Category Archives: East Asia

Asian church leaders call for greater interfaith cooperation

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

An article from Lutheran World

The Asia Church Leadership Conference (ACLC) has concluded in Indonesia with a call to all churches to work more closely together with other faith communities to promote urgent issues such as gender justice, environmental protection and care for the poor and needy.


Indonesian church leaders meet with the President of the Republic’s special envoy on interfaith relations and intercultural dialogue, Professor Syafiq Mughni (center). Photo: LWF/Isaac Henry

Pastors and lay people from across the region have been meeting with local Lutheran leaders in the North Sumatra town of Pematang Siantar to discuss the theme ‘Pursuing peace through interfaith relations in Asia’. It was preceded by an encounter of Asian women leaders and a meeting of the Global Young Reformers Network, which focused on ways of ensuring more meaningful participation of young people in the life of the churches.

The five-day gathering was hosted by three of Indonesia’s member churches of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the Simalungun Protestant Christian Church (GKPS), the Christian Protestant Church in Indonesia (GKPI) and The Indonesian Christian Church (HKI).

Peace can never be taken for granted

On the final day, delegates heard from Indonesia’s special envoy for interfaith relations and intercultural dialogue, Professor Syafiq Mughni, about ways in which his country seeks to promote peaceful cooperation among followers of the six officially recognized faith groups. Local leaders from some of those groups attended the session that focused on the five principles, known as Pancasila, upon which the nation was founded following independence in 1945.

Noting the huge diversity of ethnicities, languages and religions in his country, Mughni stressed that “peace can never be taken for granted”. Since he took up the post last year, he has organized conferences to foster good relations between the different faiths and to promote “a culture of peace” in schools and universities. As a Muslim leader, he has also met with Islamic leaders around the world to promote ‘Wasatiyya’, a term meaning the ‘middle way’ or moderate Islam, as the nation’s majority religion

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Question related to this article:
 
How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

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LWF partnership with Islamic Relief Worldwide

Engaging in interfaith dialogue and cooperation was identified as a key point of the LWF’s strategic priorities  for the coming years and is particularly relevant to the Asian context where Christians form just a small minority in most countries. From India, where growing Hindu nationalism has led to attacks on Christian and Muslim communities, to Myanmar, where hard line Buddhism has fed persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority, to Malaysia where the ongoing Allah controversy continues to cause problems for Christian media, religious tensions are never far away from the news headlines.

Highlighting the importance of interreligious cooperation as a way of increasing understanding between different faith communities, LWF Area Secretary for Asia, Rev. Dr Philip Lok noted that the LWF partners with Islamic Relief Worldwide and last year launched a manual on faith sensitivity in humanitarian responses to disasters and refugee crises. The guidelines, which were piloted in field work in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, cover medical, psychological and social issues, as well as practical aspects such as food, shelter and meeting places. Rev. Lok said the LWF “hopes that this kind of cooperation with other faith communities can help promote peace in the world.”

Dialogue at leadership and grassroots level

The Asia region of the LWF includes 55 member and associate member churches in 17 countries, from the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) in the South Pacific to The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). Delegates at the meeting heard about efforts of churches in many of those countries to promote dialogue at both leadership and grassroots level, despite many challenges stemming from the politicization of religion, as well as colonial histories and ongoing attempts at conversions by some Charismatic groups.

Speaking on the opening day  of the conference, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge praised the commitment of churches in Asia to peace building, despite the difficulties they face. “The task of peace-making,” he said, “begins within ourselves, within our own churches, seeking to live in peace with each other.”

Participants also heard about the current political unrest in Hong Kong and efforts by churches there to provide a space for rest, counselling and reconciliation within a deeply divided society. Hong Kong delegates noted how Protestant and Catholic churches are supporting each other in this work and they urged people around the world to continue to pray for peace in their country.

Philippines: Teach Peace Build Peace Movement 

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .. .

Exerpts from an article in Minda News

Bai Rohaniza Sumndad –Usman delivered this speech during the press conference on the 2019 TOWNS awardees at Dusit, Makati on October 10, 2019.

We have to invest in nurturing a culture of peace in the heart of every child . . . In today’s society, a culture of peace should be seen as the core of humanity. In our organization, Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM), our mission is to Make Every Filipino Child and Youth a Peace Hero.


Learning to Speak the Language of Peace

In TPBPM, we believe in the power of Peace Education and we have been doing a lot of innovation to teach peace as a lifestyle… we believe in how peace education can contribute to achieving sustainable peace.

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Question related to this article:

What is the best way to teach peace to children?

Where is peace education taking place?

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We have been helping schools and communities institutionalize Peace Education in creative and innovative ways like Music, Arts, Games, Sports and Community Service.

Our flagship program is called Peace Heroes Formation Program with a goal of creating a Culture of Peace in every school and community.

Receiving this blessing and being welcomed to a new family, which for me is the Almighty’s way of telling us to pursue our mission no matter what it takes, is for every child who fears the sound of war… for every child who fears the feeling of being bullied, judged and unaccepted.

This is for every struggle of a Filipino Child — Muslim, Christian and Indigenous Person whose stories range from experiencing armed conflict, discrimination, unacceptance, neglect and victimized by violent ideologies.

This is for every peace education believer, advocate and champion as we dramatically transform the concept of a Culture of Peace as an inherent way of life and as the core of humanity to address the underlying factors of conflict and violence.

I would like to end by giving much emphasis into these words: We have to teach peace to build a culture of peace because it is in building a culture of peace that we can create difference generations of peace heroes.

If we want a peaceful nation, we have to invest in nurturing a culture of peace in the heart of every child.

Australia: Antony Loewenstein wins the 2019 Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY .

An article from Jerusalem Peace Prize

Australians for Palestine and the Australia-Palestine Advocacy Network are thrilled to announce that the winner of the 2019 Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize is journalist, author, and film-maker Antony Loewenstein

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Question for this article

Presenting the Palestinian side of the Middle East, Is it important for a culture of peace?

How can a culture of peace be established in the Middle East?

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Antony’s best-selling book “My Israel Question” generated a storm of controversy because of his forensic discussion of the Israel-Palestine conflict and the intimidatory way Zionist lobby groups have affected political discourse and news media to shape their version of Middle-Eastern politics. 

