Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Poem: You're not alone

You're not alone

Come with me and take my hand.
You will know you're not alone.
I have been through the same thing you have.
You always had to go through pain and loneliness
by yourself but not any more I will go through it with you.

I will be with you every step of the way.
Where ever you go I will follow.
What ever happens always know that
you're not alone and I will always be there for you.

(Olivia Zhang)


Source of the photo: http://blog.nj.com/njv_george_berkin/2009/04/post.html

Producing Buddhism (by Lama Ole Nydahl)

We want to produce Buddhism, not consume it. We want each of us to develop into a temple and not create one somewhere outside. We want to allow each of us to possess the ability to really benefit others. Because we do not want to believe or believe in a fanatic way, we really want to develop everyone’s potential and everyone’s power. You have to understand that you have to stay conscious and to keep producing Buddhism in your lives.

You are Buddhism. Buddhism is not something outside, it is not something else. Buddhism is the way you eat, drink, make love, think, feel; all this is Buddhism. Never have there been so many educated, independent people with so much ability as we find today. This has never happened before. For the first time in history we are on a world-wide scale, held together by friendship and idealism that can produce this wonderful thing called Mahamudra communities. Where we are all really close together, we are already friends, trusting each other back from former lives. There we are really capable of hearing through thousands of ears and seeing through thousands of eyes and learning through each other’s experiences. This has never happened before, we must make it happen. If Buddhism, a view which goes beyond the next paycheck, a great liberating view, is going to live in this world, it has to come from us!

The thing to do is go out and be independent, strong, and shine on all beings; find your own inner strength. We find strength in our groups and centers and we always remind ourselves of the importance of what is going on. The whole outer world is trying to take us away from the important things in life. They are trying to tell us to buy this and we will be happy, go there and do that and you will be happy. Then when you have gone everywhere, done everything, seen everything, when you die you still cannot take it with you. For this reason, please make yourselves strong, rely on yourselves, trust your friends, and work together. Do not start consuming Buddhism, produce it in your own hearts, in your own beds, or wherever else you express yourselves. Give as much as you can, find your inner power and your inner abilities as much as you can. In all the centers we have, the whole group carries the blessing and then this blessing condenses and accentuates itself through the people who are there. It brings them together and it comes alive.

Lama Ole Nydahl - San Francisco 1995

Access to Google Is Interrupted in China

Google’s search engine was inaccessible in much of China late Tuesday. The exact cause of the disruption was not fully clear, but it led to speculation that the site was being blocked by the country’s Internet censors.

Google itself added to the confusion, first saying that the problem was the result of a change it made to the string of characters it sends along with search requests, which may run afoul of China’s powerful Internet filter.

Later in the day, Google said that it had actually made that change a week ago, so the disruption must have been caused by changes on China’s end. It also said that by early Wednesday morning its service appeared to have been restored.

The disruption raised concern that China had decided to punish the company for its decision last week to move out of Beijing and operate an uncensored Web site from Hong Kong.

Users trying to access Google in Chinese and English were able to reach the home page of the Web site but unable to complete a search. The screen displayed an error message.

While some users in Shanghai said late Tuesday that they had occasional access to Google’s Chinese-language site, the site was largely unreachable.

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/technology/31google.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a6

The Demons of Pope Benedict XVI

The case of an American priest who abused deaf children for years has shaken the Vatican. Detailed information about the sexual misconduct of the Rev. Lawrence Murphy went across the desk of Cardinal Ratzinger prior to his papacy. Abuse allegations in Italy are also putting the Catholic Church in an increasingly tough spot.

It is late on a Thursday evening at the Vatican and it is already beginning to look like Easter. St. Peter's Square is brightly lit, and groups attending a world youth forum are in high spirits as they sing and clap to celebrate their pope, clad in immaculate white, who has just spoken about the "Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin," behaving "as if nothing at all had happened."

These are the words of Peter Isely. Standing on a street corner one block away from the spectacle, he is determined to spoil the pope's festival of redemption. Isely has come to Rome all the way from Milwaukee, in the US state of Wisconsin. He is a 49-year-old psychotherapist with a buzz cut and a question that has been on his mind since he was 13: "Why is my church the only institution where pedophiles continue to be employed?"

This is Isely's first visit to Rome. Isely and a handful of abuse victims were already standing on St. Peter's Square in the morning, holding up photos and adding their contribution to the process of drawing His Holiness into the maelstrom of cover-ups and revelations that has confronted the Catholic Church with its most serious crisis in decades. While pots containing olive trees -- for Easter -- were being unloaded on St. Peter's Square, Isely talked about "Father" Lawrence Murphy from Milwaukee: "This priest molested more than 200 boys at my school. Joseph Ratzinger is responsible for the fact that Murphy was never defrocked." Isely says that he doesn't want him to resign. "I just want him to acknowledge his culpability."

He is referring to the current pope. The scandal over child abuse by priests has rocked the Vatican more than the pope's Regensburg speech, which got him into trouble with Muslims, or the affair involving the Society of St. Pius X and the Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson.

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,686495,00.html

Suicides, Some for Separatist Cause, Jolt India

India — Sai Kumar Meegada, a 20-year-old straight-A chemical engineering student at a prestigious university here, came home from breakfast one morning early this month, slipped a length of clothesline around his neck, tied it to the ceiling fan in his dorm room and hanged himself.

“For the people of Telangana, this is my final salute,” said a note he left, referring to the decades-old struggle to create a separate region in Andhra Pradesh, a large state in southern India. “My final and last request is take my body to the legislative assembly. Goodbye.”

With that, Mr. Meegada became one of a surprising number of people — many of them young and educated, with bright futures awaiting them — to have committed suicide over the battle to carve out India’s 29th state. Some estimates have attributed more than 200 suicides to the cause.

But these politically motivated deaths are just one aspect of a troubling trend. Suicide has become something of a phenomenon in India, especially in the south, which now has one of the highest suicide rates in the world — a fact that has both puzzled and alarmed public health experts.

Suicides by indebted farmers are frequently reported in the news media and pointed to as a sign that India has forgotten its rural poor. But according to Indian government statistics, bankruptcy or poverty provoke less than 5 percent of Indian suicides. A family conflict, a broken love affair or an illness is a more likely spur.

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/world/asia/31india.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a1

Bayern stun United in final minute

Bayern Munich stunned Manchester United 2-1 in their Champions League quarter-final first leg Tuesday night, with an injury-time goal by Ivica Olić evoking memories of their famous clash in 1999.

The match was eagerly anticipated as a re-run of the thrilling Champions League final when two dramatic goals right at the end of the game took the trophy to Old Trafford in a devastating blow to the Germans.

This time round, United struck right at the beginning of the match, with England striker Wayne Rooney latching on to a deflected free-kick and smashing home a close-range volley for his 34th goal of the season with only 66 seconds played.

Bayern were left to rue a golden opportunity half way through the first period as Olić somehow missed from about a yard out, unmarked and in front of goal.

Rooney missed a chance of his own in front of goal before the end of an open and entertaining first half which produced only one goal but could have seen a half-dozen as both teams concentrated on attacking.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson called on his side to step up their effort in the second half but it was the home side that started hot with several shots on goal in the first few minutes of the second period.

Bayern continued to dominate the second half, fully deserving their equaliser when a long-range free kick from French international Franck Ribery deflected off Rooney past helpless goalkeeper van der Sar.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/sport/20100331-26225.html

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ricky Martin: 'I Am a Fortunate Homosexual Man'

After years of keeping quiet about his personal life, pop star Ricky Martin has announced that he is gay.

"I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man," Ricky said in a message posted on his offical Web site. "I am very blessed to be who I am."

To read more: http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/stopthepresses/132331/ricky-martin-i-am-a-fortunate-homosexual-man/


Source of the photo: http://thebiggestnews.com/?p=1751

Couple evicted for having loud sex

A couple in Zwickau in the German state of Saxony has reportedly been evicted from their apartment for being too loud while having sex.

The daily Bild reported on Monday that the couple’s neighbours had lodged repeated noise complaints for exceptionally loud sex noises that kept them up at night.

“The frequency and tremendous volume of their screaming and moaning can be heard in the entire house and it's become a no longer acceptable nuisance,” the landlord explained in the couple’s eviction notice.

The 25-year-old man Michael Krug, his similarly aged partner Nicole Kühn and their two small children must now leave the apartment by mid-April, the paper reported.

"Of course we're louder than other people," Kühn told Bild. "We have long-lasting and good sex - enjoying ourselves basically."

Fortunately the randy couple has apparently already found a new place to live with much thicker walls than their current flat.

Source: http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100329-26197.html

20 Trier diocese priests accused of sex abuse

Trier's Roman Catholic diocese said Monday that 20 of its current and former priests had been accused "in recent weeks" of sexual abuse as part of an ever widening scandal embroiling the Church in Germany.

The Trier bishopric in the western part of the country said the "shocking" allegations involved crimes committed from the 1950s to 1990.

"For my part, I would like to encourage those victims who have not yet found the courage to come forward to do so," Bishop Stephan Ackermann told reporters, saying he was "stunned" by the cases that had come to light.

Ackermann said two people had already reported their cases to authorities while the Church had passed on information on an additional three to prosecutors. Ten of the accused priests have since died, another two have retired.

Ackermann said the diocese was still conferring on how to handle three cases that fell under the criminal statute of limitations. He said that beyond the new cases that had surfaced, three priests had been convicted of abuse in the 1990s.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100329-26201.html

Thai Premier Faces Off With Leaders of Protests

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand met Sunday with leaders of the antigovernment protest movement here, the first significant effort to defuse two weeks of street protests.

The meeting, an unscripted and unusual face-off among hardened political rivals that was carried live on Thailand’s main television channels, failed to make progress on the primary demand of protesters, that new elections be called. Both sides agreed to meet again on Monday.

“All of us now have only one question,” Jatuporn Prompan, a protest leader at the meeting, asked the prime minister. “Will you dissolve Parliament or not?”

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/29/world/asia/29thai.html?ref=asia

Analysts Ask if the iPad Can Live Up to Its Hype

When the Apple iPad goes on sale on Saturday, most of the major questions surrounding the device will have been answered, save for one: can it live up to the hype?

Apple fans have breathlessly awaited Apple’s entry into the tablet computer market. Since the company unveiled the iPad in late January, investors have jumped on the bandwagon, too, running up Apple’s stock more than 10 percent.

Part of that rise can be attributed to the steady rise in sales of the iPhone and the company’s Mac computers. But much of it clearly has to do with tablet fever. On the day this month when Apple made the completely unsurprising announcement that the iPad would go on sale on April 3, the stock jumped nearly 4 percent.

Expectations are clearly high. Now the iPad has to meet them.

Apple has given no public indication of what kinds of sales it expects, or what may constitute success. But at the iPad introduction in January, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, implicitly set a lofty standard. He said the iPad would offer an experience that was superior to that of netbooks, a rapidly growing category of inexpensive and lightweight laptops that accounted for $11 billion in global sales last year.

He also said that the 75 million people who own iPhones and iPod Touches already knew how to use the iPad, which uses the same operating system and touch-screen interface.

But analysts and investors are searching for their own ways to judge the iPad over the short and long term. Their projections vary, but many Apple analysts seem to think the company will sell around a million iPads by the end of its quarter in June, and around 5 million by the end of 2010.

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/29/technology/29apple.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a21

Love Quote

"If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever."
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

Monday, March 29, 2010

H.H. 17th Karmapa at the Europe Center 2009

Video of H.H. 17th Karmapa at the Europe Center 2009 together with Lama Ole Nydahl:


Find more videos like this on Virtual Sangha

Deutsche Bahn wins UAE rail contract

Deutsche Bahn has won a contract to build a rail network in the United Arab Emirates, signing a memorandum of understanding on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

Financial details were not released, but the construction of the regional transport lines, a metro, tram services as well as a long-distance link between Abu Dhabi and the southern emirates is expected to cost double digit billions of euros.

Deutsche Bahn signed a €17 billion deal to build a high-speed railway network and underground metro systems in Qatar and Bahrain just four months ago and then said it was planning to bid for more Gulf business.

The latest contract puts the Bahn in partnership with the Masaood Group, one of the biggest industrial companies in the region.

Source: http://www.thelocal.de/money/20100328-26177.html

Todays Quote


"The important thing is the work you do with your mind. That's where it happens. That is what makes our lives important."

(Lama Ole Nydahl)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dinner: Italian Gnocchi

Tonight I cooked some Italian Gnocchi (kind of noodles made of potatos) with a really nice and tasty Papaya / Chili sauce.

Cleaning at the Buddhist Center

This afternoon I went to the Buddhist Center in Bochum to help my friends there cleaning the Center and its rooms. Through this our Center is ready for the coming weekend when we have a big Buddhist event here in Bochum at the university and for Lama Ole Nydahl who will visit our Center.

Love Quote

"Real love stories never have endings."
~ Richard Bach

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Clocks go forward an hour for summer time

European summer time starts this weekend, with the clocks going forward at 2 am Sunday, cutting the night by an hour but producing longer, lighter evenings.

Moving the clocks forward by an hour at this time of year was only adopted in Germany in 1980, and remains controversial, with complaints over tiredness and lack of concentration.

One of the driving ideas behind the introduction of summer time was to reduce energy consumption following the oil crisis of 1979, with the thinking being that daylight would be used more and lighting and heating costs saved.

But the federal association of the energy and water industry, the BDEW, says this goal was not met – although less energy is needed in the long, light evenings, more is needed in the mornings.

Nearly half of Germans find it difficult to adjust their sleeping patterns to get out of bed an hour earlier than normal, according to a survey conducted by Forsa pollsters for the KKH-Allianz health insurer.

Nearly half of the more than 1,000 people questioned said they needed several days to get back into their normal sleep pattern, while finding it tiring and difficult to get up early.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100327-26155.html

Love Quote

"The entire sum of existence is the magic of being needed by just one person."
~ Vi Putnam

Friday, March 26, 2010

Therapy helps Khmer Rouge victims overcome pain

The Khmer Rouge’s brutal rule of Cambodia ended over 30 years ago. Many victims still find it difficult to talk about their experiences. The Transcultural Psycho-Social Organization Cambodia provides them with therapy.

Monks in orange robes are reciting prayers. A group of men and women is sitting in front of them. Their heads are bowed and some are crying. They are in a temple in the Killing Fields, not far from the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.

17,000 were killed in this place alone under the Khmer Rouge regime that lasted from 1975 to 1979. Those praying survived. They are taking part in a therapy course that is run by the Transcultural Psycho-Social Organization Cambodia (TPO).

"It felt like I was in hell"

One of the participants, Sam Rithy, was arrested and tortured in prison. The Khmer Rouge, which wanted to establish a classless society, thought that he needed to be rid of his "bourgeois side" since he lived in the city.

"They hit me with a weapon until I was unconscious. They killed innocent children in jail and let children starve to death. It felt like I was in hell. I never thought I would survive," he recalls.

The method that the TPO uses – Testimonial Therapy – was developed in Chile after the dictatorship fell. Participants work through their experiences of torture, war and human rights abuses, with qualified therapists.

Sleep problems and depression

Sam Rithy has problems sleeping and Im Sam At is depressed. The two are sitting in a cafe in Pnomh Penh, speaking about their experiences. Im Sam At is massaging her forehead:

"I think about the past too much," she says. "My husband was executed. I was a widow at 22. I lost my children and my mother. I feel very very lonely."

It is part of the therapy to write down memories and try to piece fragments together. Participants then go back to the Killing Fields together but only after they have been "debriefed", explains Sarat Youn, one of the TPO’s therapists.

To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5391257,00.html

Despite Authoritarian Rule, Myanmar Art Grows

Myanmar — The dance music thundered through a crowd of thousands of drunken fans, past the pavilions where skinny women in impossibly high heels gyrated around metal poles and into the streets filled with taxis that ferried partygoers to this free, whiskey-soaked concert in the park.

“Our parents don’t allow it, but we do it anyway,” said Zun Pwint Phyu, one of the dancers who endured hours of lascivious stares.

Myanmar is a country where owning a fax machine without a permit is illegal, where even spontaneous gatherings of more than five people are technically banned and where critics of the government are regularly locked away for decades in tiny prison cells.

Yet despite this repression, or perhaps partly because of it, young people here are pushing the limits of what the military government, let alone their parents, considers acceptable art and entertainment.

Art exhibitions, some featuring risky hidden political messages, open nearly every week in Yangon, Myanmar’s main city. Yangon has a festival of underground music, including punk bands, twice a year. Fans of the most popular musical genres, hip-hop and electronic dance music, wear low-slung baggy pants to regularly held concerts here.

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/world/asia/26myanmar.html?ref=asia

Link to a video on this topic:
http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/03/25/world/asia/1247467318987/fresh-air-for-myanmar-s-music.html

The Fallibility of the Infallible Pope

Allegations that Pope Benedict XVI may have had detailed knowledge about instances of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church continue to mount. In 1996, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which he then led, decided not to punish the pedophile priest Father Lawrence Murphy. With his authority eroded, why does he even remain in office?

When is it time for a pope to resign? Margaret Kässmann, the former head of the Protestant Church in Germany, stepped down in February upon deciding that she no longer had the necessary moral authority for her office after being caught driving drunk. But how much authority does Pope Benedict XVI still enjoy?

These days, what is left is disappearing almost daily. Each new detail about the role he played in his church's handling of instances of sexual abuse erodes it further. But a pope doesn't just resign. He is not the CEO of a company, not the head of a political party -- he is the direct spiritual descendent of the Apostle Peter.

It is, in theory, possible according to church law. Canon 332, Paragraph Two, provides for a papal resignation, allowing the pope to step down whenever he wishes and without asking anyone for permission. But in the long history of the Catholic Church, it is extremely uncommon. Pope Celestine V was the most recent church leader to resign -- 700 years ago.

And even if numerous abuse victims have long been calling for Benedict to stand down, it is simply not papal to turn one's back on the papacy. Instead, the Vatican prefers to reject any accusations that have been made as being fully unfounded.

On Thursday, one could observe the reflex once again. In the case of the pedophile priest from the US, Father Lawrence Murphy, Vatican spokesman Federico Lomobardi insisted that before he became pope, Benedict, then known as Joseph Ratzinger, was in no way involved in a cover up. Given that "Father Murphy was elderly and in very poor health," the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then led by Ratzinger, elected in 1996 to forego punishing him. Murphy, who had abused some 100 children, was allowed to remain a priest until his death.

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,685712,00.html


Source photo: http://www.appletreeblog.com/?p=6540

Love Quote

"I am, in every thought of my heart, yours."
~ Woodrow Wilson

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Westerwelle to kick off Gay Games in Cologne this summer

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has agreed to be the official patron of the eighth annual Gay Games in Cologne this summer, the organisation reported on Thursday.

On July 31, Germany’s first openly gay minister and vice chancellor, who is in a long-term relationship with entrepreneur Michael Mronz, will kick off the quadrennial games at the Rhein Energie Stadium.

Westerwelle’s participation was a “clear signal for more tolerance and acceptance of homosexual people in our society,” Gay Games Cologne 2010 director Annette Wachter said, adding that organisers hope this will enhance how the athletes are received in their daily lives.

More than 12,000 athletes from around the world are expected at the games, which run from July 31 to August 7 in the city.

The first Gay Games event took place in 1982 in the California city of San Francisco with the aim of fighting discrimination against lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

Its 35 competitions include football, track and field, swimming, body building, bowling and golf.

Source: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100325-26123.html

Google Calls for Action on Web Limits

A top Google executive on Wednesday called for rules to put pressure on governments that filter the Internet, saying the practice was hindering international trade.

Alan Davidson, director of public policy for Google, told a joint Congressional panel that the United States should consider withholding development aid for countries that restrict certain Web sites. He said censorship had become more than a human rights issue and was hurting profit for foreign companies that rely on the Internet to reach customers.

“The growing problem for Internet censorship is not isolated to one country or one region,” Mr. Davidson told the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. “No single company and no single industry can tackle Internet censorship on its own.”

The fallout from China’s restrictive Internet policies widened on Wednesday when officials from Go Daddy Group, an Internet services company, told the commission that the company would halt registration of Chinese domain names.

Christine Jones, general counsel of Go Daddy, said the company was concerned about privacy after Chinese officials requested photo identification and signatures of its customers. For the first time, she said, Go Daddy had been asked to retroactively obtain documentation for individuals who had registered a domain name.

“We’re concerned about the chilling effect,” Ms. Jones said. “We made the decision that we didn’t want to act as an agent of the Chinese government.”

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/technology/25google.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a6

Fashion: On the Job With Patrick McMullan

How does one become the pre-eminent society photographer in New York City? Times video followed Patrick McMullan on a recent work night to find out.

Link to watch this video:
http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/03/24/style/1247467438463/on-the-job-with-patrick-mcmullan.html

Buddha Quote

"The mind is everything. What you think you become."
(Buddha)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book: Beyond all borders

Today I finished the reading of the book "Beyond all borders - As the Buddha came to the West" by Lama Ole Nydahl. Really a nice and great book to read about many years of work and efforts of this outstanding western Lama. Was a little bit like reading a history book and now after finishing it I understand much better the history and development of Diamondway Buddhism in the western world.

On their honeymoon in Nepal in 1968, Hannah and Ole Nydahl met as some of the first Westerners to Buddhism. They met the first consciously reincarnated Lama Gyalwa Karmapa (H.H. the 16th Karmapa), the "king of the yogis". After three exciting years of apprenticeship in the Himalayas, the Karmapa asked them to bring the doctrine into the western countries.

The story begins in the West in 1972 with the audience with the Queen of Denmark. The basement of a dilapidated house in Copenhagen is the first meditation center of the Karma Kagyu lineage in Europe, for the necessary mobility, a rusted VW bus was used. Two years later opened Karmapa's visit to Europe a whole new dimension and development for Diamondway Buddhism in Europe.

Since then, the two travel around the world. Lama Ole has founded by today more than 640 meditation centers of the Tibetan Karma Kagyu School. He wants to make sure that the unique philosophy, psychology, and especially the transfer of wisdom and the meditation is not lost, but kept alive worldwide.

An exciting, chronological description of the Buddhism and the West, significant encounter with autobiographical character, very fascinating to read.

Stance by China to Limit Google Is Risk by Beijing

This is a nation that builds dams, high-speed rail lines and skyscrapers with abandon. In newly muscular China, sheer force is not just an art, but a bedrock principle of its seemingly unstoppable rise to global prominence.

Now China has tightened its grip on the much more variegated world of online information, effectively forcing Google Inc., the world’s premier information provider, to choose between submitting to Chinese censorship and leaving the world’s largest community of Internet users to its rivals. It chose to leave.

Google’s decision may not cause major problems for China right away, experts said. But in the longer run, they said, China’s intransigent stance on filtering the flow of information within its borders has the potential to weaken its links to the global economy.

It may also sully its image — promoted to its own people as well as to the international community — as an authoritarian country that is economically on the move, perhaps even more so than the sclerotic, democratic West.

“The Chinese are very serious about pushing their soft-power agenda,” Bill Bishop, a Beijing Internet entrepreneur and author of the technology blog Digicha, said Tuesday. “Google just put a big hole in that sales pitch, and I think they know that.”

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/world/asia/24china.html?ref=asia

China: 2 Protests by Students in Tibetan Areas

Groups of students in two Tibetan areas of Gansu Province, in western China, have held separate protests after Chinese security forces imposed lockdowns at boarding schools before the anniversaries of previous Tibetan uprisings, according to a report by the International Campaign for Tibet, an advocacy group. The report, based on information obtained by Tibetans in exile with ties to people in Gansu, was similar to an earlier report of the protests by Radio Free Asia.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/world/asia/24briefs-Chinabrf.html?ref=asia

Dalai Lama Quote

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
(H.H. Dalai Lama)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lecture: How real is reality?

Tonight I went to a lecture with the physicist and mathematician Guido Czeija at the university of Bochum on the topic "How real is the reality?" (Wie wirklich ist die Wirklichkeit?)
In it he examined the appearance and the latest findings about our reality, from the Buddhist and scientific views. Its been a very interesting lecture, well attended by many people. I learned a lot and what I heard caused many interesting thoughts to consider and ponder about.

House Evacuated for Eight Weeks after Pet Cobra Vanishes

Kevin O. wanted a new pet. But the highly poisonous cobra he bought apparently didn't want him. It escaped in his apartment, leading to a week-long, 40,000-euro search for the reptile. Now, with the snake still at large, the house has been sealed off for eight weeks.

Snakes, as every schoolboy knows, can go for quite some time between meals. Even monocled cobras -- extremely poisonous, but hardly the hardiest of reptiles -- can survive up to six weeks without a bite. Which helps explain why a house in the western German city of Mülheim (not far from our home city Bochum) is being sealed off and evacuated for two months.

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,685045,00.html

Google Shuts China Site in Dispute Over Censorship

Just over two months after threatening to leave China because of censorship and intrusions from hackers, Google on Monday closed its Internet search service there and began directing users in that country to its uncensored search engine in Hong Kong.

While the decision to route mainland Chinese users to Hong Kong is an attempt by Google to skirt censorship requirements without running afoul of Chinese laws, it appears to have angered officials in China, setting the stage for a possible escalation of the conflict, which may include blocking the Hong Kong search service in mainland China.

The state-controlled Xinhua news agency quoted an unnamed official with the State Council Information Office describing Google’s move as “totally wrong.”

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/23/technology/23google.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a1

Germans to build Asian solar park as Spanish announce Baltic wind farm

German solar energy firm Conergy said Monday it would build Southeast Asia's largest commercial solar power plant outside of Bangkok, while a Spanish firm announced plans for a Baltic Sea wind farm.

The first part of the park in Ayutthaya, some 70 kilometres (45 miles) north of Thailand's capital, should be open by the end of July this year and it will produce one megawatt of energy, the Hamburg-based company said in a statement.

The park should be completed by the end of the year, with a total power output of three megawatts.

When fully operational, the park will produce 4,500 megawatt hours of electricity per year, equivalent to 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

However, the output is small compared to Germany, where the biggest solar park has a maximum output of 53 megawatts and can provide 15,000 families with electricity.

But the German company was not the one with “green” power news on Monday.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/money/20100322-26039.html

Buddha Quote

"Every human being is the author of his own health or disease."
(Buddha)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mekong River at its lowest level in 50 years

Chinese diplomats recently denied charges by Thai environmental groups that dam construction on the Mekong River’s upper reaches in Yunnan Province was creating record-low water levels. They blamed the drought.

One of the longest rivers in Asia, the Mekong is 4,300 kilometers long and wends its way from the Tibetan plains through Vietnam and the South China Sea. It is currently witnessing its lowest levels for 50 years, in Southeast Asia, India and China.

China’s assistant foreign minister Hu Zhengyue recently told Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva that dams being constructed in Yunnan province were not the reason, however.

China has already completed construction of the Xiaowan hydroelectric dam and there are a further eight hydro-electric dams planned for Yunnan Province.

To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5369566,00.html

Germany's paralympians leave Vancouver Games covered in golden glory

Germany's paralympians finished top of the medal table at the Vancouver Winter Games with 13 golds thanks to remarkable performances from skier Gerd Schoenfelder and biathlete Verena Bentele who won the lions share.

Ten days of Paralympic competition came to an end on Sunday night when Vancouver said farewell to the Winter Olympics and passed the flag to the southern Russian city of Sochi, the next Winter Games host in 2014.

More than 500 athletes representing 44 countries participated in the Vancouver Games, a hugely successful event which prompted International Paralympic Committee President Sir Philip Craven to call it "the best ever Winter Paralympic Games.''

It was certainly a very successful Games for the German team which topped the medal table ahead of Russia. Germany finished on top with 13 golds, with 24 medals overall, with Russia second with 12 golds and 38 medals overall.

Germany's gold collection was boosted by remarkable overall performances by Gerd Schoenfelder, the skier who won a hugely impressive four gold medals and a silver on the slopes of Whistler, and Verena Bentele who dominated the women's biathlon events.

The 39-year-old Schoenfelder, appearing in his final Paralympics before retiring from the Games, claimed victory in the super combined (standing) ski event on Saturday, adding the title to those of the giant slalom, downhill and super-G won previously.

To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5378020,00.html

The Ideology of Nudism in Germany

Britons find nudity hilarious. Germans take it very seriously. An apostil by Roger Boyes

The Times in London has, I believe, a Top-secret think-tank. Its one aim is to dream up ways of humiliating its pale and overweight German correspondent. So it came as no surprise when a young editor, barely suppressing his giggles, suggested I join the first all-naked flight to be organised in Germany. Britons find nudity hilarious. Germans take it very seriously. I don’t know which is worse but I do know it is one of those civilisational frontiers that divide Germany from much of the rest of the world.

The flights begin in July, from Erfurt to Heringsdorf in Usedom. The passengers will be able to get in the mood for the Naturist beaches of the Baltic Sea. If they prove successful, who knows where they will lead? Nudist taxis? Trains for naked passengers?

