Radio with a famous and most Senior British-Australian Spiritual Buddhist teacher Venerable Ajahn Brahmavamsa, Spiritual Director of the Bodhinyana Monastery, Western Australia states that, “Twice as many people who say they are Buddhists actually meditate, go to temples, and read books. That's one in 20 Australians. If they are not sympathetic to Buddhist, they are certainly very close to being Buddhists.”
According to Buddha net account, at present 275 monasteries including Meditation Cente, Community Centre, belongs from Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, and Non-Sectarian/Mixed.
Many Christian converts says - Buddhism given them freedoms they have never had before. In Buddhism you are allowed to ask questions and actually you're actively encouraged to doubt and to discuss and so on”. The Buddha said, “Don't just believe because I'm very famous, and don’t just believe because many people believe what I teach. Be like the Goldsmith, you know, apply the acid to the gold to test it and the acid being your mind, your intelligence. So in that sense it's a manifesto of intellectual freedom which is very appealing.” It is true that Buddhism really suits for people who have independent thinking.
Between 1405 and 1433 the Chinese Emperor, Ming Cheng-Ho, sent sixty-two large ships to explore southern Asia. Although there is evidence that several ships from that armada landed on the Aru Islands to the north of Arnhem Land, it is not known whether they reached the mainland.
The first documented arrival of Buddhists in Australia was in 1848 during the gold rushes, when Chinese coolie laborers were brought into the country to work on the Victorian gold fields. These workers represented a transient population that usually returned home within five years. It was not until 1876 that the first permanent Buddhist community was established by Sinhalese migrants on Thursday Island. There the ethnic Sri Lankans built the first temple in Australia, while they were employed on the sugar cane plantations of Queensland.
In an excellent article on Buddha Net that gives a detailed account of Buddhism's history in Australia by Darren Nelson. He describes the beginning of the modern expansion of Buddhism Down Under: - “In 1951 the first Buddhist nun, Sister Dhammadinna visited Australia. She came and propagated the Theravada Buddhism according to the Buddha’s teaching. She received nation-wide media coverage.”
This was a landmark event, since the 50 years previous were stained by the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901, which was essentially a government-sponsored white supremacist policy that disenfranchised the Aboriginal people as well as Asian immigrants.
Despite such enthusiasm, Australia still remains a very Christian country - with more than 75 percent of the population of 20 million belonging to a Christian faith.
Chakma Girl received Gold Medal in Mizoram
Kamalanagar (UJI): First time in the history of Mizoram organized first Inter Higher Secondary School Swimming Championship Competition was held on 11th December 2009. In this Championship competition, Govt. Mamwiin Higher Secondary School scored 3 Gold Medals; LR Higher Secondary School scored 2 Gold and 2 Bronze Medals; and Govt. KM Higher Secondary School scored 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze medals.
Miss Rekha Chakma and Miss Debashree Chakma both from LR Higher Secondary School became Champion and received Gold and Bronze Medals respectively in the 20 meters freestyle and 20 meters backstroke Swimming Championship Competition. Miss Rekha Chakma with her extraordinary effort she had finished to swim at 31.75 Seconds and Miss Debashree Chakma at 45.53 Seconds.
The Sports Minister Pu Zodintluanga was Chief Guest and presented the prize to the winners in the ceremony.
Foreign Minister and Indigenous Leaders meet
Jummaland, November 2009 (UJI): Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mrs. Dipu Moni and the Indigenous leaders met at the launching ceremony of a book titled “The ILO Convention on Indigenous and Tribal Populations 1957 and The Laws of Bangladesh: A Comparative Review” written by Chakma Raja Devasish Roy.
Mrs. Dipu Moni was Chief Guest and she has called upon all to work together to resolve the problems of indigenous people. There are some anomalies in the laws for indigenous people of plain lands and hill areas. The problems should be removed through discussions only. She said.
Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma (Santu Larma) Chairman of the CHT Regional Council was the Chairman in the ceremony and he said the Government has taken some initiatives for the development of the indigenous people but it should take more steps.
The Government of Bangladesh is committed to implement the CHT accord, said Mr. Dipankar Talukdar, State Minister for CHT Affairs.