His foray into this veritable minefield saw him personally attacked and even shunned by his community and relatives.

He co-founded Independent Australian Jewish Voices and has said that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement “is a logical and non-violent response to human rights abuses in Palestine.

The award will be presented by last year’s prize winner Professor Emeritus Stuart Rees AM at a black-tie dinner in Queen’s Hall, Victorian State Parliament [Melbourne, Australia] on Friday  22 November 2019.  In response to the award, Antony will be in conversation with the celebrated journalist and television news presenter, Mary Kostakidis.

Honouring the Me Too Movement with the 2019 Sydney Peace Prize

. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from the Sydney Peace Foundation

Starting with two words, ‘me too’, women around the world have united in solidarity to share personal experiences about sexual harassment. This global call for change – the Me Too movement – has played a game-changing role in destigmatising the experiences of survivors of sexual assault and harassment, and, indeed, has re-imagined a future free from pervasive sexual violence. In recognition of its impact, the movement will be awarded the 2019 Sydney Peace Prize, with Tarana Burke and Tracey Spicer accepting the Prize on behalf of Me Too. The 2019 Sydney Peace Prize Jury citation reads:


“For empowering survivors of sexual harassment and violence, and elevating their voices; for championing truth and justice; for highlighting the breadth and impact of sexual violence worldwide; and for launching a demand for change that is sweeping the world.”

Founder Tarana Burke began building the movement in 2006 in the United States to support survivors of sexual violence, particularly black women and girls, connect to resources for healing, and to build a survivor-led community of advocates against sexual assault. Her grassroots work has now expanded to reach a global community of survivors from all walks of life.

Me Too is a movement about the far-reaching power of empathy. It’s about the millions of people who have raised their hands to say ‘me too’. And their hands are still raised..
Tracey Spicer AM is a journalist, author and broadcaster who has spearheaded the Me Too movement in Australia. She has produced award-winning investigations into sexual harassment in workplaces and founded NOW Australia in 2018 to advocate for safe workplaces and to support those who have been sexually harassed at work.

A demand for change sweeping the world

Contrary to popular belief, the Me Too movement did not spontaneously burst into existence, spurred by allegations from Hollywood actresses against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. While much of the mainstream media coverage of Me Too has centred around the entertainment industry and the downfall of powerful perpetrators, Tarana Burke is quick to bring the focus back to where it belongs – to the survivors.

“Me Too is a movement about the far-reaching power of empathy. It’s about the millions of people who have raised their hands to say ‘me too’. And their hands are still raised.”

In recounting the first sparks of Me Too, Tarana recalled her deep despair at witnessing rampant sexual assault in her community. Laying on the bed in her one-bedroom apartment in early 2006, Tarana pulled out a piece of paper and scrawled ‘me too’ across the top of the paper. But she didn’t stop there. Below ‘me too’, she began to build an action plan for a movement based on empathy between survivors that would allow the healing of deep wounds. From the idea of empowerment through empathy, Tarana built Just Be Inc., a not-for-profit and network with a mission to support and amplify the voices of survivors of sexual abuse, assault, and exploitation.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

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On our own shores, Australian broadcaster, journalist and author Tracey Spicer has been spearheading the Me Too movement, speaking out about prevalent sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace and seeking to build a support network for survivors. The spark which truly ignited the Me Too movement in Australia was a tweet from Tracey in 2017 to her 57,000 followings asking people to “contact me privately to tell your stories.” The tweet received more than 2,000 responses and propelled Me Too into the Australian public conscious and discourse. Following a flood of responses and harrowing stories from survivors, Tracey set up NOW Australia to support people across all industries who have been sexually harassed, assaulted or intimidated at work.

Commending Tarana for starting the movement, Tracey spoke of her optimism for a better future. “The Me Too movement has changed everything, it gives women a support base and information with which they can speak out and tell their stories.”

In our own backyard

The Me Too movement has kickstarted an outpouring of individual and collective voices shining a spotlight on the universal experience of women and some men with sexual harassment and abuse. And Australian society is unfortunately no exception. Statistics show that 1 in 5 Australian women will experience sexual violence in her lifetime, and that 1 in 2 will be subjected to sexual harassment. And these statistics only become more severe for indigenous women and women living with a disability. It is clear that we continue to have a very serious problem with attitudes towards domestic violence, consent, sexual abuse, and harassment.

The Me Too movement has revealed holes in our cultural norms and legal structures which must be addressed to better serve our communities and promote progress. Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins announced in 2018 an Australian Human Rights Commission-led National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. ‘Me Too has given us reason to be hopeful,’ says Jenkins.

Julian Burnside AO QC, 2014 Sydney Peace Prize Laureate, strongly supported Jury’s choice:

“It is a wonderful thing that Me Too is to be awarded the Sydn ey Ppppeace P“It is a wonderful thing that Me Too is to be awarded the Sydney Peace Prize…The Me Too movement has done a remarkable job drawing attention to a problem which was recognised by virtually all women and virtually no men. Since men are at the heart of the problem, it is a great thing that no man will now be believed if they say they are unaware of the problem Me Too has exposed.”

2019 Sydney Peace Prize

Without justice, peace is hollow and fragile. Every human being has the right to live their life in dignity, and when rampant sexual harassment and violence goes unchecked, we are all diminished and lose sight of our common humanity.

Me Too has changed the way we understand and talk about sexual harassment and violence, by highlighting the magnitude and impact of sexual harassment and violence around the world, in domestic, public spaces, and workplaces.

We owe future generations a world free of sexual violence. I believe we can build that world. Do you?”
To create spaces where survivors can speak truth to power in search of a better world requires courage, vision, leadership, and heart. Tarana, Tracey, and the many women and men raising their hands in unison to demand that their voices be heard challenge the societal structures and norms we have thus far accepted.

In Tarana’s words, “We owe future generations a world free of sexual violence. I believe we can build that world. Do you?”

