The Thai Government and NGOs are taking the International Year of Peace seriously at least for the time being. Particularly in August, there were many meetings, seminars, – exhibitions at many campuses. Buddhist and Christian Universities took part ecumenically. Muslims too were involved positively, at national as well as international levels. In some provincial towns local events also took place. There is an effort to have 16th August as a national day of peace. If that could be achieved, Thai militaism may be decreased and real democracy may be the order of the day.
More significantly, the Ven. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu devoted the whole Buddhist Lent (from 21 July-17 October) to give a series of lectures every Saturday on the theme of peace. And the Pridi Banomyong Foundation has a wonderful research project on Peace Studies Programme 1986-1987 : A Quest for Peace in Thai Society. Hopefully these will help stimulating seeds of peace to grow as trees of peace in the jungle of violent atmosphere.
The United Nations University has a Sub – Programme on Peace and Global Transformation. Under its Regional and Global Studies Division, one of the activities is Visions of Desirable Societies of Religious and Ethical System. In our last two issues, we have already mentioned some of the Buddhist Visions. Hopefully, more will be forth-coming from other religious traditions.Vol.2-No.3-September-2529-1986