Honoured in exile

Hundreds of devotees this week congregated in Cox’s Bazaar, eastern Bangladesh, to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Buddha. Among them were a mixture of Hindus and Buddhists, Burmese and Bangladeshi, whose ideological paths collided when the Burmese annexed Arakan state in 1784 – the Maha Chi Buddha image was quickly rescued by Rakhine refugees fleeing across the border. This year the event fell on 17 May, with the day marked by processions, recitation of Buddhist scriptures and group meditation.

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