The Sydney Peace Prize will be awarded on Thursday 14 November at Sydney Town Hall. Tickets available at bit.ly/SPPMeToo

Asia and Pacific: International Day of Peace

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

A survey by CPNN

We have found 50 actions in 16 Asian and Pacific countries. They were listed in Google during the week of September 21-28 under the key words “International day of peace” and 国际和平日 (Chinese) as well as on the website of the event map for the International Day of Peace, the facebook page of the Global Feast and the facebook page of International Cities of Peace. No doubt there were many events listed on the Internet in languages other than those for which we searched.

In addition to these, there are about 125 actions listed on the maps of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace, but there is no indication which took place this year and which took place only in previous years.


China continues each year to commemorate the massacre of Nanjing, saying “no more” to war.

Here are excerpts from articles about the actions:

AFGHANISTAN :

Afghanistan’s Civic Party plans to celebrate this day on the World Peace Day, which is one of the most urgent needs of dear Afghans with a martial arts competition with the participation of the National Martial Arts Federation and the participation of Pakistani and Iranian opponents under the name “Fighting to launch peace.”

ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA :

On this International Day of Peace, hear from four leading international women’s organisations working for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

ASHBURY NSW, AUSTRALIA :

Celebrate peace in community in Peace Park, Ashbury on Saturday, September 21, the International Day of Peace on its 20th anniversary. At 12pm we will observe the international mid-day minute of silence together, and then enjoy a Feast for Peace, which are taking place across the world. Please bring nourishing food & drink to share.

FREMANTLE WA, AUSTRALIA :

Enjoy the stands and activities at our Partners for Peace Fair. View finalists’ artworks in the 2019 Yolande Frank Art Awards and cast your vote for the ‘We The Peoples…’ (People’s Choice) Award. Learn about creative community service by our youngsters in the Global Goals Challenge.

JESMOND NSW, AUSTRALIA :

A social-creative gathering led by Iraqi-Australian Artist Niz Jabour with newly arrived refugees and local community in Newcastle Australia

MALENY QLD AUSTRALIA :

Cygnet Centre for Peacebuilding and Transformation invites the community to come together on Saturday 21 September to honour International Peace Day. ‘Growing Peace,’ a two part arts based celebration will include an afternoon event with a Welcome to Country, a Corroboree by Gifted Murris Unit, collaborative arts activities, a talking circle focused around peace, inclusion, and reconciliation, and a closing ceremony featuring the creation of a ‘Peace Tree.’ The afternoon event will be followed by an evening concert of music from the heart of many faiths, The duo Kim Cunio and Heather Lee perform some of the oldest and most beautiful sacred music written, from Hildegard of Bingen to the Dead Sea Scrolls, early Christian chant to the fire of Sephardic song.

NELSON BAY, AUSTRALIA :

A vigil for peace will be held to mark our solidarity with the world-wide peace movement. We will discuss the development of actions in support of peace in Australia and Worldwide. Time 12.00 noon till 4.00 pm, Saturday 21 September 2019 at Apex Park, Nelson Bay.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA :

International Day of Peace Celebration hosted by United Nations Association of Australia WA Inc Sunday 22nd Sept 2019 at 2 PM – 4 PM Fremantle Town Hall, King’s Square, Fremantle, Western Australia 6160 Free Event. Perth Rotary Member Jurgen Baumhoff will be flying the Perth Rotary and the Rotary Path to Peace Project flags. Also our Perth Rotary Four Way speaking contest winner Emilia Gilmore has kindly agreed to join the UNAAWA Peace Day celebration and join the Youth Panel Building a Culture of Peace and she will do her presentation as done at our Club.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA :

Roots & Shoots member schools in South Australia are offered free native seeds – courtesy of Blackwood Seeds – to make native seed balls in celebration of the UN International Day of Peace. The seeds will grow into trees which reduce global warning by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing it in their trunks and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.

SOUTHBANK VIC, AUSTRALIA :

Regardless of your belief, religion, race, background, political opinion, socioeconomic status, or … you are invited to attend this Hands for Peace event. The initial aim of the event is for the city of Melbourne to witness a diverse range of approaches in expressing the concept of Peace. In addition, to observe if and how the performances can engage people in holding hands to form a circle at 3:00 PM for a few moments. On this day, let us find together what we collectively think Peace feels like and taste a symbolic glimpse of it.

BANGLADESH :

Celebrating the International Day of Peace, GaanBangla television will organise a special concert tomorrow, at a hotel in the capital. Kailash Kher, Aditi Singh Sharma, and Kaushik Hossain Taposh, with renowned instrumentalists Sivamani, Sanjay Das and Arshad Khan, among others, will be performing at the concert. Sheena Chohan will host the event.
“With the theme, Music for Peace, GaanBangla TV has been taking initiatives under its banner, Wind of Change. This concert is an attempt to bring peace and overcome hatred through music,” said Taposh.

DHAKA, BANGLADESH :

The Department of Information Studies and Library management in association with East West University Library celebrated International Day of Peace 2019 with a series of program including “Community Feast” on 22 September 2019 at EWU faculty lounge. Students of East West Bidyaniketon were invited to join community feast. These allies believe that sharing food together fosters connection, cooperation as well as bring peace. Therefore, these allies arranged Community Feast with the theme of “Sharing Food, Bringing Peace” where participants bring a dish and share it with colleagues as well as students.

BATTAMBANG, CAMBODIA :

On this day students will join together to celebrate a Culture of Peace. We will start the day by planting a Peace Tree with religious leaders. At the campus of Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University of Battambang youth will participate in different art workshops to express their vision for Peace. We will hold a minute of silence at 12.00 pm. Apart from art workshops students will have the opportunity to attend different workshops and watch movies. By the the end of the event we will gather to meditate all together

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA :

At ISPP the whole school from kindergarten to grade 12 together will write the lyrics of a song expressing our vision about peace. The school will be divided in 6 groups and each group will have 40 minutes to write about peace and humanity.

CHENGDU, CHINA :

9 Yue 21 is the International Day of Peace. On this cay the Chengdu Hi-tech Zone West Park Street 2 Hao Yuan carried out, “I have a contract with peace.” International Peace Day volunteers promoted activities in the community plaza with participation of more than 50 people. The event calls on the residents to love peace, protect peace, speak in a civilzed way, abide by the rules, create a peaceful and harmonious society, and eliminate actions that are not in conformity with peace.”  Volunteers introduced the “ Peace and Love ” exhibition.

