ALTHOUGH there is no evidence that some kind of cosmic karma is at work, the world’s attention has been drawn to the populous and poverty stricken nation of Bangladesh after an elderly Buddhist monk was found hacked to death this morning, while more than 50 people perished across the country having been struck by lightning.
Found on the streets of the southern region of Bandaran on May 14, the monk becomes the latest victim in a long line of targets seen as posing a threat to the virulent strain of radical Islam that is poisoning the country’s politics and reputation.
Although a Muslim majority nation, Bangladesh has a vibrant Buddhist community and has been relatively peaceful in terms of religious and ethnic strife since it violently emerged from Pakistan in the 1970’s.
In recent years, however, local groups allied to Daesh and Al-Qaeda have begun a campaign of terror against atheist and secular bloggers, with many being hacked to death in the streets of the capital Dhaka by machete wielding thugs.
The death of a senior Buddhist monk could show that the perpetrators are set on expanding their campaign to different regions of the country, and also members of different sects. Christians, Hindus, and foreigners have also been murdered, as have followers of the Shia and Sufi branches of Islam, considered apostates by the radicals.
Meanwhile electrical storms are thought to be behind the deaths of more than 50 people in the space of just 48 hours, with the vast majority of the lightning strike victims being farmers in remote paddy fields.
Two students and a teenager were also killed by lightning in Dhaka, as climatologists point to rising temperatures and global volatility as possible reasons for the surprising number of confirmed deaths.