Having numerous disciples all over the world, the Supreme Master Ching Hai participated in the International Human Rights Conference held at the Taipei International Convention Center on May 25 evening. Her aim was to extend urgent succor to the persecuted refugees, especially the Au Lace refugees detained in Hong Kong, and to eliminate the brutal atmosphere that humans inflict upon each other. From over twenty countries, about 5 thousand representatives, influential politicians, reporters and concerned humanitarians assembled in Taipei for the spectacular event. They included representatives of the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations, and various organizations from Canada, U.S.A., Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Sweden, Finland, England, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Africa, etc. The Formosa Legislator Lin Cheng Chieh expressed, "Ever since our nation withdrew from the United Nations, this is the first time personages from so many countries gathering in Taipei. Thanks You, Supreme Master Ching Hai, for bringing this blessing to our country."
This conference is organized by the International Federation For Human Rights and the World Cultural Communication Association, convened by the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations, and hosted by Mrs. Barbara Finch, Chairperson of the International Federation for Human Rights, and Mr. Chen Hung Kwang, General Secretary of the World Cultural Communication Association. Many Formosan political celebrities were present, including: Taipei Legislators Mr. Lin Cheng Chieh and Ms. Hsie Chi Ta; Yunlin County Legislator Mr. Lin Jui Ching; Kaohsiung County Legislator Mr. Lin Shou Hsan; Kao Pin Legislator Mr. Hua Chia Chih; Chairman of the National Congress Representatives Chairpersons' Assembly, Mr. Chang Fu Hsing; National Assembly Deputy Mr. Lin Hsi Hou, Mr. Du Wen Chin and Mr. Su Fang Chang; Hualien County Councilor Mr. Chen Jun Hwa; Deputy General Secretary of the Judicial Yuan Mr. Lin Kuo Hsien; Mr. Lin Zhong Zheng, Special Deputy to the Director of the Democratic Progressive Party Mr. Shi Min De; Section Chief of the International Organizations Department of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Mr. Le Chen Ran; Advisor of the Ministry of Economic Affairs Mr. Kao Chen Yi; Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs Ms. Lin Mei Zhen; Director of Bureau of International Culture & Education Relations Mr. Yu Yah Chao; Mr. Ko Si Hsien of Taipei Traffic Bureau; Section Chief of Social Affairs of the Formosan Provincial Government, Mr. Hu Mu Lan; Mayor of Ma Gong City, Mr. Yang Guo Fu; Director of the Chinese Women's Democratic Party Ms. Wu Si Huei and the vice commissioner of their central office Mr.Chen Fa Huei; Secretary of the Civil Aeronautics Administration Mr. Yuei Jin; Former Confidential Secretary of the President's Office Mr. Tang He Lin; Senior Consultant of the President's Office and Director of the World League for Freedom and Democracy (R.O.C. Chapter) Mr. Chao Tze Chi; Mr. Hwang Lo Bin and Mr. Wu Chuan Seng; Co-chairperson of the U.S. National Republican Party, Asian Section Ms. Xiao Min Hua; Director of the Florida, state of USA, Office in Taipei Mr. and Mrs. Richard Chen; General Secretary of Taipei Economic and Cultural Rep. Office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mr. Ting Wei Tzi; Commissioner of Data Management of R.O.C. Directorate General of Customs Mr. Wang Lin Jiu and Assistant Director Mr. Auyang Min; Deputy Commissioner of the St. Vincent Inland Revenue Department Mr. Carlos James; Deputy Commissioner of the Swaziland Inland Revenue Department Mr. Alpheus T. Mdluli; Representative from Secretary Office of the Asian Pacific League for Freedom and Democracy Mr. Tsao Kong Fu; Chairman of the Life Line International in R.O.C. Mr. Jung Tzu Hao; Executive Director of the Chinese Alliance for Democratic Reform Mr. Fung Hu Hsiang; Chief of Market Promotion of Rong Dien Company Mr. Oung Yien Xiang; Broadcasting directors of the China Television Company Mr. Chen Chuan Zhen and Mr. Chen Chuan Wen; Director of the National Elderlys' Association Mr. Hong Wen Ching; Mr. Hsui Gong Guo of the Formosa Red Heart Association; From the social welfare groups, Mr. Peng Jien Fa, Mr. Su Xin Jin, Ms. Chen Fang Ji, Ms. Wu Jin Lan, Ms. Su Xin Yi; Managing Director of the Hung Guo Constructions Mr. and Mrs. Le Hong Zhong; Chief Manager of the Tai Shan Cultural Enterprise Co., Ltd. Mr. Yang Sheng.
