July 13, 2009

Saving Bangladeshi Buddhism

Indopia reports that Bangladesh seeks to incorporate its Buddhist heritage sites as part of regional Buddhist tourism.
“The matter was taken up at a BIMSTEC meet and a proposal has been made for creating a heritage path to promote Buddhist circuit tourism involving Bangladesh, India and Nepal,” Bangladesh Tourism Corporation Joint Secretary Samena Begum said here.

She said the Somapura Vihara, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a Buddhist monastery dating from the late eighth century located at the south of the Himalayas in north-west Bangladesh.

I’m delighted to see that Bangladesh is moving to highlight its Buddhist heritage, but the greater legacy of Buddhism in Bangladesh is the Bengali Buddhist community, who are routinely oppressed by local authorities. Even better than preserving eighth century monuments is to promote Bangladesh’s Buddhist minorities and their human rights.

1 comment :

  1. That's great news, but I think this is driven more by the greed of local Islamic government to "cash-in" oh the booming Buddhist Tourism. India just recently completed miles of highway linking many of the Holy sites together (I was there last year - still not in great shape). I doubt the Bangladeshi Sangha will be more respected out of this - Islam has never been friendly to Buddhism.

    I would love to visit the sites in Bangladesh... just I would love to visit the Swat Valley in Pakistan and many of the sites in Afghanistan. If they could just get to know their wonderful Buddhist past before being destroyed by conquering monotheistic invaders better...

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