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Int’l Network of Engaged Buddhists Statement on Thailand

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The International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) has just issued a statement on the situation in Thailand. Here it is:


All Lives are Sacred: A plea to put an end to massive killing in Bangkok

International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB)

Since the beginning of the demonstration by the United front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), aka “Red Shirts”, on 12 March 2010, there have been many hundreds of casualties. In the past five days, attempts to disperse the demonstration in Ratchaprasong have become been violent, with a further effect of provoking violence. The government’s actions have so far failed to deter the demonstrators.

The present clash of political views is one of the great crises in Siam’s modern history. The country was previously acclaimed for settling conflict peacefully and democratically. Now it appears that both sides, the government and the UDD, are clinging to an illusion of victory over another.  The entire nation is hostage to their conflict. Buddhist wisdom is relevant for those absorbed in hatred, greed and delusion. The Dhammapada, Verse 201 says:

Victory breeds hatred, for the conquered is unhappy.
Persons who have given up both victory and defeat, the contented, they are happy.

The International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), representing a diversity of socially engaged buddhists from around the world, is gravely concerned about this standoff. We wish for all parties address the conflict with reason and tools of peace, to recognize the ancient Buddhist wisdom that neither the so-called winner nor loser will be contented and happy. We encourage those who do not fall into one of the two camps can help this process wherever possible.  Only through peaceful negotiation and dialogue can all parties concerned return the country to its true nature as a flourishing democracy and a peace-loving nation.

Our heartfelt plea is for both parties to stop any act that may cost lives and injuries;  to reclaim the time-tested wisdom of reconciliation and nonviolence.

Whenever INEB can help bridge the gap between the opposed parties we are willing to do all that we can.

We trust that in the light of upcoming international Vesakh celebrations in Thailand, supported by the United Nations 22-26 May 2010 and the subsequent local Vesakh celebrations, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of the Lord Buddha, all parties will unite in taking responsibility for their conduct and for bringing about lasting peace, transformation towards social justice and shared wellbeing for future generations.

To close, in Verse 5 of the Dhammapada the Buddha proclaims:

Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By love alone is hatred appeased. This is an eternal law.

International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB)

Patron, Advisory Committee and Executive Committee Name Lists


His Holiness the Dalai Lama                       Tibet

Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh                       France/Vietnam

Venerable Phra Rajpanyamedhi                   Siam (Thailand)

Venerable Bhikshuni Chao Hwei                 Taiwan


Name Organisation Country
Sulak Sivaraksa

(Founder Chair)

Santi Pracha Dhamma Institute

Raja Dharmapala Dharmavedi Institute Sri Lanka
Jill Jameson Buddhist Peace Fellowship Australia Australia
Dharmachari Lokamitra Jambudvipa Trust

Ven. Tsering Palmo Ladakh Nuns Association Ladakh/India
Phra Maha Boonchuay Mahachulalongkorn University

Phra Phaisan Visalo Buddhika Network for Buddhism and Society

Bhikkhuni Dhammananda Songdhammakalyani Monastery Siam
Venetia Walkey Dhamma Park Foundation

Ven. Pomnyun Sunim Jungto Society

South Korea
Rev. Alan Senauke Clear View Project

Ven. Sumanalankar Parbatya Bouddha Mission

Hisashi Nakamura Ryukoku University

Rev. Masazumi Okano International Buddhist Exchange Center Japan
Swee-hin Toh University for Peace

Costa Rica
Frans Goetghebeur European Buddhist Union



Name Organisation Country
Harsha Navaratne (Chairperson) Sewalanka Foundation

Sri Lanka
Hans van Willenswaard

(Vice Chairperson)

GNH Program



Somboon Chungprempree (Interim Executive Secretary) Spirit in Education Movement (SEM) Siam
Douangdeuane Bounyavong Buddhists for Development

Hsiang-chou Yo Fo Guang University

Jonathan Watts Think Sangha USA/Japan
Anchalee Kurutach Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Poolchawee Ruangwichatorn Spirit in Education Movement (SEM) Siam
Pipob Udomittipong Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation (SNF) Siam
Ros Sotha Buddhists and Khmer Society Network

Mangesh Dahiwale Jambudvipa Trust

Prashant Varma Deer Park Institute

Erica Kang Jungto Society

South Korea
Minyong Lee South Korea

Matteo Pistono Nekorpa and RIGPA Fellowship USA
Tashi Zangmo Bhutan
Vidyananda (KV Soon) Malaysia
Harn Burma/Myanmar

About Maia

I've been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1994, and exploring the question "What is engaged Buddhism?" since the late 90s. As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I had the honor of meeting and working with many practitioners of engaged dharma, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Alan Senauke, and Robert Aitken Roshi. I write about socially engaged Buddhism on my blog, "The Jizo Chronicles," as well as on the theme of personal and collective freedom on my website, "The Liberated Life Project." Through my Five Directions Consulting, I offer support to individuals and organizations who aspire to integrate awareness into their work.

4 responses »

  1. Pingback: The International Network of Engaged Buddhists’ Statement on Thailand « Rev. Danny Fisher

  2. Thanks for this Maia. Its refreshing to hear this laid out the way you did, by using our own texts as a way to push humanity forward. May peace prevail…

  3. Pingback: Jizo Celebrates His/Her First Birthday « The Jizo Chronicles

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