Buddhist Chakmas under threat of proselytisation

by Jyoti Lal Chowdhury, Organiser, Sept 28, 2008

SILCHAR, India -- Subtle moves are on for conversion of Buddhist Chakmas in certain areas of Mizoram and Tripura and also to take away their land for construction of churches. “These kinds of activities have been going on for sometime,” alleged Shri Basant Kumar Chakma.

Kantalang is a Chakma dominated village in the Phailo subdivision of Mammit district of Mizoram, bordering Tripura. Peace loving Buddhists of the village are gripped with panic due to missionaries’ interference with the backing of the state.

Shri Basant Kumar further said, “Three months ago, a Mizo missionary came to their village from Phailo and demanded land for the construction of a church. No villager agreed to part with land. The Mizo youth sought and got administrative help and held out open threat if land was not given, he would see that no government benefit or financial assistance under various centrally sponsored schemes and projects reached them. The sub-divisional magistrate of Phailo sent a written order to the village headman, Prabhat Kumar Chakma, to allot land for the purpose.

The order of the sub-divisional magistrate was followed by the entry of members of Presbyterian church in the village. Necessary preparation was being made to begin construction of church. Shri Basant Chakma further alleged that as a tactical move, a Bangladeshi from across the border was brought and engaged in construction work. The land in question was earmarked for a school for Chakma boys and girls.

Chakma Women’s Organisation and Young Chakma Association joined together to resist the design of missionaries. Shri Basant Chakma was all praise for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and BSF which helped them during their crisis. Though the construction of the church at the moment has been held up, Chakmas are apprehensive that peace and harmony might be disturbed.

In another related development, Ramapada Jamatiya who came down here from Tripura said a Buddhist Academy at Manu Bankal Sabroom was set ablaze by miscreants recently. In fact, as he pointed out, Dhampa Dipa International Buddhist Academy with three residential Viharas sheltering 180 Buddhist monks and devotees who used to reside, study and practice dhamma, was in flames in mysterious circumstances.

It is suspected that someone or the other might have caused the fire from outside as such threat perception has been looming large from the very inception.

Shri Jamatiya said it was most unfortunate that Buddhism has been under attack in different parts of northeast. Neither the local administration nor any state official cared to visit Sabroom to see for themselves the Buddhist Academy in ruins. He revealed that a representation from Bahujan Hitaya Education Trust of Sabroom to Governor of Tripura on August 25 seeking his intervention and action failed to evoke any response.

The Education Trust reiterated that the Governor of Tripura should visit the ruined site of Buddhist Academy and direct the state administration to provide adequate security to the institution. The Trust at the same time demanded financial assistance to reconstruct the Buddhist Academy, identification of culprits behind the crime and their trial as well as punishment and all necessary protective measures in order to pre-empt such incident in future.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use 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 who wants to donate in MYR, please use 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