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Fanaticism bad, religions misunderstood and misinterpreted: Gyalwang Drukpa

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Nangchen (China): Speaking out against fanaticism, the spiritual head of the Drukpa lineage of Buddhism said religions are “misunderstood” and “misinterpreted” in a sectarian kind of way.

credit: www.static.talkvietnam.com
Gyalwang Drukpa credit: www.static.talkvietnam.com

“Fanaticism is a bad thing. Fanaticism that connects with the religion, be it Hindu, be it Muslim, be it Buddhist, it doesn’t matter,” Gyalwang Drukpa told a group of visiting Indian mediapersons in this town in the southernmost part of Qinghai province, neighbouring Tibet’s Chamdo district. He is here for the inauguration of a restored Ashoka stupa and a new Buddhist temple in the same complex.

Saying that he was not authorised to speak on Hindus and Muslims, the Ladakh-based Drukpa advised Buddhists to focus on the spirituality and not the religiosity of the religion.

He said when religion is “misinterpreted” in a sectarian way, Buddhism would also one day face problems and asked members of the community not to be fanatic in their beliefs.

“Luckily Buddhism still represents non-violence. But one day, who knows, Buddhism will also not really be representing non-violence. Buddhist people should not be fanatic about the religiosity. The Buddhists should really keep the spirituality of Buddhism, not the religiosity. If they don’t do that well, then one day they will also be a violent kind of group,” said Drukpa, whose associates claim he has over 27 million followers across the world.

Asked about the developments in Tibet, Gyalwang Drukpa said he himself felt confused on the issue.

“Some say (the progress made) is not good, some say it’s good. I am not in a position to say good or bad right now,” he replied.

“Obviously, some part of Tibet has a little bit of difficulty and some parts have good life. I don’t really have any kind of opinion to share with you,” he said.

Last year, the spiritual leader had complained that eight of his monasteries were snatched by “some people who were “misusing” the name of the Karmapa. He has also posted an open letter on the issue on his website.

Questioned on the issue, the revered monk reiterated his position.

“We are going through the process of modalities to be done. It is a historical kind of disasters happening. It’s like something that we cannot really be patient or tolerant (about).”

Speaking about the restored Ashoka Stupa and the new Buddhist temple in the same complex, Drukpa said he was proud and happy at his “little bit of contribution” to the project.

“Ashoka was the biggest and the most well known Buddhist king not only in India, but all over the world. We are very proud about what we have done. I myself am also proud about my little bit of contribution to the Ashokan remains,” he said.

Drukpa hoped the restoration of the Stupa would help better Sino-Indian relations as Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoped would happen.

“Yes, this will be a very good contribution towards Modi’s wish and I hope that will also be beneficial (for bilateral ties between India and China).”

Answering a query, the senior monk said he had no immediate plans to restore any other Ashokan stupa in China or across Southeast Asia, but would give his assent if some symbolic remains were found in any corner of the world.

“I don’t really have a plan right now. But obviously, if there is a very significant kind of thing, symbolic kind of thing, that it is lying somewhere, in some corner of the world I will definitely go ahead and do something,” he added.

(Sirshendu Panth IANS)

(He is in China at the invitation of the Chinese government)

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China Warns Canada Against Severe Consequences If Huawei CFO Isn’t Released

A Huawei spokesman said on Friday that the company had "every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will reach the right conclusion."

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Huawei, China
A man lights a cigarette outside a Huawei retail shop in Beijing. VOA

China warned Canada on Saturday that there would be severe consequences if it did not immediately release Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.’s chief financial officer, calling the case “extremely nasty.”

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s global chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 and faces extradition to the United States, which alleges that she covered up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions. The executive is the daughter of the founder of Huawei.

If extradited to the United States, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, a Canadian court heard on Friday, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge.

Huawei, China
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.’s chief financial officer, is seen in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters. VOA

No decision was reached at the extradition hearing after nearly six hours of arguments and counterarguments, and the hearing was adjourned until Monday.

In a short statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said that Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng had issued the warning to release Meng to Canada’s ambassador in Beijing, summoning him to lodge a “strong protest.”

Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, said Saturday that there was “nothing to add beyond what the minister said yesterday.”

Freeland told reporters on Friday that relationship with China was important and valued, and Canada’s ambassador in Beijing has assured the Chinese that consular access will be provided to Meng.

Good relationship

When asked about the possible Chinese backlash after the arrest of Huawei’s CFO, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Friday that Canada had a very good relationship with Beijing.

Huawei, China, Canada
The exterior of the Alouette Correctional Center for Women, where Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was being held on an extradition warrant, is seen in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. VOA

Canada’s arrest of Meng at the request of the United States while she was changing planes in Vancouver was a serious breach of her lawful rights, Le said.

The move “ignored the law, was unreasonable” and was in its very nature “extremely nasty,” he added.

“China strongly urges the Canadian side to immediately release the detained person, and earnestly protect their lawful, legitimate rights, otherwise Canada must accept full responsibility for the serious consequences caused.”

The statement did not elaborate.

“There will probably be a deep freeze with the Chinese in high-level visits and exchanges,” David Mulroney, former Canadian ambassador to China, said on Friday. “The ability to talk about free trade will be put in the icebox for a while. But we’re going to have to live with that. That’s the price of dealing with a country like China.”

Trump-Xi meeting

Meng’s arrest came on the same day that U.S. President Donald Trump met in Argentina with China’s Xi Jinping to look for ways to resolve an escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Huawei, U.S., China
A woman walks past an advertisement for Huawei at a subway station in Hong Kong. VOA

“We are tracking the developments of this case and refer you to the filings in the Supreme Court of British Columbia,” said a U.S. State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The news of Meng’s arrest has roiled stock markets and drawn condemnation from Chinese authorities, although Trump and his top economic advisers have played down its importance to trade talks after the two leaders agreed to a truce.

Also Read: U.S. Sues Chinese Tech Executive Over Business Dealings With Iran

A Huawei spokesman said on Friday that the company had “every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will reach the right conclusion.” The company has said it complies with all applicable export control and sanctions laws and other regulations. (VOA)