To read more: http://www.goethe.de/ges/mol/typ/en3097399.htm

Cambodia: Ban on Marriages to South Korean Men

Cambodia has temporarily barred its citizens from marrying South Korean men, after two dozen women were sold into marriage by matchmakers, an official said Friday. Koy Kuong, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the ban would remain in place while the government worked to ensure that South Korean men hoping to marry Cambodian women were able to first prove that they were single and did not have a prison record. “We want to make sure that their marriages are real marriages, not fake, and not involved with human trafficking,” Mr. Koy Kuong said. It was the second time the government had imposed such a ban.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/20/world/asia/20briefs-Cambrf.html?ref=asia

Munich flight grounded as Japanese tourists fall violently ill

The takeoff of a Munich flight to Tokyo was aborted after two dozen Japanese tourists on board fell ill with violent stomach cramps, the police said on Sunday.

The Lufthansa Airbus A340 carrying some 300 passengers returned to the airport terminal shortly before takeoff on Saturday afternoon after the tourists complained of stomach pains and nausea, the authorities said.

The 23 people stricken by the mystery illness, part of a group of some 80 tourists on an organised trip to Europe, were taken to nearby hospitals. The victims also complained of vertigo, vomiting and circulation problems, according to doctors, though their lives were not thought to be in danger, said the police statement.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100321-26019.html

Schonfelder finishes career with third gold


German great Gerd Schonfelder closed out his Paralympic career on a high on Saturday (AEDT), winning the men's standing super-G title for his third gold medal of the Games to go with one silver.

Through six Paralympic appearances, the downhill specialist has won 21 medals, including a record 15 gold medals.

With his wife due to give birth to the couple's second child any day, the 39-year-old electronic technician said he was looking forward to going home, adding he had no regrets about his final Paralympic appearance.

"I'm happy. Every race I win I'm happy. This last week has been a lot of mental pressure and it has been tough, but I have three gold medals and one silver, so I'm very happy," he said.

Source and to read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/20/2851338.htm?site=news

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back home from a fantastic exhibition visit in Cologne

Back home now from visiting the fantastic exhibition "Buthan - Sacred art of the Himalayas" at the Museum of East Asian Art in Cologne. Really enjoyed visiting this unique exhibition of art from Bhutan, sacred art which never left Bhutan before and is shown now on very few locations around the world. A very impressive collection of sacred statues and Thankas (Buddhist Iconography) which I could watch for hours, as they offer so much to discover. When I arrived at the museum it just opened and two monks from Bhutan were doing at a special altár in the museum a cleaning ceremony. Than I had some time to walk around and to enjoy the shown treasures of art, before I than joined a guided tour through the exhibiion with really good explanations about the shown objects. So much to see, that I even consider to go there again, before this exhibition leaves Germany at the end of May.

Before I left the museum I bought the german and the english catalogue about the exhibition, so that I can read at home more about the art shown there and can spend some time looking more detailed at this great artwork. The more comprehensive english catalogue is really great, showing each object displayed and giving detailed information about each object. The english catalogue even includes a DVD with a movie about Bhutan and the religous traditional dancing they perform there at the monestaries.

Think I will just relax now on the sofa and read through these catalogues and kind of going with their help through the exhibition again.

At the museum for East Asian Art in Cologne

Just arrived at the Museum of East Asian Art in Cologne, visiting the exhibition "Bhutan - sacred art of the Himalayas".
Really curious to see the exhibition and to join a guided tour, to learn and understand better what it is shown there.

Would be so nice to visit such a exhibition together with you. IMYSM!

This message was send mobile with HTC Magic, powered by Google Android.

On the train to Cologne

Sitting on the train right now, on my way to Cologne, to visit a museum there.
Nice and comfortable train ride, in a train with two floors. Sitting in the upper floor, as it is nice to watch through the window the passing by landscape and cities.

Look forward to our first train ride together in December. ILYSM!

This message was send mobile with HTC Magic, powered by Google Android.

Todays Quote

"Real practice is reflected not in the temple or shrine, but outside in everyday life, where we find true life, to people who may hate us, love, compassion, desire...
To practice a religion is not just to pray. This involves rather the development of positive qualities such as selfless love, compassion, kindness, responsibility and generosity, it is without expecting something back or "recalculate", and not just to our friends but to all beings around us, even our enemies."

(H.H. Dalai Lama)
"Echte Praxis zeigt sich nicht im Tempel oder Schrein, sondern draußen im Alltag, dort, wo wir auf das wahre Leben stoßen, auf Menschen, die in uns Hass, Liebe, Mitgefühl, Verlangen wecken können.
Eine Religion zu praktizieren heißt nicht einfach nur zu beten. Es geht dabei vielmehr um die Entwicklung positiver Qualitäten wie uneigennützige Liebe, Mitgefühl, Güte, Verantwortungsgefühl und die Großzügigkeit, die gibt, ohne etwas zurückzuerwarten oder nachzurechnen, und zwar nicht nur unseren Freunden gegenüber, sondern allen Wesen in unserer Umgebung, auch unseren Feinden."

(S.H. Dalai Lama)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

German Satellite to Help Detect Threats to Earth

With a new satellite project, Germany's space agency is hoping to create an early warning system for potential asteroid strikes against the Earth. An asteroid impact may have contributed to the death of the dinosaurs, and scientists would like to be able to predict the next Earth-bound collosus before it hits.

The atmosphere is reminiscent of the bridge on the Starship Enterprise. A dozen workspaces are arranged in a semicircle, each blue-seated place is equipped with a large square monitor, a Webcam, headphone and microphone. A central console is located in the middle of the room, within view of the camera embedded in the wall. This is where Captain Kirk would most likely sit and issue his commands.

But because we are located on the outskirts of Bremen, just a stone's throw from the highway, and not somewhere in the vastness of the universe, Captain Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard are nowhere to be found. In their place sit engineers and scientists. Here, on the bright ground floor of the Bremen branch of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the country's space agency, they are building satellites. The "Concurrent Engineering Facility" is what researchers call this futuristic workspace -- and the work they are doing here could possibly save the Earth.

Researcher Marcus Hallmann points to one of the three impressively large monitors at the front of the central planning office. It looks like colorful confetti is dancing around his fingers. Red, green, yellow and white dots move back and forth, in constant motion. Surrounded by the hubbub, there are two labeled ellipses -- the orbits of the Earth (green) and Venus (pink), Hallmann explains. And each of the colorful, moving points could, in theory, inflict great harm on Earth.

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,684375,00.html

Shopping at the toy store

Today I went to the toy store at the city center of Bochum. Went there to buy so toys, different kind of cars, for our foster boy To in Cambodia. From a letter I know that he makes himself cars out of clay and that he likes cars a lot. So I thought it would be a nice idea to buy him some toy cars for his birthday. Hope he will like them and that this surprise makes him a little bit happy.

Being at the toy store reminded me so much of us being there together in August, buying some little gifts for our nieces in Cambodia. So many memories came than to my mind, IMYSM!


Easter holidays are coming soon

Walking around for some shopping and on the decoration of the shop windows one can notice that Easter holidays over here in Germany are coming soon. Many shops but even many homes are now decorated with coloured eggs and Easter bunnies.

Hannover 96 offers football fans birthing room for born supporters

Football fans often claim to be born supporters, but the Bundesliga club Hannover 96 has taken this to the next level with a special delivery room for births not far from the stadium.

The club said this week it is now just one baby short of a team that since the service was set up in cooperation with a local hospital a few months ago.

