Vietnam: protest eviction of Buddhist monastery

A renowned Buddhist teacher has protested the eviction of his followers from a monastery in southern Vietnam’s Lam Dong province, and a group of Vietnamese intellectuals have issued a petition to support them. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese-born Zen master who popularized Buddhism in the West, wrote a letter last week to President Nguyen Minh Triet criticizing the police eviction of nearly 400 from Bat Nha monastery. His followers say a mob including undercover agents descended on the monastery Sept. 27, damaged buildings and forced the devotees out, beating some with sticks.

This week, a group of Vietnamese intellectuals, artists, former Communist Party members and dissidents circulated a petition calling on Vietnam’s leaders to investigate the incident and allow the media to report on the standoff, which the state-controlled media have ignored. The petition, drawn up by poet Hoang Hung, has been signed by over 200—roughly half from inside Vietnam and half Vietnamese living overseas. (AP, Oct. 9)

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  1. Buddhist Monks Evicted
    As a Buddhist myself (from Thailand, not Vietnam) it saddens me to hear of this. Has there been an update to the situation? It surprises me that the communists, who benefited so much during the war from protests by Buddhists against the South Viet Nam Government, would not only turn their backs on the monks, but also not learn their lessons about the importance of Buddhism to the Vietnamese people. I guess some things never change?