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Action call by APA
April 13, 1998
[Global non-violent awakening, thanks to the creative and daring roles
played by several people who defied threat, death, punitive action, and
willingly accepted suffering and even long years of imprisonment, has been
among the major contributions of this century. Human rights violation and
denial of natural justice to millions of fellow men and women in different
parts of the world are yet to become the focus of the non-violent
A seminar on "Theory and Practice of Non-violence" was organized by
Association of Peoples of Asia (APA) in Delhi from 2-4-98 to 4-4-98. 50
nonviolent soldiers from 6 Asian countries participated in 3-day seminar.
The papers presented and discussed were:
1. The surging flame of nonviolence since Gandhi by Prof. N.
2. Islam and nonviolence by M. H. Qureshi.
3. Violence and nonviolence and Nonviolence and compassion (Dalai Lama)
presented by Prof. S. Rimpoche.
4. Aung San Suu Kyi and nonviolent movement in Burma by Dr. Tint Swe.
5. Nonviolence-Christian endeavor by Father Bento Rodrigues.
6. Peace is not merely absence of war by Dr. Ramjee Singh.
7. Nonviolence and anti-Vietnam War movements in the US by D. N. Banerjee.
8. Successful anti-nuclear movement in Kzakistan by Ms. Urkyz Ilieva.
9. Women-the mission of non-violence by Mrs. Ranjana V. Bobde.
10. Nonviolence and emancipation of the Harijans by Prof. S. K. Sanyal.
11. Nonviolence and Western Pacific movement by C. A. Menon.
12. Tibetan women in nonviolence by Mrs. Tesring Tsomo.
[Gandhi developed a method of non-violence for attaining social and
political justice apart from religious and moral perfection.]
The seminar, then gave birth the "Co-ordination committee for
non-violence" to launch the action plan jointly in Asian countries. The
committee meeting held on 9-4-98 decided to initiate the action plan on
non-violence for a year. As for the first initiative, 8 days were chosen
when the same simple action would be taken simultaneously in many Asian
countries. These days are:
1. The Buddha's birthday (BudJayanti) on 11-5-98 (10-5-98 in Burma)
2. The birthday of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on 19-6-98
3. The birthday of His Holliness the Dalai Lama on 6-7-98
4. The birthday of Mahatama Gandhi on 2-10-98
5. The New Year Day of China according to Chinese calendar (October 1998).
6. Christmas Eve on 24-12-98.
7. The New Year Day of Central Asia (Navroz) on 21-3-98
8. The New Year Day of Burma according to Burmese calendar (April 17/18,
* On these days, the people of Asian countries would be encouraged to
assemble at public places of worship or education centers and pray
collectively for "Peace, Non-violence and Justice" according to their own
belief or traditions while 111 (candle) lights will be illuminated at
[If non-violence implies non-killing or even non-injury, perfect
non-violence is impossible. What we can do is to do our best to minimize
violence. It becomes that non-violence is not only non-killing or
non-injury, but also an inner feeling of the mind and heart. It means "the
largest love and the greatest charity" or "infinite patience and infinite
love". Even non-cooperation of Gandhi had its roots not in hatred, but in
* This kind of action is less political and not hazardous at the hands of
oppressive authorities. It is a solidarity movement among the peoples of
Asia for the noble cause. We would perform it with love, not anger.
[This action can be applied to Buddha's teaching of the four Sublime
States: (Brahama-vihara): (1) extending unlimited, universal love and
good-will (metta) to all living beings without any kind of discrimination,
(2) compassion (karuna) for all living beings who are suffering, in
trouble and affliction; (3) sympathetic joy (mudhita) in others' success,
welfare and happiness; and (4) equanimity (upekkha) in all vicissitudes of
life. And this is what Christ said "Love thine enemies" and so on.]
* The people do not need to say or shout against anybody while performing
the action. This is just a quiet prayer service and entirely of
non-violence in nature. But the most important point to bear in mind of
the people is realization of powers they posses; that non-violence means
active mechanism and it reflects bravery, not weakness.
[Violence is the expression of fear. Vengeance too is weakness, while
forgiveness is the extreme limit of bravery. Gandhi always said,
"Non-violence and cowardice go ill together." To him, violence is better
than cowardice. So non-violence is virtue of the brave and not the cult of
passive, effeminate and helpless submission.]
* This is neither to provoke the people inside respective countries nor to
embarrass the rulers. But the people will discover that they are not alone
for the cause of peace and justice and they will perceive that they are
* This simple small step will certainly lead to a thousand miles.
* All pro-democracy groups and individuals around the world are appealed
to take part and to help implementing the action call by various possible
* All broadcasting stations, RFA, BBC, VOA and DVB are kindly requested to
set aside suitable time for non-violence. Feature and interview programs
on non-violence will be appreciated.
Experts and consultants on non-violence are:
1. Ms. Nirmala Deshpandey, Tel/Fax: +91 11 388-5044
2. Gene Sharp and Bruce Jenkins, Albert Einstein Institution, Tel: +1 617
876-0311; Fax: +1 617 876-0837; <einstein@xxxxxxxxxxx>
3. R. L. Helvey, +1 304 744-9085, <rhelvey@xxxxxxxxxxx>
4. Mike Mitchell, Program Officer, IRI, Tel: +1 202 408-9450, Fax: +1 202
5. Michael Beer, Nonviolence International, Tel: +1 202 244-0951, Fax: +1
202 244-6396; <mbeer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
6. Prof. S. Rimpoche, C/o Bureau of H. H. the Dalai Lama, # 10, Ring Road,
Lajpat Nagar-IV, New Delhi 24, Tel: +91 11 647-3386, 647-4798
For more information:
Ms. Nirmala Deshpandey, MP (India), Tel/Fax: +91 11 388-5044
Dr. Tint Swe, MP (Burma), Tel/Fax: +91 11 555-7193
Mr. Ramjeet Verma, (CNAB), Tel: +91 11 561-2616; Fax: +91 11 551-7871
Dr. Zaw Win Aung, (FTUB), Tel/Fax: +91 11 562-3759;