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Buddha Boy to fight for animal rights

October 18, 2009

The Himalayan Times
Himalayan News Service
October 13, 2009

KATHMANDU: Ahead of the world’s largest animal
sacrifice, the Buddha Boy, who came to limelight
for Buddha-like meditation in the jungle for
months allegedly without water and food, has
vowed to stop mass killings of animals and birds
at the Gadhimai Mela in Bariyapur VDC-1 in
November. But the Gadhimai Management Committee
is bent on slaughtering the animals as per the
historic tradition to appease the deity. The
sacrifice is scheduled for November 24 and 25 in Bara district.

The organisers plan to slaughter at least 200,000
animals -- including 60,000 buffaloes and 140,000
rats, goats, ducks, roosters and pigeons in the two-day-long Mela.

The atypical Mela has drawn the ire of animal
rights activists and those spearheading a
movement for non-violence. As plans go, the
organisers plan to kill such a huge number of
animals, in the two days, saying that such
sacrifices will appease their local deity.

The locals go by legend to believe that animal
sacrifice helps them get rid of desires, anger
and stupidity. They believe that they are
invoking goddess Gadhimai to liberate them from
sins. But, Geshe Ngima Tamang, coordinator of the
Namo Buddha Tapoban Conservation and Promotion
Committee does not believe in the sacrifice as
liberating one from the sins. “Instead, the
murder, violence and animal sacrifice will only
jeopardise peace process in the country,” he argues.

"The belief that the divine blessings can be
achieved through animal sacrifice is a mirage. It
goes against the very fact that all living beings
are a creation of the god," he argues, appealing
all to refrain from killings or harming the animals.

Tamang said the Buddha Boy, whose official name is Palden

Dorje Tamang Rinpochhe, would take on Gadhimai
Temple beginning November 30 in his bid to stop the killings.

In a recent interview with mediapersons, Bomjan
had said that the goddess represented mother of
all living beings, including those animals and
would never be pleased with the sacrifice of her
own children. “Human beings have turned brutal by
offering animal sacrifice to the goddesses. This
practice must be stopped now,” he said.

Geshe Ngima, meanwhile, urged the devotees to
offer posy, fruits and vegetables, incense
sticks, tika, sweets and coconuts instead of
animals and their blood to appease the goddess
and help restore peace in the country. “The
sacrifice will start with the offering of five
different animals: pig, buffalo, goat, rodent,
rooster and pigeon followed by rituals as vedic
tradition,” informed a committee member in Bara.

According to Shyam Tamang, general secretary of
Nepal Tamang National Federation, the government
has released a subsidy budget of Rs 4.2 million.

"It’s high time to stop such an excess of cruelty
against our friends," said Anil Bajracharya,
animal rights campaigner and manager of the
Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre. Psychiatrists
have long warned of metal trauma being inflicted
on the local slaughterers and the spectators by
brutal and haphazard animal slaughter on a mass scale.
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