Politics

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    Aung San Suu Kyi gives alms and robes to monks Paid Member

    Aung San Suu Kyi, freed after being detained for 15 of the last 21 years, greeted monks outside the headquarters of her National League for Democracy. Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi offered alms to hundreds of Buddhist monks and nuns on Wednesday—the first major meeting between her and the Buddhist Order since her release last month. About 780 Buddhist monks and 119 nuns showed up to receive cash and material donations at Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party office in Rangoon. An NLD party member said that although Suu Kyi planned to donate to as many as 150 monks, other monks and nuns from across the former capital also joined the occasion. “We could not offer robes to all the monks. So, we had to donate slippers and cash to them instead,” he said. More »
  • Wikileaks: Lumbini Edition Paid Member

    At the request of Dr. Christoph Cueppers—German Tibetologist, director of the Lumbini International Research Institute, and friend—I went yesterday to the UN Archives and Records Management to sift through old documentation on the UN's role in the early days of Lumbini's development."It would be very very helpful indeed if you could get some documentation of the early days of the Lumbini," he wrote, "and the international commitment. Photos, exchange of notes, whatever is there is of interest. Also the assignment of the Master Plan to Kenzo Tange."Most of what I looked through wasn't very juicy—formal letters requesting financial support, thank you notes. etc.—but I loved it. For me, touching history is an electric, life-affirming activity. This is our collective heritage! Isn't it wild that this is our collective heritage?Here are a couple photographs of the correspondence I dug through. More »
  • Urgency in Burma Paid Member

    Our friend Allan Badiner sends along the following, a guest blogpost from a campaigner for the US Campaign for Burma named Patrick Cook-Deegan.   Each day for the past seven years, Burma’s imprisoned Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi started her morning by practicing meditation alone in her dilapidated house in Rangoon. But last month, Suu Kyi’s schedule changed markedly when she was freed from house arrest after seven and a half continuous years of detention. As she walked out to the gate of her home, she smiled at the thousands of followers who had flocked to her house to show their support. As she addressed them, she promised to continue Burma’s “non-violent revolution.”For Free Burma campaigners like myself, it brought tears to our eyes to see “The Lady” back where she belongs: amidst the people of Burma. Usually even the roads to reach her house are blocked by soldiers—I witnessed that first-hand this past summer in Rangoon. In fact, this is the first time I have seen Suu Kyi free since becoming a part of the Burma solidarity movement four years ago.I first got involved in Burma after going on a solo bicycle trip 1,000 miles through the country in the summer of 2006. During my month long trip, I was frequently followed by Burma’s military police, and I played the good tourist most of the time to prevent endangering the locals around me. But there were times I could slip away from my followers and find Burmese people who were willing to tell me about their lives. Often I ended up at monasteries talking with monks. Many of Burma’s younger monks are politically active and eager to talk to foreigners. In Mandalay, I spent a few days befriending one young monk named U Zwingar. We were about the same age—21—and we shared many of the same values. I had just completed my first 10-day mediation sit and I was interested in learning more about Buddhism. And we were both interested in politics. More »
  • The Dalai Lama wants to step down from his political role but keep his religious one Paid Member

    The Tibetan parliament-in-exile next meets in March in Dharamsala, and the Dalai Lama is expected to announce his desire to resign from his political duties as head of the Tibetan government while retaining his religious ones at that time. (In religious terms, the Dalai Lama is not the highest-ranking lama in Tibetan Buddhism, nor is he even the head of the Gelugpa school of which he is a part. That responsibility falls to the Ganden Tripa.) More »
  • Buddhists in the House Paid Member

    Did you know that Hawaii's membership in the House of Representatives in 2011 will be 100% Buddhist? There are two House members from the Aloha State: Democrat Mazie Hirono and newly elected Colleen Hanabusa, also a Democrat and currently president of Hawaii's Senate. Hanabusa defeated Republican Charles Djou to win the seat representing the 1st district, which covers urban Honolulu, while Hirono represents the 2nd district, which covers suburban Honolulu and the rest of the islands. Both are of Japanese heritage and Wikipedia names both women as Shin Buddhists. More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    100+ Western Buddhist teachers sign letter to President Obama Paid Member

      Over 100 Western Buddhist teachers have joined together and signed a letter to President Obama "imploring [him] to repudiate the results" of the upcoming "sham" elections in Burma. The letter reads: More »