[OPE] World Buddhist Forum opens in eastern Chinese city

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Sun Mar 29 2009 - 10:27:57 EDT

World Buddhist Forum opens in eastern Chinese city
March 28, 2009

The Second World Buddhist Forum opened Saturday in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi with more than 1,700 Buddhist monks and scholars from about 50 countries and regions putting their heads together to discuss how Buddhism can contribute to building a harmonious world.

"Buddhism is a religion boasting its openness and tolerance. Ever since he founded the religion, Buddha had advocated his ethic position -- equality of all living beings as well as harmony and amicability," Du Qinglin, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), told the opening ceremony held in the gigantic Buddhist Palace in the Lingshan Mountain.

"We anticipate that the Buddhism circle in the world will continue to carry forward the spirit of 'harmony and synergy', manifest the feelings of mercy and compassion, reclaim people's internal spirits, help resolve the difficulties so as to promote the harmonious coexistence between man and nature, man and society, man to man as well as man's internal world," said Du, also head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

He said the world is confronted with the financial crisis, social contradictions, culture shock and environment contamination, and "in order to persist in 'harmony and synergy' and co-create harmony, we are called upon to depend on the people's welfare, hold high the banner of human progress undertakings and create promising perspective for world peace development."

"We should respect diversities on the basis of equal treatment, strengthen mutual understanding through communications and achieve common progress while making up for each other's deficiencies," he said.

"The Chinese people have always been unswervingly holding high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, pursuing the opening strategy of mutual benefits and win-win outcome, actively developing the exchanges and cooperation with the countries all over the world, positively participating in coping with the international financial crisis, committing themselves to promoting world's economic growth and progress of human civilization and working together with people across the world to establish a harmonious world featuring lasting peace and common prosperity," he added.

During the five-day event, the participants will exchange ideas on how to better preserve Buddhist music and the Tripitaka, which is considered as the encyclopedia of Buddhist culture. They will also talk about the relationship between Buddhism and science, Buddhism and public welfare, Buddhism and environment protection, and other topics.

In addition to seminars, a series of exhibitions on Buddhist relics, porcelain, handicrafts, photos and calligraphy will be held during the forum.

The forum, with the theme of "A harmonious world, a synergy of conditions," was jointly organized by the Buddhist Association of China, the Buddha's Light International Association, the Hong Kong Buddhist Association, and the China Religious Culture Communication Association.

The forum will be held in two parts, with the first part to be held from March 28 to 29 in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. The participants will move to Taipei by four direct charter flights on March 30, where the second part of the forum will be held from March 31 to April 1.

Such an arrangement is viewed as another sign of improved relations between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Source: Xinhua

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