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Thread: No headphones for Buddha

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    No headphones for Buddha

    New Zealander faces Myanmar court over Buddha booze insult

    Dec 18, 2014 (AFP) - A bar manager from New Zealand appeared before a Myanmar court Thursday accused of insulting religion by using an image of the Buddha to advertise a cheap drinks night.



    The offending poster, which featured a psychedelic mock-up of the Buddha wearing DJ headphones, has prompted an outcry in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, which is grappling with surging religious nationalism.

    Around a dozen monks and hardline Buddhists gathered outside the Yangon court shortly after Philip Blackwood, 32, was led into the building in handcuffs, according to an AFP reporter.

    Around two dozen riot police armed with batons were standing by, in a sign of the incendiary nature of questions of religion in the nation.

    It was Blackwood's first court appearance since he was denied bail last week along with Myanmar nationals Tun Thurein, 40, who owned the bar, and manager Htut Ko Ko Lwin, 26.

    The trio face possible jail terms if found guilty of breaching the Religion Act with the contentious poster -- which was quickly withdrawn from the VGastro bar's Facebook page.

    Under the act, anyone who attempts to insult, destroy or damage any religion can be punished by a maximum of two years in jail, with another two-year penalty for those who try to insult religion through the written word.

    "Buddhists are unhappy because for them it is ugly to see the Buddha, who they worship, shown in that way," said Win Thein, of the Theravada Dhamma Network -- a group affiliated with the Buddhist nationalist Ma Ba Tha movement.

    The VGastro bar, a tapas restaurant and nightclub in an upmarket neighbourhood of Yangon, was shut shortly after the poster came to light, despite a Facebook apology by management for their "ignorance" in using the Buddha's image.

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    pics

    New Zealand bar manager Philip Blackwood, 32, escorted to court in handcuffs


    Security outside courthouse in Myanmar.

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    Sad to see religious fanaticism amongst Bhuddhists.

    I was once stupid enough to believe Buddhists were better than that. Seems not.
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน supersub's Avatar
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    No headphones for Buddha

    Do you know what they can all fuck off. I wonder how many tourists get scammed, raped and killed every year by Buddhists in Thailand. Bollocks to them all. Bunch of bloody hypocrites. If this is the **** they are going to come out with may as well have let them rot under the junta.
    Last edited by supersub; 19th December 2014 at 09:22.

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    Trouble with Thailand is, Bhudda is nowhere to be found when money is involved.
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon View Post
    Sad to see religious fanaticism amongst Bhuddhists.

    I was once stupid enough to believe Buddhists were better than that. Seems not.
    I dont see such radical Buddhism in Thailand anywhere but know what you mean...
    A BBC reporter asked why these guys couldnt be forgiven , since they had said they were sorry , and after all , "Buddha was a very forgiving man.."
    The Buddhist facsists saw the irony Im sure ...

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    Ask someone from Sri Lanka if you wanna hear about Buddhist terrorism ...

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PeteGill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supersub View Post
    Do you know what they can all fuck off. I wonder how many tourists get scammed, raped and killed every year by Buddhists in Thailand. Bollocks to them all. Bunch of bloody hypocrites. If this is the **** they are going to come out with may as well have let them rot under the junta.
    Heaven forbid they wave a Union Jack 5555
    How many people get raped, killed and scammed in any country of the World. If you hate Thais so much, why frequent a the place?
    Oh yes, I forget, cheap sex and booze........

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน supersub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteGill View Post
    Heaven forbid they wave a Union Jack 5555
    How many people get raped, killed and scammed in any country of the World. If you hate Thais so much, why frequent a the place?
    Oh yes, I forget, cheap sex and booze........

    Wind your neck in. All I was saying is it's a bit hypocritical for them to pull something like this considering what happens when the shoe is on the other foot.

