Monday, December 05, 2005

They can't believe it's Buddha

"Nepal's 'Buddha boy' is under investigation by the authorities, who question his claim not to have eaten anything for six months and are examining his followers' finances.

The government believes that Ram Bomjon, 15, may be breaking his fast to eat at night when his shrine is closed to visitors.

Buddhism experts, the interior ministry and Nepal's leading scientific agency have all been called in to investigate the phenomenon, which has attracted thousands of pilgrims and excitement worldwide.

"We told the shrine management committee, 'Either we need to see everything that is going on or, if this is a fraud, you need to close it down,' " said Hari Har Dahal, a local official. "This has got into the media all over the world. If it is not true, it will be bad for the country."

The way donations to the organising committee have been spent has also been questioned.

Hundreds of pilgrims were still entering the jungle near the village of Ratanpuri to see Ram this week, despite the authorities' attempts to discourage the faithful from visiting the site."

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