Category Archives: South Asia

Kazakhstan: Protests of presidential vote bring 500 arrests

…. HUMAN RIGHTS ….

An article from The Public’s Radio-Kazakhstan

Police detained hundreds of people in Kazakhstan amid unauthorized protests of a presidential election Sunday that opponents alleged was a fake exercise in democracy.


Kazakh police block demonstrators during an anti-government protest during the presidential elections in Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan, Sunday, June 9, 2019 
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Officers, some in riot gear with shields and helmets, broke up the demonstrations in the capital, Nur-Sultan, and in Almaty, the Central Asian country’s main commercial city. Some 500 protesters were taken to police stations, a government official said.

Three police officers were injured in the clashes, Deputy Interior Minister Marat Kozhayev said. There were no immediate reports of charges following the arrests.

The snap election was called after the unexpected March resignation of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, 78, who had led the country since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Many people assumed Nazarbayev would run for re-election during a regularly scheduled presidential vote next year.

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Questions related to this article:

How effective are mass protest marches?

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The protesters alleged the election to choose his successor would not be free or fair, and had called for a voter boycott.

Nazarbayev loyalist Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the upper house speaker who became acting president when Nazarbayev stepped down, was expected to win easily.

Seven candidates were on the ballot, including a genuine opposition figure for the first time since 2005.

The opposition candidate, Amirzhan Kossanov, said he had no complaints about possible campaign violations before Sunday’s contest.

“But the most important result, the peak of the election political process, is counting of the votes,” Kossanov said.

The national elections commission reported that about 77% of the electorate turned out to vote. Previous presidential elections had reported turnouts of more than 90%.

Kazakhstan recently has experienced rising opposition sentiment. Previous anti-government rallies took place in the spring to protest the early election, which opponents saw as an orchestrated handover of power.

One of the most prosperous former Soviet republics, large Kazakhstan stands at a crossroads between neighbors China and Russia.

[Note: According to Garda News, Canadian diplomatic authorities indicate large-scale demonstrations are expected in Nur-Sultan and Almaty on Sunday, June 30.

Culture of Peace and Education

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An essay by G.K. Ghosh in The Statesman

Since the war begins in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defence of peace must be constructed. ~ The Unesco Charter

The United Nations entity had identified the first decade of this century (2001-10) as the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World. A culture of peace was envisaged to be achieved when citizens of the world would be able to understand global problems, have the skill to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice, non-violence and live in accord with international standards of human rights and equity.

In 1989, the International Congress on Peace in the Minds of Men held in Africa urged Unesco to “.help construct a new vision of peace by developing a peace culture based on the universal value of respect for life, liberty, justice, solidarity, tolerance, human rights and equality between men and women.” The report of the Unesco’s International Commission on Education for the 21st Century titled Learning: The Treasure Within suggested that educational process needs to be restructured to draw out the hidden talents in students. The UN declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace adopted in 1999 emphasised the role of education in promoting a culture of peace.

Thus, education may serve as the principal means to create a culture of peace, and by reflecting its basic principles, the curricula can prepare people for the task of developing a culture of peace. Manifesto – 2000 for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence was launched by Unesco in 1999. It laid down the code of conduct for individuals saying that they must respect the life and dignity of every human being . There should be no violence ~ physical, psychological, sexual or social. The Unesco project on “Teacher Education for Peace” is also based on the assumption that effective teaching for peace and international understanding must target teachers themselves because they are the torch-bearers of building a peaceful culture in schools. They should be equipped with the content and pedagogical skills to translate the value of peace, tolerance, nonviolence, human rights and international understanding within the confines of the classroom.

In building a culture of peace, education has to play a crucial role. Peace education could infuse the entire curriculum and not just a separate aspect taught in isolation. Children may be acquainted with factors that contribute to practise solidarity, cooperation and respect for citizenship rights among different groups in society, and with factors that improve the realisation of such objectives.

Children may be enabled to generalise concepts and procedures relating to peace, cooperation and human rights at the local and national levels so as to develop a concept of world citizenship. They may also be acquainted with different organisations that cooperate at the local, national and international levels to promote peace and human rights and also to understand the role of the international bodies. Children may be acquainted with instances of violation of peace and human rights and the exploitation of international cooperation along with their adverse effects on the quality of life. They may be informed about the struggles and movements for peace and cooperation.

