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Guiding the departed's consciousness to a better place

The New Straits Times, Dec 11, 2005

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- The sonorous drone of a handbell struck at intervals with a small rod accompanies the chants of "Namo Amitabha Buddha" by a group of Buddhist volunteers dressed in black robes. They are at a wake.

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Monks fear water polluted

by WASSAYOS NGAMKHAM, Bangkok Post, Dec 6, 2005

Stored bodies may have poisoned well

Phangnga, Thailand -- Almost one year after the tsunami disaster monks at Wat Yan Yao in Takua Pa district, where thousands of tsunami victims' corpses had been kept for post-mortems and identification, still fear the well water being used by the temple is contaminated with fluids released by rotting bodies.

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Panel formed to investigate sales of revered abbot's amulets

by PRASIT TANGPRASERT, Bangkok Post, Dec 5, 2005

Luang Phor Khoon describes panel as `decent and capable'

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand -- A new 19-member panel appointed by revered abbot Luang Phor Khoon Parisutto to oversee administrative affairs at his Wat Ban Rai in Dan Khun Thod district has vowed to prevent ill-intentioned elements from reaping profits from the sale of the monk's amulets.

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Thailand: Two Bangkok malls offer space for solace corners

Bangkok Post, Dec 2, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand -- Two department stores have agreed to provide space for the Buddhist "solace corners" suggested by Culture Minister Uraiwan Thienthong. Siam Discovery Centre will donate space free, but Central Department Store's Pinklao branch quoted a monthly charge of about 300,000 baht (US$ 8,108).

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Sri Lanka and Thailand celebrates 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties

Asiantribune.com, November 26, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand -- Sri Lanka and Thailand have begun celebrating their 50th anniversary of establishing formal diplomatic relations. Though the two countries have had close religious, cultural, political and trade relationships for over a thousand years the formal diplomatic links were established only on 20 November 1955.

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Thai Culture Ministry mulling monk zones in malls

The Nation, November 26, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand -- An exclusive corner for Buddhist monks in department stores. Sound like a mismatch?. Absolutely not, and according to the Culture Ministry’s plan, the presence of monks has nothing at all to do with shopping. In an attempt to bring people closer to religion, the ministry is considering a plan to provide “monk zones” in department stores where shoppers can meet monks.

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Vietnam?s Unified Buddhist Church complains of increased repression

AsiaNews.it, November 22, 2005

Police harass monks who are accused by the government press and the official church of backing “hostile foreign forces”.

Hanoi, Vietnam -- The Unified Buddhist Church in Vietnam has complained about increased repression, stricter surveillance and attacks by government press. This church is not recognized in the country.

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Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha rejects restoration of united church

VNA, Nov 17, 2005

Ha Noi, Vietnam -- The Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha has condemned calls for restoring the United Buddhist Church (UBC) by some former members of this dissolved organisation.

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Buddhist temple seeks sponsors for world youth conference

BY THOMAS TAN, The Star, Nov 12, 2005

Malacca, Malaysia -- THE Seck Kia Eenh Temple in Malacca, which is hosting the second general conference of the World Buddhist Sangha Youth (WBSY) from Dec 9 to 11, is looking for sponsors for the conference.

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Devotees throng temples to make merit

By LIM CHIA YING, The Star, November 12, 2005

Subang Jaya, Selangor (Malaysia) -- Kathina Day is one of the most auspicious and significant occasions in the Theravada Buddhist calendar. On this day, devotees will congregate at the temples (also known as Vihara) bearing robes and other items to be offered to the monks.

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