The Peace Walk has been organized by Working Group for Peace (WGP) in Cambodia in cooperation with Thai Volunteer Service Foundation (TVS) on 24 May 2013. The event have been done with strong commitment through the sharp objective on peace building on the day of Vesak along the border of Cambodia-Thailand at Anlong Veng pagoda, Anlong Veng district, Uddormeanchey province with three main activities comprising of Peace Walk, Peace Dialogue, and Meditation to call for peace along border. There were 144 participants including youth, peace activist who are working on Peace building in Cambodia and Thailand with local people, especially the ethnic people in Cambodia such as Indigenous People (IP), Khmer, Khmer Kampuchea Krom, and Chinese.
At the beginning of the Peace Walk, there were different religion representative encouraged to share peace perspective through their own religion view in the public in the purpose of understanding each other which Christian, Muslim can learn and understand Buddhist as well as Buddhist also getting to know Christian and Muslim. Within the speech is a space to rise up the voice of interfaith (Buddhist, Christian and Muslim) on peace concept, and respect the diversities of religion concept. Toward the perspective from those religions, they have shown a common understanding on peace which all religion teaches people to live together in peaceful way. For instant, in the beginning of the Peace
Walk, Miss Nov Unheng, Third-year student at National University of Management, express in Peace Walk “I came to join here in the representative of Christian. In Bible, it have taught us to love all surrounding people like yourself which show that all people need real love and peace in mind, so we need to build peace from your mind, heart and soul with other people. Moreover, Mr. Les Sann, first year student at Norton University express perspective in representative of Muslim that “I felt so delighted to participate with people here Buddhist, Christian and me who is representative of Muslim. I came here because I want Peace and all people from different religion to find a common sustainable peace as we need. On the hand, for Muslim also show the common goal toward peace even the name which means Peace, especially when Muslim meet each other, we show the peaceful welcome word “Asalamu Alaikum” which means Peace be with you. In Alqura Arn teach that Peace did not discriminate any religion, ethnicity or nationality because we are all human”
Additionally, it was a special opportunity of Cambodian-Thai who are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and others ethnic can learn and share together with common understanding on peace building to strengthen close relationship and truth through religion teaching during tension of Cambodia-Thai on Preah Vihea case as well as others issues, conflict happening along border. Within this, we had conducted a Peace Dialogue between Cambodia-Thai by engaging the representative of each religion to talk and share using religion perspective because the people in both sides following Buddhist, Muslim even Christian. The Dialogue had been designed with the strong objective; to understand the meaning of Peace by diverse religion, sharing experiences on peace building through ways of religion, how can youth participate in peace building through religion between Cambodia-Thai. Resulting the above significant talking, we found that to build peace among us, we need to learn from each other and recognize the differences of religion so we would give value and respect others without individualism.
Mr. Nandavan Naayudhya, Thai participant had shared during peace walk that “I used to come to Cambodia as a tour and I did not know clearly who Cambodia is. Then since there were tension between Cambodia-Thai, and Media had broadcasting many bad things to increase hatred among people even me I hate Cambodia at the time. But through this time, it is more than tour last time, I can do activities by walking talking and sharing with Cambodian so I feel better and change perception reducing hatred and willing to write down to express that all bad things that media shown is not right at all, so we need to explore it directly. Moreover, I also wonder during tension if Cambodian hates Thai or not.”
After the very peaceful walking and talking as Peace Dialogue, we also had another common peace practicing activities called Meditation. All Cambodian-Thai participants including local people had joined together to practice the meditation due to its religion act which Buddhist and Christian did very same act and Muslim did another action by praying following its religion. Even in such different characteristic of meditation, we did it in strong purpose of keeping calm and peaceful in mind to live together in harmony.
The Peace Walk had been completed with its three main activities including Peace Walk, Peace Dialogue and Meditation. Within those activities had been done successful engaging with different background, nationality and religion of Muslim, Christian and Buddhist, especially participants who are Thai. The project have reached its goal which peace messages and peace understanding had been spread and reach to the rural area along the border of Cambodia and Thailand where conflict happening so far. All the participants were very satisfy to join peace walk which is a chance to get to know peace building activities that many people rarely interested in such walk because there are many people said “I do love peace, I want peace”but it just in words without any action toward it even very tiny things. Their participation is much more contribution in Peace Building.
Give Your Hands for Peace !