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Monks bringing peace and harmony between India and Myanmar

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Yangon: The relations between the two neighbouring countries India and Myanmar linked by old ties of religion and culture are getting better as Indian Buddhist monks are sowing the seeds of peace and harmony.

As Myanmar moves towards forming a new government, the monks of India and Myanmar have taken upon themselves the task of the smooth transition of the powers to the democratically elected government but through the spiritual route.

“We are basically here for peace and harmony. Since everyone wants to live in peace, we from the Drukpa Lineage are praying for peace in this country which has strong roots with the Buddhism,” Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche said.

Thirty-year-old Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, who is leading a foot journey with 60-odd monks and participated in the peace summit, is the spiritual regent to the Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual head of the Drukpa Order with over 1,000 monasteries across the Himalayas.

“This time, we have decided on a peace ‘padayatra’ (journey) in Myanmar as we did in many places in India. We have also brought a sacred bone relic of the Buddha in this country to bless people. In the past one week, the relic some 2,600 years old got the overwhelming response from the locals,” said Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche.

Tens of thousands gathered at the 2,500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda, which enshrines strands of Buddha’s hair and other holy relics, to pay homage to the bone relic.

Sitagu Sayadaw, the elderly spiritual guru of Myanmar, said the visit of the Indian monks would help strengthen the relations between the two countries.

“The Buddha relic comes from India, the birthplace of Buddhism but not the birthplace of the Buddha. The Buddha spent 45 years in India. Therefore, this is a very significant sign of the peace and stronger relationship between the two countries Myanmar and India,” he said on being asked about the relationship between India and Myanmar.

Indian Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya, who also attended the prayer sessions in the Shwedagon Pagoda, said this would definitely help strengthen India-Myanmar relations.

“It’s a rare opportunity and definitely a meeting point of two traditions the Vajrayana and Theravada schools of Buddhism,” he said.

On bringing the sacred Buddha bone relic to this country, Mukhopadhaya said it was rare that the relic had been brought out of the Hemis monastery, the oldest monastery of the Drukpa Order in Ladakh.

“It’s very rare that the bone relic of the Buddha has gone out of the country. The people of Myanmar have a lot of faith in Buddhism. This event offers a platform of religious faith between the countries. This will strengthen the historical relations that have been there since the colonial period,” he added.

The bone relic arrived in Mandalay by plane on January 21 and it was carried across many prominent towns and villages by the monks of the Drukpa Order. It will return to India on January 29.

Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, who is also the chairperson of Druk Padma Karpo Educational Society which runs the famous Druk Padma Karpo School of the Hindi film ‘3 Idiots’ fame, said he prayed that the ties between the two countries would be better and more strengthened.

Founded in the 17th Century, the Hemis Monastery in Ladakh in India’s Jammu and Kashmir houses the most famous holy relics which are thousands of years old.(IANS)(Image-wikipedia)

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Star ICC Asks Anonymous Accuser Of Sexual Assault Charges To Step Forward

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were "clear instructions" given to make the sales team fulfil the targets.

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#MeToo: Star India internal panel writes to anonymous accuser to come forward

The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser — who had alleged “sexual exploitation” of women employees — asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee’s external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.

The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 — saying she would remain anonymous — had made sexual harassment allegations against the company’s officials in an open letter.

Star ICC
Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt.

Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy” in respect of the allegations.

“We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment,” read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.

It also said that the anonymous tweet shared on October 13 raised an allegation that “runs completely counter to everything we believe in and the norms and values that we deeply embrace.”

The statement further said: “Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt to malign and defame the reputation of the company and the CEO.” It said that Star reserves its right to initiate appropriate legal proceedings in this regard.

Star ICC
The Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy.

The accuser in her tweets had said that the #MeToo movement had encouraged her to come forward and that she had quit her job at Star India in the Airtime Sales section after 26 months and nine days and was now a homemaker, “taking care of my baby and hubby in a beautiful country, far away from Mumbai.”

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were “clear instructions” given to make the sales team fulfil the targets in case they want to continue with their employment contract, “for which even if you have to take the clients to a hotel room and sleep with them for days.”

She said there were many instances when she and three of her female colleagues (interns) had clear instructions to reach a hotel after office hours for a private party hosted for influential friends.

Also Read: India’s Junior Foreign Minister M.J. Akbar Quits Following #MeToo Harassment Allegation By Women

She says the influential friends were “mostly bureaucrats and sometimes politicians and foreign nationals” who were “all ready to violate you, force you to dance against your wishes, drink with them, make drink(s) for them, exchange your numbers and even quietly accompany them to their respective rooms if they want you to”.

Veteran writer-director Vinta Nanda, who earlier this month accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her 19 years ago, wrote on Twitter: “I’m neither shocked nor surprised. I salute your courage to have come out and spoken out. The rot runs deep.” (IANS)