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Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2003

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December 2002 Stories

(13 stories)

UNESCO unhappy with Mahabodhi temple maintenance Imran Khan, Indo-Asian News Service Patna, December 31 (Hindustan Times).
The United Nations' cultural arm Unesco might threaten to revoke heritage status for the Mahabodhi temple at Buddhism's birthplace in eastern India if the government continues to flout its maintenance guidelines.
Unesco officials are reportedly unhappy with both the Bihar and Indian governments for the poor maintenance of the temple in Bodh Gaya town, about 110 km from here. .... The Bihar urban development department had assured Unesco that its guidelines -- including the enforcement of a strict ban on all construction in a one-kilometre radius around the temple -- would be strictly followed. But the ban is being openly violated and new structures are coming up fast within the restricted area. Link to Full Story

Buddhist monks pray for world peace Imran Khan, Indo-Asian News Service Patna, December 31, (Hindustan Times). Hundreds of Buddhist monks from across the world have gathered at their religion's birthplace in eastern India for weeklong prayers for world peace that began Tuesday. About 7,000 Buddhist monks, including 17 incarnate lamas, have congregated in Bihar's Bodh Gaya town for the Kagyu Monlam Chenmo prayer that the 17th Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorji, was scheduled to lead. Link to Full Story

Neo-Buddhists step up attack on Dalai Lama
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2002 01:37:44 AM ] (Times of India) Gaya: With less than two weeks left for the beginning of the Kalchakra Pooja, the most important religious ritual of the Mahayana sect of traditional Buddhists, the Bodh Gaya-based Ambedkarites, better known as neo-Buddhists, have stepped up the anti-Dalai Lama campaign and printed material is being distributed against the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile led by His Holiness. Earlier, the neo-Buddhists demanded expulsion of the Dalai Lama and Karmapa, the two Tibetan spiritual leaders enjoying Indian hospitality. The two-page printed material in Hindi captioned “Bharat ki bhoomi par gair desh ki sarkar (alien government on Indian soil), questions the very logic behind the decision to allow Dalai Lama to run what was, according to the material being distributed in Bodh Gaya, a “CIA-sponsored show” from the Indian soil. Link to Full Story

Idols desecrated in Gaya temple Gaya,Sunday, December 29, 2002: (PTI). Unidentified persons desecrated idols at a temple in Gaya district of Bihar on Saturday night sparking off tension in the area today, police said. Some idols, including that of Hanuman, were desecrated at a temple located on Ram Shila hillock, they said. link to full story at PTI

Crowds of Lamas Begin to Gather in Bodhgaya Bodhgaya, 28 December (Dainik Jagran). Thousands of monks and followers of the Dalai Lama have started to gather in Bodhgaya for the Kalacakra Puja. Several meetings have been held by the district administration and the puja committee to arrange for food, tents, electricity, drinking water and basic facilities. However the arriving tourists can be seen wandering hither and thither.
Electicity poles have been set up for tents which have been erected at various sites, however there are no wires. Work on drinking water is ongoing. There is no efficiency visible in the departments concerned with cleaning the area. The result of which is piles of refuse surround the Kalacakra field site on all sides. From the viewpoint of security the field is regarded as fairly sensative.
Due to this the restaurants, which are encroachments, around the site will experience considerable inconvenience during security checking. The police and administration and special branch are active inspecting in Bodhgaya.

Rabri Government Keen on Getting Maitreya Project Going Patna: December 23, 2002 (PatnaDaily). In spite of passionate attempts by the Uttar Pradesh government to attract the Maitreya Project to Kushinagar, the Bihar state tourism department is showing even more passion in the project to ensure it remains in Bodh Gaya in Bihar where Buddha had attained enlightenment nearly 2500 years ago. link to full story

Inaugural IA Bangkok-Gaya flight diverted to Kolkata KOLKATA, DEC 21 (PTI) (Outlook India), The inaugural Indian Airlines IC-730 Bangkok-Gaya-Kolkata flight was diverted to Kolkata due to delayed takeoff from the Thailand capital today. The delay in the take off of the flight launched with much fanfare by Indian Airlines led to its termination here as Gaya Airport has no night landing facilities, official sources said. link to full story

Buddhist monks demand Dalai Lama's deportation Imran Khan, Indo-Asian News Service Patna, December 16 (Hindustan Times). A section of Indian Buddhist monks has demanded that Tibetan leader Dalai Lama be deported from this country.
The monks associated with the Mahabodhi temple in Bihar demanded that President APJ Abdul Kalam order the deportation of both the Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorji, who heads a sect of Tibetan Buddhists.
All India Monks Association general secretary Bhadant Anand, in a memorandum to the president, alleged that the Dalai Lama, through his "questionable" acts and "pretensions", had caused avoidable tension between India and China. The Tibetan leader's deportation, he argued, could improve Sino-Indian relations. link to full story

Security Arrangements for Dalai Lama and Karmapa's visit Checked Gaya 16 December (Dainik Jagran). An inspection has been carried out of the security arrangements for the proposed visit to Bodhgaya of the the Nobel Prize winning religious leader the Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa Urgyen Trinle Dorjai. Under the leadership of the Magadh area Police Deputy General Inspector senior Police officers discussed security arrangements. [the remainder of the story is a list of police officers present and notes that His Holiness will spend the nights at the Maitreya Statue Project Compound for which security arrangements will need to be made. Also it notes that in January 2002 17,3050 foreign pilgrims attended and the majority of pilgrims were Indians [Tibetans?]. More than 300 police will be on duty at the ceremony.

Ven Anand will be kept in the scope of the Law: DM Gaya, 16 December (Dainik Jagran). The District Magistrate has affirmed that there will be no shortcomings in the security for the Dalai Lama's visit. Mr Mehotra said that Ven. Anand and other Neo-Buddhists would not be allowed to take the law into their own hands. He said that whatever security measures were deemed appropriate by centre and state would be put into action by the local administration. He said that at the appropriate time decisions would be made on Ven. Anand's demands.

Kalachakra prayers at Bodhgaya
Gangtok, Dec 7 (Sify News). His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso will initiate the Kalachakra (wheel of time) prayers at Bodhgaya January 11 to 19. Sources said the Kalachakra Puja will start on the morning of January 19 with earth ritual. The main Kalachakra Preparation Teaching will begin on January 16. His Holiness will empower the devotees with the 'long life initiation' on the last day, sources added. full story

Bumpy ride awaits Kalchakra visitors ABDUL QADIR (The Times of India) WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 04, 2002 GAYA: With less than six weeks remaining for the Kalchakra prayers, the mega Buddhist ritual to be performed by his holiness, the Dalai Lama, in Bodh Gaya between January 11-18, 2003, the devotees are in for a bumpy ride as National Highway 83 and the Gaya-Rajgir road routes are full of potholes. full story [apologies to the Times of India for not simply linking to their story but their website seems dreadfully slow at the moment from Australia.]

Buddha mahotsava: Will past mistakes be repeated again? ABDUL QADIR (The Times of India) TUESDAY, DECEMBER 03, 2002 GAYA: With Buddha Mahotsava preparations picking up, the question uppermost in the minds of the Bodh Gaya watchers is whether the 5th Mahotsava would be any different from the previous ones. The experience of the last four years has not been very encouraging as the festival starting with much fanfare in October 1998 has so far not achieved the basic objective. full story


November 2002 Stories
October 2002 Stories
September 2002 Stories
August 2002 Stories
July 2002 Stories
June 2002 Stories
May 2002 Stories
April 2002 Stories
March 2002 Stories
Archived stories from 1998-2000

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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.