Local Buddhist Temple Sends Materials To Sri Lanka

by Jennifer Bisram, Chronicle Reporter, January 13, 2005

New York, USA --The NY Buddhist Vihara Temple in Queens Village shipped more emergency supplies to Sri Lanka for tsunami-affected families last Friday with unexpected help from the Taiwanese government.

<< Participating in press conference are (l-r), two senior monks from the temple, Congressman Ackerman, Taiwanese Ambassador Andrew Hsia and Borough Pres. Helen Marshall.

Volunteers wearing Help To Lanka vests loaded 650 boxes of supplies given to the temple onto a truck donated by the Taiwanese government during a press conference last Friday. Congressman Gary Ackerman of Bayside, was joined by senior monks and officials of the temple, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Taiwanese Ambassador Andrew Hsia.

Prior to Friday, the temple officials questioned whether they?d be able to send all of the emergency supplies to Sri Lanka, according to the temple?s treasurer, Buddhi Abeyasekera. Although thousands of people have been supporting its tsunami relief efforts by donating money and emergency supplies, they were still short of one thing?a means of getting all of the supplies there.

Costs of containers and transport expenses can run over $20,000. That?s when the Taiwanese government stepped in and offered to pay for containers and shipping costs for the supplies.

?In 1999, when Taiwan was hit with a very bad earthquake the world came to us, and the world helped us, so now it?s our time to give back and reciprocate,? Hsia said.

The Taiwanese government has played a large role in the tsumani relief effort. In addition to helping the Buddhist temple, they have also pledged more than $50 million and dispatched hundreds of rescue and medical teams to the affected countries.

At the conference, the borough president said she was delighted that Queens, one of the most diverse counties in the world, is responding the way it is.

Goya Foods Incorporated also contributed to Friday?s shipment, which will not reach Sri Lanka for 45 days. The company contributed 3,000 cases of dry food products such as soups and beans, primarily things that could be eaten by just adding hot water and stirring. ?This is our way of helping,? said Rafael Toro, spokesperson for Goya.

While there was a large quantity of emergency items donated to the temple, there were also cash donations. Within a week and a half, the NY Buddhist Vihara Temple had collected about $110,000 in cash donations, according to the temple?s treasurer.

The temple is working on a larger effort, building an orphanage that will house at least 100 children in Sri Lanka who are newly orphaned ?The orphanage will take some time to start up because we are waiting on word from the Sri Lankan government on land space,? said Bhanthe Dhaammajothi, a senior monk. ?It will include housing and educational facilities.? For more information on how to make a contribution, go to www.helptolanka.org.

?This is very moving,? said Congressman Ackerman, as he spoke of his involvement in the boroughwide effort. ?I have three children and will be a grandfather in a couple of months and I can?t imagine the pain and anguish for the parents who lost their children and for the children who lost their parents,? he said.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv