Thursday, 28 August 2008

Burma, "The Dirty List" Update

Back in June I posted that the Burma Campaign UK had just released their updated 2008 Dirty List, cataloguing those firms that do business with the Burmese regime.

In the past fortnight 2 companies on the Insurance Dirty List, XL and Arab Insurance Group (Arig), have confirmed that they have pulled out of the Burmese Insurance market. Another company, Chubb, a major US insurer, has confirmed that it bars its member companies from maintaining an office in Burma.

Read More.....

If you haven't done so already you can email the companies on the Insurance
Dirty List and tell
them why they should follow XL and Arig's example and pull out of the
Burmese market.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

South Korean Government Discriminates Against Buddhists

I thought that I could take a break from reporting on fellow Buddhists having to protest at their governments treatment of them but no, now it's the turn of the South Korean administration of Lee Myung-bak!

Discontent among Buddhists has been brewing for months over Lee's alleged favouritism toward Christianity. Buddhists have criticized Lee, a Presbyterian, for filling most of his cabinet and top presidential posts with other Christians.

The evangelical zeal of Lee, a Presbyterian, is well known; he provoked controversy as Seoul mayor when he dedicated the metropolis to God.

An estimated 60,000 South Koreans, including 7,000 monks, gathered at City Hall in Seoul to protest.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Beijing Olympics over

So the Beijing Olympics are safely over without any really embarrassing protests. It's maybe a shame that none of the athletes had the moral courage of Tommie Smith and John Carlos...

Apparently the call was for some-one to make the shape of the letter "T" with their hands while on the winner's podium. There was also talk of a protest over the Chinese government's support for the Sudanese government and it's actions in Darfur. READ MORE

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

I came across this fascinating video on Zen practice - Zazen , enjoy.

Friday, 15 August 2008

2008 Island Sangha Picnic - Latest!

As you should all know by now the 2008 Island Buddhist Picnic is at the Botanic Gardens just outside of Ventnor on Sunday 7th. of September, starting at 12:30.

This very special event is open to Buddhists, their families and friends ( and pets too!), please bring vegetarian food to share. We will be using the meadow area to the rear of the gardens, the best option is to head for the Children's Play Area and carry on through to the grassed area and keep on going till you meet some Buddhists!

Click on Map or any Photos to Enlarge

The path to the left of the pond

(if you're facing the Visitor Centre)

takes you straight to the Children's Play Area.

I've asked and it's o.k. so we might have some sign posts to the picnic area from there on. If it does rain we can retire to the cafe in the Visitor Centre.

p.s. as Palaka mentions in the comment below, don't forget that you have to pay for the carpark.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Wei Wu Wei

Why are you unhappy?
Because 99.9 per cent
Of everything you think,
And of everything you do,
Is for yourself —
And there isn't one.

— Ask The Awakened
Wei Wu Wei

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Avaaz Olympic Handshake Campaign

I received an email from Jenny of the Cowes Mahasandhi Buddhist Group about the latest Avaaz campaign for Tibet.....

The Beijing Olympics should be a moment to bring citizens around the world together. But the Chinese government still hasn't opened meaningful dialogue on Tibet, or made progress on Burma and Darfur -- and global activists' messages are too often lost in a firestorm of accusations about being anti-Chinese.

We've decided to take the moment back with a powerful, unambiguous message of peace, friendship and dialogue -- the Olympic Handshake. The handshake began with the Dalai Lama, passing through the streets of London, now it's gone online where all of us can join in -- help the handshake travel toward Beijing, where our message will be delivered through a big Olympic media campaign before the closing ceremonies. Join the handshake, and see yourself and others as it goes around the globe!"

Join the Handshake HERE 201,000 people already have.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Banned Olympic Flags

So the Olympics are starting! Despite any impression you may have gained from previous posts in this blog we sincerely wish the people of China joy and success in their staging of this World event. Any criticism has always been of the leaders of China and not of her people who, after all, have no say in who their leaders are or what they do.

Talking of the Olympics, here's a story you may have missed. The Chinese authorities have banned U.K. athletes from displaying the flags of their regions of the United Kingdom; so no crosses of St.Andrew, St.George, St.Piran, St.Patrick and definitely no dragons. Only the national flag of the whole nation i.e. the Union Flag can be shown....... now I wonder who else that's aimed at, here's a clue.............................................

Sunday, 3 August 2008

2008 Island Sangha Picnic

Sunday 7th September
12.30 start
This very special event is open to Buddhists, their families and friends. ( and pets too!)

This time the picnic will be held at Ventnor Botanic Gardens, in keeping with the idea of trying out new locations each year. Angie has contacted the Botanic Gardens and they are very happy to have us come and picnic in their beautiful grounds. I'm sure that most of you are familiar with the gardens but for those who aren't here is a Google map of the location........

View Larger Map

I will be posting more information here, so to keep up with any updates why not subscribe via email to this blog by entering your email address and clicking the "Subscribe" button in the box to your right.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Tiny Crack in Great Firewall of China

As recently as Wednesday (30th.) foreign journalists in Beijing have been reporting that they have been unable to access Web sites for the human rights group Amnesty International, the Falun Gong spiritual movement, and the Tibetan government-in-exile. This is despite Olympic organizers previously promising foreign reporters unrestricted media access during the games, from August 8 through August 24.

Now it seems that Chinese authorities have partially given in to public pressure. Journalists working at the Games' Main Press Centre can now access sites that were blocked. They include Amnesty International and the BBC's Chinese language news homepage. However, tests indicate the sites remain blocked to people using China's "public" internet.

Click on the following links for more information on Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China and on the Golden Shield Project, also known to everyone else as the "Great Firewall of China".

But don't worry, here is a computer-generated image released by the the Beijing Public Security Bureau showing the cartoon figures of "virtual police" who will be patrolling the internet to combat online pornography and other "illicit" activity....... Cute or what?