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[ineb] VIIIth Congress of the UBCV

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  • jonaomi
    ... Jonathan Watts Togenji Terrace B Yamanouchi 868 Kamakura 247-0062 Tel/Fax: 81-467-44-9875 E-mail: jonaomi@ari.bekkoame.ne.jp VISIT THINK SANGHA AT:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5, 1999
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      > Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 08:05:25 -0400
      > From: Que Me - Vo Van Ai <queme@...>
      > Subject: VIIIth Congress of the UBCV
      > Sender: Que Me - Vo Van Ai <queme@...>
      > To: Blind.Copy.Receiver@...
      > MIME-Version: 1.0
      > Status: RO
      >
      > ----------------------------------------------------------
      > International Buddhist Information Bureau
      > 25 rue Jaffeux - 92230 Gennevilliers - France
      > Tel +33 1 47 93 10 81 - Fax +33 1 47 91 41 38
      > E-mail : queme@...
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > For Immediate Release
      > California, May 16th 1999
      >
      > Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam holds landmark VIII Congress l UBCV
      > leaders adopt blueprint by Thich Huyen Quang and Thich Quang Do on the
      >role
      > of Vietnamese Buddhism in the XXI century l Congress calls for the release
      > of UBCV leaders, democratic freedoms and the restoration of the Unified
      > Buddhist Church of Vietnam
      >
      > For the first time in 22 years, following directives sent clandestinely
      > >from Vietnam by the de-tained Patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of
      > Vietnam (UBCV) Venerable Thich Huyen Quang and UBCV Secretary General
      >Thich
      > Quang Do, Vietnamese Buddhists from all over the world met at the
      > International Buddhist Institute in North Hills, California from 14 - 16
      > May 1999 for the VIII Congress of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam.
      > The Congress concluded with a celebration of the Buddha's Birth at Santa
      > Ana, California with a gathering of 20,000 Buddhists and more than 200
      > prominent Buddhist monks and nuns from Vietnam, the US, Japan, Korea,
      > Burma, Thailand, Tibet, China, Laos and Cambodia.
      > This Congress marks a turning point for the UBCV, which has been the
      >target
      > of fierce relig-ious repression in Vietnam since 1975. With a
      >newly-elected
      > leadership and a new plan of action to address the challenges of the XXI
      > century, UBCV Buddhists have vowed to step up the role of Buddhism in the
      > movement for religious freedom and democracy, and for the restoration of
      > the UBVC in Vietnam.
      > The UBCV, which represents a 20-century tradition of Vietnamese Buddhism
      > and is adhered to by 80% of the population in Vietnam, held its first
      > Congress in 1964, when the name of "Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam"
      >was
      > officially adopted. Before this, Buddhism had been banned from functioning
      > as a Church under French Colonial Decree No. 10, which limited Buddhism to
      > the status of a mere association. In 1955, the UBCV's predecessor, the
      > General Association of Vietnam-ese Buddhists, was disbanded by Ho Chi
      > Minh's Government, its leaders arrested and a State-sponsored organisation
      > was set up in its place. In the South, after the end of the Vietnam war,
      > de-spite the Buddhists' progressive position in favour of peace, the
      > Communist authorities launched a widespread campaign to suppress the UBCV.
      > Repression reached such a height that 12 monks and nuns immolated
      > themselves in Can Tho on 2.11.1975 to call for and end to religious
      > persecution.
      > The UBCV Congress held its VIIth Congress at An Quang Pagoda on January
      > 23rd 1977. This was the last Congress to be held in Vietnam. Immediately
      > afterwards, the authorities clamped down on the UBCV, arresting virtually
      > all the UBCV leadership. Prominent monk Thich Thien Minh was tortured to
      > death by Security Police, Thich Huyen Quang and Thich Quang Do were
      > detained in solitary confinement for over 20 months. In November 1981, a
      > State-sponsored body, the Vietnam Buddhist Church (VBC) was set up by the
      > authorities and became the only officially-recognized Buddhist
      > organization. Although the Government never issued an official ban on the
      > UBCV, it con-tinued its campaign of repression, and for the next decade
