• Sangye Gyatso and China's Long Memory Paid Member

    A week ago, Professor Robert Barnett wrote for the New York Review of Books, explaining some history to those curious why China is so sensitive to news of the 14th Dalai Lama's planned retirement—news that recently upset many Tibetans. He traces the cause back to the Fifth Dalai Lama, the first to hold temporal power, bestowed, as is well known, by the Mongol Khan (who, I think, was a follower of the Sakya school, not the Gelugs.) In the Fifth Dalai Lama's declining years, the new and ambitious Qing Dynasty claimed sovereignty over Tibet (and many other areas thousands of miles from their capital of Shenyang and later Beijing.) More »
  • Tibetan Monk burns himself to death protesting Chinese crackdown Paid Member

    A 21-year old Tibetan Buddhist monk named Phunstog set himself on fire today in western China, apparently in protest of China's policy toward Tibetans . Via Reuters: The self-immolation appeared to be a small repeat of protests that gripped Tibetan areas of China in March 2008, when Buddhist monks and other Tibetan people loyal to the exiled Dalai Lama, their traditional religious leader, confronted police and troops. The 21-year-old, named Phuntsog, was a monk in Aba, a mainly ethnic Tibetan part of Sichuan province that erupted in defiance against Chinese control three years ago. The monk "immolated himself today in protest against the crackdown," said Kate Saunders of the International Campaign for Tibet, a London-based organization. More »
  • Indian government softens hardline position on 17th Karmapa Paid Member

    The Indian government in New Delhi has softened its hardline position on the status of Ogyen Trinley Dorje, one of two claimants to the title of 17th Karmapa. (The other is Trinley Thaye Dorje.) His travel restrictions, among other issues, have eased. Asia Times Online has an extensive article on this issue, which begins: More »
  • No more industry in the Buddha's birthplace Paid Member

    The road to Lumbini, Nepal—the birthplace of the Buddha—is littered with industry. Cement companies, brick kilns, steel mills, and a paper mill all manufacture goods alongside the Bhairahawa-Lumbini highway, a stretch of land that falls within the Lumbini Protected Zone—an area of a 15km radius around the UNESCO World Heritage Site, meant to be industry-free. Though rules barring industry in the LPZ have not been enforced before now, Nepal's Prime Minister, Madhav Kumar Nepal, said Sunday that the government will not license new industries and will begin to crackdown on existing ones.      From Republica: More »
  • Exiled Musicians to Raise Awareness for Jailed Artists in Tibet Paid Member

    VIA The Tibet Post, More »
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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 »