The Buddhist Humanitarian Project: An Appeal to the Global Buddhist Community
The Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group traditionally resident in the Rakhine State in Myanmar, have fled their country because of the extreme violence directed against them by the Myanmar military. Their villages have been burnt, their people (including elders and children) shot in cold blood, and women subjected to sexual cruelty. The violence, sadly, has been supported by extremist Buddhist monks, contrary to the Buddha’s teachings on loving-kindness and communal harmony. Close to a million refugees have sought sanctuary in neighboring Bangladesh, where they are being accommodated in overcrowded, unsanitary makeshift camps with pressing needs for food and health care. The refugees want to return to Myanmar but are afraid for their safety.
The global Buddhist community has a responsibility to show that such violence is not the Buddhist way.
The Buddhist Humanitarian Project is an initiative of the Clear View Project, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Berkeley, California, under the leadership of Hozan Alan Senauke, former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. The project has launched a new website to garner support for the Rohingya refugees.
To learn more about this project and its activities, you can visit the website at:
At the website you can learn the various ways you can help to ameliorate this heartrending crisis.
- Among other things, you can sign a letter to the Myanmar State Sangha Council and government officials, urging them to reject the violence and support the refugees.
- You can donate to respected nonprofit organizations working on the ground in the Rohingya refugee camps. The website offers a list of reliable organizations.
- You can also share this information on social media and by email with friends and members of your sangha or community.
Your support can say to Rohingya peoples and to the world that the rain of the Buddha’s compassion falls on all beings equally.
To learn more about the crisis and how to support the refugees, visit:
Thank you, Bhikkhu Bodhi, for informing us (using the most compelling, convincing words) of our need to take immediate, compassionate action and for alerting us where such action can generate positive results. I intend to act immediately and decisively using the information you have provided.
With metta and karuna,
Thank you for posting about this. The letter is a great idea. It will hopefully be widely shared on Facebook which is an extremely popular platform in Myanmar.
People wanting to find out more about the role of religion in the Rohingya catastrophe may find a balanced in-depth report from 2014 by the East-West Centre interesting: just Google for “Contesting Buddhist Narratives: Democratization, Nationalism, and Communal Violence in Myanmar”.