Natisni vsebino

Ombudsman condemned the attack on a Buddhist Lama

15.06.2011 10:02
Category: work and news

Lama Shenpen Rinpoche, the head of the Dharmaling Buddhist Congregation in Slovenia, was attacked by two unidentified middle-aged men on Sunday evening when taking a stroll in Ljubljana. The lama, whose lungs were pierced in the stabbing assault, is in stable condition again and spoke to the press Wednesday afternoon.

The Dharmaling Congregation does not wish to speculate whether the assault on their leader, who is now recovering at the Ljubljana UKC hospital, was religiously motivated. It is however certain that the assault was planned as one of the attackers is supposed to have called Rinpoche by his name.

Rinpoche told the media in front of the hospital that he believed the assault was not religiously motivated, but that the attackers told him they would return and that they must have followed him from the community's house.

He was disappointed by the response of the police, claiming they failed to take seriously both the attack on him and an increasing number of threats the community has been facing and reporting in the recent months.

The Buddhist teacher said he was sure he often stepped on nerves with his open criticism of the society and the government and that he knows things some people would rather he did not, but added that nothing could justify an assault or stop him from carrying on with his mission.

As the police provided no protection for him at the hospital, he is however considering moving to a safer place when possible.

The police are still looking for the attackers and are investigating the possibility of a third person involved. The two confirmed attackers were meanwhile aged between 30 and 40, were 170-180 centimetres tall and wearing dark clothes.

The Islamic community in Slovenia has responded to the incident, condemning the assault and pointing out that the existence of different religious communities in Slovenia enriches the society, so they expect the police to protect representatives of all religious communities.

Human Rights Ombudsman Zdenka Cebasek Travnik also condemned the attack on Wednesday, calling on all Slovenians to strive together for a society of tolerance and non-violence in view of the strong presence of hatred- and intolerance-based violence in the recent time.

The ombudsman noted she could only inspect whether the relevant bodies did their work and added that no intervention was needed so far in the lama's case.

Cebasek Travnik further condemned the recent attack on three British citizens - the attack is suspected to be of homophobic nature - but also responded to offensive banners at the gay pride parade in Ljubljana, depicting Jesus showing the middle finger and a slogan against a conservative deputy.

"A group promoting tolerance based on one personal circumstance should in no way express intolerance towards individuals or groups identifying themselves with another personal circumstance," the ombudsman's office wrote.

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