Tone Tone’s friends continue their discussion.

Friend: Most of us have come from the old country. The laws are more or less arbitrary. Mostly, the laws come out of the rulers’ or officers’ mouths. They can stretch them for their own benefit.

Friend: Though most people are law abiding and observe the five precepts, some people interpret or enforce the laws differently. There is such a thing as a “friendship” or “connection” with the higher up’s.

Friend: Because of oppressive laws, some others break them to survive, like having to trade on the black market.

Friend: However, there are some “clever” or “slick” people. They got away with it. They come to think that they don’t have to observe laws. If you tell them the laws, they get upset and think you are just  “sor karr”/denigrating or oppressing them.

Friend: Azusa monk is embarking on his dangerous expansion plan. He says he needs a Guest Shed to house more guests, far exceeding the permitted LEGAL 130. In fact, he is doing the Nibban Zay/Food Fair ostensibly for this.

Friend: This can result in the revoking of the Azusa Temple permit.

Friend: To save the PERMIT and the TEMPLE, we SHOULD NOT support the Food Fair.

Friend: But some won’t listen to you. They would listen to the Monk. They thought that you are just “Sorr Kar” the Sasana and the monks.

Friend: They are blind. The monk sees “Money! Money! Money! ”  He won’t let go of a big juicy steak.

Friend: Yes, the monks keep harping “Burmese culture,” pride and “chient chient thare”/ (joyous crowding together)! People are easily swayed with the feeling of the old country.

YouTube – Patthan Festival in Azusa Monastery (2008) #3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyoFi9Y97dI&feature=related

Friend: They pointed to the “Nat/spirit pwe offerings with coconut and banana” as if they are “regular offerings to Buddha”!

Friend: The other monk wrongly thought the City Permit is PERMANENT. He wrongly thought the Permit is for a UNLIMITED number of guests.

However, the Azusa monk knew the Permit has a 130 limit. He knew it’s revocable any time and is subject to annual review. Yet, he won’t tell the other monk the truth. This act of omission is a lie.  A HUGE LIE!

Friend: That’s why the other monk keeps praising him and encouraging him to do some more chient chient thare.”

Friend: So sad! He won’t even tell the truth to a friend monk.

Friend: How do we educate or convince them?

Friend: They have not thought seriously about PUBLIC SAFETY, just “chient chient thare” more crowding. Maybe more Nawa Kama for them.

Friend: Yes, not one word or a thought! That means they are just ignorant or are recklessly negligent! They can be sued for MILLIONS if anything happens with their “chient chient thare.”

Friend: At that time, nobody’s is going to mention about promoting culture. They will be busy finding scapegoats to save their own skins!

Friend: That’s why we have to dig up those tragic stories for our community members to see clearly and not be misled by selfish people. The monks shouldn’t be dabbling in secular lay people’s affairs of which they are so dumb!

Friend: Yet, they pretend to be know all’s. That’s the trouble.

Friend: Let’s look at the news. They are very good lessons indeed!

—————————————————-

In India, Nearly 150 Die in Stampede at Temple – NYTimes.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/04/world/asia/04india.html

NEW DELHI — Nearly 150 pilgrims, many of them children, were trampled to death at a Hindu temple in northern India on Sunday, after rumors of a landslide set off a stampede, local officials said.

Thousands of pilgrims had traveled to Naina Devi, a hilltop temple in the state of Himachal Pradesh, for a festival celebrating a Hindu goddess.

A long line of pilgrims had formed along a stepped path leading up to the temple in the morning when heavy rains began. Many then tried to take shelter in a covered area, local officials said. At that point, according to witnesses, rumors that boulders were beginning to roll down the hillside led to panic in the crowd, and people began running downhill into those gathered to avoid the rain.

“Because so many pilgrims were gathered at the shelter, the way up and down was blocked,” said Suresh Kumar, a spokesman in the police control room at the temple. “When pilgrims started pushing down and the way was very crowded, the stampede took place.”

Metal guardrails meant to protect visitors from steep drops were knocked down by the crowds, sending some people tumbling down the hillside to their deaths.

B. Purusharth, the deputy commissioner in Ropar, a city in Punjab State where many of the pilgrims were from, said at least 145 people died and 27 were injured. Officials estimated that 50 of the dead were children, many of whom had been separated from their parents.

This was not the first time that overcrowding and panic had led to a stampede during a Hindu pilgrimage. Last October, 15 people were killed and 48 were injured at a railway station in a stampede of pilgrims traveling to the city of Varanasi to bathe in the Ganges. In 2005, a fire and stampede at the Mandhar Devi hilltop temple in western India left more than 250 dead.

As wealth grows among India’s middle class, there has been a rise in domestic travel, including trips to temples and other religious sites. As a result, overcrowding, particularly during religious festivals, is becoming more common. In addition, many of India’s hilltop temples can be reached only by narrow and treacherous paths, and the infrastructure around them does not support the volume of visitors.

At this time of year, tens of thousands of pilgrims a day travel to the Naina Devi temple for a nine-day festival. Indian officials estimated that on Sunday, despite the heavy rains, 20,000 to 25,000 pilgrims had gathered at the temple.

The Himachal Pradesh government said Sunday that it would pay 25,000 rupees (nearly $600) to the family of each victim, according to local television reports.

It also said it would investigate the cause of the stampede and take action to prevent such problems in the future.

Al Jazeera English – CENTRAL/S. ASIA – Scores dead in India stampede

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2010/03/201034105714498716.html

Scores dead in India stampede

At least 63 people, including
women and children, have been killed in a stampede after the gate of a Hindu temple collapsed in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, police said.

The tragedy struck as hundreds of people had gathered for a religious festival at the temple in Pratapgarh district, some 650km southeast of Delhi.

It is still unclear what caused the gate to collapse.

Thursday’s disaster happened at a popular Ram Janaki temple in the town of Kunda in Pratapgarh district. The temple is owned by Jagadguru Kripalu Ji Maharaj, a Hindu holy man.

Some people were crushed to death under the gate, leading to panic, and as hundreds of people tried to escape through a narrow passage, many tripped and came under the feet of the rushing crowd.

Mass panic

“We have now counted all the bodies and they include 37 children and 26 women who had come to collect free gifts,” SP Pathak, a police official, told the AFP news agency.

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