Last year, we celebrated the centenaries of Mr. Direk Jayanama (18 January 2005) and Mr. Kularb Saipradith (31 March 2005). We also had a big event on the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Peace (16 August 2005)—not only within Siam. We sent a group of artists and intellectuals to London to conscientise the Thai public there to be aware of the three above mentioned dates. During WWII, a number of Thai patriots there joined the Free Thai Movement under the leadership of Mr. Pridi Banomyong, who was therefore able to proclaim peace in the name of H.M. King Rama VIII, which meant that the allies accepted our independence despite the fact that the dictatorial regime under Field Marshal Pibulsongkram had declared war against the UK and the US.
This year we will celebrate the centenary of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa on 27 May 2006. He was the first Thai monk to be recognized internationally by UNESCO. Although H.R.H. Prince Patriarch Paramanujit had been honoured by UNESCO earlier, it was mainly due to his great talent as a poet, rather than as a member of the Sangha; whereas Bhikkhu Buddhadasa’s role of a renunciate is most renowned, and he had challenged mainstream economism and globalism. We will dedicate the next issue almost entirely to the Servant of the Buddha.Vol.22-No.1-Jan.-Apr.-2549-2006_compressed