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Question for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

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Peace education is not a novel concept in schools. In many countries such as Australia, Netherlands, Canada, the UK and the USA, activities in the area of peace education have been in vogue for quite a long time. India has been the home of people with various origins. Ours is a tolerant eclectic society, a democracy in which universally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms are guaranteed to all without any discrimination on grounds of community or creed.

Mahatma Gandhi introduced the lessons of non-violence in education for better manifestation of human sensibilities. Nai Talim or basic education guaranteed the essentials of education nursed in the spirit of non-violence.

The National Policy on Education (1986) states that “India has always worked for peace and understanding between nations, treating the whole world as a family.” It adds that “in our culturally plural society, education should foster universal and eternal values, oriented towards the unity and integration of our people.”

While preparing the Country Report on the Delor’s Commission Report, the Indian National Commission for Cooperation with Unesco in 1998, states,”India’s educational ethos needs major reforms in the context of the changes that are sweeping our country. The transformation that the society is going through warrants rejuvenation in the way we teach and what we teach.The way we structure our educational institutions and determine the contents of our curricula can by themselves help us move towards a culture of peace.”

Several non-governmental organisations like the World Peace Centre have been involved in spreading the message of Manifesto-2000. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) came out with its National School Framework for School Education-2000 which lays stress on peace education. The Curriculum-2000 inter alia emphasises education for peace and international understanding.

It has stressed the need to infuse a profound sense of nationalism tempered with the spirit of vasudhaiva kutumbakam. The NCERT in its Curriculum Framework for Quality Education stresses the student teachers’ contribution for social reconstruction to resolve conflicts peacefully. The Indian teachers’ education curriculum at the elementary and the secondary levels includes peace education.

So vast is the responsibility of teachers and yet, unfortunately, so little is the attention paid to implement them. Obviously, the teachers must accept their share of responsibility of inculcating good conduct, tolerance and a sense of respect for law and order among the pupils. The children can be taught in the classroom about the nature of conflicts and the way they can be resolved. They can be taught as to how to deal with conflicting situations, forgive others and inculcate in themselves the seeds of tolerance which is the need of the day. They should be told that a multi-religious society like ours is particularly vulnerable to the poison of intolerance. Holistic education lends itself to endless possibilities for innovation.

If the goal of education is freedom from ignorance, freedom from dependence and freedom from prejudice, then it is time to ask ourselves whether our education has enabled us to acquire the necessary competence to understand the world in which we live, to develop the skills to live independently and also to live collectively. Harmonious coexistence of multiple identities is the core of human civilization. Sharing is the basis of civilised collective living in a civil society.

(The writer is former Associate Professor, Department of English, Gurudas College, Kolkata)

Bonita, a young change-maker inspires girls and women in Nepal through education

. . . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . . .

An article from UNESCO

Bonita Sharma is a young change-maker in Nepal. She participated in an intensive learning platform for young women supported by the UNESCO Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education, the Female Champions Fellowship. As a Female Champion, she has empowered girls and women in Nepal through her project on nutrition education. Girls’ education is a must for Bonita and she is working with her community to ensure all girls in her country receive a proper chance at learning.


Video of Bonita in Nepal

In Nepal, not all girls have the chance to go to school. How do you think education transform lives? How has it transformed your life?

I believe that education influences the entire life cycle of a girl.

A girl child who has access to a quality education will grow up to become a confident adolescent, aware of herself and her surroundings. When she becomes an adult, she will make informed and independent decisions regarding her health, her career and her family life (e.g. marriage and reproduction). As an educated mother, she will pave the way for the next generation of girls to live a brighter future.

I feel fortunate that I had the chance to receive a proper education without any discrimination. It enabled me to transform into a young change-maker in my community. Education has empowered me to empower others.

Through the UNESCO Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education, you are empowering girls and women in Nepal with an education focused on nutrition and health. What has been the impact of your project on young people and their communities?

My team and I have already reached hundreds of girls and boys, women and men, in Nepal through my Action for Nutrition project. Our programs have not just improved their knowledge on health and nutrition, but we were also able to unlock their creativity, confidence and leadership skills.

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(Click here for a Spanish version of this article or here for a French version)

Question for this article

Does the UN advance equality for women?

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Manamaya Gurung, a student from Shree Indreshwori School in the Sindhupalchok district did not feel comfortable talking about menstruation. After participating in our educational program, she was able to explain menstrual hygiene to visitors with confidence during our Swasthya Mela (Health Exhibition) event.

It is really gratifying to see young girls like Manamaya become emissaries in their own community; monitoring the health, nutrition and hygiene practices of their family, peer groups and community members. Teachers, mothers, fathers and female community health volunteers have also become more responsible towards addressing the problem of malnutrition, junk food consumption and poor hygiene after participating in our programmes.

We often speak of the importance of female role models for girls and their education. As a Female Champion, who inspired you to become who you are?

My mother had just completed her high school education when she married my father. Society, at the time, expected women to give up their studies to care for their family. My mother did not give up on her dream of getting an advanced degree. She accomplished her goal despite all the criticism, barriers and hardships.

I witnessed the persistence of my mother and the supportive role of my father from a very young age. Growing up in this environment shaped me to become the Female Champion I am today. I learned determination and the value of education from my mother. I strongly believe we need such role models in our homes, schools and communities to inspire us from a young age.

What are your future plans as a Female Champion?

In 2017, I founded Social Changemakers and Innovators (SOCHAI) with a vision to empower women and girls through youth-led innovation, education and social entrepreneurship. We have developed two innovative bracelets, Nutribeads and Redcycle, which are essential tools for nutrition and menstruation education.

Through SOCHAI, I am taking small steps to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, and ensure a quality education for all because there is still much to be done.

In the coming days, I plan to expand our educational programmes all over Nepal through multi-sectoral support and collaboration ranging from policy to grass-root level. By integrating health, nutrition, gender, entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and infrastructure in education, I aspire to empower millions of girls and women in the future.

What advice would you give to girls and women worldwide?

Education is the key to overcome the barriers and reach our full potential in life. It is the key to positive change all of us wish to see in the world. As Malala said, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world”. So, let us pick up our books and our pens.

Pakistan: Interfaith Christmas Celebration

. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .

Submitted to CPNN by Kiran Iqbal,

ROLE (Rights of Living for Everyone) Organization, the Society for the Promotion of Education and Awareness (SEAP Pakistan), and the AMAAN Development Organization with the collaboration of Action Against Poverty (AAP) and Hafeez Ghee & General Mills Private Limited organized Interfaith Christmas Celebration and Interfaith Prayer and Thanks Giving Award Distribution Ceremony to thank God Almighty and pay tribute to the volunteer services of committed and dedicated CSO Leaders, Journalists and faith based leaders.


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The event featured participation from a wide variety of Muslim & Christian denominations and representatives of Hindu and inclusive religious communities. We came together to give thanks for the blessings we have received throughout the year of 2018 and pray for the 2019. Prayers, sacred writings, reflections and meditation were woven together with a common theme of gratitude from many traditions. The event took place at Pastoral Institute, Naqashband, Multan on 31st December, 2018.

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

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The program started with a recitation from Holy Quran and the Holy Bible along with Bhajan, Naat and Christian hymns.

In the beginning, Marcus Younas gave an introduction of the program, giving thanks to the blessings of God Almighty. Then, the speakers gave their view point on the topic “How Celebrating Religious Festivals Together can promote Interfaith Harmony and National Solidarity”.

Professor Abdul Majid Wattoo, Yasmin Khakwani, Karamat Jameel, Sarfraz Clement, Abdul Hanan Haidri, Ghazal Ghazi, Naeem Iqbal Naeem, Makhdoom Tariq Abbas Shamsi, Allama Syed Mujahid Abbas Gardezi, Muhammad Amir Mehmood Naqashbandi and Rev. Fr. Dr. Jamshed Albert Gill O.P. (Director, Pastoral Institute, Multan) talked on this occasion highlighting the common values and traditions of various faiths with logics of how celebrating religious festivals together can promoted interfaith harmony and national solidarity. They appreciated the initiative of host organizations also for awards to be given for the services rendered by religious and civil society leaders for the promotion of interfaith harmony, peacebuilding and tolerance among the people of various faiths of Pakistan.

Lastly, Ms. Kiran Iqbal (CEO, ROLE Organization, Multan) thanked all for their participation and shared that our joint work can be strengthened only if we support each other by bridging the gaps and joining hands together for peace, harmony and solidarity.

Fifty Awards were given to pay tribute to the volunteer services of committed and dedicated CSO Leaders, Journalists and faith based leaders. The event ended with Cake cutting for Christmas and New Year 2019 along with dinner for all.  

Iran: 3000 signature campaign for child abuse prevention

. . . . . HUMAN RIGHTS . . . . .

Sent to CPNN by Javaher Sinaei

As the Iran Chapter of My Body Is My Body Program, Shahin Gavanji and Jahangir Gavanji organised a signature campaign to support Child Abuse Prevention in Iran: the 3000 signature campaign for child protection and child abuse prevention. 