The following is the congratulatory telegram from Mr. Hau Pei Tsun, Senior Consultant of the President's Office:
To the International Federation for Human Rights and the World Cultural Communication/Association,
I am glad to hear that your establishments are holding an International Human Rights Conference in Taipei to help save the Au Lacese refugees, and announce the World Human Rights Proclamation to promulgate international justice and humanity. Please accept my deepest admiration and support for the success of your conference.
Hau Pei Tsun,
Senior Consultant of the President's Office May 25
Many VIP's were present that day. Reporters and representatives from major foreign media included: Mr. Stephen James Goodden, Editor of the Canadian CKSL-1410 Radio and Columnist of the SCENE; Mr. Vincent Dupont, Reporter of the French Figaro News; Mr. Jean Claud Carton, General Secretary of the Here & Now Radio Station in France; Mr. Le Trung Cang, Former Chairman of the French Protecting the Boat People Action Committee; Mr. Son Chung Mu, President and Publisher of the Inside the World Magazine in Korea; Miss Rindang Herawati, Reporter of the Indonesian Jawa Post; Mr. Suprihadi, Foreign reporter and editor of the Indonesian Harian Surya News; Mr. Moxa Nadeak, Reporter of the Indonesian Suara Pembaruan News; Mr. F. A. Prasetyo, Reporter and broadcasting director of the Indonesian RCTI Television and his photographer Mr. Groda; Mr. Joe Lad Santos, Chief Editor of the Philipino Reporter Magazine; Dr. and Mrs. Rene G. Santos, Chairman of the Asian Pacific Youth Freedom League (Philippine Chapter); Mr. Ho Ky, President of the Hai-Ninh Community Association in California, USA; Ms. Paz Huneeus, Staff of the United Nations in New York; Dr. Richard Schneider, Director of the Radio for Peace International and Principal of the University of Global Education in Oregon, and his photographer Mr. Raymond Dukes; Mr. Do Van Tron, Editor and director of the San Jose Vien Thao TV & Radio in the U.S.; Mr. Jim Proper and Mr. John Navin, President and staff of the Arizona Lutheran Social Ministry; Ms. Mary Hoppin, Advertising & Circulation Director of the Arizona “Current” monthly newspaper; Mr. Vu Thu Trong, Intake technician for refugee program of the Houston Community College SYSTEM, Texas, USA; Ms. Candance Sutton, Reporter of the Sun Herald Newspaper in Sydney, Australia; Ms. Mary Mcnish, Secretary of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties in Sydney; Mr. David Giang, Publisher of the Morning Sun ("Chieu Duong") newspaper in Australia; Mr. Cheong King-Bo, Life Consultant of the Tan Hua Temple and the Chinese Buddhist Association in Hawaii; Mr. Leow Chi Quon from the United Chinese Press in Hawaii; Reporter Kwang Shao Zhen from the Au Lac Chinese News in the U.S.; Reporter Chen Shu Chuan from the Chung Hsing Newspaper in the U.S.; Mr. Vu Khoi, Chief Editor of the Ngay Mai Magazine in California; Mr. Alfredo Gabot, Journalist and foreign news editor of the "Manila Bulletin" in the Philippines.
The conference hall was packed by VIP's and fellow practitioners from all countries. They were formally dressed in a solemn and dignified manner. Before the conference, the Supreme Master Ching Hai had dinner with the guests and members of the press. She courteously chatted with each guest who greeted Her, and allowed them to take photographs if they requested. The atmosphere was most harmonious.
Shortly after, the Supreme Master Cing Hai entered the conference hall wearing a stately and elegant Au Lac outfit in silvery white. Everybody applauded warmly to welcome Her. The audience then rose and sang the national anthems of the Republic of China and U.S.A. The hosts, Mrs. Barbara Finch, Chairperson of the International Federation for Human Rights, and Mr. Chen Hung Kwang, General Secretary of the World Cultural Communication Association gave speeches on the stage. Mrs Barbara Finch said, “There are recently about thirty million refugees in the world. Since all human beings on earth came from the same “God”, we should solve the problem of the world's refugees with love and wisdom.” She and the leaders of many other international organizations unanimously praised the Supreme Master Ching Hai for Her efforts in striving for the refugees.
