A Fact-Finding Commission — Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar

Here is the press release for an important initiative that came out of our INEB meeting in Malaysia two weeks ago.  The meeting itself had an ongoing focus on interfaith relations, particularly between Buddhists and Muslims in South and Southeast Asia.  We read about tensions between these communities in Burma/Myanmar, but issues are also at a flashpoint in Southern Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.  
 
The challenge of organizing and staffing a truly open fact-finding commission is not going to be a simple or easy matter.  INEB and JUST, the sponsoring organizations, take this responsibility seriously, knowing that the well-being of our friends and allies inside Myanmar are at stake. 
 
If you have further questions, please direct them either to me or to the INEB office at the footer of this page.  As this initiative takes shape, I will provide further information. 
Peace, 
Hozan Alan Senauke
 
*****
 
 
 
Joint Press Release
International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB)
International Movement for a Just World (JUST)
November 20, 2013
 
Towards the Creation of a Fact-Finding Commission
on Relations Between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar

 

The International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) concluded its biennial conference on November 4 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, our first such meeting in a Muslim-majority nation.  The conference theme — Inter-Faith Dialogue for Peace and Sustainability — points to the interdependence of Buddhists and Muslims throughout Southeast Asia.  A long history of harmonious relations across all the nations of this region has been challenged in recent years by inter-religious conflicts rooted in a complexity of economic, political, social, and cultural tensions. INEB’s mission is to respect the integrity of all religions and people, restoring harmony wherever possible.
 
A significant outcome of this unique gathering was the affirmation of the establishment of an international forum for Buddhist-Muslim relations, drawing from members of INEB and Malaysia-based International Movement for a Just World (JUST).   
 
At the close of the conference, a special session brought together Buddhist monks and laypeople, Muslims, and concerned friends from inside and outside Myanmar to consider conflicts and violence that have taken place inside that country over the last two years.  Participants in this session, including people of four religions and from interfaith partners inside Myanmar, called upon this interfaith forum to establish a fact-finding commission to examine relations between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar.
 
Collaborating with local civil-society bodies inside Myanmar, this fact-finding commission would have three objectives:
 
1. to bring forth the facts of Buddhist-Muslim conflict in Myanmar;
2. to ascertain the causes of this conflict;
3. to develop resources and proposals for the establishment of inter-religious peace and harmony in Myanmar.
 
Guided by these objectives, an open-minded interfaith group will research conditions inside Myanmar and offer advice and support for the restoration of inter-religious and inter-ethnic stability. Members of INEB see this work as the embodiment of our vision of peace and sustainability across the region and among all peoples.
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF ENGAGED BUDDHISTS (INEB)

INEB Secretariat Office
666 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan, 

Bangkok 10600 SIAM (Thailand)
Tel. (+66) 081 803 6442      
secretariat@inebnetwork.org           
www.inebnetwork.org
 
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
 
 
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About asenauke

Zen Buddhist priest, activist, writer, father, musician
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