Bigger is better, according to a Taiwan-based religious sect planning a 10-story Buddha at a temple in a nondescript Vancouver suburb. \n"The size of the Buddha and the building reflect his importance. You're supposed to be awestruck when you look at the Buddha. Hence, the substantial size," said project developer Kabel Atwall. \nThe large statue is part of a seven-year project to build a US$35 million worship and education center, expanding an existing Lingyen Mountain Buddhist temple fourfold. Included will be a scripture hall and library, conference rooms and dormitories for visiting monks and other faithful. Outside, an apple and pear orchard and a vegetable garden will spread across most of the property. \nThe shiny gold-leaf Buddha sitting on a lotus leaf will be shorter than the tallest Leshan Buddha in the world in China which stands at 67 meters, but will be the greatest tribute to the eastern deity in North America. \n"Spiritually, it will expose more people to the teachings of Buddhism and help cement the faith in North America. Of course, there will be economic and tourism benefits for the city too," Atwall said. \nReaction has been mostly positive so far even though the building will dwarf surrounding housing and a dozen churches in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond. But city development director Raul Allueva warned that sentiment could change. \n"This is not a small building. We don't see buildings this size except in our city centre. It's more than 30 meters taller than any nearby building," he said. \nDuring the past 15 years, dozens of churches and temples have been built in outlying areas of Vancouver where land is cheaper and available in large parcels. The latest generation has evolved from small local churches to religious multiplexes. \n"They don't just offer services on Sundays anymore. They have classes during the evening, child care and community outreach programs, so they have to be bigger and it's difficult to find space within a built-up urban area to accommodate these bigger churches," Allueva said. \nBut critics fear rural development is encroaching on farm land and increasing traffic congestion in a region flanked by mountains. \n"We would like to have a world-renown complex in Richmond, but we have to balance that with community impact," Allueva said. \nThe Taiwan-based Lingyen Mountain Buddhists are part of the Pureland Buddhist sect and have 10,000 members in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37