HAINAN, CHINA :

High School students and teachers of Maple Leaf International School – Hainan explore International Peace Day and complete a written reflection. They are introduced to the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, and learn how to make origami paper cranes. The celebration of learning will be done in the form of a school display.

HONGKONG, CHINA :

“The right to Peace, Peace to the Earth”
The Catholic Mission School has been strongly promoting the International Day of Peace for many years.
Prayer Meeting about world peace
Go to the Hong Kong Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for a prayer about world peace.
Peace ambassador students will promote the message of peace to the kindergartens through storytelling and arts and crafts.
All students of our school will join various programs to acknowledge the importance of this day.
with heart-felt messages about peace.
Please pay attention to our facebook page about the International Day of Peace

HONGQIAO, SHANGHAI CHINA:

On September 20th, the Hongqiao Town Center Kindergarten launched the “Doll Painting Peace Blueprint” as their International Peace Day activity. They listened to a veteran and made drawings about peace. Activities such as this allow children to grow the seeds of peace from a young age, feel the hard-won happy life, and express good wishes for world peace.

NANJING, CHINA:

On September 21st, the “Zi Jincao” choir performed peace songs in the memorial hall of the victims of the Nanjing Massacre that occurred during the invasion of China.

AHMEDABAD, GUJARAT, INDIA :

YOUNG AND CURIOUS KIDS’ CLUB. An event celebrating International Day of Peace by urging children between 7 to 12 years of age to think about the various ways in which they may contribute to the global peace movement. They will also be engaged in creative writing.

BHUBANESWAR, ODISHA, INDIA :

Volunteers of National Oral Cancer Prevention Initiative in association with Kalinga Institute of Dental Sciences will meet and interact with public gathering and will sensitized them about the importance of their oral & systemic health and also their responsibilities in creation of peace in world.

BIJNI, ASSAM, INDIA :

Peace Rally, Oath taking by student, Tree plantation with Senior citizen, teachers, students and NCC cadets.

BHUBANESWAR, ODISHA, INDIA :

On the occasion of International Day of Peace, Society for Nature, Education and Health (SNEH) organized an event on September 21, at IDCOL Auditorium, Bhubaneswar. Sj. Jagannath Saraka, Honorable Minister, SC & ST Development, Sj. Haraprasad Das, eminent writer and columnist and Prof. Radhamohan, renowned environmentalist and former State Information Commissioner graced the occasion and spoke at length on the relevance of peace in modern human life as well as the environment. All the dignitaries gave emphasis on protection of the environment and the importance to meet the challenges of climate change for sustainable peace on earth. Unless we take action to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change, life on our planet would not be possible, agreed all the speakers.

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Question for this article

What has happened this year (2019) for the International Day of Peace?

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BHUJ, KUTCH, GUJARAT, INDIA :

On 21st September 2018 , Global Human Help & Harmony collaborated with Vrukshmitra Mandal and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhyalaya to celebrate 1st International Peace Day in Bhuj , Kutch , Gujarat , India. A Peace March and Candle March were conducted along with Cultural Programs and a Musical Event. Religioius Leaders of different religions came onto the same stage to spread the message of peace

CHANDIGARH, INDIA :

As a member of International Cities of Peace, Chandigarh joined the Global Feast to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

CHHATTISGARH, INDIA :

Peace promotion and awareness through education and art.

GUWAHATI, ASSAM, INDIA :

We are planning the peace event with this agenda
Introduction of the event by Tinat Atifa Masood
1. One minute of silence at 12 noon
2. Short speech on Srimanta Sankardev by Krishna Kinkar Kaki
3. Meditation
4. Song on Peace by Chiranjita

HAILAKANDI DISTRICT, ASSAM, INDIA :

Schools and madrassas celebrated the International Day of Peace in Hailakandi district on Saturday. The celebration was held at Panchgram Town High School, Katlicherra Girls’ High School, GCRBM High School, Indramani Public High School, Rangauti Girls’ High School, 887 No.Ratakandi Algatilla LP SCT, JCHS School, GVM HS School and 745 No.Sashimohan LP School. Students recited poetry, sung peace songs as well as performed dances and skits. Special assembly, seminar, peace talk, oath taking, screen show and rallies were held.  Students presented their views on the importance of maintaining peace and harmony in the society and laid stress on how each and everyone can play an important role in achieving it.

SAHIBZADA AJIT SINGH NAGAR, INDIA :

As a member of International Cities of Peace, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar joined the Global Feast to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

BOGOR, WEST JAVA, INDONESIA :

As a part to celebrate and commemorate The International Peace Day 2019, we will hold a talkshow and music performance in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. The talkshow, called “Peace-Talk”, will focus on how the youth generation can participate in building peace among their community and share peace messages across their social media in order to counter violent extremism, such as false news and online hate speech

TELUK TERIMA, NORTH BALI. INDONESIA :

Dance For Peace Festival is an electronic dance music festival dedicated to raising the awareness for peace, celebrating love, life, sharing and healing. Bringing people together to co-create a trans-formative experience through music, art and dance.

VIENTIANE, LAOS :

We celebrate the International Day with Peace. The children sing “Light a candle for Peace”. We also march and carry the flags of different countries, candles and white flowers. We wear white as we celebrate Peace day.

MARLBOROUGH COLLEGE MALAYSIA :

We are folding 1000 cranes for peace across the whole college community (one crane per student, teacher or administrator) – which will be displayed as an art installation.

NEPAL :

MasterPeace Nepal celebrated Peace Day 2019 with a program of children’s dance. Click on link for video.

KATHMANDU METROPOLITAN CITY, NEPAL :

In this event, children from different schools in Kathmandu will come together to take action and raise awareness on the theme of this year’s Day of Peace. Children will spread awareness on the need to take climate action: in their schools and in their communities.

POKHARA, NEPAL :

NVC Practise Group Nepal celebrated the Campaign Nonviolence with empathy tents, nvc seminars and peace rallies

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND :

The Everyday Peace Initiative took part in the Campaign Nonviolence with
workshops, trainings and research.