The Formosa Legislator Mr. Lin Cheng Chieh also spoke. He stressed that, as Formosa is fighting her way into the international political circle, efforts should be made to grant the Au Lacese refugees the right of abode in R.O.C. Besides, Formosa has great need for a foreign work force now. The slow growing population and the increasing number of emigrants make it possible to accommodate these refugees. He is going to present this proposal to the Legislative Yuan, and his opinion was greatly supported by the people present. The Chairman of the National Congress Chairpersons' Assembly Mr. Chang Fu Hsing, the publisher of the Morning Sun News and the representative of the Korean Inside the World Magazine also spoke.
Mrs. Barbara Finch and Mr. Chen Hung Kwang then presented the Supreme Master Ching Hai the World Humanitarian Leadership Award, commending Her efforts for the refugees. They invited Her to be the Honorable Advisor in Chief of the International Federation for Human Rights, hoping that She would guide their humanitarian work with Her wisdom and experience. Master also received the World Citizen Humanitarian Award from Dr. Richard Schneider, Director of the Radio for Peace International and the University of Global Education. Mrs. Amy Santos and Dr. Rene G. Santos, Chairman of the Asian Pacific Youth Freedom League in the Philippines, awarded Master the Humanitarian Paragon Medal. To expressing her highest respect, Mrs. Barbara Finch gave Master a painting as gift.
Urged by the endless applause from the audience, the Supreme Master Ching Hai then gave a speech. She said that She always feels shy when receiving any award, as Her personal honor could not replace the sufferings in the world. Should it be possible to save the suffering beings, She would be ready to die immediately on that very day. If each family is willing to open their door and accept one refugee, the refugee problem would not exist.
The Supreme Master Ching Hai pointed out, because the Au Lacese refugees have been pushed around in the international community for almost twenty years, thousands of refugees are and have been living in prolonged agony. Therefore, She contacted many governments in the world proposing solutions. Should any country agree to accommodate the refugees, She would offer all of Her properties of about five to six million U.S. dollars, in addition to a fixed monthly supplement of several hundred U.S. dollars, to sustain the living of the refugees until they can stand on their own. The refugees can also benefit the economic growth of their residing country. The project is beneficial to both parties.
Talking about the violent oppression of the refugees by the Hong Kong Government, the Supreme Master Ching Hai wept several times. She explained that the physical body is ephemeral. Everything is over for the refugees after they die, but not for the world. The conscience of the world is extinguished, so is the spirit of all the leading religions. As a result, the infliction and wars between humans would never end.
However, the Supreme Master also said that She was glad to see in the conference so many compassionate people from Formosa and other countries who would strive for the refugees. She wished human beings would love and help each other in the twenty-first century, thus put an end to homeless refugees.
The guests present were moved to tears by Master's intense compassion for the refugees. They rose and applauded showing their respect. The scene was touching.
The conference continued to show video tapes about the refugees in the world. There are still wars going on in Africa, in Angola and Rwanda, etc. producing hundreds of thousands of refugees. Many have died of hunger and injuries. They are waiting for the helping hands of the free world. The next video was the narration by the Au Lacese refugees in Hong Kong, depicting how they escaped from Au Lac, and about their lives in the camps. They underwent all the hardships fleeing from Au Lac, only to be greeted by the barbed wire fences of their long desired “free world”. This reminded them of the terrifying imprisonment by the Communists, and they were extremely frightened. The Au Lacese people in the camps are very anxious and restless, not knowing why they would encounter such inhuman treatment in the free world. Growing up in the confined space inside the camps, the refugees' children have not developed in a healthy way, both in body and mind. Their refugee parents are very worried. What appeared next on the screen was the terrifying live recording of the tanks and troops raiding the refugee camp. It revealed that the camp was raided by Hong Kong Government troops several years ago. Narrating the nightmare of that memory, the refugees looked very grave. After watching these live recordings of the refugees, the audience was most upset by the distressful situation of the refugees.
After that, representatives of the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations presented over 1.3 million appealing signatures to Mr. Chang Fu Hsing, Chairman of the Formosan National Congress Representatives Chairpersons' Assembly, and other representatives, requesting them to convey to the President the intention of the people.
The conference approved the Human Rights Proclamation drafted by the Supreme Master Ching Hai. The Proclamation mentioned: Cause when all beings on this planet help and protect one another, the earth is elevated to Heavenly standard. And the loving atmosphere would embrace the whole world. How wonderful for us and for our children to live in such a paradise while we even have this physical body. This could be possible if all of us do unto others what we want done to ourselves. Give others what God grants us when they lack and ask for it. The more we give the more we will gain, this is the secret law of “supply and demand”.