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PeteGill's Avatar
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน supersub's Avatar
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    You sure about that? Point is you were putting words in my mouth. One should be able to holiday/live there without being scammed or attacked by people who are at the same time trying to get more 'quality tourists' in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by supersub View Post
    Do you know what they can all fuck off. I wonder how many tourists get scammed, raped and killed every year by Buddhists in Thailand. Bollocks to them all. Bunch of bloody hypocrites. If this is the **** they are going to come out with may as well have let them rot under the junta.
    If your going to live or visit another country, it pays to ensure you know the do's and don'ts of that particular country, keeps you outta trouble so stuff like this shouldn't happen.
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    In a book Im reading called "The River of Lost Footsteps - A personal History of Burma " the author Thant Myint-U ( grandson of UN Secretary General U Thant - Thant Myint-U - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) points that Buddhism in Burma became ultra conservative like everything else after the military coup of NE Win in 1962.
    Uptil that time it was as tolerant as the Buddhism we see in Thailand today.
    In fact Buddhism wasnt even the religion of the state of Burma till about that time.
    Before then the Christian Shans and Kachins , and the animist Karens and the Moslem Arakanese all had complete religious freedoms.

    We can see what has happened to the likes of the Moslem Rohingya of Arakan since then ....

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    Burma poster trial: Kiwi denies he insulted Buddha
    5:30 AM Friday Dec 19, 2014

    New Zealand manager accused of insulting Buddhism in a promotional poster for a bar in Rangoon, Burma, has pleaded not guilty to three charges.

    The trial of Philip Blackwood, 32, began in Rangoon yesterday.

    He faces three charges of breaching the country's Religion Act by depicting Buddha wearing headphones on a poster for an event at the VGastro bar.

    Blackwood, originally from Wellington, is the bar's general manager.

    Bar owner Tun Thurein and another employee have also been charged.

    The media were prohibited from court proceedings yesterday but Blackwood's lawyer, Mya Thway, confirmed the prosecution had presented its case during the trial's first day.

    Proceedings have been adjourned for a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chob View Post
    In a book Im reading called "The River of Lost Footsteps - A personal History of Burma " the author Thant Myint-U ( grandson of UN Secretary General U Thant - Thant Myint-U - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) points that Buddhism in Burma became ultra conservative like everything else after the military coup of NE Win in 1962.
    Uptil that time it was as tolerant as the Buddhism we see in Thailand today.
    In fact Buddhism wasnt even the religion of the state of Burma till about that time.
    Before then the Christian Shans and Kachins , and the animist Karens and the Moslem Arakanese all had complete religious freedoms.

    We can see what has happened to the likes of the Moslem Rohingya of Arakan since then ....
    Buddhism is not all that relaxed in Thailand
    I was on a bus in Ayutayah that was detained, first by temple police and then by ordinary police because an Australian couple took a photo with the man behind a statue that had had its head lopped off by the Burmese in the 1780's.
    Things were very tense for a while and apologies etc not being listened to at all.

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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    No relief for jailed New Zealander as ‘Buddha Bar’ storm continues
    By DVB 13 January 2015

    Phil Blackwood, 33, remains incarcerated in Rangoon’s notorious Insein Prison, accused of offending religion.

    He has accepted responsibility for a Facebook post that depicted the Buddha wearing headphones and promoted discounted alcoholic drinks at the V Gastro Bar.

    Options are running out for the New Zealand national who fronted court for a fifth time on Wednesday, alongside two Burmese codefendants, Tun Thurein and Htut Ko Ko Lwin.

    Blackwood’s defence lawyer remains downbeat, in a case closely watched by a devoutly Buddhist nation.

    ******************

    Prospects Dim for Religious Insult Accused
    By THE IRRAWADDY| Tuesday, January 13, 2015 |

    RANGOON — Hopes for the exoneration of three men on trial for insulting Buddhism appear to be fading, after a court refused on Monday to accept a defense submission and the mother of one of the defendants expressed her lack of confidence in her son’s counsel.

