On the International Day of Peace, in Yangon, Myanmar, 26 young adults from Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and China joined hundreds of locals to walk for peace.
Unlike previous years, local authorities approved civil society plans to hold the peace walk, and some high level government officials also joined. It was but another sign of Myanmar’s rapid, though fragile, transition to democracy.
Mekong Peace Journey participants from five countries meet on the banks of the Mekong River bordering Thailand and Laos.
On the banks of the Mekong River in a place where Thailand meets Laos, a group of 25 young people gathered to take part in the Mekong Peace Journey.
It’s a fitting place for these youths to meet, as they come from all the countries of mainland Southeast Asia—Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma)—through which the river passes on its path to the South China Sea.
The legacy of decades of civil war will not disappear in one day.
But for nearly two thousand Cambodians who gathered to celebrate the International Day of Peace, this one day is an important reminder to never stop working for peace.
Letting loose peace balloons and joining in peace marches in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and in seven other provinces, attendees heard speeches about peace from different religious perspectives and participated in meditation.
AFSC Cambodia staff joined partners from these two Buddhist nations in organizing a cross-border ‘Walk for Peace’ to mark Visakha Puja Day, the day commemorating Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing away.
Relations between Thailand and Cambodia have thawed in recent months, but greater understanding is needed before there will be any real warmth.
Kim Vuth, 32, a peace activist who works with the American Friends Service Committee, said the relationship between former enemies Germany and France could serve as an inspiration for Thailand and Cambodia to coexist peacefully in the future.
He emphasised that peace building was not the job of governments alone.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
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