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Thai Buddhist group tries to reinstate order of woman monks

By Channel NewsAsia's Indo-China Correspondent May Ying Welsh, May 20, 2005

BANGKOK, Thailand -- This Sunday, Buddhists around the world celebrate Vesak Day, also known as Wisakha Bucha Day in Thailand. Buddhists believe it is the day on which three events took place in the life of the Buddha - His Birth, Enlightenment and Final Nirvana.

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Thailand gears up to become world Buddhism centre

TNA, May 19, 2005

BANGKOK, Thailand -- From its humble beginnings in Nepal, Buddhism has spread out to become the major religion of parts of Asia, and has won sufficient global recognition for the United Nations to declare Visakha Bucha, the day on which Buddhists celebrate the Buddha?s birth, enlightenment and death, a day of international importance.

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Miss Universe comes under fire from senators

TNA, May 19, 2005

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand?s hosting of this year?s Miss Universe contest yesterday received a fierce attack from leading members of the Senate who warned that Thailand?s unique cultural heritage was being eroded by a desire for internationalism.

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Miss Universe hopefuls offend Thais

The New Straits Times (AFP) May 19, 2005

BANGKOK, Thailand -- A bevy of beauties vying for the Miss Universe crown sparked a row in Thailand when they paraded in swimsuits in front of revered Buddhist temples, officials and religious experts said today.

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Buddhism 'could ease unrest'

Bangkok Post, May 19, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand -- Somdej Phra Buddhajarn yesterday inaugurated an international meeting of Buddhists by suggesting Buddhist teachings be used to ease unrest around the world.

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Thai PM makes plea for religious tolerance

TNA, May 14, 2004

Bangkok, Thailand -- Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra today denied that the country's southern insurgency is a religious affair, saying, instead, that the militants were attempting to harness religion for their own purposes.

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Thai monks at frontline of battle to stop theft of ancient relics

Channel News Asia (AFP/IR), May 13, 2005

AYUTTHAYA, Thailand -- In an alarming clash between guardians of faith and the henchmen of wealthy art collectors, Thai monks at the Klang Klong Srabua temple found out the hard way about the fight to preserve ancient Buddhist relics.

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Burmese authorities banned Buddhist monks from preaching

Democratic Voice of Burma, May 10, 2005

Mandalay, Myanmar -- The local authorities of Burma?s military junta, State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) at Mandalay in central Burma, stopped a famous Buddhist monk from delivering a sermon at a religious festival, presumably because of his association with Burma?s democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Penang temple to build RM16mil retirement homes

The Star, May 4, 2005

PENANG, Malaysia -- The Than Hsiang Temple here is planning to build the country?s first retirement village costing RM16mil at Berapit in northern Seberang Prai. 

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Light and sound show to attract youth to religion

By Ampa Santimetaneedol, Bangkok Post, May 9, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand -- This year's Visakha Bucha Day celebrations to be held later this month at Buddha Monthon in Nakhon Pathom, will focus on the essence of dhamma rather than ritual and feature theatres and light and sound performances aimed at attracting youth towards religion.

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