Attorney General Mr. Mahbubey Alam, and ILO's Country Director Panudda Boonpala also spoke on the occasion. The speakers of the ceremony urged the Government of Bangladesh to ratify the ILO Convention No 169 which was adopted in 1989.
Pali College: Raj Bana Vihar
Rangamati, 2009 (UJI): The Katin Chibar Dana Ceremony is one of the biggest religious Buddhist Festival organizing every year at Raj Bana Vihar. This year Chakma Raja Debasish Roy was inaugurated the two-day festival. He was visited “Bain Ghar” where devotees were weaving “Chibar”. According to the Buddhist history, the first time this festival was introduced by Visaka, a lay disciple of the Enlightened One in 2556 years ago. It is observing world-wide.
Most Highest Holiness Venerable Sadhanananda Mahathera (Bana Bhante) delivered the sermon. He advised to avoid all unwholesome deeds including dividing and rule policy. Nibbana is the Highest and Happiest place for a Buddhist, he said. He also admonished to follow the teaching of Enlightened One.
Mr. Chalermpol Tanchit, Thai Ambassador to Dhaka; Mr. Supatra Masdit, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Thailand; and a representative of the King of Thailand was attended in the occasion. They were donated 9 Buddha statues for the monastery and robes to the Buddhist monks.
Mr. Dipankar Talukder, Minister for CHT Affairs announced a grant of aids to an amount of Tk. 3 Crore to establish a Pali College at the Raj Bana Vihar Complex.
Mr. Dilip Barua, Minister for Industries; Mr. Dipankar Talukdar, Minister from CHT Affairs; and Mr. Nikhil Kumar Chakma, Chairman of the Rangamati Hill District Council and other 50,000 peoples from home and abroad was participated in the ceremony.
Chakma Raja selected new Asia UNPFII expert
New York (UJI): The Steering Committee of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) officially announces the results of the selection process for the new Asia UNPFII expert for 2011-2013. The voting period ended last November 16 with 200 out of the 240 registered organizations from 14 countries in the region who casted their votes.
The country level votes were counted and verified by the country focal persons and were sent to the Regional Technical Secretariat for compilation. The votes were tallied and counted as one country one vote.
Among the two candidates, Chakma Raja Devasish Roy (Jummaland, Bangladesh) got 12.5 country votes out of the 14 participating countries while Mr. Neingulo Krome (Nagaland) got 1.5 country votes. The endorsement for Chakma Raja Devasish Roy will be submitted to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in February 2010.
Buddhist monk Presidential poll in Sri Lanka
Colombo (UJI): The Janasetha Peramuna (JP), one of the newly formed political parties recognized by the Commissioner of Election, has decided to field a Buddhist monk Ven. Battaramulle Seelaratana Thera, as its candidate to contest the Presidential Election expected to be held in January 26, 2010. He is also the Chairman of Janasetha Peramuna. This will be the first time in the political history of Sri Lanka that a Buddhist monk will be contesting a presidential election under the own party symbol of tractor. Ven. Thera in his media interview said that his party JP would be fielding candidates for the forthcoming provincial council election as well as Parliamentary poll.
We have been in the process of setting up party offices and appointing organizers to strengthen our base island-wide. The JP opted only for honest people capable of doing a job of work with profound commitment to represent the party. "We need those who can render selfless service to ease human suffering. We will not condone dishonesty, injustice” he said.
The JP continues to forge ahead to serve the poor masses without any support or assistance for any other political party. Among his main pledges are giving the Buddhism foremost place, guarantee the equal rights of all communities (Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and other ethnic groups), making Sinhala, Tamil and English state languages, as well as implementing an economic policy based on agriculture.
Buddhist monks want control of Bodhgaya temple
Bodhgaya (UJI): Buddhist monks want control over the management of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, one of the holiest shrines of Buddhism, where Lord Buddha Enlightened. They have decided to intensify their agitation against the Bihar Government until not paying heed to their demands.
They have been demanding total control over Temple management since long times. They are unhappy with the Bihar Government for ‘deliberately’ delaying an amendment to the Mahabodhi Temple Management Act, 1949, to ensure Buddhist control over the management of the temple.
It is very clear that the Bihar Government does not want to favor the Buddhist Monk’s genuine demand for total control over the Mahabodhi temple. We will have to fight for it by mobilizing support for it, Venerable Ananda, president of the Bodhgaya Mahabodhi Vihar All-India Action Committee, said.
