Humanist Association of Hong Kong

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Didar with the flag on the annual democracy walk July 1



 From April 2016 for updates to the Humanist Association of Hong Kong go to:

The main ideas of Universal Humanism

1. placement of the human being as central value;

2. affirmation of the equality of all human beings;

3. acknowledgment of personal and cultural diversity;

4. tendency to the development of knowledge beyond that accepted as absolute truth;

5. affirmation of the freedom of ideas and beliefs;

6. rejection of violence.

human rights, social justice, non-discrimination, non-violence, co-operative systems, freedom of choice, freedom of belief, social activism.


Humanist Association     

         of Hong Kong 

26 January 2016

Argentina: Free Milagro Sala

Humanists denounce and reject all forms of violence, in particular when people who fight for social change are deprived of liberty, such is the case of Milagro Sala.

Milagro represents a social organisation, Tupac Amaru, whose membership consists of thousands and thousands of humble people, indigenous people from the Argentinean province of Jujuy, a people who out of desperate need and State neglect started to take charge of their lives in the times of unemployment and absence of State support.

Then during the Government of the Front for Victory (2003-2015) the Tupac Amarcu was strengthened with contributions from the State and the effort of its members.

This happened through the work of its activists, tireless workers, who through food suppliers, clothes producers and Community Cooperatives where able to build houses, workshops, factories, water parks, schools of different levels, infrastructure, and a long list of achievements for the welfare of each one of their thousands of members.

The current Government under Gerardo Morales in Jujuy and Mauricio Macri in Argentina as a whole, are cutting back on State spending through the sacking of public sector workers. They are criminalizing social protest and going against one of their campaign promises: Dialogue.

The arrest of Milagro Sala is a provocation to activists and the people of Argentina, a provocation that we must and want to resist without violence, as has been the case until now.

We call for the immediate release of Milagro Sala and the opening of channels of dialogue between the government of Morales and Tupac Amaru, as well as for the continuity of neighborhood and grass root organisations that, through Workers Cooperatives, have brought, and will continue to bring welfare to the people.

We encourage the oppressed people of Argentina to develop protests, denouncements, and actions without violence behind the claim for real democracy to replace today´s formal democracy which has proven totally inadequate to meet the needs of the people for personal and social liberation.

The International Coordination Team of the Federation of Humanist Parties.

Supported by the federated organisation: 

Humanist Association of Hong Kong

Tony Henderson, Chairman


Democracy and non-violence go hand in hand

Democracy and Non-Violence go hand-in-hand, or should. In a true democracy there would be no violence and that is the strongest indicator of its presence. Conversely, in situations, whether political or other, non-violence is apparent when everything is running smoothly and political groups and cultural groups are living and working well together.

Non-violence is rather implicit while violence is highly explicit, as with democracy, when it’s working no need to talk about it. Sadly, the term democratic is used very loosely and has long been misused to give an air of legitimacy to institutions, even nations, that know better but cling to outer forms, for whatever reason, hardly ever good ones.

Examples abound revealing the mis-dealings under the name of democracy but to take Hong Kong as a case in point is useful as the territory is a crucible for mixing democracy as the West is claiming it to be, and the different organisational forms in Asia, typified by the Chinese Communist government and Party head-quartered in Beijing, would have it.

In Hong Kong every July 1, the streets throng with noisy parties with their varying opinions clamouring for justice on all kinds of issues, many that are affecting its people concerning the best way ahead. These can be distilled down to, which path to take, a pro-Beijing one that will curtail individual freedoms to an uncertain extent, but nothing that cannot be handled, or, that of opposition to the pro-Beijing administration under Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying that has so far only resulted in a stalemate in the various facets of development of Hong Kong, from political to economic.

Each year on this day there is the annual come-out-on-the-street protest and groups carry banners for what you will – but largely framed as a voice-out for democracy, the theme of the rally. It is perennially non-violent. This reflects well on both the people and the police.

On this day in 2015 it was reported that the National People’s Congress Standing Committee had voted in support of a new national security law, to be implemented with immediate effect. It highlighted Hong Kong and Macau’s obligations under the law, saying that the two Special Administrative Regions must fulfill their responsibilities!

While the new legislation prohibits acts such as treason, secession and subversion, as well as the theft of state secrets (of course), it also covers everything from food safety to religious activities, and from cyber security to activities in space. However, a spokesman later stressed it would not be applied to Hong Kong as it is not stated in the Basic Law annex - with its particular interpretation of local democracy.

This special day for Hong Kong was born and came out of a special moment in 2003, when opposition to the proposed Article 23 national security law grew so strong that the Civil Human Rights Front was formed to platform opposition views.

The 2003 march was a major event that continues to provide a reference point for the Hong Kong protest movements, whatever your ‘bag’, bring it along. Yet the Civil Human Rights Front has continued to organise the march, while themes vary by the year, they always pivot around human rights and calls for greater democracy. As said before, the event is largely peaceful.

Meanwhile, around the world this very same democracy term is being abused by those wanting to stay in power and by those wanting to undermine the powers-that-be, for hidden ends that have nothing at all to do with democratic participation in the general system and process of government, of managing a people and its economy and the ways and means of doing so.

On the other side, Beijing sees democracy in its wide-ranging selection of people from all strata of Hong Kong society to make up its Chief Executive (CE) nomination committee, for example; while democrats of most persuasions in Hong Kong seem to have a single goal in sight – one-man-one-vote for electing into office the CE.

All of these groups would do well to question why they are wanting to follow in the steps of the old colonialists by having such an ‘el supreme’ at the top of the heap!

Is a ‘leader’ needed; or a co-ordinator and liaison between Hong Kong, the SAR executive officers and thereby the central government in far away Beijing. The CE could be simply a spokesperson, both up and down, at the beck and call of Hong Kongens.

It has been well attested that the way government is run in Hong Kong is like a corporate business body that has an agenda and will implement that agenda despite opposition from any vocal segment of the people no matter how vocal. This is seen in all major decisions from an additional airport runway, the bridge linking Hong Kong to Macau and Zhuhai, to mass-burning waste incinerators, to non-recycling programmes where the public consultations turn out to be simple ‘what you need to know’ lectures at one-sided government run forums.

In mainland China itself there are social and green movements that have successfully changed things that example more democracy than can be found in Hong Kong, especially with so much wasted hot air between the different protagonists in Hong Kong.

If Hong Kong is to be saved from itself it should get on with the job of sorting everything out and that means involvement in all the institutions, from unions to neighbourhood groups, so they have as many voices – and feet – involved at all the levels and most importantly at the root level where each individual counts. This will be fulfilling Hong Kong’s responsibilities. It will be participatory democracy. Sadly, that’s not the case...

Would, or really, will, an all-encompassing Communist Party with its model of ‘new democracy’ do a better job when it completes its take over in 2047, only thirty-two year’s time? Can the people of Hong Kong afford to wait that long?

Obviously they think not. In September, 2015, the first anniversary of the Umbrella Movement protests, which began on Sept. 28, 2014, and lasted for 79 days, was really ‘not celebrated’ in Hong Kong; which was a general feeling pervaded the mostly younger activists, though over a thousand of them gathered to mull over the issue.

Of these it was admitted almost 200 were against the Occupy phenomenon with some declaring it initiated problems in the economy as Beijing withdrew favours and cancelled business events to indicate displeasure.

Others have suggested that, by raising tensions in Hong Kong’s relationship with Beijing, the Umbrella Movement likely made it a tougher task to achieve greater western-style democracy in Hong Kong.

It was a long shot indeed to presume anything happening on the street in Hong Kong would alter Beijing’s plans for the ex-British colony. In Beijing’s view, what is current is democratic in the sense taken by the Communist Party, with the wide strata of representation at the various levels when voting takes place. Universal suffrage in the full western sense was never intended.

Occupy could be seen as a failure because Hong Kong did not get what the protesters originally asked for: universal suffrage. However, it takes another more subtle measure and gauge to give due credit to the Umbrella Movement’s success in raising civil awareness among the citizens.

One activist commented: “We lost the moment, but we’ll win the future.”

Joshua Wong who internationally became for many the face of the Umbrella Movement shared on his Facebook page: “After one year, it is not good for us just to celebrate our “good times” during Occupy, it is the time for us to say goodbye to the feelings of ‘helplessness’ as well as any Chinese cynicism. We should acknowledge that we did not achieve what we asked for, we do not have our popular vote in 2017, but we will not give up, we will think about our future road, to commit further to Hong Kong democratic movements, move on and always stay on the front line.

“We hope one year after, in 2016, we are not going to bring yellow umbrellas back to Admiralty, but we can tell other people, like those standing behind the front line or who keep silence, how we will take action in the following twelve months to change the local political cycle and to expand civil awareness.”

Will the students take any heed at all of the Beijing government’s stance. Or, of Mao Tse-tung - who proved his worth in the art of government and by his arbitration between the founding ideas of Marx-Leninism and their implementation on Chinese soil (for full details see my Humanize Hong Kong -

Yet, China has the spirit of democracy - this is why Mao spoke of the New Democracy. Ancient Chinese democracy was formed around village self-government with laissez-faire controls from the Central Government. It foundered on mis-education, a class based society, corruption and by the imposition of centralised taxation and control - in effect, by mismanagement.

Things are a great deal further forward today. Also, the possibilities of mass communications are available, if still managed by monopolies for profit and control - in a word - power. But many external things have changed for the good, the problem lies with the attitudes, the behaviour, the internal ‘thing’.

The promise of humanism comes in here, precisely, in the Humanization of Man. Humanize Man and the entirety of associated trappings are humanized. It is the next step to take the New Democracy to pure Communism and the only way the latter will work.

Communism, which places the value of the community - en masse - as the first priority, and labels it The State, has to be modified so the human being is given central value.

In practice this means a co-operative system of economy and of politics. It also means that the human being is recognised whatever the race, creed or colour.

The New Democracy sees a One Earth system, just like the old Chinese Universe but the educated Chinese see beyond their

nationalistic tendencies and include the whole of mankind in this One Earth.

It has always been said that Communism has to be a universal system to work, and that holds true. This may not necessarily mean 'the universe' ie., the whole planet, it can be 'their universe', their part of the planet, but that would mean a permanent situation of tension between the different worlds, just as we have today, more ideally without the ragged edges but there is an answer that overcomes those limitations.

People outside of the Communist brotherhood thought this meant an exclusivity, as did many fellow travellers who never gave active consideration to Communism and how it would work. The answer lay in the notion of a world society envisaged with a common denominator: Man - but Man as human being.

Man, defined in humanism as a socio-historical phenomenon, simply, a product of his or her social and historical conditions,

determines the rate of change depending in great degree on the intention.

Then Man becomes sufficiently independent of nature and stands apart and cannot be linked with that unthinking violence seen in the affairs of the jungle, or the desert, where survival is paramount and Madam Fate plays a major role. That was the Dark Ages, with settlement, leading to the Feudal Ages.

The methodology of humanism is active non-violence which works to displace from power every form of violence; whether physical, economical, racial, ideological, religious or cultural.

In the machine-like mentality of an industrial-material society Man is 'naturally' violent but the humanist doctrine opposes this, saying that with the intention of non-violence then Man is not violent.

The inhumane systems of all countries, whether Capitalist or Communist, and everything in between, are the direct cause of

people's stress. The pressures and forms of violence openly or discreetly practiced resulting in people's general violence. It

is the violence of the systems that is the problem - the root of the problem - the reaction of people is symptomatic only and

points at that root.

Give anyone the possibility of contentment and a proper education with future and there is no violence! That’s democracy East or West.

The New Democracy was not intended as the final solution, but to lead to peaceful co-existence among all people. To achieve this there has to be a new mentality and only today is the means available; the technology, the communications, the sufficient

number of educated, the surpluses, the awareness and the rising power of the young in spirit - that is usually coincident with the young of age.

In ancient China, in Confucianism, there was the idea of Rule in Virtue, where mankind was taken to be originally pure and

non-violent - exemplified by philosopher Wang Yangming - and where the problem was seen to be the environment and the system as agents that sullied. In Buddhism also, the Buddha Mind is originally pure, like a mirror. The effort involved in self-realisation is - once the mirror is cleaned - to keep the mirror free of dust. Bear in mind that the Gautama the Buddha is Man not god.

The Chinese Communist propaganda machine, that made the entire Communist experiment work, now has to be placed at the service of humanizing. Whereas it has been used for the external work of good personal hygiene, birth control and the like in its everyday applications, it also deals with qualification of the entire population of China in regard to the doctrine of Communism, the works of Marx-Leninism, the works and thought of Mao Tse-tung and on, via Deng to Xi Jin-ping. Also, very importantly, to inspire Communists with the fire and brimstone of Communist idealism. Well, a reorientation has to be given.

Of utmost importance is it that the individual trace his or her

'internal bomb' of violence to its roots, to at least gain acquaintance with its origins. By this it can be seen that the

'given situation', that into which each of us was born, was often enough a raw deal from the start. To clear the patch, to see the conditioning and then see the machine of the system in action, that's the personal work.

The system - which never accepts responsibility and has a built-in mechanism of reversibility where blame is set squarely

on the shoulders of its enclosed parts - is unaccountable. In humanism it has to be made accountable. In so doing, this will

destabilise its accomplices.

These accomplices are the very bureaucrats that foul up the works for self-gain, as already stated. The modern compradore - the sudden and so-called 'Liberal Party' people in Hong Kong and their willing allies. These latter are the type of people who say, "I only work here, I don't make the rules." What they say is true enough, but do they have to work there? If, because of the false economics of the system, the answer seems to be yes, then the revolution starts by providing everyone with alternative non-destructive forms of employment.

Not that it is just those business liberals at the top of the heap that are here fingered, their opportunist minions on whatever level of the social or business scale are similarly guilty. The bureaucrat in any government office who slumps into his or her perpetually filled iron rice bowl. The petty wheeler-dealer in the shop who has your money and plays around instead of just delivering the goods. All of that is within the type.

But this is not just an appeal to the individual but a guide to the humanizing of Communism. For this to work the entire

propaganda machine of the Chinese Communist Party has to gear up to act in a different direction. Because, the problem is, just as the problem always has been, one of attitude. It is the how that is wrong, not the what.

Democracy is an aim in both the East and the West, it is just a question of how it is seen, in the former the term is laboured beyond its aspirations while in the latter it is the road seldom mentioned, the via positiva vs the via negitiva, very like the way of spiritual insight that demarcates West and East.

Which ever the route, in a democracy active non-violence is inherent and when active non-violence is used as the means to achieve an end it shows democracy in action.


Hi Pals,

This Sunday - 2i June 2o015 - is the Seasonal Meeting of the Humanist Movement and will be held at Fieldwork, 8 Ha Chung Long, Mui Wo, Lantau starting 3pm. Friends and any one interested is welcome.

Topics to be covered, informally, are: 

The Humanist Association and what it is about; 

short note on the other organisations related to the Humanist Movement; 

Silo’s Message - of active  non-violence as the methodology to bring lasting solution to conflicts, an experience; 

Personal Work, a self-study opportunity based on the writing Self Liberation; 

the idea behind Parks of Study and Reflection that are now widespread on all the continents;

Pressenza - an international press agency run by volunteers.

Each introduction will be very brief, enough to stimulate questions.

The discussions will end at 5pm and those wanting to join together in a BBQ from that time could help by bringing something for the table, basics will be provided - ie, salt and pepper.

Surely refreshments will be served, Chinese tea during the informal formalities and whatever arrives later.

Peace, Force and Joy





The Legislative Council’s Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene released its paper on Sustainable Agricultural Development asking for comments prior to the next meeting June 9, 2015. Here is the comments from the Humanist Association of Hong Kong regarding farming.

Bring back poultry and animal farming - dump the law which forbids anyone keeping a pig or more than twelve hens in Water Control Zones - which law has caused great anguish to farmers. SARS has long gone so it is time to allow markets to sell locally produced hens and the like as in any ordinary place. Animal waste is a useful byproduct and nulls the use of synthetic fertilisers, reducing imports and maintaining bio-diversity. 

Agricultural land and our valuable marine areas should not be converted into building sites. Land conversion for reasons of cash profits for powerful groups and individuals to stop. Nor should government officers and private developers use environmentalism as reasons for holding up important projects that are needed by people such as hospitals, special homes for the needy, public housing, schools etc. 

Farming and fishing carried out in a manner that guarantees the future of those industries. Young people need to be attracted into those areas and with the application of appropriate, affordable and interesting technology this can be done. There IS a minority who would rather farm if it were to afford them a living, which it does not, not without a farm policy. In this age the farmer or fisherman should not have to be a peasant. 

Give the Districts real decision power and involvement - this is particularly important for farming-gardening. In this way meaningful financial autonomy for the Districts can grow to responsibly address their management duties - not just library management level tasks and tennis courts. 

We do not agree with charging people for their waste produced. Government is responsible to lay down a system of dealing with waste where it can generate value. People cannot afford yet another form of taxation. Government should deal with the problem, lay down the supporting structure and people will co-operate.

It is better not to waste waste in landfills. Introduction of neighbourhood re-cycling systems with householder's participation - separating metals, glass, plastic and organic wastes of course but not to forget shrub and tree cuttings etc from parks composted for return to parklands; branches can be chipped for faster decomposition - recycle materials locally by introducing re-cycling neighbourhood systems for local disposal, not incineration or landfills.

Restructuring of Ag. & Fish. Dept. disengaging its present responsibilities over both conservation and exploitation - the Environmental Protection Dept. (EPD) should look after conservation. Change the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch to give Environment its independency and equal ranking. 

It is proper that the Ag. & Fish. Dept. handles mariculture, farming and fishing, but not conservation as this brings conflict of interest. Financial assistance to help pig and chicken farmers manage waste effectively to within the stipulations of the Water Control Zone requirements. Long term aim to re-introduce larger scale pig and poultry farming when livestock waste control methods are adequate. Development of Mr Ko Yu-lam's dung fermentation plant for general use - much cheaper than the Ag. & Fish. equivalent proposal. 

Make it an offense to import vegetables containing toxic amounts of pesticide. Better controls over large scale fish farming syndicates which over-feed stock for fast growth and pollute waters to the detriment of the environment and the entire mariculture industry. The ban on commercial trawlers is already making a difference but we need to ban using too fine or large area nets in-shore. Research into over-fishing locally. 

Fire breaks around hill cemeteries and barbecue sites - temporary country park wardens hired for fire-watching during Ching Ming and Chung Yang festivals. No developments in country park areas. Ban on any more golf courses. More areas to be declared Sites of Scientific Interest to protect local endangered species. Sites of Scientific Interest and conservation sites generally to have adequate buffer zones with controlled use of substances, eg., ban use of concentrated chemicals, and limitations on excavation and building, in their bio-region. Green the urban areas and clean the rural areas.


Humanist Association of Hong Kong 

Newsletter of the Humanist Association of Hong Kong 

- Hong Kong, SAR, China - Number 45 - June 2014


Editorial - page 1

Tiananmen – Total Recall or Total Revamp! - page 2

Japan 1941  - countdown to infamy - page 5

The Man Who Stayed Behind - page 7

Contact details - page 9


Dear friends,

The Humanist Association of Hong Kong has not seen much activity locally of late as myself, as central to the organisation, have taken my efforts external to Hong Kong though very much in tune with our Association’s aims - grandly, Humanise the Earth, Humanise Asia, and of course to Humanise Hong Kong. It’s in the latter that the activities are lacking. 

These days I spend most time writing for Pressenza, as a volunteer reporter/editor, as our Humanist Movement friends started this news agency a while ago and it operates on a volunteer basis, focussing on non-violence as the only way to get long lasting solutions and incorporating non-discrimination in all affairs.

Then, I am a member of the international team of the Humanist party International, making some effort at keeping everything the different humanist parties are doing worldwide in sync, not organising just co-ordinating what is already going on.

In this regard the international team is being reconstituted so the full members of the Humanist Party reading this newsletter are welcome to put themselves forward to represent their region, go to: log in and look for Become a Candidate... and just follow through. 

In Hong Kong I attend meetings of other groups where it seems interesting, representing our Universalist Humanism.

I rarely hold formal meetings as such these days and have not renewed attempts to reconstitute the executive committee for two years as not enough people put themselves forward for those roles previously - thus I remained as chairman.

I continue some relations with Bangladesh as I was part of a project there and I am pleased to say our presence in that country is now solid and there is no need for me to travel in and out, others, mostly from Europe, make visits and already there is a Park of Study and Reflection in Bangladesh. Excellent.

There has not been any such thing as a membership drive for many a year for our local Association and I see that as a sign of the times. People don’t readily join organisations any more, whether political, religious or what. In fact, for years now society is increasingly fragmented and human solidarity is lacking - witness the workers unions.

Contrarily, such as the Occupy Movement is generating interest where conditions press people to act and the examples the activities throw up show a new form of amalgamating and dissolving with a cloud-like phenomenon. Friends will act together when there is reason and strangers will join causes when circumstances build emotive force.

Our organisation’s main interests remain - no to nukes... including a no to nuclear power generation as it’s intimately tied to nuclear weapons making; getting all occupying troops to leave those occupied countries; bringing unity to Asian nations and an instance of this is in efforts to bring North Korea into the international fold; opening up channels of more conducive communication between China, the Koreas, Japan, but also with Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and so on. It is in this regard that I review Japan 1941 in this issue, see below.

Informal meetings of our HA are often held ad lib with friends and newcomers but no formal meetings are on the horizon.

The main thing is to bring this humanist message of peace and non-violence into Asia, and of course being in Hong Kong, into the Chinese psyche and to help occasion a point of view not limited by national concerns, rather, with an Asian perspective. Also, as a Hong Kong resident, to dig back into Chinese values as spoken by the likes of Master Kong and my particular favourite Wang Yang Ming.

If anyone would like to join the Humanist Association of Hong Kong they had better do so now - it’s HK$160 annual fee collected in January - monies collected next year 2015. If anyone has sights set on managing things and would like to be on the executive committee, fine. 

As for me, I wish to relinquish my role in the Humanist Association of Hong Kong and move over to other activities related to the Humanist Movement. Thus I here make a ‘last stand’ to let others know that unless there is a sudden rush of new blood into this Association then it will gently sink into its own past. No harm done.

Peace, Force and Joy


Tiananmen – Total Recall or Total Revamp!

June 4th in Hong Kong was commemorated with the usual gusto by Hong Kongers, mostly the youth, with a strong core of oldies that were around in 1989 when the Tiananmen incident took place. All the regulars that emerge on every Sunday for disputes with government over one thing or another were there of course.

Organisers place the figures at 180,000 and that must be the more accurate figure as those playing down the attendance at such demonstrations have various means of chipping away at the actual by having their own criteria – in this instance those outside the ground not counted by (defensively) pro-Beijing organisations, for instance.

While the main thrust was and still is a highly charged accusation against the Chinese Communist Party’s use of the military (the People’s Liberation Army) against students and workers on the days of the incident, given that the CCP is a People’s Party and the military an armed force of and for the people, the matter is a hot issue.

What is required by the general body of protesters is a reassessment of the event as quite different from an anti-state action, rather, the demonstrations in Beijing need to be seen and formally accepted as a legitimate expression for valid reasons (mainly anti-corruption) by the public. However, the government of today’s China find that too much of a climb down and refuses to do so. In time this change of tack will very likely come about, but not in the very near future.

While Tiananmen is a big thing and it was a game changer for China both domestically and internationally, this has come about because of the media coverage at the time and the emphasis given by western-interest media groups getting over-excited at the immediacy of the coverage from the balconies of the Beijing Hotel looking down Chang’an Avenue towards Tiananmen Square a few hundred meters away in a place so media-hot as China.

As Mike Chinoy wrote about that moment as CNN’s Beijing Bureau Chief in 1989: “I could see armored vehicles of the People’s Liberation Army moving just in front of the famous portrait of Chairman Mao hanging above the vast square. Below me crowds gathered, surged forward, and then broke and dispersed as soldiers opened fire at them. Several people were hit. I watched as others loaded the dead and wounded onto flatbed bicycle carts.” We have all seen images of that time.

Chinoy commented that the weeks of student-led protests had become the largest movement for political reform in the history of the People’s Republic. The military crackdown he covered had far-reaching consequences, not only for China’s development but also for its relations with the rest of the world.

“The protests generated unparalleled international coverage, and became a defining moment in the Information Age. It was the first time a popular uprising in an authoritarian state was broadcast live across the globe, he added. ***

Thus the brave soul who stopped the line of tanks is broadcast as a hero of the revolutionary moment, which he indeed was, but not a jot of thanks was given to the tank driver and crew, and their instructions from above, which had the killing machine twisting and turning in order not to hurt the magnificent loner with his shopping bag.

Tianamen became a very tender sore spot for China and the West lost no opportunity to give it another jab, all those human rights groups falling over themselves to document and highlight the infringements, and the wide range of figures for the actual deaths.

China gives top priority to stability. In 1989 there was great danger of wholesale instability and if there was the mobile phone then and social media as per today no one knows what might have happened. Even then news slowly got out to the provinces and trainloads and buses of youths began converging on the capital – too late.

The USA in particular has a horror of the Communist ideology and socialism too is a bad word and of course Europe just follows on in the wake of that big power. As is well known, real Communism never arrived, just the same as Real Democracy is not applied, thus in the years after 1949 the system in China solidified to a hardline bureaucracy where human rights were far down the list of priorities.

However, looking at the realities on the ground, China has surged ahead and is a vital component in the economics of this modern world that is so heavily influenced by the superficialities of western culture – it’s not like the East is taking the best from the West! There are ‘things western’ or USA-American, that not only do not fit in the ‘East’ (also South), but are detrimental to cultures that rely on group solidarity, on a certain uniformity, an acceptance of norms that are collective as against individualistic.

Despite being a rather worn term, imperialism continues to run its course that was once so blatant and obvious with the British Empire not hiding its intent in the least. Well, those days are over but the ‘running dogs’ of its schema around the world still inflict their dominating ways on people and should make a repenting pledge that they will immediately stop all their ‘divide and conquer’ efforts in Asia, for instance between China and Japan, supported by their agents in the Philippines and Vietnam, and, in and around the old Soviet Union, among the pro- and con- West factions in Russia’s effort to reunify the Soviet Union.

As political commentator Lau Nai-keung has said, in the early days of Hong Kong’s commemorative Tiananmen event Szeto Wah, Martin Lee and their pals monopolized the authority to define who is and who isn’t a democrat. But can’t a person who approves of the progress being made on the mainland still be a democrat?

Local resident and ex-Legco member Elsie Tu – who turned 101 June 2 – lost her Legco seat simply because she was castigated as pro-Beijing by Szeto Wah whose campaign targeted Tu’s perceived “pro-Chinese” stance. Elsie was one of the very few British who fought against the injustices of the British colonial government towards the Hong Kong people, and she fought the hardest. There is a body of local Hong Konger’s that seem to have lost sight of their essential Chinese features that are set in deep cultural values.

As a Chinese-American friend Joe Ching puts it: “China should revive the Asian tradition of cultural unification, which was instrumental in absorbing Mongolians and Manchurians into the large Chinese family and made China the most ethnically harmonious country in the world.

“If Mao Ze-dong can be credited with cleansing out the Western barbarian elements from China and knocking down America’s nuke fence with a ping pong ball, Deng Xiao-ping should be remembered for having kept China in one piece at Tiananmen Square. Now it’s time for Xi Jing-ping to unite Asia against the century-old America [European] imperialism in the Asia Pacific.”

An accompanying consideration must be given to China’s distinct regions where there are problems of autonomy and the lack of it, that points at the problem of standardisation as the latter is wanted by central governments for reasons of control – but how to allow for differences? Force might be necessary but violence never.

That’s the crux of the matter when it comes to Tiananmen!


However, this article linked below casts doubts on Mike Chinoy’s veracity in that moment:


Japan 1941  - countdown to infamy 

By Eri Hotta

Published by: Alfred A. Knoff, 2013

What amazed me on reading this book was the lack of co-ordination among all those involved in making the final call for Japan to go to war. Not only did I learn of the inadequacies of Japan’s top echelon - at least as a collective -  in its communications, its prioritisation of decision making, in divisions among the miliary branches regarding how much of the budget and which department got it, but all that brought to mind an immediate and current more dire matter - the frailty of governments when it comes to handling the nuclear problem in light of the monied power of the nuclear industry - besides any call to war. This latter feeling of concern is existentially about today... What a mess then in Japan and it went to war; so, how is it today, anywhere and everywhere?

Other than two strong voices in those times, no one else in Japan really wanted to go to war with the United States of America. The people, the public, were neither consulted nor informed and that also is a marker for today despite a more widespread democratic form and with a freer press. Sadly, not so free everywhere!

Those Japanese that had been in closest contact with the West, as travellers, as ambassadors to Washington, to Paris and the like, they were the most apprehensive as they understood the might of the USA and it’s European allies and Britain of course and that ‘enemy’ for them had not been dehumanised.

Even the emperor, who was and is not in command of either government nor military, did not want to go to war but could only pen a poem that could be taken and interpreted depending on which side you were on, or better, which side a person felt he had to go-along with for reasons of self-pride public face, and, to maintain the position of a particular faction. Interesting that no women played any significant role in the pre-Pearl Harbor years.

Recalling my initial interest in this book, referred by friends as to do with the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere, was my question concerned the sincerity of the Japanese intention behind that concept or push. Was it pure expansionism?

All the nations in the sphere - Burma (now Myanmar), British Malaya (Malaysia and Singapore), the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia, French Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos), and the Philippines, had been part of western colonial empires (page 12 of the book) - though Philippines was no longer a colony at the time of the Japanese invasion. Thus the occupying Japanese could legitimately say they were liberating their Asian brothers and sisters from the white peoples. But, this was seen by the Japanese more in the vein of, “reorganising their societies into viable cultural, economic and political bloc under Japan’s leadership”. Economic imperialism. Change of owners!

As an aside note, the list would also take in Australia, Samoa, Hawaii and Guam, all in the sphere of East Asian nations.

The USA was freezing Japan’s assets and using sanctions and navy control of sea lanes to determine inputs into Japan and with its urgent industrialisation Japan needed lots of raw materials and following the countries military successes against China and against Russia, was in a plucky mood. All the above led to the adventures across Asia and the planning and intention underlying those adventures had reasonableness given the plight of an island nation without resources. Japan was being squeezed. There were reasons for that but, what does a cornered creature do?

The Japanese media used the term ABCD - standing for American, British, Chinese and Dutch - in domestic propaganda to mellow the population’s point of view on the necessity for military action and the media in Japan was in no way free at that time, totally controlled by government and industry finance.

Whatever good intentions certain Japanese might have had - and it is worthy and delightful to read such as Kakuzo Okakura’s The Awakening of Japan (1904) , or his The Ideals of the East to determine what those intentions were or might have been - it was he who declared that there is no Yellow Peril, that the empire (Japan’s) though warlike, stands not for aggression but for peace!

He was worried about Japan’s modern successes and would that lead to the loss of its ancient and distinctive arts - the essential interest that lay at the centre of his writings was all to do with the Japanese spirit! To reiterate, was it pure expediency and expansionism that fired Japan at that moment or was their an underlying care for Asia?

This is important because in Asia today Japan and China are facing off and as is plain to see the benefactor of that is the threatened industries of the Western-based corporate conglomerates that are increasingly trans-national. Money does not have an ethical base, human societies have or need to have.

It’s not that Asia has better values than do the European countries, to speak of the usual juxtaposition. This little writing is approaching a wider arc where East and West do meet. However, an underlying question is about the sameness of Asian values, Asian cultures, and do they more easily latch together, at least more easily than with ‘western’ cultures?

Surely the answer is yes, they do. The reasons for China and Japan to be at odds today is that typical to family feuds, neighbour feuds, because of proximity and the immediacy of their contact. It is easy to ‘love’ someone who is far away from one’s reality, thus brothers fight.

The over-arching influence of western cultures on Eastern cultures is causing those of Asia who care enough about the phenomenon to activate against those influences and rightly so when they destroy the fabric of daily life, family life. But it has to be understood by Asia that the West has sacrificed it’s own essential values to make it on the world scale as seen in the excesses - to put it mildly - of the British in India. A mix of the good and the bad - see the movie Passage to India, or read  E. M. Forster s book...

Looking through all of this and as a conclusion to this instigating effort to remind us all of the importance of regaining the ground of real values in a world that is rapidly losing valid references I appeal to a quote from Lilly Adams Beck: 

“The values of East and West do not clash. They are supplementary and interchangeable; and it will be well for the world when this is fully realised, and there is free circulation of thought. The faith of a nation is its soul. Her literature is her intellect. Nations who do not meet on these grounds cannot understand one another, and understanding is the most vital need of the present day”, from The Story of Oriental Philosophy (1928). 


The Man Who Stayed Behind

By Sidney Rittenberg and Amanda Bennett

Simon & Schuster, published 1993

Reviewed by Tony Henderson

What a story. He really was a believer – in the Communist ideals… and why not. Thrown in jail in China for long spells, not just once but twice, he stuck to his beliefs and did not let the side down. Not many of us would be able to go to such lengths. How could ‘The Party’ – the Chinese Communist Party – stray so far from its initial purity evident in reports from 1949 and thereabouts, in its beginnings? The core were so strong, why did they falter?

The value of the book lies in its detailed experiences of living under Chinese communism as Rittenberg acknowledges its achievements but personally went through its terror. He disapproves of the radicalism of Mao but the only other alternative turned out to be Deng’s corruption – of Communism. He cast doubt on communist ideals in the end but in spite of the material comforts he enjoys now he could not find real solace and peace of mind in the coziness of American capitalism.

And, in spite of the grudges expressed in the book, highly deserved in their holding, that Mao treated him unfairly we can say Rittenberg is largely non-judgmental and that makes the book all the more credible and admirable.

He seems to have found his journey worthwhile judging from his evocations of the little girl in Guizhou (or Yunnan) at the beginning and end of the writing. He only regretted that his personal salvation was not proportionate to that he had hoped for knowing that he had helped the people of China from his very heart despite that he was intentionally influencing things in his way trying his best to bring everyone back into line. Not even Chinese, he was part of the revolution and in those days there was an international dimension -“Workers of the World Unite”.

To intersperse a personal note, such was the impression of this highly readable book that I began to reflect on the Humanist Movement I am part of and, will its special form of no-form enable us to keep the integrity in the face of System onslaught? I was not concerned about the future of our first-born political-social organisation, the Humanist Party, because Silo (founder of our Universalistic Humanism) himself said at its launch worldwide in 1984 that ordinarily it takes about seven years before any organisation brought into the public sphere would likely be corrupted. Meaning, it would be undemocratic for us to hang on to power and guide everything so letting it free for anyone to be elected into positions all kinds of oddities were likely. The bane of democracy, even real democracy! The Movement is a different kettle of fish though and has a very different interior so I am not actually concerned but still, just reading about how far the communist party went off the rails was disturbing, sacrificing its very own… for the ‘Greater Good’.

With the Humanist Movement we have no such tenet, for us there is no departure from ‘good for one good for all’ and the other way around equally. No, no sacrificing of the individual for some assumed higher cause. Our principles of valid action speak immediately against that! “Things are well when they move together, not in isolation.”

Socialism brings that, or should bring that, principle into play. Capitalism quite the opposite. It has no intention explicit beyond that of profits to the successful, but it can be modified, of course. There is this ‘enlightened capitalism’ concept with all kinds of checks and balances. That could work. Then, there would be no difference between the two.

Democracy is similar, given all the essentials… free and fair elections to posts, free exchange of information and free press, a working judicial system, equal access to funds for propagating platforms and manifestos, given all that democracy is very good, probably the best way to organise a state’s management or a company’s operations - if not the only way, ask the Chinese! But, no takers because with those guaranteed supporting pillars no way can the greedy hang on to power and suck up the wealth, national or corporate.

Trouble is, we are starting out in a state of gross inequality and there is no bridge between the haves and not haves and when bridges begin to be built they are broken down by forces under sway of the money.

Example, if you have no regular job that’s one side with one point of view; if you serve in one of disciplined services, get regular pay, meals, accommodation, schooling for the kids, health benefits, well of course you will go out to the streets and bash a few heads at the beck and call of politicians or authorities.

When Rittenberg came home to Beijing from prison he was saddened at the sights. “Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army used to be models of courtesy and discipline in the cities; they were the favourite sons of the people. Now, rude young lads in uniform pushed their way through the long bus lines to squeeze onto the bus, and the civilians who were shoved aside eyed them angrily.”

New buildings were shoddy even at the outset but the biggest difference was the relations between people. There was a new definition of the word ‘friends’. A friend was someone who could get you something, who would put a few pairs of shoes under the counter and hold them until you arrive with few choice cuts of meat. The ‘back door’ was another term he heard redefined for the first time. Using the back door – special personal connections – was the only way to get things done.

Rittenberg found that corruption had seeped into the very marrow of the party structure. He found that the party he had known was dead and gone. It had been destroyed by its creator, Mao Zedong, in the Cultural Revolution.

He saw that the major problems were in Communist doctrine itself, not simply in the way it was carried out… “It wasn’t the fault of Stalin, it was Lenin who had been at fault. And for all his brilliance, Marx’s social and economic theories were limited like everyone else’s and contained major errors. I realised I had vastly overestimated the degree of truth that any preset social ideology can hold, and the capacity of human planning to determine the development of society, whether economic, political or intellectual.”

Rittenberg admits that he had been completely wrong to accept the policy decisions and interpretations of a small group of leaders as if they somehow held a monopoly over the truth.

“At the core of all my political errors was accepting what Lenin held was the central point in Marxist politics: the necessity of having a tight “people’s dictatorship” to prepare the ground for attaining a future perfect democracy.”

He also seen, at last, that he had acquired a stake in the system and the life he had lived in China, “a life of perks, privilege, and deluded complicity”.

Deng’s shut down of the Democracy Wall and the arrest of some of the main poster-writers also came as a shock to Rittenberg as was the proclamation by Deng on January 16, 1980, that no newspaper would be allowed to print anything that did not conform to Party policy.

He did recognise Deng’s greatness in reforming the Chinese economy, riding over the system of bureaucratic overcentralisation and international isolation. But the corruption was too evident. As for Mao Zedong, Rittenberg came to see him as “a brilliant, talented tyrant, responsible for the misery and deaths of millions, or possibly tens of millions.”

Interestingly he said: “If he (Mao ) had died before coming to power, he would probably still be remembered as prophet and as something close to a saint.

Despite admiring Mao on many fronts Rittenberg seen Mao’s fatal flaws lay in his beliefs that terror exercised against those who opposed him was the only way to educate and govern the Chinese people; in believing that ‘every idea without exception bears the brand of a definite class’. He was wrong in his economic ideas – tightly controlled, centrally planned state economy secured by forced unanimity of opinion.

However in Mao’s term in China fact is the country was unified and freed of internal warfare for the first time in one hundred years. Lifespans were doubled. The sick children were gone from the cities and rice bowls filled. A rudimentary justice system was born – though by now only honoured in the breach as he says. Deng led the Chinese people to the highest standard of living in their history.

Rittenberg notes that despite all the noise about human rights and the ill treatment of dissidents the Chinese in real terms now have about the greatest degree of individual freedom in the land’s history.

He calls June 4, 1989, a massacre – with the PLA used by the party to shoot the people – but despite that he believes that the Chinese will “gradually evolve a form of political democracy that, while learning much from the West, will also draw on the best of Chinese civilisation and will learn to avoid some of the mistakes that mar our own democratic system.”

In the final pages of his book Rittenberg states his present belief – that an important part may be action of a smaller sort, as people of good will are stirred – not to overthrow an established order – but to change quietly the small part of the world over which they have influence.” In that there is coincidence with our Universalistic Humanism.

Happily, Rittenberg was reinstated in China in the early eighties and has been considered a good friend of China since. His name has been written into the history of modern China in very positive terms. The Chinese friend Lionel who suggested I read the book and whose comments have been assimilated by me here, tells that it has not been translated into Chinese, possibly because of the words Rittenberg pronounced against Mao.

Tony's webpage

Asia Editor

Pressenza - International Press Agency

Contact editor of this newsletter:

Tony Henderson:

tonyhen  @

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Membership drive (early) 2014 

Join as a friend of the Humanist Association of HK which is free of any charge and free of any set tasks just agree to our commitments to non-violence and non-discrimination, plus adhere to the ideas found in our Document of the Humanist Movement (below), and join any project or meeting freely. Send your contact details.


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What we do - HA of HK - for involvement with general political and social affairs that concern Hong Kong under the SAR of China, also Asian affairs, and where there is an international impact, world affairs. We work in affiliation with the International Federation of Humanist Parties (Humanist International) with member status. Human cultural affairs and the environment are also within our sphere of interest. 

Freedom of belief or unbelief is our stance when co-operating with others - the project is the point not the beliefs, because behaviour is the best indicator of the human rather than expressed beliefs or opinions.

"Treat others as you would be treated"


Photo below: Full house attendance at Coffee Shop Arch, in Shanghai, that was the venue for a talk given by the Humanist Association chairman in 2004.

Photo below

Our Association has active links with Australia, Bangladesh; India, Nepal, Pakistan and Philippines. We are part of the Asia-Pacific Humanist Forum, see photo below - Mumbai launch - March 2007.

Occupy Hong Kong kick-off event - we were there! (see photo below)

 Tony Henderson elected on to the board of the International Co-ordinating Team, Humanist International -(Federation of Humanist Parties)

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Newsletter of the Humanist Association of Hong Kong 
- Hong Kong, SAR, China - Number 43 - December 2013

What do you say as a universal humanist to the parents of a child who is suddenly struck down with a serious illness, likely terminal but surely extensively debilitating, and it's Christmas? They are part of this writer's family. They are a Christian family. Do you repeat the "God is Infinitely Merciful" dictum? Is it better, in such case, to be a believer or an unbeliever? As a believer what are you left with? As an unbeliever, what did you start with...?
This is the kind of personal milestone that can cause a total rethink which can lead one away from the truth of the matter, or, can bring one to see everything just that much more clearly.
We, each of us, is on a precipice of life. Nothing can be reversed. We have each of us arrived here, in the personal now, and have all this history of particularised birth, upbringing, conditioning, and either a mostly unthinking acceptance of our status quo, or - very much less likely - we are questioning everything that goes to make up this life and are steadying the feet poised to do different, be different. A heroes path!
What to do but take all that is good, all that we do have, and make do with the remnants of what went before, because the term remnants about covers a young life full of its enthusiasms and laughter that is brought to a close so early, leaving that multitude of memories and images of what once was and is no longer.
We have to believe in our own personal life and its worth, its value and if none is seen then we have to make it so. We owe it to the universe, to the human family collectively, to our own family who have to ‘soldier on' no matter what. It is the way to redress that situation that left such an emptiness which is not entirely empty because what was, strangely, ever remains, thus the infinite is repeatedly testified to.
It is not a question of God or no god. It is a question of Life. Life is eternal and life goes on, incorporating everything passed ‘for the greater good'. The hard reality is we have to be thankful we got this far and got so much even if, like the poor, it's very little.  ‘Much' is a relative term. A pencil is a lot to a child with nothing at all. How much more when we are left with our life. Gratitude is the only worthy feeling to grasp firmly, all else is worthless.
Let's give sincere thanks through our deepest feelings for all that we have received, so freely, no matter to whom or what we ascribe that beneficence.

In Asia right now the biggest threat to us all is nuclear war. People tend to play it down, ignore it, but it's actuality would finish everything off, not just us, the becoming humans, but all our contextual life, fauna and flora.
That's why our spawned organisations such as World Without Wars and Violence, the Humanist Party (International) in its national niches holds to that ‘no to nuclear...' stand as primary.
Next comes a ‘no to nuclear power generation’ as it is done today and that is because the industry is intimately tied in with nuclear weapons. No nuclear power stations; no nuclear weapons material - simple as that. 
So we are "No to nuclear" people.
Which nation is the biggest threat? The nation with the most nuclear weapons, the USA; then the Russia. Only the USA threatens Asia, directly North Korea but indirectly, China.
But is this the people of the USA, no! It is those in power, those politicians. What is it with politicians? What is it with typical political parties? Is it all about power and not what an organised group of people, acting as a team, can do to better the lot of the populace? It should be about ‘the greater good' but by all appearances it is not. Not in the democracy flagships of the USA or Britain, not in deepest darkest Congo-ist Africa. No, it is about getting into power and holding onto power. 
Yes, yes we have come a long way, ‘we' being a very iffy-fraught term as the general ‘we' is now calling itself the 99%, while the monied power-wielders are now defined as the 1% - they are the ones calling the shots.
In any society it is proving almost impossible to dislodge them from power and on the occasion when they are ‘taken down', after the party is over and daylight arrives there they are, back again with a change in name...
It would seem ‘we' are our worst enemy. Boiling that statement down, ‘I am my worst enemy' despite that I am my only hope. 
This is why in our universal humanism we pay attention to our ‘internal affairs', not just of the particular organisation we may refer to, bringing about transparency etc, but to each of our personal lives and thus-far experiences that have brought us to this juncture. Without this look within we would behave mechanically just like any other person or organisation. If we want to solve problems we must avoid that.
We cannot say Nature is mechanical. There is something marvellously and creatively spontaneous about Nature and all of its productions, so obvious when we look around and really see. It is far beyond mechanical manufacture. 
However, Nature has its own course to take so not much more to say on that topic when we are dealing with the human reality and present predicament.
Let's mention Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine; also, in Africa, the Congo, the Sudan especially now South Sudan, and Mali, the plight of the Tuareg but also so many marginalised minorities all pressured by the powerful ones, with the money and guns, instead of protected and their cultures nurtured.
The human being has a place in all of this which Greater Nature has bestowed on this planet and must play a constructive part in its progressive development in a way that sustains human life far into the future. We cannot do that mechanically, we must wake up - as individuals and as whole peoples, wake up in the sense The Buddha implied and still implies today in that  teaching. 
It is the same with other teachings, religious and otherwise, from Confucius to the ancient Greeks, from the wise during the Byzantium period, to those who organised the libraries of Alexandria and Toledo, of wise courts like that of Rudolph II, and also Federico II who brought together people of merit and melded West and East. The Islamists have to remember that the great Prophet Mohammad united the warring tribes!
These are the humanist moments that we can refer to, and the European Renaissance which sadly was derailed from its initial path by the stronger urges of the blossoming scientific age which led to industrialisation, good in itself but followed without the accompanying enlightenment of those so-called to implement that industry, which became wholly materialistic.
This is why today, as always with us, the call is to self study, study and observe onself, feel in the deeps of oneself, which is the safest way to change because as has been said, to change onself without knowledge is a danger - when the workings of the psycho-physical human structure isn't clearly understood, so what to change? Feel with due sensibility and the change will take place! We must lift our behaviours out of the realm of the violence, of the eye for an eye, to that of The Christ, the truth bringer, The Messenger - which is a good reason to call those works a ‘new testament'. 
In an appropriate modern guise the works of the prime founder of universal humanism, Silo, can help us prepare the way and we study these works he bequeathed us, building and maintaining the institutions Silo helped establish that are launched in that direction, with that aim.
The Parks of Study and Reflection have that intent, now functioning in many places around the world, all taking as their reference our first Park at Punta de Vacas, not far from Mt. Aconcagua in the Andes mountain chain, once just a border outpost between Argentina and Chile.
The action of our Parks is like that of lighthouses, shining guiding lights to assist distressed and lost vessels that are out at sea, the Sea of Life, also surging with good and human intentions.
Let's make a difference in 2014 and the Lunar New Year starting January 31 - the Year of the Horse, my year.
Peace, Force and Joy
Tony's webpage

Asia Editor
Pressenza - International Press Agency

Contact editor of this newsletter:
Tony Henderson:
tonyhen @
Mobile: 90487639


September 15, 2013 South China Morning Post / Sunday Post

We are in full agreement with David Akers-Jones, “Correcting lever needed to tackle poverty”, (SCMP  Sept. 2013) and find Nick Au Yeung’s government defence: “Government doing all it can to help poor citizens in Hong Kong”, SCMP, Sept 10, 2013) not just the usual bacon, but lamentable. 

One lament everywhere today is, unfair rent hikes, with people urgently seeking places to live at an affordable rate. What happened to the previous rent controls? 

The term ‘free market’ is a falsity. The property market is controlled by those corporations that hold the rights to sell and let, also by landlords who jump on the upward rise of rents simply because they want to have more cash themselves.

This is neither ethical ‘business as usual’ or, sustainable Capitalism - it is self-seeking and against the public good. 

The Occupy Movement is well named, even if only co-incidently. To have a place to live is one of the ‘musts’ for any family or individual. The very reason for such grass-roots movement is to get, at last, a decent human way of life. It’s not about the vote!

Actually, governments should handle all essential industries and services and can do it more than adequately, even if it demands a massive work force. Private enterprises have been undermining government services - government has to fight back. 

Particular protection for public utilities - the energy sector; essential transport; shipping and ports; security - prisons; resources of sea and land as agriculture and fisheries; and country parks management.

This will take political will and power and co-operating political groups - which need to see their common aim - the betterment of the political-economic situation for a majority.

Introduce rent controls immediately, put financial support into all public not private institutions, ease integration with southern China to open up jobs and housing opportunities, free education in Cantonese at all levels including university with English as second language, cancel Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, integrate regional airports so no need for third runway. Look carefully at the advantages of a Green and diversified economy.

This includes public banks partnering with community banks, credit unions, other local financial institutions and municipal governments to provide the sustainable and affordable credit that is essential to support locally directed economic development, restore vital public services and create jobs.

Developed economies are under crisis and there is no solution under their presently disintegrating system, which is blinkered into privatisation in every sector. That’s because the moneyed are calling the shots. Our humanist proposals point in a new direction, which essentially returns us, rearmed with technology, to ‘old-fashioned’ wholesome values.

SCMP published version edited down for reasons of length and brevity follows:
Letters to the Editor, September 15, 2013

Reject free market and restore values

The Humanist Association of Hong Kong fully agrees with David Akers-Jones ("Correcting lever needed to tackle poverty", September 5) and finds the response from Nick Au Yeung, of the chief executive's office, ("Government doing all it can to help relieve plight of poor in HK", September 10) lamentable.

The term 'free market' is a misnomer. The property market is controlled by corporations and landlords who want more cash for themselves. This is neither ethical nor sustainable capitalism. It is self-seeking and against the public good.

The Occupy movement is well named, even if only coincidentally. A place to live is a fundamental need for any family or individual. The protest is about striving for a decent way of life.

Governments should handle all essential industries and services and can do it more than adequately. Private enterprises have been undermining public services and the government has to fight back. In particular we must protect public utilities: energy; transport; shipping and ports; security and prisons; resources of sea and land such as agriculture and fisheries; and country parks management.

This will take political will and power and bipartisan support, in which the common aim is the betterment of the lives of the majority.

Other steps should include introducing rent controls; giving financial support to public and not private institutions; and encouraging cross-border integration to open up jobs and housing opportunities.

Developed economies are in crisis and there is no solution under their disintegrating system of blinkered privatisation. That's because the moneyed are calling the shots. Our humanist proposals point in a new direction, returning us, rearmed with technology, to "old-fashioned", wholesome values.

Tony Henderson, chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong

Syria - statement - updated

Humanist Association
 of Hong Kong 
26 August 2013
Press release:

Syria continues to hold the world’s attention. The denial of the worth of any investigation - "it is too late" - shows that the real aggressors that are hiding behind the norms of statehood are intent on continuing the destruction.

It is imperative that the perpetrator of the chemical weapons attack that took place Wednesday 21 August in Damascus be determined before any nation's government or coalition of same places blame that results in the launch of any further attack on Syria. 

More missiles and bombs are not an answer and only mean further deaths and injuries to the Syrian people. Soldiers are people and the outrage of remote killing of armed forces is considerably worse than conventional fighting where at least one soldier can see the other whom he - or she nowadays - is duty-bound to engage. 

There is the possibility that a sufficient grouping of the international community will muster itself to impose further warring actions against Syria to commandeer the stocks of chemical weapons no matter by which side those weapons are held because those nations fear chemical weapons falling into the hands of the forces acting against them, namely the Al Qaeda-linked (to try and give that grouping a name) forces.

The Syrian government has not until now co-operated with those requesting it to allow the UN investigative team already in the country to try and determine from whence the 21 August chemical attack came. The UN inspectors are in Damascus on invitation of the Syrian government after pressure from Russia, because the UN refused to send inspectors unless they were granted the same kind of access and conditions as those the inspectors in Iraq had... 

Remember, ‘from whence the arrow came" was not the UN brief. If readers recall, the investigative team that looked into the weapons of mass destruction facade during the Iraq War was thrown out of Iraq when it was uncovered that the team was heavily infiltrated by USA spies. No wonder this time Asssad was ‘shy'!

Also, all efforts going toward normalisation by the Assad regime have been ignored by the ‘West' and more than that, labelled as insincere - but significant numbers of the Syrian population did want to give the Syrian government space to start reforms. 

It is also good to recall that in the very beginning the protests against the Assad regime were peaceful and what had been seen in Tunisia for example was a clear reference in Syria. However, other violent influences came to bear and the way of peace was lost in the ensuing melee. Those days of attempting to enact change non-violently have been undermined and the hysteria of civil war has engulfed the nation.

Let us remember how the government was changed in the Philippines, with a peaceful revolution (against Marcos). The Philippine army simply sided with the people. It can be done!

Bombing Syria from distant warships is a cowardly act and not an answer - it is a war crime. Any country sending arms and munitions into Syria is guilty of killing the Syrian people. Any outside force aiding one side or the other with weapons and munitions supplies is guilty of killing the Syrian people.

"No to Violence, yes to Life" is a message that needs to be loudly and clearly transmitted to everyone across the Middle East, which is a region tearing itself to pieces. That phenomenon shows a profound need for a reassessment of the Arab way of life as that desert-born culture is hit by massive amounts of oil money. That, plus the divisive attractions of a consumer and mass-marketed society that has become widespread, submerging all previously held Arab-values. 

Egypt - statement
18 August 2013
Press release:

The tragedy which is Egypt August 2013 has us humanists standing back and watching from afar, wanting to place our message of non-violence and non-discrimination there, into a society increasingly polarised and with no visible way locally of overcoming that daily enlarging divide.

The clear need for negotiations and dialogue is there, between the military controlled government, the ousted parliamentarians that are with President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the recently formed coalition of activist groups that are - together with the Brotherhood - protesting the military government's violent actions in this crackdown, and the people in general who in large part are unaffiliated, who just want their peaceful daily life back.

The United Nations, flawed as it is, remains the only institution that can adequately address all sides in this civil conflict. Not the USA, not the EU, not the dis-united Arab block, nor the African Union.

The UN can ask for a compromise on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood to begin speaking with the anti-revolutionary military-led government that has so recently been imposed on the people of Egypt. The world's nations can stop its financial and arms-related material support to that same anti-revolutionary military-led government. 

Everyone has to calm down. 

There is a need stop using non-uniformed security personnel on the street because people get confused and begin setting up vigilante bands themselves, not thinking about the need for neutrality on the part of all law enforcers.

The media - largely government controlled - can transmit a message of "No to Violence, yes to Life". On that basis government can decree the start of an era of non-harming (obviously non-killing or shooting etc) and in a fresh and full transparency have its police force take over its lawful duties to keep order, within the standard laws and without martial impositions of curfew etc. 

Immediately send the military back to the barracks ready for active duty should another nation deem to attack Egypt. Soldiers do not have training to minimise injury in conditions of civil strife and disturbances nor in handling street protests. That is the duty of trained police.

The Muslim Brotherhood must be part of the political process, as should be any group proposing a political way forward, however much in a minority. Violence must be absolutely barred by any group's leadership and avoided by individuals as an inhuman non-solution.

The way forward is to allow the best in all of the different factions to emerge and begin working as one for a future where freedom of expression and choice are paramount.

Newsletter of the Humanist Association of Hong Kong 
- being our endeavours in Universal Humanism - Hong Kong, SAR, China - 
Number 42 - August 2013


Humanist Movement gathering in Bihar, at Narhi Park - of Study and Reflection, 19 July to 21 July 2013.
Myself flying from Hong Kong to Kunming China then on to Kolkata, India, to progress onward by overnight train into Bihar.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Boarding China Eastern Airlines to the sound of Chinese melodies confirms that China has an identity and is not rolled over by the wave of globalisation and standardised music. Cebu Pacific likewise, declaring, ‘You are entering the world of the “Love Bus”.’ Most airlines though either play safe with a selection of classics or play outdated pops. The lively and noisy Chinese families are something to contend with on the flight however but as a Hong Konger it is not at all overwhelming.

Kunming Airport
Huge - I thought it would be like little-town Hexham Airport (near Blaydon-on-Tyne, my home town).
Got lost, looking for wrong gate. Cantonese not spoken here - nor English it seems. Girl going to South Korea helpful as I kept running into glass barriers and cul de sacs with the sought for gate ‘just over there’.
To get to India there is a demand to go in and out of immigration, in and out of China, - no transit here. Good job Edward Snowden didn’t choose Kunming for his launch.
I knew everything in China is on the bigger scale but I was thinking of Beijing and major cities. Here in Hunnan’s capital the airport is totally out of proportion to need - it seems to me anyway. There must be a plan!
At the snack shop, The Lucky Shamrock, selection between a very Chinese beer and Budweiser... and I thought I recognised the trademark but could not place it, asking, it was Tsing Tao - the waters of Lao Shan continue to go a long way. Wonder if it still says that on the tin...
Chicken noodles on the plane - nice - lots of sachets but no idea what they were. Tasty jelly-like desert drink.
For the next leg we fly back in time leaving here at 11.50 and arriving Kolkata 11.40 same day.
Chinese lady on the plane, US citizen, part of a big project with Hong Kong investment. An educational-agricultural one (presently only entertainment though) with lots of green and very peaceful she says. Land is cheaper in Kunming. Her little girl was not so happy - having travelled betwixt California, Taiwan, Hong Kong and now Kunming, accompanying mam.
The Kolkata Boys were not on the Hong Kong start flight; when I reached China Eastern desk at Kunming Airport though there they were - same look as on the Hong Kong-Dhaka flight years ago but the tough visa laws of Hong Kong have put a stop to that.... no more ‘Monkey Business’, no more Kasim... (Kasim phoned from Dhaka only yesterday)
From Dum Dum Airport (the name of the area, also, there was an arms factory there and that’s where they used to make the ‘dum dum’ bullet - from the 1980s).
Pre-paid taxi to Hotel Shivangam (on Baguiati VIP Road) that lay conveniently near the airport.
Thursday, 18 July, 2013
In the morning  I really enjoyed the neatly presented complimentary hotel breakfast, butter and jam, tea and toast. Omelette. Later tried to bus to a market called Planet East (locally called Darumdhala) but complicated so took a taxi for R250. But, shopping arcade yet to open so went to Sealdah Station, R500 in total.
There’s another, the New Market - built decades ago - it turned out to be near the Fairlawn Hotel - more on that later.
The station I needed was Sealdah Station - as different from Howrah Station, the other main station.
Tried to shop at the supermarket near Sealdah entrance but because suitcases not allowed, meant storing it - actually I wanted to change my R1,000 note as it was inconveniently large and I needed small change for the train. After much too-ing and fro-ing the young chap in charge allowed me in, though my camera had a sticker placed which is yet to come off...
Decided to board around 3pm so had to hang around for a while with the crowds sitting and lying about, from families to tramps a la India, itinerant or just homeless bearded men in orange. The porters carried very heavy head-mounted loads.
The staffer at the information desk, on being asked which platform my train would leave from, told me to watch the electronic bulletin board and it would be announced. There was no restaurant car on the train - following the railways privatisation - though at stations snacks would be supplied by hawkers.
Everything appeared well organised but for me I wanted to see someone in a uniform who looked like staff so I could be reassured I was on the right platform, train and seat... not to be. You just have to know and anyway there was a list by the door of your particular carriage - but that was new to me, especially after China where nothing seems left to chance or an independent minded traveller and people in uniform keep pointing you along in the desired direction... In India you are on your own... everyone wandered freely and just got on trains or got off. It worked but a mystery how, to this relative newcomer. 
Seen from the train, three black pigs, healthy and clean, running by the track. Groups of men playing cards on a disused rail track. Black collared starlings and hooded crows. Black cows, rugged looking, grazing and more pigs - trackside farming. Hovels, acres of water hyacinth, water towers, kite flying kids.
New bridge over brown waters and soon a city station, Houghly Ghat.
Evening, a magical glow over the human habitats - tall palms and some distance and green lush all helps to bury the rags and tags of rubbish and unfinished construction. The housing blocks occasionally prettied by a freshly painted one, in pastels or a new building, showing the little that needs doing - though on a mass scale - to beautify India.
The bunk was perfectly OK for a night’s sleep but the ticket collector when he arrived a few stations out of Sealdah told me I had to keep my luggage on my bunk or it might be stolen. I began to understand why people were buying lock-chain sets, so as to tie down their luggage... Anyway, I was afraid I would fall deep asleep and miss my stop and there were no announcements so I kipped with one leg over the little table to my front and luckily the other seat was not occupied. The day turned into evening and then into night and I watched India fall asleep.
A ticket collector came on board. Ah, at last! 
I listened to the hawkers: anda - boiled eggs, murreem masala - all kinds of nuts. Green padi, and in the padi - goats. We passed Saxtigraha at 1813, and Asansol Jn. at 2033.
I had noted a new-to-me kind of station dog, light brown or white, short haired, sharp looking, always well fed. They were in the villages as well.
The skinny porter carrying four heavy bags on his head asked a passer to help get the load up there, and he oblige. 
At night neither signs nor stations are lit and no announcements made - it is DIY travel.
Loved the wagon labelled Pantry Car; read newspapers, seeing words like ‘Hooch sellers’ and ‘Eve baiting’. 
Friday, 19th July, 2013
Little girls selling twigs at early light on the station - for teeth cleaning. There she was again, India, unrolling before me. I had buns and cheese and biscuits and as it turned out inedible bananas I’d bought from an old lady vendor out of pity but I should have gone to the shop for the ripe ones.
We passed Sadhu look-alikes, unkempt hair, single dhoti or near naked, seems to want to piss at frequent intervals and often first noticed facing a wall - in Australia the phenomenon is the bearded derelict in overalls seen at street corners.
Four pals carrying injured pal on a grand armchair, onto the train. To hospital I presume. 
The pani walla’s equipment upgraded - portable shiny tank and tube of v-shaped plastic cups all fitting neatly. Khaki clad soldiers with well oiled rifles - those on the train with more modern weapons. Teenager in late teens but still piggybacks his best pal. Ploughing using a team of white cows.
Near destination thatched roofs on little homes and sheds used as tea houses, rickety refuges from the rains, centre of companionship and exchanges, wood trestles and forms standard seating. Red brick porches, mud floored compounds with dogs sprawled, washing on latticed fences, women walking with straight backs even without the water pot, wattle and daub walls but new homes in concrete, pastel coloured. Thin-tiled roofs inevitably leaning one-sided. Field after field of padi, occasionally intercropped. Satellite dishes sprouting in bigger towns.
Sakri station with its near military look.
I write the word Madhubani in big letters as I keep forgetting where I am going, repeating it so much it dies on itself... in case I have to ask someone as we roll into a station and I might miss the sign.
Clumps of thatching grass noted.
Panduol Station was a non stopper.
It was about 6.30am and I had learned from other passengers that Madhubani was up soon and eventually there it was. 
Alighting, not a recognisable face to be seen. Alas, no garlands, in fact no one - it is customary for us Movement people to meet our pals at stations, airports or whatever... I waited outside the station attracting a small crowd. My idea was to wait about an hour and if no joy I would take the bus to Narhi, along route 105, and ask.
One guy was seeing if he could help, a townie type with a friendly manner and natural English when another young fellow arrived and even the locals could see he was my man. Actually, we had never met - Sudhir had overslept - tiredness had caught up with him and Manju had diverted an inbound participant from Jharkhand, a fellow humanist, to the station to pick me up. In fact there were three of them.
Our three-wheeler took a short cut along a pot-holed road that had us bouncing all over the place. It reminded me of my unpleasant Bangladesh trip into the Chittagong Hills, to Baishari, many years ago... but today’s ride much shorter if quite long enough. It made it clear why roads are of great importance to develop an area, otherwise the pace is really slowed and vehicles are constantly broken - nothing can then move forward and goods cannot get to market.
Manju’s place - Manju is co-ordinating the local action - turned out to be a large compound with lots of rooms that served as a school and hostel. Most of our friends were already there and it was a jovial moment to be reunited and meet old and new friends. Great to see ‘old faces’ like Aiyyappa, Nailesh, Sudhir - we all had a rolling conversation until the meetings started just after lunch. Manju herself looked fine.
Friday, 18 July, 2013 - the meeting
Late start for the formal meetings. We each introduced the state of play at our locations and the activities - in no particular order - and were not finished even late at night. Cultural entertainment ensued when the lads from Jharkhand recited poems and sang ghazals from their region and the calamity yet beauty there.
Manju opened the meeting with her report:
Something is stopping us she began...
The Disciplines work should have overcome that. Wants to review from Kandhroli till now.
In Madhubani all Organisms were working and assisting each other. But we need strategy, especially when going for elections. Manju feels big change needs political solution.
As to Narhi Park, the building blew down - the roof and top walls blew off. However, the well is ready for placing the wellhead. Regards the land, one donator died and the children have changed their mind about the donation and are trying to take it back - 15,000 sq ft of land remaining. More land available Have registered as trust OK. No caretaker - things stolen (sign, gate). Weekly meeting takes place re: Park. Made a book of tickets for well wishes to purchase tickets as a financial campaign.
Now 57 centres open, neglected to close or changed status. Her daily work NGO is named Abhigyan Disha.
The ‘official’ report further states: (italics means these paragraphs are taken from the official report)
Manju Jha in her opening remarks, while welcoming all the participants from Kerela, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Delhi, Bihar, Nepal, Hong Kong said that in the short time of participation of members of Madhubani, they have experienced all the Organisms, Silo's Message and School activities in 53 Panchayats of 6 Blocks in last years, after the activities were launched in 2002.
They had 104 Humanist Centers with participation of more than 12,000 people, with activities of all the Organisms and Silo's message. They had setup 11 Monoliths in 11 different villages in 2004-05 while spreading Silo's Message at that time.
That the closing of structure came as a shock to them, blowing off many of their activities. While many of the activities are still going on, but the organized way of working stopped happening. Contributions stopped and things became dis-organized.
20 People registered for the Disciplines, while only 4 could complete the process over 2 batches and now there are 4 Masters in Madhubani.
Manju said that our aims need to be clear to us and we had started these meetings in Kerela to regain our momentum and that during these 3 days here at Narhi, we should try to reach a conclusion in this matter.
Participating members introduced themselves, gave a current situational report of their activities, mixed with broad suggestions to move forward.
Members from Kerela (Pradeep, Shailja, Byju, Binny) explained many activities that are going on across Kerela.
While their Magazine project is paused for the moment due to lack of advertisement support, the publication of Books (To Humanize the Earth) in Malayalam, is progressing well and they expect the book to be in the market very soon through a prominent publisher.
Their participation in Anti-Nuclear issue has brought good results in terms of strengthening existing members and growing in influence - Koodankulam.
The campaign against forced strikes (hartals) has given them continuous strength and influencing capability.
They are building an online discussion forum for all the Organisms and will soon send an invitation to everyone to participate.
Shailja explained her innovative teaching practices that have not only got her awards, but given an experience of creating real-effective-education for children through value-inculcation.
The award money of Rs.1,00,000/ that she received has been donated by her for the activities of the group in Kerela, which is a very courageous step that needs to be recorded.
Their activities are going on in all the 14 districts of the state.
They are actively working on translating different books and Discipline materials to Malayalam. A batch of Discipline studies is going on with 18 registrations, while 8 are progressing forward at the moment.
They have bought the Park plot and the trust has been formed. The Park is called Edyanoor Park. They are resolving the issue of creating motor-able road-approach to the Park Plot, which is required to get various permissions for construction.
All their activities are financed by members' contributions.
Hartal campaign successful also anti-pollution campaign that was started in 1999, now holding a 100-day protest, supporting anti-nuclear plant Koodankulam - People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), Idinthakarai. (Pressenza has been covering this unrolling story)
Have daily column in newspaper published in Mayalam.
They commemorate Hiroshima Day.
The Park in Kerala is called Nedaur - an acre in size. They are holding a Disciplines course with a new batch and are up to the Third Quartern now. They have re-opened School! They are negotiating access rights for the road to Park.
Three people here. Very bad times at present. Parliament assembly in place for 4 years but still no way forward. Bureaucrats running the country. Disturbed situation. Activities at a standstill. Human rights are generally violated. How can we humanists intervene? asks Satya Narayan Shah, SODEP Social Development Path - Nepal...based in Janakpur, Nepal.
Members from Nepal explained their keen interest to grow the Humanist influence and activities in their corruption-ridden-violent environment across the country. They are happy to participate at Narhi which is less than an hour's journey from their place. They are conducting yearly events to reach out to people with our ideas, apart from occasional meetings and gatherings.
Aron-ji said we must develop lower level of society - they hold 4 activities a year for poets, writers etc to spread ideas. “We are known as the humanists at this Cultural Forum.”
Three generations of residence allowed to have permanent residence - they can own the land - 300 forest dwellers that enrolled in the Forum got rights, Very superstitious people, means women rights violated, fighting against outlawing witches. Five whipped in public, our group took up the matter and due to our efforts the culprits are still in jail.
Sharad and Ganesh from Mumbai, explained their activities of having regular newsletter since the 90s, and free education to under-privileged children through voluntary teachers. He explained how their pressure-group working has helped reduce crime and bring people together on different occasions, thus demonstrating the positive influence-effect of even simple Humanist action in the neighbourhood.
The book “One Straw Revolution” was mentioned and cultivation schemes associated with ‘no dig’ gardening and I (Tony) cautioned against jumping into that but rather a limited project of a few fields to continue usual production and economy as it takes years for the fields to become productive - Sudhir later commented that these days that period is considerably shorter and the Humanist groups have already achieved success with the system.

Parimal has been to Pakistan nine times recently. He thinks the India-Pakistan relationship is an important issue for us, to ask for gradual reduction in armaments - asking World Without Wars and without Violence (WWW&WV), and Humanist Party of India (HP) central policy to reflect that.

In Lahore the lawyers are unafraid and go on non-violent marches. HP of Pakistan has held two small-scale marches, from near Lahore to Islamabad. Border and India Pakistan hot issue.
Parimal explained about his monthly business visits to Pakistan and his attempts to create a bridge between the people on two sides of the border, through the opportunities of interacting with businesses on both sides. He passionately feels that the India-Pakistan friendship is a crucial issue for the growth of both the nations and that we should think of a strong campaign on this issue. He is strongly working on this, in the role of self-appointed ambassador of peace between the 2 nations.
Viren Shah's activities of working with school teachers through peace-seminar in Bhuj and Kutch in Gujarat were informed by Nailesh. He is bringing out a newsletter of the Community on regular basis with 1,000 copies.
Tamil Nadu
French John - with Silo’s Message, Tamil Nadu, is on a mission, with others, 5 months now. They come and go every 6 months or so (linked with Ariane (France) and with Ana (Spain).
Lahda Park is only a proposal so far.
Sundar at Madurai is conducting Yoga camps as his profession and is reaching out to people with Humanist ideas through these interactions. His and Maya's visit to Italian Parks recently has been a very positive experience for them and they explained this to the group.
A road inside being laid. 100 more trees planted. Two water tanks in place of larger capacity, some problem of law but OK now - seeing final permissions coming soon. The roof blew off - it was fibre glass. Within one year a difference will be seen. Disciplines continuing, though this is not a new course. Have Skype conference monthly (anyone of School can join) 5 maximum at one time in conference.
Mumbai - The Community
Eighteen children educated free of charge. Newsletter, and kids learning cricket sponsored by one fellow. Shlya’s work impressive so they hope to pick up on that. Another Community group has newsletter in colour. Prison visits and providing guided experiences and non-violence seminars there.  [In general this reminded me of Willa and I learned that Viren Shah is the Community contact]

HP India 
Campaign - against corruption, later was converted into a political party Am Admin Party
Activities in Villa Parke and Santa Cruz.
Anti demolition campaign and long term campaigns ongoing.
The written report from Sudhir - Sudhir Gandotra, General Secretary - Humanist Party of India is reproduced here-below:

We have a few failures to share. And within these failures, there is also a hint of possible way forward as I see it.
We have attempted a few activities to reach out to existing and new people. We have participated in activities with other organizations.
We have attempted work based on Discipline and on Silo's writings.
We have attempted observing ourselves and our own ways of organizing things.
We have raised a question to ourselves "Why are we at this stage that seems to be confusioned or strange and how to make this transition to a new stage.
We have attempted observing how our own ego works and how it manifests itself in all our expressions and activities; How this ego pollutes life by influencing our decisions.
We have observed the powerful capacity of influence that our ideas have and how, in a very short time we are able to influence people, people who seemingly have decades of experience of working at grass-roots.
We have observed that we are not able to move forward after that basic influence, as we are not able to respond adequately to the expectations of people, specifically in terms of our organizational presence.
We have observed deep respect in people for our ideas and proposals, but, beyond this, we see that the capability of taking this forward into action is lacking.
It is quite possible that we need to adapt to a new style of working that meets the styles of the present times. And it is quite possible that we need to think about it so as to plan the new style.
We have observed that while people & organizations that are working strongly against the current system, develop a strong respect and awe for our ideas when we give our proposals, but things do not go beyond that, possible because there is a mismatch somewhere there, in the following steps that we propose or do not propose.
We have observed that we, among ourselves, have deep-differences, we have ego at play, we have lack of communication to say the least, although we have this inner-disturbance, rather inner-turbulence and we all wish to move beyond this strange stage that we find ourselves in.
On the invitation of Radical Humanists of M.N. Roy to Tony Henderson, we represented Humanists at their event and we noticed a strong influence of our proposals there in a very short time of just 5 minutes of talk added with availability of printed copy of the detailed talk being distributed.
At this event also, we noticed the fear among socio-political workers towards "connecting to the inner world" and we feel the need to take this subject to the masses in a new way. This could have an answer to the present-day-crisis.
Similarly, in discussions with an academic group of a University, we find that we are able to influence people with our fundamental ideas, but the need to develop a new way of taking things forward is needed.
We have been participating in meetings of various thought groups, NGO-groups, etc.
We have closely observed the working of an honest MP and his serious limitations in implementing things with honesty and without corrupt means. We have designed campaigns and proposals for him, in order to see how they take our style of working. We have found a deep liking and awe for our ideas. But, in their environment that is thoroughly corrupt and the all around greed that is deeply-set there, it is not possible for them to do any grass-root activity that would bring a real change even for a few people. They are able to do things only at the levels of slogans and proposals with some half-hearted-corrupt implementations of few things here & there.
We have closely studied 2 cases of persons joining politics and making it to middle-level influential levels in 2 different political parties, observing their ways of working and growing within their system. Some day, we will present these in written form for the understanding of friends. These are typical methods of joining politics that demonstrate why and how only the corrupt ones can join these political parties.
Our being alone is an issue. Our attempts to rebuild the existing groups and of new groups have not worked in-spite of almost regular attempts in different ways.
HP is in a very strange situation. After some frank/hard talk, it seems that our friends who were cooperating in the attempts to take things forward, have decided to conduct a "non-cooperating movement" within the HP. As a result, practically speaking, the HP does not exist as a National Team, or as any team that works to make HP grow beyond its current situation.
We also feel strange that the senior members are flirting with another party - Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), instead of concentrating on taking the HP forward. It is strange that in-spite of the fact that the main 2 people of AAP (in Mumbai) being "followers" of a senior member of HM (who is also a School member), there are no attempts to influence the AAP with Humanist ideas. Rather costly efforts are being spent in participating with them.
We feel there is need to review this approach so that we do not waste precious Humanist energy.
On the other hand, if the senior members feel that they need a free hand to run the HP in their own ways, that the HP will grow better without me, I am always prepared to resign from the HP post, only provided we have a clear commitment that they will not leave the HP half-way. We need to keep the HP alive as a minimum and this commitment is crucial as we all know.
HP website and new members : from time to time, new people join the HP online, we send these forms to the nearest group/in-charge, but so far, we have not received a single feedback to know whether that contact was even acknowledged.
Facebook pages and influence : We all know the importance of Social Media. Fernando has also mentioned this topic repeatedly and we find that plenty of Humanists and Siloists across the world are active on this media. Apart from reaching out to new people, it is also helping us to be in touch with each other across the world.
But, it seems that among us in India, for some strange reasons, while many of us have FB pages, we are not connected to each other or to pages of HM, Organisms, Parks and Message. We request a discussion on this, in the context of Silo's saying "Communication is the Key". Surely we remember the "communication manual" that was specifically built in the pre-internet era. Internet has made communication better & faster, rather instantaneous.
We are managing the following websites :
HP, HM,,, TC, WCHS, WWW, COC, Narhi Park, Real Democracy.
We find it strange that those who are supposed to be in-charge of other Organisms are not even bothered about the renewals of the domain names of their organisms' website.
Same way, the Facebook pages of the organisms are being ignored for some strange reasons, though these were created and made known to all repeatedly.
We feel that the importance of having the following aspects, in order to have the presence felt, are necessary:
A central address (as a minimal);
A website;
An email address for new people to connect and to join;
A physical address for new people to connect and to join;
A Facebook page for discussions and exchanges;
Materials of the Organisms and Doctrinary materials available;
A newsletter that would surely be in electronic format;
A clear method like the online form for new people to join as members.
We request a discussion on this, so that people in-charge of different organisms take charge of these aspects.
Ideological clarification of our own people seems to be an important aspect that requires joint and planned working. The ideological / doctrinary formation is clearly a must for us to be able to grow.
We have seen the people's feeling of the need of a leader who would resolve their issues. I see/felt Anna Hazare's Anti-Corruption movement in this respect, coming in continuation with what happened in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere. Only the Humanists have the capability to provide an Organized leadership that would not have the ego-play taking the world for a personal ride. I see Disciplines as the tool to form those teams consisting of such individuals.
If we can behave and work as a coherent team, even with our differences and diversity, we can orient the current changing situation from the front in a very short time.
Silo had defined 3 stages of 12 years each : 1. Stages of individuals; 2. Stages of teams; 3. Stages of Masses. In the first stage, he formed the individuals, obviously to enlarge the reach across the world to build the teams in the next stage. We are already in the stages of masses and we are seeing the masses rising. In my humble interpretation, I think, Silo was talking of building the teams in the 2nd stage that would have the capability of managing the masses that are rising today.
It is clear to me that the current times are our times. What is not clear to me is "Can we function as individuals in these times and grow to next stages of real change ? So far, my view is that we cannot function as individuals, but IF I am able to find a way forward in that method, I will surely stop talking so much and march forward as an individual.

