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Thai Pusam Will Air Live On The Internet
Posted on 2001/2/4 22:45:02 ( 813 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, February 3, 2001: Devotees and the public can view the Thai Pusam celebrations at Batu Caves on Feb 7 live on the Net in what is believed to be the first project of its kind in Malaysia and possibly the world. The broadcast will be covering the once-a-year festival held at Batu Caves for about 24 hours. It will then be transmitted live for the benefit of Internet viewers at a special Thai Pusam website at http://thai pusam.tele.com.my from 6 pm on Feb 6. More than a million devotees are expected to throng Batu Caves this year to fulfil their vows. Dr. Thuraichelvan, Aastha Inter Network chief executive officer, said that surfers would be charged on an hourly basis. "All payments will have to be made by the appropriate payment modes before viewing," he said. Dr. Thuraichelvan is coordinating the US$131,579 project. He and project organizers are inviting companies and organizations for sponsorship.




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Government Helping Gujarat Citizens
Posted on 2001/2/3 22:49:02 ( 881 reads )


Source: Rediff on the Net





GUJARAT, INDIA, February 2, 2001: The aftermath of the earthquake in Gujarat has left many survivors feeling helpless and depressed after losing loved ones, property and other belongings. In an attempt to bring normalcy back into their lives, the government is organizing religious ceremonies to honor the death of loved ones. It is hoped that family survivors will find comfort by interacting with others who have suffered great loss and begin rebuilding their lives.




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Want to Bet that in 2150 The Oldest Person will be 130 or 150?
Posted on 2001/2/3 22:48:02 ( 756 reads )


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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OHIO, February 5, 2001: On January 1, 2150, the winner of a trust fund, starting today with 300 dollars and estimated to then be worth US$500 million, will be announced. Two scientists have set up a bet on the highest obtainable life expectancy. Estimating the age to be 130, S. Jay Olshansky of the University of Illinois has wagered against Steven Austad of the University of Idaho who has bet the oldest person will be 150 years. Austad has more faith in the progressive medical techniques of cloning and stem cell research where worn-out body parts will be replaced. Both scientists have named a University as beneficiary of the trust fund.




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Honored Lama Flees Tibet
Posted on 2001/2/3 22:47:02 ( 843 reads )


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DHARAMSALA, INDIA, February 3, 2001: Last year the 14th Karmapa fled Tibet for India. He is the third-ranking Tibetan Buddhist leader, after the dalai lama and the pancha lama. He has now been given refugee status in India. The teenager's escape from a closely-guarded monastery in Tibet embarrassed the Chinese government.




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Bangladeshi Policeman Lynched
Posted on 2001/2/3 22:46:02 ( 816 reads )


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DHAKA, BANGLADESH, 3 February, 2001: Activists belonging to radical Muslim groups have lynched a policeman during violence in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, marring their call for a strike against a ban on religious edicts, or fatwas. Dhaka police have arrested at least 40 people who are thought to be involved in the violence, and have recovered the constable's body. The groups' strike call failed to prevent thousands of people from attending a rally in support of last month's High Court ruling banning fatwas, which had been organized by several nongovernmental organizations. It has been a day of high emotion on the streets of Dhaka, not least because of fears that the pro- and anti-fatwa camps might come into direct conflict. Hindus stand to be caught in the middle of the battles.




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U.S. Academy of Religion Chooses Hindu President
Posted on 2001/2/3 22:45:02 ( 762 reads )


Source: Ridiff on the Net





ATLANTA, GEORGIA, February 3, 2001: Vasudha Narayanan grew up in conservative Chennai where religion, culture, tradition, history, philosophy and temples formed the backdrop of her environment, nurturing her curiosity about Hinduism. Narayanan, 47, a professor of religion at the University of Florida at Gainesville and an author, was recently chosen as the President-elect of the American Academy of Religion. She is the first non-Jewish or non-Christian to hold the office in its 92-year history. With 9,000 members, the Atlanta-based organization is the world's largest association of academics who research or teach topics related to religion. Narayanan believes ''faith cuts across many social boundaries'' and ''people have an inborn need to connect to religion,'' because it forms the base of their values.




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Controversy Over Breaking Coconuts at Hindu Festival
Posted on 2001/2/2 22:49:02 ( 824 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, January 31, 2001: Traditionally on Thai Pusam Malaysian Hindus honor vows to Lord Muruga by breaking coconuts during this religious festival. The Consumers Association of Penang has requested that the coconut offerings be limited and excess cash that would have been used to purchase coconuts be donated to the poor. The Hindu Malaysian Youth Council countered by pointing out all the edible coconuts so broken are consumed as sacred prasadam--the food offered to the Gods, and there is therefore no waste.




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VHP Challenges Shankaracharyas
Posted on 2001/2/2 22:48:02 ( 781 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 29, 2001: Acharya Giriraj Kishore of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today reacted to the statements of some religious leaders and challenged the Shankaracharyas, "Let them build the Ram Temple if they have the money and material needed. However, they cannot expect us to give our money and construction material to them." He said that the VHP had been able to arrange for enough resources to build just the first floor of the two-story temple. Acharya said, "We just want the Ram Temple at the disputed site. It does not matter who constructs it. However, some people are unnecessarily raking the issue for cheap publicity." Meanwhile, some programs have been cancelled following the devastating earthquake in Gujarat, and he noted, the VHP would contribute US$108,700 towards rehabilitation of the victims.