FROEBEL’S INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL SOAN CAMPUS, GT ROAD, RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN :

The International Day of Peace will start with the special morning assembly including prayers and meditation, then a march and art activity/ competition among student for the given theme of Climate Action for Peace. Later there will be debates and speeches . . . and a role play on cultural diversity and cultures…

HARAPPA SAHIWAL PUNJAB PAKISTAN :

Ravi Cultural Forum, Harappa, Sahiwal Pakistan is organizing Ravi Rung Peace Festival as a part of International Drum-Up for Peace, Project on September 21st, 2019 (United Nations International Day of Peace).

JHANGA, PAKISTAN :

Jhanga, Pakistan took part in the Campaign Nonviolence September 14-22, 2019

QUETTA, PAKISTAN :

The Youth Association for Development took part in the Campaign Nonviolence September 14-22, 2019

BASILAN, PHILIPPINES :

SMILE for PEACE Mission, in conjunction with UN International Day of Peace, is a tree planting activity and feeding program for the children of Hadji Maulana Primary School located in Upper Caro, Kapayawan, Isabela City, Basilan.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES :

The Peace-IPPNW Commission of the UP Medical Students for Social Responsibility presents Himig: an open mic event, with the theme of “Peace and Human Rights”. Through this open mic, participants are given the opportunity to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression. Through poetry, prose and music, we aim to foster a sense of unity and to strengthen and instill in our participants a yearning for peace in all its levels

MANILA, PHILIPPINES :

Miriam College Center for Peace Education held events from Sept 16- 23, including a presentation on the climate crisis and nuclear weapons

MANILA, PHILIPPINES :

“May peace prevail on earth!” On the occasion of the UN International Day of Peace and to celebrate the 13th International Lasallian Days for Peace, peace advocates from different faiths and organizations, students and educators gathered to hold a Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony at the De La Salle University Medical Health Sciences Institute, in Dasmarinas Cavite, Philippines.  The Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony started with interfaith peace prayers, heralded by Hon. Emerita Garon, WCCI International Trustee, ringing a Tibetan bell to usher in the ceremony. Reverend Fr. Dominic Lee read a Christian prayer in Mandarin while Venerable Miao Jing Shih of the Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple intoned the Buddhist Mantra for Peace. The Prayer for Sincere Effort and Commitment to Interreligious dialogue was led by Sr. Maria Malau, NDS of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue in Bahasa Indonesia, while Ma. Ofelia Cantor of the Bishops Ecumenical Forum/Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform prayed for the resumption and success of peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in the Ibanag dialect.. 

ZAMBASULTA, PHILIPPINES :

The Office of the Youth Commissioner in partnership and collaboration with @Riwaya @Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates -Pahra Wesmin Basulta and Jihad Al Akbar Foundation will provide an online platform via social media for Muslim young Filipinos to showcase literary and arts that they have created as entry to the IYD 2019 to fight climate change and to promote peace.

SINGAPORE :

The Labour of Love Community Music Event will feature songs accompanied by live music, prose and poetry readings and videos that speak to our common humanity and the theme of peace/peace and climate action . There will also be an open-mic music session.

GWANGJU, SOUTH KOREA :

The 2019 Global Common Society International (GCS) International Convention took place on September 21, 2019 at Chosun University in Gwangju, Korea, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of the GCS International and the 38th U.N. International Day of Peace. Approximately 1,500 people from about 20 countries attended. GCS International President Choue made a keynote speech, followed by presentations by Prof. Luc Reychler of Leuven University in Belgium. After that, there was a ceremony to inaugurate the GCS Global Peace Corps, followed by a 15-minute joint taekwondo demonstration by about 1,000 members of the GCS Global Taekwondo Peace Corps Korea. In the afternoon, the 2019 GCS Peace Concert took place at the Haeoreum Center.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA :

Kunihiko Terasawa, Wartburg College associate professor of religion, recently presented at the United Nations International Day of Peace in Goyang, South Korea. His presentation, “Interreligious Dialogue for Peace,” was one of several made by the peace keepers in attendance. The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The event was hosted by the Korean Organizing Committee for UN International Day of Peace (KOCUNIDP), which promotes peace campaigns in Korea.
“I presented because the political relationship between Japan and Korea is at its worst now, and nationalistic populism has dominated in Japan, South Korea, North Korea and China.” Terasawa said. “In order to overcome resentment of nationalist populism, it is important that universal religions, such as Buddhism and Christianity, work together. . . . Religion often divides us, but it can also unite us if we go beyond selfish denominational egotism,” . . . “That is why interreligious dialogue and cooperation is critically important, especially with our youth and our students in the Pacific Rim, including the U.S.”

KYUNG HEE UNIVERSITY, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA :

On September 19th, Co-Chair Ban Ki-moon gave a keynote speech at International Day of Peace Commemorative Roundtable. This event was held as a part of the annual Peace BAR Festival a forum on the topic ‘The Future Unhinged: Climate Justice for All,’ and was hosted by Kyung Hee University from September 16th to 19th.“In order for individuals and communities to escape the existential threats of climate change, we must act now.” – Ban Ki-moon At the Roundtable, BKMC Board member Irina Bokova who is also former Director-General of UNESCO and an Honorary Rector of Humanities College at Kyung Hee University featured as a moderator. Club of Rome member Ian Dunlop, Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University and Chancellor of Kyung Hee University System Inwon Choue attended as panelists to address global climate change crisis.

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA :

On the International Day of Peace, +Peace, Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, and Impact:Peace launched the Peace in Our Cities Campaign, with 11 mayors and local officials representing over 15.8 million people from Colombo, Sri Lanka; Nairobi Municipality, Kenya; Cali, Colombia; Guadalajara, Mexico; Tripoli, Lebanon; Bangui, Central African Republic; Durban, South Africa; Escobedo, Mexico; Kumanovo, Macedonia; Kibera County, Nairobi, Kenya; and Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago, pledging to work towards halving violence in their cities by 2030. The campaign calls on mayors, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, and other partners to sign the pledge and join the growing movement to transform global violence.

