VFF President calls on Buddhists to look towards East Sea

(VOV) - Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee President Nguyen Thien Nhan has sent a letter to the Vietnam Buddhist Shangha (VBS) on Lord Buddha’s 2558th birthday, calling on Buddhists nationwide to turn their heart towards the East Sea.

At a grand ceremony to mark Lord Buddha’s 2558th birthday in Hanoi on May 13, the VBS Supreme Patriarch also conveyed a message about peace in the East Sea.

In his speech, VBS Executive Council Deputy Chairman Most Venerable Thich Bao Nghiem said in the new era, Buddhism has developed considerably around the world and Vietnamese Buddhism has also seen positive developments. The VBS’ prestige has earned increasingly domestic and international acclaim.

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“The VBS will expand its influence on remote, border and island areas, especially overseas Vietnamese Buddhist followers living in abroad.” Most Venerable Thich Bao Nghiem said.

In his letter sent to the VBS and Buddhists across from the nation, VFF President Nguyen Thien Nhan also congratulated the VBS on its successful organization of the UN Day of Vesak 2014.

He also called on Buddhist clergies throughout the country to reinforce solidarity, uphold religious tradition and stand side by side with the people in combined efforts to demand China stop infringing on Vietnam’s territorial waters and violating its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago as well as its sovereign right and jurisdiction over the country’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. 

The letter also requested China to immediately withdraw its giant oil rig Ocean-981 and escort military vehicles from waters belonging to Vietnam’s sovereignty.

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The same day, Buddhists also heard a message about peace in the East Sea from the VBS Supreme Patriarch. The message said during the time of the UN Day of Vesak 2014 celebration at Bai Dinh Pagoda, northern Ninh Binh province, while Buddhists from 95 countries and territories were discussing peace building, China stationed drilling rig Ocean-981 and deployed escort vessels in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

From China’s actions in the East Sea, many countries including Vietnam are on the verge of being threatened by the expansion of large countries. In the peace-loving spirit, the VBS Patriarch called on the Buddhist Association of China (BAC) to support justice and the Chinese Government to properly implement its commitments in accordance with international law.

VBS Executive Council Deputy Chairman Venerable Thich Gia Quang said this message is sent to all Buddhist worldwide including the BAC. It asked the BAC, by its actions, to ask the Chinese government to pull its drilling rig Ocean-981out of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea.