Statement on Buddhist-led violence against Muslims in Burma/Myanmar 2017

This was a Triratna News post on 12th September 2017, bringing together two publications we would like to make available here.

One is a written statement signed by senior members of the Order including Bhante; the other is a BBC radio broadcast from Vishvapani earlier today.

It is a Triratna principle that no one of us can speak for all, which means this Statement is a personal statement signed individually by senior Order members and local Order members and Mitras. It is not a ‘Triratna statement’.

Statement on Buddhist-led violence against Muslims in Burma/Myanmar 2017

As a Buddhist, I am utterly opposed to the encouragement of violence and discrimination against Muslims in Burma
and elsewhere in the name of Buddhism.
Violence and discrimination led by Buddhists against non-Buddhist minorities is also well documented in other
countries, including Sri Lanka.
There can be no Buddhist justification for such violence. To engage in or incite violence motivated by hatred and
prejudice goes against the teachings of the Buddha and is a fundamental breach of Buddhist ethical principles,
including Buddhist monastic vows.
In particular, the five ethical precepts taught by the Buddha express the principle of ahimsa, or non-harming. They
are an undertaking to train in compassion – in our actions, in our words and even in thought.
Furthermore, the Buddha urged his followers to cultivate loving kindness – not simply for one’s family or ethnic
group, but for strangers and those with whom we are in dispute.
• I urge all Buddhists, including my Burmese brothers and sisters, to join me in expressing abhorrence of violence
led by Buddhists.
• I urge Burmese Buddhist leaders to do everything in their power to halt the anti-Muslim violence in their country.
• I also urge Burmese Buddhist leaders to take immediate action to call to account Buddhist monks who have
encouraged or taken part in violence or discrimination, physical or verbal.
• I call upon the government of Myanmar (Burma) to allow: freedom of movement to all citizens including Muslims;
unlimited access to humanitarian aid for all displaced citizens; and the immediate release of all detained
Muslims unless charged with an internationally recognised crime.

Signed in a personal capacity,
Venerable Urgyen Sangharakshita, Founder of the Triratna Buddhist Order, UK
Dhammachari Amrutdeep, Member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, Public Preceptor & Order Convenor,
Dharmachari Dhammarati, Member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, Public Preceptor, UK and North
Dharmachari Mahamati, Member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, Public Preceptor, UK
Dharmacharini Parami, Member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, Public Preceptor, UK, Spain and Latin
Dharmachari Saddhaloka, Member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, Public Preceptor, UK
Dharmachari Subhuti, Member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, Public Preceptor, UK and India
Dhammacharini Vijaya, Member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, Private Preceptor, India

Also signed in a personal capacity by members of Highland Triratna Buddhist Community
Dharmacharini Satyapada
Dharmacharini Padmolka
Dharmacharini Saddhavati
Dharmacharini Sridakini
Dharmacharini Maitrihridaya
GFR Mitra Alison Shearer
GFR Mitra Gerry Beasley
GFR Mitra Teen Ross
Mitra Sara Bradley
Mitra Rosemary Smith
Mitra Johanna Schuster
Dharmacharini Animisha
GFR Mitra Alan Richards
GFR Mitra Liz Long

The Triratna Buddhist Order (formerly the Western Buddhist Order) was founded in London, UK in 1968 by the
Venerable Urgyen Sangharakshita. It is a worldwide Buddhist order numbering over 2000 women and men in 28 countries
including India.

Below is the talk given by Visvapani on Radio 4 ‘Thought for the Day’.


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