Erenlai - The Art of Peace-making 從亞洲眺望全球和平
The Art of Peace-making 從亞洲眺望全球和平

The Art of Peace-making 從亞洲眺望全球和平


Learn how to become a peacemaker! These materials concentrate on conflict resolution and peace building.





Monday, 31 December 2007

Terror won't deter terror

In many ways terrorists and non-terrorists are exactly the same: they both have ideologies to which they pay allegiance; they both have codes of conduct that govern how they act; they both have arsenals of equipment, weapons and ammunition; they both have legions of silent supporters and cadres of militant activists.

As a terrorist my intention would be to shock or punish or terrify the public as a means of forcing them to give in to my demand or take seriously my message. My primary objective would be, if possible, to commit the terror without being apprehended or killed. Should I unfortunately not escape unscathed or be apprehended, I would consider that a small price to pay for the advancement of my cause. One of the big differences between terrorists and non-terrorists is that for terrorists the message has priority over the messenger. It is perfectly acceptable for the messenger to be sacrificed or innocent people killed or property destroyed in the process.

As a non-terrorist my primary objective would also be to deliver a message, but the priority would belong to the messenger, so that everything possible would be done to deliver the message with as little injury or damage as possible. To a non-terrorist, the most terrifying thing about terrorism is its seeming disregard for human life: the survival of the cause is more important than that of its individual advocates while the lives and property of its opponents count not at all.

The only way to eliminate acts of terrorism would seem to be finding some way to disarm and deactivate the terrorists. Can this be done without doing to them what they are doing to us? Can violence be stopped non-violently? Or is violence in the cause of law and order no longer “violence” but justifiable “self-defense” and “enforcement”?

Countering terrorism requires countering the terrorists. This will entail first identifying who they are and where they are. Then it is necessary to prevent their acts of terrorism, which can be done by isolating or incarcerating them, so they cannot operate, or by destroying or removing from their hands their equipment, weapons and ammunition and cutting off their supply of financial support or resources so there is no way they can any longer engage in terrorist activities.

This is a big order and not at all easy or perhaps not even possible to accomplish completely. And even if the terrorists are disarmed and their influence contained, they will always be potential ticking bombs, so long as they persist in their ideological beliefs and evil purpose. The rest of the world can only relax if the terrorists can be persuaded to modify their views or adopt non-terrorist tactics. This can never be done by force of arms or overpowering restraint. Military defeat never converts the heart, however much it might shackle the body. It only reinforces hatred and fuels thirst for revenge. No terrorist-like response will ever scare terrorists away. The only way to get them to abandon terrorist behavior is to convince them that such activity is no longer necessary to achieve their purposes. And the only way to do that is for us to modify our present anti-terrorist behavior which is serving only to increase their hatred and justify their terrorism.

We the non-terrorist anti-terrorists must always maintain an effective intelligence network and strong deterrent military defensive force to protect ourselves and the free world, but the war will never end until terrorists are finally granted the attention and respect they are seeking. Our hands holding the guns and the shields must be accompanied by friendly hands reaching out for genuine friendship, dialogue and compromise and peaceful coexistence.

We need to pay more attention to what the terrorists are trying to say and not let our abhorance of the messenger or the envelop of the message blind us to the content of the message. I am not a diplomat or politician. I don’t speak the languages of the terrorists or understand all their demands. I cannot tell the free world the best way to proceed, because I also don’t know what that is. But I am convinced that just more of what we are doing now will not succeed. We have to insist less on doing things only our way and learn to distinguish more clearly between what is outright unacceptable and what is just different from our way of doing things.

If we dare to sit down and listen, we are sure to hear things we don’t want to hear about ourselves as well as about our adversaries, but we also are more likely to see more clearly and dispassionately that between the basic unyielding issues that anchor each side there is a vast expanse of possibilities for compromise, cooperation and peaceful co-existence in which they can maintain their identity and we can retain ours.

How nice it would be if the whole world were like what I want it to be, but that could happen only if other parts of the world were not free to be what they want the world to be. The only way that I will be free to enjoy my part of the world as I want it to be is to allow those other parts to be what they want them to be within the common boundaries of international law and human rights. The only way for both sides to go forward together is for both sides to step back.

(Photo A.K.)

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Saturday, 01 December 2007


【简宏志 主述】


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【贾亚 主述】
【柯蕾莉 采访 撰文】 【林虹秀 翻译】










Friday, 30 November 2007


【黃薰 主述】
【柯蕾莉 採訪 撰文】【林虹秀 翻譯】










Friday, 30 November 2007


【簡宏志 主述】


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【賈亞 主述】
【柯蕾莉 採訪 撰文】 【林虹秀 翻譯】










Open Dialogue is the key to a more united Asia

Past and ongoing conflicts affect Asian people’s identity
Keiko Hara grew up in Hiroshima. Her dad saw the world collapse around him on the 6th of August 1945, when the Americans launched their atomic bomb on Japan. “The atrocity of the past is still present here. The historical memory is not easily erased. I belong to the first generation born after World War II, so I have to learn to live with it. The nuclear attack did not only kill thousands of people, it also deeply affected the identity of all Japanese people”, she said.
Keiko thinks that Japanese people need to define themselves anew as well as their position in Asia. They need to analyze their heavy past of war criminal exactions while at the same time their being victims of the Hiroshima catastrophe.
Many Asians experienced, or are still experiencing, conflicts. The recent repressions in Myanmar, violence in Pakistan and denuclearization of North Korea make the newspaper headlines all around the world. Millions of people are deeply affected by these situations. “Many Asians share a similar kind of suffering. In this sense, I am also an Asian because I feel close to them, Keiko said.