The committee has decided to spread its network across India to intensify the agitation for total control over the Mahabodhi temple.
“We will launch a membership drive to induct new people in our fold and will open offices of the committee at different places in the country to mobilize support for our agitation,” Ven. Ananda said.
The delay is a ‘conspiracy’ by the government to keep the management under the control of non-Buddhists. “We fail to understand why non-Buddhists have control over the holiest shrine of Buddhists. We have decided to take up the issue by lobbying support to demand Buddhist control over the management by any means” Ven. Amanda said.
According to the existing law, the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BGTMC) should comprise four Buddhists and the same number of Hindu members for a three-year period with the Gaya district magistrate as its ex-officio chairman.
Chiangmai, November 2, 2009 (UJI): The 20th Anniversary of International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) Conference is going to be held Chiangmai, Thailand from 10-30 November 2009.
One of the Chakma missionary monk, named Ven. Sumanalanker Mahathera along with his assistant from Jummaland attending at the Conference. The main theme of the conference is “Engaged Buddhist Festival of Peace and Social Transformation”. The INEB is a network Buddhist Organization which consisting membership from monks, nuns, social activist and community leaders.
Its aim is to inte
grate the Buddha’s messages on wisdom and compassion for social transformation to achieve a healthy, just and peaceful world. The INEB reached 20 years of establishment. The detailed programs are follows:
10-12 Nov 2009: Meditation Retreat
13-15 Nov 2009: INEB conference on accomplishment, challenges and strategies for engaged Buddhist movements.
15 Nov 2009: Cultural event for peace and social transformation.
16 Nov 2009: International alms round; walking tour to cherish “Ancient temples and ancient trees amid the urbanizing Chiangmai city”; and Public lecture.
17 Nov 2009: Public discussion, seminar and workshops on socially engaged Buddhism.
18 Nov 2009: Half day peace walks.
19-21Nov 2009: The Engaged Buddhist Festival of Peace and Social Transformation Part 2 (INEB Conference: Strategic planning for action for peace
22-30 Nov 2009: Forest Walk (optional post-festival activity) in Pakayaw ethnic forest.
Venue: Suan Dok Temple and Meditation Center of MCU, Chiangmai, Thailand.
Railways gets tourism award for Buddhist circuit train
New Delhi, March 3, 2009: A train launched by Railways in 2007 connecting popular Buddhist circuits, has won the National Tourism Award for providing “safe and unmatched” travelling experience to tourists.
A senior Railway Ministry official said ever since the launch of Mahaparinirvan Express, both domestic and foreign tourists from Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, USA, Canada, Germany and Netherlands have admired the hospitality and seamless services rendered by the staff of the train.
The award was conferred under the Most Innovative Tourism Product & appose category for the year 2007-08 and was received by managing director of IRCTC Rakesh Tandon from Home Minister P Chidambaram last month. The train starts from Delhi and covers Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Varanasi, Sarnath, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Lumbini-Sravasti and Agra during its eight-day journey.
Buddhist monk commits suicide
Bodhgaya, March 4, 2009: A young Buddhist monk Ven. Vaninta (age 20) committed suicide in the Mahabodhi Temple complex in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. He was hanged by himself from a tree.
Ven Vaninta belongs from Mogh Buddhist community of Tripura and studying Pali language in Bodhgaya.
Ven. Chatindra, another monk from the complex report that “they don’t know about the reason behind his suicide.” Another monk, Ven. Sugata said, Ven. Vaninta was suffering from mental illness since long times.
The Mahabodhi Temple is a famous temple in the World. In 2002, the UNESCO declared a World Heritage Site. Thousands of tourists, especially from countries where there is a strong Buddhist community visiting every year.
Political prisoners among 6,000 freed in Myanmar
Yangon, February 27, (Reuters): Nineteen political prisoners, including allies of pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and five Buddhist monks, have been freed in military-ruled Myanmar as part of a general amnesty, an exile group said on Sunday. The regime announced the release of over 6,000 inmates on Friday after United Nations human rights reporter Tomas Ojea Quintana ended a five-day visit during which he called for the progressive release of "prisoners of conscience."
