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On the Bat Nha incident and censorship

by Ven Dharmakara, Los Angeles, CA, USA, The Buddhist Channel, Dec 5, 2009

In regard to Thich Chan Phap Lai's letter about the dung incident at Bat Nha, I was only repeating a statement that had been made by an AP reporter at the time, not trying to spread misinformation.

As a side note, I actually apologized for that bit of misinformation on the Help Bat Nha website on October 31st, something that Thich Chan Phap Lai failed to mention, but that posting, as well as another one, got removed due to an under-handed policy of censorship on their site.

What great offense did I commit to deserve censorship?

Simply by stating the following:

"It’s interesting that people keep mentioning the time and money that was invested in the property, but fail to realize that in any Western country such improvements do not trump the actual property owner’s rights. Even if such an incident would have occured within a Western country, mind you without the violence, the courts would have allowed the eviction to go forth."

If stating the obvious is inappropriate and deserving of censorship, then I stand properly judged, but what does this say of the maturity of Thay's followers if they can't deal with polite criticism?

When all is said and done, is there anything wrong with their refusal to leave?

No, definitely not, but let's not forget that the opposition tried to meet them half-way at the time, allowing them to stay on the property for the three months of Summer Retreat (An Cu Kiet Ha) which ended on September 2, 2009, but they still still refused to move out after that, a fact which seems to get glossed over quite nicely.


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