==============End of Sudhir's written report=====================
Tamil Nadu
Emmanuel - orientor - toured India, different in Kandhroli than Kerala, and here, Not drinking now (applause, very light from myself). 1000 candidates nominated to stand for elections in Tripura - against pollution - as a  result effluent treatment plant being set up. Main point was river and industrial pollution.
Maya - introspective phase and translating materials - helping group spreading Silo Message - recently toured some Parks and experienced Fire Workshop. Spiritual weekend at Park in Germany -  “Stations of Silo”, too long at 15km. 
French John added that in Europe members do what they can themselves in constructing the buildings etc and there is a new process where they get old buildings and renovate and concentrate on accommodation and the elements come later. Not working just with money must be personal involvement. Meditation Hall within the building.
Experiences of confusion and disagreement between groups, commission and School members - over there in France - but in the end he agreed to go ahead with the jobs but few volunteers, though work still continues.
In Jhudapur where Nailesh’s wife is the orientor, they work with The Community.
Nailesh’s account of how we developed in this area was quite fascinating and fun and had lots of anacdotes.
130 humanist centres, in 4 districts. At beginning 100 file cards, then worked up to 10,000 people. Use  agricultural projects and conflict resolution; election to local government - which was jump started after gap of 32 years without elections. We connect people of different castes and groups. Self built institutions connected, still working with team of 10, unstable government and complex regulations and government uses problems to delay elections. Government does not want to lose its central control. High court insisted government go ahead. Humanist advocacy for elections for long time. 24 members elected as independents in various locations.
Mao-wadis (pretty much the same as Naxalites) now activating against the seizure of 2,800 acres for a power plant and many families were moved - they formed a protest movement, ask for compensation (fitting story for Pressenza and already well covered by the media).
Jharkhand members reported about the pause in activities for some time, while their 100 core members are in regular touch and different activities to influence the environment through Humanist ideas are going on.
They have very strong cultural group that conducts regular awareness campaigns on various issues of serious concern to the people of their district.
Their strong campaign against witchcraft that condemns women and violates their human rights, has brought rich-dividends to save lives and get the criminals booked by the law, thus preventing this violence against women in the region.
Their campaign for the land-rights of the tribals living in forests has resulted in 1,000 people applying for the land-ownership under the law and 300 of them have already got the rights from the Government due to the campaign and pressure of the Humanists in this district. Tony (with Sudhir) has recorded a formal interview of the Jharkhand team for its eventual publication through Pressenza.
They have prepared various poetic expressions based on Humanist ideas and some of these were demonstrated (as Ghazals, Songs and Poems) to the group and were highly appreciated by the whole team present.
Hong Kong
Tony said: 
In Hong Kong no immediate plan to develop HA into an active political party. We are acting as a pressure group. Recently: unification of two Koreas; supporting Iran’s declaration of no intention to develop nuclear weapons; using our “no to occupying troops” position regarding Palestine; no to French troops in Mali; position regarding peace process India-Pakistan. New group: History Without Borders - using Pong fu and starting a campaign for unification of China, Korea and Japan.
Hong Kong is represented at the level of the Humanist International but suggests more participation of Asia-Pacific, by the different HPs in Asia. We propose a directory of Asia’s HPs, and other Organisms likewise for contact information and platforms of action sharing. We could send our various stands on issues to the Humanist International which has a web page for that sharing purpose. Also need a Asia-Pacific media list (already have in Hong Kong) but needs to be per country or per State in a large country like India.
Pressenza. Need reporters and photographers from all over Asia to support input of peace and non-violence events and news. It is assumed Organisms all have media/PR functions. Let’s use them.
It is suggested that activists use Pressenza to tell the world about their activities. Some have international interest others not, local is OK and will be hosted on the local section of Pressenza. The reports published can be used as references when informing others of the activities. Your reports can be basic, enough information to make the basis for a short article with picture. Quotes from spokespersons very useful.
There is a humanist TV channel in Argentina that wants our videos of humanist activities in Asia. I have details of the technical requirements which can be circulated. (See Note 1 - from Diego Rodrigues). 
We also need to have a means of circulating information between Asia organisms. This can best be done through Park commissions using Organisms lists as they are to act as the central agency, though without any guiding input, just as a centre of information and exchange.
For example, this meeting was initiated by Narhi Park, as that was decided at a previous meeting but it appeared to be a decision by Sudhir as he was very active promoting it... This brings lack of consistency into our affairs. We have to be more clear and use set channels of communicating so we know who is aware of what, and what is going on, to be able to ask questions generally and not just person-specific. Thus a new email list for all organisms Asia-Pacific is suggested.
Tony presented brief reports of activities in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Philippines.
He told us how a member in Bangladesh could not grow beyond a point as he started working like a typical NGO and not doing any Personal Work with his team.
That in Philippines, with the help of Saki, they have reconnected many older friends and have launched a batch doing Disciplines. They are looking forward to the enlarged School group by January 2014.
That he has joined a virtual group with Chinese participants (living in different Asian countries), that is working on :
1. History Without Borders - a book;
2. Unification of China, Korea and Japan for mutual progress without armaments.
3. Contacts between the Asian world and North Korea to improve the understanding of North Korea, to increase the environment of friendship and reduce tensions, by using "Pong Fu", in which table-tennis teams visit North Korea for friendly matches.
A directory of HP and other Organisms needs to be created across Asia-pacific.
That they (Humanist Association of Hong Kong) are regularly taking local issues into the media, getting a good amount of media attention, thus gaining important space there.
Tony explained the importance of Pressenza for the activities of our Organisms with examples of how the news is being picked up by main-stream-media from Pressenza. Then, as French John elaborated, the local activities get exposure through Pressenza, which in-turn with that international exposure, influences the local media to reproduce that news locally whereas that news was being bypassed previously. 
Tony invites all the Organisms to send Pressenza their regular press-releases for possible use. He also explained the need to have Pressenza representatives/reporters everywhere, ideally from among Humanist volunteers who have a balanced view.
Fernando’s Message
Fernando's message to the gathering was read and translated into Hindi. This message in English is reproduced here:
Message to the All-India Get-together at Narhi Park (Bihar) July 19-21, 2013.
Hello dear friends. Greetings from Argentina.
I am very happy to know that you are getting together at the Narhi Park of Study and Reflection.
I wish I were there, among you all, sharing this auspicious event. However, since I'm not, I thought we may feel closer if I share a few reflections with you. They are related to the context in which this get-together takes place.
Generally speaking, the process of the world is going just in the direction we foresaw decades ago. That is, towards world-ization (Usually confused with globalization) while in the throes of overall crisis and de-structuring. We are going through a period of transition between the dying old and the rising new. And the new that is being born manifests in clear ways, though of course still it does not have the influence it will have in the future civilization.
Our Movement was born with this scenario in view, and with a mission to fulfil; to be a positive guide to help humankind choose the best direction at this crucial turning point.
We prepared ourselves for many years, and finally the time has come to play the guiding role we chose.
Hope we don't get confused about this: the formation period of our joint project is over, and from now onwards we are called to do what we were born and trained for. Our formation is complete, to whatever extent it was possible, and we are sufficiently equipped to give the best reference.
To what extent we will be able to achieve it, nobody knows. But we do know that "valid actions" are not driven by the certainty of success, they are driven by the certainty that they are good for others and for us.
In this mission, other groups may accompany us or not. Hopefully, they are; but we will not wait for them to start doing what we must, and we will do it even if we are alone.
That is, too, the nature of a valid action.
With minor variations between different places, the above holds true to the world, to Asia, and to India. In today's word, interconnected and interdependent as it is, no place will be spared from the consequences of this sea change that is taking place.
The psychosocial atmosphere worsens everywhere, affecting whole societies, interpersonal relationships, and personal situations. If there is something positive about it, it is that the environment is not a resistant block as before. Quite the contrary; as the early references collapse, the environment is open and thirsty for new and positive references like those we can offer. It is up to us to take advantage of the opportunity.
Overall, and as usual, our joint mental and emotional atmosphere is always better than the average around us. Even if we had nothing else to offer, at least we can guide, inspire, uplift and help people with that positive attitude. In present times, this is no small thing.
Arguably, a positive inner state is the most important thing to offer in these troubled times. However, we do have much more than that. In broad outlines, we count on the most comprehensive and positive set of proposals for human development in all fields, suitable to present times and future of a new planetary civilization.
Jointly, the School, the Humanist Movement, and Silo's Message are the three-fold expression of our proposals and our common endeavour. None is superfluous or dispensable, and each one fulfils a unique function that complements the others in order to provide orientation to societies and individuals. The Parks of Study and Reflection, still growing in number and quality throughout the world, are the tangible meeting points where the unity of this diversity can be experienced.
Three years have gone since Silo has passed away, and, in spite of this great loss, we are going ahead into our new stage. The School, the Humanist Movement, and Silo's Message are going ahead. Difficulties to face and things to improve are there, as they were in the past too. We will face them and improve things together, as we always did.
Thus, we will reach new and higher stages of our development. We are part of the new that is being born, and this is why we have a strong conviction that every future time will always be better.
To help us move into this new stage, beyond our formation stage and into a changing world, Silo gave us a new way of doing things. Now we do things in a way that is multiple, decentralized and autonomous. This will help us bloom in a thousand flowers as a real movement, more than just an organization. We are all learning this.
Our multiplicity gathers these days here, at Narhi Park. As I understand things, this get-together does not seek to promote uniformity in doing things. Rather, it offers the opportunity to share and exchange our diversity, to listen to and learn from each other, to reinforce the sense of belonging to a broad family of like-minded people, to get jointly the inspiration and the strength for the task that each one does.
There is an inspiration and a strength that we derive from being with others, interacting with them, when we are part of a group in which all do the same thing together. But there is also an inspiration and a strength that we derive from another source within us.
Our convictions, our experiences, our inner guide, our meaning of life, or whatever works for each one of us. This helps us do things when nobody does the same things around us and supports us, or even when others do the opposite or oppose us. This helps us do things even though our actions are not always, or not yet, rewarded with success.
Whether we derive our inspiration and strength from one source or the other, whether external or internal, so to say, we do need to tap a source. In troubled times like the present, this is not only required for carrying out our joint activities, but also as a vital need for mental and emotional survival. Unless we have a firm determination in one positive direction, the environment may drag us erratically into provisory meanings leading nowhere.
May this get-together help all of you to clarify or reinforce the source of your inspiration and strength to carry out our activities. May you clarify or reinforce which contribution you want to make to our common project. May you decide to carry it forward whether alone or accompanied. May you equally agree, for the future, to hold similar gatherings, to share information and experiences, to carry out occasional joint actions, etc.
Rest assured that, wherever you are, we care for you and your contribution matters to all of us, whether we stay in the same city, anywhere in India, Asia, or the rest of the world.
In any case, and finally, may you all have Peace, Force and Joy!
===============Fernando's Message ends here========================
For tomorrow Saturday, 20 July 2013
We will continue Saturday telling of activities as yesterday, then move into:
Planning meeting for HP elections - what slogan
Disciples works extended
Meet per organism - (it was noted that the first day was very mixed with reports presented with a lot of ad hoc input)
School members need a meeting
Organisms meet per Organism
Note for the Sunday get-together - locals arriving by bicycle.

Saturday, 20 July 2013
One member’s first time at such meeting but in 2005 joined the Movement.  Has a Rupees10 per month club which goes to bring prizes for scholars at a public event.
The next speaker started to tell that in Nepal corruption very high and over a period of four years still the constitution still not written - that the next election is only a drama. That bureaucrats run things, not politicians. (However, he was reminded that we are not exchanging such views but telling of our own humanist activities.
French John carried out a Ceremony of Service.
There are 135 humanist centres and they are involved with personal work and social work. In 9004 it was decided to have Park. Education work is done as villages are remote.
Mentioned, reminding us, there is: Doctrine; Ideology; and the Issue. Activities should be based on our ideology and lead to growth otherwise something is wrong.
Example of good slogan: Education is not business.
Social action - through social action organisms can work through issues to bring out our ideology, promoting our ideology.
Q: Are our activities Humanitarian or Humanist?
We had tea yet again then reconvened to organise a joint, across the organisms action and after a lengthy process, including voting over a few rounds the issue was chosen. As most wrangling was in Hindi I just sat outside with Aiyyappa and John, speaking of earth tilt, Masters, Silo’s ‘we have failed’ speech, etc.
The slogan I preferred was: “Eradicate the injustices causing poverty and terrorism.”
(It was mentioned that regarding The Message groups and social work: Messengers - see Annex early editions - are also to organise social activities.)
Just before we re-started the meetings Sudhir and Tony interviewed and video filmed Shamsher Alam and Arun Nirjhar, both from Jharkhand (the State - Madhubur town in the district of Deoghar).
They spoke about: 
1. Campaign against witch hunting and witchcraft
2. Forest Rights Act 2005 (advocacy for land entitlement of tribal families residing inside forest.
3. Displacement - facilitating community on displacement issues - 2600 Ha for land having natural resources like forest, river stones, hills, cultivable land. Cultivable land of 13 villages had been given to a company named Dalmia.

Common theme for common campaign...
Looking at the situation as shared by the participants, we realized we had a need to reconnect with our older and existing members and also reach out to hundreds of thousands of new people across India and the region.
With this in mind, we discussed the possibility of all the Organisms working jointly on a common issue, while keeping their particular point of view (Social, Cultural, Political, Peace, etc.) about the issue. A brief-joint exercise helped us decide that, yes, we can work together with a common issues, yet with a specific point of view about the issue, as this would help join resources and abilities and build all the Organisms into a working shape in the shortest span of time. Accordingly, we selected 5 possible issues as:
Price Hikes,
Violence and Discrimination,
When the meeting got underway we discussed the issues and then did triple voting, to conclude the issue and decided on: Violence and Discrimination.
All the Organisms to build their campaigns, sharing their materials, plans and everything about it. Basic slogan suggested is :  No to Violence, Yes to Life.
Various other slogans and two liners were produced by members and shared. The team from Jharkhand with excellence in poetic expression showed its wonderful potential seen in those slogans produced by them.
A mailing list will be used to connect the whole group and share activities through the same. The existing mailing list of HM  ( will be used for this purpose. This mailing list will henceforth be used also to connect the Humanists across Asia-Pacific region for all their activities.
The new address of the mailing list is :

Note: Description - a discussion group promoted by the Humanists across India and Asia-Pacific. It consists of the members of the different Organisms (The Community, Convergence of Cultures, World Without Wars, World Center for Humanist Studies, Humanist Party) that have evolved from the Humanist Movement, to share, discuss their issues, plans and proposals of action with the clear aim of taking charge of the region through Active Non-violence and Non-discrimination and steering it towards the ideals based on "Human being as the Highest Value. The group will work to remain in regular contact with all the members, working for simultaneous Social and Personal transformation, in order to bring forward the best potential of the human being to take the world forward in its evolutionary path.
The group will remain limited to these members of these Organisms only.

In this meeting the strong need of communication across the region, among us all the Humanists, was seen and felt clearly by all the members and everyone decided to start using it more and more from henceforth.
Various examples, experiences and incidents were discussed based on positive effects of such interactions, by different members.
Some days of common activities were proposed and accepted for the coming months:  
Launch of the campaign everywhere: 9 August 2013 - No to Violence, Yes to Life.
Non-violence Day celebrations : 2 October 2013;
Human Rights Day celebrations : 10 December 2013;
World Peace Day celebrations  : 1 January 2014;
Questioning violence in Inda: 25-26 January 2014.
Sunday 21, July, 2013
After the usual leisurely start, with the groups from the various organisms and places flocking together, we made off to the Park itself to scatter a portion of Silo’s ashes - another portion was going to Kerala.
We conducted the Service Ceremony at the Park (French John) and a portion of Silo's ashes were spread at the Park to pay homage to Silo and with grateful thanks to him. A Bodhi tree was planted at this spot at the Park. 
Back at the hostel...
Manju declared that this gathering of 3 days at Narhi is sponsored by Narhi Park and that no one needs to make any payment towards the stay and food arrangements. Any contributions received will go for the development of Narhi Park.
Thanks by Manju - She shared how her family has been a strong pillar of support in her activities and that they are her backbone. She also noted the crucial, sincere and hardworking participation of her NGO team that took care of all food and logistics support for this gathering to be a success with "no complaints" in spite of the venue being remote and with no typical city-facilities.
She equally thanked all participants for their support.

Next meeting will be on  24 to 26 January 2014 at Padapai Park, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
About noon the local people from Narhi and hereabouts arrived and sat with all of us and in time each introduced themselves, all associated with our humanist endeavours. The four persons who had completed the Master studies were also there. 
Much laughter as usual and eventually everyone even the most stoic looking local relaxed and got into the spirit of the affair.
After that and while just waiting for the meal to arrive some of our friends began packing to leave.... they had to be back home for monday morning. One Nepali on his motorbike to ride back up into Nepal. Two vehicles were packed with the Keralians, later the Tamil Nadu group went off in tuks tuks, only Sudhir and I remained.

Monday - 22 July, 2013
Sudhir read the report and I made some suggestions. Very lively report. After breakfast and before the sun got too strong, we took the saplings for planting, also Tulsi the sacred basil shrub. We went to the Park site and choosing a spot on more solid ground, did the planting. I was asked to plant the Bodhi Tree among Silo’s ashes - scattered yesterday. So I made that contribution that will put me in the history books and have a personal way of seeing that tree and the Park develop over the next decades and will be known for the next generations as present on that auspicious moment - when the Park was in its early stages of development. 1. a Bodhi Tree (Peepal or Pipal Tree); 2. Pak (Hindi); and 3. Bhor - three tree saplings in all planted.
I accompanied Manju to see Sudhir off.  We first did bits and pieces in Madhubani. Manju stayed at the NGO -  which is in an old office by a complex of Khadi go-downs - all the production is done in the villages so these places act as packing and distribution centres. In years gone by the textile industry which so much part of this area’s industry was economically important, until the Brits started exporting all the raw material which was taken off to the likes of Manchester. Fine looking, if run down, godown buildings. Gandhi came to this Madrubani Khadivand in 1921, to the building just up the lane from the NGO.
Sudhir and I searched for paper tissues and ended up with table doilies. Sudhir booked Pawan’s ticket at an Internet Café then took the 16.50 to Kolkata, same train as I will take on Thursday (mistake, but as written in my notes - I should have said Wednesday to myself).
Sudhir told me that Loha Chawk is the stop for the Park and even in Patna, if you just ask for Lowa Chawk, they know where you mean despite that it’s just a seemingly insignificant place. The new 4-lane China-built road under construction between Nepal and this area is going to make quite a difference to everyone hereabouts, and will give excellent access for Narhi Park.
That evening, talking to Manju’s son Maneesh about history: from 1942 Gandhi got no mention in his efforts to get India independence. Congress claimed that deed. 

Jinah did not want an independent Pakistan, the talk was about a region of India that would or could be Muslim. But, when his party could not get power in parliament he shifted his views and supported separation.
The people did not want partition.
Asking about the quite loud music from somewhere nearby Maneesh said there was a pre-marriage ceremony at a local temple - they will dig soil or mud from the pond and make a stove to pop rice ceremonially, with devotional accompaniment in music, song and dance, praising trhe lord.
For Maneesh, India’s northerners are more aggressive than the southerners due to the constant threat of capture from the north. The south Tamil Nadu and Kerala regions are wealthy and the people there tend to identify with their places. Not so the north.
Tuesday, 23 July. 2013
We are heading for a village 10 kilometres from Narhi. Last night I stayed at Manju’s city flat with her family, husband, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Sat on balcony in loin cloth under full moon, talked with husband first, then Maneesh. Very quiet household.
In the morning the household was livelier than the night before. I think Manju had been quite tired and was now rested. She took time to enjoy the baby, sitting her on her lap and oiling all over while singing lullabies to which baby fell fast asleep. Then Manju spent time in the kitchen with the daughter-in-law. I breakfasted with grandad-husband. Potato-vegetable curry freshly made roti and a milky dessert.
After breakfast we made directly to the villages near Narhi, where different humanist groups were active. First was Ekta village where Gandesh Suraji is co-ordinator, also Arun. [note though the structures of the Humanist Movement have been dissolved from any central authority and there is no more an organised grouping under the name of the Humanist Movement as before, the various groups that made up the Humanist Movement are largely still around. Some have reorganised themselves, others went out of business. Here in Bihar the names and titles seem to be kept which is up to those who are running things] Activities were started in 2005.
We passed the school where the first monolith was installed. (As different from the bamboo poles central to concrete plinths that are for threshing rice - and are not mini-monoliths as I at first thought) For the monolith the materials used was a certain type of pipe as used for telegraph poles, which is cheaper than what was done at Kandhroli - the local chief painted that first one. The monolith here existed before that in Kandhroli; the deceased Jeyesh was working with them then and appreciated that, also Silo appreciated it too.
We went to the home of M.K. Manalak, and Jellon Sani. There was a small group there watching TV. A photo was brought out - it was that Ekta photo that appeared on the original website - they are all locals - the photo that I thought showed non-Indians. The same little boy in the photo was present, now grown up - he served tea. It is the son of Mr Manalak. Three people on that photo were present here. It caused a stir then because it was the first sign of a Park in India.
Arun talked - he is a Master; from 2004, a co-ordinator. Arun came into the HM in 2007. There are three other Master’s besides Manju, making four in all. Arun says more will start Disciplines studies in Narhi Park in near future. Twice a year they go to retreat in Mumbai, Kandhroli, which they find very helpful.
The Kamla River is nearby - this area has not changed over generations. Arun-ju is in Karhi and the last place we visited was Nabiton, which is Manju’s family birthplace. Manju’s dad, mam, elder brother and friends were waiting - another brother was away in Delhi. 
Wednesday - 24 July, 2013
Woke early, like before 6am and soon enough tea and biscuits came. Began writing notes. Tea came again later with toast and a new-to-me salt, spicy tomato sauce or green sauce as a dipping snack. Writing. Sleep at 3pm, woke 5pm. Jackfruit and biscuits.
Went onto roof but no fine sunset tonight. Chandra brought up the bedding. All the kids and teachers gathered and the activities and games began. Led by Sirita, an elephant game began. Others followed suit, having to imitate Sirita as she performed a very real it swayed from side to side, and how everyone laughed. The another game, again Sirita, she became a cat, it wanted milk, it put its face right next to the student and miaowed... she insisted, they had to become cats and they did it very well if not quite as cat-like as Sirita. And then another, houses and goats - it all got very mixed up. How they laughed, especially the teachers.
Eventually I lay back and watched the starry night. One faint meteorite, then two satellites and, one quite glowing meteorite and a weird sight, an erratic light darting everywhere which turned out to be a firefly, then many, drifting in the tall trees. 
It was late supper and one little girl student could hardly keep her eyes open despite she was hungry... it had been a long day.
The teachers: Ruby, Nira, Muni, Sirita, Reka, Ibarat; Indra the cook, Chandra Dev Das - the handyman - a happy enough group looking after the children and the hostel. A trickle of students turned into something of a flood by Wednesday - about fifty were in residence. These were kids that were having difficulties getting schooling, actually dalit children, a certain lower caste that faces life-long discrimination.
With plenty free time now, which is as it should be at a Park, there was time to think of all kinds of matters (see Note 2). Thus, the day as it rolled into itself became - A Day of Study and Reflection. Later, another writing was triggered, by a very typical India Yoga handout from Suresh Mehta that started a train of thought and given these ideal and internally quiet conditions, blossomed into a writing I titled: The What and the Why (see Note 3). 
As it was obvious by my coughing and spluttering, I had ‘caught’ something, so Tulsi medicinal tea was supplied (see Note 5). To my delight, there was a typical to the Hindu household Tulsi Shrine in the courtyard and it was Nira that did the ceremonials each day (see Note 6) which I watched from a distance.
The personal value of worship was readily seen. See the religious person at pray. The Hindu girl Nira daily refreshes the Tulsi Shrine in the courtyard, and the indoor shrine secreted away behind closed doors of a wall cupboard in the room I occupied. 
In prayer she is quietly but intensely alone with her god. Her prayer intimate, her demeanor stilled and internal, her movements sure and delicate. She murmurs her prayers, hardly audible but lips move, with head bowed. There is no glamour in her sari but it is worn with dignity like it is the finest linen. 
When she moves from the shrine she maintains the same surety, when attending to other things, carrying her spirituality into her everyday life. 
That seems to be a highly commendable form of religiosity - the religious feeling which some declare to a god while others in the way they care passionately about what they do and go at it with reverence to the topic or subject - as in the sciences and the arts.
Thursday, 25 July 2013
Barely made it to the toilet and it would have been messy accident... I thought oh oh this is it, but as morning progressed no, all was well. I wrote a lot and had the tea-toast without the spicy sauce just as a precaution. Muni brought custard and fruit. Manju arrived about midday - she had said 9am... her usual buoyant self, organising everything. I told her for me, this place is the Park, which she immediately explained to everyone, delighted.
During a torrential downpour I told Manju of a bricks and road repair scheme and she said 1,000 bricks would cost around R5,000 - which is HK$638 today. She liked the scheme because it involved all the neighbours - incorporating our reciprocity and co-operative ideals.
Received big bag of goodies from the teachers, including: jam, carton of a fruit drink, half a mango juice, pack of sweets, buns, roasted wheat crisps - Khakhra (sitting right here as a type having survived the journey also), biscuits and 2 bottles water. Also, herbal pills of Himalaya brand, Septillin, (anti-infective therapy)and Tulasi (coughs and colds) - these latter I continue to take and am much improved.
Given the courtesy of the use of Manju’s pickup vehicle to go to Madhubani Station so the terrible road bumps were better handled. I noticed how, given a stretch of decent road, the drivers of all vehicles would shoot to top speed - despite children, wives and people on bikes everywhere - road bumps will have to be installed to slow the traffic for safety.
With farewells from Manju, Maneesh and the every helpful driver, I boarded the Kolkata bound train and took my seat. I left Madhubani unchanged but surely I had changed. Here where there was little evidence of the kind of daily norm evident in the economically developed world something important had been retained. You could not quite put your finger on it. It was, by comparison, like these futuristic movies where life is shown in a technologically advanced society and all the images reveal a sterile shininess, lots of panels and easily shutting doors and glass everywhere. Streamlined people with creamy textured faces like dolls. Pills are taken and the two sexes still gyrate to electric rock music in luminescent discos... What a limited imagination.
In Bihar real lives are lived and they are close to the earth. A little boy can handle the family buffalo, washing it with care in light brown waters where hyacinth grow and white egrets stalk. The children care for their sisters and brothers. Tiny girls can cook and help mam with chores, the boys herd goats as if they were grown men. This life produces real people whose only lack is the means to do all the things that people in the developed world do as a matter of course and if it were not for television these locals would be in a near paradise - given health and basic needs are met. But those beamed-in images draw the young to the exiting cities. 
With such thoughts I rode the train and countered some proximate dispute among my compartment fellows with naive smiles as I confidently asserted my presence and it was not until the ticket collector came - many stations into the journey - that I understood my predicament. The seat was correct, the time was good - but - mine was yesterday’s ticket - I was 24-hours behind schedule! 
That also meant my plane left in six hours to Kun Ming and I was on an overnighter taking a lot longer than that! Oh oh, my easy and redolent - if quite productive stay at Narhi Park - had tricked least my time.
Well, it all got sorted, as things will in Mother India.
On arrival at Kolkata in the morning after a good rest on a different bunk I tried to get some rebate at the office for my repurchase of the ticket, as suggested by the ticket inspector, but no joy. I then took a taxi to the airport. I then found I could not enter as my ticket was for yesterday. I then proceeded to be bounced from info desk, to airport manager, to door guard, to special ticket kiosk, to door guard, to manager, to door guard, to another desk and so on... until, in desperation because, although everyone was very helpful, strangely, nothing done helped! I got to an international phone by buying a special ticket again and phoned the ticketing agent in Hong Kong and lo, within half an hour - after three hours of local wrangling - I was printing out my new eTicket and was ready to fly, next day. Once my brain had settled I dined on the remnants of the goodies from the girls (teachers) at Narhi Park.
I took a taxi again, this time to the Fairlawn Hotel, quite ready for a totally different evening....

Here is my experiences at the Fairlawn Hotel written in a story form (see Note 7).
The flight up to Kunming was happily uneventful, all went smoothly.
Here is my experiences in Kunming (see Note 8).
The following Notes are besides the actual meeting notes and are provided simply to share my travel experiences. However, the first Note is what Diego Rodriguez said about basic requirements for video enthusiasts who may like to begin supplying materials in that line to our humanist media channels.

Material from this newsletter may be freely reprinted with this attribution: Source: The Humanist Newsletter - of Universal Humanism, Hong Kong, SAR, China - or the bylined writer. 
E-mail: tonyhen @
End Notes
Note 1
From: Diego Rodriguez
What to use for filming:
The cameras today can shoot pretty well and many phones also can.
It is important to film with good quality. For that reason, pay attention to these parameters:
Today ideally should be HD (1280x720).
Full HD is not widely used and may be hard to edit.
If less than 640x480 or 640x360, better find something else.
Screen format:
Best widescreen (16:9), that square format (4:3).
File Format:
Anyone will do, but always put it in the highest possible quality (that spends more space, but improves the video).
Things to take into account:
There must be eonugh light, or else many cameras will shoot "grainy" videos or worse.
But also, too much light will "burn" the image.
Try avoid extreme contrasts, because many cameras get unbalanced. (example: a full sun lighted street in the background of a man which is inside a dark bar)
In general, consider the basics of photography tips and apply them to filming.
Ideally, we should film in quiet environments where there isn't a lot of noise, but if not possible, then keep the camera (or microphone) near the person talking, and ask the person to speak loud and clearly.
It is preferable to cut a person when he is talking and ask him to say it again, but at higher volume, than having to discard the entire interview.
Keep it as still as possible. You can lean on something, or use the other hand to hold your elbow.
A tripod is ideal, but may be a bit "artificial" for panning.
Film a lot, even if are repeated actions, or repeated explanations.
Is better than many people explain the same, so then we can make a "collage".
It's wise "helping" with questions to get people talking, specially when they are shy.
A good technique would be to ask the interviewee to repeat the question in his answer, so we can later remove the question and seems that is telling a story.
With shy people: start filming with basic questions (name, age, etc) and it will help them in gain confidence for the real questions later.
Remember to have enough free memory, it's not good to be limited!
Maintain a "watchful eye" not to miss the little details that are worth a lot
Keep an eye where the focus! Many cameras focus in random things sometimes, make sure is focusing your subject
Rather than "hearing" is better "seeing", so if someone, for example, gives a coup of milk every day to 100 children, is better to show him with the 100 children doing it, that showing him saying that he does it.
It is not necessary that the interviewee is "where the thing happens", you can interview him in a better place (in terms of light and acoustic isolation), and then we will put the images of the activities "in the place" in between, while he speaks (it's called "inserts")
Do not forget to do:
Pannings (general views, by rotating the camera)
Zoomings (focus on a particular object or detail and zoom to it, or zoom out of it)
General views (getting the whole picture)
Filmings of the activities
Filmings of the surrounding areas, and relevant parts of the city (so we can give a context)
I hope this is helpful for you!
If you get some collaborators, and make this filming, it would be great! (The filming itself shouldn't take more than 2-3 hours) 
Note 2. 
1) to organise payment to Park to buy and deliver red brick, from nearest brickworks, to sections of Narhi village that are not bricked and need repair. In rainy months the road through the village was very difficult for everyone. Labour coming from adjacent households along the road. Everyone involved in the work, rich and poor, however they might want to arrange that.
2) roof repairs for all housing in need along same road through village. Owner makes request, supplies and work done on same lines as 1) using own workers or/and nearest neighbours for the work.
3) For further investigation - Raised concrete platform and flat roof, 2-storey concrete building for emergency refuge in extreme floods in low lying areas with no discrimination of use by immediate villages - Bangladesh as model.
4) Local committee to vet innovations and their implications and decision to implement or not.
*Park can work through local NGO that can apply for government subsidy for improvements as grants may be available.
Examples. Now solar street lamps are in use in village. Good. But maybe better that solar power supplies groups of buildings not individual buildings. Not much wind but small set up to take water up to a roof for energy storage worth looking at. Simple home use filtration system useful - as at Manju’s home. What is the situation with latrines - there is a scheme by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) group - Tony is a voting member - that might be a source of finance for water related needs.
Questions: How to use excess charge when batteries full? Pump water to height or pull a weighted wire to life a block, geared micro-motor.
Urine use - can use urine like a group of three schoolgirls did in 2012 in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, at the Maker Fair for innovators, and create a backup generator which can be run using pee as the fuel source.
The device uses an electrolytic cell which breaks down the molecules found in urine and extracts pure hydrogen from them. Then, the hydrogen is passed through a cylinder of borax to remove any moisture. After this, it is fed into the generator. To reduce explosion risks from the hydrogen, the girls used one-way valves. Up to six hours of electricity can be produced from one litre of urine.

Note 3.