On Saturday, 16 political detainees were freed from Yangon's Insein prison and three from a prison in northern Kachin state, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) said on its website www.aappb.org. The Insein group included five Buddhist monks arrested in 2003 and members of Suu Kyi's opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and other political groups.
Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, who began her latest detention in May 2003, is among more than 2,000 people jailed in Myanmar for their political or religious beliefs, rights groups say. The military junta, which has ruled unchecked since 1962, denies the existence of any political prisoners, saying all detainees have committed crimes.
State-owned MRTV said on Friday the prisoners were being released for the "social consideration of their families" and to take part in elections promised for 2010, part of a seven-step "roadmap to democracy."
Western governments dismiss the roadmap as a charade, and human rights groups accuse the regime of seeking to eliminate all political opposition ahead of the election. Special courts have sentenced scores of dissidents to lengthy prison terms of up to 65 years in recent months. The most prominent activists have been sent to the furthest corners of the country, making it almost impossible for relatives to deliver food and medicine to them, raising the possibility of the prisoners dying behind bars.
Among those released on Saturday was Thet Wai, an NLD official in Yangon who was sentenced to two years in jail in 2008 for reporting incidents of forced labor to the International Labor Organisation (ILO), an NLD spokesman said. Three other NLD members were freed from Myitkyina Prison in northern Kachin state. They included Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, an NLD MP elected in the 1990 election that his party won only to see the military ignore the results. He had been in prison since 1991.
Tibetan monks, police clash in Sichuan
Sichuan, February 27, 2009: The county of Lithan in Sichuan Province has been locked down after clashes between Tibetan monks, laypeople, nomads and Chinese security forces.
On 19th February last, the Chinese government authorities ordered to the security forces in Tibet to crush any signs of support for the Dalai Lama as the 50th anniversary of an anti-Chinese uprising neared.
One of the owners of a grocery shop in Lithan said she witnessed a small protest near the county's main vegetable market on Sunday that escalated into a much larger one about lunch time on Monday. On the second day, she said she saw several hundred Tibetans gathered downtown, shouting "long live the Dalai Lama" -- the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists who lives in exile in India. In just a few minutes, she said, squads of police arrived and a melee ensued.
In India, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said 21 people were detained. It said two men were badly beaten and suffered severe injuries.
Tensions high after Tibetan monk shot in China
Beijing, February 27, 2009 (AFP): Tensions were high in a town in southwest China Saturday after police shot a Tibetan monk who set himself on fire in protest against Chinese rule, activist groups and residents said.
The alleged incident comes ahead of an ultra-sensitive few weeks in Buddhist Tibet and neighboring provinces of western China, with March 10 the 50th anniversary of a failed uprising that led to the Dalai Lama fleeing to India. The monk, in his late 20s, was shot after dousing himself with petrol and setting himself alight in the Tibetan-populated town of Aba in Sichuan province on Friday afternoon, the London-based group Free Tibet reported.
It was not known whether he had died as he was immediately surrounded by police and taken away after being shot, according to the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), another activist group based in the United States. The monk held an image of the Dalai Lama, Tibetans' spiritual leader, as he embarked on his protest, the activist groups said, citing unnamed witnesses and residents of Aba.
Aba residents whom AFP reached by phone on Saturday were extremely fearful of discussing the issue but admitted police had fired shots, although they would not comment on who these were aimed at. Asked whether a monk had set himself on fire, an employee at a local hotel, who could not be named for fear of reprisal, said she had been told not to say anything by the police. But she said police had fired shots.
"It's true, but I can't say any more. My phone is monitored," she told AFP before hanging up. Other residents also confirmed the shooting, but quickly hung up for fear of being caught talking about the situation.
Some spoke of a strong police presence in the town after the incident. "There are many policemen on patrol in the street and all of them have guns," an employee at a teahouse in Aba, who could also not be named, told AFP. Local government and police would not comment on the issue.
UN grades India’s freedom of religion for religious minorities
Delhi, 11th February 2009: The UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of religion or belief visited India last year and just released her report on the country, highlighting, among other things 2 matters that are of special concern to Sikhs: (1) the situation of religious or belief minorities (generally) and (2) justice for victims and survivors of communal violence (including Operation Blue star in particular).
This report will serve as a great tool for future advocacy and education campaigns, as the UN Special Rapporteur is by mandate, an independent entity (though also a diplomatic entity whose mandate is funded by the States she monitors, so of course there are limits to what can be said and done). The office is also widely respected authorities, whose reports is persuasive and create pressure in courts and government offices. Having official international support and recognition of issues that have long been a struggle for Sikh activists to legitimate (lack of accountability, lack of compensation) should advance the Sikh movement to hold accountable Indian government authorities identified as responsible for innocent civilian deaths. Between this report, and the recently released Ensaaf report, 2009 looks like it’s going to be a good year for advancing accountability for crimes by Indian authorities against Sikhs in the 80s and 90s.
Some problems that Sikhs experience as religious minorities are shared by Jains and Buddhists, namely, that Sikhs (and Jains and Buddhists) aren’t recognized as identities distinct and separate from the Hindu religion (a matter previously touched upon briefly at TLH).
Several Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists expressed concerns that they were not treated as distinct religious communities but rather as belonging to Hindu religion. Article 25 of the Constitution contains an explanation that “reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jains or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions shall be construed accordingly”. Jurisprudence confirms that since the Constitution was framed, Sikhs and Jains have been treated as part of the wider Hindu community with its different sects, sub-sects, faiths, modes of worship and religious philosophies. In various codified customary laws, 11 the definition of ‘Hindu’ includes Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs.
The extended timeframes for investigation cases involving communal riots, including Operation Blue star, were noted as cause for concern.
The Special Rapporteur is seriously concerned at the extended timeframe of investigations in cases involving communal riots, violence and massacres such as those which occurred after “Operation Blue Star” in 1984, after the destruction of Babri Masjid in 1992 and after the Godhra train burning incident in 2002. All of these incidents continue to haunt the people affected by them and the system of impunity emboldens forces of intolerance. It is important to draw appropriate lessons from these events in order to prevent the recurrence communal violence.
In addition to fueling intolerance, impunity’s socio-economic effects were also noted. (i) severe long-standing antagonism on religious lines in particular villages and urban localities; (ii) an emotional response of members of religious communities to a precipitating event; (iii) a feeling in the minds of rioters and the larger religious group to which they belong that sectarian violence is justifiable; and (iv) the assessment by the rioters that the reaction from the police to sectarian violence will be either absent or partisan or ineffective.
Unfulfilled promises regarding accountability for Operation Blue star, and return of stolen Sikh reference materials and artifacts were highlighted.
Two commissions and eight committees were set up from 1984 to 2005 in order to identify those responsible for the anti-Sikh riots. However, many families of the victims or survivors voiced their concerns that the main accused were either not charged or were acquitted and that compensation was inadequate. Furthermore, despite a 2004 court judgment in favor of the return of the Sikh religious scriptures, reference material and artifacts’, which had been removed from the Sikh reference library in Amritsar by the Indian army in 1984, had reportedly not been returned yet.
And last but not least, the fact that compensation for unidentified bodies/illegal cremations has so far been limited to the Amritsar district, excluding the other 12 districts of Punjab, was noted.
Further concerns refer to the issue of unidentified bodies. Punjab security forces had secretly cremated thousands of bodies that they had labeled as unidentified/unclaimed”. A report by the Central Bureau of Investigation documented more than 2,000 cases of illegal cremations at crematoria in the Amritsar district. Subsequent claims for compensation filed with the National Human Rights Commission have been limited to these cases in the Amritsar district, excluding the other districts of Punjab.
Buddhist Leader's 2009 Peace Proposal: Humanitarian Competition
Tokyo, Jan. 26: President of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist association issued his Annual peace proposal entitled "Toward Humanitarian Competition: A New Current in History." Analyzing the global economic crisis, Ikeda questions humanity's abstract love of money, calling for a focus on the real needs of real people and stressing the need to strengthen social safety nets. To resolve the crisis of capitalism, he advocates a paradigm shift to "humanitarian competition," a concept first proposed by Soka Gakkai founder Tsunesaburo Makiguchi in 1903, in which nations and individuals compete to contribute the most to global society.
To make the current crisis a catalyst for change, he calls for shared action to tackle global environmental problems, shared responsibility and international cooperation over global public goods, and shared efforts for peace through dialogue.