The purpose of the campaign was to announce the support of the Iranian people for preventing child abuse by signing on the fabric.  In this plan, a fabric of 15 square meters was fabricated and put in all the main parks of each province.   

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Question related to this article:

How to stop violence against children?

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More than 3,000 signatures were collected from all cities in Iran 
(31 cities Alborz, Ardabil, Bushehr, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, EastAzerbaijan,Isfahan,Fars,Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan, Hormozgan,Ilam, Kerman,Kermanshah,Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad,Kurdistan,Lorestan, Markazi,Mazandaran,North Khorasan,Qazvin, Qom,RazaviKhorasan,Semnan,Sistan and Baluchestan,South Khorasan,Tehran,West Azerbaijan, Yazd, Zanjan).


The goals of this campaign:


1- The collective participation of citizens to learn about this positive social program leading to child abuse prevention.


2- Meetings and face to face conversations with different groups of people on a large scale to get familiar with My Body Is My Body Program


3- Belief in development of awareness, making conversation between Iranian people and learning teammate activities to protect children.

India Forms World’s Largest Women’s Wall for Gender Equality

. . . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . . .

An article from Telesur

Thousands of women in India’s coastal state of Kerala joined together, forming a 386-mile wall, to send a message in support of gender equality.

Official sources told the BBC that approximately five million women from different parts of Kerala took to highways to form a human chain in protest of gender disparity.

The “women’s wall” stretched from the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram to the northern district of Kasaragod.


Video from @Cyt.Vishwa

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(Click here for a Spanish version of this article or here for an article on this subject in French.)

Question for this article

Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

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The demonstration is part of a series of protests against a ban  which prevents women of “menstruating age” (ages 10 to 50) to enter the temple. India’s Supreme Court had overturned the ban back in September, however, attacks on female visitors by conservative groups persist, citing a violation of the holy site.

Last month, two women tried to enter the temple but were prevented from doing so by protesters defending the ban. Right-wing Hindu protesters base their actions on an interpretation of a temple deity, Lord Ayyappa whom they allege is “celibate.”

The “women’s wall” was initially proposed by Kerala’s Left Front Government and was originally scheduled to take place in December 2018.
In November 2018, dozens of protesters at the Sabarimala Temple were arrested for demanding the removal of a ban on overnight stays, which was implemented by the government as a response to right-wing demonstrations against women devotees.

However, since the court order gained prominence, a major battleground has manifested between devotees and gender activists, sparking protests across the southern state. More than 2,000 people were arrested following clashes near the temple in October.

The Supreme Court will hear challenges  to the decision to overturn the ban, starting January 22.

(Editor’s note: Telesur is the only news source we could find for this story in English that allows for reproduction, requiring only that the source be given. There are many other articles in news sites that forbid reproduction. Interestingly this article was not listed in a Google search.)

Promotion of peace and peace education through schooling: Perspectives and experiences of girls and boys in Mauritius

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

Abstract from the thesis of Priya Darshini Baligadoo at Nottingham University

This thesis explores young boys’ and girls’ perceptions and experiences of their schooling in the small island developing state of Mauritius. It brings to the forefront problems related to cultural and structural violence that can hamper a peaceful schooling in three state secondary schools: a single-sex girls’ school, a single-sex boys’ school and a mixed school which also promote the educational theories of M.K. Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. The findings reveal that there can be a ‘fideistic’ attitude to Gandhi and Tagore in this context, which highlight the need for a critical peace education that question taken-for-granted assumptions. It also shows that in schools, problems can be hidden and not discussed.

video of Priya Darshini Baligadoo

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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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The methodology was based on a participatory worldview that asserts the importance of a ‘holistic inquiry’ and learning from the ‘Other’ for peaceful coexistence. In this regard, there can be serious ethical challenges for a ‘native’ researcher to conduct participatory research with young people in a small-connected community like Mauritius.

The research also brings together various philosophies of education and peace for the promotion of peace education. It builds on commonalities from the East and West to highlight the importance of the ‘holistic’ in peace education. It promotes the concept of ‘wholeness’ as much emphasised in the East. The research was informed by M.K. Gandhi’s, Rabindranath Tagore’s and Maria Montessori’s educational theories for peace. It was also gender-sensitive and promoted a ‘peace-focused-feminism’, which is grounded in the Eastern philosophies of ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’, ‘Shakti’ and ‘Shiva’ and ‘Prakriti’ and ‘Purusha’.