    V Gastro Bar owner Tun Thurein, general manager and New Zealand national Philip Blackwood, and bar manager Htut Ko Ko Lwin were apprehended on Dec. 10 after their business distributed a promotional flyer on social media depicting an image of Buddha wearing headphones. Under sections of the Penal Code relating to causing religious offence, as well as a separate charge for operating the V Gastro Bar after authorized hours, the defendants face up to four years in prison if convicted.

    In the Bahan Township court on Monday, Blackwood’s counsel Mya Thwe attempted in vain to draw a parallel between the commercial sale of Buddhist images and the V Gastro case, an argument ultimately rejected by the court.

    “I tried to point out that there are people who are selling pictures of Buddha, pagodas, and Jesus on streets across the country, including in Rangoon,” Mya Thwe told reporters outside the courthouse. “Those photos are not consecrated and therefore those who sell them on streets are not guilty [of insulting religion]. The Buddha Image on Facebook is also not consecrated. But the court did not accept it.”

    Mya Thwe, who earlier told reporters that he had received death threats for representing Blackwood, predicted last month that his client was likely to be convicted.

    The trial resumes at 10am on Jan. 22, with witnesses for defendants Tun Thurein and Htut Ko Ko Lwin to be heard before a presentation of final arguments.


    *************

    from earlier in the month:

    Kiwi accused of insulting Buddhism seeks forgiveness
    Published: 3:19PM Saturday January 03

    A New Zealander charged with insulting Buddhism has asked for forgiveness before appearing in court in Burma, also known as Myanmar.

    Philip Blackwood was arrested after posting an online advertisement for the bar he runs, showing an image of a Buddha wearing headphones.

    He has denied the charges, insisting he didn't mean to cause any offence.

    "For me, I didn't mean any bad feeling with the post. So I hope people can understand and please forgive me for my mistake," Mr Blackwood said.

    The 32-year-old faces up to two years in prison if convicted.
    Last edited by Hatari; 30th January 2015 at 16:23.

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    "It was all the Kiwi's fault"

    Myanmar bar owner says N. Zealander responsible for Buddha ad
    March 3, 2015 6:05 pm

    YANGON - The Myanmar owner of a Yangon bar accused of insulting Buddhism in a drinks promotion told the court Tuesday the New Zealand bar manager was responsible for the offending ad that could see them jailed for up to four years.

    Philip Blackwood, a general manager of the VGastro bar in Yangon, has been held in the city’s notorious Insein prison along with the bar’s owner and manager, both Myanmar nationals, since posting the offending mocked-up photo of the Buddha wearing DJ headphones in December.

    The poster triggered outrage in the Buddhist majority country, which is witnessing a surge in religious nationalism, and led to the arrest of the 32-year-old along with Tun Thurein, the bar’s 40-year-old owner, and manager Htut Ko Ko Lwin, 26, for insulting religion.

    Bar owner Tun Thurein made a personal appeal to the court Tuesday, saying Blackwood was responsible for the Facebook posting.

    "It was not my instruction. I wasn’t involved at all. We are not guilty," he told the court, asking for the release of himself and the manager.

    The trio face up to four years in jail if found guilty of breaching the Religion Act with the contentious poster, which was quickly withdrawn from the bar’s Facebook page as the furore erupted.

    "The verdict will be given at 12 pm (0530 GMT) on Tuesday 17 March," court judge Ye Lwin said on Tuesday.

    After the hearing, a member of Blackwood’s family who did not wish to be named, said: "We trust the justice (system) in Myanmar... We are hoping for the best."

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน justcruzing1's Avatar
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    Today:
    A MYANMAR court has sentenced a New Zealand bar manager and his business associates to two years and six months in prison for insulting Buddhism over a flyer that showed a psychedelic depiction of Buddha wearing headphones. Blackwood, 32, Tun Thurein and Htut Ko Ko Lwin were given two years of hard labour for insulting religion and six months for disobeying an order from a public servant.
    The trial of V Gastro manager Blackwood, bar owner Tun Thurein and employee Htut Ko Ko Lwin came as the predominantly Buddhist nation grapples with a surge of religious nationalism — including violence against members of the minority Muslim community.
    The three were arrested in December after the image was used to promote a tapas bar and lounge.
    The V Gastro bar used an image of the Buddha wearing headphones in an online poster to promote a cheap drinks night.
    The poster, which appeared last year on the Facebook page of the newly opened Yangon bar, sparked outrage on social media in the predominantly Buddhist country.
    Bar general manager Blackwood, bar owner Tun Thurein, 40, and manager Htut Ko Ko Lwin, 26, were arrested and charged with breaching the Religion Act.
    Under the act anyone who attempts to insult, destroy or damage any religion can be punished by a maximum of two years in jail, with another two-year penalty for those who insult religion through the written word.
    Blackwood’s lawyer Mya Thway had earlier told the court his client had not intended to insult religion and was simply promoting a cheap drinks night.
    But Agence France-Presse reports that Judge Ye Lwin said on Tuesday that although Blackwood posted an apology, he had “intentionally plotted to insult religious belief” when he uploaded the mocked-up image on Facebook.
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    Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Hatari's Avatar
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    New Zealander jailed for offending Buddhist faith
    UPDATED 20:27
    Published: 7:13PM Tuesday March 17, 2015 Source: ONE News/ AP

    A New Zealander has been sentenced to two years and six months in jail by a court in Myanmar after being found guilty of insulting Buddhism.

    Philip Blackwood was arrested and charged in early December after posting an online advertisement for the bar he runs which showed a psychedelic depiction of a Buddha wearing headphones.

    Blackwood, 32, Tun Thurein and Htut Ko Ko Lwin were given two years of hard labour for insulting religion and six months for disobeying an order from a public servant.

    When he arrived at court today Blackwood told the BBC he hoped "justice will be done".

    He earlier denied the charges, insisting he didn't mean to cause any offence.

    "For me, I didn't mean any bad feeling with the post. So I hope people can understand and please forgive me for my mistake," Blackwood said at the time

    After the sentencing, Blackwood told reporters as he was getting into a police van that he would appeal.

    The New Zealand Embassy in Yangon has been in contact with Blackwood and his family and are providing consular advice and assistance.

    The trial of V Gastro manager Blackwood, bar owner Tun Thurein and employee Htut Ko Ko Lwin came as the predominantly Buddhist nation grapples with a surge of religious nationalism - including violence against members of the minority Muslim community.

    About half a dozen monks and hard line Buddhists gathered outside the Yangon court to hear the verdict.

    "The verdict is fair. This punishment will deter others from insulting Buddhism or other religion," said Paw Shwe, a member of a Buddhist organization.

    The three were arrested in December after the image was used to promote the tapas bar and lounge, and have been detained in Myanmar's notorious Insein prison. The online ad was removed and an apology was posted.

    About 90 percent of Myanmar's people are Buddhist. Perceived insults to the religion are taken seriously, especially in the context of the religious-based violence in the past few years pitting Buddhists against Muslims.

    Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch said the three men acted in a culturally insensitive way but they should not be sent to prison.

    "What this shows is freedom of expression is under greater threat than ever in Burma (Myanmar) just as the country heads into a pivotal election year," Robertson said in an email statement.

    ***********

    Philip Blackwood jailed in Myanmar for using image of Buddha to promote cheap drinks on Facebook
    MARCH 17, 2015 5:55PM


    Gone to jail ... bar manager Philip Blackwood. Picture: AP Source: AP

    Agence France-Presse reports that Judge Ye Lwin said on Tuesday that although Blackwood posted an apology, he had “intentionally plotted to insult religious belief” when he uploaded the mocked-up image on Facebook

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