Full text of Nagasaki Peace Declaration on the 74th A-bomb anniversary

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY .

An article from The Mainichi

The following is the full text of the Peace Declaration read on Aug. 9 by Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue at a ceremony to mark the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city.


A man bows at the hypocenter cenotaph in Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 2019, the 74th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the southwestern Japan city. (Kyodo)

Close Your Eyes and Listen
While thousands of arms and legs were torn off
Intestines drooping out
Maggots swarming in bodies,
Those still breathing searched for loved ones
And cremated the dead they found.
The smoke of burning corpses rose into the sky
And innocent blood stained the water of Urakami River.

Leaving only keloid scars, the war finally came to an end.

But
My mother and father are gone.
My brothers and sisters will never return.

People are weak and quick to forget;
They repeat the same mistakes again and again.

But
This one thing must never be forgotten.
This one thing must never be repeated
Under any circumstances whatsoever…

This poem was written by a woman exposed to the Nagasaki atomic bombing at 11:02 a.m., August 9, 1945. Seventeen years old, she lost her family and suffered serious injuries. The poem expresses her fervent belief that no one else in the world should ever have to experience the same tragedy.

The atomic bombs were built by human hands and exploded over human heads. It follows that nuclear weapons can be eliminated by an act of human will and that the source of that will is, without question, the mind of each human being.

The present world situation involving nuclear weapons is extremely dangerous. The opinion that nuclear weapons are useful is once again gaining traction. The United States is developing smaller, more manageable nuclear weapons, and Russia has announced the development and deployment of new nuclear weaponry. Moreover, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that ended the cold war arms race is facing dissolution, just as the continuation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is imperiled. The achievements of humankind and the results of our longstanding efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons are collapsing one after another, and the danger of a nuclear calamity is mounting.

Have the desperate appeals of the atomic bomb survivors, endeavoring to ensure that the living hell caused by nuclear weapons is “never repeated,” failed to reach the ears of the world?

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Question related to this article:

Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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The answer is no. There are many people in the United Nations, in governments and municipalities, and especially in civil society groups including the atomic bomb survivors who share the same opinion and are speaking out.

As a collection of small voices, civil society groups have shown the power time and again to change the world. The testing of hydrogen bombs in the Bikini Atoll in 1954 stirred up a wave of protests that swept across the globe and resulted in the conclusion of test ban treaties. Similarly, the power of citizens movements played an important role in the conclusion of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017. The power of a single individual is small but by no means weak.

I call out to civil society throughout the world.

Let us continue to discuss our experiences of war and the atomic bombings and pass the information on to future generations. Knowledge of the horror of war is an important first step to peace.

Let us continue to promote trust between people across country borders. The bridges of trust built by individuals will help to prevent the outbreak of war due to national conflicts.

Let us inform our children about the importance of understanding the pain of others. That will sow the seeds of peace in children’s hearts.

There are many things that we can do in the cause of peace. Let us avoid despair and indifference and continue to cultivate a culture of peace. Let us raise our voices and insist that nuclear weapons are unnecessary.

This is the big role that all of us can play, however small we may seem.

Leaders of the world. Visit the atomic-bombed cities and see, hear and feel what happened under the mushroom cloud. Imprint in your minds the inhumanity of nuclear weapons.

Leaders of the nuclear states. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will reach its fifty-year milestone next year. All the nuclear states should recall the meaning of the treaty, which promises to eliminate nuclear weapons and compels each country to fulfill that duty. I appeal to the United States and Russia, in particular, to assume responsibility as nuclear superpowers by demonstrating to the world concrete ways to drastically reduce nuclear stockpiles.

I also appeal to the Japanese government. Japan has turned its back on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. As the only country in the world to have experienced the devastation caused by nuclear weapons, Japan must sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as soon as possible. As a means to that end, I ask Japan to seize the trend toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and to initiate efforts to make northeast Asia a nuclear-free zone where all countries coexist under, not a “nuclear umbrella,” but a “non-nuclear umbrella.” And above all, I ask the Japanese government to uphold the spirit of “never resort to war” enshrined in the Japanese Constitution and to take the lead in disseminating that spirit around the world.

The average age of the atomic bomb survivors has exceeded 82. I ask the Japanese government to adopt further measures to support the aging survivors and take steps to assist the people who were exposed to the atomic bombings but are yet to be recognized as survivors.

As a city exposed to nuclear devastation, Nagasaki will continue to support the people of Fukushima, who are still struggling with radioactive contamination eight years after the nuclear power plant disaster.

My heartfelt thoughts go out to the people who perished in the atomic bombing, and I declare Nagasaki’s determination, along with Hiroshima and people everywhere committed to peace, to strive relentlessly for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of lasting world peace.

Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace Marks 50th Anniversary in Mongolia

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY .

An article from Buddhist Door

The 11th General Assembly of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace (ABCP) was held in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar on 21–23 June, with delegates from Mongolia, as well as Cambodia, India, Nepal, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, with a Tibetan delegation led by Venerable Thupten Ngodup, the Nechung Kuten, with representatives from all of the major Buddhist traditions.


Group photo during the 11th General Assembly of the ABCP. From tibet.net

The conference, titled “Buddhist Heritage and Values in the 21st Century,” marked the 50th anniversary of the ABCP, first convened under the aspiration of Asian countries to preserve their cultural heritage through spreading the teachings of the Buddha and valuing wisdom and compassion in ensuring peace. 

The event was hosted by Mongolia’s foremost monastery, Gandan Tegchenling, founded in 1809 by the Gelug school of Vajrayana Buddhism, and the institutional and cultural center of Mongolian Buddhism. The monastery’s abbot, His Eminence the Khamba Lama Gabju Choijamts Demberel, is the highest-ranking Buddhist leader in the country. He is also president of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace and head of the Centre of Mongolian Buddhists. 