The What and the Why
A Day of Study and Reflection at Narhi Park, Bihar
24 July, 2013
Initial notes at the start of the day...
Someone left a mimeograph copy on Yogvidya, a paper given at an alternative medicine conference in Kolkata and now that all our friends had left for home from our own conference at Narhi Park, I could take a day free of any other concerns and simply ruminate!
I picked up this paper and got the idea that the chap - Bupesh Kumar - was saying that by enunciating, forming, expressing certain sounds, as words, the energy underlying everything on Earth and across the universe can be channelled into one’s psycho-physical being and affect an influence, a localised effect. He speaks of: 
Vam - water
Ram - fire
Yam - air
Ham - Space/energy...
all together making OM or Aum. 
Space and energy seem to co-relate and there is a mention of Prana, “life force”. Bupesh Kumar defines Prana as Oxygen plus...
After the in-breath and to help create a pause, recite a word and this, at the end of the exhaust cycle, has the effect of throwing out toxins - heavier gases, metals, he says. Repeating lam, lam, lam... till end of breath and toward end naturally your lower stomach will be contracted which will contract all connected endocrine glands of that area and connected Chakras will also be activated.
He also says that there is an elementary effect on the different regions of the physical body which he has sectioned from “Earth” influencing Toes to Knees etc in ascending order with “Space” influencing Throat to Top-of-Head.
In his notes he sees the physical body; the astral which I take as the body’s associated energy form; but also what he calls the Causal Body, which he likens to the flame of a lamp - which is its essential characteristic, its essence!
The only reason for being of the lamp is that flame, which I take as meaning the human being which is that which is manifest to this world - based on the flux of changes which ceaselessly takes place around the subjectivity of oneself. Thus, the Causal Body could be termed as the self which in rudimentary form is born in a moment as a whirl of fluids and energies and which gradually stabilises. The essential in us can take on ever greater solidity as maturity advances.
From then on I kind of ‘took off’... Should that person decide to look into the meaning of his or her life, should that meaning not be already apparent - that intention can, with adequate procedures, intensify the solidity and coherence of the unit being.
This introduces the question: can that solidity be of such quality that it, as an entity, is not deterred in its evolutionary ascent even by the cessation of the existence of the physical body? Meaning, can it, the person entity, cross the river of death and reach another shore of which provenance we have no measure but anyway thereby achieve a relative substantiality when referenced to our time and space.
There is a later interjection here: Given that Gautama the Buddha is said to have rejected the existence of a permanent self, differentiating himself from the extant Hindu teachings which spoke of the self becoming the Self becoming the SELF, how does this present occupation with that very self that the Buddha denied play into the Big Picture? As the Scottish virgin said: “It all depends on how you look at it.”
(To continue) The rewards for such efforts, besides what it might mean to live for a much longer time, would have to be evaluated by the so-disposed.
Those keen on the idea speak of living in eternal bliss. As eternity has no time limits and as a state it is beyond our ken, we can have little to comment on the matter given that is the actual conclusion of the case. However, there is another way of looking at all this. What if the solidification of the self is more existential and substantial and more for use in this life on this Earth?
Thus, studying how we came to be in an effort to understand, and maybe modify, our particular idiosyncrasies and taking the best case, achieving that, and having aligned our intentions along oaths that lead to the betterment of the human situation, this is an end which can deliver on the promise so rampantly exposed in all the ‘good books’.
Thus we as universalistic humanists work on ourselves besides working in the world to transform in a positive way the various systems that inevitably stamp the way we live. We try to humanize everything, including ourselves - primarily ourselves. Even if the project we worked on ‘failed’, hopefully, we learned and bettered ourselves - which negates ‘failure’.
We do not aim to get value from our activities in terms of cash or material reward - our reward is foremost the forming of a centre-of-gravity, that kernel of self, that is unwavering despite the squalls and rough patches life takes us into.
It is in that that we may be able to be a reference in irksome times and illuminate the darkness, giving orientation when that is lacking and when the over-riding influences are pushing people towards despair.
Governments have been bought by big privately owned corporations. Thus, privatisation is the new norm. The media, which should be informing the populations of the demerits of self-seeking private ownership is engaged in the superficial. Entire countries are taken by consumerism and have no time nor interest in reflecting on important matters: nuclear weapons, occupying forces, massive arms industry, monopolisation of energy and earth’s resources, worldwide environmental degradation. 
The forced maintenance of an economic system that is without future, speculation in everything leading to false pricing of all goods, disproportionate salaries between managers and workers, widening rich-poor gap, exploitation of raw materials of less developed countries, abuse of minorities and ethnic groups which groups, given some autonomy in turn abuse minorities within their ranks. Over fishing by large commercial organisations that heedlessly flout international laws disrupting local life (Somalia a clear instance) a United Nations that is failing in its mandate, unimplemented new technologies because of profit considerations, land ownership inequalities, imposition of particular religious norms on others, the pyramid style ownership and control set-ups of the all-powerful financial institutions, lack of privacy in person-to-person communications, military used as police (not trained for handling civil disobedience), heavy external-defence type armaments used against civilians during internal conflicts, mis-use of patenting and copyrights to deny creativity and the list goes on...
To countermand all that we need a democratic form based on the direct participation of the people - in all affairs and at all levels. Banks would have customers on their boards not just shareholders, they would be co-operative in character, likewise all industries and services. Government staff should get  proper living wages, especially the disciplined forces, which will leave no excuse for corruption. Politicians would get the minimum wage plus administration expanses. There needs to be a complete political transparency and accountability under the law. Oil and coal should be used to transition to clean energy resources and green manufacturing started. Education shall not be a business - free education at all levels. Likewise medicines and treatment. No more renting people need to own their homes if they so wish and to have the right to land. 
With the advancement of technology and automation those who opt out of taking up paid work to have subsistence benefits under a social welfare system because the old system of a job for everybody’ has gone. Everything to be done on the smaller scale from farming to fishing, manufacturing to service providing. 
While there is a need of a personal ID, no need for visas that restrict people’s travels. Trade to be regionalised. Distribution of foodstuffs on a ‘nearest place first’ priority - cities must be provisioned, not at the cost of villages. No monopolisation of media - gone is the Mogul, and here is the Sole Proprietor, the Publisher and the Editor (who controls content). 
All construction on a ‘clean as you go’ basis and Green designs incorporated. Heritage buildings refurbished. Religious and creeds offered and not imposed. Freedom of belief and un-belief sanctioned as a basic right. 
No landfills or rubbish tips but re-use, recycle at the local level. 
Ban on nuclear weapons and nuclear power for utilities; research and medical use permitted. Safe trials for GMO material and no patenting as end products to go to market with full disclosure of processes used and all data generated released - as with Open Source computing.
The aforementioned is the Promises Land. What is now better termed as the Universal Human Nation. It is the bringing to fruit of this as a project that our Disciplines are launched. Also to remedy the inherent weakness of having one superior central figure that throughout history has been the way to lead people forward. Sadly, that dependance also led entire peoples backward. Silo wants to remedy that way of doing things by having groups of people co-operating and reciprocating with each other in the effort to fully grasp the meaning of it all and in that surpass the limitations of the individual - no matter how far and how, in many instances, this has been to the general good. We have to surpass that stage!
Self liberation or realisation is the quest because it is well attested that those honoured ones who went before us, as a general rule, with that emancipation from the conditioned past chose to  better human kind - though this was in general neither understood nor acknowledged. They were the real martyrs  - if born at the wrong moment personally though their example still favours us today. With the perspective gained through working on the likes of our Disciplines, among the other possible ways (activism Humanist Movement style), all life can be projected and sent on the path of sustainable achievements.
This is the reason we engage in the work, to liberate ourselves and others (for one cannot just work on one’s own release) from a set form which is each person’s usual identity - too often that is a curtailed and divisive form - nationality, cultural group, religious belief, nihilism, etc... which we just happened to be born into.
With an adequate attitude incorporated anyone is in a better state to work for others; lacking prejudicial biases enabling a jump over the cultural barriers when reaching out. Also, a clear mind when studying, not taken by out-of-context associations.
In fact, simply put, that’s the result of the Discipline work - a clear mind-heart. Seeing things as they are. Delighting in the real beauty and being compassionate towards those blighted by poverty, illness, misfortune and lacks. Doing according to one’s station that which is within the possibilities while not undermining one’s own life and the lives of those linked with mine.
The aim is human equilibrium and development. The method is to work for others in place of just thinking of myself and mine. This is a byproduct takes myself out of the equation sufficient to allow that vision of the amplitude of life on Earth to reveal itself.
Whether that first glimpse of that higher reality is gained all at once or as a gradual dawning depends on circumstances personal and of the moment, that juncture of this life when a particularity like myself appeared on Planet Earth.
Whatever, there is a great and deep joy in the seeing - as recorded in religious and philosophical texts, or in inspired poetry - though the resulting  imagery can be misleading where it was to be understood that the images held symbolic and allegorical truths that were pertinent to that person in that epoch.
Also, it is not that one seeks to live in the bliss of that moment of first seeing. There is an acclimatisation to the wonder of this life where everyday is a quiet joy. Even in dire circumstances because that quality of seeing lies at the base of all one does. This helps ‘me’ to ‘take it’, one’s own misfortunes, and to carry on working despite the overwhelming plight of others. Thus we speak of ‘the guide’, and ‘the reference’. You are welcome to this work.

Note 4.
The Naxalites
The Naxalite movement started when a militant section of CPI(M) led by Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal attacked the police on 25 May 1967 in Naxalbari village in North Bengal after a farmer was killed over a land dispute. The same year the Naxalites organised the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR), and later broke away from CPI(M). In the 2000s there were peace talks with the state government of Andhra Pradesh.
The People's War Group (PWG) intensified its attacks against politicians, police officers, and land and business owners in response to a July ban imposed on the group by the Andhra Pradesh government. The government responded by tightening security, allegedly ordering attacks on suspected PWG members by state police and the "Green Tigers". Police forces continued to enjoy virtual impunity for the murder and torture of PWG rebels during police "encounters". The Maoist Communist Center rebels intensified their armed campaign against Indian security forces following the killing of their leader by police in December.
The conflict in Andhra Pradesh intensified as Naxalite rebel groups, in particular the PWG, continued guerrilla attacks on police and government targets while the security forces stepped up counter-insurgency efforts. An October assassination attempt on Chief Minister Naidu was consistent with the PWG’s practice of targeting government officials to draw attention to their cause.
Sporadic, low-intensity fighting between the PWG and government forces continued for most of the year. Attacks on police and TDP party officials, believed to be carried out by the PWG, accounted for most major incidents and deaths. A three-month cease-fire, announced in late June, led to failed negotiations between the government and the PWG. A few days into the cease-fire, an attack attributed to the PWG placed the cease-fire in jeopardy.
Violent clashes between Maoist rebels and state security forces and paramilitary groups increased following the breakdown of peace talks between the PWG and the state government of Andhra Pradesh. Rebels continued to employ a wide-range of low-intensity guerrilla tactics against government institutions, officials, security forces and paramilitary groups. For the first time in recent years, Maoist rebels launched two large scale attacks against urban government targets. Fighting was reported in 12 states covering most of south, central and north India with the exception of India’s northeast and northwest.
Maoists attacks continued, primarily on government and police targets. Civilians were also affected in landmine attacks affecting railway cars and truck convoys. Clashes between state police and rebels also resulted in deaths of members of both parties, and civilians that were caught in the crossfire. Fighting differs from state to state, depending on security and police force responses. In the state of Andhra Pradesh, security forces have been somewhat successful in maintaining control and combating Maoist rebels. The other state that is most affected, Chhattisgarh, has seen an increase in violence between Maoist rebels and villagers who are supported by the government.
Fighting continued between Naxalite Maoists and government security forces throughout the year. The majority of hostilities took place in Chhattisgarh, which turned especially deadly when over 400 Naxalites attacked a Chhattisgarh police station, seizing arms and killing dozens. Civilians are now wedged between joining the Maoist insurgence or supporting the Salwa Judum and face coercion from both sides.
In November 2007 reports emerged that anti-SEZ (Special Economic Zone) movements such as the Bhoomi Uchched Pratirodh Committee in Nandigram in West Bengal, which have arisen after the land appropriation and human displacement following the SEZ Act of 2005, have joined forces with the Naxalites since February to keep the police out; the reports quoted unnamed intelligence sources.Recently, police found weapons belonging to Maoists near Nandigram.
Civilians were most affected in the ongoing fighting between Maoist rebels and government security forces. Of the 16 states touched by this conflict, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were the most affected. One positive note for Chhattisgarh was that fatalities, although still high, were significantly down from 2007. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh, the state with the most Maoist activity a few years ago, has improved security with a corresponding drop in fatality rates. Unfortunately, as conditions have improved in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, the Maoist forces seem to have shifted their operations to the state of Orissa where conditions have worsened.
In September 2009 India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admitted that the Maoists had growing appeal among a large section of Indian society, including tribal communities, the rural poor as well as sections of the intelligentsia.

Note 5. 
Two ways to use as herb drink - cup of water, 6 or 7 leaves, bit crushed, garlic or ginger if wanted, simmer for 6 or 7 minutes - low heat, or, make a paste of garlic and Tulsi and mix with honey - faster action.
Note 6. 
Tulsi Shrine daily ceremony
Nira takes away old petals and washes by hand the surrounds, sprinkles the nearby floor with water, all from a brass pot and takes removed stuff away. Refills brass pot with water and brings a basket of red, white, yellow flowers - hibiscus  jasmine  rose. After pouring water at the base of the shrine and dousing it, she placed flowers at the base of the shrub too and about the shrine. This ended with the merest flourish of dainty prayer. Later she came again and lit an oil lamp and incense, with more profound prayers then touches ears.
Nira also attended to a shrine in a cupboard where I slept, performing similarly. It hosted Ganesh among other Hindu gods. She sprinkled them with water as well and the surrounds. So charming and her manner didn’t stop after the service but she carried this with her all day, as did the other’s, except maybe Ruby who was always more dynamic and forthright.

Note 7.
The Grand Dame at Kolkata’s Fairlawn Hotel
Having just been offered ganja, opium and a girlfriend in Sudder Street, Kolkata, I was in some state of bemusement recollecting being in this wild city - of Joy - as long ago as 1966 when a bright eyed and very dark lady-of-the-night latched onto my side asking if I wanted jigi-jigi; as I  entered the compound of the Fairlawn Hotel. It was like coming to, in another reality!
The frantic streets of this mad city demands that the traveller finds repose in certain moments and usually that is found in some splendiferous up-market hotel but then, you sacrifice the very reason for being in Kolkata, to experience raw India.
Walking into the terraced greenery of the Fairlawn Hotel and it was like all that city-made tension fell away. To the left a young crowd of Kolkatarites chatted over tall bottles of Kingfisher beer (4 or 8% alcohol at R130 a bottle), and the wide entrance to the hotel proper revealed an arcade atmospheric with, if not Raj remnants, some deposited from of Old India, as it was and should be - with a quick wipe around. Chicken and chips R180.
Yes there was a room, very reasonable rates (R2,400), very clean and along a potted-palm lined corridor with a writing table at its door and a hooded crow sat unblinkingly on a fire extinguisher. We had passed through function rooms furnished with sense of old-fashioned style, the walls decorated with framed photographs that enticed the curious eye.
Long high-ceiling rooms with tall curtained doors at each corner, dark wood bureaus and glass fronted display cabinets, memorabilia on all four walls, huge intricately ingrained vases in porcelain and brass. Mother Teresa was there, also Felicity Kendal, but Ganesh also... no particular theme. A mixed gallery. 
In a smaller but similarly engaging room there was a bookcase full of books but that was no library it turned out, featuring all of the least of readable leftovers. This bookcase was a preview into the life of madam Violet Smith, today’s owner, in that if you sought for some saving grace of an enquiring philosophical mind, or an interest in her own heritage among the Armenians - Vi had not heard of G.I. Gurdjieff - you would be at a loss.
She just liked people, being with and talking and making them comfortable in this her home which doubled as a hotel and hideaway, plus an investment for three generations of her family.
Complimentary afternoon tea was served and that introduced me to the general demeanor of this hotel steeped in time and redolent with other’s memories with which I hoped to acquaint myself. Also the Grand Dame who is central to this archive of what once was, “Vi”, as she insists, formally... Mrs Violet Smith.
While it was Vi’s mother, Rosie Sarkies, who established the hotel and its essential ambience, from 1936, in 1962 daughter Violet Smith along with husband Ted, took over the proprietorship. “I met Ted in Calcutta, in fact in this very hotel in 1942, when he was visiting in Calcutta as a major with the British Army. Soon after the hotel was requisition by the Canadian allies for two years. At that time, the hotel was still owned by my mother, Rosie Sarkies.”
Rosie Sarkies and her husband came to India via Ispahan and Pakistan and joined the active and quite large Armenian community there, in 1933. Armenians have a substantial history as traders in India, going back hundreds of years. 
“An extremely shrewd lady, Rosie - despite her man’s indulgences - saved 4 and 8 anna pieces in two empty kerosene cans, which she hid, of course,” tells Vi. “Eventually she had saved up enough money to purchase the Astoria Hotel, which is still in business at the end of Sudder Street.”
The term Sudder comes from the previous name Sadar Court (pronounced Sudder) which was established in the street. A sadar court is a local court of appeal.
“She charged Armenian workers and traders Rs 150 per month to stay there with all meals,” continued Vi. “This was a considerable sum even then, however she provided that community with a place where they could cater to their own, with a family atmosphere and familiar food. The business thrived and after two years, she heard that the two British spinsters who owned Fairlawn wanted to retire and sell up. Rosie, being an incredibly astute and thrifty business woman, instinctively knew that Fairlawn would be the making of her. She sold the Astoria to another Armenian for Rs 6,000 and bought Fairlawn.”
Her judgment paid off and provided her family with the best of everything, education, clothing and decent dining. From that base, she built a hospitality empire, including 5 hotels in Calcutta and one at Emperors Gate in Kensington, London. She also purchased a separate family house in Isleworth, a welcome change from living above the shop. 
However, Fairlawn has always been "home". Like any family home it has witnessed all the significant occasions in the Smith family history.
“Ted and I were married here, a full military wedding no less. My daughter Jeni was born here in Calcutta and her childhood was spent within these very walls until she went to public school in England. Déjà vu, she met her husband John in Calcutta in 1966 and they were married here at the hotel in 1968.”
It is with daughter “Jeni” Fowler that a Hong Kong connection emerges. The husband of Jeni is a Hong Konger, John Fowler, who worked at Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) for twenty five years during which period Vi and Ted would visit often. John Fowler’s grandfather was Mr Bertram Walter Bradbury (wife Millicent) then known as “Bertie” (and in Chinese as Bai Puli). 
In moving to Hong Kong Mr Bradbury made a fortune in property and printing and to this day has a huge philanthropic trust which donates large sums of money to works in England and Hong Kong, to many churches schools, hospitals and hospices that have been named Bradbury...
Mr Bradbury was a household name in Hong Kong at the time of his death. During the Japanese invasion of China (1942-45) he was interred in Stanley Camp. He skinned the last tiger in Hong Kong and had the first television the colony had ever seen.
Historical notes tell that Bertie was born in 1888 in Shropshire and that he was a Master Butcher who emigrated to live in Hong Kong, the family arriving 1908. Originally working for the Hong Kong Milk Company - retiring in 1947 - he founded his own business, initially in the printing industry and then in the property and stock markets.
Daughter Jeni (Jennifer Ann Fowler), who is the joint managing director at Fairlawn Hotel, says: “It is more like a club than an hotel. We have loads of people who return every year to stay with us which gives it that clubby atmosphere.  It is also very family oriented as John and I go out [from their ‘other home in London] about four times a year and our children come out once a year also to see their Nana and as they too are shareholders and put in their tuppence worth of good ideas for the smooth running of the place. Their input has been very important to us and very valuable. Our staff have been with us forever which can be a good or a bad thing!”
Indeed the Hong Kong connection brings some indelicate quips from Vi as she recalls the often snooty colonial types she had to contend with in Hong Kong, though she also loved the place.
On this writers part, on that first moment of acquainting myself with Fairlawn, I had hardly sat down in the table-and-fronds dining court than the muezzin called the faithful to prayer, quite nearby. I was surely in India! Away from the incessant and sometimes painful beeps of street-juggling vehicles, that city tumult was acceptably removed as I was off the busy street, leaving the chatter and clatter behind to sit amid greenery and happy talk.
It was at breakfast that I really met the good lady herself, catching sight of her being assisted by two staff down the staircase, as she is a little unsteady, but in good mental nick for a 92-year- old. She declared good morning to one and all and like responces came from the breakfast tables in the pleasantly lit alcove-like dining hall.
Her breakfast arrived and while sampling the fare she chatted with the breakfasting guests, “Where are you from?” Where are you going next? Simple but warm conversations ensued.
When my turn came to have some exchanges we sat at a side table and her first sentence told of her Armenian ancestry, though she holds a British passport: “As a British subject I don’t rock the boat.” 
She mentioned the terrible genocide of the Armenians, but more dwelt on the local Armenian community hereabouts which is now significantly diminished. The Indian Armenians have been around for centuries and are not from the sad genocide conventionally said to have started in 1915. That was when Ottoman authorities arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. Thereafter, the Ottoman military uprooted Armenians from their homes and forced them to march for hundreds of miles, depriving them of food and water, to the desert of what is now Syria. The majority of Armenian diaspora communities were founded as a result of the Armenian genocide.
“When my parents arrived in India they came via Afghanistan and lived in today’s Dhaka for years. I was born there. Later we lived in Bombay, on Malabar Hill. That’s a loverly area.”
“In Hong Kong we used to socialise with the likes of Willie Purves as he was John’s boss [Sir William "Willie" Purves was the first Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings following the creation of a holding company to act as parent to The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and the Midland Bank following the former's acquisition of Midland in 1992]. Thing is though, in Hong Kong many people don’t look at you as you are, they see you through your connections, your level in society. So pretentious.  This has caused the break up of homes, and of nice relations.
But Kolkata is her true home. “I love Calcutta, it’s a real place. I couldn’t live anywhere else. People look after each other. If I lived in England surely I’d be in a home by now... that’s what everyone does these days. Put their oldies into homes for the elderly. Here I can just carry on.”
I gestured to the staircase walls decorated in ascent with photos and what not.
“Oh, if you want to get to know about the history of this hotel you can read all the bullshit on the walls,” she says, waving at the stairs. I just live in one room and all this stuff from the past, well, it’s used to ornament the place. All the family’s bits and pieces that have gathered over the years are on display.”
“This is the way I like to run the hotel, in a friendly manner. We don’t try to give some five-star service, nothing like that, just a homily feeling and people usually come back... so many do. We want to keep this ambience.”
Vi notes that society is changing and she finds a lot of people are rather ‘antiseptic’. My husband Ted was an old fashioned English blood type, a tall man, about six feet two." Vi is on the smaller scale and among some friends is called “cheda mische bargai” - “small chilli, hot stuff.”
Celebrities, such as travel writer and ex-comic Michael Palin, use the hotel. “Palin stayed at the Grand but would come here for evening drinks. Sting was here, the singer, and the people making the movie City of Joy.” There is a long list of celebrities that have used the hotel.
Historical records show that the building itself has existed on this site since 1783, built by European William Ford who purchased the land from Sheikh Ramjan and Bhonay, in 1781. The building was constructed shortly after the land was purchased and this is known from the deeds which state that a "Pukka" building had been built by Mr Ford, when the property passed into the hands of Mr George Chisholm. 
The word pukka (meaning proper) denotes that it was built of brick. Bengalis were only allowed, by the ruling Nawabs, to build from coconut palm and mud, and only with the Nawab’s specific and costly permission.
Since those days, the possession of the building has fallen to:
1801 - 1812 Mr George Chisholm (died in residence)
1812 - 1840 Captain Sir James Mount and Sir George Mount.
1840 - 1873 The Chisholm family.
1873 - 1900 Sir David Ezra.
1900 - 1936 Miss Clarke and Miss Barrett.
1936 - 1962 Mrs Rosie Sarkies.
1962 - Mr Ted and Mrs Violet Smith (nee Sarkies & Mrs Jennifer Fowler). 
Not much is known about the Chisholms, however, the Mounts were a seafaring family, allegedly involved in smuggling opium and textiles into and from China. Many of Britain's earls and viscounts can trace their beginnings to these types of people of the empire. Job (pronounced Jobe) Charnock once said that, "it will always be possible for a man to make his fortune in Calcutta", and many did.

During the Second World War it was requisitioned for Canadian airforce personnel and for two years was known as "Canada House". Melvyn Douglas, then an airforce major, occupied the family quarters during this time.
Amongst the longest staying guests were the Kendal (Bragg) family, (mother and father of the British actress Felicity) who stayed here off and on for nearly 30 years (Felicity left when she was 18). They were a traditional theatrical family and earned their living by touring Shakespeare around Indian schools. They would sometimes put on plays upstairs in the lounge at Fairlawn. Their eldest daughter Jennifer married one of India's most famous and outrageously handsome actors, Shashi Kapoor. They had their honeymoon at the Fairlawn.
Amongst the many literary figures who return to the Fairlawn often is one of the worlds most respected travel writers, the late Eric Newby and his wife Wanda. Other famous guests and visitors include:
Ishmail Merchant and James Ivory; Tom Stoppard; Patrick Swayze and the cast of The City of Joy, the Fairlawn is featured in the film; Tirtio Terzani and family (His son had his wedding there in 1997); Julie Christie; Sting; Dominique Lapierre and his wife Dominique; Clive Anderson; the late Norman Hutchinson (Royal Artist) and Gloria his wife; Julian Barrow (Landscape artist); Dan Cruikshank; Ian Hislop; Gunthur Grass. Many others have also stayed, however, they treat the place as an escape and therefore Vi does not compromise their privacy.
Sadly, husband Ted died at the age of 83 years in November 2002. This has not deterred Vi though who valiantly and happily continues to maintain Fairlawn as the Grand Dame that she herself is!
Note 8.
Kunming Stopover
Ethnic Miao minority writer Shen Congwen, the author considered to be the greatest lyric novelist of modern China, once wrote: “A feature of Yunnan Province is the extraordinarily changeable cloud formations, especially at dusk when the column shapes and lingering appeal of clouds are really attractive.” Nothing could have been more true at that moment nearing the city as my China Eastern Airlines aircraft approached Kunming, flying in from India’s Kolkata.
It could have been a scene from a space movie; vast plateaus of alto-stratus stretched over equally vast depths of emptiness, taking the shape of low islands in a grey mist of what appeared to be sea but which in another reality was a light infused airy environment that descended down to the mountainous terrain far below. The scene reminded me of the contemplative stone garden’s of China’s Chan Buddhism.
Out of the aircraft and through customs and immigration I did not accept the offers of a taxi to downtown, rather sought the bus. Yes, there was a bus but not till 8am. A chap with a shared taxi offer seemed about right so, referencing the bus route map, I indicated Kunming Zhan, the station. At twenty-five yuan it was a fair price. We were dropped off at the quite posh Jinjiang Hotel.
My belief was that to the south of the railway station lay the cheaper hotels but having got to the station, with both myself and the passers-by most curious about each other, I began to realise I did not know where south was!  The bright sun was to my left and as it was a rising sun this very road was either a north or south running one. As there seemed no way across the other side of the station, I decided I must be to the south. Good.
In seeking that way across the station I paraded along streets of eateries supplying morning snacks and well patronised by workers and domestic travellers. Boiled eggs, dumplings, congee, and trays of assorted goodies that were on show for people to choose among when they asked for that most famous local Yunnan dish - spicy noodles. 
How could I resist? Settling into a little cubby-hole beside noisy, and really noisy, families and single people on their way to work, I ordered the noodles pointing at one neighbour’s fare and to an opportunely passing wooden steamer of dumplings. The latter came with a soy-vinegar sauce. Unusually, I did not drain the bowl as the sauce was fiery.
Replete, I re-entered the pedestrian fray of people rolling suitcases, boxes and bags, heavy laden bicycles, young girls in tawdry fashions - this was not Shanghai... In general the Hunnanese were pretty tough looking but when they got over their first almost numbed poise owing to the sight of a foreigner, their smiles brought out everything good, and made the girls much prettier.
I was accosted by one such girl with a nice plump face and a beaming smile that I found attractive, though wearing a dull-yellow ball gown type of dress which was a bit out of morning style. She was very keen on selling me something which I only learned later was, herself. An early offering. She began by informing me of something, possibly on offer, but no language link so I just continued on toward the presumed south road dodging cars and buses, motor bikes, push carts and ever more of my fellow pedestrians in a two-way flow and began popping into hotels asking prices.
The Jinjiang Hotel where I had alighted from the taxi had high rates that at the lower end were around six hundred yuan, rather over my budget. Almost opposite lay the HeRi Jin Hotel and it’s entrance was rather grand with plush fur covered couches to the huge windows, however, I gave it a try. Nice surprise, much more reasonable rates and I got a room - a very nice clean modern room, for two hundred yuan a night. The staff were very helpful with the captain’s limited English sufficient, used with a calm firmness that made for clear understanding.
Before taking a nap, as I had traveled overnight, I sought a quick beer but the nearby places lacked such niceties and were all either jade emporiums or massive shopping arcades. In between were stretches of in-process construction works. Slightly forlorn I chose a place but just a warm weak beer was available and that had to do.
I did have a nap but the excitement of being in a new city had me bathed and scrubbed down by lunchtime and out of doors again, this time searching for something more atmospheric of old China. No chance in recently refurbished Kunming!
In the end all I could find was a vendor of noodles “a la Hunnan” with a fridge packed with Cool Bere, as it was named. A delight find though was the freshly fried potato chips in a huge wok so I had those as a side dish, served with a typically piquant sauce, all for nine yuan. What fun to sit on a low stool in the shade with families and workers at lunch and exchange friendly smiles with the young daughters of the place while the street sights entertained.
No matter how far I roamed I could not locate any place that was puckka ‘old China’. Designer clothes, trendy fashions, parades of shoes, bargains all and everywhere but not a sight of wooden hoardings and doors carved with calligraphy, street artists, little hide-aways with tantalising alleyways leading off into unknowns. Mostly, the ‘Old China’ was of my own imaginative making and no doubt today’s Chinese had no such pretensions and were more than happy with the status quo of modern China and its malls, so recently emerging from a chaotic past.
This city is located at the northern edge of Lake Dian, and is supposedly surrounded by temples and lake-and-limestone hill landscapes. About 96km southeast of the city is the Stone Forest, a karst formation that has been developed as a tourist attraction. It consists of rock caves, arches, and pavilions and is part of the larger karst-based landscape of the region. However, flying down the highways all one can see are housing complexes in the block style, quite nice in themselves but gratingly modern.
Its modern prosperity dates only from 1910 when the railway from Hanoi was built. Kunming’s economic importance derives from its geographical position near the border with Southeastern Asian countries. Long time serving as a hub in Southwest China, linking by rail to Vietnam and by road to Burma and Laos, Kunming long profited from its position on the caravan roads through to South-East Asia, India and Tibet. The city has had a strong role as a major conduit point in international drug trafficking as it is the closest major Chinese city near the Golden Triangle. 
I heard that Kunming is really more of a terminal and jumping off point for placed such as Dali lying to the west and on the way to Burma; southward through Mengzi County to the Red River in Indochina.  In the 1930s its importance grew when the first highways were built, linking Kunming with Chongqing in Sichuan and Guiyang in Guizhou, to the east. China, Bangladesh and Myanmar (Burma) have agreed to construct a highway from Kunming to Chittagong through Mandalay for expanding trade and development.
There is a classical tour from Kunming to Dali, Lijiang and ‘Shangri-La’ where the traveller visits Kunming Stone Forest, Dali Old Town, Lijiang Old Town, Lijiang Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Tiger Leaping Gorge, and Shangri-La Songzanlin Monastery. 
In the evening I found a sidewalk restaurant that was in a pleasant situation in the reclining sun and ordered cool drinks but lo I was misunderstood and another earthenware pot of steaming spicy noodles arrived. Really tasty though.
It was then I seen again the girl in the yellow dress, importuning male passers by of the delights in store that she was willing to bestow on customers. In fact, she was not alone, a whole bevy of such girls, some with motor scooters, were waylaying the male passers bye. The tenacity of the sales pitches were entertaining.
Speaking of those peripheral places, Dali, Lijiang, which I had no chance to visit on this one night stopover, new pals did. I met a sweet Chinese girl called Snowy, and Sophie, Snowy’s mam, as I bussed out to the airport next day and was given a sophisticated bookmarker based around a Dongba script as a momento of our chance meeting. 
This script was originally used as a prompt for the recitation of ritual texts, apparently, and came about centuries ago to serve that particular ritual purpose. The bookmark was obtained in the ancient city of Lijiang. Dongba is both pictographic and ideographic. Really a charming souvenir.
Young Ms. Snowy also told me about botanist Joseph Rock whose main academic focus, was the study of Hunnan’s Naxi people, their language, and culture. He spent twenty-four years among the Naxi in the 1920s to 1940s, and collected thousands of Naxi manuscripts. Mr Rock worked diligently to become fluent in the unique Naxi pictographics. He produced a ‘pictionary’ and had help from the Naxi shamanistic priests, the Dongbas.
I knew Kunming was more of a place of transit for the likes of this traveller and it proved true. On this occasion I merely got acquainted with one lively section of this rapidly changing city that is still under construction. Memorable are the massive stores replete with jade and semi-precious stones and the abundance of tea sellers, and of course, Snowy, China’s future in female form!

Law of Political Accountability
June 24, 2013
Referring to Deendayal M. Lulla, of Mumbai, India (SCMP, Snowden case shows the US no longer respects human rights, 24 June, 2013) and the appeal for “laws to govern promises made by the politicians - both in power and while soliciting votes in elections”, we would like to concur.

We agree that “democracy gets strengthened only when politicians are made accountable for the promises they make”. Something clearly lacking on all levels, anywhere in the world.

Our humanist manifesto, released 1984 at the moment of establishment of the Humanist Party internationally, included political accountability in its agenda. The Humanist Party of India also includes the item in its manifesto today.

Further, at this moment, in the lead up to the 2013 elections in Chile, Marcel Claude is the candidate of the Humanist Party, also of the United Left and other social movement groups, as a consequence of the convergence of sectors Humanists, Marxists, Environmentalists, Students and Independents.

Among the portends of his political platform is a demand for a new constitution and new laws going toward a true democracy: viz., Approve political liability law as presented to Congress by Rep. Laura Rodriguez, humanist, in 1990; requiring all representatives to account for their management, returning the power to the voters to remove from elected office those who do not fulfill their election promises (revocation of office for elected office). 

Another important and related item is toward the devolution and decentralization of the State. Decentralizing the State, through a federal organization so that the real political power is in the hands of the regions, provinces, districts, neighborhoods and communities. 

The current trend of reducing the State in most countries, called ‘modernising’, is done by replacing said State with transnational economic monopolies, but that handing over of control does nothing to help the process of decentralization - besides its other more blatant negatives. This modernization in fact acts to leave the state devoid of any tool to curb the looting of the resources of the regions.

Working to perfection and in the ideal, China’s Communist Party could have accomplished this latter result over the years but would have to have at least the equivalent of a Law of Political Accountability in its methodology.

Hong Kong of course could implement such Law with a simple debate on its merits.

Tony Henderson, chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong
49 Kau Tsuen, Mui Wo, Lantau.

Edward Snowden...

Activist Edward Snowden’s choice of Hong Kong as a hideaway came as a surprise to many of the territories’ citizens. It brought a sense of renewed relevance to the place for some here, who, while happy that Hong Kong is far away from the world’s chaotic tumult so evident today, have some excitement in the fact we are now highlighted on the world’s media. 

While the issue itself of bringing information to the public domain that was classified and termed secret information by the USA government is not of direct consequence to Hong Kong, Mr Snowden’s choice of Hong Kong in itself tells a story of the real freedoms that exist here.

Should Mr Snowden enter the refugee programed he is guaranteed years of security-of-place if not security-of-cash-flow because the refugee procedures here are antiquated and not at all covered by legislation. The advantage for the government is, as was learned at the time of the huge Vietnamese refugee influx decades ago with the policy of making life as uncomfortable as possible for refugees word would get back to Vietnam and the inflow would cease... It worked. But not for the refugees.

The legislative and regulatory lack, which seems to be supported by the UNHCR which back-burners all applications in a killingly slow process, could be very useful for Mr Snowden. What he needs is time to get the focus on the context beyond the simple fact of his release of classified information, to debate the bigger picture - the scandal of excessive and undisciplined and unregulated surveillance of the USA government on the world’s peoples and it’s own citizens.

The question is, when found by the police and there is no doubt Hong Kong’s finest will not take long for that, what will the Hong Kong government do with him? There is an extradition agreement between Hong Kong and the USA but extradition will be against the wishes of Edward Snowden and many locals - who are still dazed a bit by the turn-of-events but who always rally to the cause of Hong Kong’s special rights under the fifty-year agreement with Beijing.

It is not a light matter, even for Beijing, on recalling what took place in February last year when former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun reportedly sought asylum at the US consulate in Chengdu, taking information implicating his former boss, disgraced Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai , in various offences. Wang did leave the consulate voluntarily it is said and was handed over to state security officials to be jailed for 15 years on charges including bribery and attempted defection.

The there was the case of blind Shandong activist Chen Guangcheng who fled house arrest and went to the US embassy in Beijing. While at first the two nations first struck deals that allowed Chen to remain in China, Chen said he was intimidated into accepting that deal and now chose to go to the USA. Chen was put on a plane to the USA a month later.

Both cases proved uncomfortable to both governments.

Mr Snowden has switched hotels to avoid media attention and his whereabouts are unknown but Hong Kong is a very small place and that situation is short lived. He joins the ranks of Bradley Manning, who was thrown into the brig and is likely to get a long jail sentence, and Julian Assange, presently a long-stay guest of the Embassy of Ecuador in London, as another of a new kind of dissident. 

It would be interesting if Edward Snowden was allowed to take full advantage of Hong Kong’s freedoms and if Beijing also allowed Hong Kong to make it’s own decisions but only if the top echelon of our government listened to the people, and not to their own fears... If they second guess what Beijing might want could be everyone gets shot in the foot. There is grave danger in self censorship. The government here needs to take responsibility according to the autonomous character of Hong Kong under the set style of the SAR, of China.

Published press statements: 

South China Morning Post
June 13, 2013
Tony Henderson, of the Humanist Association Hong Kong, urged the government not to try to second-guess what Beijing would expect, as it was likely to stay in the background. 

The Hong Kong Standard 
June 13, 2013

The government should confirm the American as a political asylum-seeker and give him protection, according to Humanist Association spokesman Tony Henderson.

Happy 100th birthday to Elsie Tu

Humanists Peace Proposal for Syria
June 2, 2013
Second statement on Syria issued by the Humanist Association of Hong Kong

For Syria, there is a Swiss solution: “One Syria, federal, with local autonomy, even down to the village level, with Sunnis, Shias and Kurds having relations to their own across the borders.  International peacekeeping, also for the protection of minorities.  And non-aligned, which rules out foreign bases and flows of arms, but does not rule out compulsory arbitration for the Golan Heights (and June 1967 in general), with Israeli UN membership at stake...”

We also take recourse in what Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire stated to the media following her investigative trip into Syria and Lebanon 1 to 11 May 2013 as part of the “Mussalaha International Peace Delegation to Lebanon-Syria”:

"It is for the Syrian people to decide about their own problems, their own destiny, their own politics, their own leadership and form of government. No one has the right to interfere in their internal affairs and all foreign forces must withdraw and stay away. The flow of arms and armed fighters must be stopped, sanctions must be lifted, and if the arms embargo should remain in place, it ought to be all parties involved, not just the Syrian government that has a right to defend itself from foreign aggression...