Asian people as a ‘whole’
“When I was studying in France, many French were calling me “Chinese”. It made me aware of my Asian face. It seems like Europeans cannot differentiate between different Asian people, and it enhanced my feeling of being an Asian before being a Japanese”, Keiko said.
However, diversity between the countries makes it hard to define a single Asian identity. “The distinctive sense of spirituality among Asians is more important than trying to put everyone in the same group. I do believe we share some common elements: Asians live in the same part of the world, we breathe the same air, and we have similar values. Although these elements are mainly a representation of Asia outside its borders, it can contribute to the feeling of unity among Asian people ”.

Japan’s actions refocused within Asia
International cooperation programs are well-developed in Japan. There are many governmentally-run organizations which young Japanese take part in. A popular association, J.I.C.A (Japan International Cooperation Agency), funded in 1974, attracts many young volunteers. “When I was young, the concept of cooperation was ‘international’. People could hardly think of uniting Asia. Now, I see more and more organizations wanting to have a role in Asia. By working together, they help to create stronger cultural bonds between the Japanese and other Asians”, Keiko said.
Japan is the most developed economy in Asia, and can help other Asian countries. However, Keiko is skeptical: “Too often, I feel Japan exploits poorer Asian countries. A barrier to cooperation is Japan’s ‘sense of superiority’. I think Japanese people must overcome this feeling. They must think critically about the important role young Japanese could play in the construction of a more united Asia”.

How can we meet and understand each other in Asia?
Keiko believes that deeper communication is the key to bringing Asians closer. Religions are one of the main components of Asian cultures. “Being a Catholic sister while Catholiscism is not a major religion in Asia, I encounter challenges when it comes to the expression of my point of view. But I believe that through open dialogue Asians will find some answers to their identity questions and even reach a certain level of truth.”
“I hope I will see in the future an attempt for reconciliation between Asian people and I want to contribute to this development through my theological commitment. I think the reunion of Asian people will benefit the Japanese who are in search of identity. It would also ease their minds and help them feel at peace with themselves”.


Attached media :

Tuesday, 30 October 2007



Friday, 26 October 2007



Thursday, 25 October 2007







番紅花之火 換來槍彈繩索




為緬甸祝禱 以行動支持



Tuesday, 16 October 2007

2009年 兩岸將陷風暴?




Friday, 14 September 2007

The Anatomy of Contention

In order for there to be controversy there must be disagreement over some bone of contention, that is, some belief, statement, observation or opinion that is upheld or proposed by one party and objected to or rejected by another. Each tries to persuade the other to his or her interpretation and the controversy only subsides when some accommodating compromise is made, one of the parties yields or both just let the matter drop and go on to something else.

The argument may be about the meaning and interpretation of what is said or about the principles or reasons for which it is said or upon some unacceptable consequence or conclusion that might come from acceptance of the statement. Men of sincere goodwill will ordinarily first strive to understand and appreciate what the other is trying to say, because sometimes it turns out that the disagreement was based on a misinterpretation of the other’s meaning. Sometimes the problem lies in one person’s rejection of the principle or reason upon which the statement is based like a politician of one persuasion might reject outright policies based on contrary principles of another party or in the case of religious conflicts, one party refuses to accept the authority or authenticity or interpretation of some biblical text or religious belief. Finally, the objection might come from fear or conviction that following the alleged opinion will lead to war or economic collapse or moral disorder or some other undesirable consequence.

Given the great variety of human experiences, the proliferation of private opinions and the general fact that there are usually many different ways to reach a common end, it is not surprising that there are many arguments, controversies, and disagreements about how to proceed. Men and women of good will must often put aside their personal preferences for the sake of the common good. It is quite necessary that some proposed laws opposed by some must become the laws imposed on all. Sometimes in matters of conscience some people are impelled to reject and stand firm against what others decide. One has to admire their courage and determination even while trying to persuade them to change their minds.

Unfortunately there will always be some individuals or groups of individuals whose sole response to controversy is to persecute and destroy with malice and hatred all those who oppose them. For them there is no controversy, because in their minds there is solely what they believe and affirm with no room for tolerance of or attention to other opinions.

There is always a tension between our own convictions and those of others that are different. Happy are those who know when to stand up for what they believe and when to stand down, when to follow their inclinations and when to follow others, when to reject and when to accept the opinions of others and do so with calmness and charity.

At the end of each controversy when decisions have been made and courses of action laid out, there will always be some whose ideas were rejected and some who triumphed. It is the sign of greatness when those who lost accept the decisions and those who won do not reject those who yielded.

It is good for people to have their own opinions. It is good to listen the opinions of others and share ideas. It is good when those who raised fists at each other during the debate shake hands when the discussion is over.

May the day never come when there is no controversy. May the day never come when issues cannot be resolved amicably so that all can unite with one voice for a good of all.

Read another Bob’s article on how to deal with hostility

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