Among the leaders who participated in the conference was the most senior Buddhist in the Russian Federation and in the Republic of Buryatia, the 24th Pandito Khambo Lama Damba Badmayevich Ayusheev; the head lama of the Kalmyk people, Telo Tulku Rinpoche, who is also the honorary representative of the Dalai Lama for Russia, Mongolia, and the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States; and the head lama of the Tuvan people, Lopsan Chamzy.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivered a video message for the assembly, which was presented during the opening ceremony by Telo Tulku Rinpoche. His Holiness remarked that the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism first became known in Mongolia in the time of Drogon Chogyal Phagpa (the fifth leader of the Sakya school). Then, following the Omniscient Sonam Gyatso (the third dalai lama), the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa spread throughout the country. 

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Question for this article

Religion: a barrier or a way to peace?, What makes it one or the other?

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The Dalai Lama stressed that over subsequent centuries a great number of Mongolian scholars and accomplished masters had emerged, noting that during his own life many top Mongolians scholars and geshes in the three monastic universities (Drepung, Gaden, and Sera) have made remarkable contributions to the Buddhadharma. His Holiness expressed appreciation that the ABCP assembly was being held in Mongolia, and urged Mongolians to study Buddhist philosophy as even modern Western scientists are paying attention to Buddhist philosophy.

Among the distinguished guests was the president of Mongolia, Khaltmaagiin Battulga. During the opening ceremony he remarked: “Mongolia has always supported the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace, and it has been seen as valuable contribution of Mongolians not only to ensuring peace throughout the world but to maintaining its values, which are still valid to this day. Guided by the teachings of the compassionate Buddha, during the difficult times of Cold War, the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace made its voice heard not only in Asia but throughout the whole world. Moreover, it has presented new opportunities in cultural, educational, and economic long-term cooperation where human rights, freedom, and unity are upheld. Therefore, the conference was registered as an observer to the UN’s Economic and Social Council in 1988 in recognition of its contribution to the well-being of humanity through its actions for peace.” (Office of the President of Mongolia) 

The closing ceremony included a dinner reception and cultural performances in the Battsagan Hall of Gandan Teckchenling.

The Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace is a voluntary mass movement of Asian Buddhists reflecting their sincere aspirations to realize the ideals of peace, justice, and human dignity. Its aim is to bring together efforts of Buddhists in support of consolidating universal peace, harmony and cooperation among people of Asia.

The history of the organization dates to 1968, when three eminent Buddhist monks—Ven. Khamba Lama Samagiin Gombojav (Mongolia), Ven. Khamba Lama Jambaldorj Gomboev (USSR) and Ven. Kushok Bakula Rinpoche (India)—met in Buryatia to discuss the state of Buddhism in the region and to explore the possibility of setting up a Buddhist organization. In July 1969, Ven. Sumanatissa and Ven. Wipulasara (Sri Lanka), Ven. Jinaratana (India) and Ven. Amritananda (Nepal) visited Ulaanbaatar at the invitation of Khamba Lama Gombojav. Over the course of their meeting they agreed to establish an international Buddhist organization in the Mongolian capital.

On 13 June 1970, another meeting was held in Ulaanbaatar, setting a resolution to establish an international organization called the Asian Buddhist Committee for Promoting Peace. The first general assembly was held in the city and Ven. Gombojav was elected president. During the third general assembly in New Delhi in 1974, the organization’s current name was adopted, and in the same year His Holiness the Dalai Lama participated in the forum and became an ABCP member.

The ABCP, one of the few religious organizations registered in the United Nations, has since convened 11 general assemblies in Mongolia, Sri Lanka, India, Japan, and Laos.

“Youth, Peace and Security: Perspectives for Dialogues in Northeast Asia” Regional Workshop

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

An article from the Online magazine of the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs

The importance of including young people in discussions of issues of peace and security – and even in peace negotiations – is now beyond question. On 3 and 4 June, the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, the UN team in Mongolia, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) brought together young people from all around Northeast Asia to discuss the youth, peace and security agenda and perspectives for dialogues in the region. Khishigjargal Enkhbayar, a former Coordinator at the UN Youth Advisory Panel in Mongolia, wrote about the experience:


Khishigjargal Enkhbayar is a former Coordinator at the UN Youth Advisory Panel in Mongolia. She contributed this personal observation to Politically Speaking.

Excitement over the number of young and diverse people and pleasant surprise that they were active participants. Those were sentiments I heard from many participants at the regional workshop on Youth, Peace and Security: Perspectives for Dialogues in Northeast Asia, held in Ulaanbaatar recently. It should not be something extraordinary, but we have become accustomed to seeing men in suits as experts in panels. From the beginning, the event challenged stereotypes and made a strong statement through its choice of speakers and participants from all over the region and beyond.

Diversity was yet another constructive factor in the workshop: young people hailed from all corners of Asia and the West. We had young diplomats, youth activists, scholars, students, civil society workers, an Instagram celebrity and even a podcast enthusiast. I was impressed by the number of young influential leaders and experts in the field, including Samuel Goda, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office on Youth and Security, Lumi Young, Coordinator at Alliansi, National Youth Council of Finland, which became the first country in the world to adopt the National Action Plan to implement the historic UN Security Council Resolution 2250, and Mridul Upadhyay of UNOY Peacebuilders, who passionately talked about how the Resolution can be implemented in different parts of the world.

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Question related to this article.

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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With stimulating discussions on traditional and non-traditional challenges to security, youth leadership and networks in prevention and peacebuilding, and challenges in advancing the Youth, Peace and Security agenda, this two-day event challenged and empowered youth to have open dialogues about issues that we are not too comfortable discussing. The panel on identity, for example, was one of much debate and discussion. What does it mean to be Northeast Asian? Can or should these countries have a shared identity? From food to films, the participants sought ways to connect the countries under a shared identity. Despite quite advanced economic cooperation, the persistence of historic grievances in the region was frequently brought up as a challenge needing to be discussed in order to move forward. As one expert said, “Dealing with the past is important to build and sustain peace in any region. Opening wounds may be painful, but it is needed to heal”. These words resonated with many in the room.

As a young Mongolian, vaguely familiar with the history of my neighboring countries, I appreciated the honesty and sincerity of the speakers, who shared their emotional experiences of struggle and identity. These stories expanded my worldview and brought nuance to the topic of identity in peace and security. They also showed me that youth is best placed to unpack uncomfortable topics, drawing on shared culture and history, as well as innovation. I was left speechless when a participant from Seoul shared her vision of a united Korea through the smart use of available technology. Based on her experiences she provided an example of overcoming one of the toughest borders in modern history with the help of something as simple as radio.