The people present then signed to support the Au Lacese refugees. These thousands of pleading letters will be sent to President Clinton of the United States, and the United Nations. This signature campaign will be held around the world, hoping to evoke the world's concern for the refugees.
The conference was concluded in a solemn and dignified atmosphere. Under the influence of the Supreme Master Ching Hai's love, we believe the conscience of the whole humankind will be awakened. The world will head towards peace, and the problem of the refugees will soon be solved smoothly!
Talking About The Sufferings Of Her Compatriots, She Wept Three Times
The Supreme Master Ching Hai Presented A Touching Speech On The
International Human Rights Conference
Some four or five thousand people concerned about human rights came from all parts of the world gathered last night at the Taipei International Convention Center to hold an International Human Rights Conference of which the purpose is to save refugees in the whole world, especially the Au Lac refugees. Having disciples both overseas and in Formosa, the Supreme Master Ching Hai wept three times during Her speech on the sufferings of the Au Lac refugees, and touched all people present.
The Conference approved an International Human rights Proclamation, declaring that "When all beings on this planet are helping and protecting one another, the earth is elevated to heavenly standard. The loving atmosphere would embrace the whole world." The host is going to present the over 1.1 million signatures collection, of all nationalities appealing for the Au Lac refugees, to the United States President Clinton and the United Nations, so as to evoke the world's concern to the refugees issue.
Organized by the International Federation for Human Rights and the World Cultural communication Association, and convened by the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations, the International Human Rights Conference commenced at 8:00 p.m. last evening. It resembled a miniature United Nations, with participants from the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, France, Australia, Indonesia, Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Switzerland, etc. Ladies and gentlemen, ceremoniously wearing their national costumes, arrived at the convention hall either alone or with companions, with some even coming in groups. Most of them were disciples of the Supreme Master Ching Hai.
Mrs. Barbara, chairperson of the International Federation for Human Rights, expressed in her speech that there are about thirty million refugees in the world at present and that as all human beings on the earth came from the same “God,” we are obliged to solve the refugees' problems with love and wisdom. She and several leaders of other international organizations unanimously praised the Supreme Master Ching Hai for Her efforts in helping the refugees, and commended Her with the "World Humanitarian Leadership Award."
Of Au Lac origin, the Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke in Chinese after receiving the award. She explained that She always feel ashamed after receiving any award, because these honors to Her alone could not replace the sufferings of the world. She said, "If I could only save refugees in the world, I wouldn't mind if I died right now!"
Master Ching Hai pointed out that the reason the Au Lac refugees are in the gravest situation is because their problem has dragged on for almost twenty years. She has approached many governments, pledging to donate all Her property to any country accepting the refugees, with further support by several hundred thousands of U.S. dollars each month. However, Her attempts have not been successful until now as many governments have the same fear as Hong Kong that more refugees will be attracted once they accept the existing ones. However, according to Master Ching Hai, nobody would want to forsake their homeland without a very special reason. Furthermore, it depends on the individual's blessed fortune whether they can flee and settle down in another country and not every person could succeed.
When reporting the Hong Kong Government violently oppressing the Au Lac refugees, the Supreme Master Ching Hai wept three times. She said She has been negotiating with Hong Kong for over three years but "It was as if talking to a wall." She hoped that the world in the twenty-first century would be a world of loving each other and protecting one another.
(Report by Chen Bi Hua from Taipei)
International Federation For Human Rights, U.S.A.,
Announced The Human Rights Declaration
Yesterday, the International Federation For Human Rights, U.S.A., announced "The International Human Rights Proclamation" which pointed out that if everyone had the attitude of treating others in the same way as one would like to be treated, then the possibility of turning the world into a paradise could become a reality.
The International Human Rights Conference was organized by the International Federation For Human Rights, U.S.A., and the World Cultural Communication Association, U.S.A., and convened by the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations at 7:30 p.m. last night at the Taipei International Convention Center. More than four thousand people
The chairwoman of the International Federation For Human Rights, Mrs. Barbara Finch, and the General Secretary of the World Cultural Communication Association, Mr Chen Hung Kwang, jointly opened the Convention by pointing out that all of us are from the same family; and at present, the most important issue is on how we can use our wisdom and compassion to solve the problems of the Au Lac refugees, especially the recent armed-suppression and violent raid on the Au Lac refugees in Hong Kong.
