http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 63,0,0,1,0
The Battling Buddhists
by Lewis I. Rice, The Boston Magazine, From the November 2004 issue
A bitter feud between two monks divides a community and its temple. Literally.
Sao and Chek are no longer friends. In fact, each is prevented by court order from entering the other's portion of the temple. So are their respective supporters. Chek also refuses to enter the courtroom where the case is being tried, which he believes is not the proper place for a Buddhist monk. Each side insists the other is not abiding by Buddhist tenets. Chek supporters say Sao wants to be a kind of pope of the monks, a violation of Buddhism's comparatively nonhierarchical structure. They accuse him in court papers of funneling local contributions away from the temple. They also say that, for a monk, he's just not very nice.
"People became uneasy because of his behavior," says Thel Sar, a member of the temple who works as a probation officer in Lowell District Court. "He's insulted people's intelligence. He's cursed at people. He makes people very uncomfortable."
Sao supporters allege in court documents that Chek has let local members of the Cambodian Funcinpec Party, which backs the country's constitutional monarchy, use the temple for organizing activities, and that he sends money back to the party in Cambodia--charges Chek denies. "I want to stop the political party inside the temple," says Pere Pen, a member of the temple and former executive director of the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell. "The temple is not the place for them to do politics."
The two sides agree on one thing: Each says the other does not belong in the temple. And each has maneuvered to get the other out. On June 4, 1999, Sao, Pen, and Sak Seang, another temple member, told the Chelmsford police that Chek had made threats against Sao and was in the country illegally. Five days later, Seang called the police to ask that officers remove Chek from the temple. The next day, however, Sao and Samboon Kert, a monk and Sao ally, went to the police station to report that Chek was again welcome at the temple.
The incident angered Chek supporters, who called a special meeting of the temple board. According to minutes of the meeting, 70 temple members voted to oust Kert as board president. In response, Kert fired all of the board's officers and installed himself in each of their positions. He also transferred the temple and parsonage to Sao's organization, the Community of Khmer Buddhist Monks, for $2. Members of the temple filed suit to get the buildings back. Chek supporters charged that Kert had no authority to transfer the property: "They didn't buy the property," says their lawyer, Jocelyn Campbell. "They stole the property." http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 22,0,0,1,0
Combating terror, the Buddha way
Express News Service, Dec 12, 2004
New Delhi, India -- ?It is very easy to understand those who agree with you, but not so easy to have a dialogue with those who do not. This is why the stories from the life of Buddha are an important reminder for today?s world leaders, including those combating terrorism,?? said Prof. Satish Kumar, traveller and writer on Buddhism, today evening.
Kumar was delivering a talk on his latest book, Buddha and the Terrorist, at the IHC. Also present was Dr Karan Singh.
The book, based on Buddha?s encounter with the robber Angulimaal - who wore a garland he made from his victims fingers. Kumar spoke on how Buddha ultimately overcame this terror and used the tale as a modern fable for those governments battling terrorists.