The Human Rights Issue in Asia and Raising Awareness for Peace - Myanmar
Ven. Ashin Htavara
All Burmese Monks Representative Committee
General Secretary, Norway(Myanmar)
Ashin Htavara, the general secretary of the All Burmese Monks Representative Committee(ABMRC), led the Saffron Revolution in 2007 and continues working for peace in Myanmar to this day.
Could you tell us your thoughts on the current Myanmar crisis?
The current situation in Myanmar is very likely to lead to a civil war. The help of the family of peace and the international community around the world is so desperately needed. Currently, the situation in Myanmar is very bad and the military is ruthlessly taking lives of ethnic groups, infants, women, young adults and minorities. So it is necessary to inform the people of Myanmar and the world about what is going on inside Myanmar.
I want to ask all the family members of peace around the world, and anyone who wishes for peace, to pray that Myanmar achieve peace as soon as possible. Please help us to prevent this from happening again in a peaceful world, and please listen to the sacrifices and earnest hearts of the people of Myanmar. We sincerely ask you to inform your nations’ governments and organizations of this crisis.
You established three HWPL peace libraries in the Pyapon region of Myanmar since 2018, and the fourth is underway. What was your motivation behind establishing the peace libraries?
After going through the Saffron Revolution and being exiled abroad, I learned about HWPL. Through Chairman Lee of HWPL, I realized the importance of peace and the importance of education. In particular, I understood deep down that it is difficult to cultivate a sense of peace after elementary school. There are too few libraries for children in Myanmar. In particular, in my hometown Pyapon, the damage caused by typhoon Nargis in 2008 has not yet been repaired, so many facilities are run down, and there are no libraries for children. But I wanted to give hope to these little children.
In the future, the library will conduct peace education, peace activities, and peace campaigns, and we will do everything that can be helpful in achieving peace. When I joined HWPL in 2016, I became acquainted with Chairman Lee, and I was moved by Chairman Lee's sincerity for peace. I was appointed as a HWPL Publicity Ambassador in May 2018, and I became a member of the family of peace that supports Chairman Lee's work.
Then in the following month- on June 2, 2018 - when the library was established in the Payafon area, HWPL was included in the name of the library so that I could help fulfill Chairman Lee’s wishes as a family member of peace, and to raise awareness of Chairman Lee’s idea of peace among children. We are currently preparing to open the 4th Peace Library of HWPL, and we hope to open more libraries in the future. Myanmar’s education system is far too weak. That’s why I ask for a lot of help to the family of peace. I hope that Myanmar restore itself as a country of peace as soon as possible, so that the students and citizens can receive this peace education together.
What are your plans to transform Myanmar into a country of peace?
First of all, we will complete the fourth HWPL library that is currently being built, and we plan on building many more libraries in the future. And if the circumstances permit, I would like to conduct HWPL Peace Education within the library. I want to teach students why peace is so important. I would also like to conduct peace events. In addition, I also wish to teach students about the DPCW in these libraries. I will work for peace not only in Myanmar but the whole world just like the wishes of HWPL Chairman Lee. Even though world peace is still far away and the road is difficult and tough, we will never give up but strive until the end with HWPL. Thank you everyone.