Buddha stolen ahead of ‘Dalai Lama’s visit’

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Ahead of the Dalai Lama’s highly contested visit to Botswana in August, the Botswana Buddhist community is grieving the loss of its precious Buddha statue, reported stolen on Sunday night at the Gaborone North-based temple.

According to the Botswana Buddhist Association, Darshini De Silva, thieves broke into the premises of the Botswana Buddhist Association and drove away with the statue of the Buddha, which weighs over 500 kilogrammes. The statue is said to be massive such that it could take eight men to lift it, insiders say. The matter has since been brought to the attention of police in the Gaborone North policing area.

“The Buddhist community is devastated by this theft. Its monetary value is P250, 000 with shipping costs but it is not solid gold only painted gold,” he said.  He added the statue was a gift from the people of Thailand in 1996 and was painted in gold. De Silva said the community has no leads so far, but police investigations are still ongoing, hence he could not comment further on the matter.

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