This coming Wednesday, the Jade Budha for Universal Peace is making its debut in San Jose and is scheduled to be in town for public viewing until October 1. This is part of a 2 years long tour to promote the statue as well as to raise funding for its permanent home in Bendigo, Australia. Almost 10 ft high, this is the supposedly the largest buddha statue carved out of quality gemstone. The Jade Budha statue will be exhibited at 1980 Senter Road. The ceremony as well as fund raising events for the next two weeks are expected to draw thousands of people. The main ceremony will be held on Saturday, Sept. 18 with Councilmember Madison Nguyen to be the guest of honor.
At a press conference recently to promote the Jade Budha tour, questions were asked by local newspapers including the Viet Tribune about the location and the logistics of the exhibition. The questions were mundane enough but the responses from the organizer were surprisingly very defensive.
The organizer of the event reiterated that they have permission from San Jose officials to stage the ceremony and exhibit at 1980 Senter Road despite the fact the building has no zoning permit for such an event where there would be thousands of people attending. How about parking? The question was raised since the building has no more than 50 parking spaces
Everybody who has been followed the Jade Budha tour in the Vietnamese-American community in San Jose knows the controversies about the upcoming event. There were questions about the financial transparency of the tour including fraudulant promotion for profit by people who the organizers recently denounced. The Jade Budha was origninal planned to be at a building on 10th street. The monks had approached the owner of the building on the 10th street and he agreed to have the event held there free of charge. However, Mike Hannon, the head of San Jose code enforcement, decided to shut down the building for not having the right zoning permit to hold event for more than 49 people.
And conspiracy theorists in the community also noted that the building on 1980 Senter Road is owned by Tron Do of Vien Thao Media. Tron Do is a close friend and strong supporter of Madison Nguyen. His other building on 545 Parrott St (Just a block away) has been Madison Nguyen's campaign headquarters even though they have no zoning permit for such activity. Mike Hannon has been slow in shutting down the operation on 545 Parrrot St. even though complaints have been filed against Tron Do for allowing Madison Nguyen using the building illegally.
The monks who brought the Jade Budha are from San Diego and they are relying on the local promoters and organizers in San Jose to host the event. They are unlucky to be caught in the spotlight caused by local promoters.
Monday, September 13, 2010
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