[Editor’s note: The full thesis is available from the University by requesting here.]

Pakistan: 500 Muslim Leaders Sign Islamabad Declaration

. . TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY . .

An article from Zenit

“The Declaration of Islamabad is a step in the right direction. We need to develop it to improve the image of the country: this is the way forward: government and opposition must work together to legislate on good policies, while civil society, religious communities and all citizens must work together for the social, civil and cultural progress of our country.”

These were the words of Fr. Bonnie Mendes, a Pakistani Catholic priest of Faisalabad, former regional coordinator of Caritas Asia, reported January 8, 2019, by Fides News Agency. He commented on the publication of the “Islamabad Declaration”, in which over 500 Muslim religious leaders publicly condemn terrorism, violence committed in the name of religion and fatwa (sacred edicts) widespread by radical ulemas.

The declaration was signed in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, during a gathering organized by the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC). The initiative, according to observers, represents a turning point especially in the attitude towards religious minorities and Islamic sects the “Ahmadi”. In fact, the Declaration recognizes that Pakistan is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, and notes that “it is the responsibility of the government to ensure the protection of the life of non-Muslim citizens in Pakistan”.

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Question for this article

Islamic extremism, how should it be opposed?

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Among the main contents, the murders committed “under the pretext of religious belief” are condemned, observing that this “is contrary to the teachings of Islam” and states that “no Islamic sect must be declared unfaithful”, noting that all citizens, whatever their religion or sect, “have the constitutional right to live in the country following their cultural and religious principles”. Continuing in establishing the principles of religious freedom, the text establishes the right for religious groups to organize themselves autonomously and asks civil authorities to ban “any material (books, pamphlets, audio) that incites religious hatred” and to punish anyone that threatens “the sacred places of non-Muslims”, implementing “the national action plan against extremism”.

The religious proclaim 2019 as a “Year to annihilate terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence from Pakistan”, reiterating that “non-Muslim citizens must enjoy the same rights as everyone else”.

Sabir Michael, an activist for human rights and minority rights, told Fides: “We appreciate and acknowledge the efforts of the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) to stop extremism and contribute to tolerance, peace, justice, and equality in society. It is necessary to promote and spread this message to the communities. In the past, solemn declarations such as this, are not very successful, now the government and religious communities must work together in this direction: let us not lose hope for the good of the country”.

India: Cultures from around world converge at folk dance fest

. . . EDUCATION FOR PEACE . . .

An article from the Times of India

It was a coming together of cultures from around the world at the Punjab International Folk Dance Festival organized by the Punjab Cultural Promotion Council (PCPC) in collaboration with Ishmeet Singh Institute at the Ishmeet auditorium on Monday evening.

The fusion of African, Colombian, Cuban, Mexican, Punjabi bhangra and Indian classical dances was well received by the audience, students and dignitaries. La Escuela de Danzas Folcloricas-Palma Africana folk dance ensemble from Colombia was the highlight of the mega event.

Bringing the diverse cultures of the world on one platform, the event propagated the message of love, peace and harmony. Colombians led by group director Madam Maria Carmen Melendez took the stage by storm with their vibrant presentation of folk dances mapale, mix carnaval, salsa and guacherna on the scintillating beats of Colombiano music comprising drums (Tambora) and a pair of Maracas, displayed by artist Alfonso.

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Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?

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Sharing the theme, festival director Dr Davinder Singh Chhina said that PCPC has invited 43 international folk delegations from all over the world to attend the dance festival since 2002 to promote culture of peace, international friendship, multiculturalism and cultural diversity.

The Cumbia dance represented the culture hybrid of European, African and other indigenous communities while spreading the message of happiness; Bambuco, a musical on Colombia, emulated the process of love expressed by farmers, while Guacherna depicted festivities of Barranquilla, the native city of the guest delegations.

Carnaval De Barranquilla was a cultural representation and a mix of different dancing styles which expressed the period of colonization. The salsa beats took the audience on a tour of Cuba, while mapale and bullerengue depicted the cultural diversity of Colombia.

Closing the concert, Colombians performed bhangra along with Punjabi artists. Colombian artists Carmen Sanjuan, Dany, Alfonso and Andrea were all praise for the hospitality and vast heritage of Punjab.

Asia and Pacific: International Day of Peace

. . FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION . .

A survey by CPNN

e have found 158 events in 22 Asian and Pacific countries. Details are available for 33 that 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, the website of Unify.org and the facebook page of International Cities of Peace. In addition to the 33 events on the above websites, there were 125 events mentioned without detail on the websites of One Day One Choir and Montessori schools singing for peace No doubt there were many events listed on the Internet in languages other than those for which we searched.


Photo from the program in Uttar Pradesh organized
on the occasion of International Peace Day

Here are details of the events

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: Afghan Women’s Network, celebrates World Peace Day at kabul Star Hotel. With the participation of Social activist’s, Community Leader’s, Religious Scholar’s, Representatives of different NGO’s members, Teacher’s,Youth and children’s. 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 in Afghanistan with a martial arts competition with the participation of the National Martial Arts Federation and with the participation of Pakistani and Iranian opponents under the name “Fighting to launch peace.”

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: Carpet of peace woven by Afghanistan youth. It is 35 meters in length in the colors of blue and white. Afghanistan’s Civic League will hold classes about peace with those who cross the carpet.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA: On the 21 of September, UNIC Canberra marked the International Day of Peace with the Queensland Branch of the United Nations Association of Australia at their annual Brisbane Peace Lecture. UNIC Canberra Director, Mr Christopher Woodthorpe spoke about the historic context and significance of the International Day. Professor of Law and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Dr Larissa Behrendt then delivered the Peace Lecture at St John’s Cathedral to an audience of 150 people. The event also featured performance by the Combined Union Choir with Songlines Katini.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Sister Margaret Parker represented the Brahma Kumaris at an Interfaith Prayer Service at the Uniting Church in Parramatta on Friday, September 21st, to mark the United Nations International Day of Peace. The Uniting Church pastor, Rev. Dr. Manas Ghosh, has been conducting this Interfaith service for the past fifteen years. The service started with the lighting of the Peace Candle by Dr. Zeny Edwards from the UN Association of Australia while the congregation recited the International prayer for peace. This year, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Coptic Orthodox, and the Sufis joined for the first time. Another Interfaith Prayer Service on September 21st was attended by BK Helen Chapman at the Lindfield Uniting Church, in northern Sydney. About 120 people were present when the service started at 11 am. Twelve representatives from different faiths were present to participate in the leading of a prayer or a reading from their particular faith. There was also an exhibition outside the Prymont Theatre Foyer about loving kindness, compassion, inner peace and sustainable development goals (SDGs) where BKs also had a table to hand out pamphlets.

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA: School students and Illawarra People For Peace (IP4P) members took to song and friendship to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UN International Day of Peace. ‘The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70’, was the theme of Friday’s event in Wollongong. IP4P president Reverend Geoff Flynn said it was 70 years since the charter for human rights was signed but there’s actually not a right to peace in that particular charter. Students from Amity College, Wollongong Public School, Edmund Rice College and St Mary’s College performed during the September 21 event at Wollongong Mall. Reverend Miao You from the Nan Tien Temple also made a speech about peace and human rights. Amity College president Dr Mehmet Aslan also spoke about social justice and equality.

MALENY, AUSTRALIA: World Cafe Community Dialogue Forum: a series of intimate hosted table conversations focused around practical peacebuilding.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA: 100 people are expected to attend Earthdance Perth for an event benefitting the Kigalisun Foundation of Rwanda.

DHAKA, BANGLADESH: In order to celebrate the International Day of peace, the Department of Information Studies and Library management in association with East West University Library invites students to come together to form a human chain of peace sign on 23rd September 2018 at 12:00 pm in EWU ground. These allies are also conducting an hour-long session at Digital Section of the Library, from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm on the same day to engage the students to understand the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to get their opinions on “Right to Peace”.

SIRAJGANJ DISTRICT, BANGLADESH: The day will start with a interfaith community gathering and with a Peace March. 

KUTAPOLONG REFUGEE CAMP, BANGLADESH: A film by Nihab Rahman portraying Rohingya Refugee Children immersed in the message of peace and hope: http:///www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJztYzNogCM&feature=youtu.be

ISPP, PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA: 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.

HONG-KONG, CHINA: Go to the Hong Kong Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for a prayer about world peace. Peace ambassadors: Students will promote the message of peace to the kindergartens through storytelling and arts and crafts. Arts and crafts activities for peace. All students of our school will join various programs to acknowledge the importance of this day.