Legislator Lin Cheng Chieh also made an appeal on the issue of the Au Lac refugees in Hong Kong. Based on the shortage of labour, slow growth in population and increasing numbers of people emigrating to other countries, he suggested that the Legislative Yuan appeal to accepted those Au Lac refugees in Hong Kong. By doing so, Formosa's dignity in the international arena would be enhanced and earn the respect of many other countries.
During the conference, the International Federation For Human Rights also announced the International Human Rights Proclamation drafted by the Supreme Master Ching Hai. It mentioned that there are two powers - the positive and the negative - struggling to influence us in this world and some other worlds beyond. Normally, we have the freedom to choose to follow one power or the other, but often the choice is affected by our own prejudice, social environment, education, etc.
A Solitary Fight Of The Refugees:
Committing Mass Suicide To Protest Against Repatriation For The Sake Of Human Rights: Democratic Countries Should Prepare Shelter For Them
Recently, places like Hong Kong and the Philippines are troubled by the Au Lac refugees' ardent protests against forced repatriation. Their standpoint regarding communist Au Lac has changed due to the efforts made by people from different areas concerned about the matter, voluntarily devoting themselves to solving the problem of the refugees. Members of the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations, Mr. Kwak and Miss Kim, together with over twenty others, attended the International Human Rights Conference held in Formosa on 25th of May. This conference was convened by the International Federation for Human Rights, the World Cultural Communication Association, and the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations. Their goal in the world is to solve the resettlement problem of the fifty thousand refugees currently being housed in Asia.
Mr. Kwak & Miss Kim said, "There are over 25,000 refugees in Hong Kong. Recently, many of them have been protesting against the forced repatriation policy of Hong Kong Government by carrying out mass suicides." They requested the Korean people to show concern for the refugees. Mr. Kwak said, "Rumors about the refugees committing mass suicide started in March." After hearing that over seventy of them planned to participate on April 30th; Korean members of the Meditation Association and more than two thousand people from all over the world came to Hong Kong on April 27th. In order to stop the refugees from committing suicide and to solve the refugees problem, they held a sit-in and prayed together for them. He said, "The conference in Formosa offered a proposal that the free countries could accommodate the refugees. They also called for the United Nations and caring people of the world to extend their persisting love and care to the refugees." They hope those Koreans concerned for refugees can join in this effort.
Recently, the boat people in all the South East Asian camps have been in deep misery. According to the Hong Kong newspapers' reports last week, in just Whitehead Camp alone, there were eighty-six cases of boat people setting themselves on fire, cutting their stomachs, or committing suicide by hitting their heads against the walls in order to protest against forced repatriation and the barbaric suppression of these unfortunate boat people by the Hong Kong Government. Due to the above, the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Meditation Associations last week organized a series of prayer gatherings to help these boat people.
On May 21, over five thousand people of various nationalities from many different countries gathered in Formosa. Until today, they had been organizing prayer gatherings at various parks and various tourist attractions in Formosa. On May 25, a Human Rights Conference was held at the World Trade Center in Formosa. Among the special guests were Mrs. Barbara Finch, Chairperson of International Federation for Human Rights; Mr. Chen Hung-Kwang, General Secretary of World Cultural Communications Association, many dignitaries and representatives from various Formosan Government departments. With the five thousand people at the venue, many people had to stand outside the railings. Most of these people were fellow practitioners of the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations. Also there were nearly one hundred reporters and media professionals of newspapers, television and radio stations from all over the world who came to cover the event.
The event started at 8:00 p.m. with the playing of the Chinese and American National Anthems. Then Mrs. Barbara Finch announced that the purpose of the gathering was to call on the world to practice the spirit of humanity and a typical case of humanity was to help the Au Lac boat people. Mrs. Finch confidently quoted God's words that if someone needed help and yet we did not compassionately extend help, then it would be just like we were spitting on our closest blood relatives. Then Mr. Chen Hung Kwang also indicated: "Decades of years ago, President Chiang Kai-Sek led us to this island to build on. Ever since then, Formosa has gradually been established as a prosperous, stable and happy community. Today the Supreme Master Ching Hai is also doing the same thing to save the fifty thousand Au Lac boat people."
Various representatives from the Formosan Government also expressed a lot of opinions. Their final conclusion is: "Formosa is trying to be accepted into the United Nations. Helping the Au Lac boat people so that they would have a place to settle down would definitely help Formosa get into the international organization." A thunderous sound of applause echoed around the venue making the atmosphere very warm indeed.
The most moving words came from the compassionate voice of the Supreme Master Ching Hai. She said: I always feel shy about accepting awards. Besides, I feel that one's glory cannot replace the world's suffering. For the sake of the world's suffering people, even if I have to die today, I am willing to do it immediately.
