Good morning! We start with some encouraging news amidst a sad backdrop of religious and ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Buddhist monks and activists gathered in their hundreds on the streets of Colombo on Friday to protest violence between Buddhists and Muslims. The protesting monks were joined by activists that included academics, artists, and representatives of civil society organizations, and Islamic groups.
Riots erupted in and around the central city of Kandy early last week after a Sinhalese man died following an altercation over a traffic dispute with a group of Muslim men. Tensions escalated on 6 March, when the body of a Muslim man was discovered in a burned-out building. The ensuing riots and retaliatory attacks by Buddhist mobss over subsequent days have left two people dead, several dozen injured, with mosques attacked and dozens of homes and business destroyed.
Last week was International Women’s Day, and at Buddhistdoor Global we thoroughly believe that when women are given equality, opportunity, and inclusion, it is not just women that are uplifted, men are also elevated, and by extension society as a whole. Buddhistdoor Global, and many other Buddhist media organizations, are working hard to ensure a truly authentic, authoritative, and honest representation of Buddhist women on our platform. And this year, we are seeking to up the ante: our 2018 Special Issue, to be launched later this month, will focus on the Voices of Buddhist Women, aiming to represent the story of the Women of Buddhism—of all traditions, of all ethnicities, and all ages, lay and monastic. It is about their journey, their struggle, and their insights, told in their own voices.
Taiwan-based Buddhist organization Fo Guang Shan is hosting the “Fo Guang Shan 2018 New Year Festival of Light and Peace.” The theme of the month-long festival, which started on 16 February, is based on the New Year Spring Couplet by Fo Guang Shan’s founder, Venerable Master Hsing Yun: A Family Legacy of Loyalty and Honor, and seeks to inspire a spirit of loyalty and honor for the new year.
Dharma Dispatch is a weekly curated summary of the most important Buddhist news. See all our briefings here.