Upon visiting the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh Buddhist leaders have announced the launch of an international appeal to halt Myanmar’s “policy of violence” and increase humanitarian assistance to the victims.
“We are greatly disturbed by what many see as slander and distortion of the Buddha’s teachings,” the appeal said. The hatred, systematic persecution and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people “stand in stark contradiction to monastic percepts and Buddha’s teachings on universal morality, peace and tolerance.”
The appeal, adressed to Myanmar’s top Buddhist council, has already been signed by hundreds of Buddhist leaders and teachers in over fifteen countries, including Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, Buddhist Global Relief; Jack Kornfield, Spirit Rock Meditation Centre; Pema Chodron, Gampo Abbey; Phra Paisal Visalo, Wat Pasukato; and Jamie Cresswell, European Buddhist Union. The appeal was opened this week to all Buddhist worldwide for their signatures.
The appeal urges the global Buddhist community to give generously to the international humanitarian effort. It includes links for donations to organizations providing frontline assistance to the refugees.
“What we have seen in these camps makes the heart weep,” said Buddhist teacher Hozan Alan Senauke, vice-abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center. “Our appeal makes it possible for Buddhists everywhere to speak out and give practical support to the victims of this catastrophe,” said Richard Reoch, former president of Shambhala, an international Buddhist organization with members in over 50 countries.
Both Buddhist leaders are part of a 16-member interfaith delegation organized by the International Interfaith Peace Corps – http://www.iipcnet.org — which visited the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh this week.
This international appeal can be accessed by visiting its website launched this week: https://www.buddhisthumanitarianproject.org