NANJING, CHINA: Sept. 20 (Xinhua) – Nanjing, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) – China on Wednesday called on all countries, large or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, to behave as advocates, promoters, sympathizers and practitioners of peace. The Chinese Vice President, Wang Qishan, made the call during the opening ceremony of an International Peace Day event in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, east China. “The International Day of Peace represents good hope for world peace for all the people in the world,” Wang said. “The Chinese people, always a lover of peace, expect to pursue, maintain and enjoy peace with the peoples of other countries.” Wang also met with foreign guests who attended the event, including Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, Ulziisaikhan Enkhtuvshin; the former president of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias Sánchez; the former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin; the former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama; former Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as “Prachanda”; and the president of the National Regeneration Movement of Mexico, Yeidckol Polevnsky Gurwitz.

HYDERABAD, INDIA: Rendering of peace words and poem by youtube.

BHUBANESWAR, ODISHA, INDIA: Volunteers of National Oral Cancer Prevention Initiative, (NOCPI) in association with Kalinga Institute of Dental Sciences (KIDS) 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.

SOHNA, GURUGRAM/GURGAON, INDIA: The Apeejay Stya University is organizing Poster Making and Discussion on World Peace Day under National Service Scheme.

CHANDIGARH, INDIA: Celebration of the Global Feast

SAHIBZADA AJIT SINGH NAGAR, PUNJAB, INDIA: Celebration of the Global Feast

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Question for this article

What has happened this year (2018) for the International Day of Peace?

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UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA: The program was organized on the occasion of International Peace Day under the chairmanship of District Basic Education Officer Rakesh Kumar. During this, the students were given information about the peace day. Nikhat Parveen District Scout Master District Training Commissioner and Dipinder Kaur District Guide Captain, Scout Guide at District Scout Guide Roti Warehouse campus and International Peace Day was celebrated with Divyang’s children. On this occasion, the Chief Guest was given the message of peace by making a sign of the Messenger of Peace by the District Basic Education Officer. On this occasion, the symbols of peace were allowed to fly into the open sky and the message of unity was given.

CHEMPAKAPARA, INDIA: This is how we celebrated the International Day of Peace. The Non-Violence Project Foundation, NOCER India, Goonj and Dharma Bharathi Mission jointly organised three community activities at Belmount School, Chempakapara (Idukki District – a district devastated by the recent landslide/flash-floods). The village community cleaned a pond, made a kitchen vegetable garden and a children’s park. More than 150 volunteers participated in the community activities and were rewarded with family kits consisting of food grains and general consumables.

RAIPUR, INDIA: Students of #RungtaInternationalSchool were on a full day visit to the four major religious places of #SmartCityRaipur . The Ram Mandir , The Church , The Masjid and the Gurudwara , The religious leaders of all these places spoke about the respective religious . Since most of the discord in the world is divided on religious lines , it’s imperative that we create a #religionofyouth which enables the next generation to understand and assimilate the essence and spirit of peace of all religions and respect them.

CHIBA, JAPAN: Troop 43, girl scouts of Japan hold an annual event for local girls and their supporters to realize peace and encourage to spread it out through the world.

YANGON, MYANMAR: Seminar

KATHMANDU, NEPAL: A mass Message Writing and Signature Campaign is being held on 21st September to as way of sending messages to Stop Sexual Abuse of children and adolescent girls ! 11 spots within Kathmandu, Nepal will have a long spread of cloth to gather messages and signature to come together and create collective against rape and sexual abuse !

KATHMANDU, NEPAL:> In coordination with the establishment this year of Namo Buddha: City of Peace, we from Kathmandu, Nepal today 21st Sept. are celebrating World Peace Day by walking by foot with a “talking” burning candle from Kathmandu to Namo Buddha nearly 65 km. With me are 11 other persons also participating with candles passing and lighting by devotees of Buddhists in different Bihars and Monasteries for three days)

WANGANUI, NEW ZEALAND: Video of the annual gathering for the International Day of Peace,at Handspan sculpture at Queens Park.

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND: Members of the World Peace Bell New Zealand chapter and other community groups will gather at the Peace Bell and ring it in support of world peace.

PORIRUA, NEW ZEALAND: Porirua Hospital Chapel’s Annual Peace Day Celebration

KUMARA, NEW ZEALAND: Kumara Village of Peace community had a shared feast for peace’ at the community center with ‘Kites for Peace’ in the afternoon.

BAGH AZAD KASHMIR, PAKISTAN:
Peace walk

HAYATABAD, PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN: Nowadays the message of peace becomes more valuable at a time when the country is facing uncertain political situation and terrorist activities.This event will aimed to educating students about the need for a peaceful society and to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in conflicts and also give the message of peace and hope.