To seize the chance for progress toward nuclear abolition, Ikeda calls for a U.S.-Russia summit at the earliest opportunity and for a series of five-state summits of all the NPT nuclear-weapon-states to draw up a roadmap toward fulfilling their disarmament obligations under Article VI of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). He supports calls for a Nuclear Weapons Convention prohibiting the use, manufacture, possession, deployment and transfer of nuclear weapons. To build widespread public support for such initiatives, SGI has launched a "People's Decade for Nuclear Abolition," which utilizes various public education tools and links with other groups such as the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
Other specific proposals include: creating a UN agency responsible for sustainable energy; establishing a World Food Bank to supply emergency relief or help stabilize markets in a food crisis; increasing use of international solidarity levies to fund efforts toward the Millennium. Development Goals; and strengthening the UN's ability to cooperate with civil society actors and to function as a think tank "capable of offering future-oriented vision and action strategies based on what the world will look like 50 or 100 years from now."
This is the 27th annual proposal authored by Daisaku Ikeda on January 26 to commemorate the founding of the SGI, a Buddhist association with 12 Million members in 192 countries and territories. SGI's peace activities are part of the long-standing tradition of Buddhist humanism.
Pacific Buddhist Academy to host 3rd Annual Taiko & Karaoke Festival
Pearl City: On Sunday, March 8, 2009 starting at 1:00 p.m. at the Pearl City Cultural Center, the students of the Pacific Buddhist Academy (PBA) will present the 3rd Annual Taiko & Karaoke Festival, The Path to Peace.
What started off three years ago as a showcase for students has evolved into a well-attended, highly regarded annual concert? Returning performers include Craig Shimizu, a voice instructor of thirty years, Colette Gomoto, KZOO Radio's 2006 Karaoke Taikai Champion, and veteran performer Amy Katsumoto, will be joined by newcomer Verda Masuda who took first place in the adult division of the 2008 KZOO's Karaoke Championships. Young new singing sensation, Tevita, will make his debut at the festival singing the Obon standard Chanchiki Okesa and attendees will be treated to a Shishi Mai dance by Jon and Darlene Itomura and a dance by Dazzman Toguchi, who has been a member of Iwakuni Bon Dance Club for eighteen years.
As always, the highlight of the afternoon will be the exhilarating Taiko performances by PBA students from Grades 9-12. This year, the senior performance ensemble will debut a collaborative composition, Buddha's Call for Peace, Toyofuku Sensei will introduce the freshmen "young bloods," as he refers to them, and the full PBA student body will perform a spirited version of the traditional Japanese fishing work song, Soran Bushi.
PBA freshmen are required to take a year of Taiko and many choose to continue their studies for all four years at PBA. Through practice and performances, students develop concentration and self-discipline. They become more physically fit and learn to be persistent and internally motivated. In addition, Toyofuku Sensei says students consistently "develop a sense of worth, and confidence in themselves and one another."
The theme for this festival, The Path to Peace, refers to "the happiness and delight in life that come from an appreciation of each moment," said Toyofuku Sensei. It is a path that is both discovered and expressed by PBA students as they play the Taiko.
Indigenous Connections Conference
Australia, November, 2009 (UJI): An Indigenous Climate Connection Conference was held on November 14-20, 2009 at Sarawak, Malaysia. More than 100 indigenous youth participated from different countries of the globe. Mr. Bidhayak Chakma represented from Jummaland, Bangladesh. Mr. Chakma is one of the active members of the Jumma student community since many years. At present, he is studying in Australia since 2007. The conference unanimously demanded “Dignity for the Indigenous Peoples”.
Jumma Buddhist Temple in France
France (UJI): The Jumma Buddhist community in France started fund raising to buy a piece of land for the construction of a Jumma Buddhist Monastery cum Community Center for their growing children’s and future generation. Ven. Bimal Bhikkhu, a famous Chakma Missionary monk encouraged and advised them for this noble task in his last visit in France on June-July 2009. The Jumma Buddhist Community also proudly announced that they are going to celebrate “Chakma Bizu 2010” which means Chakma New Year Eva or Festival with great honor, joy, colorful gathering and grand unity with their two standing socio-cultural welfare organizations, namely: the Belo Shaudok Association (BSA) and the Baia Association (BAIA).
