Last September, a Burmese monk stepped off a plane in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and was warmly greeted by a taller, similarly dressed Sri Lankan monk.
This seemingly innocuous scene was in fact a meeting between representatives of two radically extremist Theravada monastic groups: Ashin Wirathu Thero of the 696 Movement in Burma (Myanmar) and Dilantha Withanag of the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) group in Sri Lanka.
These groups play a leading role in the rising tide of religious extremism in their respective countries and have been active in promoting the violent ideology that has led to hundreds of deaths in Sri Lanka and what some have called “genocide” in the western Rakhine state of Myanmar.
Full article – http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/05/29/4245049.htm
Buddhism has a growing visibility in mainstream Australia. Tibetan prayer flags fly from many porches across the inner-city, Bunning’s Warehouse sells Buddha statues and water-features and Big W sells paintings of the Buddha.
While there is a real and growing presence of Buddhism among white Australians, much of the growth of Buddhist paraphernalia isn’t from genuine followers. Instead, Buddhism has been widely appropriated and pacified by a broader audience in a manner which fits broadly in the context of Orientalism.
Full article – http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2014/08/19/4069992.htm