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN:> Members of Worlds Children Peace Monument, Pakistan World Peace Daily and International Center For Environmental Arts are celebrating international peace day in Margalla National Park, Islamabad.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES: Open mic so participants can express themselves about the International Day of Peace in the Philippine context.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES: The Peace-IPPNW Commission of the UP Medical Students for Social Responsibility presents Himig: an open mic (spoken word and acoustic) 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. 

JEJU-DO, SOUTH KOREA: 2018 International Day of Peace Celebration in Jeju ‘Fly for Peace’ : The Right to Peace-The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70
Program:
– Human rights and Peace Booths, flea market to raise donation for refugees
– Celebration Opening, performance, speeches and presentation
– Jeju Peace exhibition and Ethiopia exhibition tour with docent, Human Rights film

SRI LANKA: TWR Lanka will be organizing a special FM radio discussion on the topic ‘Peace’ to be broadcasted via FM 94.3/ 94.5

SURAT THANI, THAILAND: Pyramid rise ecstatic dance

DILI, TIMOR-LESTE:> To celebrate peace day, we will march along the Beach Road (starting point: near Centro Supermarket; ending point: Unidade Policia Maritima). The march will be led by a percussion group. Then, we will continue with a concert in Unidade Policia Maritima, starting from 7pm. The concert will be filled with many young talented Timorese who will be singing various songs related to peace, and dancers dancing to different types of music. On this peace day, we are celebrating diversity! 

In addition to the above events, One Day One Choir lists participating choirs for the International Day of Peace in :
Australia (QUEENSLAND, TOWNSVILLE, MIDDLE SWAN,KATANNING, KADINA, ADELAIDE, MELBOURNE, CANBERRA, CONISTON, RUSE, SYDNEY, NELSON BAY, FORSTER, BELLINGEN, BALLINA, ARUNDEL, TOOWOOMBA, BRISBANE, MORETON, SUNSHINE COAST, BUNDABERG)
Bangladesh (KHULNA)
Brunei (PANAGA)
China (BEIJING, QINGDAO, PUDONG, GUANGZHOU, HONG KONG)
India (KOLKATA, CHENNAI, BANGALORE, MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, BIKANER)
Indonesia (JAKARTA)
Iran (KERMANSHAH, TEHRAN, LAHIJAN)
Japan (CANORA)
Malaysia (PETALING JAYA)
New Zealand (AUCKLAND, TAURANGA, UPPER HUTT, WELLINGTON, QUEENSTOWN)
Pakistan (RAHIM YAR KHAN, JATUI JANUBI, D G KHAN, MUZAFFARGARH, KHANEWAL, HASSAM WALA, LAYYAH, SAHIWAL, KASUR, NANKANA SAHIB, FAISALABAD, SARGODHA,HAFIZABAD, GUJRANWALA, NAROWAL, GUJRAT, DHAKKAR, ISLAMABAD, KOHAT, LAHORE, KARACHI)
Philippines (BENGUET, SIQUIJOR)
Singapore
South Korea (YEONGGI PROVINCE)
Sri Lanka (COLOMBO)
Thailand (BANGKOK, PHUKET)
Timor-Leste (DILI)
Vietnam (HANOI, HO CHI MINH CITY)

And the map of Montessori schools singing for peace on the International Day of Peace includes schools in:
Australia (QUEENSLAND, NEWCASTLE, BALMAIN, BEECHWORTH, NEW GISBORNE, SOUTH VIC, MCLAREN VALE, WEST SWAN)
Brunei (DARUSSALAM)
China (BEIJING, SHANGHAI, HANGZHOU ZHEIJANG, FUJIAN)
India (KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, DELHI, HYDERABAD, BANGALORE, COIMBATORE)
Indonesia (KUTA UTARA BALI, JAKARTA)
Japan (TOKYO, OSAKA)
Malaysia (SELANGOR)
Micronesia (PENIA WENO)
New Zealand (AUCKLAND, WAIKATO, TAURANGA, BAY OF PLENTY, GISBORNE, HAWKES BAY, TARANAKI, MANAWATU, LOWER HUTT, WELLINGTON, NELSON, TIMARU, WANAKA, ARROWTOWN, DUNEDIN)
Philippines (NUEVA ECIJA, DANAO CITY, MANILA)
Sri Lanka (DEHIWALA)
Thailand (MUKDAHAN, KHON KAEN, PHUKET)
Vietnam (HANOI, DANANG)