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Buddhists carry candles while encircling a large Buddha statue during Asanha Puja Day, the eve of the Buddhist Lent, at a temple in Nakhon Pathom province on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand. Image source: Reuters

Buddhists across Thailand gave offerings to local temples as they celebrated Asanha Bucha Day on Monday, July 18 and their religion’s version of Lent on Tuesday, July 19.

The Asanha Bucha holiday falls every year on the full moon of the eighth lunar month. It is the day that Buddhism was established when the Buddha established gave his first sermon to five disciples after attaining Nirvana in the Maruekhathayawan forest in India more than 2,500 years ago.

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Buddhism’s Lent Day, which falls the day after Asanha Bucha, marks the beginning of Buddhist monks’ three-month retreat to their temples during the rainy season.

Migrant workers from Myanmar offer donations at Wat Saket, July 19, 2016. Image source: (Pimuk Rakkanam/BenarNews)

In Narathiwat, a predominantly Muslim province in Thailand’s Deep South that is in the throes of a separatist insurgency, Buddhists offered alms in the morning at Khao Kong Park temple in Sri Sakhon district. Soldiers from the 9th Ranger Task Force and villagers attended the religious ceremony, carrying Lenten candles as part of the tradition.

Buddhist monks receive offerings at Wat Khao Kong park in Narathiwat province, July 19, 2016. Image source: Rapee Mama/BenarNews

In nearby Yala province, teachers and students from a local school offered phansa candles to monks. Traditionally, candles are given to the monks for use during their retreat.

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In the Deep South, a traditional candlelight procession was held during the daylight hours for security reasons.

Teachers and students from a local school offer phansa candles to monks at Wangmai temple in Betong district, Yala province, July 18, 2016. Image source: Nasueroh/ BenarNews

In Bangkok, Buddhists from Myanmar who work in Thailand joined Thai Buddhists during festivities at the famous Golden Mountain Chedi, at the Wat Saket temple.

“This is a sacred place, you can wish for anything,” Nopeh, a Karen woman told BenarNews, referring to the Golden Mountain, which she visits at least once a year. (Benar News)




The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.

NEW DELHI - India Navy sending four ships for exercises and port visits with the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, its navy said Wednesday, as China's maritime power grows in the area.

The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.

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The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).

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Pakistan has failed miserably to protect Hindus, their interests.

A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.

According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.

Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.

Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.

The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".

But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.

A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.

Also Read: Hindu Woman Axed To Death In Pakistan

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