By Ibrahim Sheme
A watershed event that promises to lead to the cessation of sectarian violence in Thailand took place recently. It took place on January 31, 2017 with making an elaborate hand-printing of the country’s flag as a symbol of peace at Asawittaya school in Bangkok, the nation’s capital city. Over 1,300 participants comprising students, parents, teachers and other citizens, the event was held to boost civic awareness for peace and encourage participation in peace activities of the local communities in Thailand.
The grand event was organised by a non-governmental organisation, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), and its supporting group, the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG), with the purpose of spreading a culture of peace.
The programme kicked off with watching of videos introducing the two organisations and the second commemoration of the WARP Summit. After that, the students performed a dance show with the theme of longing for peace and made a hand printing of country’s national flag. The event enabled participants to think about being a Thai and ingrain the sense of patriotism.
President of Namobuddhaya Club and IWPG Peace Ambassador, Ms. Aphinita Chaichana, said, “This is a great beginning in Thailand. I have been very happy to cooperate with IWPG, IPYG and HWPL. After this event, I am sure that many people in Thailand will know and be interested in the culture of peaceful life. And I will try to make peaceful Thailand and peaceful world step by step.”
Founded in 2012, the HWPL has the primary goal of achieving world peace and the cessation of war. With over 70 branches in Korea and another 100 branches around the world, the NGO, in conjunction with the IWPG and the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), is actively working to bring all wars to an end.
To pursue this goal in a practical way, HWPL is taking steps to establish an enforceable law based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) proclaimed on 14 March, 2016. In addition, it operates 194 World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) offices in 104 countries to resolve religious conflicts, which takes 80% of all ongoing wars.
The Malay/Muslim conflicts, caused by historical background and religious differences in the southern part of Thailand, is still going on today. People hope to see how the efforts of HWPL, which has planted the seed of peace in Bangkok, will yield results on the settlement of the dispute in the region.