Religions for Peace

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(19 November 2012 | Yangon, Myanmar)  

(Photo: RfP Myanmar Patron U Tin Thein Lwin escorting President Obama at the Shwedagon Pagoda)

RfP Myanmar - Pres Obama

Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim leaders of Religions for Peace (RfP) Myanmar met with US President Barak Obama during his historic visit to the country on 19 November 2012. The RfP Myanmar religious leaders present at the meeting, included: Venerable Sitagu Sayadaw (Buddhist leader); Mr. Hla Tun (Hindu leader and a member of the Investigation Commission on the Rakhine crisis); Al Haj U Aye Lwin (Chairman of Islamic Center of Myanmar); and Daw Yin Yin Maw (President of the Myanmar Council of Churches). 

Al Haj U Aye Lwin, the Islamic leader in RfP Myanmar stated “President Obama emphatically called for respect for human righs, rule of law, tolerance and respect for diversity. The Muslim community in Myanmar are pleased with the recent statement by President U Thein Sein, agreeing to these points and assuring that measures will be taken to address the issues.  RfP Myanmar should advocate for the implementation of such statement and the observance of international norms on citizenship and rule of law.” 

A prominent Buddhist leader and a patron of RfP Myanmar Venerable Sitagu Sayadaw noted that “All religions share the universal teachings of morality, charity, displine, pure mind, pure love, boundless compassion, good will, great tolerance and insight. If all religious leaders emphasized and followers practiced these universal values, violence and conflicts would be overcome.”

Officially inaugurated in September 2012, RfP Myanmar has engaged in interreligious advocacy calling for the cessation of violence in Rakhine state and its key members have been appointed to serve on the Investigation Commission on the Rakhine crisis. RfP Myanmar has also initiated strategic humanitarian assistance aimed at promoting inter-communal harmony in the conflict areas. RfP Myanmar has joined in a consortium of organizations addressing gender-based violence, maternal health and newborn care and HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States. An RfP Myanmar project to protect vulnerable children across the country is also being developed through the RfP Myanmar multi-religious taskforce on child protection.

(Photos: Left: RfP Myanmar Buddhist Leader Sitagu Sayadaw at the President Obama’s Address at the Yangon University

Right: RfP Myanmar Capacity Buidling Training and Child Protection Taskforce Meeting on 19 November)

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In the meetings with the US and Saudi Embassies during his visit to Myanmar, Rev. Kyoichi Sugino, RfP International Deputy Secretary General, commended the concrete interreligious advocacy and action by RfP Myanmar and noted “strengthening the Myanmar’s heritage of  multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies should be the basis for a genuine development and a lasting peace and prosperity in the country.” 

Religions for Peace Myanmar consists of Myanmar’s major religious organizations, including the Buddhist Sitagu Sayadaw community; the Ratana Metta Buddhist Organization; the Myanmar Council of Churches (MCC); the Catholic Church; the Hindu Community in Myanmar; and the Islamic Center of Myanmar.

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For more information, please contact:

Ms. Valerie Nash
Tel: +1212-687-2163   | Fax: +1 212-983-0098 | www.religionsforpeace.org | E-mail: vnash@religionsforpeace.org


RELIGIONS FOR PEACE—the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition—advances common action among the world’s religious communities for peace. Religions for Peace works to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies, and protect the earth. The global Religions for Peace network comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders from all regions of the world; six regional inter-religious bodies and more than eighty national ones; and the Global Women of Faith Network and Global Interfaith Youth Network.

777 United Nations Plaza | New York, NY 10017 USA | Tel: +1 212-687-2163 | Fax: +1 212-983-0098 | www.religionsforpeace.org

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