Tag: Buddhism

‘We Needed a Modi After the Easter Attacks’

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka was among the first democracies to defy the tide of populism. In January 2015, when India was seven months into Narendra Modi’s sectarian reign and the United States was two years from falling to Donald Trump, voters in this South Asian island nation defeated their strongman president Mahinda Rajapaksa. […]

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What Is the Meaning of Sacred Texts?

THE LOST ART OF SCRIPTURERescuing the Sacred TextsBy Karen Armstrong In the Bible, St. Paul declares: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” Scholars suspect that this was actually written by some grump other than St. Paul, but such sexist passages are sometimes […]

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15 Killed in Southern Thailand, in the Worst Violence in Years

BANGKOK — Gunmen killed at least 15 people at a security checkpoint in southern Thailand on Tuesday night, the worst outbreak of violence in years in the country’s insurgency-plagued border region. The attackers stormed several spots around the checkpoint, in the Muang Yala District in Yala Province. The post was guarded by a mix of […]

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He Acquitted 5 Men of Murder, Then Shot Himself

YALA, Thailand — The Thai judge’s verdict was not guilty, five men spared the death penalty or life imprisonment. Then the judge reached into his robes, pulled out a gun and shot himself in the courtroom. In a 25-page manifesto that he read aloud to the courtroom on Oct. 4, Kanakorn Pianchana, a chief judge […]

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2 Years Ago, They Fled Into Danger and Squalor. Myanmar Still Looks Worse.

When things go wrong, those in power often promise to make it right. But do they? In this series, The Times investigates to see if those promises were kept. NGA KHU YA, Myanmar — Rusting behind barbed wire, rows of trailers at a repatriation center sit empty and uninviting, evocative of a prison awaiting its […]

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‘Our Duty to Fight’: The Rise of Militant Buddhism

GINTOTA, Sri Lanka — The Buddhist abbot was sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against the evils of Islam, when the petrol bomb exploded within earshot. But the abbot, the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely registered the blast. Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in the southern Sri Lankan town of Gintota, he […]

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He Incited Massacre, but Insulting Aung San Suu Kyi Was the Last Straw

SITTWE, Myanmar — Ashin Wirathu, a radical Buddhist monk in Myanmar, has been charged with sedition over what prosecutors say are defamatory remarks he made about the nation’s civilian leader, the Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The most notorious of a band of extremist monks, Ashin Wirathu has been traveling the country delivering […]

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‘The Tale of Genji’ and the Art It Inspired

Not every enduring literary masterpiece inspires a thousand years of often great art. “The Tale of Genji,” written in early-11th-century Japan and possibly the world’s first novel, is an exception. A narratively rich saga of life and love at the Japanese imperial court, it spurred innovation and was in many ways foundational to Japanese art […]

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