The Supreme Master Ching Hai also stated that: "The problem of the Au Lac refugees concerned us most because it has been dragging on for nearly 20 years. Eventhough I have been trying to communicate with many governments around the world and am willing to give away all my properties and belongings to whichever country willing to accept the refugees. On top of that, every month, I am willing to subsidize several thousand US dollars. However, until now there has not been any favorable outcome”. Their excuses are as stated by Hong Kong: If we accept these refugees, there will be more Au Lac people fleeing their country.
However, The Supreme Master Ching Hai clarified that no one wants to leave their country unless they have no choice, they must accept the fact that they need to seek an alternative shelter. It has been 4000 years since the nation of Au Lac was founded, in the history of Au Lac there has never been any occurrence of such custom(of fleeing their own country), not until now.
When re-living the incidences of the Hong Kong government using violence against the Au Lac refugees, She emotionally shed tears. She hopes that as we are approaching the 21th century, the world will be one of love and mutual assistance. Everyone of us, every person on this planet comes from God, and should resolve issues brought about by humankind with love and wisdom.
The conference has also passed the Declaration of International Human Rights and announced that: Cause when all beings on this planet help and protect one another, the earth is elevated to heavenly Standard. And the loving atmosphere would embrace the whole world.
During the meeting, the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Association also presented to the three representatives, 1.35 million signatures from people all around the world, expressing their supports towards the Au Lac boat people. As for Formosa, there were over 1 million signatures. All there letters of petition will be sent to the US president Bill Clinton, the United Nation, and those countries currently sheltering the Au Lac boat people.
The gathering ended at 11:00 P.m. Everyone hoped that the Formosan Government would promise to help the Au Lac boat people.
Five Thousand People From Various Nationalities Flocked To Formosa To Protest The Forced Repatriation Of The Au Lac Boat People
According to the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations News from NSW, an extraordinary meeting on human rights had convened in Taipei on May 25, 1994, with the attendance and contribution of the Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her disciples, to solve the impending critical situation of Au Lac boat people. This conference was presided over by the International Federation for Human Rights, USA and the World Cultural Communication Association, USA. The meeting was also sponsored by the International Democratic Confederation Countries (Formosa Branch Office), Atlantic Democratic Confederation, Formosa World Vision Services and the Formosa Human Rights Protection Association etc... The representatives of many of the world nations, and organizations of public communication and press, were all present. From Australia, we tecognized the Secretary of the Human Rights Protection Association, and had the Sun Herald present to represent the Australian press at the conference. There were 28 members of the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Association from NSW that arrived in Taipei on May 19, together with many other compatriots from different countries from around the world, to show the united strength of the overseas Au Lacese. TNNY News are following up the progress of these unfortunate Au Lacese boat people and will report to you in the next issue.
At this moment, the Au Lacese boat people are faced with a fatal choice, it being "FREEDOM OR DEATH". A proverb has been said: "One horse sick, and the whole stable doesn't eat grass". We are hoping all of the humanitarian community association leaders and religious leaders, and their compatriots will take the appropriate action to save our ill-fated boat people. As our fathers have said: many clapping hands, will make loud noise. Hoping all of you will help.
Reiterate The Spirit Of International Justice And Humanity International Human Rights Proclamation
The International Human Rights Conference was held on the evening of 25th May 1994 at Taipei International Convention Center. The agenda for the Conference was aid for the Au Lac refugees, proclamation of world human rights and reiteration of the spirit of international justice and humanitarianism. The Supreme Master Ching Hai's artistic endeavors - paintings, painted stones and fans, self-designed clothing and lamps, etc.
The Chairperson of International Federation for Human Rights, USA, Mrs. Barbara Finch (Secretary of State Affairs of Iowa, USA), the Supreme Master Ching Hai, the General Secretary of the World Cultural Communication Association, Mr. Chen Hung Kwang, Legislator Ling Cheng Chieh, Chairman of the National Representatives Chairpersons Assembly, Mr. Chang Fu Xing, and a peace award winner, Mr. Shun Wu Zhong gave speeches at the Conference. Many notable politicians were present, including: Vice Secretary of Legislation House Mr. Lin Guo Hsien, Legislators Mr. Lin Shou Shan, Mr. Hua Jia Zhi, Mr. Hsieh Chi Da, Mr. Zheng Fong Shi and National Representative Mr. Du Wen Chin. Other international human rights organizations, various media representatives, guests from more than thirty nations (including Formosa) and the disciples of the Supreme Master Ching Hai, a total of more than six thousand people attended this grand and touching Conference.