“...I find it disgraceful that our Western governments, led by US-EU-Israel and their client states, be full and willing partners in such atrocities perpetrated in name of 'human rights," "democracy," "rule of law," "freedom," "liberty," and other such meaningless, trivialized euphemisms. The present political and economic structures, embedded in the machinery of predatory militarism and capitalism, present us with only one choice, the lesser evil; but that is an artificial construct. Gandhi, Mandela, Luther King, Lula [note: classically the HI would only go with Gandhi and Luther King] and many others are proof that changes and transformation are envisioned, are given form and arise from below, from the ranks of the oppressed and minorities, from a non co-opted periphery, and not from within the belly of an empire of banks and bases seeking unlimited profits and hegemonic powers-for their own sake. Policies must again be made to endeavor the wellbeing of human beings, of life, not the perpetuation of structures and cultures that by necessity have to go. At other times in history piracy, slavery and absolute monarchy, for instance, also represented the status quo, the law; but they are no more. Nonviolent resistance and actions throughout the cultural-structural apparatus are the means to turn this tide, which is taking our planet and all its life to the abyss. We must choose life and peace by peaceful means, resist we must; and we will!” 

Our Association concurs and also speaks out strongly for peace in Syria demanding that the peoples of the world make common cause in opposition to what is taking place today. For this we need to make it known that we explicitly condemn military intervention by foreign countries not only because of the obvious wrong of such interference but also because, for workable political persuasion, it is essential to operate from and strengthen national sovereignty.

In accordance the proposed action is to immediately:

- Terminate any thought of military intervention by the United States of America and those European countries that comply with those interventions in the internal affairs of Syria.
- Constitute a cease-fire guaranteed by a permanent observer mission of those not committed to attacks on Syria.
- The establishment and open airing of a programme and timetable for the political and social reforms agreed among the people and their political parties working on behalf of the diverse groups in Syria.

These measures form the basis of the minimum conditions needed to overcome this violence fraught juncture where the violence of a minority is facing the violence of another minority, taking place within a complex of different ideological stances of the ethnic and religious groups.

Syria must be allowed to extricate itself from the weight of big power manipulations that have resulted in the country being used a site for a proxy war that has no sympathy for the Syrian peoples.

Finally, we reiterate that, if people are consulted about going to war, war would not exist! People love life and want peace.

The Humanist Association of Hong Kong proposes, as the Humanist International did 30 years ago, moving towards real direct and participatory democracy as the road to take to liberation and transformation, bringing the human being to the central values of a true human history.

Candles in the rain – ease the pain - Pressenza

Hong Kong June 4, 2013, vigil.
Casi Ng

The annual candlelight vigil on June 4, held each year in Hong Kong, to commemorate the Tiananmen Crackdown, Incident or Massacre of 1989, continued to draw mass participation in its usual Victoria Park site, Hong Kong Island.

The slogan for this year’s protest – “Love the country, love the people. That’s the Hong Kong spirit. Reverse the June 4 verdict. We will never give up”, by Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement of China – sounded too skewed toward a sop to  Beijing and caused a splinter group to form elsewhere comprising those not so worried about upsetting the Northern government by showing their patriotism.

Thousands gathered in the evening but heavy rain dampened everything but the spirits and it was not all that agreed when the organisers called it off an hour early – though the park lighting had failed by then.

The organisers were calling on Chinese President Xi Jinping to improve human rights and advance democracy.

Many protesters were dressed in traditional mourning colours as they remembered the people killed by troops 24 years ago after students called for democracy and an end to corruption and defied orders to leave Tiananmen Square.

Vigil organizers estimated the crowed at 150,000 people, according to the South China Morning Post and as usual the police had a far different figure – 54,000.

China doesn’t allow events to commemorate the crackdown on the mainland and last night’s Hong Kong memorial is the first since China’s once-in-ten-years leadership transition that ended with Xi replacing Hu Jintao as president in March..

To recall, in Hong Kong, over 1 million people marched in protest after the crackdown 24 years ago and these vigils have occurred annually since. Estimates of the death toll during the days of the crackdown are guesstimated at from 300 and 2,600.

Turning to a Facebook comment, Rose Tang wrote: So how many people were killed during the Tiananmen Massacre? It is still a mystery. Chinese Red Cross put the death toll at 2,600 shortly after the massacre but quickly withdrew it due to government pressure. Several student organizations quoted similar figures. But other sources’ figures range from 200 to 10,000.

The slaughter started on the night of June 3 and continued for a few more days and spread to other cities, as people staged hunger strikes and street protests in several hundred cities across the country.

While the South China Morning Post Internet version did run a lead article, there was surprisingly little media coverage of the event that lasted, it all soon got drowned in lesser news items and surprisingly it was left to to give a lingering and more detailed story.

Rose Tang highlights one list of the killed compiled by the Tiananmen Mothers.


“a group formed by families and friends of the victims and led by Professor Ding Ziling and her husband Jiang Peikun, whose 17-year-old son Jiang Jielian was gunned down along the Avenue of Eternal Peace (Chang An Ave.) where most of the killings occurred.”

“So far the list only has 202 victims, most of whom were in their 20s. The youngest was 9. My 19-year-old friend Wang Qiong, a freshman of the Beijing Science and Technology, is not on the list. Also missing is a girl of possibly 12 years old. A weeping student I met near Qianmen after I escaped Tiananmen Square showed me a blood stained pair of small specs with bullet holes. He witnessed how the girl was gunned down by marching troops with automatic rifles.”

“This website with the English translation of the death list has a good archive on Tiananmen movement. It’s the official website of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement of China, which has been organizing the annual candle light vigil in Hong Kong for the last 24 years.”

“Another good website, run by Feng Congde, one of the student leaders, is, which has thousands of photos, videos and audio files. It’s in Chinese.”

The photo by Casi Ng shows the continuing support of this annual vigil by the people of Hong Kong and not a few that come down from the mainland to take part.


Newsletter of Universal Humanism - Hong Kong, SAR, China - 
Number 41 - May 2013 
Page 2 - Notice: a Park of Study and Reflection in Hong Kong - proposal
Page 2 - To our Bangladeshi friends
Page 4 - Africa’s first Park of Study and Reflection - Marracuene
Page 6 - The Koreas: pull the plug on US troops
Page 7 - Big Biz underlying DPRK provocations?
Page 8 - Statement on the situation on the Korean Peninsula
Page 9 - No to War on Korean Peninsula and in the Whole Northeast Asia Region
Page 9 - International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons - ICAN
Page 10 - contact information

Dear friends,
Two months have passed since our previous newsletter and violence still dominates the mainstream media but on the other side of what is usually broadcast so many small-scale projects and positive developments have chancily been recorded. The word ‘chancily’ is used purposively because, as different from the dominating media, the less well distributed news that is of interest here is mostly only ‘chanced upon’. 
However, with the likes of Al Jazeera, fine stories are aired, and we appreciate that wide and intimate coverage of the more approachable affairs of ‘lesser man’, especially on Asia, in our case.
Members of the Humanist Movement in these latter years have also established a news service, Pressenza, billed as an international press agency. Truly, on its Spanish side, there is a decently well appreciated showing while on the English side more input is needed from our friends. Our friends in this instance being those who appreciate the importance of ‘getting the real story out’ and seeking those activities based on non-violence that go toward the creation of peace and situations of non-discrimination.
As volunteers - meaning ‘you get your reward in heaven’ - it is proving difficult to get reporters-photographers to give some priority in their activities to supply Pressenza material with some permanence. They do not seem to see how important such agencies as ours are but feedback from those included in our reportage testify magnificently to our endeavours. Anyway, those wanting to be journalist activists should get in touch.
Peace, Force and Joy - Tony

International Federation of Humanist Parties
something more than a party



Call for a Hong Kong Park of Study and Reflection
When the call went out to the members of the Humanist Movement and friends in other places to band together to build our Parks, one in each of the world’s major regions, efforts began and by now that first phase has been completed with Parks in Argentina and Chile for Latin America; in the USA for North America; in Europe, and in India for Asia. These were locations where membership was sufficient to generate the funds and enthusiasm to start and finish the task. 
On May 4, 2013, the African region was added to the list (see below). In fact, there are quite a number of smaller Parks in many countries, all according to the strength of the humanists in those countries. 
It would be more than useful if Hong Kong could have a Park. However, there are not enough people directly involved in Hong Kong with those affairs we class is stemming from Siloism. Could be, it’s time to change that. So, as the local-to-Hong Kong spokesperson for the new Universalist Humanism, I would like to invite others into a Circle of Friends with the long term aim of establishing a physical Park of Study and Reflection (Hong Kong). 
In the meantime, I suggest a study group be formed of those interested. We could meet regularly to become familiar with the general Works, to clarify the associated studies which are more to do with the human spirit than with political, cultural or environmental affairs, but which can cover those topics according to individual’s interest. 
Anyone can join, there is a minimum of organisational structure, the main thing is to agree to hold to our principles of non-violence and non-discrimination. 
Write to Tony Henderson, G/F, 49 Kau Tsuen, Mui Wo, Lantau, Hong Kong; or, email, or phone 90487639.


To our Bangladeshi friends...
First there was the War Trials and Shahbag Square occupation, and peaceful protests, then there was the tumult as a call was made to bring in the death penalty, then the fundamentalist came, then the security forces - at a tangent the Savar textile building collapse and then, on top of all this, the street violence exploited by the opposition political party joining in the frenzied calls of the religiously based parties....
To our great dismay we watched as the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, burned and we seen quite ordinary people disoriented with hysteria, ordinarily nice people with sticks and distorted faces screaming and bloodletting, even young people. 
There is great confusion in the minds of all sides and under those circumstances and the heat of the moment nothing can be forwarded or resolved - thus our maxim: "Do not oppose a great force. Retreat until it weakens, then advance with resolution." 
The government feels it can only clamp down on street protests - which will cause the populace to seethe in its discontent. It is not unimaginable that the lid will blow off. It was shown that when 200,000 people take to the streets the police cannot control anything, but the police must see how their typical and too easy resort to violence provokes an equal and opposite reaction, thus the cycle of violence is initiated. 

Unfortunately, there is a history of demonstrators taking to the street each armed with a stick. Why do demonstrators wanting to peacefully demonstrate needs sticks? They will say because the police have weapons and it’s the only way to get public space. Certainly a policeman needs something for his or her defence, not a gun as such but that lathi at least has its lethal limits. However, the behaviour of the police, which is condoned by all political parties when they are in power, is a cause for firing up violence. That must change. The political parties use of thugs also must be stopped, besides their students wings organised in colleges. 
Gladly, our Humanist Movement members were away from the city celebrating the birth of the Humanist Movement in the newly built Park of Study and Reflection, at Bitipara, near Gazipur just outside Dhaka. This brings the thought to mind that having a project removed from the fray allows friends to continue with the general intention, which is to Humanize Bangladesh. Ours is a largely apolitical (until some group gives birth to a Humanist Party), which intends reaching down to the root of problems which are ruining the cities - and the violence has spread throughout the country. 
Basically, the need is for an increasing awareness of everything that figures in human life and its connectivity, its overall relation. It’s not just political, it’s a lot to do with cultural affairs and is diversely and inclusively so. 
As long as a people cannot enjoy a civil human life there will be problems and poverty denies everything. The need is to address poverty and that is best done locally - not through these cheating agencies of international dimensions which are used by the powerful ones to sneak into countries like Bangladesh with strings attached programmes and loans. Anyway Bangladesh has its Yunus’s, the man of Grameen Bank micro-credit fame, and many lesser lights of the same calibre. 
Our solution, besides whatever supportive measures the local members can generate - we don’t commonly supply cash to projects - includes heightening individuals all-around grasp of his-or-her situation, to offer tools and ambits where, with some peace of mind, a study can begin. This in turn initiates a process classically called self-liberation. This is done in the real world among the dynamics of usual life. What is intended by the recluses we want to do in the localities, thus our Parks of Study and Reflection! 
As per the basic norms of democracy, we want freedom of expression, freedom of choice, freedom of religious belief or dis-belief. To insert and establish these pillars in real everyday life takes a different point of view beyond the prejudicial and the fixed. That’s why we speak of freeing the mind, seeing the other’s point of view and finally, learning to "treat others as you want to be treated".
We are few in Bangladesh and actually, relatively few everywhere but number is not as important as quality, no where near as important. Self study, effort, permanence, solidarity among those few so aligned with a clear idea of the particular activity and its context, that’s what’s needed.
Beliefs are not an indicator of worth; actions and behaviours are valid indicators of the truly human.

Bangladesh - stop pointing in wrong directions 

Gold Medal for Yunus – Mr Micro-credit 

Bangladesh – war trials ferment street protests 



Subject: Greetings from Mozambique 
Date: Sun, 05 May 2013 
From: Tony Robinson <> 

Marracuene Park

Dear friends,
Today has been extraordinary. As you know I'm here to help celebrate the official inauguration of the Park here which is the first one of its kind in Africa. It has been a long day, but I will write some impressions for you because some of you asked.
The Park is about an hour and a half outside of Maputo. It's probably closer than Albertirsa is to Budapest, but the traffic is African so it took longer to get there. It was a beautiful sunny day even though here they are entering winter and in the evening it's cool and right now it's 
raining outside.
We got up early and arrived at the Park about 10am. At the Park you arrive and see the gate and behind that is the Sala with orange flags on the cone. Even to see this in an African context is emotional. We arrived and entered the park and walked around and greeted friends and waited for everyone to arrive. Once everything was ready (or as ready as it could be) we were invited to leave the Park again so that the "show" could begin. And it was great. It was so well thought out. It was really a piece of theatre.
First we had a short explanation about the Park and were invited to enter but then at the threshold one of the Mozambicans stopped us all and asked, "why do you want to come in? What do you want here?" and we stood to reflect on this. I was already very emotional by this point (and also now remembering)! On entering the Park, the next Mozambican then quoted the first page of Silo's Message.
"Here it tells how the non-meaning of life can be converted into meaning and fulfillment. Here are joy, love of the body, of nature, of humanity, and of the spirit. Here sacrifices, feelings of guilt, and threats from the beyond are rejected. Here the worldly is not opposed to the eternal. 
Here it tells of the inner revelation at which all arrive who carefully meditate in humble search."
It was just perfect. Every part of the tour was accompanied by an explanation and a quote from Silo's Message. Even by a big tree part of the show was one of the friends jumping out and reading "Intimation of Meaning". We were divided into 4 groups and taken on the tour of the Park by 4 different guides and we finished in the Sala. Standing on the top of the Sala was a friend who reminded us "there is no meaning in life if everything ends with death".

In the Sala we did a service with a very nice atmosphere and tone. Many of us have had experiences of building the Movement in Africa and have experienced frustration and disappointment when the people didn't really understand what Silo's project is. It is not the case here. The level and the quality of the people is great. We were in Mozambique, but it could have been a gathering of siloists in Punta de Vacas, La Reja, Los Manantiales, Attigliano, Toledo or Mikebuda. It was no different - apart from we were in Africa...
After the service, I quickly jumped in to give them the copy of Silo's Message in Hungarian and English that I brought as a gift from us. The 350 euros that we raised earlier in the year I had already given when I first arrived in case they needed it. They were very happy with our efforts.
Lunch followed and more chats and relaxing and then we were to watch the animated video of the Healing of Suffering with Portuguese subtitles. In the end we couldn't get a generator, so no projector. Even this was not a problem as one of the Mozambicans went onto the roof of the Sala to read it out loud. In my opinion this was even much better. After the first paragraph he jumped off the roof onto the sandy floor and read to us from the centre of the circle we had formed. At the end he received a great round of applause.
Following this we re-entered the Sala to finish with testimonies and the recognition ceremony and it was another emotional moment for many people. Obviously it wouldn't be a humanist gathering without lots of hugs and laughter and then the day was over. We cleaned up the Park and came back to Maputo. Everyone has had a quiet night because we got up early and I've just written an article for Pressenza and uploaded photos on Facebook that you can see if you haven't already.
There are lots of other anecdotes and stories and I will come back with a raw copy of the video taken today and when I'm back we can watch it together in the Park.
This is it for now. Tomorrow we have a day of interchange among siloists and on Monday a retreat for Masters. It should be nice.
In synthesis: it's great and today has exceeded my wildest expectations. Our thing is so beautiful and special and such an inspiration for my life.
I hope your 4th of May has also been full of joy.
Big hug
Tony Robinson



The Koreas: pull the plug on US troops
South Korea and the US military are conducting military drills around the Korean Peninsular. Their media reports say these are ‘strictly defensive in nature' - and they are planned to continue until the end of April this year. As a consequence, North Korea has accused Washington of war preparations, especially with the sighting of nuclear-weapons-capable B-52 bombers in the area as part of the ‘defensive' drills. North Korea has abrogated an armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
The media has headlines such as " North Korea warns of 'simmering nuclear war', and tells that the Communist state has cut all direct military contact with South Korea and its foreign ministry has informed the UN Security Council of the latest situation. Indeed dangerous.
"Upon authorisation of the Foreign Ministry, the DPRK openly informs the UN Security Council that the Korean Peninsula now has the conditions for a simmering nuclear war," the release said. "This is because of provocative moves by the US and South Korean puppets".
In these precarious circumstances who can tell the repercussions of any incident, however small! The South Korean soldier on guard at the inter-Korea border that threw a grenade at a moving object in the dark early Wednesday and triggered an alarm, that could have been it... everything is so centralised these days and routines are set up - even with checks and balances... and computers are set to take over at certain thresholds.... and then there are mad men at the top. 
Yes, mad men - women are largely exempt because they cannot get near the top. A mad man is someone so skewered by his own systemised thinking that he has lost perspective and will push the red button. Totally insane.
It is now widely reported that the North has repeated threats to target US military bases, though it is stated that the technology is not current to North Korea - but who really knows? Anyway the USA has its vassal states that allow military bases for bombing raids hither and thither so what can the local population expect other than to be targeted in problem moments. They are first targets. Of course in Japan it is the Okinawans that have the problems, far away from the main island's cities.
China, Pyongyang's only major ally, has stated that the situation was "sensitive". China, absolutely, does not want this excitement on its border and has nothing to gain from its further complexifying. 
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Leonid Petrov, a Korea expert at Sydney's Australian National University, said North's "attention-seeking behaviour" is in response to it feeling "cornered" by the international community.
Quoting Al Jazzeera: "The regime wants the people of North Korea to be consolidated behind its young leader Kim Jung-un," Petrov said.
But Petrov also said he doubts the North will attack first, adding that its capability to target the US remains limited. Still, he warned that if something happens between the North and the US, "definitely Seoul is going to suffer". On the other hand, Petrov said, the North is also hinting that it is ready to negotiate. "Pyongyang really want to have a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the growing problem," he said.
South Korea is in a no win situation. Whatever results, another stalemate or an explosion, the South Koreans can get no joy from their obvious economic success story. How sad. They remain under the threat of the North. There is no other way for both Koreas than to close a deal, with fair negotiations, and for that the USA has to remove its troops.

Tony Henderson, chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong


Big Biz underlying DPRK provocations?
31 March 2013 - an edited version was published in the South China Morning Post
While it is the US of A that appears as the most ‘belligerent’ in the current Korea’s crisis – if this is not too weak a term for practices and thus threats of a nuclear attack – questions need to be asked, is it the government of a people that is so disposed or is it, as in the case of oil in the Middle East – the all powerful multinationals pushing that agenda for reasons beyond those of State, or the American People!
Do those wheeler-dealers fear a rise of the DPRK into economic fullness because they note what the more democratic South has achieved even in its limited freedoms, beating the Brits in shipbuilding years ago and recently beating Japan in electronics and commandeering the Asian media with soap operas, movies and rock – Gangnan Style.
The wages in North Korea can even underbid those in Bangladesh and Cambodia so, with stability and development in the north, factories would sprout like mushrooms and business and investment money would flow in and products flow out. China would lose its buffer zone against the encroaching USA and have serious competition for its cheap goods circulating in its new empires.
A united Korea is the only real solution to the problem on a worldwide basis. That Korea would throw out the US troops – and this stands as a pre-condition of any future political move. The lady president in the south needs to take her government into a track of reconciliation with the North – as begun by previous presidents but those efforts were undermined.
An independent Korea would align itself with such as ASEAN and regional trade blocs and the USA would have its Asian Tiger tail tweaked making it retreat from its so-styled ‘pivot’ engagements in this area, proposed to thwart Chinese interests.
This old cold-war mentality must be nulled. The way of illegal-under-international-law economic sanctions must cease – also in the case of Iran – because the UN operates under such international laws but UN resolutions, even by the security council, do not have primacy over international law.
In his new year’s speech, young Kim Yong-Un explained that the DPRK would open its economy for Asian as well as European partners, including South Korea, Japan and Germany. Who is really listening and giving the fellow credit and which group is ridiculing this new-boy-on-the-bloc’s message – and why?
A new war front could rescue the USA and Europe from their serious economic problems but would set the evolution of the human race back enormously, and likely erase us. The fat-cats are the only ones to gain and that gain is not only for the now famous ‘one percent’ but very short lived.
Tony Henderson, chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong

It is time for the USA government to sign a peace treaty finally ending the Korean War and take sincere steps towards normalization of relations with North Korea!

Statement on the situation on the Korean Peninsula
Humanist Association of Hong Kong
April 15, 2013

The Humanist Association of Hong Kong notes with concern the escalation of tension on the Korean Peninsula and is totally opposed to any state threatening another, especially when that threat involves the use of nuclear weapons. The implication that nuclear weapons can be used as a way of conducting international relations holds us in dismay. We see that if the situation escalates into violence it is the average citizens of those areas who suffer. The war games and war talk by all parties involved is threatening the security of the region and – the entire world.
We condemn the actions and rhetoric from all sides of the conflict. Such behavior is bringing into play a systematic militarization of the whole region – to the profit of weapons suppliers – and this conflict is being used to amplify and secure geostrategic interests (for one, the encirclement of China) and can bring about the nuclear militarization of Japan, increases in occupying military bases, and the establishment and deepening of military alliances – provoking an extended NATO – into the Pacific region.
This state of affairs is linked to nuclear weapons; this conflict is being used by the nuclear weapons states to legitimize the modernization of their nuclear arsenals. This is leading non-nuclear weapons states to believe they need to obtain nuclear weapons. Thus further fragmenting the already fragile Non-Proliferation Treaty efforts.
Nuclear weapons must be abolished now and forever. This conflict is being used to legitimize the deployment of missile defense systems in the Asia-Pacific region.
The aggressive acts and statements coming from North Korea are acts of war not of peace and dialogue; while the military maneuvers adjacent to North Korea by South Korea and the USA, are also aggressive and provocative actions. The provocation by both sides can draw down war in a moment and that would lead to more than a regional catastrophe.
Dialogue, negotiation, and immediate moves towards disarmament are urgent necessities.
The exchanges of threats, counter threats and military build up makes the situation worse day-by-day and such posturing may mislead either side to take the other seriously which takes us all on a potentially irreversible path to nuclear war and global destruction.
We repeat – Global Destruction.
We want that both sides in this confrontation recognise the enormity of what is at stake should a violent conflict erupt. Talk more and threaten less, we say, establish a culture of peace and dialogue. Leave off from the ancient war mentality. Work instead to understand and respect the plight and culture of others. The USA needs to take the first step as a modern nation understanding that North Korea is cornered and friendless and is only reacting to what it sees as continuing pressure both economic and military. The ball is in the freer nation’s court. Thus we appeal to those with maturity in the USA to cease their provocations in this region and embark on a completely different tack, one leading to the real politic of respect and tolerance, aid and friendship.

Tony Henderson, chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong


Global Campaign to Call for a Peace Treaty 
No to War on Korean Peninsula and in the Whole Northeast Asia Region
May 5, 2013, Beijing
Dear friends and supporters, 

On behalf of tens of millions of Koreans from all ends in north, south and overseas, The 4th Media would like to share/present the following document which calls for Peace not War on Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asia region. 
The 4th Media, with the support and solidarity from other global alternative, independent medias around the world, would like to launch a collective Global Campaign in order to support those tens of millions of Koreans who call for Peace.
The Koreans in Seoul have already launched their own campaign to call for Peace not War. 
They also plan to run several "full-page newspaper ads" at one of the progressive and popular Korean daily newspaper, the "Han-gey-reh," starting May 18 to July 27, 2013. 
FYI, this year is the 60th Anniversary of the already-discarded Armistice Agreement which was signed in July 27, 1953 
The 4th Media is going to launch a Global Campaign, through our media, together with our friends and supporters’ and independent medias around the world, in which peace-loving peoples from around the globe can freely participate in support of the Koreans’ just and urgent call for Peace not War. 
We sincerely hope you can help this cause by disseminating/distributing/sharing this information to/with your friends around the world. 
People in Korea do need your support so that they can include your names and the names of supporting organizations in several full-page newspaper ads.
Thank you very much in advance and looking forward to working with you on this just cause!
Sincerely yours, 
Kiyul Chung, PhD
The 4th Media
Email: ChiefEditor @


The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a global campaign coalition working to mobilize people in all countries to inspire, persuade and pressure their governments to initiate negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

"78 States sign Joint Statement on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons"

...Applause rang through the Assembly Hall in the Palais des Nations at the 2nd PrepCom after South Africa read out the names of the 78 states who comprised the newly-formed Humanitarian Initiative and signed the statement on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. Ambassador Abdul Samad Minty of South Africa read the statement which expressed deep concern on behalf of the signees about the catastrophic humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and demanded their "recognition as a fundamental and global concern that must be placed at the core of all deliberations on nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation."


Material from this newsletter may be freely reprinted with this attribution: Source: The Humanist Newsletter - of Universal Humanism, Hong Kong, SAR, China - or the bylined writer. 

E-mail: tonyhen @


PHOTO ABOVE: Tony Henderson speaking on the HA stance against nuclear weapons and nuclear power - Sunday 24 April, 2011

BELOW: 4th June 2011 Green Party Hong Kong (Chairman Albert Oung, and Mike Sit - taking photo) visited Cheung Chau with Basil Hui of the Sports Club in support of anti-incinerator campaign, Shek Kwu Chau; short-circuiting proper recycling and getting big money contracts to the usual suspects.

Dear Friends 
 Firstly, congratulations to all party members who have participated in these
elections, where we progress in deepening the exercise of direct democracy. 
Congratulations from and to all friends who have been elected for the next two years in the national teams of their countries and the international team.
 As many have noted, all results are visible on our webpage. Accompanied with this message are small boxes with votes and percentage participation per country. 
 From now on each country, according to the results of the election, should go defining each national team. Similarly, in the coming days, we must make the transition and transfer of functions to the newly elected from the outgoing team. 
 Regarding the new international team, according to the votes obtained by each applicant, taking into account the approach that no more than two members of the same country may be on the international team, members of the new ECI are:

Luis Alberto Ammann (Argentina)
Abdoulaye Konate (Mali)
Tony Henderson (China)
Gilles Smedts (Belgique)
Jorge Daniel D'Alesio (Argentina)
Daniel Rocca (Uruguay)
Irma Rojas (Paraguay)
Patrick Andreu (Chile)
Bernadó Russian Teresa (Spain)
Daniel Arias Bustamante (Chile)
Mayte Quintanilla Redondo (Spain)
Nicolas Servin (Paraguay)

In the coming days we will organize the transition of functions to this new team

Greetings to all
 Coordinating Team (ECI): 

Luis Ammann, Argentina (55%),
Abdoulaye Konate, Mali (31%),
Tony Henderson, China (30%),
Gilles De Smedt, Belgium (28%),
Jorge Daniel D'Alesio, Argentina (27%),
Daniel Rock, Uruguay (24%),
Irma Rojas, Paraguay (21%);
Patricho Andrew, Chile (20%),
Teresa Bernadó Russian, Spain (19%)
Daniel Arias Bustamante , Chile (19%),
Maite Quintanilla Redondo, Spain (17%),
Alexis Roger Barros, Chile (13%),
Gloria Lopez Lopez, Spain (13%);
Christopher Mery, Chile (10%),
Jose Luis Alvarez Cedeño , Spain (10%),
Nicholas Servin, Paraguay (9%),
Rafael Antonio Ramirez Monsalve, Ecuador (6%),
Guillermo Enrique Zurita McKay, Spain (4%).


Newsletter of Universal Humanism - Hong Kong, SAR, China - Number 40 - March 2013 
Page 2 - On the development of Humanist Party of India - link
Page 2 - Bangladesh and Sharbag Square protests - links
Page 3 - North Korea - US can stoke or stop North's nuclear plans
Page 3 - African campaign for Education of Non-violence - link
Page 3 - Invasion Mali: xxi century colonialism - link
Page 4 - The Other Man and the Other Message
Page 6 - Pope Francis I homily: "Dear Brothers and Sisters”
Page 8 - A Pope for All Reasons
Page 10 - contact information
Dear friends,
On this the moment of the Spring equinox, in the northern hemisphere, we celebrate renewal as has been our humanist custom since the earliest days of the Humanist Movement. Co-incidently, the Catholics have a new Pope, so we wish him and them well and to mark the occasion we here place writing devoted to the topic.
Far away from Europe the street activities in Bangladesh and also worthy of our attention because, away from the mainstream news where not everyone gets a voice, the younger generation there are venting their feelings about the long time political stalemate that is holding the entire country back.
We also reproduce here a letter published in the South China Morning Post on North Korea, sadly, that unfortunate country responded in kind to the military exercises that took place by its territory that had B52 nuclear weapons bombers patrolling the skies thus the government responded by threatening to attack Okinawa and Guam. How fearful for the people of these places where the USA has insisted on their use as staging posts in bombing nations far away. The locals have every right to demonstrate for their removal. It is frightening to be so threatened and with a peculiarly formed mental attitude of those holding power in North Korea, anything can happen.
Cyprus has hit the wall, well not all of that complex island, the Turkish side has no such problems as it is not linked to the EU. The Greek Cypriots are fortunate it is a small place as they have to address the same problems as Greece, Spain, Portugal at this time and if they buckle down they have a better chance at making good of the situation.
We also give a link to a talk by our humanist colleague Sudhir Gandotra who declared the intentions with the Humanist Party of India, read on...
Congratulations go the peoples of Kurdistan on their declaration of a peace initiative. If any group deserves compassionate attention it is the tough minded Kurds that have their own cultural sway and that suffered chemical warfare at the hand of Saddam and his armed forces as the most brutal smack against their efforts at independence. A terrible history of oppression. 
Peace, Force and Joy - Tony
International Federation of Humanist Parties
something more than a party
On the development of Humanist Party of India
Bangladesh - critical juncture
Bangladesh – should Jamaat-e-Islami be banned?
Why Jamaat can and should be banned
Bangladesh – reliving the spirit of 1971
Bangladesh blogger murdered amid massive protests
May we express our fraternal greetings and solidarity to our brothers of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at this time when it is important to know that they are not alone.
President Chavez is not dead, his figure will remain in the hearts of all free men and women of the world; his actions will never stop, not ever, and those people who have shared his ideals are the people who will carry out the dream of Bolivar, of Chavez and many others.
We humanists that share the first and last ideal of a Universal Human Nation and who, like Chavez, work every day side by side with those who also share the dream of a world where, finally, the human being is freed from all the enchainments that oppress us, we salute all our
Longing to build together this project, supporters in Asia stand and shout to the world and especially to our brothers and sisters in Latin America: “Freedom”.
Viva Latin America, Viva the free men and women of the world, VIVA CHAVEZ!
Tony Henderson, chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong, and committee member of the the International Coordinating Team, International Federation of Humanist Parties.
African campaign for Education of Non-violence
Invasion Mali: xxi century colonialism
Letter: North Korea - South China Morning Post, 25 Feb. 2013
US can stoke or stop North's nuclear plans
North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests, compared to the United States' 1,054. It is continuing its nuclear weapons programme - even if it is denounced by the United Nations - which actually shows its desperation and fear.
The Working Group for Peace and Demilitarisation in Asia and the Pacific notes that since the Korean war, the US has prepared and threatened a nuclear attack on North Korea at least nine times; that the US maintains its "nuclear umbrella" over northeast Asia; and that its current contingency plans for war with the North include a first-strike nuclear attack.
It says the Obama administration's first-term policy of "strategic patience" - with crippling sanctions that led to malnutrition and mass starvation in the North - has been a great failure.
This, combined with the increasingly advanced missile programmes of North and South Korea, aggressive annual US-South Korean military exercises, and the Obama government's militarised Asia-Pacific "pivot", contributed to Pyongyang's decision to conduct a third nuclear test.
We support the working group's calls for proactive measures by the US. To stop the nuclear arms race in the region, we suggest the following:
(1) Direct US-North Korea negotiations;
(2) Suspend aggressive military exercises by all parties involved in the
tensions in the Korean peninsula;
(3) An end to the UN-led sanctions against the North, which devastates the lives
of its people;
(4) An end to the Korean war by replacing the 1953 Armistice Agreement with a
peace treaty;
(5) Negotiations leading to the creation of a northeast Asia
nuclear-weapons-free zone;
(6) End the US first-strike nuclear weapons doctrine and reverse US plans to
spend an additional US$185 billion over the next decade to "modernise" America's
nuclear arsenal and nuclear weapons delivery systems of missiles and bombers;
(7) Start negotiations on a nuclear weapons abolition convention that requires
the phased elimination of all nuclear weapons in a time-bound framework, with
provisions for effective verification and enforcement.
Tony Henderson, chairman, Humanist Association of HK
The Other Man and the Other Message
The Catholic Church has a mottled history, this is well known. Now, we have this fine message from its spiritual leader, the Pope, an Argentinian. What does a humanist see in this message? Certainly, it is a timely message. It is hoped that everyone addressed responds in kind to its plea. That would immediately begin solving the problems large and small. The call, as such, will not reach that ‘everybody’ but a wide range of people will hear the message so, it is good, it is useful.
The more mystical elements and rather formal or orthodox statements at the beginning give way to the informal and general later on, that latter is the meat of the message. That, when turned into action, is what the declared hope is all about.
I was born into a Catholic family and, am part of that form of the  humanist movement launched renewed into modern times by another Argentinian, Silo, and have a developing point-of-view about the matters addressed in the Pope’s message. Allow me to further comment on the homily.
One has to swallow the entire Christian history of the Jesus story to understand this sudden (to me) highlighting of Joseph, but there is no way to see deeper other than go along with it and this is one way to circumvent thus forestall barriers against real understanding because whether one is an insider and believer or an outsider and a sceptic, taking the story as real, or as an anecdotal fable that allows esoteric truths to unfold, this is a personal choice.
Thus, looking at the matter with some hoped-for objectivity, the highlighting of Joseph who unassumingly protected Mary and Jesus throughout, is an interesting aside on the usual focus. Indeed, that would be manifold problem solving, if people just acted in their roles with certainty and quietude, with faith. 
This is why Joseph became the patron of the universal church. That attitude as a saving grace.
Plus, taking the role model of St. Francis of Assisi, “the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation,” ... the same created world... “with which we don’t have such a good relationship.” Further: “How I would like a church that is poor and that is for the poor,” he told the more than 5,000 media representatives who came from around the world for the conclave and his election.
No one can understand the church without understanding its spiritual purpose, he said. “Christ is the pastor of the church, but his presence passes through the freedom of human beings. Among them, one is chosen to serve as his vicar on earth. But Christ is the center, the focal point.”
For me, as a humanist, Christ equates with Truth. Not truth with a little “t” but the totalizing one, the absolute one sought as an experience which lights the darkness and meaning of such as -  God’s kingdom on Earth - which is our Universal Human Nation. Substituting “Truth” for “Christ” simplifies things.
I prefer our own rendition of the Kingdom because for me the word God just does not make it, does not convey what is really meant and the danger lies in the glib way that word is tossed around by the religious, which is mechanical. Love has to be a conscious. Even when mistakes are made we try in our humanness to do useful things and they don’t always turn out right. It’s our failure but that does not stop us, no, we learn and walk on. 
On the matter of the churches I would quote from Silo’s, “Religiosity in the Contemporary World”, from a talk given in Casa Suiza, Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 6, 1986:
“First, a new type of religiosity has begun to develop in recent decades. Second, underlying this religiosity is a diffuse background of rebellion. Third, as a consequence of the impact of this new religiosity and, of course, as a consequence of the dizzying changes taking place in all societies, it is possible that at their core the traditional religions may undergo re-accommodations and adaptations of substantial importance. Fourth, it is highly likely that people all over the planet will experience further psychosocial shocks in the coming years and that this new type of religiosity I have been referring to will figure as an important factor in this phenomenon.
“Furthermore, and even though it may seem contrary to the opinion of most social observers, I do not believe that religions have lost their impetus. I do not believe that they are increasingly cut off from power in political, economic, and social decision-making, nor do I believe that religiosity has ceased to stir the consciousness of the peoples of the Earth.”
To me, the foregoing taken all together means we can welcome Pope Francis and his fine homily, especially given the ‘meat’ of the message, meant for the church itself, the other religions - the Jewish deputation was singled out for special reference to my mind telling them this message has special relevance given the situation circumscribing Israel - and all of the institutions and the world’s various nations’s peoples. 
Joseph as a saintly man took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus the Christ’s upbringing in the day-to-day life and in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus. Thus we see reverence to the mother and to the child, surely exemplary behaviour then and now!
It is said that Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will. To look a bit deeper into this utterance I would like to bring Silo in again but despite that he did not use religious terminology, however the Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan does, though his preferred term is the Beloved. This other master gave a chat titled: “The Will, Human and Divine” saying, “The will is the same, whether it be human or divine. The only difference is that in one aspect it is the whole, in the other aspect it is part...” 
Hazrat Inayat Khan goes on to speak about failure in the same manner as Silo, then saying not to feel discouraged; forget the past that has failed him or her and begin constructing and moulding the future as it is wanted and wished, because, “...with all our limitations we are not separate from the will of the Unlimited One.”
The personal works of our humanism are also engaged in the homily: “Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!”
With this introduction I think it worthwhile becoming familiar with the new Pope’s homily, so here it is, on the day of the equinox - celebrated far back into the past by the various groups in seasonal gatherings.
"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.
I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps.
In the Gospel we heard that “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: “Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model” (Redemptoris Custos, 1).
How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.
How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!
The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!
Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are “Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.
Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be “protectors”, we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!
Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!
Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus’ three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!
In the second reading, Saint Paul speaks of Abraham, who, “hoping against hope, believed” (Rom 4:18). Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God.
To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!
I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry, and I ask all of you to pray for me! Amen."
A Pope for all Reasons
Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, aged 76, was elected in a surprise choice to be the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Wednesday 13 March, 2013. He will take the name Francis I. He was proclaimed as the first non-European pontiff in nearly 1,300 years, but clearly has a strong European ancestry.
Thus, a Jesuit Argentinian is to lead the ancient Catholic Church into its future. That’s a positive outcome because the Jesuit’s are pretty much free-thinkers and have had some fine minds and hearts among their ranks. And, there is a new spirit coming out of Latin America. An independent spirit that is marking that region out from among the ‘camp followers’ everywhere else. That is a worthy blend.
Interesting that he has taken the name of the friar and saint, Francis of Assisi – the patron saint of animals and the environment who founded the men’s Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and another order for women and men unable to live the lives of itinerants. He was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood.
Locals might like to try and overlook the sins of this priest who supported the dictatorship in Argentina, was an accomplice in the theft of babies at that time, and was against those priests who ‘betrayed’ Third World and Liberation Theology and who were tortured and disappeared, who is recorded as saying supporters of equal marriage may “burn in hell”, along with those who support abortion, who should be thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck … However, we move on…
“Those implications with the military Junta were disseminated by a leftist newspaper in Buenos Aires,” remarks humanist Jorge Pavon, “there are many testimonies that came in his defense saying that it was not true, and that he did help people, although silently, who were being persecuted at the time. For one Peace Nobel Prize winner Esquivel*, a victim himself of the Junta, came out this morning  [March 14] to clarify this by saying that “he did not collaborate with the dictatorship”. The Jesuits that were detained by the Junta were not assassinated, but freed after a few days, (one of them currently lives in Europe). The church as a whole collaborated with the Junta , in some cases actively, but Francis' role remains ambiguous due to some victims accusing him and others saying the contrary. Pope Francis had the majority of votes in 2005, to be elected, but recalled his bid in favour of Benedict XVI.” 
Further, Mr Pavon says, “It is not that we have "hope" in this person but there are millions of people whose lives will be influenced by this person. We humanists look always at the future not at the past of a person, otherwise no one would have any chance... for me what is important is what he will do not what he has done, the latter is the weight of his life, and he will have to deal with it "later"!” 
Francis I as a South American is removed from that moribund mentality of ‘just following on’ as is readily seen in Europe where ‘old Europe’ is so conditioned by its hoary elitism, behaving as the ever-predominant ‘white people’ calling the shots for everyone, everywhere else, from Asia to Africa. That entire process is slowing down under incrustations of age. A change is needed, away from imperialism and neo-colonialism, to instead use that wealth and educated talent for the liberation of the other, less fortunately environed peoples of the world.
Another positive facet to this Argentinian is his proximity to influences of the recently emerged from the shadows strongly-emotive native South Americans that have displayed a largesse of heart that is translating into practical and straightforward ways of thinking that denotes a clarity of mind. That mind is closer to Nature and appreciative of the need for sensitivity in how we, as humans, live with Nature and cease ravaging the planet.
The way of action springing from that earthed mentality, grounded in a deep sense of being here, is exactly what’s needed in this time of volatility and to redress the forces contributing to create the minute-by-minute ever more destabilised world of Man.
People have to reassert themselves just as nations must, and all governments and institutions. If the Church is to survive the inroads of secularism it needs to take another look at the confusion between religiosity and spirituality, of blind faith as against intentionality.
The old is fast disappearing and the kids, the new generations that are laughed at by the old brigade because of their apparent preoccupation with video games, are just waiting in the wings, learning intuitively what is needed for a future among the stars.
They will get the call because what is deposited at their door is a plethora of problems ranging through potential nuclear wars to assured environmental destruction owing to mindless consumerism and compensatory lifestyles. This cannot go on for much longer. Sadly, it is as likely that calamity will force those youthful hands as much as a universal awakening to the predicament.
There is also the influence of Liberation Theology, stemming from Latin America, which can be revived through this new Pope after its vilification – if that is not too strong a word – by the previous Pope. This is a political movement in Catholic theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in relation to a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions – with a social activism centred around the poor and marginalised.
On a grander scale this relates to entire countries and regions. Each national has to sort out her or his home problems and to extricate the country from dominating influences of trans-nationalism and those influences that deny sovereignty, or a particular culture, and that kill essential individualities, and results in a confusion of patriotism with nationalism.
It was the Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin that highlighted a point of view of Man as the most tender and sensitive finger of God, of the universe as a “living host”, as the handmaid and operative on Earth; that is, we are the means and our civilisation the end, of all endeavours. With that intention and practice life is personally invigorated with meaning because we can engage in the task and there is so much to do, everywhere, in every corner and home.
As heir to Saint Peter, the rock upon which the Church was built, Francis I can use his modern mind and its associated understanding and the abundant technology to fructify his chosen religious way. This can align the Catholic Church with all that is flowing upwards into evolutionary ascent and the multitudes that have chosen to depend on his will and way will gladly co-operate – also the Atheist, Hindu, Buddhist and Moslem practitioners, among the other faiths that have positive roles to play in bringing about a tolerance based on true respect for other’s beliefs, and the all-important non-harming way of action as a fundament of how we all behave.
*Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (born November 26, 1931) is an Argentinian pacifist, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980.
Material from this newsletter may be freely reprinted with this attribution: Source: The Humanist Newsletter - of Universal Humanism, Hong Kong, SAR, China - or the bylined writer. 
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Newsletter of Universal Humanism
Hong Kong, SAR, China
Number 36 - May, 2012
Page 1 -  EDITORIAL - Nothing Else Really!
Dear friends,
 This newsletter marks a transition, or, the beginning of a transition, yet another one. That being so, it will be used as a vehicle to voice out a series of writings undertaken by myself that have been committed and completed over the years.
Thus, we have a title for the present newsletter: Nothing Else Really!
Of course, there is a lot ‘else’ but that’s giving a different sense to the matter. The works in the various Organisms of the Humanist Movement continue with their various activities. The Message of Silo also continues giving rise to particular events and directions.
 The international press agency Pressenza develops, as an independent press agency, covering general news but emphasizing Peace and Non Violence.  However, let me remark, this is not a front of the Humanist Party or the Humanist Movement, it is a regular press agency and does not automatically reproduce everything proposed through the Organisms. The media people of our Organisms must meet the same criteria as any news organisation when submitting news, interviews and so on. What we want to do is give a platform to those voices unheeded in the ‘straight’ media, those folks treading the path of non-violence.
 Our bias and stances are clear, towards peaceful resolution of conflicts, against nuclear weapons and arms sales and against nuclear power where that is allied to nuclear weapons... in every case with today’s technology using fission. Particularly looking at the intent of the military-industrial complexes which hold so many educated and supposed intelligent people in thrall. This is simply owing to its bank rolling the top echelon of those ranks holding corporate power and its financial clout in academic studies and pursuits.
 Our Parks of Study and Reflection continue to activate in their own environments on each of the continents, as do local Halls everywhere, whence a wide variety of activities are generated to ensure that it’s not just the ‘usual suspects’ that are influencing people as they vote, as they shop, as they seek jobs, all in that effort to establish a decent lifestyle of their own and their families. Also, to give evidence that it is the sense of wonder and gratitude, deposited by opening up and freeing the Mind, that is the all-important ‘secret ingredient’ that humanizes the intentions. That is the way of Universal Humanism and to a Universal Human Nation.
 So, here follows is a rendering of what went before from this fellow, a kind of Omnibus Edition of writings, for those friends who might have some time on their hands and the inclination of curiosity!
Peace, Force and Joy

