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Jakarta Post

Indonesian Buddhists observe Waisak, emphasizing religious tolerance

  • Apriadi Gunawan, Suherdjoko and Aman Rochman

    The Jakarta Post

Medan/Semarang/Batu   /   Sun, May 19, 2019   /  09:02 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Buddhist priests walk in a procession to observe Waisak in the early morning of Saturday at Borobudur temple in Magelang, Central Java. (JP/Berto Wedhatama)

The Waisak celebration at the Tri Ratna temple in Tanjung Balai, North Sumatra, emphasized the importance of religious tolerance and national identity at a time when political controversy dominates public discourse following last month’s presidential election. The head supervisor of the temple, Tony Aci, called on the public to remain respectful of others despite political differences. The temple is one of several set alight by mobs in 2016. “We want the country to be eternally peaceful,” Tony told The Jakarta Post on Sunday. The temple’s Waisak celebration included a candle carnival and a vegetarian feast and was attended by thousands of Buddhists on Saturday evening. Tony said this year’s Waisak procession took place within the temple’s compound to avoid public disturbances in light of the Meiliana blasphemy case of 2016. Meiliana, a B...