During the Conference, Mrs. Barbara Finch stated that there were more than 30 million people still suffering in wars from disasters, and that we must use our love and wisdom to help and liberate the refugees all over the world. The objective of our aid is to care for and consider these people who are suffering, and to permit them to be able to live on. The proclamation for world human rights is a plea for the world to have no more wars and no more refugees.
Many thanks to the President of the Republic of China, Mr. Lee Deng Hui, for his support of the Human Rights Conference. Also, many thanks to the Supreme Master Ching Hai for Her efforts and contributions towards resolving the refugee issue.
The Legislator, Mr. Lin Cheng Chieh, said, "Since the Republic of China has withdrawn from the United Nations, it is rare to see so many friends of the world visiting Formosa. This is because the Supreme Master Ching Hai has brought the merit to Formosa; therefore, many friends have come here.
There are 3 million refugees worldwide; the number is less in Asia, but there is an urgent need to aid the Hong Kong Au Lac refugees. They have been escaping from Au Lac to Mainland China - since 1979 - and then after to Hong Kong. Among them are many Chinese descent. Should the Republic of China allow the refugees to immigrate here, they will gain a favorable international reputation.
Currently, Formosa has imported foreign labour. The number of applicants of foreign labour still needed is 70,000; the shortage of foreign labour is a serious problem. If Hong Kong has about 30,000 or more Au Lac refugees, then why not immigrate them? Furthermore, in Formosa, the difference in the number of people coming in relation to those immigranting is about 20,000 annually. Therefore, if Formosa takes in the Au Lac refugees from Hong Kong, the inflow and outflow of migrants in Formosa will be balanced for one year. Since many of the Formosans are descendants of immigrants/refugees, then why not also allow the Au Lac refugee from Hong Kong to immigrate to Formosa?"
In delivering Her speech at the Conference, the Supreme Master Ching Hai mentioned that She observed that many people in Formosa are willing to support the Au Lac refugees; She feels that "the world is still good". Should it be possible to save the suffering beings, she was ready to die immediately on that very day. “The Au Lac refugee issue has dragged on for twenty years; the United Nations are still unable to resolve this matter. Many countries in the past also had refugees. Many Chinese refugees had escaped to Au Lac when the war broke out in China; we called them "brothers" and treated them as members of our families. We had totally accepted the Chinese refugees at that time.
About 100 of the Au Lac refugees in Hong Kong had been very desperate and threatened to commit suicide. For the past three years, we have been trying to communicate with the Hong Kong Government in order to resolve the refugee issue, but it is like talking to a wall. This is almost the 21st Century. Why are such terrible things still happening? All lands belong to God; so, why are they not allowed to stay in Hong Kong temporarily?
I have told the Hong Kong people, "Do not drive the refugees out. Two years later, you may be running behind them; perhaps, even on the same boat. They could, then, teach you how to survive in a boat."
"I have observed many kind-hearted Formosans contributing their effort to protect the refugees, and I feel hopeful..." (The Master spoke tearfully) "Observing 20,000 people about to kill themselves, how could the religions continue to preach to anyone to do good deeds? Please, give them a home."
During the Conference, a special video on the Au Lac refugees and a documentary report on the Au Lac refugee camp, which conflicts with the propaganda video from the United Nations, was telecast in front of those attending the Conference.
The International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Associations of the Republic of China brought reams of cloth from a current activity which contains over one million signatures from the people of Formosa supporting the refugees. A total of 1,121,710 people responded to support the Signature Campaign.
During the Conference, the Supreme Master Ching Hai also submitted two
Canada SCENE June 2-June 15, 1994
LAST WEEK I was flown into Formosa at the invitation of the International Supreme Master Ching Hai Meditation Association. The Master is a 44 year old, Au Lac born teacher of meditation. Ching Hai has thousands of followers throughout the world who regularly purchase her books, tapes and videos, and assemble in her presence whenever possible for conferences and retreats in Formosa, Hawaii, California, Madrid, Paris or anywhere else. Many commentators call Ching Hai a Buddhist whereas she insists that any religious belief or agnosticism is fine with her so long as her disciples practice her Quan Yin method of meditation which will put them in touch with the God within. While certain of her precepts are borrowed from Buddhism - the idea of karma, cycles of reincarnation, etc.-in her lectures Ching Hai borrows freely from other religions as well and the feverish regard in which she is held by many of her followers reminds me of some of the Catholic cults surrounding Mary and the more beloved saints.