“Each country needs such a manifesto." Alfonso Argiolas,
President, Humanist International, '89 - '93.
Most people do not give active and thoughtful consideration to being human and just what it is that makes the difference. Being human is not automatic.  In seeking for the good of others through actions which take into account our own needs, life becomes meaningful. There can be no humanizing of what is 'over there' without humanizing what's 'in here'.  Besides giving a detailed and concrete approach to resolve Hong Kong problems in a comprehensive way, in 'Humanize Hong Kong' immediate possibilities for human development are also given.
 Here is evolution - personal evolution based on active living and a more exact understanding of what holds us all back.
Collisions in the New Edo
It is only proper to give an account, or at least one explanation, of the Yamabushi, as they are the meaning and very substance of this tale, despite their remaining discretely in the background. They are - as a phenomenon, or as a man or woman who is one of their number - the mountain mystics of Japan.
 Not necessarily ordained priests, they are mostly lay members of one or another of the Shugendo sects and have a strong affiliation with followers of the teaching of Buddha - particularly the Shingon Sect.  Because they espouse magical means to accomplish enlightenment, they are inclined towards the Tantric or esoteric teachings that came to Japan by way of Tibet, China and Korea. Strongly Shamanist, they live between set doctrines and defeat classification. However, that never prevented anyone classifying them.
 They are a minority among Japan's religious Ways, and will not disagree if spoken of as followers of Shugendo - the Way of Spiritual Practice - and the Yamabushi are most well known today for their fire walking exploits.
 The celebrity from olden times is En-no-Gyoja, mentioned in 8th century texts on Japan's earliest recorded history.  In the past the Yamabushi were widespread all over Japan as village Shaman who served the people using their knowledge of white magic - today they till the fields or follow crafts and trades, donning their ceremonial robes on special days to perform various services in remote places.
 Secretive about their more profound practices, their lore is deposited in ancient tales and plays that continue to be retold and enacted across Japan.
 Sadly, much of their esoteric wisdom has been lost.

poetic ruminations
The poems gathered here were written during the years 1965 to 1967, while travelling in the Far East, mostly, Japan, Hong Kong, and China. The more extended narrative was written in the latter years of the 60s, with additions in the early seventies. Briefly, I went to Japan to seek confirmation of my own realised truth.
 The search did not reveal any one particular individual who reflected the genuineness of what I felt to be true, but in the motley of events and meetings with the common man, or in the main, common woman, I discerned that the brightest exponents of that truth could be found in the myriad unknown folk who spend their days following ordinary roles.
 These were the ones accepting sadness from their particularised past and who gladdened at the least beneficial smile from what is variously termed The Mother, The Creator, the Cosmic Self... etc.
 Only humanity viewed as a whole I found could confirm the totality of the truth as it unrolled in multifold forms, each individual a witness, pointing at the supreme mystery beyond the highest reaches of my mind.
Hong Kong - January 1, 1997

Yamabushi - the Third Force
This writing covers all I know about what I think is most interesting in this, my life, given that there is a certain mystery, a certain sense and sensibility, that makes all the difference.
 I first met up with the Yamabushi at a minor temple of the Shingon Buddhist Sect in a small village far inland, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The priest of that temple had invited me to see the Yamabushi fire walking, knowing well my interest in the mystical.
 During the ceremony, suddenly, I found myself urged to follow the fire walkers and did so — without singeing my feet! Amazed, but totally at a loss as to how that could be, I took up the study of that extraordinary clan of truth seekers of the mountains.
 Mountains are known to have something powerful and enchanting about them, particularly to the Japanese. It is as if they have a strange attraction and something of that clings to the reputation of the Yamabushi.
 The Yamabushi is he or she who is hidden in the mountain — the allegorical mountain or otherwise. In other words a recluse, one who undergoes spiritual training in a natural religious way called Shugendo, which is neither a school nor a sect. More generally a Yamabushi is given the name gyoja, simply, 'one who is training'. Shugendo is a mystery religion.
 Shugendo became highly organised during and after the Heian period (794-1185). Building on the ancient themes of sacred mountains and ceremonies performed in the mountains, Shugendo developed as a 'mountain religion' that emphasised pilgrimage to the mountains and ascetic retreats, combining the Shinto notion of local gods (kami) with the Buddhist notion of local bodhisattvas — saving beings. In addition, the religion borrowed the theories and charms of China's religious Taoism and shamanistic practices from the Korean continent.
 The generally accepted founder of Shugendo, En-no-Gyoja, gained spiritual power by combining the aspects of several traditions. He practised Buddhist asceticism on sacred mountains while assuming features of the Chinese mountain wizard (hsien in Chinese, sennin in Japan). Many hermit practitioners gained their religious powers by training in the mountains before descending to minister to the people.
 In later periods, while mystical Shingon Buddhism languished as a separate sect, the Shugendo practitioners were instrumental in spreading the charms and incantations of esoteric Buddhism among the people in a heady mix of Taoist talismans with Shinto elements. The Yamabushi were also important in spreading Buddhism in northern Japan.
 The Yamabushi recluse who undergoes spiritual disciplines in the mountains is not a subject of great interest to the average Japanese and has long been considered by the public simply as a commoner, a farmer, or maybe a hunter-guide in the mountains without any profound teaching. Some Yamabushi — mostly part-timers — looked into the future for what it held for believers, or made passes of the hands over the body in healings. The Yamabushi never achieved the reputation of the Zen Sect Buddhists, for example, with Zen's relation to the classical arts and aesthetics; but in medieval times the Yamabushi were a force to be reckoned with both in the sacred and secular worlds.
 Without speaking of any revival of Shugendo itself, it is notable that scholars are giving greater recognition to the Yamabushi and to Shugendo today.
 I consider myself a Yamabushi in as far as I share their endeavour as a truth seeker and try to identify with the Yamabushi spirit; though I have my own methodology, my own landscape and intention as to what I am doing with my life in the application of what I have learned on my particular path — that which is detailed in this writing.
 In Japan, there has always been a form of Animism. Later, Continental Asian Shamanism arrived and, Taoist practices. Later again, Buddhism added to the blend. Those with a mystical proclivity took those golden threads from those diverse influences to use as materials to weave their own patterns and unbeknown to those very same scattered seekers, in time, a metaphysical tapestry lay across the land.
 On the level of the individual, working in isolation, it appeared as a confusion of aims, means and terms but out of those shambling heroics and with historical distance, that tapestry resolved into the map of a magical landscape that pointed at a possible way to an illuminated life.
 The troublesome centuries rolled by and family and clan rallied to their own in causes that were far from the essential interests of the mountain recluse. This fact itself meant that the Yamabushi who were priests had to engage themselves in giving another orientation to their immediate society and as this brought them into conflict with the powers, they had to do this in disguise, so to speak. They learnt the secret of being here and not-being-here, placing the onus on the spectator to decide just what it is that IS here!
 At the start of Japan's Meiji Era (1868), it must have been inconvenient for the modernising authorities to have a loose grouping of mountain priests around, apparently sitting between religious definitions, so the Yamabushi were slotted and the only adequate pigeon-hole the government of Japan could find — which kind of fit — was a Buddhist one.
 Thus the Yamabushi were considered Buddhists — but they were not. Then later, the government split off the Buddhist from the Shinto because the former's non-violent intentions were too clear and the latter's simplicity lent it to be easily engineered into a State religion that would not oppose the ruling class's militarism. In 1948, under a new constitution imposed on a defeated-in-war Japan, Shugendo gained its religious independence, and was recognised as a distinct religion.
 For themselves, the true Yamabushi simply rejected the warring ways of tribalism — bequeathed as they were with an ancient teaching long in development — and looked to their own profound internal search for truth and wholehearted service to life.
 'The perennial philosophy' that the Yamabushi contacted, eloquently written about by Aldous Huxley in the book of the same name, was born of a wisdom that dwells in the depths of the human being, a wisdom that existed before Japan was called Japan.
 The wisdom spoken of holds its currency still, yet it is not the result of modern education. It is achieved by sincerity, by intentions cleansed of ignorance. Some people are born with a propensity to see clearly their real situation and that was all it took. Spontaneously, they acted on what they saw. This 'seeing' was no small matter. En-no-Gyoja, the archetype Yamabushi, was one such destined to develop this 'look'.
 Just so, some earlier Yamabushi survived the times of barbarism and in their wisdom, kindness and strength — as revealed in the extracts used in the reports included here, taken from the annals of Japan's literature, they helped the inhabitants — in their own strange way — to bring their culture to a better state.
 How they acted to better society is an interesting question. This is where a particular viewpoint of how an esoteric group works is looked at and this angle has a bearing on the ways of the Yamabushi in this writing, otherwise they could be seen as just another group without any coherence, hardly worthy of study.
 The Way of the Yamabushi as recluse is not limited to Japan alone, as the esoteric tradition is without geographic limit, based as it is on the mystical experience which transcends all cultures and in that act, integrates and unites all cultures — yet leaves each of them with their peculiarities intact. This is why this writing includes remarks, not only on Buddhism, but on mystical Christianity, among others.
 By taking the Yamabushi to show a means and meaning and a way of achieving a fulfilling life I do not want to infer that the religion of Shugendo has any extraordinary merit. On the contrary, as a religion it has little possibility for rebirth or development as it is encrusted with the historical weight of the past and its sudden thrust into the tourist trade with advertised interest in its fire walking exploits will surely overwhelm what remains of the old ways. Today is not the moment of the old religions, except in their most eccentric and reactionary forms.
 The modern Yamabushi — using updated tools — is happy to withdraw to the eternally present refuge of the physical and metaphysical mountain hideaways in the midst of daily life, as always, to continue the quest — this topic is spoken of in more detail in the Afterward.
 It needs to be noted that there is a marked difference in the Oriental and particularly the Japanese approach to mountains and that of the average Westerner — it is not getting to the top that matters so much, rather it is the way of getting there; it is the process itself that is important. It may not even matter whether the top is reached or not! In fact the top may not be the obvious 'top'.
 In Japan this has to do with a certain way of relating to nature. In engaging in such ascent the Japanese yearn to feel the mountain in themselves — whatever that may mean to others — and there is something important to be learned from this as it is a mystical yearning.
 With the famous Rasputin as reference — a Shaman from the Siberian wastes who altered the course of Russian history — I give the Yamabushi a more universal credibility than most, so far, have been willing to give.
 What is it about the mountain that can be drawn out and imbued by the man or woman of the mountain? Does the drawing power come from the mountain itself, or from the hidden contents and potential of the gyoja?
 This is the mystery of the Yamabushi developed in, Yamabushi — the Third Force.
Tony Henderson May 1st, 2002

The Answer WAS a Circle
...the sequel to "The Answer Is a Circle". Being, poems - if they be - and writings following the end of the '60s and early '70s, to the later '80s.


Walking Hong Kong to the Water
a Hong Kong humanist's story on the development of the Humanist Movement in Asia - as far as this chap was concerned.
Slightly Offset from the Big Picture
 This present writing deals with the foundation and development of the Humanist Movement here in Asia as far as my own involvement was concerned, since I first met the Movement people. I bring in details from my days previous to coming to live in Hong Kong (1980 - 1981) to show how I came in contact with the Movement and to give an idea of how the Movement flourished and its distinguishing characteristics. 
 I have also developed a record of my conversations or just moments of contact with founder Silo and these are compiled in Annex One.
It was also an interesting moment in my life when, in the early 1990s, there was an opportunity to go to Bangladesh and that opportunity was taken to spread our message there - by that time the enigmatic sounding ‘Movement' had come to be called the Humanist Movement. Thus the message was placed in Bangladesh, according to the possibilities but always by maintaining a certain intention that took the furthering activities through, over or around that juncture, according to the opposing force or welcoming character of what lay ahead.
 Now we arrive to 2005. The need for our message to Humanizing the Earth, including the internal world of the individual (including myself) is still an imperative. We have the tools and techniques and methods of organisation. Everything we offer has been proven in our experiences in the real world. We have many texts of clarifying materials.
 Because what we propose demands personal commitment we are not awash with a mass following. People around us are struggling with all their life things yet, despite those ‘nuisances', many are giving some priority to expanding what has been born through the Movement's activities.
 In them and through them we have this possibility of the Universal Human Nation. We have the possibility of living that now as an attitude, and directly among bosom friends today, besides giving impetus to its general flowering on a grander scale in a way that gives future to the coming generations.
 The following writing is concerned with local events stemming from our activities here in Hong Kong and the milestones on the way to here, and the people from places far away from Asia. The book Humanize Hong Kong gives another record of the developments of the Humanist Association of Hong Kong, in the chapter Archives of a Recent Past (see Annex Two).
First though, a contextual look at the general and founding history of the Humanist Movement -  read on.         
November, 2005

This writing is a loose recording of the endeavours of a group of friends to bring the message of universal humanism to Asia and circles around  the activities of one Tony Henderson, working from his home base in Hong Kong.
 One of its aims is to detail the message itself, by rendering the talks and meetings and the travels whereby the message was transmitted, and mostly these took place outside of Hong Kong,
mainly in Bangladesh.
 The context of the exploits are given by taking a look at the history of the Humanist Movement from its earliest moments as far as that person was involved, from those first meetings with the pioneers, in the seventies.
 Also, the important moments in the life of that one is also rendered as without that human-personal dimension, such record would be unrelated to a matter which is held dear and close to the heart of those humanist boys and girls who, willy-nilly, became and are still becoming men and women.
 It is to be noted that we do not sacrifice ourselves on the alter of this-one-life, rather we go ahead and do our best, forgiving ourselves and others for all transgressions though abiding by both the subjective laws of the various cultural ambits and the objective Laws of Heaven - the real domain of Ordinary Man.
 The point is to be free and happy and to engage others in that never ending intent.
Here & There in Japan
Tales of travels in Japan in the '70s mostly, with illustrations.
The present writing and accompanying photographs covers work done from the early 1970s up to 1980, some published and some not.
 It seemed easier in those days to get published in travel magazines and the requirements were much more straight forward. The publishing world has got snootier as years have rolled by. These days, an off beat travel piece as often as not bounces from the editor's desk with a, "We don't do back-packer stuff," remark.
 Business travel is the name of the modern game and the publishers assume people want to know details such as the bus number and the cost of a ticket, and beyond that, some strange but clever detail about the VIP lounge. Everything is tied in to where the money circulates, to where the advertising is targeted, the ‘demographics' as our North American colleagues love to say.
 Instead of a travel piece having it's own essential worth, as a travel experience, among the people of the particular country, each publication has its set of guidelines, pages and pages in some instances - far longer than the story!
 Then, a new phenomenon is the contract where the writer signs away all rights, for every kind of media and possible means of transmission of the work. There is no work-around. Take it or leave it.
 Thus, it is such a pleasure to so reminisce in the happy attitude as taken in this writing, Here and There in Japan. There is no pretense here to be some new departure in travel writing, in fact the opposite is more true. Here is a harking back to a kind of languid writing style, more mood oriented than ‘informationally  informative'.
 The point is, after reading a travel narrative, does the reader want to so-journey; if not, have they enjoyed going there in the writer's pack, so to speak. Well I hope so.
 Importantly, this writing is a way of giving thanks to Japan and its citizens. The country is more known for a certain uniformity but spend a few years in the midst of its peoples and the individuality of each person encountered shines through. Most slip by of course, but those who click, Hirano for instance, are memorably enshrined.
June 5,  2007

Hong Kong Gardening - Naturally
A to Z of a home garden in sub-tropical zone Hong Kong with notes on lifestyle
This book, titled Hong Kong Gardening - Naturally, has the more indicative practical title "Garden and Small Farm Practices for Asia", and is compiled as a collection of personal notes - with particular regard for Hong Kong, (also the Philippines and a touch of Bangladesh) - largely on observing and practically coming-to-terms with the wilderness while gardening by our door at Mui Wo Kau Tsuen, on Lantau Island, Hong Kong, SAR, China.
 The semi-tropics of Hong Kong with its wet months and high humidity is ideal for insect life which is rampant but this does not bode well for gardeners and farmers as there are numerous pests from insects to bacteria that feed off crops - butterflies, charmingly numerous, are another indicator of this ‘problem'. Philippines and Bangladesh are tropical rather than sub-tropical zones.
 To get expert views on our climate in regard to growing, let us turn to The Ferns of Hong Kong, Herklots and Gibbs, published 1930:
"The factor which must be considered first and is certainly of primary importance is that of Climate. Hongkong is situated just within the tropics being 1° 10" South of the tropic of Cancer but the climate is much more of a sub-tropical than of a tropical nature. During the summer months of May to September the weather is certainly tropical being hot and humid but during the winter months both temperature and humidity drop considerably. As a rule the rainfall is restricted almost entirely to the months of March to September though in some years, as in the summer of 1929, the winter drought continued till April or May."
 There are particular constraints when gardening hereabouts on Lantau as the place is bereft of any farming infrastructure; that is, no rice production with its useful by-products, no chickens or pigeons owing to scares about Avian Flu and for an even longer period, no pigs - pig farming banned.
 In this writing I give a short introduction to Dai Yu San, or, Lantau. Also, a note on "Mila's Garden", as it has come to be known.
 Included here are a few selected recipes gleaned from friends, also their input on seeing a particular plant which unbeknown to us was a useful addition to country fare in their region.
 I have pretty much followed the convention with names of plants where the Latin name is always in two parts. The first name is the genus always capitalised. The second part is the species name, always lower case. Both italicised. The importance of following the Latin names was very soon realised when gardening as common names are so variable.
 Occasionally, Fieldwork gets a mention. This place is two ridges over from Mui Wo Kau Tsuen, towards Lantau South Road.
 In recent years Mila has taken on other's gardens and these had peculiarities of their own. Loretta's for instance in Lok Tei Tong is on marshy, easily flooded ground.
 Our garden has been ‘pioneered' from the doorstep to include the land whereon the old school of this village was standing - the Tsoi family children all attended that school and Ah Wah, second son, has regaled us with stories of catching wild life from his youthful days over a beer or two (or three) - and our table of conviviality stands on the remains of the playground. The disintegrated asbestos roof had to be carefully removed by government contractors after a water channel was hewed out of the top-end to prevent village flooding in heavy rains.
 While producing this as an easy-to-print eBook another line of thought allows the data to be used with the usual "Find" feature on any word processor program, then particular terms can be easily located and where duplicated entries have been made, further pertinent information also.
 In addition, this is surely an ongoing work which can be personalised and used as a database to be developed according to the user's requirements - for me I needed a reference for re-identifying plants names that I so easily forgot - thus the photos are of the lesser known plants.
  All the photographs were taken locally, by me, most in the garden itself and a set of  photographs are on the DVD, as a slide show. This relieves the print version of too many photographs which helps conserve printing ink and speeds up searches. This book is the printable version, on Adobe Acrobat as a .pdf format file.
Tony Henderson
November 22, 2011
the Horse that Refused to Drink
Looking at the mystical experience of conversion of the meaning of life through spiritual practices as found in Zen Buddhist and Taoist ways, among the Judiac-Christian-and-Islamics, and in the Silo School
While it remains true that you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink, the way things pan out means, you take a run of horses to water and the thirsty horses will drink, even if the majority shy away and look elsewhere for sustenance. In that vein this writing unrolls itself before us, you and me! Among the matters and issues I will approach here are: the viability of Zen; how I came into Zen and Yoga, and Buddhism, and all the affairs usually associated with the various ways of closing in on the Sacred, the Profound, or however this may be termed. I will delve the internal world of the Argentinian man of wisdom Silo also because in that world that he introduced I found clarity and cheerfulness and a practical promise that can take us all into a better future.
Silken Threads
Published in commemoration of the May Fourth Movement, an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919. The students  protested the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem. The demonstrations sparked national protests and marked the upsurge of Chinese national feelings, a shift towards political mobilization and away from cultural activities alone. There were moves towards a populist base for activities rather than people simply leaving everything to the intellectual elites.
June 4th, 1989
When, Who and What
An Alphabetical-Chronological Listing of Events, with Special Occasions, People and Circumstances, Relevant to the Development of China from Mid-1989, Looked at from the Stand-point of
the People of Hong Kong  in Particular.
Alphabetical listing includes Chinese journalists and writers and other intellectuals reported arrested or detained or otherwise troubled by 'Tiananmen'.
The Disposition
From the very first it was seen as best to organise this assembly of data in its alphabetical order, leaving the chronological ordering within that alphabetical context, simply because, it adds an adequate spice to the proper confusion.
 Concerning the May-June 1989 period in China, no one should delude themselves that the complex of events, people and places can be resolved into some kind of sense. There was no sense in the actions, no clear intentions that were either implied nor intra-group agreed upon, to what happened.
 It could be argued that the students had been long planning their campaign, also, that the Chinese Communist Party had its plans during the May-June flux, but it is contended that neither side foresaw what was to happen. Also, that there was no spontaneity, only contingency.
 Thus, this offering, presented in a form that folds within itself the various threads and leverages that gave substance to the interplay of forces that were drawn out in the moment.
 The importance, if any, of this brief work, is in that, from amongst its various citations, lies the exploding possibilities of the future of China.
 That future is comprehensively contained herein for the interested observer to follow into the approaching epoch. It is a guide to that epoch that is as fraught with healthy possibility as it is with danger. It depends, as ever, totally on what is done by human hand.
 This writing has taken the events from the point of view of Hong Kong rather than China, and the details presented are weighted towards happenings of note to Hong Kong. The approach as a reader is to start at 'A' and progress through the events, not to jump chronologically. Later, the whole can be a reference.
Tony Henderson
in The Nineties
Banahaw Park
...of Study and Reflection
Parks of Study and Reflection are places:
- of self-transformation
- of inspiration
- of connecting with others
- of connecting with the Profound.
They are an expression of the new spirit awakening in the hearts of people who search to go beyond religious, cultural and ethnic differences to the profound meaning of our common humanity. They are spaces dedicated to study and self-knowledge, to nonviolence as a way of action, and to reflection on life's fundamental questions.
Interested? Local group ‘still’ in formation, get in touch with the Hong Kong contact: Tony - tonyhen1 @

Material from this newsletter may be freely reprinted with this attribution: Source: The Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific - or the bylined writer.
TONY HENDERSON E-mail: tonyhen1 @


See my personal page:

See last entry: the Horse that Refused to Drink - latest writing




North Korea: push to "final victory"
Tony Henderson

On the anniversary of the nation's founder's birth, Kim Jong-un gave his first public speech since taking office. Thousands of military and civilians attended the ceremony in Pyongyang to mark the country's centenary. This was the North Korean’s new leader first major public speech and he called for a push to "final victory".

Image by: Steven Knipp
Counter girl selling imported crabs in Pyongyang




Kim Jong-un, the third Kim to rule North Korea, readout a prepared 20-minute speech in Pyongyang's central square 15 April, 2012, with the familiar marching soldiers and sailors demonstrating the North's military might.

Appearing to be holding to like policies of his forebears, the "military-first" policies were once again rolled out. These have so-far brought North Korea to the technical edge of obtaining nuclear weapons capacity. For that result, the 20-something year old Kim lauded his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and his father, Kim Jong-il, as "founders and the builders of our revolutionary armed forces".

"Let us move forward to final victory," the 20-something leader urged the tens of thousands of military and civilians as they applauded throughout. It could be said that the contents of the speech were nothing new but the fact the young Kim spoke was a surprise and differed from the so many years of silence from Kim's father when he presided over such events. Was this some form of redress following North Korea's attempt to launch a long-range rocket which ended in failure the past Friday?

North Korea also differed from its previous practice of tight lipped silence when it publicly admitted on state television that the Unha-3 rocket had failed to deliver its weather satellite into orbit.

In February this year, the North Koreans stated the country would freeze its uranium enrichment and missile tests, and let international inspectors back in to keep track. However, at the same time another announcement came out stating that North Korea was planning a rocket launch mid-April, an action that got all of its opponents up in arms, and some up in armaments.

It’s similar to the Iran case, lack of trust - or intentional misinformation - resulting in a media frenzy of announcements that in the Korea case it was a ballistic missile test whereas North Korea insisted it was a communications satellite launch. Iran of course is legitimately entitled to nuclear power and likewise insists their nuclear power industry is to build energy producing plants and not nuclear weapons.

Gensuikyo - Japan Council against A & H Bombs - issued a statement on North Korea’s rocket launch, April 12, 2012.

Masakazu Yasui, Secretary General, said: “...this has increased grave concern among the public in Japan and other Asian countries. Because it [North Korea] has repeated missile launches and nuclear tests since 2006; and in 2009, the UN Security Council unanimously prohibited North Korea from conducting nuclear tests and ballistic missile activity.”

“As an organization opposing the use and threat to use nuclear weapons,” Masakazu Yasui continued, “and working for a total ban on nuclear weapons, we strongly urge North Korea to stop such rocket launches. In addition, North Korea should halt all planned development of nuclear weapons and missiles.”

Broaching the response of Japan, Masakazu Yasui further stated: “On the other hand, since North Korea announced the launch plan, the Japanese government has spent its time in preparing for military response to it by the deployment of SM3 and PAC3 interceptors and the Defense Minister even authorized to "shoot it down". This attitude may invite more dangerous situations. The Japanese government should make every possible effort to resolve this issue peacefully through diplomacy, based on the constitutional principle of peaceful resolution of international disputes and as the party concerned.”

This spokesman sees that there is a problem that is binding everything into one unwholesome and dangerous bag.... “there is a vicious circle of repeating nuclear and military threats since the era of the Cold War. Our organization urges all the governments concerned to break this vicious circle and make efforts to resolve this problem by joining the global current seeking for a nuclear weapon-free world.”

During his end-of-March 2012 visit to South Korea US President Obama made a challenging and daring statement - which did not make the headlines: “The day all Koreans yearn for will not come easily or without great sacrifice, but make no mistake, it will come. And when it does, when it does, change will unfold that once seemed impossible. And checkpoints will open, and watchtowers will stand empty, and families long separated will finally be reunited, and the Korean people at long last will be whole and free."

That vision provides a wider perspective on the apparent need for nuclear weapons on the Korean continent at all. Then, like Iran, Korea can have its nuclear installations for use in energy generation - just till before they are all closed down as too risky and too intimately linked to nuclear weapons production - no nuclear power stations, no nuclear weapons! That’s a “Final Victory” worth marching for.


Appeared South China Morning Post 9 February 2012

Dear Editor,

The two juxtaposed letters today on the veto of the UN resolution on Syria by China and Russia (SCMP 7 February 2012) point out the dilemma we all face given the lack of real information on what’s going on in that war torn  country.

Look what happened in Libya - but look what happened in Yugoslavia those many years ago...

There is a grave danger in outside intervention and the western powers - namely the USA, Britain, and France as the most belligerent - taking on the role of executive body (they have the 'guns') as so far that body has acted more like an executioner than an executive.

There was a healthy non-violent movement against the Syrian government in the early stages and pockets still remain on the street and indoors, waiting for an easing of the excessive violence. This is a necessary retreat until the forces of violence relent somewhat until an opening is evident and is in no sense a weakness.

There is a civil war raging in Syria and from what can be gathered from news sources those western powers mentioned above, and the present right-wing Israeli government, are arming the groups opposing the Syrian government.

Those same governments make armaments sales and re-supplies and spare parts for same their prime income earner and have totally vested interests in that business. Also, it has long been the West’s policy to keep the Middle East in turmoil - thus their support for Israel that acts in that dog-in-a-manger role. That policy allows those western powers to control the oil supply - the other point of interest.

China and Russia do well not to condone or bring any justification for another Libya-style invasion using the local dissenting groups for goals un-allied to the betterment of Syrian society.

Peaceful negotiation among all the different groups is the only way forward, all of the groups! A commitment to achieving a realistic and long term solution through non-violent means is the only assured guideline to bring Syria into a state of peace and stability allowing the country’ diverse peoples to forge their own destiny - without outside interference.

