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World Buddhist Leaders’ Response To The Growing Ethnic Violence Against Muslims In Myanmar

In the last few months, Jack Kornfield has organized a group of concerned Buddhist elders, including the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh, to publish a full-page letter in Burmese newspapers encouraging the Burmese to stand up for their noble tradition of respect and nonviolence. The following is the full text of that letter. Following that letter is a full list of links for keeping updated and adding your voice to the call for peace in Burma.

In a piece for Shambhala Sun, Jack Kornfield urges us all to call for peace. The Dalai Lama Foundation joins Jack and leaders throughout the world in a call to peace and an end to the violence in Myanmar.

To Our Brother and Sister Buddhists in Myanmar,

As world Buddhist leaders we send our lovingkindess and concern for the difficulties the people of Myanmar are faced with at this time. While it is a time of great positive change in Myanmar we are concerned about the growing ethnic violence and the targeting of Muslims in Rakhine State and the violence against Muslims and others across the country. The Burmese are a noble people, and Burmese Buddhists carry a long and profound history of upholding the Dharma.

We wish to reaffirm to the world and to support you in practicing the most fundamental Buddhist principles of non-harming, mutual respect and compassion.

These fundamental principles taught by the Buddha are at the core of Buddhist practice:

Buddhist teaching is based on the precepts of refraining from killing and causing harm. Buddhist teaching is based on compassion and mutual care. Buddhist teaching offers respect to all, regardless of class, caste, race or creed.

We are with you for courageously standing up for these Buddhist principles even when others would demonize or harm Muslims or other ethnic groups. It is only through mutual respect, harmony and tolerance that Myanmar can become a modern great nation benefiting all her people and a shining example to the world.

Whether you are a Sayadaw or young monk or nun, or whether you are a lay Buddhist, please, speak out, stand up, reaffirm these Buddhist truths, and support all in Myanmar with the compassion, dignity and respect offered by the Buddha.

We stand with you in the Dharma,

Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Vietnam

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi President Buddhist Global Relief (world’s foremost translator of the Pali Canon) Sri Lanka/USA

Dr. AT Ariyaratne Founder Nationwide Sarvodaya Movement Ghandi Peace Prize Laureate Sri Lanka

Ven. Chao Khun Raja Sumedhajahn Elder, Ajahn Chah Monasteries Wat Ratanavan, Thailand

Ven. Phra Paisal Visalo Chair Buddhika Network Buddhism and Society Thailand

Ven. Arjia Rinpoche VIII Abbot Tibetan Mongolian Cultural Center Mongolia/USA

Ven. Shodo Harada Roshi Abbot Sogenji Rinzai Zen Monastery Japan

Achariya Professor J Simmer Brown Chairperson Buddhist Studies Naropa Buddhist University USA

Ven. Ajahn Amaro Mahathera Abbot Amaravati Vihara England

Ven. Hozan A Senauke International Network of Engaged Buddhists Worldwide

Younge Khachab Rinpoche VIII Abbot Younge Drodul Ling Canada

Ven. Sr. Thich Nu Chan Kong President Plum Village Zen temples France/Vietnam

Dr. Jack Kornfield Vipassana Achariya Convener Western Buddhist Teachers Council USA

Lama Surya Das Dzogchen Foundation International Vajrayana Tibet/USA

Ven. Zoketsu N. Fischer Soto Roshi Fmr. Abbot largest Zen community in the West USA/Japan

Tulku Sherdor Rinpoche Director BI. Wisdom Institute Canada

Professor Robert Tenzin C. Thurman Center for Buddhist Studies Columbia University USA

HH the XIV Dalai Lama Nobel Laureate Tibet/India
Note: Though not able to be reached in time to sign this letter, HH the Dalai Lama has publicly and repeatedly stated his concern about the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. He urges everyone to continue to practice non-violence and retain the religious harmony that is central to our ancient and revered culture.


President Thein Sein
President’s Office
Nay Pyi Taw

Minister for Religious Affairs
Major-General Sein Htwe
Building 31

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
56, University Avenue

Minister of Home Affairs
Lt Gen. Ko Ko
Ministry of Home Affairs
Office No. 10
Nay Pyi Taw
Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Chairman, Myanmar National Human
Rights Commission
U Win Mra
27 Pyay Road, Hline Township
Republic of the Union of Myanmar

And in USA:

US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Chairman: Robert Menendez

Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Chairman: Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)

Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizational, Human Rights, Democracy, and Global Women’s Issues
Chairman, Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

US Senate Committee on Armed Services
Chairman: Carl Levin (D – MI)

US House Committee on Armed Services
Chairman: Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA)

U.S. Secretary of State: John Kerry

US Ambassador to Burma Derek J. Mitchell


Websites:International Network of Engaged Buddhists
Médecins Sans Frontières
US Campaign for Burma
Buddhadharma‘s Burma coverage
Jack Kornfield

Social media (Facebook):
International Network of Engaged Buddhists

Médecins Sans Frontières on Facebook

US Campaign for Burma on Facebook
Jack Kornfield on Facebook

Social media (Twitter)
International Network of Engaged Buddhists on Twitter
Médecins Sans Frontières on Twitter
US Campaign for Burma on Twitter

Jack Kornfield on Twitter


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