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Rescued Thai cave boys get grooming to become Buddhist monks

The odyssey of a youth soccer team rescued from a Thai cave continued Tuesday when 11 of the boys attended a solemn ceremony and had their heads shaved before being ordained as Buddhist novices

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The odyssey of a youth soccer team rescued from a Thai cave continued Tuesday when 11 of the boys attended a solemn ceremony and had their heads shaved before being ordained as Buddhist novices.

The families of the boys had pledged to have the boys ordained as a show of gratitude for their rescue from the partially flooded Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai.

Video from the ceremony shows the boys, dressed in white, lined up before a table covered with lit candles and food. The boys prayed, bowed and took seats. A group of monks and others in the audience then took part in clipping their hair and shaving their heads.

The boys, ages 11-17, will be formally ordained Wednesday and spend nine days living in Wat Pha That Doi Wao temple near their homes in northern Thailand. That’s about how long they were trapped before the first team of rescue divers reached them, 2.5 miles from the cave’s entrance.

Read Also: Revealed: Thai cave boys tried to dig their way out

“This temple will be where they will reside after the ordination. I hope they will find peace, strength and wisdom from practicing Buddha’s teaching,” said the temple’s acting abbot, Phra Khru Prayutjetiyanukarn.

The assistant coach who was trapped with the boys, Ekapol Chanthawong, previously lived as a Buddhist novice for more than eight years and will be ordained as a monk. A 12th team member who was with the group, Adul Sam-on, is not Buddhist and is not participating in the ceremonies.

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Musings From Abroad

Despite heavy security presence, Libyan protesters step up campaign, vow to continue demonstrations

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Libyan protesters have vowed to step up its campaign and continue with their demonstrations until all the ruling elites quit power and pave way for elections.

The protests which began on Friday, saw the burning of the country’s parliament building in Tobruk when a large crowd broke through the security and set the building on fire.

The incident prompted the government to release thousands of security personnel into the streets but the demonstrators were not deterred as they defied the presence of the forces on Saturday and Sunday by holding rallies in Tripoli, Tobruk, and Benghazi, and other major cities in the North African country.

While addressing the protesters, leaders of the movement said they would step up its campaign from Sunday, urging demonstrators to set up tents in city squares and practise civil disobedience until they achieve their goal of ousting political institutions and holding new elections.

Libyan Observer reports that the protesters held their biggest rally in Tripoli for years, chanting slogans against the feuding political elites, as demonstrators blocked off roads in Benghazi and Misrata and set fire to government buildings in Sebha and Qarabuli.

The media also reported that despite pleas by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the demonstrators are bent on going on with their daily protests until they force the ruling elites out.

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Musings From Abroad

US commends Kenya’s effort at resolving Rwanda/Congo tension

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The US has praised Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta for his effort at resolving tensions between East African neighbour, DR Congo and Rwanda.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with President Kenyatta in a phone call on Thursday describes Kenya’s move as the best approach to end armed conflict in the troubled east of the country.

The US State Department Spokesman Ned Price said of the phone call, that “Secretary Blinken expressed his appreciation for the Nairobi process, which has brought together the leadership of the DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan and Tanzania.

“The Secretary noted these heads of state meetings are instrumental for facilitating the de-escalation of regional tensions, and in particular between the DR Congo and Rwanda.”

The acrimony between the countries was pronounced last month when Rwandan military authorities accused the armed forces of neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo of cross-border attacks.

Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, last week called on the East African regional bloc to deploy East African force to the troubled eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to restore security following renewed fighting between government forces and the M23 rebels which has seen thousands killed and displaced since the resumption of hostilities.

Although the move to deploy the forces has been commended by the US, United Nations and the African Union, Congolese politicians and the public have expressed reservations about the proposed deployment of peace troops. They said the East Africa Standby Force (EASF) would be duplicating roles of the UN Mission (Monusco) as well as other existing interventions currently on the ground.

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