Chakma areas: Road constructions
Arunachal, December 2009 (UJI): For the first time 4 pitch roads are under construction through Chakma Villages under the “Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sarak Yojana Programme (PMGSYP) in the Chakma areas in Arunachal Pradesh. The roads are: - (a) Barket Road (Bordumsa - Magantong) - Bijaypur III village (8kms length & 12 feet width); (b) Newton Village to Dharmapur Village (6kms length & 12 feet width); (c) Diyun - Dumpani Village (3kms length & 12 feet width; and (d) Diyun - Haripur Village (3kms length & 12 feet width).
Chakma Raja: UN Climate Change Conference
Copenhagen, December, 2009 (UJI): Chakma Raja Devasish Roy and accompany with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh team participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference at Copenhagen, capital city of Denmark.
During their five-day stay in Copenhagen, they were also participated in the Joint High-Level Segment of COP and CMP at Bella Centre in the Danish capital. The delegates met with the Queen of Denmark and the Prince Consort for the Heads of State and Government at Royal Palace on December 17.
Tanchangya Council meeting end
Rangamati, December 29, 2009 (UJI): The Bangladesh Tanchangya Kalyan Sangstha (BTKS) 6th General Council meeting was held on 26th & 27th December 2009 at the Tribal Cultural Institute Auditorium. Chakma Raja Devasish Roy was Chief Guest and Mr. Gazi Salehuddin, Dean of Social Science Faculty of the University of Chittagong was special guest.
Mr. Prashyana Kanti Tanchangya, Councilor of the Bandarban Hill District Council was presided the meeting.
More than 500 delegates participated from different part of the country. The council unanimously demanded for Constitutional Guarantee to all ethnic minority groups who are living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in order to develop their culture and heritage.
Chakma Raj Punyah celebrated
Rangamati, December 30, 2009 (UJI): A three days colorful Chakma Raj Punyah was celebrated from 27th to 29th at the Chakma Royal Palace complex in Rangamati according to the traditional customs. This time, they were celebrated after five years. Last time, it was took place in 2003.
Chakma Raja Devasish Roy and Prince Tribhuban Aryadev Roy ascended the throne at the “Raj Darbar”. Raja Roy received annual jhum taxes from the 175 headmen at the function. He also received chicken, pig, wine, etc. as gift from them as per as their tradition. They also organized as Gautam Muni Mela, cultural function, sports, drama and exhibition.
International Buddhist Conference
Yangon, February 27, 2007 (UJI Correspondent): An International Theravada Buddhist universities conference will be held at the Sitagu International Buddhists Academy in Sagaing, northwestern division of Myanmar. The Executive Secretary Venerable Khammai Dhammasa of the Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities (ATBU) told the press.
This is second biennial conference, going to be held from March 5 to 8, about 70 papers relating to engaged Buddhism, religious teachings in Theravada Buddhist countries, monasticism in Theravada countries, and Pali literature since the 19th century will be presented mainly in English and Pali languages for discussion.
According to Ven. Khammai report that 290 representatives from 30 universities and colleges from 11 countries including observers from seven other countries as well as 300 domestic monks and nuns are expected to attend in the conference. The countries expecting to participate are include Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Uganda, Jamaica, Nepal and host Myanmar.
The conference is aimed at building a network of Theravada Buddhists and intellectuals from across the world to enable cooperation in religious teachings and education and disseminate Buddhist laws to the world.
The forthcoming International Theravada Buddhist universities conference came more than four years after the World Buddhist Summit, sponsored by Myanmar for the first time, took place at the Maha Pasana Cave in Yangon in December 2004 to promote and propagate Buddhism.
Buddhism stands one of the four main historical religions of the world with over 360 million followers. Myanmar is a country with a majority of its population (about 80 percent) believing in Buddhism. It is estimated that there are over 420,000 monks and over 60,000 nuns within nine sects in Myanmar which have been unified at different levels under the leadership of the government's religious committee.
For nearly 1,000 years, the country has kept Theravada Buddhism pure and intact. Buddhist scripture learning centers and other monastic education schools were set up here long ago. There are five Theravada Buddhist universities and one institute in Myanmar -- four in Yangon, one in Mandalay and one in Sagaing.
The first conference was held in Bagan, Myanmar in which representatives of Theravada Buddhist universities and colleges from 13 countries attended. The ATBU was set up in that Conference.