Face of the day

I have always associated Buddhism with peace as I am not aware of any violent teaching of Buddha. I expect religious violence from Islam because its religious leader Muhammad was a war lord who did violent things himself and promoted violence in his teachings. Today’s face of the day has learned the hard way that even religions with wholly peaceful teachings can still be followed by people who are not peaceful or forgiving.

I certainly am not worried about Buddhist terrorists trying to take over the world, but still it is a nasty shock to see a fellow New Zealander lose two and a half years of his life because of a picture of Buddha. Would Buddha have wanted him punished? I don’t think he would have.


New Zealander Phil Blackwood, 32.

Yangon (AFP) – A New Zealand bar manager and his two Myanmar colleagues were sentenced on Tuesday to two and a half years in jail by a Yangon court over using a Buddha image to promote a cheap drinks night.

Philip Blackwood, who worked at the VGastro bar in Yangon, was found guilty of insulting religion along with the bar’s Myanmar owner and manager after the New Zealander posted the offending mocked-up photo of the Buddha wearing DJ headphones on Facebook.

The trio were sentenced to two years in jail for insulting religion through written word or pictures and a further six months — both terms carrying the punishment of hard labour — for breaching a local order including when a protest erupted outside the bar over the image posted in December.

Judge Ye Lwin said that although Philip Blackwood posted an apology, he had “intentionally plotted to insult religious belief” when he uploaded the image.

The ad triggered a minor storm of controversy in Myanmar, where surging Buddhist nationalism and religious violence has sparked international concern.
-Yahoo news