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The Timing of ‘Communal’ Violence in Sri Lanka Raises Questions

By Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 21st in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

BudhstPerocesnBANGKOK (IDN) – The damage has already been done. Buddhists are accused of Islamaphobic communal attacks in Sri Lanka and tourists are cancelling their trips to the country as the international media follow a common formula denigrating the Buddhist majority, while ignoring questions that are being raised in the country on the timing of these latest “communal” attacks.

The violence against Muslim businesses and homes in Central Sri Lanka and in the East came a day before a no-confidence motion against prime mnister Ranil Wickremasinghe was to be tabled in parliament by the opposition.

 

‘Smart Farms’ Making Thai Agriculture Sufficient and Sustainable

Smart Farm

By Kalinga Seneviratne

This article is the 20th in a series of joint productions of Lotus News Features and IDN-InDepthNews, flagship of the International Press Syndicate.

CHANTHABURI, North-East Thailand (IDN) – Thai farmers are going back to basics under a “Smart Farms” formula supported by modern information communication technology (ICT) integrated into a Buddhist concept of ‘sufficiency economy’ to make the kingdom’s lifeblood – agriculture and its small-scale farmers – sustainable into the foreseeable future.

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.

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

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.

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May they attain Nibbana