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Village Buddhist Monks in Laos Initiate Environmentally-Aware Development

Monks and nun being trained for community development purposeBy Toung Eh Synuanchanh

This article is the 19th in a series of joint productions of Lotus CommunicationNetwork  and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

BEUNGSANTHUENG, Laos (IDN) – A quiet revolution is taking shape in rural Laos, where environmentally-conscious village Buddhist monks are teaching people morality and meditation to spearhead a movement mobilising the people to economically develop their communities for living in harmony with nature rather than destroying it in the name of development.

At the Ban Beungsanthueng community, in Nongbok District in Khammouane Province of Laos, about 400 km south of the capital Vientiane, monks educate the villagers in Sila (Buddhist morality) and the way to live a good life (Right Livelihood), while protecting the environment. In this nominally communist country, the monks explain the linkage between humans and nature to villagers, and its importance to their livelihoods and well-being


Eastern Spirituality Could Help Sustainable Development

This article is the 18th in a series of joint productions of Lotus Communication Network  and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

By Kalinga Seneviratne

SAMVADYogiYANGON, Myanmar (IDN) – “The desire for peace exists everywhere, but the majority of people are not in a position to enjoy peace, stability and security they desire,” noted venerable Dr Ashin Nyanissara, spiritual head of the Sitagu International Buddhist University (SIBU), in opening a two-day gathering of spiritual leaders and scholars at the university here on August 5.

The event was the second Global Initiative for Conflict Avoidance and Environmental Consciousness (SAMVAD) conference, following the first held in New Delhi in September 2015.

SAMVAD is an initiative of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to adopt principles of Asia’s age-old spiritual teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism to address modern-day issues threatening human civilisation.

Bhutan: A Buddhist Development Model That Could Be Emulated

BhutanBuildingA Lotus News Feature by Venerable Dr Omalpe Sobhitha Mahathera

There will be many answers to the question: which is the country where the happiest people live? In response many famous, developed nations will come to our mind.  But you will be surprised that the name of a little-known country could be the right the answer to this question. It is Bhutan, the wonderful and amazing country that beats all others in the happiness index.

Myanmar: Commission Slams UN for “Smear Campaigning”

By Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 17th in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features  and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

MyanmarPeaceYANGON, Myanmar (IDN) - A Myanmar government commission that investigated allegations made by an international human rights organisation and the media about the country’s security forces abusing the human rights of Muslims known as Rohingyas in Rakhine State has found these allegations to be “unproven” and slammed its critics, including the United Nations, for carrying out an international “smear campaign” against the country.

Modi’s Buddhist Diplomacy Fails to Dispel Sri Lankan Suspicions

ModiInSLA Lotus News Analysis by Kalinga Seneviratne


BANGKOK (IDN) – The May 11-12 visit to Sri Lanka by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the UN Day of Vesak festival as a special guest was designed to woo Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority, but reactions in the Sri Lankan media indicates that it has not succeeded in dispelling their suspicions about “Indian colonialism” of their small neighbour.

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May they attain Nibbana