World Fellowship of Buddhists (China) Conference 2014 – Resolution to establish Standing Committee on Conflict Resolution
Posted on September 27th, 2014

Senaka Weeraratna

The 27th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists  will be held in Baoji, Shaanxi Province, China from 14 – 19th October, 2014. This is the first time that WFB will be having a General Conference in the People’s Republic of China. The theme of this Conference is ‘Buddhism and Public – Benefit Charity ’. 

This Conference will attract representatives of WFBs Regional Centers and World renowned Buddhist scholars. It will provide an opportunity for the world Buddhist leaders with China at the helm, to gather and develop a new Buddhist vision and answers to various issues relating to the spread and protection  of Buddhism, that have risen in several parts of the world.

The German Dharmaduta Society (based in Sri Lanka) being a Regional Centre of the WFB, has submitted three (3) Resolutions to the WFB to establish three Standing Committees on:

1) Animal Welfare

2) Conflict Resolution, and

3) Buddhism on the Internet

Standing Committee on Conflict Resolution

The purpose of this Resolution is to provide an opportunity to the WFB to engage with the wider world in addressing conflicts affecting Buddhists. Currently there is a lacuna in the structure of International Buddhist Organisations that prevent them to offer whatever assistance possible to Buddhist countries, Buddhist communities etc in danger when faced with  threats both from within and outside a nation.

The history of Buddhism in the last one thousand years illustrates this point. The map has changed dramatically and continues to change. Buddhists worldwide can no longer afford to remain like the Ostrich with their heads buried in the sand oblivious to the growing existential threats that are aimed at diminishing the  historical living and cultural space enjoyed by Buddhists particularly in traditional Buddhist countries.

If there are issues related to sovereignty that prevent international Buddhist organisations from directly intervening in such conflicts then at the same time there is nothing to prevent an in depth discussion of the ongoing challenges faced by Buddhists at International Buddhist conferences and explore solutions.

For example, even the Maha Bodhi Temple at Buddha Gaya  is now under threat and disturbance from a nearby place of worship using its loudspeakers that disturb the peace and quiet in the very environment that the Buddha attained enlightenment. This is an affront to the sanctity of Buddha Gaya.

To protect the sacredness of Buddhist citadels is a prime duty of all Buddhists, Buddhist Associations and International Buddhist Organisations.

International Buddhist Organisations like the WFB must rise up to the challenge and take cue from the manner in which the World Council of Churches, and inter – governmental organisations such as OIC and even sovereign states such as the Vatican function to protect the interests of their faithful.

The support of the other Regional Centres of the WFB is vital for the successful passage of all three Resolutions.

Senaka Weeraratna
.PROPOSED RESOLUTION

 

  1. Name of the Proposer of the Resolution

Senaka Weeraratna

Hony.Secretary

German Dharmaduta Society

 

Email: [email protected]

 

 

  1. The Title of the ResolutionProposal to establish a Conflict Resolution Standing Committee

 

 

  1. The Conceptual Frame-Work of the Resolution

Buddhists lack a organizational mechanism on a global scale to help save Buddhist communities and / or Buddhist nations in danger. In the last few years we have seen Buddhists in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka and sometimes even in South Korea been subject to attacks and various kind of threats generating existential fears among Buddhists. Comparatively speaking   Buddhists do not have inter – governmental organizations bound together by a common faith e.g. Organisation of Islamic Co – operation (OIC), League of Arab Nations or common cultural and religious heritage e.g. European Union (EU) to speak and intervene on their behalf. Conflict resolution in different forms has helped mitigate and ultimately solve many problems in the world. The time has come for the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) to seriously engage in giving voice to Buddhist concerns on a global level and take responsibility to engage in Conflict Resolution or at least send fact finding missions like the OIC does, to areas where Buddhists are affected adversely in a conflict.  The first step towards such involvement is the establishment of a WFB Standing Committee on Conflict Resolution.

 

  1. How the Proposed Resolution will be implemented if it is adopted by the General Conference

(Kindly give more detail based on the planning process)

The Standing Committee will investigate different forms of conflict resolution including, but not limited to, Non violent Communication” developed in several countries, It will develop a core group of volunteer mediators, and will monitor conflicts involving or endangering Buddhists and Buddhist institutions.  The Committee, with WFB approval, will attempt to contact parties in the center of a conflict asking if they would welcome the support of the Committee-approved mediators, and, if they are welcomed, send the mediators to the area of the conflict.

 

  1. Participation and allocation of the budgets by those concerned for realization of the Resolution.

The Committee will attempt to raise funds to pay for travel expenses of the mediators sent to mediate in conflicts, to conduct training and the like.

 

  1. Observation and/or recommendation (if any)

The Buddha taught non-violence and compassion throughout the Dharma and always recommended peaceful resolution of conflict. When Buddhists, Buddhist countries, or Buddhist institutions are endangered or involved in conflicts, lives can be saved by using the prestige of WFB and the experience and skills of reliable Buddhist mediators to intervene, when invited, in these conflicts.

Senaka Weeraratna  Hony. Secretary, German Dharmaduta Society

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