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Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche, Prime Minister of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, told an international audience that the organisation they are founding, the Nonviolent Peaceforce, is "very much needed in today's world." Peaceworkers from 47 nations are meeting near Delhi to create an unarmed civilian alternative to military peacekeeping missions.
In his remarks, the Tibetan Buddhist monk noted, "The present escalation of violence around the world is unprecedented. Violence is in the very air we breathe and the very space through which we move." He urged his audience to put all its energy into making peace. Speaking of "the globalisation of violence" Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche said: "We are fooled into seeing it as a law and order problem or a national security problem. We are unable to see that both are manifestations of a malady in our civilisation. What is the remedy?"

"We must determine how to establish a nonviolent society," he said. "When violence is met with violence, one side can be temporarily subdued but much suffering results." He urged the Nonviolent Peaceforce to pay attention to the causes of violence and to be prepared to "take them on". Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche particularly stressed the "commercialisation of violence" by the weapons industry. He focused on the connection between the arms industry and trade and increasing violence around the world, exhorting the audience to work to bring about a reduction in the arms trade and eventual total disarmament.

At the conclusion of his remarks, Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche recommended Gandhi's Hind Swaraj as compulsory reading for Nonviolent Peaceforce trainees, especially the chapter on violence and satyagraha (soul or truth force). He ended his prepared remarks as he began, by calling the Nonviolent Peaceforce "very necessary and relevant."


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