International Buddhist leaders urge Burmese to show compassion for Rohingyas

International Buddhist leaders urge Burmese to show compassion for Rohingyas by Mizzima မဇၩိမ on  December 8, 2012

Seventeen Buddhist leaders from around the world—plus His Excellency the Dalai Lama in absentia—have issued a statement urging Buddhists in Burma to show mutual respect and compassion to Muslims in Rakhine State.

Burmese Buddhist monks rally on the streets of Mandalay on Sunday, September 2, 2012 as they support the country’s president, Thein Sein, who has called for the deportation of members of the Muslim minority Rohingyas, who live in Rakhine State. Photo: AFP

The statement comes after many Buddhist monks and abbots led demonstrations and advocated the removal of the Muslim Rohingya community from Burmese soil.


“We are concerned about the growing ethnic violence and the targeting of Muslims in Rakhine State and the violence against Muslims and others across the country,” the statement said. “The Burmese are a noble people, and Burmese Buddhists carry a long and profound history of upholding the Dharma.


“We wish to reaffirm to the world and to support you in practicing the most fundamental Buddhist principles of non-harming, mutual respect and compassion.”


The letter was signed by the following:

Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee



Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

President Buddhist Global Relief

(world’s foremost translator of the Pali Canon)

Sri Lanka/USA


Dr. AT Ariyaratne

Founder Nationwide Sarvodaya Movement

Ghandi Peace Prize Laureate

Sri Lanka


Ven. Chao Khun Raja Sumedhajahn

Elder, Ajahn Chah Monasteries

Wat Ratanavan, Thailand


Ven. Phra Paisal Visalo

Chair Buddhika Network Buddhism and Society



Ven. Arjia Rinpoche VIII

Abbot Tibetan Mongolian Cultural Center



Ven. Shodo Harada Roshi

Abbot Sogenji Rinzai Zen Monastery



Achariya Professor J Simmer Brown

Chairperson Buddhist Studies

Naropa Buddhist University



Ven. Ajahn Amaro Mahathera

Abbot Amaravati Vihara



Ven. Hozan A Senauke

International Network of Engaged Buddhists



Younge Khachab Rinpoche VIII

Abbot Younge Drodul Ling



Ven. Sr. Thich Nu Chan Kong

President Plum Village Zen temples



Dr. Jack Kornfield Vipassana Achariya

Convener Western Buddhist Teachers Council



Lama Surya Das

Dzogchen Foundation International

Vajrayana Tibet/USA


Ven. Zoketsu N. Fischer Soto Roshi

Fmr. Abbot largest Zen community in the West



Tulku Sherdor Rinpoche

Director BI. Wisdom Institute



Professor Robert Tenzin C. Thurman

Center for Buddhist Studies

Columbia University



HH the XIV Dalai Lama

Nobel Laureate



Though not able to be reached in time to sign this letter, HH the Dalai Lama has publicly and repeatedly stated his concern about the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. He urges everyone to continue to practice non-violence and retain the religious harmony that is central to our ancient and revered culture.

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