This speech was delivered at the 10th Anniversary of the Asian Resource Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand on the 18th of February 2006.

Assalamualaikum - May Peace be Upon You.

There are two words that on an occasion like this that we in civil society must pay attention too.

The first is the word "Listen" - that word in Chinese writing actually consists of three different characters the ears, the eyes and the heart - real listening is not just with your ears but also your eyes and most of all your heart!

The world needs to listen, really listen!

The second word is "Remember" - especially appropriate as this is a "remembering" occasion. They say social movements like people, die three times. They die first when they lose their soul, their spirit, their essence. They die again when they no longer exist legally. They die a third time when no one remembers their issues.

It is also important for occasions like this to remind us to reaffirm our vision and spirit, give strength to our institutional mechanism and lastly to make sure our issues are never forgotten.

I started with the word "Peace" because there is no word more relevant, more important, and more necessary at this time.

"Peace" is being proactive; Peace is being holistic. Peace is the vital core of human security and human survival.

Peace has 3 dimensions -

o Peace with ourselves (Inner peace)
o Peace with other people (Social Peace)
o Peace with the environment (Earth Peace)

Unfortunately, we live is a world where peace is severely shattered in all these three dimensions.

We live in a world which is dominated by Violence, Manipulation and Waste - the real "axis of evil".

We live in a world where is dominated by the Weapons of Mass Destruction, Weapons of Mass Deception and Weapons of Mass Corruption… And we face a new dangerous kind of new imperialism.

What we can do? Is another world possible? I say Yes! Yes! Yes! It is in our hands.

To make real change it requires power of a gentle but assertive kind. Let me share with you what I call the "Panchasila of People Power" - the five principles of civil action -

  1. The power of "One" - Never underestimate the power of a single individual.
  2. The power of "Many" - Build and foster networks and alliances around common values and common action.
  3. The power of "Universal Values" - Remember the Golden Rule of all faiths - "Treat Others Like How You Would Like To Be Treated". Draw from universal United Nations instruments such as those on human rights, environment, gender and peace.
  4. The power of "Information" - Access and disseminate information both using the power of cyberspace but also the wonderful traditional ways of art, music, story telling, drama, film and books.
  5. The power of "Success" - Every victory we have should be share, celebrated and remembered as an inspiration.

I believe these five powers will help us, the people, to be empowered and effective.

Asian Resource Foundation has been an inspiration to many of us. You have a vision, you work on peace and you follow an important principle - true leadership is about creating more leaders, not more followers.

May your future be even more successful in creating a better world for all.

Let me end with a poem I wrote for a book called "Prayers for a Thousand Years"

Remember We Are One

We all drink from one water
We all breathe from one air
We rise from one ocean
And we live under sky

We are one

The newborn baby cries the same
The laughter of children is universal
Everyone's blood is red
And our hearts beat the same song

We are one

We are all brothers and sisters
Only one family, only one earth
Together we live
And together we die

We are one

We are one

Peace be on you
Brothers and Sisters
Peace be on you



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