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Buddhism as National Religion Would Fuel Extremism: Scholar, Author

By Pravit Rojanaphruk, Khasod English, March 20, 2018

BANGKOK, Thailand -- A Buddhist scholar and foreign correspondent both warn in recent books of the rising specter of Buddhist nationalism in Thailand.

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Myanmar: Govt Asks Buddhist Leaders to Act Against Badly Behaved Monks

The Irrawaddy, 22 February 2018

Yangon, Myanmar -- Religious Affairs and Culture Minister U Aung Ko has urged the nation’s highest religious authority to take action against monks who disgrace Buddhism through their activities or speech.

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Clergy's monopoly over Buddhist teachings is over

by Sanitsuda Ekachai, The Bangkok Post, Feb 3, 2018

Bangkok, Thailand -- People who believed that the majority of monks do not follow the Buddha's path have increasingly turned to meditation retreats led by non-monk teachers outside temples. A religious group called Techo Vipassana is one of them.

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Ex-Buddhist chief among 9 charged with graft

by KING-OUA LAOHONG, The Bangkok Post, 9 Jan 2018

Bangkok, Thailand -- In July 2015, Sathien Damrongkadeerat, who at the time served as the director of the Songkhla Provincial Office of Buddhism, contacted the three temples, saying he would earmark budgets for them on condition they repay a fixed amount to him, according to Mr Worawit.

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Myanmar clamps down on Buddhist nationalism

Asia News Network, December 30, 2017

Yangon, Myanmar -- In a further sign that Myanmar is clamping down on the spread of ultra-nationalist Buddhism, six monks have been sentenced to 18 months’ hard labour for leading an anti-government protest in Mandalay.

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Buddhist monks offer free traditional treatments

by San Ha, VietNamNet Bridge, Nov 19, 2017

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam --- Situated along Nhieu Loc Canal in HCM City’s District 1, Van Tho (Longevity) Pagoda has been a trusted place for free traditional cures for sprains, fractures and muscle and bone injuries for more than 30 years.

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Not all Buddhists agree with Sitagu Sayadaw’s militant message

By Jacob Goldberg, Coconuts, Nov. 2, 2017

Yangon, Myanmar -- Myanmar’s most revered Buddhist leader gave a speech on Monday in which he urged hundreds of military officers to not to fear the sinfulness of taking human life. Despite building a reputation on his interfaith and humanitarian activities, Sitagu Sayadaw has long made excuses for the military’s abuses against Rohingya Muslims. This week, critics said the monk veered into promoting genocide.

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Chiang Mai temple seeks donation to help girls

The Nation, October 11, 2017

Chiang Mai, Thailand -- A Chiang Mai temple which is taking care of about 700 abandoned children and orphans has appealed for urgent donations of sanitary napkins for girls.

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Pope to Meet Top Buddhist Monks in Myanmar, Address Military

Reuters, 11 October 2017

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis will meet Myanmar’s top Buddhist monks, its military generals and civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in November when he visits that country and Bangladesh, both caught up in a crisis over the self-identifying Rohingya Muslim minority.

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Thailand reinstates chief of national Buddhism office

Channel News Asia, 26 Sep 2017

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand has reinstated as the head of a state body charged with administering the Buddhist religion an official who was sacked last month, the prime minister said on Tuesday.

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