Tony Henderson
Chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong

Newsletter of Universal Humanism
Hong Kong, China
Number 36 - January, 2012

Page 2 - The Occupy Movement
Page 4 -  How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’
Page 6 - Links to recent Asia and Iran articles on Pressenza
Page 7 - Parks of Study and Reflection
Page 7 - Contact information

The most exciting happenings nowadays are those activities related to the Occupy movement. The mainstream media still does not get it, nor the general population, but the latter is understandably at a loss simply because of its own ‘as usual’ inertia, plus the unmitigated flood of data (which does not reach the standard of organisation to be classed as information) that implodes upon them (us) from all sides - radio, TV, newspapers, mobile devices of every kind. See the first writing below for a scant overview of Occupy.
    How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’ is a writing by George Lakey which is directly relevant to the Occupy movement in showing what can be done and how it was done in the isolation of those earlier days...
    The scariest possibility on the near horizon is the West threats to Iran. This issue is subject of another article, see below on the Pressenza links - money is seen to be at the root of all (modern) evil - in this case the US$.
Peace, Force and Joy - on All Humans Day - 29 January, 2012

Hong Kong Green Party wishes everyone a fortuitous Year of the Dragon

World without Wars and Violence (WwW)

The Occupy Movement
    It’s not just camping out under the HSBC building in Central Hong Kong, though that is a great manifestation and reference, declaring that indeed Hong Kong is an international city, as is London and New York, to mention two capitals with active occupancy.
    We don’t have the mass participation here in Hong Kong because the situation is not dire, indeed, brinking mainland China, Hong Kong is in good nick and nothing like the economically perilous state of the USA or the economic mess of the Eurozone. There are few obvious reasons for the people, even for the youth, to be on the streets. But there are reasons!
    The pillars of the present corporate-led Capitalist-Materialistic system are those keeping the whole thing going, those dependant upon its continuation and success. The fully employed, the ‘owners’ of all those subsidiary firms under the Big 50 (or so) major firms which control everything and those firms largely from the USA, with a major exception of Barclays Bank, UK.
    Of course it’s the disenfranchised, the marginalised, that are the dissidents of that system because they are the casualties. The young people who are camped out are from the student body and are in touch with the international Occupy movement, not just over the Internet, but by way of having that like ‘disposition of the times’. Similar to starlings in migration where all move as one as if some higher connection was linking their flight.
    This is why the more obvious manifestations are in the street arts and music because as a more intuitive function of mind, those human features are ‘in the van’, heralding and foretelling events, as is indie-cinema, documentaries of all kinds and live interviews with ‘oddballs’.
    The employed are all feeling the pain in their situations of overwork. Yes they get the money but see how much they have to spend to maintain that style and why not throw it away on silly things when there is no ‘time’ - a relative term - to spend intelligently, wisely. Like money, life’s just a throwaway thing,
    People sacrifice themselves to the System, that’s why ‘we’ give it a capital s - it’s not just a system, a useful organisation or network, no, it’s The System. The end and the means. Being part of the System generates an internal fear because, from the inside there is nothing else, it’s a curtailed view, it’s a hypnosis, it’s a crystalisation of the mind, you get stuck there and there is no possibility of any thought of freedom - in a life without the System. Freedom seems something like swimming in an ocean with miles of deep blue sea underneath one’s paltry body that floats above those immense depths... where giant fish lurk!
    Even the few in the System that do useful work, as in the sciences, find their research used in ways not considered at the outset of the task. Even Mr Einstein could not stop his work on nuclear physics being incorporated into the atomic bomb, much to his disheartenment.
    It’s not that the Occupy movement expects masses of people to down tools and pens and come acamping, rather what is sought is that more and more people start to rethink everything, start to question behaviours in their particular situations, arm themselves with knowledge, with more reasonable expectations, thereby demanding that themselves and their peers be treated with some respect. 
    When old Joe or young rebellious Joe gets the boot, owing to the competitive nature of the office or shop floor, there is little sympathy because everyone is hanging onto their place, what with the mortgage, the negative credit, the kids education, the insurance policies that have to be paid for.... all those things, all that are falsely (and automatically) imposed by the System.
    It’s the System and its anti-values that has poisened the term Socialism - let’s not look at the red herring of failed Communism - besides the anti-socialist antics of the psuedo-socialists, the left-wing that could see no other way than via totalitarianism and violence... Communism has never been properly done! To late now.
    Social welfare itself has become a no-no as people abuse that possibility but they do that because they were and are victims of the System which depends on ‘those that rise into it’s ranks and that hold all others in jeopardy as an example of where you could be if you do not toe the line’.
    What the Occupiers are saying is, there is another way of organising how our lives are managed by our governments, one where privatisation is minimal because, although it is well proved that privately owned firms are better at what they are doing than government run departments, fact is, they have taken over our lives and now we are not seen a human beings with human needs and expectations - we are human resources and a market place.
    In a human system there will be limits on the working hours needed to bring an economy into the home; there will be time to be with whomever one chooses to be with among family and friends or even read a book; there will be health care without worry over payments because the business side of medicine will be removed; likewise with schooling right up to higher education; there will be regular payments for the elderly and the disabled so no need to beg, take demeaning jobs or sleep in cages; speculation will be taken out of the property market and definitely out of the commodities and stocks and shares market impacting food prices.
    Shareholders will no longer be allowed to extract excessive profits from firms, rather those profits will go back into the firm as investment into conditions and machinery to enhance the productive means and products.
    This is the revolution proposed and the way is by non-violence. When the indigenous president of Bolivia came into power, as different from the European stock estate owners of before, these are the kind of measures that were implemented and it took time despite that Evo Morales tried to hurry things up. It was quite different from the mess of the Russian revolution of 1917 with its violence and class vengeance, and that of China from the time when Mao took over, though it is said that in the first days there was a warm disposition displayed by Mao’s soldiers.
    While mainstream worldwide politics continue in the old mould with the violent agendas of one group facing off against all comers, on the other side of the fence, we are asking for such as wage differentials to be massively re-aligned - why should a boss get 400 times the salary of an ordinary worker? Also, with us the terms human rights, participation, co-operatives, reciprocity, and active non-violence are coming into play.
    Despite huge and organised opposition by the power holders of today, the Occupiers are making progress though it is an underground process, not underground by intention but because the activities are forced underground as the standard channels are closed off; an alternative media is one result
    The straight media, controlled completely by vested interests, plays down or ignores and anyway is not interested in what the Occupy movement intends. The politicians joke about the activists, even the so-called democrats. The business people stop and shout “get a job’ to the HSBC campers - completely unaware of what the Occupy movement is trying to tell them - like the USA, they too are on a slippery slope!
    But it’s OK. There are worthwhile repercussions off-site and the all-important dialog is being initiated and continued and new links established which are providing that vital solidarity among the people directly involved in the Occupy movement and the ever increasing circle of friends that acts as a buffer against the heavy arm of the System.
    The Occupy message is penetrating and the media will not remain immune.


From: Waging Nonviolence
How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’
by George Lakey
    While many of us are working to ensure that the Occupy movement will have a lasting impact, it’s worthwhile to consider other countries where masses of people succeeded in nonviolently bringing about a high degree of democracy and economic justice. Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different. [A march in Ådalen, Sweden, in 1931.] A march in Ådalen, Sweden, in 1931.
    Both countries had a history of horrendous poverty. When the 1 percent was in charge, hundreds of thousands of people emigrated to avoid starvation. Under the leadership of the working class, however, both countries built robust and successful economies that nearly eliminated poverty, expanded free university education, abolished slums, provided excellent health care available to all as a matter of right and created a system of full employment. Unlike the Norwegians, the Swedes didn’t find oil, but that didn’t stop them from building what the latest CIA World Factbook calls “an enviable standard of living.”
    Neither country is a utopia, as readers of the crime novels by Stieg Larsson, Kurt Wallender and Jo Nesbro will know. Critical left-wing authors such as these try to push Sweden and Norway to continue on the path toward more fully just societies. However, as an American activist who first encountered Norway as a student in 1959 and learned some of its language and culture, the achievements I found amazed me. I remember, for example, bicycling for hours through a small industrial city, looking in vain for substandard housing. Sometimes resisting the evidence of my eyes, I made up stories that “accounted for” the differences I saw: “small country,” “homogeneous,” “a value consensus.” I finally gave up imposing my frameworks on these countries and learned the real reason: their own histories.
    Then I began to learn that the Swedes and Norwegians paid a price for their standards of living through nonviolent struggle. There was a time when Scandinavian workers didn’t expect that the electoral arena could deliver the change they believed in. They realized that, with the 1 percent in charge, electoral “democracy” was stacked against them, so nonviolent direct action was needed to exert the power for change.
    In both countries, the troops were called out to defend the 1 percent; people died. Award-winning Swedish filmmaker Bo Widerberg told the Swedish story vividly in Ådalen 31, which depicts the strikers killed in 1931 and the sparking of a nationwide general strike. (You can read more about this case in an entry by Max Rennebohm in the Global Nonviolent Action Database.)
    The Norwegians had a harder time organizing a cohesive people’s movement because Norway’s small population—about three million—was spread out over a territory the size of Britain. People were divided by mountains and fjords, and they spoke regional dialects in isolated valleys. In the nineteenth century, Norway was ruled by Denmark and then by Sweden; in the context of Europe Norwegians were the “country rubes,” of little consequence. Not until 1905 did Norway finally become independent.
    When workers formed unions in the early 1900s, they generally turned to Marxism, organizing for revolution as well as immediate gains. They were overjoyed by the overthrow of the czar in Russia, and the Norwegian Labor Party joined the Communist International organized by Lenin. Labor didn’t stay long, however. One way in which most Norwegians parted ways with Leninist strategy was on the role of violence: Norwegians wanted to win their revolution through collective nonviolent struggle, along with establishing co-ops and using the electoral arena.
    In the 1920s strikes increased in intensity. The town of Hammerfest formed a commune in 1921, led by workers councils; the army intervened to crush it. The workers’ response verged toward a national general strike. The employers, backed by the state, beat back that strike, but workers erupted again in the ironworkers’ strike of 1923–24.
    The Norwegian 1 percent decided not to rely simply on the army; in 1926 they formed a social movement called the Patriotic League, recruiting mainly from the middle class. By the 1930s, the League included as many as 100,000 people for armed protection of strike breakers—this in a country of only 3 million!
    The Labor Party, in the meantime, opened its membership to anyone, whether or not in a unionized workplace. Middle-class Marxists and some reformers joined the party. Many rural farm workers joined the Labor Party, as well as some small landholders. Labor leadership understood that in a protracted struggle, constant outreach and organizing was needed to a nonviolent campaign. In the midst of the growing polarization, Norway’s workers launched another wave of strikes and boycotts in 1928.
    The Depression hit bottom in 1931. More people were jobless there than in any other Nordic country. Unlike in the U.S., the Norwegian union movement kept the people thrown out of work as members, even though they couldn’t pay dues. This decision paid off in mass mobilizations. When the employers’ federation locked employees out of the factories to try to force a reduction of wages, the workers fought back with massive demonstrations.
    Many people then found that their mortgages were in jeopardy. (Sound familiar?) The Depression continued, and farmers were unable to keep up payment on their debts. As turbulence hit the rural sector, crowds gathered nonviolently to prevent the eviction of families from their farms. The Agrarian Party, which included larger farmers and had previously been allied with the Conservative Party, began to distance itself from the 1 percent; some could see that the ability of the few to rule the many was in doubt.
    By 1935, Norway was on the brink. The Conservative-led government was losing legitimacy daily; the 1 percent became increasingly desperate as militancy grew among workers and farmers. A complete overthrow might be just a couple years away, radical workers thought. However, the misery of the poor became more urgent daily, and the Labor Party felt increasing pressure from its members to alleviate their suffering, which it could do only if it took charge of the government in a compromise agreement with the other side.
    This it did. In a compromise that allowed owners to retain the right to own and manage their firms, Labor in 1935 took the reins of government in coalition with the Agrarian Party. They expanded the economy and started public works projects to head toward a policy of full employment that became the keystone of Norwegian economic policy. Labor’s success and the continued militancy of workers enabled steady inroads against the privileges of the 1 percent, to the point that majority ownership of all large firms was taken by the public interest. (There is an entry on this case as well at the Global Nonviolent Action Database.)
    The 1 percent thereby lost its historic power to dominate the economy and society. Not until three decades later could the Conservatives return to a governing coalition, having by then accepted the new rules of the game, including a high degree of public ownership of the means of production, extremely progressive taxation, strong business regulation for the public good and the virtual abolition of poverty. When Conservatives eventually tried a fling with neoliberal policies, the economy generated a bubble and headed for disaster. (Sound familiar?)
    Labor stepped in, seized the three largest banks, fired the top management, left the stockholders without a dime and refused to bail out any of the smaller banks. The well-purged Norwegian financial sector was not one of those countries that lurched into crisis in 2008; carefully regulated and much of it publicly owned, the sector was solid.
    Although Norwegians may not tell you about this the first time you meet them, the fact remains that their society’s high level of freedom and broadly-shared prosperity began when workers and farmers, along with middle class allies, waged a nonviolent struggle that empowered the people to govern for the common good.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License

George Lakey is Visiting Professor at Swarthmore College and a Quaker. He has led 1,500 workshops on five continents and led activist projects on local, national, and international levels. Among many other books and articles, he is author of “Strategizing for a Living Revolution” in David Solnit’s book Globalize Liberation (City Lights, 2004). His first arrest was for a civil rights sit-in and most recent was with Earth Quaker Action Team while protesting mountain top removal coal mining.

new - 2012
Hong Kong Gardening - Naturally
By Tony Henderson
eBook on CD - HK$50 or US$6


Pressenza International Press Agency

The myth of 'isolated' Iran

Nepal - World unity for peace march - Nepal, peace march.


Banahaw Park
...of Study and Reflection

Parks of Study and Reflection are places:
- of self-transformation
- of inspiration
- of connecting with others
- of connecting with the Profound.

They are an expression of the new spirit awakening in the hearts of people who search to go beyond religious, cultural and ethnic differences to the profound meaning of our common humanity. They are spaces dedicated to study and self-knowledge, to nonviolence as a way of action, and to reflection on life's fundamental questions.
Interested? Local group ‘still’ in formation, get in touch with the Hong Kong contact: Tony - tonyhen1 @

Material from this newsletter may be freely reprinted with this attribution: Source: The Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific - or the bylined writer.
TONY HENDERSON E-mail: tonyhen1 @


Your financial assistance would be appreciated to support our school in Bagerhat run by Jamil and his colleagues - contact

Historical note:

Needed: more humanity in human society

Tony Henderson
May 28, 2005

The slogan 'love the reality you build' was used by a Bangladeshi member
on the clocks that he made in Old Dhaka in an attempt to raise funds for
his Humanist Movement activities while pushing our universal message in
a handy format. The words come from the early writing of the movement's
South American founder, known as Silo, in his work, The Inner Look.

Our stance is 'anti-system' and, for us, the system is not just about
governments, but capitalism generally and the competitive struggle that
pits everyone against each other. What we are really against is the
system's anti-humanism.

Of course, there are good things out there - including the many people
involved in excellent work. But we need to combat the hypnosis that
sucks us in; that entrances what is human and free in us, and curtails
our future.

Our demand that core members play an active role means that we get few
takers. People want to come to meetings to talk and express their
precious opinions. But that is boring. Instead, we should take up an
issue or launch a project - and let's do it autonomously, without
waiting for instructions. We give guidelines, not orders. Our movement
is no good for mere intellectuals - unless they want to break free from
their chains.

Going to Bangladesh to build a team was a revelation for me because
there, people took notice of our message: placing the human being at the
centre of our values; no discrimination; co-operative systems and
processes; freedom; and the rejection of violence.

In Hong Kong, it seems that almost everyone is content with their lot.
Is this because of people's materialistic outlook or the high value put
on pragmatism? It is possible that the message just does not resonate.

One Bangladeshi, Rana, from the city of Bagerhat, studied in Hong Kong
for a while and joined our Humanist Association.

On his return home, he got together with his friends and set up the
Humanist Association of Bagerhat.

After I received a letter from him, I travelled there to meet 'the
gang'. They gathered in tea houses, and certainly had plans. They asked
for financial support, and I had to explain that we are not a charity or
even a non-governmental organisation, but merely volunteers. In fact,
they have to pay US$1 every six months to be a structural (core) member.

Undeterred, they launched their venture. Today (just under 10 years
later), their organisation'

s projects include: a blood-donation club; a
rickshaw project (nine have so far been sold to families, who pay back,
interest-free, the cost over a period of time); a micro-credit
plus' project; education support for pupils through
donations from local businesses; and now a small school is being built
for those who cannot otherwise afford to go. In June last year, one
humanist executive committee member won a seat on the council in local

Although the Humanist Movement is non-political, if a member goes into
politics and abides by our principles, then that is fine. It will
humanise politics. The same applies in business, although we are not a
commercial organisation. Having a particular belief is not a barrier,

This planet really needs us. There are many very good organisations, and
we just want to make our contribution, as well. We hit a different spot.
It is not what we do, but how we do it that is different. We work by
humanising what is inside while, at the same time, humanising the
outside, that is, society. And we have a spiritual dimension - we seek
personal liberation in this life, and immortality, in whichever way one
chooses to interpret that.




Call Tony at 90487639 or email to take part in a small gathering of the Mui Wo Community of the Message, evening, 22 December, 2011.


International Human Rights Day, 10 December, 2011

International humanist party statement on world situation

In this moment of history, and as a political party inspired by the current of Universalist Humanism, we find it necessary to analyse the present situation in order to develop proposals for action in the present global context. [Surely, this is a useful reference for others, Editor.]

From Pressenza
December 10, 2011

When humanists observe and participate in social, political and economic processes around the world, we cannot but reflect about the relevance to this moment of history of the Statement of the Humanist Movement written by Silo in 1993*. From its reading we can understand to what degree the path of history has confirmed the tendencies that this document explained and to what degree - today more than ever - the union of all humanists of the world has become necessary so that the deepest human aspirations may be turned into reality.


The emergence of new generations

In recent times around the world different social movements have sprung up and surprised analysts and opinion formers who had been suggesting the end of history.

Social expressions, varied in their causes and demands in countries as diverse as Tunisia, Egypt, Iceland, India, Spain, Chile and the USA, have in common that their protagonists have been the new generations.  Thousands of young people have started to take to the streets to show their outrage at the unjust world they've inherited, accepting the challenge of becoming the protagonists for social change and adopting Active Nonviolence as a methodology of action.
The expression of these young people, added to the best efforts of previous generations, is starting to give rise to the birth of a new planetary sensibility.

This is a new sensibility that makes a void to leaders accustomed to manipulating everything.  It not only speaks of horizontality but also exercises it on a daily basis in its different forms of self-managed organisation.  It is a new sensibility that doesn't just tolerate diversity but accepts it and drives it forward; comprehending that such diversity is necessary if the requirement is to produce real changes.  It recognises the banks and speculative capital as the real adversaries who have hijacked representative democracy making plain the need to advance towards Direct Democracy.

This is a new sensibility that is no longer surrendering its subjectivity to the official communication media in the hands of Financial Capital but rather is using and appropriating new technologies and social networks in order to communicate, inform, denounce, organise and take to the streets.

And, perhaps, the most important thing is that this new sensibility's intuition tells it that at the base of social injustice, physical, economic, racial and religious violence is to be found.  And therefore its response to repression and defamation is a void, non-confrontation and civil disobedience, in sum: Active Nonviolence.
This new sensibility is a sign of the new world that is being born in the midst of an old world that, with great violence and repression, is trying to stay put.

*  The "Humanist Statement" forms part of the "Sixth Letter to my Friends", written by Silo on the 5th of April, 1993, included in his Collected Works, Volume 1, Page 488, Latitude Press, USA.

Towards the Universal Human Nation

Over the last 20 years, global communication and interconnection have been increasing and certain aspects of this phenomenon have been defined as "globalisation."  But humanists, as internationalists and aspiring to a plural and diverse world, see in this globalisation the signs of anti-humanism.  Because it happens that global economic power has tried to direct this process in accordance with its own interests, creating a Parastate at both a national and global level.  This Parastate operates within national borders by buying or blackmailing governments and manipulating public opinion through control of the mass media.  And it also operates internationally, having at its service economic institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO; creating international courts along the way such as ICSID; using the USA's and NATO's armies as the world's police force; and covering all of its misdeeds with a veneer of legality by controlling the decisions of the United Nations.  Public opinion is also manipulated through the international press.

So what happens is that the people of the world not only have to confront the problems within their own borders, but they also feel that many of their problems are generated globally, and that they don't have the means to resolve them.  And just as humanists say that within our borders we must take power through Real Democracy in order to have representatives that genuinely represent us; so also at a global level we must work to dismantle this Parastate that covers itself with a cloak of respectability through organisms that are mere proxies of global economic power.

Therefore, the image of advancing towards a Universal Human Nation must not only be a luminous utopia guiding the struggles of the people, but also a strategic conception from which tactical actions arise that lead to the power of this Global Parastate being disassembled, while simultaneously the pillars of a truly Universal Human Nation are being built.  Because this Universal Human Nation, which might seem to be a mere expression of desires for older generations, is already appearing as a visible horizon for the new generations and for this new sensibility.

From now on, between the present situation and the horizon that is approaching, we must travel a path of action, and some of these actions are those that we propose in this document.

A change of economic paradigms

In a world in which money has become the central value of existence, we shouldn't be surprised by the consequences of such denial of meaning of human life.  We are not surprised by the growing inequity in the distribution of wealth as we are dealing with individualistic competition in which there has to be winners and losers by necessity.  We are not surprised by the successive financial crises and their correlate of recession in a system that can only be sustained by growing debt.  We are not surprised by wars over scarce natural resources in a world preyed upon by the consumerism of the most well off.  We are not surprised by social violence when increasing numbers of people feel like failures and are marginalised, in contrast to the paradise offered by consumerist advertising.  And we shouldn't feel surprised by nihilism, madness and suicide when existence has lost its meaning, and material success is supposed to replace it.

Of course there are procedures to transform this inhuman economic system; improving the distribution of income, disciplining the financial system, and advancing towards sustainable development that allows a dignified life for every human being without devastating the planet.  But it would be naïve to expect the spontaneous application of such procedures without previously driving forward a genuine change of paradigms in the conception of the economy based on a profound change of cultural values.

There are those who believe that, due to the mere fact that economic crises affect many people, there will be a majority convinced of the need to change the economic system.  But it's not so, because individualism has permeated deeply and the fact that many individuals converge in protest in the face of a generalised crisis does not mean that individualism has been transcended, and so it's not so simple to move on to other organisational forms that can really replace the system.

So the proposal for transformation of the economic system cannot be proposed just in terms of technical feasibility or in terms of convenience for the majority.  It must be proposed from a social mystique that has the ethic of coherence as a banner, which in economic terms means to place the resolution of the basic needs of all inhabitants of the world before the interests of any other sector or individual.

We know that today we have the conditions to resolve the basic needs for the whole world.  There are more than enough examples of what could be done with the resources that are today destined to weapons, financial speculation, the production of luxury goods and irrational consumerism.  This should be enough to change the direction of the economic forces themselves and, in a short time frame, convert and multiply the means of production, so ending up with less weapons and more food, less resources going to speculation and more into production.  But the direction of economic forces will not change just because we ask those who live at the top of the pyramid to dismantle it.  It will change when a good part of those of us who act like bricks in this pyramid stop sustaining it, and this will be achieved when we stop believing in the pyramid.  And this means new values, new paradigms, and a social mystique that implants them in the hearts of human beings.

In fact the degree of growing perversion in the relationship between capital and labour is possible thanks to the fact that a reigning individualism in the population prevents joint responses and leaves the vast majority unarmed in front of a powerful economic minority.  But this absurdity is so great that awareness is rising in increasingly large sections of the population.  The Humanist Party around the world must work to organise and give analytical elements to the greatest possible number of people.  Our response, active nonviolence, shows us that the first step is to denounce those who should not be collaborating with those who use violence.  Just as at the right time we will have to press for non-collaboration with violent States, also we will have to advocate for non-collaboration with capital that mistreats the population.  In some moment workers (and consumers) will have to take on social development projects built without the intervention of capitalist partners (or with those who allow for a fair and reciprocal relationship).  In some moment the population will stop demanding their needs from capital and will decide to resolve them as a whole.  "We don't want your loans or your jobs, or your products or your services."  This will only be possible when reciprocity starts to take the place of individualism.

Towards Real Democracy

As humanists we reject totalitarianism and dictatorships of all kinds because we think that the freedom of human beings to decide their own destiny, without lords, or bosses is an unalienable right in all circumstances.

But we also denounce the hypocrisy of formal democracies, in which the powerful of the economic-political-media corporation use their capacity for manipulation to leave the population with false electoral choices, leaving them to choose between the "least bad" executioner and the supposed chaos of institutional instability.

It is clear that in today's world not all freely elected governments are the same; there are those more progressive and those more conservative.  But whether through complicity, inability, or the limitations imposed by economic power, they have not wanted or not been able to put the process into reverse.  Because one thing is having the good intention of "compensating" those least favoured by this system (despite which marginalisation increases anyway), and another is to transform the very structure of the system so that it stops being a machine for marginalising people.  And since the failure of real socialism, there have been no new alternatives to the present situation.

In any case, the possibility for people to intervene in public politics is barely more than electing their supposed representatives in elections.  So if we want substantial transformations in the world, we must achieve greater participation of citizens in the decisions that affect them most, and not be at the mercy of the markets or the authorities.

In concrete terms, among other things, all of this means binding popular consultations for decisions of certain relevance, it means participatory budgets, it means direct elections for all positions of authority and the possibility to recall people from their positions at any time.
But it's evident that just as we cannot pretend that those at the top of the economic pyramid are going to change the rules of the game by themselves, neither can we hope that those entrenched in political power thanks to formal democracy will legislate in order to give greater, real participation to the people in central decisions.  So it will be necessary to promote the practice of Real Democracy right in the heart of society, supporting with our votes only those who commit themselves to implementing the necessary democratic transformations.  And if there are no candidates with this commitment or those with it are not worthy of trust, then we will have to infiltrate the system with candidates of the people, at the same time as we organise non-collaboration and civil disobedience when enough organised people have become aware that this system is irreparable.  However, there is no other way out of this trap of formal democracy, at least in the path that humanists propose, than through nonviolent struggle.


These proposals, besides being perfectible in their breadth and depth, and besides representing only a few examples of what could be done, may also be received in diverse ways by those who coincide with them according to their possibility to act.  For some these may be ideals to be reached and used as a guide in the hour of choosing their governments.  For others they may be mobilising images, a basis for organising to demand that governments take care to make them happen.  Others will better see the option of participating politically and having such proposals in their own electoral platforms.  And those that today have any modicum of power-political or economic - and genuinely aspire to a better world, perhaps may try to apply some of them.
Proposals for governments, advancing towards a confederation of national states with those who commit to these proposals

1.    To establish at a constitutional level the obligation of the State to guarantee in concrete terms the coverage of the basic needs of the population with tax policies in accordance with this priority.  Establishing, on the basis of the coverage of such needs, a percentage of the budget destined to helping less fortunate countries.

2.    Dismantling all nuclear arsenals.  The progressive reduction of conventional weapons by states.  The renunciation of war as a means to resolve conflicts.

3.    State control of the financial system.  Creation of national and regional banks without interest, with a mixed administration including the participation of users and workers.  Regulations that punish speculative practices and usury.  International agreements to ensure productive reinvestment of company profits, the dismantling of tax havens and all evasive or speculative manipulation by private capital.

4.    Free circulation and equality of rights in all countries, for all inhabitants of the planet.  Freedom and equality of rights for all cultures and religions, guaranteeing the respect for diversity.

5.    Implementation of mechanisms for a Real Democracy: binding consultations, direct elections to the three State powers, decentralisation, representation of minorities, the ability to recall mandates, political responsibility and participatory budgets in all State levels.  Use of the mass media for informing people and debating issues to be decided, guaranteeing the plurality of opinions under equal conditions.  International consultations for all inhabitants involved in regional or global politics.

Proposals for social mobilisation, to put pressure on governments and to build alternatives to the de-facto power

1.    The demanding of popular consultations for every decision that governments must take in relation to economics, politics or social policy, denouncing non-consulted measures as anti-democratic.

2.    The promotion of interchange, debate, education and circulation of information so that society as a whole may be able to form an opinion about all issues that should be subject to popular consultation.  The utilisation of physical forums and social networks; demanding the media gives space for this and denouncing those who don't as the accomplices of formal democracy.

3.    The elaboration of draft laws, the demanding of their consideration, and their promotion by the social-political alternative being constructed.  A Law of Real Democracy (with the incorporation of all its mechanisms).  Tax reforms that guarantee the redistribution of wealth and the productive reinvestment of profits.  An Employee Ownership Law in business.  State control of the financial system and the creation of interest-free banks.

4.    Permanent mobilisation for two fundamental rights, Education and Healthcare, so that they may be public, free, universal and of high quality; demanding not only their existence but also a budget commensurate with their importance.

5.    The promotion and publicising through all possible channels of the paradigms of a new culture for the Universal Human Nation: nonviolence, non-discrimination, reciprocity, liberty, social justice and meaning in life.  While denouncing the values of individualism, consumerism, violence, xenophobia and war as retrograde steps.


As members of the IHP we have been working for years, in all countries where we are present, on the issues that we have referred to here.  But in this moment of history, we are highlighting - as never before - a growing predisposition of the population, and in particular in new generations, to mobilise for this end.  We also highlight a growing affinity for some of these issues in a few progressive governments; those with which we have had some measure of closeness.
Nevertheless, the mere current coincidence with some of our historical proposals should not confuse us as we define our present and future role.  Surely we cannot pretend to make ourselves out to be the "clear vanguard" of social processes, not only for reasons of scale, but above all because such a position would respond to schemes that are obsolete and vertical.  Surely our role should be to place ourselves in a position of parity, establishing relationships of reciprocity with those with whom we coincide.  But this horizontal placement, devoid of manipulating intentions, should not be incompatible with a willingness to take on the challenge of giving clear references about the world we aspire to and the steps to take in order to achieve it.  Such references can in no way be imposed by vertical power, but neither should they be weakened, relativised or given up, due to the fear of being confused with manipulators, or because we believe that, because of our scale, we have no right to speak firmly, or because we think that somehow a revolutionary process will mature in the world naturally.

These are moments in which to give a very clear signal from, and a very defined profile to, the Humanist Party.  The new generations are emerging; they seek the tools and ideas needed to consolidate.  If, because of an apparent situational advantage, we dilute our message with that of other groups who are similar but different, we could be weakening the understanding of our proposal and the necessary inspiration to carry forward a political, economic, social, cultural, ethical, psychological and spiritual revolution.

There is no guarantee that massive discontent with the consequences of the economic system alone will oblige governments to carry out structural changes.

There is no guarantee that discontent with formal democracy will lead governments to carry out transformations that go beyond cosmetic changes.

There is no guarantee that progressive governments will manage to pass from well-intentioned measures to a real change of the foundations of the system themselves.

There is no guarantee that all those who say they are working for a better world, genuinely seek a revolution, not only in its material aspects, but above all in its existential foundations.

What we can guarantee is that while the world is not yet a Great Universal Human Nation, there will be increasing numbers of humanists working genuinely for this aspiration; an aspiration millions of human beings are clamouring for, sometimes in silence.


     15M MOVEMENT:




“Our call for change unites us.

We want a new society that gives people priority over economic and political interests.

We want to demonstrate that society has not gone to sleep, and that we will keep fighting for what we deserve by peaceful means.

We want all this, and we want it now.” (Sol, May 2011).





A ray of Sun, oh oh oh! Against Opression, oh oh oh!

A ray of Sun, oh oh oh! For liberation, oh oh oh!



Stéphane Hessel says, “Get outraged!... for a peaceful uprising… Nonviolence is the path we must learn to follow. I am convinced that the future belongs to nonviolence, and to reconciliation among different cultures.”

We want the pending revolution: HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ALL. Dignity, education, healthcare, employment, housing, culture… FUTURE FOR ALL!! We are acting coherently through Active Nonviolence, which is a courageous stand denouncing all forms for violence that outrage us: physical, economic, racial, sexual, ideological, psychological, etc. “NONVIOLENCE IS OUR STRENGTH.”



“We need to give a response to social and personal conflicts. But in a new way. Not with values that we don’t want, but with joy, good humor, and a good spirits among the people. With respect, with caring, encouraging unity and connection among all of us. We must give a clear signal, powerful and concise, a new attitude that we want to express in the world. Our action is born of the human need to overcome our limits, to liberate ourselves, and to create the type of society we really want.” With the Force that unites us, LET US THINK ABOUT WHAT WE TRULY NEED.



“Nothing above the human being and no human being above any other.” Not money, the banks, financial capital, the corrupt political powers or their leaders – none of them above the human being. They laugh in our faces with their pockets overflowing. Now IT IS TIME FOR ALL OF US TO LAUGH. “We have awoken, and now we want breakfast!” “We want happiness and freedom to grow in ourselves and in those around us.”



Nelson Mandela tells us: “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

But why study? Why should we make an effort? Most of us are unemployed or earning poverty wages. For how much longer?

They are leaving us “with no future, no work, no house, no pension… without fear.” “We want to see ourselves dancing toward the future with the light feet of joy!” WE WANT THE FUTURE NOW!!



Martin Luther King said: “I have a dream that one day… injustice and oppression will be transformed into freedom and justice… and the whole human race will unite in a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”

Everywhere we have problems: in Egypt, Tunisia, Morrocco, Iceland… and they have begun to fight by  agreeing on a change. Now in the rest of Europe and the Americas, and soon in every country on the Planet, in every town and city. EVERYONE TO THE PUBLIC SQUARES!


We want uncensored internet all around the world. We want a worldization that supports all ethnicities, languages, customs and beliefs - a convergence of cultures.



We want a world where we live together in happiness, all of us and not just a few. A WORLD WITHOUT WARS, WITHOUT WEAPONS, WITHOUT HUNGER, WITHOUT POVERTY, AN ECOLOGICALLY SOUND WORLD FULL OF SOLIDARITY… with equal rights and opportunities for all human beings. “To struggle for the rights of the minorities is to struggle for the rights of all.” “No human being is illegal.”




Enough hypocrisy. Money is everything: it buys the governments, the laws, the communications media… We say enough!! We want RESPONSES TO THE REAL NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE. WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO STATE OUR OPINION AND DECIDE TOGETHER, instead of having a few decide for us.

Politicians who have been elected through direct democracy must faithfully represent the will of the citizens and be at their service. Sovereignty resides in the people, and we the people must be continually vigilant. We aspire to have all laws undergo Referendum. So that we are not betrayed, we demand THAT ELECTORAL PROMISES BE FULFILLED, that they cannot be changed by the financial interests of the powerful.


The politicians of the system want to silence our voices (sometimes by force and violence), so that they can keep living at the expense of our silence. The politicians have gone to the rich from the “monster” of the capital market. Let them resign and join this revolution.



José Luis Sampedro said: “I urge you to move forward in the struggle for a more human life… you will find many obstacles in your path, but it is your future that is at stake. May 15 must be more than an oasis in the desert; it must be the beginning of an arduous struggle so that finally we no longer are – or are seen as – ‘merchandise in the hands of the politicians and bankers.’ We say NO TO FINANCIAL TYRANNY AND ITS DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES.”


NO TO ECONOMIC VIOLENCE. No to speculation and usury. No to fiscal paradises. No to the scandalous sharing of benefits among those who control capital and business, without considering the workers and the unemployed. No to the scandalous differences in salary in the same business, in the same country, and in different countries and regions of the planet.


We need a bank that serves the people. “The Bank always makes a profit and never gives us any of it.” Democratize all businesses. Let the workers also come together and organize in assemblies. Support businesses that organize dignified strikes. Support cooperative societies and businesses and worker self-management.



Gandhi said: “Violence only engenders more violence.”

If we wish to reach common agreements, we have to respect creativity and diversity, and not impose our own point of view. Any kind of imposition is violence, and such violence only limits us, and is unnecessary.

The violence of the states and entrenched powers against the people and their manipulation of us is an outrage. “Against your violence, my peace; against your nightstick, my word.”





We give thanks for the example and inspiration of all who have fought actively and peacefully down through History, so that we might arrive at this point. We ask the support of all who feel solidarity with us so that we can continue in this task. Struggling together we will leave a much better world for everyone. We have the capability and the strength to change history. This is the moment to act.




Together we have generated a unique new process which, if we apply ourselves, can lay the foundations for a true cultural, social and personal revolution. A revolution of all and for all, in which the central value is the human being, and the methodology is active nonviolence.

If this is to endure over time we need to organize. We need an organization that is not bureaucratic, but based on human communication: communication that enriches us and allows us to grow together. Communication that does not lead us to despair or separation; communication based on respect, communication that incites to us action.

That is why we propose, here and now, that we take a moment to think about all the difficulties we’ve had, and everything we have learned from those difficulties…

And now let us remember those good moments that neither we nor the world will ever forget …







                            Video: You tube Manifiesto de l@s jóvenes tod@s a las plazas (Everyone to the  Public Squares – Youth Manifesto)


                                           Facebook: Manifiestodelosjovenes Todosalasplazas                                 

The Humanist newsletter - Hong Kong
- among friends of Silo’s Message of Universal Humanism,
Number 33 - September 2011

Page 1 -  EDITORIAL - Engage the Space
Page 2 - Non-violent campaign against corruption in India, headed by Anna Hazare
Page 3 - Regarding the situation in Libya
Page 5 - To read Asia-related submissions from our team to Pressenza
Page 5 - Contact information


Engage the Space: Today we celebrate in the neighbourhood of Mui Wo Kau Tsuen the blessed end of the Islamic Ramadan, mostly among Indonesian friends. Last week we updated the activities of the Hong Kong chapter of the India Against Corruption campaign on our international press agency website, Pressenza. Last week too word came from our Silo School member Gemma, who resides in the Philippines but is visiting Ulan Bator, about the latest endeavours of our friends in Mongolia as they establish our Message there - of non-violence and non-discrimination. New additions to our Parks of Study and Reflection continue to take place, the latest in South America at this juncture *. Today, as I write, there is a Dogs Walk for Peace initiative taking place in Tiendesitas, Pasig City, Manila. Last weekend there was a local book launch at our affiliated-friend’s Fieldwork Centre in Mui Wo with great conviviality. Last Tuesday we - in this case meaning me (as part of the we) - added our input to the Green Party Hong Kong executive planning meeting in Lai Chi Kok, on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. A report came to us from humanist friends in Iceland titled: the Pots and Pans Revolution and it´s Aftermath in Iceland, giving their point of view (see below for link **). Our stand on Libya was declared, in concordance with World without Wars and Violence (WwW)***, and relayed to pals on Humanize Asia and the local Lantau Forum email lists of Humanist-related news. In India, Humanist Movement national spokesmen Parimal Merchant inaugurated a fast that will continue till the end of Anna Hazare's agitation, in co-operation with a plethora of other organisations and fronts taking part in a relay agitation - the fasts are conducted in support of Anna Hazare's actions in Delhi Jandar Mandir. Returning locally, our Garden-to-Kitchen website was also updated - and there’s an open day planned for October 16. Thus the ramifications of all our works continue to enliven the planet - and this was just last week!

Peace, Force and Joy

New Park of Study & Reflection
* Saul and I would like to ask you for help on behalf of a group of masters, humanists and messengers in the south of Chile. They are accepting donations until 8/30/11 from Chile and elsewhere to buy a 1.5 hectare of land for a park of study and reflection 17 kilometers from Valdivia, about 10 - 12 hours south from Santiago. This is a beautiful place and  much needed in the long, long country that is Chile.

Tao Yuan
** From Garden to Kitchens, from ingredients to creativity, from cookery to sharing, from thanksgiving to friendship, from fast to slow... follow the natural flow, to taste in real.