It was both inspiring and empowering when Mongolia’s Foreign Minister Tsogtbaatar Damdin personally welcomed our youth participants at the Sixth Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security, an annual regional dialogue platform, which took place back-to-back to the regional YPS workshop. It was a reminder that young people have the full right to be at the table to take part in the discussions on peace and security issues. And we showcased that by leading a special session on Youth, Peace and Security with an all-female panel!

The two-day workshop, the first of its kind in Northeast Asia, was an important event that brought people and ideas together from all over the world to foster understanding and form the basis of future dialogue and networks in the region. It reaffirmed commitments from the government and the international community as well as from young people to work together for peace and security. For me, the workshop provided an opportunity to share my culture with new friends, expanded my views on my neighbors, and provided concrete tools to utilize in my future work. It provided us with more questions than answers, but it is these questions that will propel all 1.8 billion of us forward to explore, discover, and shape lasting peace.

(Thank you to Phyllis Kotite, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

Hong Kong protesters march demanding leader resign

…. HUMAN RIGHTS ….

An article from Deutsche Welle

Protesters, mostly in black, jammed the streets Sunday demanding that Hong Kong’s leader step down even after she suspended work on a controversial extradition bill.  

Leaders of the Civil Human Rights Front said they estimated that almost 2 million people had taken part. 


(click on image to enlarge)

The crowds, walking slowly and shouting “withdraw” and “resign,” spilled into the streets from downtown Victoria Park in the early afternoon and began marching toward the Central district, where the government headquarters is located. The rally continued until late on Sunday night.

“Our demands are simple. Carrie Lam must leave office, the extradition law must be withdrawn and the police must apologize for using extreme violence against their own people,” said bank worker John Chow as he marched with a group of his friends.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Saturday buckled under the pressure of sometimes violent protests over the past week and indefinitely shelved the bill in order to “maintain law and order and restore calm as soon as possible.” However, the proposals have not been completely withdrawn.

Lam apologizes

In response to Sunday’s renewed protests, the government apologized for its handling of the crisis.

“The chief executive acknowledged that the lack of government work has caused great contradictions and disputes in the community of Hong Kong,” it said in a statement. 

“Many members of the public are disappointed and saddened. The chief executive apologizes to the public and promises to accept it with the utmost sincerity and humility.”

The bill proposed a legal mechanism to allow Hong Kong residents and Chinese or foreign nationals traveling through the city to be extradited to mainland China. Lam argued that it would prevent criminals from seeking to hide in the financial hub.

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Questions related to this article:

How effective are mass protest marches?

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But critics believe it would tighten Beijing’s grip on the autonomous city, which is governed under a “one country, two systems” policy cemented during the British handover of Hong Kong in 1997.

While Lam said the bill had “laudable objectives” in combating international crime, protesters are concerned that an extradition agreement would allow Hong Kongers to be handed over to courts controlled by the Communist Party in mainland China, where a fair trial is not guaranteed.

Bill ‘must be withdrawn’

Some opponents of the extradition bill said that suspension was not enough.

“The bill’s legislative process is only suspended, but not completely withdrawn, which means there is a possibility that the government could restart the legislative process at some point in the future,” Ray Chan, a pro-democracy legislator in Hong Kong, told DW.

Lam avoided answering questions about whether she would yield to some protesters’ demands that she resign, requesting that citizens “give us another chance.”

The Beijing-appointed Lam added that she felt “deep sorrow and regret that the deficiencies in our work and various other factors have stirred up substantial controversies and disputes in society.”

Opposition to the extradition bill came from broad sectors of society, including the business community, professionals, teachers, students, pro-democracy figures and religious groups. 

Autonomy concerns

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong’s constitution, known as the Hong Kong Basic Law, grants the city a high level of autonomy, including executive and legislative powers and an independent judiciary.

While speaking to reporters on Saturday, Lam addressed concerns that the territory’s chief executive was being steered by the Central Committee in Beijing, saying that such an assertion was based on a misunderstanding.

“That is a view that does not sit well with Basic Law, and is not in line with the constitutional role of chief executive,” said Lam, adding that the Hong Kong executive was responsible both to the PRC and Hong Kong.

“The central people’s government has confidence in my judgment and they support me,” she said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the government “expresses support, respect and understanding” for Lam’s decision.

Give peace a chance, says South Korean cardinal

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from La Croix International

A South Korean cardinal believes that permanent peace is within sight on the Korean Peninsula.

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung made the statement in a keynote speech at the 2019 Korean Peninsula Peace-sharing Forum hosted by the National Reconciliation Committee of Seoul Archdiocese and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism at the Catholic University of Korea on May 18.


Participants in the 2019 Korean Peninsula Peace-sharing Forum

Cardinal Yeom, the archbishop of Seoul, said that “this year’s forum will serve as a cornerstone for permanent and genuine peace on the Korean Peninsula” and emphasized that “no matter how small, we should practice love that sows the seeds of peace and friendship.”

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Question for this article:

Can Korea be reunified in peace?

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Guzman Carriquiry, vice-president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, gave a lecture titled “A culture of encounter, pacification and reconciliation” in which he detailed the reconstruction of Europe following the devastation and destruction of the Second World War.

He said the culture of peace depends on “overcoming deep-rooted enmities and smoothing over tensions between the winners and the losers.”

Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo testified that amid the political and social vortex of transitional chaos, the Catholic Church could build true friendships and cooperative relations within the Church as well as with civil society and members of neighboring countries.

Father Jeon Young-joon, dean of the College of Theology at the Catholic University of Korea, emphasized the importance of welcoming “people on the move” such as refugees and foreign students, who need special care.

Professor Kim Hak-sung of Chungnam National University told the forum that the Korean Peninsula’s long-standing internal conflicts had made immediate reconciliation difficult. He proposed that a lower level of reconciliation should occur first with an emphasis on expanding the national union for peace and reconciliation.

The forum is holding a Mass for national reconciliation and unity on May 21.