Friday, June 04, 2010

Save the Albuquerque Stupa: Don't Just Sit There

The endangered stupa as it appeared today.

ON BACKGROUND:
(6) Petrogylph National Monument (stupa is located there)

UPDATE:

We are informed that Rep. Heinrich's Legislative Director, John Blair, is now riding this issue. He can be contacted at john.blair@mail.house.gov 

Please take a moment to email him and tell him how you feel about National Park Service plans to bulldoze a Tibetan Buddhist stupa in New Mexico.

We spoke with an e-journalist who interviewed a Hill staffer on this issue just this morning. He tells us there is definitely Congressional interest. This we understand from reading our logs.

Our counters reset at midnight, and by mid-morning, we began to see heavy traffic to the Albuquerque stupa post. Below, you see snapshots from our logs. At around 267, xxx in the day's visits, ranging through to 268, xxx -- by the way: we may not be the biggest Tibetan Buddhist blog in the world, but our readership is still substantial enough to make a difference. We take over a quarter million hits every day before noon -- much of that coming from outside the United States. This is not just a U.S. issue: no matter where you are -- let your voice be heard.

Our sources also tell us that Native American relics are in the stupa, which raises an entirely new palette of possible protections. I do not think that even the National Park Service, in all of its arrogance, can overcome the legal status of Native American relics.


The National Park Service must be feeling it: they visited our Albuquerque stupa posts, and then disappeared. We haven't seen them since. These people are weasels. Reporters are calling them, bloggers are calling them, Hill staffers are calling them, but everybody gets the run-around. We need answers, and we need them now.

Our next visitors to the story were more distinguished: the U.S. Senate staffers were visiting in depth.

More than one Senate staffer, from more than one Senate computer, thinks enough of this issue to do some reading.

Somebody in the Senate is coming back more than once, to make sure they have the story straight. Yes, there is a stupa in Albuquerque, and yes, the National Park Service thinks they have the right to bulldoze the stupa out of existence.

On the heels of the Senate came the House, which is where we are hoping to see some leadership on this issue.

More than one visitor came from the House, because there is more than one Buddhist in New Mexico, and they are in more than one Congressional District.

As in the case of the Senate visitors, the House visitors were coming back more than once. That is a very good sign.

Above, we noted a particularly long visit. They were reading, following links, and making copies. There are numerous other visits, but I trust you take the point: your emails and phone calls are effective. Do not stop. Keep it up. If you have not already done so, please add your voice to this issue.

The links you need to get started can be found here.

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17 reader comments:

Anonymous said...

If there are Native American relics inside, they would've needed the permission of the tribe to do so, ceremonies would have been done. Is there a record of what local tribes would have been working with the stupa builders, maybe one of the Pueblo people in the area.

In any case, the spiritual/medicine people of the local tribes should be contacted on this matter. If they are Navajo relics, then a Navajo medicine person should be contacted as well.

We'll have to operate at all levels on this: gross, subtle and hidden.

Kyle Lovett said...

Yea, getting the same kind of hits on my blog as well. Looks like your post to inform folks is working!

TENPA said...

This is one of those rare issues that does NOT require money to fix -- all that is required is communication, and this is where bloggers can definitely have an impact.

Thanks again (don't worry too much about the meanies -- we don't bite).

Stephen said...

I sent e-mail messages to Hon. Jeff Bingaman and Hon. Tom Udall from Singapore, stating clearly I was writing from Singapore, in support of the Albuquerque stupa. I hope they realise many outside USA are observing the matter closely.

TENPA said...

Thank you, Stephen. That is exactly what we need. Please encourage your friends to do so as well. These people need to understand that the world is watching.

Paulie G. said...

I knew Tenpa when he worked on U.S. Senate staff in 1984, and all I have to say is the National Park Service better get out of the way.

Bravo, Tenpa! It is great to see you are still fighting the good fight.

TENPA said...

Paulie! Incredible! How are you? Write to me rinpoche@nyingmapa.cn

It is so good to hear from you!

True enough. Once upon a time I was a U.S. Senate staff member, and Paulie was working in the House. We used to eat at the sandwich place over near the Hart Senate Office Building -- when we weren't busy trying to save the world.

Oh, Paulie... now I am wrestling Smokey. He has been a naughty bear.

Patricia Snodgrass said...

I'll place this on my facebook page as well as my blog. I pray this beautiful stupa will be saved.
om mani padme hum
pat

Patricia Snodgrass said...

I have created a facebook page to help spread the word.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-New-Mexico-Stupa/102435819805802?created#!/?ref=logo

I hope this helps.

Greg Johnson said...

Does a religious monument belong on national park land? Does this monument have enduring historical significance that justifies preserving it? Were the former owners offered the opportunity to remove the relics before seizure? What was the legal basis for seizing the land in the first place?

Before I can support this effort I need more information.

Anonymous said...

@Greg Johnson: the land was seized under "eminent domain," which is government-speak for "we don't really need a reason, we just want this land, so get out." I understand that a fair amount of the West has been seized by eminent domain at one time or another over the past 100 years--in some cases, the majority of a state is owned by the federal government for purposes OTHER than national parks (for example, the nuclear test sites in Nevada).

And, frankly, if they can argue that keeping a Christian cross in Mojave isn't establishment of religion, then they have NO reason to tear down the stupa, which was originally built on PRIVATE land.

Eminent domain is theft, pure and simple. The fact that people are paid money to be forcibly removed from their own land doesn't make it any less wrong.

(I'm sure you can all guess where I stand on this issue.)

--The L

Anonymous said...

I may be the only Buddhist in Missouri that visits NM from time to time. But I emailed Rep Blair and my Representative to let them know my interest in this issue. Also asked my Rep. to add their attention to Rep Blair's.

Kyle Lovett said...

Tenpa, keep us up to date if you hear any additional information, as I'd liek to write a follow up piece on this. House.gov has been to my site 3 times this morning, will be interesting to see if it goes anywhere.

Inveterate Voter said...

When the #!*%# is Congress going to DO something to prevent this tragedy? Congressman Heinrich is a first-termer, maybe he doesn't have the belly for this. We need somebody who will FIGHT for this!

David said...

The Forest Service has canceled their plans to bulldoze the stupa: http://www.thereformedbuddhist.com/2010/06/important-update-on-albuquerque-nm.html

Anonymous said...

I just had a quite pleasant call from Diane Sauter, superintendant/ director of Petroglyph Nat'l Monument. She assured me that there are no plans to raze-bulldoze-molest the stupa in any way . The construction workers on an amphitheatre some 500' distant will be alerted about the stupa. She said she will have official remarks about this on their [petroglyph monument?] site within a few days. She also said she'd gotten word back from feds ( director of Parks Dept!) in Washington about the whole issue so apparently the emails- calls- letters did have good effect.
There's also going to be an article with pix in the Alb Journal within the next several days, maybe Sunday[?].
May this modest stupa continue to generate great benefit for all beings!
Alan Suits

alan said...

I just had a quite pleasant call from Diane Sauter, superintendant/ director of Petroglyph Nat'l Monument. She assured me that there are no plans to raze-bulldoze-molest the stupa in any way . The construction workers on an amphitheatre some 500' distant will be alerted about the stupa. She said she will have official remarks about this on their [petroglyph monument?] site within a few days. She also said she'd gotten word back from feds ( director of Parks Dept!) in Washington about the whole issue so apparently the emails- calls- letters did have good effect.
There's also going to be an article with pix in the Alb Journal within the next several days, maybe Sunday[?].
May this modest stupa continue to generate great benefit for all beings!
Alan Suits