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Latest: Akong Rimpoche death

Victim, Akong Tulku Rimpoche Credit: Samye Ling Centre

It's been confirmed that one of the men arrested for allegedly stabbing a Buddhist monk to death in China, had lived at a monastary in Dumfries and Galloway for five years

The victim, Akong Rimpoche, co-founded the Samye Ling Tibetan monastery in Eskdalemuir.

His brother, who is the current abbot there, has released a statement saying one of the three men arrested was resident there and used to make religious sculptures.

He also denied reports that the alleged murder was prompted by a dispute over money.


Calls for review of gas extraction proposals

Bob Frew, Spokesman, Canonbie Residents Against Coal Developments (CRACD) Credit: ITV News Border

Bob Frew is the spokesperson for the Canonbie Residents Against Coal Development group.

He is asking for landowners Buccleuch Estates to review their proposals:

“We are aware that communities are largely ignored or trampled in the context of the 'dash for gas' even though respected economists, and industry experts recognise that it will have no significant impact on the cost of energy to consumers.

"The messages from this survey are very clear.

“We therefore call on Buccleuch Estates to fundamentally review these proposals, and offer assurances to local people that they will not permit Dart Energy to utilise the existing planning consents.

“We further call on Buccleuch to enter into meaningful discussion with local groups, businesses and individuals, and in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council to identify alternative, sustainable economic development opportunities.”


Canonbie locals concerned about gas extraction plans

Locals in Canonbie are concerned about coal and gas extraction Credit: ITV News Border

Locals in the village of Canonbie, near Langholm, are rejecting proposals for a new coalfield to extract gas and coal.

Out of the 400 people who took part in a recent survey, almost 97% were against the proposals.

Landowners Buccleuch Estates, in partnership with Dart Energy and Keir, have major plans to open the unconventional gas and opencast coal resources in and around the village.

It has been estimate that more than 400 million tonnes of coal lies below the ground in the area, but residents fear that 'fracking' may also be carried out.

Murdered Tibetan Lama's last television interview

A Tibetan lama who co-founded the biggest Buddhist monastery in Europe has been murdered along with two colleagues in China.

Akong Rinpoche died alongside his nephew and a friend during a dispute over money in the city of Chengdu, according to the Chinese authorities.

ITV Border's Fiona Armstrong spoke to Akong Rinpoche last month at the Samye Ling Tibetan centre at Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway. It was the first Buddhist monastery to be founded in Europe.

Akong Rinpoche was interviewed for a two-part documentary for ITV Border, 'A Scottish Journey.'

His personal assistant Gelong Thubten confirmed it was his last television interview.

In it, Akong Rinpoche reflected on how attitudes had changed during his 46 years in Britain and about the ongoing need for cultures to live peacefully side by side:

Samye Ling to hold 49 days of yoga

The brother of the Tibetan Lama who was killed in China has announced that 49 days of "Milarepa Guru Yoga" will be held at the Samye Ling centre.

Lana Yeshe Rinpoche also thanked his followers for their messages of sympathy:

"My dear friends,"Thank you to all of you who have sent messages of concern and sympathy. We greatly appreciate your kindness.

"Following the advice of Chamgon Khenting Tai Situpa, here in Samye Ling we will be doing Milarepa Guru Yoga for Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche for 49 days.

"All Samye Dzongs who also wish to do something in their centre for Rinpoche can do either the full Milarepa Guru Yoga or else recite the supplication:

"Je mila shepa dorje la solwandepso". If possible you should do this for 49 days.

"With best wishes to you all,

"Lama Yeshe Rinpoche"

– Lama Yeshe Rinpoche

Lord Steel of Aikwood shocked by death of Rinpoche

Lord Steel of Aikwood opened the main temple at the Samye Ling centre in 1988, and has expressed his sadness following the death of Akong Rinpoche:

"That is shocking dreadful news.

"He was the moving spirit and founder of the Samye Ling monastery just over the hill from Ettrick and I knew him well and did the formal opening of the new temple.

"Thousands who passed through it will be grateful for his ministry."

– David Steel, who opened the main temple in 1988
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