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5,000-Year-Old Structure Survives Quake
Posted on 2001/2/2 22:47:02 ( 909 reads )


Source: Intel IT Update





KOTDA MOUND, DHOLAVIRA, GUJARAT, INDIA, February 2, 2001: Beyond the endless mounds of concrete and bricks that are now this part of Gujarat, there is a patch of ancient history that withstood the devastating quake: Dholavira, a Harappan landmark. The biggest Indian site of the 5,000 year-old Indus Valley civilization remains solid while the structures built by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to provide shelter to its staff have crumbled. The site has suffered no damage at all. It was excavated only in the early 1990's, nearly 20 years after it was discovered. Villages only a couple of miles away have been devastated by the quake. One could, of course, argue that the ancient site had already been through several earthquakes of this magnitude, and what damage could be done has been. Still, the contrast with the modern structures is stark. Of the six men employed to guard the site, five fled the day of the quake. The sixth remained only because he lives in Dholavira. The site is spread over 100 hectares and is believed to be the only town during that period to have an elaborate underground drainage system, houses, streets and wells. Every year, the ASI begins excavation in December and continues until April. This year, no excavation activity has started, reportedly because a team with technical expertise could not be drafted.




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Germany Attempts to Curb Mad Cow Disease
Posted on 2001/2/2 22:46:02 ( 814 reads )


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BERLIN, GERMANY, January 31, 2001: In an attempt to eradicate mad cow disease, technically known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the German government announced that it will be slaughtering 400,000 cattle. This drastic reaction is the result of falling exports to 34 other countries who have banned German meat. Also German citizens have reduced their consumption of beef by 50 percent after more than 20 cases of the disease in cows have been discovered since last November. No cases of humans infected with the disease have been detected in Germany. Elsewhere in Europe the beef industry is suffering because of the scare.




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Concordia University Hosts Mahabharata Conference
Posted on 2001/2/2 22:45:02 ( 1001 reads )


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MONTREAL, CANADA, February 3, 2001: An International conference on the Mahabharata will be held at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from May 18 to 20, 2001. Contact Dr Shrinivas Tilak, Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, for details at "source" above. Day one topic on the foremost epic of Indian history is "Methodological Problems of Teaching the Mahabharata." Day two is "Character Analysis Based on Ethical Issues." Day three is "Challenge and Response in the Context of Philosophical, Social, and Other Issues."




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Media Bashing, A Blot On Kumbh Festival
Posted on 2001/1/29 22:49:02 ( 726 reads )


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LUCKNOW, INDIA, Jan. 27, 2001: At the biggest ever bath during Mauni Amavishya in Allahabad Kumbh festival, police and state paramilitary forces on January 19 went berserk and attacked journalists on duty inside the media centre of the State Government in the Kumbh area. Four journalists are still in a local hospital in Allahabad, with multiple injuries. The government is slow to proceed against the guilty men and could not announce the stipulated compensation to those injured and hospitalized even after the lapse of a week or make good the damage of cameras and equipment of lensmen.




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Conversion Slur On Tripura Church
Posted on 2001/1/29 22:48:02 ( 833 reads )


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AGARTALA, INDIA, January 28, 2001: The Baptist Church authorities in Khumlung have allegedly made it incumbent upon Hindu tribal students in a school near the headquarters of the autonomous district council to attend regular prayer sessions in a nearby church. Now the growing religious conflict between the National Liberation Front of Tripura and the Hindu resistance groups over the issue of a forced conversion drive by militants has taken a new turn. The NLFT is backed by the Church. The guardian of a student of the residential school said on condition of anonymity that his son and other students of the school were being "virtually forced" to attend prayer sessions. He said, "We tribals have our traditional religious faiths and practices akin to Hinduism and it is unfair on the part of school authorities to force underaged children to attend church." Sources at Khumlung, described the allegation as "completely false and malicious."




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Ashtanga Yoga is a Hit in Atlanta
Posted on 2001/1/29 22:47:02 ( 833 reads )


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ATLANTA, GEORGIA, January 28, 2001: Power yoga is about learning to breathe, relax and acquire an awareness of your body. In the process you work up a sweat, push your muscles to their limit and stretch like silly putty. According to this recent article in the Atlanta Journal, the popularity of power yoga is on the rise in Atlanta. Three years ago, only four to eight people showed up for classes at Atlanta Yoga, which specializes in astanga yoga. Now, each session averages 15 to 20 students. Excercisers who once thought yoga as too sedate are filling classes for astanga, also called power yoga, a new variation on a centuries-old exercise. Power yoga combines traditional yoga poses into continuous movements that require not only great flexibility but considerable strength. Power yoga is very challenging. It brings on a sweat, so it's appealing to the workout crowd.




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Temple Protests Web Acceptance of Offerings
Posted on 2001/1/29 22:46:02 ( 683 reads )


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GURUVAYOOR, KERALA, January 26, 2001: The managing committee of the Sree Krishna temple at Guruvayoor in Kerala has decided to initiate legal action against four firms for accepting sanctified offerings from devotees through their Web sites. K.M. Satheesan, administrator of the temple, told India Abroad on Jan. 15 that the four firms had sought permission from the authorities to accept such offerings, which was denied.




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