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Nepali Buddhists deny "baseless" allegations against Buddhist monasteries

By Kalsang Rinchen, Phayul, December 11, 2009

Kathmandu, Nepal -- The Nepal Buddhist Federation has sharply reacted to news reports in Nepal's media alleging Buddhist monasteries in Nepal of engaging in "anti China activities" and "possessing arms".

News reports in Nepal cited Nepal's National Intelligence Department (NID) report that has "listed 24 Buddhist monasteries in the Kathmandu Valley as sensitive for their involvement in the "Free Tibet movement" and "anti-China activities."

"The national spy agency has placed seven of them on the ‘very sensitive’ list from the security point of view. It has suggested the Home Ministry to keep tabs on altogether 43 monasteries in the capital, out of 59 it studied," a Nepal News report said.

The Nepal Buddhist Federation said that such "baseless" stories are bound to create communal discord within the country, and urged the Nepali media to be fair in performing their journalistic duties based on facts.

"Buddhism in general has been suppressed then and now again there is a visible pre-planned conspiracy to wipe out Mahayana Buddhism, which is fast gaining global importance. Even after two years of declaration of Nepal as a Secular Democratic Republic, the state failed to give the common Buddhist the feeling of the changed circumstance. The non-violent concept of Buddhism has today become the medium for promotion of global peace and conflict resolution. We Nepali Buddhists are always committed for building peace and constructive development of our society," said the NBF.

The Buddhist organisation further said that there seemed to be "a growing negative media campaign against monastery institutions established in the land of Buddha's birth and that the state police has been "unnecessarily harassing our monks and nuns."

It said attempts are being made in the media to mislead the general public opinion against the Buddhists by "fabricating false and imaginary accusations such as storing weapons and organizing so called 'Free Tibet movement'.

Terming the accusation of monasteries being in possession of weapons as "ridiculous" and "contrived", the organization has called on the government to set up a fact finding committee under the supervision of the Human Rights Commission to investigate into the matter.

The organisation said the Nepali Buddhists have traditionally followed the Tibetan form of Mahayana Buddhism and that it continues even to this day. "Just as Tibetan Buddhist disciples never questioned the nationality of Guru Padma Sambhava or Atisha Dipankar and Nepali Hindus will not question the nationality of Shankrachayras and Christians will not question the nationality of Pope, question does not arise for Nepali Buddhists to raise the issue of our masters’ nationalities or race. This is a universal tradition of our belief system."


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