The idea for the room, which is decked out in Hannover's green, black and white colours, came from two football-crazy midwives at the clinic.

The mother of the latest baby born at the clinic, Ben, who came into the world on March 2 "instilled with the '96 virus from his first breath," said it was a "great idea."

Nevertheless, she admitted that "on the day of the birth, you have other things on your mind and the decor does tend to fade into the background," she said.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/sport/20100319-25989.html

Buddha Quote

"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace."
(Buddha)

Friday, March 19, 2010

New apple: SUNdowner

Found at the supermarket a new apple, bought some and tried them. They are really nice, tasty and refreshing. Think this will become my favorite apple now at spring and summer time.

SUNdowner apple is created in Australia, a brand new, two-colour apple, available in spring and summer. Its slightly menthol flavour and juiciness give it its character. This is a crunchy sharp-tasting and stimulating apple. It is rich in vitamins and keeps well, making it ideal for snacks or outdoor activities.

There is even a special website to promote this new apple: http://www.crunch-punch.eu/

Travel guide about Bali

Today I received the Lonely Planet travel guide about Bali, which I ordered yesterday from Amazon. It is a very good travel guide in English and in the coming weeks I will read through it, to prepare our May vacation in Bali. So we can get some ideas where to go, what to see and also some information about sightseeing trips on this lovely islands. Will be a lot of fun to prepare all this and to decide than in May together what to do and where to go. Look so much forward to this vacation, but most of all to be than with you and to spend our time together. ILYSM!

How real is the reality?

On the Tuesday, the 23rd of March 2010 will the physicist and mathematician Guido Czeija be in Bochum to give a lecture at the University Library on "How real is the reality?" (Wie wirklich ist die Wirklichkeit?)

In it he examines the appearance and the latest findings of our reality, from the Buddhist and scientific views. Sounds very interesting, but also very scientific, think I will go there and pretty sure that this will be a very thrilling evening of learning.

Singing for Your Supper, and Bed

Stuttgart, Germany's performance hotel may be the only lodging of its kind in the world. Part of an art project, a previously derelict house in the city suburbs now offers all comers a bed for the night -- and they can pay for their accommodation by putting on a performance of some kind. Any kind.

This hotel has a gym, a spa and a private movie theater. There is even original art on the walls. The description indicates luxury accommodation, a five-star resort at the very least. But the cost to stay here is bargain basement: €3, €10 or €15 a night. And this hotel is certainly more adventurous than your average five-star palace: Because, if they wish to, guests can choose to pay for their stay by holding a reading, concert or dance.

The director of this Stuttgart hotel is Byung Chul Kim, who originally hails from Korea. He looks young: His sneakers, jeans and hoodie don't quite match the gray hair, or his 36 years. And the Korean artist has already caused an uproar in Stuttgart: He once lived in the shop window of a pet store for a week, offering himself as a house pet to anyone willing to pay €1,200. "It would have been a good investment," says German video and performance artist Christian Jarnowski, whose work has previously featured at the Venice Biennale and who tutors Kim at a Stuttgart art school. "We will be hearing from him."

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,683980,00.html

Zoo opens Body Worlds anatomical exhibition for animals

The controversial Body Worlds creator Gunther von Hagens is bringing a new anatomical exhibition to the Neunkirchen Zoo in the state of Saarland. The show features some of the world’s largest animals preserved in various states of dissection using his famed plastination process.

“We’re pushing animal anatomy to a new level with this exhibition,” von Hagens, also known widely in the German media as “Dr. Death,” said during a press conference.

Described by his organisation as an “anatomical safari,” the exhibition beginning on Friday features more than 100 pieces, giving visitors a view beneath the surface of an elephant, brown bear, squid, giraffe, leopard, gorilla and other exotic creatures.

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100318-25973.html

GALLERY OF THE NEW EXHIBITION: http://www.thelocal.de/gallery/news/861/

Buddha Quote

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
(Buddha)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Arranged everything for our vacation in May

Tonight I arranged everything for our vacation in May, when we travel together to Bali. Booked through our travel agency the hotel and flights. So excited and happy about it. Look so much forward to our vacation and to be with you.

The Hotel "Padma Resort Bali" looks really nice and I am sure we will have a great vacation and time together there. Miss a lot our times together and so happy that you can take some time of work to travel together, will be our first flight together. Really like the location of the Hotel, at the beach but still in walking distance to the city, to go shopping and out together and to discover together Bali. Also look forward to have some trips on the island, to discover nature and ancient buildings together. Cant wait for it. ILYSM!



Diamondway Buddhism in South East Asia

Noticed, that the Diamondway Buddhism of the tibetian Karma Kagyu lineage and school has also Buddhist centers in South East Asia, right now mainly in Malaysia and Singapore. Was nice to see this and find out about. Would be nice to see such a center soon also in Cambodia. :-)

The Kagyupa School is particularly known for its emphasis on meditation practice, rather than intellectual study and for the strength of the Guru-disciple relationship which can bring ordinary beings to Enlightenment in one lifetime.

Link to the South East Asian Website: http://www.kagyu-asia.com/index.html



German bread: one institution that has not crumbled

The global crisis has been eating away at popular confidence in bankers, in managers, estate agents, politicians and even journalists. But not bakers, oh no, not bakers.

Trust in at least one institution has not crumbled: German bread.

These are booming, yeast-rising times for the 300 or so variations of German bread, the Vollkornbrot, the Roggenbrot and the legendary Pumpernickel. Bread sales were up again in Germany, the tenth year in succession; the business is worth 16.7 billion dollars and looks set to do well as long as Germans eat their weight – 87 kilos – in bread rolls every year. The average Frenchman eats his way through a mere 55 kilos of annual flûte.

Part of the national brand

The dark grainy German bread is selling, so to speak, like hot cakes across the world and has become as much part of the national brand as BMW and Claudia Schiffer. At a time when high street shops are pulling down their shutters, German bakeries in Florida, in Canadian and Australian towns are struggling to keep up with orders. One particularly successful chain in Australia is run by a German of Turkish origin. “The concept,” says a spokesman for the company Lüneburger, “was inspired by Germany as the owner Ahmet Yaltirakli was born in Cologne.”

Germans have always had a strong interest in their daily bread. British holidaymakers on the Costa del Sol have noted that hotels there have taken to serving at least three kinds of dark German bread at the breakfast buffet. The difference between a happy and a grumpy German travelling abroad is whether he or she has been able to get hold of a favourite multi-grained roll that morning. Some Brits have even been converted while on holiday and search for rye sourdough bread when they return home: the so-called German Bakery has been set up in Liverpool to deal with the demand.

To read more: http://www.goethe.de/ges/mol/typ/en4539763.htm

Everytime I eat German bread over here, I have to think of you and how much you liked it during our time here in Bochum in August. IMYSM!


Source photo: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1f/FD_1.jpg/300px-FD_1.jpg

Khmer Rouge Tribunal vs. Karmic Justice

When my mother — who saved me and four siblings from starvation under the Khmer Rouge in 1976 — passed away in October 2009 at the age of 73, I realized that for her justice delayed had become justice denied. (I’m embarrassed to admit it, but the words “justice delayed is justice denied” had never really sunk in until my mother’s passing.)

As an observant Buddhist, however, my mother probably had the last word. She always said that no matter what happened to the Khmer Rouge leadership in their current lifetime, Karmic justice would prevail in the next: They would be reborn as cockroaches.