      >the
      > UBCV was virtually reduced to si-lence, is leaders imprisoned, exiled or
      > under house arrest.
      > But the Government never succeeded in suppressing the UBCV. A turning
      >point
      > came in 1992, when Thich Don Hau, then UBCV Patriarch and Superior monk
      >of
      > the Linh Mu Pagoda in Hue, an active centre of Buddhist dissent, handed
      > over succession of the UBCV to Thich Huyen Quang and charged him to
      > organize the VIII UBCV Conference as soon as possible. The appointment of
      > Thich Huyen Quang, an outspoken dissident, detained under house arrest
      > since 1982, Thich Huyen Quang had become the symbol of an emerging
      >movement
      > for human rights and freedom in Vietnam. Whereas the UBCV had so far
      > limited its claims to religious freedom and the restoration of the UBCV,
      > Thich Huyen Quang gave a new dimension to the UBCV struggle, calling for
      > free elections, a multi-party system and democracy in Vietnam. The climate
      > of political repression prevented the UBCV from organizing the VIII
      > Congress immediately, but Thich Huyen Quang continued to make underground
      > preparations for this Congress to take place. The opportunity arose in
      > 1999, following the release of Thich Quang Do in a Government Amnesty. In
      > March 1999, Thich Quang Do trav-elled secretly to Quang Ngai to meet the
      > UBCV Patriarch. Thich Huyen Quang and Thich Quang Do drafted two important
      > declaration on the future orientations of the UBCV, and sent directives to
      > the UBCV Overseas to organize the VIII Conference overseas.
      > 209 leading monks and nuns from UBCV Overseas sections and delegates from
      > the Buddhist Youth Movement from all over the world, including USA,
      >Canada,
      > Europe, Asia and Australia met for this landmark VIII Congress. Delegates
      > approved the restructuring of UBCV structures at home and abroad. Thich
      > Huyen Quang, was officially confirmed as UBCV Patriarch ; Thich Quang Do
      >is
      > President of the Institute for the Propagation of the Dharma (Vien Hoa
      >Dao)
      > ; Thich Duc Nhuan, Adviser to the Executive Committee of the Institute for
      > the Propagation of the Dharma ; Thich Tue Sy, Vice-President and Secretary
      > General of the Institute for the Propagation of the Dharma ; Thich Ho
      >Giac,
      > Vice- President of the Institute for the Propagation of the Dharma, Head
      >of
      > the Overseas office of the UBCV.
      > The delegates attentively studied the "Orientations for Vietnamese
      >Buddhism
      > in the XXI .Century" by Thich Huyen Quang and the "Declaration to the VIII
      > UBCV Congress" by Thich Quang Do sent clandestinely from Vietnam. These
      > important texts, which give an overview of Vietnamese Buddhism's 2000
      > years of activities, struggles, achievements and hopes, were unani-mously
      > approved by the Congress as blueprints for expanding the historic role of
      > Buddhism in building a new world on the principles of peace, happiness and
      > harmony.
      > The Congress also confirmed its firm resolve to press for the right to
      > existence of the UBCV and for the release of all UBCV monks, nuns and
      > lay-followers detained in Vietnam on account of their religious beliefs.
      > Specifically, they called on the Vietnamese Government :
      > - to immediately and unconditionally release UBCV Patriarch Thich Huyen
      > Quang, detained without trial for 18 years ;
      > - to restore freedom of religious activities and restore full rights of
      > citizenship (residence per-mit, freedom of movement etc..) to all UBCV
      > monks and followers released in the Government am-nesties, i.e. Thich
      >Quang
      > Do, Thich Tue Sy, Thich Khong Tanh, Thich Nhat Ban ;
      > - to cease Police surveillance and blockades on UBCV Pagodas and lift all
      > arbitrary restrictions on the freedom of movement and harassment of UBVC
      > monks Thich Hai Tang, Thich Minh Tuan, Thich Dong Tru and the nun Thich Nu
      > Hanh Toan ;
      > - to restore the right to existence and full freedom of religious
      > activities to the UBCV.
      >

      Jonathan Watts
      Togenji Terrace B
      Yamanouchi 868
      Kamakura 247-0062
      Tel/Fax: 81-467-44-9875
      E-mail: jonaomi@...
      VISIT THINK SANGHA AT:
      http://www.bpf.org/think.html
      *******************************



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