Ching Hai has taken up the cause of the Au Lac boat people, an estimated 60,000 of them who are still being held in refugee camps throughout the Pacific Rim. In many cases, these people are being held in virtual prisons after making their desperate bid for freedom in precarious boats with nothing but the clothing on their backs. Such is the despair of these people who have been held in detention camps for up to a full generation (there are teenagers who've lived all their lives in these meagre compounds), and such is the impatience of their keepers who clearly don't have the facilities or the funding to cope with such numbers, that riots, unrest, demonstrations, hunger strikes and up to 100 suicides have so far taken place.
And the violence and despair are escalating. The worst troubles have occurred at the Whitehead Detention Centre in Shatin, Hong Kong where the authorities are trying to empty out the facility before 1997 when governmental control of Hong Kong will be given back to Communist China. Some refugees have already been forcibly repatriated to Au Lac where they fear severe reprisals both against themselves and their relatives. A declaration from the boat people being held at the High Island Detention Centre in Hong Kong concludes: “We demand that the Hong Kong government, the United Nations and people around the world be concerned about the plight of the boat people. We are also human and we were the victims of the Communists in Au Lac. We demand that refugee status must be given back to us. We escaped Au Lac to seek freedom and you should not continue to detain us. Give back freedom to us and our children. Don't force us to go back to Au Lac. We should rather die than go back to Communist Au Lac.”
It was only a few weeks ago when Ching Hai sent word through the network of her International Meditation Association that she was invited to attend a International Human Rights Conference in the Taipei International Convention Centre in Formosa where she would announce a proposal whereby she personally will make available five to six million dollars (U.S.), and can also call on an additional 18 million dollars (U.S.) from an association of international investors, to assist any willing government or governments in the transportation, settlement and job training of the boat people as immigrants to those countries. Having called representatives together from around the world, Ching Hai hoped that these 5,000 people would return to their respective countries and spread the word about the boat people's plight and her generous offer. More than a million signatures (1,200 from London) were collected on a petition for the refugees which Ching Hai will now present to President Clinton and the U.N.
My last morning in Taipei was Thursday, May 26th and I was in a downtown radio studio at 4 a.m., broadcasting live to Paris, France. Radio journalist Jean-Claude Carton asked me what the conference had been like and what message I would take home to Canadians. What follows is a rough transcript of my answer which was punctuated every few phrases by Vincent Dupont's instantaneous French translation:
I came to this conference from exactly halfway around the world; 12 time zones away. This made me the most exotic person in attendance and this is a sensation which Canadians don't often enjoy. Eight days ago, I'd never heard of Master Ching Hai and I was only vaguely sure where Formosa was. This whole trip has been quite dream-like for me and this-speaking live on international radio in a language that most of you won't understand-is the stuff of nightmares.
Canada's reputation on immigration is traditionally excellent-dare I say it? -without parallel on the globe. In the late 70's and early 80's Au Lac immigrants streamed into London, Ontario in such numbers that they quickly became one of our major new ethnic groups. But as their struggle and cause to find freedom faded from our front pages and news reports, so did our awareness of their intolerable plight. I would suggest to you that not one Canadian in a hundred is currently aware that there are 60,000 Au La boat people still being held in detention camps. And that's where Master Ching Hai comes in. She has the vision, the reputation and the resources to pull together this kind of conference which can refocus the world's attention on the boat people's ongoing struggle.
It can sometimes seem at these conferences that you're dealing with nothing but politics, bureaucracy, abstractions. We watched a film last night about the refugees in their camps-the injuries and indignities they've sustained, the rage and despair in which they live. It was difficult viewing but it effectively cut through any tendencies I might have had to distance myself from the 60,000 urgent reasons for holding this conference. I was sitting next to a French diplomat of Au Lac descent, and when I heard him start to weep at the agonies unfolding on-screen, I almost joined him. Their plight had become our plight. Any conference which can teach such a humanizing lesson can only be deemed a success.
In nine hours I will board the first of many planes to go home but I
take something with me. This isn't just a problem for the Pacific Rim, or
France, or the United States, or any other country with a stake in Au Lac's
recent history. This is a human problem and what I and all the other
conference members have learned will now go out to the world. Stories will
be told in hundreds of newspapers and on hundreds of radio stations around
the globe. People will be outraged. Demands will be made. Pressure will
be applied to governments. The suffering of the boat people has gone on
too long. These brave souls have already earned their freedom a million
times over. It is time for their suffering to stop.