I am certain that this belief has helped millions of survivors cope with the reality that, after more than three decades since the fall of the Khmer Rouge, not a single leader has been held to account.

Indeed, Cambodians will largely be yawning when the Khmer Rouge tribunal, known formally as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and jointly organized with the United Nations, issues its first verdict, on the guilt or innocence of Kaing Guek Eav, widely known as Comrade Duch.

The man who headed S-21, a torture center to which an estimated 16,000 people were sent and where less than a dozen survived, confessed his crimes seven years before the tribunal started, saying: “My confession is rather like Saint Paul’s. I’m the chief of sinners.”

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/opinion/18iht-edear.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a27

Todays Quote on happiness

"Happiness is a mood, a mood of mind. If the mind is in a state of confusion and unrest, happiness can not be brought from the outside with machines and other means. Happiness means peace and balance in the interior - in the spirit."

(H.H. Dalai Lama)
"Glück ist eine Grundstimmung, eine Befindlichkeit des Geistes. Befindet sich der Geist in einem Zustand von Verwirrung und Unruhe, lässt sich Glück von außen mit Apparaten und anderen Mitteln nicht herbeiführen. Glück bedeutet Ruhe und Ausgeglichenheit im Innern - im Geist."

(S.H. Dalai Lama)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New cupboard for our reading and study room

Tonight I spend some time assembling a new cupboard for our reading and study room. Took me a little while as I am not really the kind of do-it-yourself guy. But finally, with some patience, I got it done. Good cupboard for files and documents to keep.

Cambodian Financial Aid from the Federal Republic of Germany for 2009 and 2010 Amounts to Euro 36 Million

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 656

“Phnom Penh: A delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany arrived in Cambodia last week to sign agreements with the Royal Government of Cambodia relating to grant aid for 2009 and 2010 of about Euro 36 Million [approx. US$49 million].

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said that last week, the senior delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany led by the Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, came to visit to study the progress of Cambodian developments. The forty two delegates are from the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the parliament, civil society, and private financing agencies of Germany, and also journalists.

“The spokesperson said that the delegates met with the Minister of Economy and Finance, Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon, in the afternoon of 10 March 2010 before signing agreements between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Federal Republic of Germany about financial cooperation.

“Officials said that the financial cooperation for 2009 amounted to Euro 19 million [approx. US$26] to implement three projects: the second phase health program with Euro 6 million [approx. US$8], the regional economic development project also with Euro 6 million, and the second phase rural infrastructure development with Euro 7 million [approx. US$10].

“Officials went on to say that regarding financial cooperation for 2009 and 2010, the Federal Republic of Germany promised to provide Euro 36 million [approx. US$49], where Euro 34 million [approx. 46 million] is new aid and the rest is aid promised in 2007. Officials added that the aid for 2009 and 2010 is planned to be spent in the health sector with Euro 10.25 million [approx. US$14], for rural development with Euro 22 million [approx. US$30], and for other sectors Euro 3.75 million [approx. US$5].

“Officials of the Ministry of Economy and Finance added that despite the bad impact from the global financial and economic crisis, the Federal Republic of Germany keeps providing aid to Cambodia of about Euro 34 million for two years. According to the official statistics of Cambodia, between 1992 and 2009, the Federal Republic of Germany provided US$280 million [approx. US$384]. Based on these statistics, the Federal Republic of Germany is the fifth donor of Cambodia after China, Japan, the United States of America, and France.

“The officials continued to say that the senior delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany will visit Siem Reap to study the progress of a program implementation for ‘Regional Economic Development’ which includes the green ring area project being implemented by the Apsara Authority.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5151, 16.3.2010

Source: http://cambodiamirror.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/financial-aid-from-the-federal-republic-of-germany-for-2009-and-2010-amounts-to-euro-36-million-tuesday-16-3-2010/


Source photo: http://www.fahnenversand.de/shop/id/691/nr/detailansicht.htm

Contemporary Vietnamese art in Berlin gallery

The ifa-Gallery in Berlin has dedicated a whole exhibition to contemporary Vietnamese art.

"Kunstszene Vietnam", or "Art Scene Viet Nam", is the first exhibition of contemporary Vietnamese art to take place in Germany in over a decade.

It has two curators – the German artist Veronika Radulovic, who has lived and worked in Hanoi for years, and Barbara Barsch, who runs the ifa Gallery Berlin.

Barsch explained why "Kunstszene Vietnam" was so special: "Contemporary art from Vietnam is not particularly well-known in Germany. Of course, individual artists sometimes participate in the Venice Biennale. However, we wanted to point out there is a full and intact art scene in Vietnam."

11 artists from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Works by 11 artists – mainly from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City – have been presented in the exhibition. Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: "Red Etude" - still from a 5-min video installation by Nguyen Minh Phuoc Ranging from painting, sculpture and video installations to performance art, the works deal with a variety of social phenomena, such as corruption, housing, or the situation of homosexuals in Vietnam.

The 50-year old former abstract painter Tran Luong has moved towards performance art in public spaces. One video shows him in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square brushing his teeth and gums.

In the video, Tran explains that at one point he suddenly realized how negative Mao’s leadership of China had been and felt the urge to cleanse himself from its impact.

To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5359017,00.html

Turkish activists want minister tried for derogatory comments on gays

A political controversy has erupted in Turkey after a minister described homosexuality as a "disease" that can and should be cured. The comment provoked a strong reaction from the country's gay and lesbian movement.

Turkey's Islamic-rooted government has frequently been criticized in the past by human rights groups over its treatment of the country's gay community. But now a Turkish gay rights group has asked prosecutors to charge Family Affairs Minister, Aliye Selma Kavaf, for what they called her derogatory comments about homosexuality.

The complaint, by the LAMBDA Association, charges that Kavaf's remarks in a newspaper interview were "an insult, incitement to crime and incitement to enmity and hate" - crimes which, in Turkey, are punishable by up to five years in jail. Kavaf had said that she believed homosexuality was a "biological disorder, a disease."

"I think it should be treated," she was quoted as saying.

Kavaf "should apologize to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals in this country for her discriminatory statements that turn homosexuals into a target," said Ruzgar Gokce, a LAMBDA member, outside the Istanbul courthouse where the group filed its complaint.

"The only person who is sick, is the minister," chanted dozens of gays and lesbians in front of the courthouse.

Firat Soyle, a lawyer for LAMBDA, said the complaint was only symbolic since the minister enjoyed parliamentary immunity and would not face prosecution.

To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5360859,00.html

Protesters Dump Blood at Thai Government Site

Blood was spilled on Tuesday, the third day of mass demonstrations in Bangkok, but not in the way that many had feared.

Antigovernment protesters pooled their blood — drawn by medical workers in air-conditioned tents — to unleash a red tide at the gates of Government House, the office of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, and later at his party’s headquarters.

“We will curse them with our blood and our soul!” yelled a protest leader, Nattawut Saikua, to roaring approval from a crowd of several thousand people at Government House, including farmers, monks and vegetable sellers.

Their so-called Red Shirt protest movement remains resentful over the 2006 military coup that ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who championed rural and poorer voters. The movement accuses the current government of favoring the country’s wealthy elite, and has been angered by a series of court decisions in recent years banning political parties allied with Mr. Thaksin.

They want the government to call elections, and with the backing of vast rice-growing areas in the north and northeast of the country, they would have a good shot at winning. Mr. Abhisit, who has nearly two years left in his term, has repeatedly said he will not dissolve Parliament because he does not think it will resolve the political crisis set off by Mr. Thaksin’s ouster.

