Buddhist school built out of town

Jakarta Post, April 12, 2006

TANGERANG, Indonesia -- Construction workers have been kept busy at State Sriwijaya Institute for Buddhists in the remote Pager Haur in Pagedangan district, Tangerang regency. The second stage of the Rp 1 billion (US$ 111,700) project, financed by the Religious Affairs Ministry, is finished.

"The institute will be the largest and the first Buddhist school in the country," Syarifudin, executive coordinator of the project, said Saturday.

To get to the five-square-kilometer property, visitors have to pass by hectares of rice fields, forest and clusters of bamboo trees.

Syarifudin said the project was on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's priority list.

He said the government had funded the construction of many other religious schools but never before a Buddhist school, which was why the Sriwijaya Institute was important.