A speech given by Ven. Napan Santibhaddho on 16 November 2019 in Jakarta. Below is the transcript of the video.
Your Excellencies, Honourable Ministers and Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to say thank you to the Sultanate of Oman for hosting this meeting and the celebration of the International Tolerance Day. My name is Napan Santibhaddo. Normally I am a peaceful Buddhist monk but now I am a nervous monk because this is the first time I have been asked to give a speech in English. Nevertheless, I would like to thank The Network for Religious Leaders and Traditional Peacebuilders. Without The Network I would not have been here because they provided me flight tickets. Most importantly, The Network has brought me on the path of peacebuilders.
In 2015, I was just a Buddhist monk who was trying to disseminate the Buddha’s teachings and encouraging people to reach their inner peace. The conflict violence took place in the Deep South of Thailand. For your information the majority of Thai people are Buddhists but in the Deep South our Muslim friends are the majority. So when the conflict happened, I tried to ameliorate and pacify the tension between the two religions by asking both our Muslim and Buddhist friends to revisit the original teachings of their religions. Yesterday I heard from some of my Muslim friends that the Prophet Mohammad once said that to take away the life of one human being is like to take away the lives of all human beings, and if we are trying to save one life we are trying to save all lives. I was very much impressed by this. But how do we take this forward, instead of leaving it just to remain in the book? How can we put it in practice in daily life?
One of my favourite quotes from Martin Lutherking Junior, “Those who loves peace must work as effectively as those who love wars.” I used to love this quote very much but recently I must say I disagree with it. In today world, to be as effective as those who love wars is not enough but we have to work more effectively than they do. That’s why I highly appreciated this meeting. If faith-based organisations (FBO) work more effectively, organisations like FBI no longer have to work so hard.
2005 years ago the Buddha had said that hatred never ceases by hatred but through non-hatred it ceases. This is an eternal law. On Magapuja Day the Buddha said to more than one thousand monks to do no harm mentally and physically. That’s a core value of the Buddha’s Teaching. I think if we understand that the majority of people in each country can play a crucial role, it will be a lot of help to peace building, peaceful existence. For example, several years ago when a monk in the Deep South was killed by a bomb, imagine how angry the Buddhists in the region felt. People believed that monks were not harmful to anyone. At that time, I stood up to send an early warning via national TV channels. The message was that although the incident was extremely tragic, let the bomb destroy only the body of the monk, not the heart – which is non violence. That message kind of helped pacify the situation by reminding people to revert to the core teaching of Buddhism.
Recently, on 5 November 15 people were killed in the Deep South, 13 of which were Buddhists, the rest were Muslims. What I did was I went down there and met with the Chair of Islamic committee in Yala province and gave both financial and moral supports to all affected families. So that was what I, as an individual, could do. Imagine what we could do together as we are doing now. All organisations, peace builders, The Network and the Sultan of Oman are joining forces in this event.
Finally I would like to end with the motto of the Institute of Buddhist Management for Happiness and Peace, “Peace in one’s heart starts in one’s hands – yours!” But your hands alone are not enough, it also needs your hearts and your heads to work together effectively towards united human values.
Thank your very much.

ข่าวที่เกี่ยวข้อง “Oman launches new initiative ‘Towards United Human Values

This article was published in thejakartapost.com with the title “Oman launches new initiative ‘Towards United Human Values’”. Click to read: https://www.thejakartapost.com/adv/2019/11/18/oman-launches-new-initiative-towards-united-human-values.html.
Download The Jakarta Post app for easier and faster news access:
Android: http://bit.ly/tjp-android
iOS: http://bit.ly/tjp-ios
Total Page Visits: 966 - Today Page Visits: 1