The Red Shirts continued to occupy the streets of the main government district in Bangkok on Tuesday, though their numbers appear to be down from the more than 100,000 people who crowded the streets on Sunday.

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/world/asia/17thai.html?ref=asia

Germans Cringe at Hitler's Popularity in Pakistan

Germans are popular in India and Pakistan, but not always for the right reasons. Many in South Asia have nothing but admiration for Adolf Hitler and still associate Germany with the Third Reich. Everyday encounters with the love of all things Nazi makes German visitors cringe.

Pakistan is the opposite of Germany. The mountains are in the north, the sea is in the south, the economic problems are in the west and the east is doing well. It's not hard for a German living in Pakistan to get used to these differences, but one contrast is hard to stomach: Most people like Hitler.

I was recently at the hairdresser, an elderly man who doesn't resort to electric clippers. All he has is creaky pair of scissors, a comb, an aerosol with water. He did a neat job but I wasn't entirely happy.

I said: "I look like Hitler."

He looked at me in the mirror, gave a satisfied smile and said: "Yes, yes, very nice."

I decided not to challenge him, went home and tried to get rid of the strict parting he'd given me.

Embarrassing Moments

I was glad I avoided the usual Hitler conversation. Pakistanis always hone in on that topic whenever they talk to Germans. "We're Aryans too," they say, because there was an Indo-Germanic race, the Aryas. Besides, Hitler was a military genius, they add.

Sometimes it's better to keep quiet about one's German origins. It's embarrassing because people here think they're doing you a favor by expressing their admiration for the Nazi leader. I suspect most Indians and Pakistanis have no idea what this man did. They see him as the bold Führer who took on the British and Americans.

In the Islamic world, not just in Pakistan but right across from Iran to northern Africa, anti-Semitic sentiment of course plays a role. Conversations with German visitors rapidly turn to the injustice being suffered by the Palestinians who were robbed of their land.

To read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,683966,00.html

Westerwelle attacks homophobic: colleague

The hailstorm of criticism that has battered Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle lately over his travel entourage was partly driven by homophobia, his ministerial colleague Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said Wednesday.

Justice Minister Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, a member of Westerwelle’s own Free Democrats party, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung it was “undeniably the case” that different standards had been applied to Westerwelle because he was gay.

Questions have been raised about the role of Westerwelle’s partner Michael Mronz on an official government trip last week to South America. Mronz, an event manager who specialises in sporting events, had visited charitable organisations as part of his role with philanthropic groups, Westerwelle said.

Critics noted that one of the countries visited, Brazil, is hosting the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 and that Mronz could have gained access to useful business contacts via Westerwelle’s connections.

But Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger dismissed that possibility.

“I have never heard questions asked about the profession of wives of ministers travelling with (their husbands),” she said. “With Westerwelle’s partner, that is a huge issue.”

To read more: http://www.thelocal.de/politics/20100317-25921.html

Dalai Lama Quote

"Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged."
(H.H. Dalai Lama)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Evening at the Buddhist Center

Tonight I went to the Buddhist Center in Bochum, first we had a short lecture, than the 16th Karmapa meditation together and than some organisational meeting to prepare a few things for the big event in April.

Ulla was also there and I had some time to talk with her and give her our gift, the Buddha statue we bought together in Phnom Penh in January. She liked it a lot. And in fact she had even a surprise for us, for our help preparing her trip to Siem Reap, where in the end she was not able to go. She had a very nice surprise gift for us, a statue of the "White Tara".
White Tara, is also known for compassion, long life, healing and serenity; also known as The Wish-fulfilling Wheel. She represents a female Buddha aspect and has protecting power. Think this is a very thoughtful gift for us. Ulla asked me also to send you her best wishes and greetings.
So its been a nice, peaceful, but also late evening there. IMYSM!

Buddhist event in Bochum: timeless values, unlimited joy

From the 1st till the 5th of April 2010 will be a big Buddhist event here in Bochum, taking place in the facilities of the Ruhr University Bochum. Many people from all over Germany and Europe are expected to participate and to visit this event. Many Buddhists will attend, but as this event is also approaching and open for the public, many people will be there, who are interested to learn more about Buddhism. I will spend all days at this event and really curious to meet many people and to participate and learn more during these lectures on so many interesting topics.

Also I look forward to welcome a Buddhist couple from Karlsruhe in our home, who will be able to stay with me in our home, during these days.

Diamondway – Buddhism in the European Capital of Culture “Ruhr 2010”

Contemporary Diamondway–Buddhism with its effective means and inspiring insights are at the core of the Seminar at Ruhr-University Bochum.

Lama Ole Nydahl, an accredited western teacher of Diamondway–Buddhism, will lecture next to renowned experts from science, medicine and education. The audience is invited to take part in various panel discussions and exchange views.

The prelude is the panel discussion: “Brain Research & Buddhism” with Prof. Dr. Andreas K. Engel, Director of the Neurophysiological Institute, University of Hamburg and Lama Ole Nydahl discuss awareness and the coherency between mind and brain.

During the following four seminar days topics like Love & Partnership, Professional Life & Daily Routine and Death & Dying will be presented from a Buddhist view showing the effective means and timeless values that enable enduring Happiness.

Timeless Values – Exhibition of Buddhist Statues and Thankas

Throughout the seminar, the visitors have a chance to experience the beauty and mastery of precious Buddhist sculptures, statues and paintings: Thangkas. Next to the exhibition guided meditations will be offered in order to give a first impression of method and objective of Diamondway – Buddhism.

More information about this special event here in Bochum can be found at: http://www.dauerhaftes-glueck.de/index.php?id=home-english

Spring is coming, slowly

On Saturday we have over here in Germany, according to calendar, the beginning of spring. A very lovely season of you, everything turns green again and flowers begin to blossom. Specially after the hard winter we had this year, I look forward to this season. Right now the trees are still without leafes. But while having a short walk with our dog near the office, I discovered first "spring messengers", first flowers who begin to grow and come out of the earth. The flowers on this photo are called "Easter bells", if I remember it right. So now, step by step, with rising temperatures and more sun the nature will become alive again.

Beckham’s Career in Doubt, but Celebrity Endures

For David Beckham, the World Cup is over before it begins. But in his other career, as a global celebrity, an icon beyond sports, the Beckham bandwagon will roll on.

Even as Beckham had surgery Monday on his torn Achilles’ tendon, his agents were working to ensure that he retains a Page 1 presence. Already by far the richest player in his game, he will take wing, on crutches if need be, to present England’s case for staging the 2018 World Cup.

It is one of the myriad roles that — along with juggling his careers on either side of the Atlantic with the Los Angeles Galaxy and A.C. Milan — might have contributed to the injury he sustained Sunday night in Italy. Medical specialists agree that air miles can take a toll on an athlete, especially one who plays back-to-back seasons on two sides of the ocean and travels the world on his own account to satisfy his sponsors or to promote charitable causes.

Only the surgeon who repaired the torn tendon can best predict the chances of Beckham’s ever playing top-level soccer again. But even before the specialist, Dr. Sakari Orava, could so much as examine the tendon — “totally torn” is how he described it after the surgery at his Finnish clinic — Beckham’s advisers were setting targets for him to play again, for the Galaxy, before the summer is over.

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/sports/soccer/16iht-soccer.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a23


Source photo: http://collegecandy.com/tag/soccer/