Week 2 issues

Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 15:54:12 +0100
From: "peter.harvey" [email protected]
Subject: Week 2 issues

To raise some 'week 2' issues:

Negative actions arguably by 'Buddhists': 1. Sinhalese treatment of Tamils (other than Tamil tigers) in Sri Lanka. 2. Burmese government treatment of many of its citizens. 3. Bhutanese treatment of Nepali immigrants. 4. Thailand's tolerance of Pol Pot on its territory 5. Japan's seeming indifference to 'comfort women' of second world war.

Against Buddhists:
1. Bangladeshi oppression of Chittagong hill tribes. 2. Chinese oppression of Tibetans
3. Vietnemese repression of Buddhists.

Positive actions by Buddhists
1. Ambedkar Buddhists working against casteism in India 2. Sarvodaya Shramadana movement's work for village people of Sri Lanka, and attempt to bridge gap between Sinhalese and Tamils. 3. Ghosananda's efforts towards reconciliation in Cambodia 4. Work of Sulak Sivaraksa in Thailand for more democracy 5. Dalai Lama's espousing of human rights in various world fora. 6. On non-human rights, Thai government's banning of logging: just a pity it is not being properly enforced, and Thai companies are cutting down the forests in Burma and Laos!

Open issue: the extent to which Buddhism has helped, or hindered, the rights of women.

Other issues: is violence ever justified in protecting the rights of others?

What are the best methods, from a Buddhist perspective, for increasing the extent to which 'human rights' are respected?

Peter Harvey


Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 00:32:16 -0700
From: "Ken O'Neill" [email protected]
Subject: Re: Week 2 issues

It seems to me if we're going to address actual incidences and problems of human rights vis a vis Buddhism, then Buddhist institutions should be taken to task as well. Here are some examples:

1. Denial of ordination to women in Shri Lankha, including reintroduction of Theravadin ordination of women from Chinese traditions (which received it 1,000 years ago). Problem written about in a recent issue of Ms Magazine.

2. Tibetan inability to reintroduce ordination of women as nuns.

3. Pending $12 million dollar sexual harrassment and gender bias in employment suits against the Buddhist Churches of America by Rev Carol Himaka - occuring in our very midsts.

4. Racism and ethnocentricity of Buddhist institutions. For example, it is said that Nichiren Shoshu ordains only Japanese and Japanese-American males, excluding anyone else.

5. Restrictive standards of Buddhist clerics adopted by the US Department of Defense, in effect rendering the BCA de facto standard setter for military Buddhist chaplains - an odd situation since the majority of Asian-Americans in the US military are of Vietnamese origins and an all together different tradition.

6. How buddhists treat buddhists. How the ordained treat other ordained - the ethics of sangha recognition, exclusivism and ethnocentric ethics.

I'm sure many other matters can be sited for consideration. These come to mind immediately.

Gassho,

Ken O'Neill, Kyoshi


Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 00:58:41 -0400
From: "williams" [email protected]
Subject: Re: Week 2 issues

It seems to me if we're going to address actual incidences and problems of human rights vis a vis Buddhism, then Buddhist institutions should be taken to task as well.

It does seem like the Buddhist thing to do. First end the suffering of Self...

Sphere