Letter: To Consulate General Hong Kong
August 21, 2011


Dear Sirs,
We understand from our humanist volunteers across India and the mass-media that a Campaign Against Corruption is being carried out by hundreds of thousands of people and that the campaign has spread across 5,000 locations in India so far.

India has been at the forefront of Cultural and Social change for centuries, showing new direction to the world at different and often crucial times, and we feel this movement against corruption, that is fast becoming a people's non-violent movement, will soon demonstrate a new direction to the world for that real change the world needs urgently, to steer us towards a new human-being centred world of non-violence - thus ending all kinds of violence and discrimination that we now see among and against major sections of people and society.

We are pained to note that the current government of India, that has the Congress Party leading it, is failing to read the pulse of the people who want the Jan Lok Pal Bill (People's Ombudsman Law) to achieve accountability in governance. It pains us, specially because it is the same political party that was at the centre of India's Freedom struggle. This demonstrates the deterioration of values in the Congress Party. This is similar to what is happening across the world, where different governments comprising political parties of varying ideologies, have been looting the wealth of people in more or less the same way. It appears that mis-appropriating people's wealth by the few, led by the banks, has been successfully globalized under the control of what has every appearance of a Mafia (that includes the Banks, Multi-National Corporations, Crime Syndicates and the weak and selfishly co-operating Politicians) operating across the world.

The protests of people that started as a wave from Tunisia and spread over to the whole of Middle-East into North Africa, Europe, the USA (Wisconsin), and recently the UK and elsewhere, is now showing its strong manifestation in India. Indian campaigners are demonstrating once again, in the most commendable and respectable way, the only useful power rests in non-violence and not in force-of-arms. This will go into the future as a strong reference to guide the common people across the world on how to conduct oneself to bring permanent change into the compromised system - from violence to non-violence, from discrimination to true equality, from mis-appropriation to true co-operativism, thus building a new world that would be rightly called a "UNIVERSAL HUMAN NATION".

Through this humble submission of ours, we would like to inform your government, the Government of India, headed currently by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, that the whole world of Humanists, and the world of selfless-responsible people, the world of common people that counts at 80% of the population of planet Earth, is strongly supporting the Campaign Against Corruption led so well by Anna Hazare and his team. Granting that the Government of India's claim to be an honest Government, we request the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take a stand at the level of the highest reference as exampled by Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and so many other great-souls of India - and leave behind the negativity and egoism, to humbly discuss the best methods of implementing a strong Jan Lok Pal Bill (People's Ombudsman Law) without even a day's delay and to demonstrate that the current Congress Party remains at heart living proof of those principals that are a worldwide new and developing reference today. Also, to show that Mahatma Gandhi's demand to disband Congress in 1947 was not the right advice.

It is important for the government of India and the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to realize now that the mood of the people in India is changing very fast, as human consciousness is growing beyond its previous limits as a part of a ramped up human evolution owing to education and communication factors taking hold. The only approach these days is to flow in line with this expansion in human consciousness and not to go against it.

We look forward to positive and visible actions from the government of India and the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. This would show a bright direction for the whole world to follow and demonstrate that changes can happen and in a peaceful manner.

Meanwhile, please note that all peace-loving non-violent and non-discriminatory humanists and other like-minded people and organizations across the planet Earth, are coming together to steer the world towards the formation of a "UNIVERSAL HUMAN NATION".


World without Wars and Violence (WwW)

Regarding the situation in Libya
31 Aug 2011

The Arab Spring continues to spread throughout the Arab world.  Another dictator has gone and Libya, which has been ruled by one of the longest-lasting and most bloodthirsty dictators, is turning the page on an era characterised by the reign of one individual and one family without any respect for democracy and even basic standards of human rights.

Nevertheless, we would not be coherent with our deepest convictions in the strength of nonviolence if we were not to denounce the use of violence by opposition and NATO forces to achieve this revolution and not least because NATO has expressed nothing but indifference and deafness in the case of the people of Yemen and Bahrain—too close to Saudi Arabia and too dangerous to upset—whereas in oil-rich Libya they have intervened with full force!

Libya has been left on the edge of a precipice of revenge and more revenge, in a cycle of violence that will be very hard to stop.  Entrenched positions on both sides of the armed conflict will not cease to seek revenge for past violence, thereby ensuring that revenge will also stain the future.

Today those in control of Libya stand at a crossroads: they can choose the path of doing what’s best for the Libyan people or they can choose the path of doing what’s best for the rotten and immoral economic system which is waiting with drooling lips to feed on Libya’s resources and her people.  To choose the latter will be disastrous for the long-suffering Libyan people.
We in World without Wars express:

- Our anguish at having watched the violence and horror unfold across Libya as violent factions on both sides sought to murder each other.
- Our sympathy and condolences to all those who have lost loved ones or who have been injured in conflict
- Our condemnation of the NATO hypocrisy
- Our hope that from the ashes of this disaster will emerge a democratic, reconciled and prosperous country which can be a beacon of everything good about North Africa and her people.
We declare:

- Our support for the Libyan people in their efforts to rebuild Libya on the basis of real democracy, the rejection of war as a means to solve disputes, the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and the values of human rights.
- Our total disagreement with any moves by NATO to deploy troops on Libyan soil under any pretext.
- Our total rejection of any moves to make the people of Libya pay for the war which has been unleashed upon them by forcing Libya to give away oil concessions.
We call for:

- all conflict in the country to cease immediately and for all weapons now widely distributed in the hands of citizens to be handed in for destruction under the supervision of specially appointed UN peace keeping forces.
- the creation of a democratically elected Constituent Assembly to gather the requirements of all sectors of Libyan society so that this may guide the writing of a new constitution which will lead to elections in which all Libyans may peacefully and freely express their political choices.
- the creation of a commission of national reconciliation so that disputes and grievances may be heard and justice can be seen to be done, so that Libyans can get on with their lives in peace and nonviolence.


To read Asia-related submissions from our team to Pressenza International Press Agency

We recommend:

Pakistan - where lie your dormant Hazares?

Unwanted Missiles for a Korean Island

India - action front to get decent roads

Hong Kong Indians in support action for Anna Hazare and Jan Lokpal

Hong Kong’s domestic helpers fighting for right of abode

Peace March from Gujranwala to Lahore in Pakistan

Human rights activist “Pepe” Manegdeg’s widow continues appeal

Ray of hope in Nepal’s peace process

** The “Pots and Pans revolution” in Iceland and its aftermath


Banahaw Park
...of Study and Reflection


Material from this newsletter may be freely reprinted with this attribution: Source: The Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific - or the bylined writer.

TONY HENDERSON E-mail: tonyhen1 @
Blog1-personal interest:


July 16,2011
The Green Spirituality of universal humanism
For us Green signifies Life. It is the colour of the Life Force. It is the mid-range colour in our spectrum, with red at the lower end and blue at the higher end. Red is the physical-sexual and  blue is the contemplative-intuitive. There’s Green, right in the middle, central to both ends and that is the position of Man, the place of Man emboldened with the vitality of the Life Force.

To enhance or deepen or heighten that Green Force of Life it is proposed by the universal humanists that we get our ordinary life sorted out. We have to achieve a personal and ‘internal’ coherence where what we are is a function of our harmonised thoughts, feelings and actions. Meaning, practically, that we are doing what we deeply want to be doing and we feel very good about that and a sense of meaningfulness permeates our life.

Immediately there is a caution - the systems and societies we are living under are not intended to allow us to be thus free. Because that is precisely what meaningfulness feels like, a sense of freedom. Free of fears of future, free of any dark echo from the past, free of any blocks in the present - of course we all have the common problems - we could always do with an extra few dollars, but these don’t stop us!

Today’s systems are born of an industrial age and just when humanity was emerging from the European Dark Ages, and just as the European Renaissance was laying its searching fingers upon those early societies, a flip occurred as the sciences of astrology took the course of leading into astronomy, and alchemy  went into metallurgy and chemistry, numerology became mathematics, and all that can be seen as good - and indeed it is good - however, important issues were cast aside and materialism came to the fore. The innate spirituality of Man was neglected and indeed abandoned. Materialistic and competitive societies were the result. Mechanical Man replaced ‘natural’ Man.

All that which was allied to the best features in Man, that which makes the human being, a sense of place within a beautiful living world of fellow creatures, an innate sense of a being without limit - not even limited by a supposed personal death - the possibility of achieving love, on the level of this life with a couple and on the cosmic-universal  level with what’s variably termed the Mother, the Creator, the Great Tao, The Unborn...

It is therefore worthwhile to regain what was taken away by others, one’s spirituality. To wake up from the illusion imposed by a consumer oriented society’s collective consciousness and see the real behind the slight, the facade.

This happened to Buddha when he came to realisation. That was a transforming experience as was the gradual dawning of Jesus as he took up ‘his Father’s work’. This was so with all the saints and holy men only that their seeing was through the looking glass of their particular culture and interpreted by us under terms likely foreign to their terms and are thus so fraught with error.

This is why we have to see the real for ourselves. We have to clarify the senses, the emotions, the thinking process, by looking at the personal history, the present situation, and thereby open up the future. This is the Second Coming. This is being reborn.

Tony Henderson               email:              Phone: 29840094


bend to the Tao of how things are - nuclear power - NO

Dear Editor,

May I entirely disagree with the writer of “Safe, clean and abundant nuclear power has been proved possible”, June 14, SCMP).

Of course we have to stop burning coal SAP but to replace coal dust deaths with radiation deaths is no solution - and what about the dirty uranium mining? No one can figure radiation-related deaths and disfigurements and the concern remains with the general all-everywhere increases in radiation which are incremental and creeping up, and specific location toxicity after accidents.

Two sources of clean energy that will never run out in our human horizon of Earth-bound life-as-a-species expectancy are: tidal power and geothermal power. These sources can be base-load power generators while solar and wind as renewable sources can usefully fill gaps.

We have the technological means today to engage both these potential energy sources in a fullness more than adequate to sustain our modern lifestyle - so no going back to the Dark Ages at all.

The technology demanded is conventional.

Those “passively safe, integral fast reactors” have inherent problems as the coolant sodium burns in air and reacts with water - explosively when atomised. But Thorium is worth a look at and India is doing just that.

Let’s look at wikipedia:
Weapons-grade fissionable material (233U) is harder to retrieve safely and clandestinely from a thorium reactor; Thorium produces 10 to 10,000 times less long-lived radioactive waste;
Thorium comes out of the ground as a 100% pure, usable isotope, which does not require enrichment, whereas natural uranium contains only 0.7% fissionable U-235; Thorium cannot sustain a nuclear chain reaction without priming, so fission stops by default.

It is also a red herring that “Future human advancement requires vastly increased reliable non-carbon-based global power supplies” - with the problem lying in the words ‘human advancement’.

We have not been advancing as a human race; we are only now becoming more aware of what being human entails and it’s not dependant on unlimited energy sources. Like any living creature the human needs a nurturing environment and the Industrial Age did not provide that.

What looked promising in Europe was called the Renaissance, with the rise in social philosophy and intellectual and literary currents over the period from 1400 to 1650. But we went the way of machines. We are still extricating ourselves and some of us are struggling against de-humanisation.

Until today we have been, speaking generally, killing off our human race and other flora-and-fauna by misuse of energy - so-called cheap energy - and the question is are we to emerge unscathed?  Will we bend to the Tao of how things are instead of diverting waters and damming rivers, disrespectfully forcing things?


R.I.P Osama bin Laden

Hi Carlo,
My personal reaction was, why are people celebrating the death of a man? A man has been killed, not good. This man has many supporters in places where he has been made into a special figure, fighting to get foreign troops out of Saudi Arabia, his homeland. Who can tell the repercussions... Yes, as our Italian humanist friends are saying, there is no justice here, like Saddam Hussein, he should have been tried in an international court and let him and the world understand what his actions entailed, for the people of the world and for himself. Another opportunity has been lost to better grasp why violence is so generalised and State-sanctioned today and those with hidden motives and tricky self-serving responses are kept safe in their heavily fortified industrial-military-governmental strongholds.

Peace, Force and Joy

Tony, chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong


The Humanist - Hong Kong
- among friends of universal humanism,
Number 32 - April 2011

Page 1 -  EDITORIAL - protest demonstration - with the Greens
Page 1 -  Close down all nuclear power generation stations and replace with renewable alternative energy sources
Page 3 -  contact information


Tomorrow, Sunday 24 April, 2011, the Humanist Association of Hong Kong will be participating in the GreenPeace "No Nuclear Expansion for Hong Kong" ( demonstration in Central, Hong Kong. We will join with our affiliated friends from Green Party Hong Kong. A few of us will meet at  Central MTR Exit A, of Worldwide House, at 2:30pm , on Connaught Road.  All members, pals and new friends and interested persons are welcomed to join us.
A couple of us will take the 12 noon Mui Wo to Hong Kong Central ferry and be available for interchange on the issues at the Outlying Islands pier between 1pm and 2pm, look for our Orange-Black flag and say hello. We are looking for new members.

Peace, Force and Joy

PS: for those of you who incidentally receive this and are far, far away, then just view this announcement as distant news.

Letter: Appearing in South China Morning Post
18 April, 2011
Close down all nuclear power generation stations and replace with renewable alternative energy sources

    It is true that using nuclear power to generate electricity does not create greenhouse gases but those stated problems of inherent danger and disposing of the radioactive waste, are not minor, if fact they are huge problems.
    First point is that only by generating energy by means of nuclear power is it possible to have the explosive materials for nuclear weapons making - no nuclear power stations, no nuclear bombs.
    That to our Association is enough to insist closing down all nuclear power generation stations and turn to other means.
    Also, nuclear power stations are soft targets for terrorists.
    A nuclear explosion contaminates the entire planet earth, poisoning everything: the air, the sea the land. There is no escape, for us humans or for all creatures alive today. There is also a danger of gradual ineradicable build-up.
    As radioactivity around us increases, so does negative mutations and cancers. It’s our children and coming generations that we are protecting by leaving the short sighted path of dependence on nuclear power.
    Also, technology today has no solution in sight to safely process nuclear waste into environmentally non-hurtful materials and it has to be restated that the natural detox takes tens of decades and more.

[the next section was edited out but that’s OK as our main message got through - the information came from pal Earthwalker, presently digging in in Patagonia with an earthbag home building project.]

    “We have to see and dig out the facts of the huge investments in the nuclear industry, in each country, which is why the pro lobby is so strong. Just watch the case in Japan!
    The five largest shareholders in TEPCO, owners of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, are: Japan Trustee Services Bank, Ltd; The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited; The Master Trust Bank of Japan, Ltd; Nippon Life Insurance Company; and Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
    This is why the citizen’s of Japan did not read in the local press that 15,000 people were, had, demonstrated at one of the largest anti-nuclear demonstrations ever seen in Japan! Because Big Business and Government own the media and big government and business are heavily invested in nuclear power.”
    Thus the calls for transparency in regard to the Daya Bay plant on our doorstep and gradual substitution of nuclear power by renewable energies and other power sources leading to shutdowns of all nuclear power plants, everywhere in the world.


To read more on our Humanist stance on nuclear weapons and nuclear power go to


Friend Ben held us to task on Lantau Forum doubting our stance in some aspects and we spoke of coal. I place here my reply on coal and to his comments:

Hi Ben,
Re: coal
There is every likelihood that use of coal will be cleaner, much cleaner, but in the future.  In reality this can be done today, to a large extent, the trouble is it’s expensive. As a society we have to understand that in nature there are no ‘free lunches’, so in those societies addicted to cheap energy - what are called the developed economies - they are (we are) going to have to change habits.

When it comes to coal buring, wet scrubbers, or flue gas desulfurization systems, remove sulfur dioxide, a major cause of acid rain, by spraying flue gas with limestone and water.

With what one company has called super critical technology, coal is bunt but the afterburn products are put through an air quality system, a system of filters to clean the emissions so only moist air comes out. Not perfect no doubt but a whole lot less pollutants than these days.

Some clean coal technologies purify the coal before it burns. One type of coal preparation, coal washing, removes unwanted minerals by mixing crushed coal with a liquid and allowing the impurities to separate and settle.

Underground coal gasification is being developed and that will make use of coal less polluting.

Low-NOx (nitrogen oxide) burners reduce the creation of nitrogen oxides, a cause of ground-level ozone. Electrostatic precipitators remove particulates that aggravate asthma and cause respiratory ailments by charging particles with an electrical field and then capturing them on collection plates.

Gasification avoids burning coal altogether. Since IGCC power plants create two forms of energy, they have the potential to reach a fuel efficiency of 50 percent.

Such developments are not paralleled in the field of nuclear energy generation.

All nuclear weapons are made and made possible using bi-products of nuclear power plants - there is no other source. No nuclear power plants - no new nuclear weapons.

Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Re: defending strategic installations... Did you note the 'rebels' in Afghanistan can walk into the army HQ? There is no defense against someone willing to die for a cause... and some people are in those straights owing to loss of family and loved ones and thus, without any meaning in their own life.

Re dangerous mines: Lack of labour rights, of independent unions, mean lack of safety standards; and poverty and lack of alternatives makes men go down into dangerous mines - it's 'a nuisance' but everything has to be tackled at once. The mining companies have to be answerable to their local communities, until that happens it's all Big Brother stuff and out of our control.

That's what the Arab-Muslim revolt is all about - the people are fed up, they've had enough.


Banahaw Park

...of Study and Reflection


Material from this newsletter may be freely reprinted with this attribution: Source: The Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific - or the bylined writer.

TONY HENDERSON - My phone (852) 29840094
G/F, 49 Kau Tsuen, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
E-mail: tonyhen @


13 April, 2011

Nuclear Power - why "NO"

Vera Fan’s letter, “Stick with nuclear power” (SCMP 11 April) appears reasonable and has a good point but about power stations being built in the wrong places. Whether they are safe or not though, that’s another question, and it’s not the only question.

It is true that using nuclear power to generate electricity does not create greenhouse gases but those stated problems of inherent danger and disposing of the radioactive waste, are not minor, if fact they are huge problems.

First point is that only by generating energy by means of nuclear power is it possible to have the explosive materials for nuclear weapons making - no nuclear power stations, no nuclear bombs.

That to our Association is enough to insist closing down all nuclear power generation stations and turn to other means.

Also, nuclear power stations are soft targets for terrorists.

A nuclear explosion contaminates the entire planet earth, poisoning everything: the air, the sea the land. There is no escape, for us humans or for all creatures alive today. There is a danger of gradual ineradicable build-up.

As radioactivity around us increases, so does negative mutations and cancers. It’s our children and coming generations that we are protecting by leaving the short sighted path of dependence on nuclear power.

Also, technology today has no solution in sight to safely process nuclear waste into environmentally non-hurtful materials and it has to be restated that the natural detox takes tens of decades and more.

We have to see and dig out the facts of the huge investments in the nuclear industry, in each country, which is why the pro lobby is so strong. Just watch the case in Japan!

The five largest shareholders in TEPCO, owners of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, are: Japan Trustee Services Bank, Ltd; The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited; The Master Trust Bank of Japan, Ltd; Nippon Life Insurance Company; and Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

This is why the citizen’s of Japan did not read in the local press that 15,000 people were, had, demonstrated at one of the largest anti-nuclear demonstrations ever seen in Japan! Because Big Business and Government own the media and big government and business are heavily invested in nuclear power.

Thus the calls for transparency in regard to the Daya Bay plant on our doorstep and gradual substitution of nuclear power by renewable energies and other power sources leading to shutdowns of all nuclear power plants, everywhere in the world.


Egypt - Congratulations

You did it, you stuck to your intentions. Eighteen days, some downs and ups, but in the end you did it! It's great to see the images of jubilation in the streets - thanks to Al Jazeera. It's goodbye to Maburak and hopefully the System that held him in place.

It's hello to all things new.

Peace, Force and Joy

Tony, speaking for the Humanist Association of Hong Kong

Humanist postscript to the Egyptian revolution

As Palestinian friend Mazin Qumsiyeh stated recently in our columns in regard to Tunisia, “Getting rid of dictators is not enough. Building a civic participatory society is not easy (Europe's enlightenment did not come just from removing a few dictators).” 

He continued with: “People's expectation raised for change will dash against the reality that it will take decades to create systems of governance, accountability, economic justice, etc to allow for unleashing the great potential in the Arab world.”

I would disagree about the time-line. People cannot wait that long. What needs to be done has to happen quickly, harnessing all this unleashed energy. 

Now is the time.

But how?

The powers must revert to the locality, the street, the block, the district, the region; only then can a country be stabilised.

What are called today ‘ the minorities’ - whether culturally ethnic or religious - have to be granted their own space to be what they are, and in parallel, brought into the larger system of government so they can be without those old discriminations.

In one sense yes it is the time for independence, for autonomy of peoples from larger and overwhelming forces but on the other hand, the root cause of that need for separation from the wider fold has to be recognised and if it is a selfishness - because ‘we have the oil’ for example, or ‘we have the fertile lands’, then that is a disqualifier.

Justice will be served by being just, not by revenge or actions based on, ‘now it’s our turn’.

We must surpass the too evident tribalisms.

We must stop the powerful State imposing its strictures on lesser peoples then allowing capital rich companies to plunder the land and seas.

However, a cohesive group’s need for its traditional values and lands have to be respected.

With this forethought in mind there remains to be stated that which our International Humanist Party has continuously espoused, the need for:

the decentralization of political power down to the base of society, extending guarantees of respect for minorities and making effective the principle of equal rights and opportunities for all.

Universal access to free, high quality Education and Healthcare at all levels is the priority for the Party.

To uphold the principle of choice as the concrete political expression of liberty and, thus, it struggles against all forms of authoritarianism and economic, organizational and ideological monopolies.

We consider that all coherent policies must have two basic conditions:

   1. Permanent renovation of juridical and political institutions, based on the idea of the new replacing the old, and

   2. Transparency in the political procedures employed.

Related to the latter, which would be quite an innovation, would be a Law of Political Accountability, making politicians actually carry out their election proposals or they would lose their post!

With these words we continue to wish everyone a Happy Revolution!

Tony Henderson,
Chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong.

Notice One

Latest newsletter  August 2010

see Pressenza for articles on Asia

also Humanize Asia email news list on Tony's personal webpage

Notice Two

Humanist Association of Hong Kong 

chairman Tony Henderson

Letter South China Morning Post

January 17, 2011
Not just hoarding

In many cases food is produced in one place then sent to the nearest big city where it is rechannelled and repacked then returned to that place of origin where it sells at a much higher price.

It’s the middlemen who always take their slice and such middlemen are not a necessary part of the distribution system. That puts the price up.

A local co-operative marketing system controlled by local people with participation of local farmers and wholesalers-retailers could decide to supply locally first with the surplus sent out of their district to supply cities and exports.

It is much more profitable though for a producer to just sell the foodstuff to a ‘major buyer’ and forget such community sentiments.

Thus the spiralling prices because then the speculators come in and play their devastating part on the international commodities market which is a sort of gambling that arbitrates the final cost of foodstuff worldwide.

While big companies hoard foodstuff in a more sophisticated manner by withholding supplies to the international market and releasing same after a threshold price raise to get their undeserved profits, local hoarders play their part too, squeezing that extra dollar out of their poor neighbours.

This is another way whereby the rich get rich and the poor get even poorer.


Nuclear option not acceptable

November 2010

I agree with Gloria Chang, of Greenpeace ("Increasing reliance on nuclear energy is not the answer for HK", November 4) and want to add another reason for not using nuclear energy - its link with nuclear weapons.

We should say no to nuclear power stations and material like plutonium, which is used through special reprocessing as fuel to make terrible bombs.

This, of course, applies to all the nuclear weapons nations, in the first place the United States, but including China.

They are all now upping their nuclear power supply capacities and are therefore all overproducing the very material that goes to make weapons.

The nuclear rationale that because they have them, we also need them, is very dated. It harks back to prehistoric man and clubs. We have to move on and aim to go green and clean.

We must get rid of nuclear weapons and the military sales mentality that sees acceptable profits from equipment and machines that kill and that make money.

Tony Henderson, chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong


Notice Three




Please understand that there is no opening for further works leading to the Disciplines at this time nor can any assurance be given that such will be possible in the near future. The Levelling works though are valuable in their own right to bring about equilibrium and development leading to truly human being.


Since that August newsletter was published the School works have continued and will be closing in January 2011


It is expected that the Humanist Association of Hong Kong will be revamped in early 2011


The Humanist - Hong Kong
- among friends of universal humanism,
Number 31 - August 2010

Page 2 - THE PARKS
Page 4 -  contact information

Let me begin with a newsy quote from "…The theme is when to start the leveling for the fourth group. We will begin it next 14th of August (remember today is the 1st of August). Those who attend will follow in the tracks of the fourth group. The leveling could be shorter; two months. Each disciplinary step is worked for one week. The first quatern is given at the first meeting of the disciplinary process. Once again, we recommend doing these works at the Parks. By mid January 2011 we will have everything assembled. Masters with the works done and elected. Masters are Masters, whether they come from the first, second, or fourth group. And we can do the Final Examination and give the Ascesis with all of them, simultaneously. There we close that entire stage.…"

I like that word ‘recommend’ and it could be that the Levelling works can be given locally, in Hong Kong for instance. In that case expect to hear from me again very soon as the sessions of retreats would than take place in our neighbourhood instead of those interested having to fly off overseas - to nearby Philippines or India closest.

However, it is likely that the work in the Disciplines would entail travel to one our Parks.

In that quote the latter part deals with Masters passing into School, in mid-January, and that means everyone taking the works and accepted are invited, no matter when they completed the Disciplines, last year, before that, or December 2010.

It would be great to get Chinese entering this process and it’s an anomaly that while India is producing healthy numbers of Postulants and Disciples, China has zero to date! How to click with that Chinese mind and that Chinese culture, because, the Buddhist Way is valued, and the Taoist Way, also the Folk Way which is the preponderance of spirituality among the Chinese.

It may simply be a lack of penetration of this message and possibility of doing what the Buddha did, for example. Maybe the parallel is not seen. Maybe enlightenment is placed on that High Shelf, out of reach, as if meant for some Higher Being, some specially endowed personality.

There will not be any political solution to today’s problems unless the person’s wielding political authority are acting out of the best interests of all, the same in economics, the same in all affairs - so what needs attending to primarily?  That very person, or, in my case - me.

How apt this study, this Path. To establish oneself concretely in one’s own life and live according to one’s own dictates, with past transgressions reconciled and with an open future - that’s what’s going to resolve things. With that centre of gravity and a humanly sensitized look the others in our lives are treated as we would like to be treated and all’s well!

That’s where we are going on this spiritual path treaded by some very wonderful personalities who have always beckoned to us to forge our own destinies and play a part in the inherited scheme of things, changing what we will.
Peace, Force and Joy


Registration now taking place until August 14, 2010.
Just get in touch


The Parks
1    Red Bluff    USA    San Francisco   
2    Hudson Valley    USA    New York           
3    La Unión    Colombia    Bogota,Choachi   
4    Montecillo    Bolivia    Cochabamba   
5    Caucaia    Brasil    Sao Paulo   
6    Piribebuy    Paraguay               
7    Manantiales    Chile    Santiago   
8    Punta de Vacas    Argentina    Punta de Vacas   
9    La Reja    Argentina    Buenos Aires   
10    Carcaraña    Argentina    Rosario   
11    Chaco    Argentina    Resistencia   
12    Patagonia Norte    Argentina    Neuquen,Centenario   
13    Toledo    España    Madrid   
14    Attigliano    Italia    Attigliano   
15    Casa Giorgi    Italia    Milan   
16    la Belle Idee    Francia    Paris   
17    Mikebuda    Hungria    Budapest   
18    Berlin    Germany               
19    Kandharoli Ashram    India    Mumbai   
20    Banahaw    Filipinas    Dolores, Quezon   

August 2010

The Parks

The Parks of Study and Reflection are spaces dedicated to the study and reflection about the Human Being and evolutionary possibilities toward a nonviolent world without discrimination of any kind. Here a new sensitivity and the best in ourselves can be expressed.

Centre of Work a place for retreats and personal works

Centre of Study
as a place in which the Works of  the School are developed, here the Masters and Disciples do their practices and studies.




for materials and information

In Hong Kong
We continue to seek a place to use as a Small Hall, in time leading to the establishment of a Centre of Work, a place of some seclusion and quiet, and a place to bring  together people interested in a deeper self-study. Some disused annex of a monastery is ideal and this will help to keep spiritual retreats available for so-inclined people instead of commercial firms buying up those places for use selling urn space at exorbitant prices. Any introductions welcome.
In the quest for the eventual setting up of a Park of Study and Reflection (Hong Kong) the forming of an interest group is now underway.

Material from this newsletter may be freely reprinted with this attribution: Source: The Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific - or the bylined writer.

My phone (852) 29840094
G/F, 49 Kau Tsuen, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
E-mail: tonyhen @


Dear editor, South China Morning Post

(unpublished) 6 May 2010

The columnist Sergei Karaganov writing on Destructive idea of a nuclear-free world, (SCMP May 05, 2010) is showing his ‘set mental form’ in this writing and is a clear example of what happens to a person, a whole group of persons and indeed a certain strata of a society that becomes moribund, nay crystallised.

It is a dangerous condition because people of the Karaganov ilk are in highly paid positions in governments, in multinational privately owned firms, mainstream academia and in the most old guard type military units and are functioning at the will of the today powerful - those who refuse to give up power and who refuse transparency in affairs and any accountability.

So black and white is their thinking and so self-contradictory is their activities that they see a nuclear bomb as a solution leading to peace and arsenals of nuclear bombs as a sure worldwide protective shroud.

The only meritorious sentence in the article is his statement that: “To reject nuclear weapons and strive for their elimination is, no doubt, a moral aim, at least in the abstract. But it is feasible only if humanity changes”. But sadly the he does not believe humanity can change.

Thus he and his fellows are stuck.

Happily, the rest of the world moves on and the increasing momentum of the anti-nuclear activists of all ranks and creeds and colours that are advancing hour by hour prove that people and their demands are changing.

Tony Henderson, chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong


A Wall Far Too Far

For Pressenza International Press Agency

May 4, 2010

Bridges are for communicating, walls are for segregating, and this is all too clear in the wall of apartheid built by Israel in Wad Rahal village, Palestine. “This wall means Israel has in effect confiscated 120 dunams of our village land (a dunam is 1,000 square metres). This has led to the inability of landowners to work in cultivation of crops or livestock,” cries villager Shado Mohmmad, who is also Coordinator of the Division of Resistance to the Wall in the city of Bethlehem.

Wad Rahal replants olive trees while Israeli forces attack!

On March 30, 2010, Israeli forces shut down a day of voluntary work in this southern Bethlehem village of Wad Rahal: “The day was organized by the Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy, to replant uprooted olive trees that was damage done in works related to that nearby Israeli settlement of Efrat and for the construction of a dividing Wall,” explains Shado Mohmmad. “Israeli soldiers beat several of the volunteers who were helping in the planting. It was the occasion of Palestinian Land Day.”

At the time participants held banners declaring against the occupation and in support of the 32nd anniversary of Land Day.

Land Day is seen as a pivotal event in the struggle over land and in the relationship of Arab citizens to the Israeli state and body politic. It holds significance in that it was the first time since 1948 that Arabs in Israel organized a response to Israeli policies as a Palestinian national collective. Today it is an important annual day of commemoration in the Palestinian national political calendar, it is marked not only by Arab citizens of Israel, but by Palestinians all over the world.

The banners used on that day also highlighted the decision in the Hague against the Wall - by the International Court of Justice, principal judicial organ of the United Nations.

The advisory opinion was given on 9 July 2004 under the title: Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. “The Court finds that the construction by Israel of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and its associated régime are contrary to international law.”

The legal consequences arising from that illegality were stated:

A - ... contrary to international law”;

B. Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law;  it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall ... to dismantle forthwith the structure”;

C. Israel is under an obligation to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem”;

D. All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction;... to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law”;

E. The United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated régime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.”

Participants in the protest reported that guards from the Efrat Settlement surrounded the volunteers. Soldiers fired at Wad Rahal school children who had started throwing stones.

For its part, sources from the Palestinian Centre said all efforts are geared toward the 2004 International Court of Justice ruling against the Wall in hopes that it will some day be honoured via the United Nations Security Council.

In brief, the ruling stated that the Wall must be removed and that Palestinians must be compensated for their losses.

The Palestinian Centre for Peace and Democracy (PCPD) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation inspired by the principle that the future of Palestine lies in an independent democratic state in which there is full respect for human rights, acknowledgement of the importance of freedom of expression and assembly, recognition of every human's innate right to participate in governance and a vibrant civil society as stipulated in the Palestinian Declaration of Independence of 1988.

“Respect for human rights, tolerance towards each other, participation by all, accountability and the rule of law are the pillars upon which our Centre's work is founded, ended Shado Mohmmad. ““We welcome anyone who wants to support the Palestinian people to come to visit Palestine and see the situation and how the villages suffer such a lot due to the presence of the wall that separates the Palestinians and Israelis.”

Writers: shado mohmmad -, and Tony Henderson

Ban on Iranian women footballers
22 April 2010

Our association would like to point out the contradictory actions of  Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in the organisation at first inviting the Iranian women’s team to take part in the 2010 Youth Summer Olympics, Singapore, then, unexpectedly, deciding to forbid wearing the hijab (Islamic head covering) in the games.

Had no one seen them play?

There are two opposing forces at work in today’s world, the one relating to increasing globalization, standardisation, privatisation, and cultural domination by majority populations or power-holders, as against planetisation, cultural and religious diversity, regionalisation and socialised services and a will to go beyond tolerance to real acceptance of differences according to the ‘others’ likes and dislikes.

President of Iran Football Federation Ali Kafashian has pointed out to FIFA that due to religious beliefs the Iranian women team will participate in the competitions only if they are allowed to observe the Islamic dress code. The hijab is related to Islamic culture and many Muslim women can't take part in social activities without it and due to religious beliefs the Iranian women team will participate in the competitions only if they are allowed to observe the Islamic dress code.

It’s really a case of freedom of choice, any dress-coded sisterhood of nuns would also be hard put to get a team together under these rules. What’s next, a ban on footballers with beards because they are clearly Al Qaeda-Taliban linked?

In praise of Elsie Tu's views on democracy

Feb 27, 2010    

Those correspondents like Angus Hardern who have doubts about Elsie Tu's views ("Writer has changed tune", February 22) need to dig a bit deeper into what she means.

Sure, the pan-democrats in the by-elections are trying to achieve a major upset and they are going out on a limb. However, Hong Kong is far from ready for radical change.

It is a safe place in many ways. Our latest demonstrations by the so-called post-1980s generation indicate a healthy undercurrent of dissent, but that is all.

Universal suffrage is an outcome rather than a prerequisite in any democracy, and Mrs Tu is absolutely correct in saying that political enthusiasts in Asia and Africa are abusing the elements that go towards the make-up of a democracy. They have the money or the military in their pockets, then get the media and hey presto, get the presidency.

This is because the masses lack political education and are still divided into tribes and factions.

These people who clamber to the top repress minorities in their countries. In a democracy, minority rights are respected. That is where proportional representation comes in.

In an interesting way, Hong Kong under its present system brings this proportionality into play. In practical terms, the layers of representation organised by the Communist Party are working. It is not the worst system in the world, as those with the loudest voices are saying when they demand earlier democracy.

The people of Hong Kong are ready for full democracy, but the political parties still do not play by the rules and are still driven by personalities. That has to change.

I hope Elsie Tu will continue to share her wisdom with us.

We have the media and we have the freedom to express a diversity of views without the threat of getting "bumped off in the night".

We should be thankful for the independent judicial system, the independent media and the stalwart police force.

Tony Henderson, chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong


Interview with Hugo Novotny: "In the Parks of Study and Reflection many issues are being worked on."

We have been talking to Hugo Novotny about the Parks of Study and Reflection and what is being lived in them by those who do the work of levelling, as well as those who develop a process in one of the four disciplines: the material discipline, the energetic discipline, the mental discipline and morphological discipline.

Image by: Rafael Edwards
The World March at Punta de Vacas Park, Argentina

Punta de Vacas,

Why is it called a Park of Study and Reflection? What is being studied and reflected upon? What do you do there and why have you built Punta de Vacas Park in the middle of the mountains?

Punta de Vacas Park of Study and Reflection, is one of many - presently 21 - similar parks that are already in use in different countries and continents. There the works of the Communities of Silo's Message and of members of the Humanist Movement are developed, works that are related to the coherent development of the human being as well as works that allow the achievement of states of profound inspiration, states that allow us to gradually create the best conditions for the emergence of a new, truly human and non-violent civilization.

All this is being developed through meetings, seminars, retreats, and gatherings, which take place in the Centre of Work located next to the portal which marks the entrance to the park. This Centre of Work is also where the activities of the various organisms of the Humanist Movement and the Communities of Silo's Message in relation to the personal development of their members take place, as well as activities of levelling open to all persons interested in postulating for the works of school.

The works of school, directly linked to achieving states of profound inspiration, are developed in the Centre of Studies which is located behind the Sacred Mount and facing the source of the Mendoza river.

This Park of Study and Reflection has a very special relationship with the landscape that frames it. The fact of being located at the intersection of three great mountain ranges and near to the source of a river, are things that, as many know, make it a highly inspiring place with a special energy.

Each person, once they have completed the levelling work, can choose the discipline that most resonates with their inner world. The energetic, mental, morphological or material disciplines are all ways to access those profound inner spaces where we encounter the Unnameable and all existence becomes Meaningful.

Precise and comprehensive information about the four disciplines can be found at the website, as well as information on the previous work of levelling, registration for which is open until late December, 2010. The only requirement for participation is to be 18 years of age at the time of registration.

How does one register? Simply send an email to the following address: You will receive a return mail containing a link where you can enter your personal data to complete the registration process.

Inscriptions can also be made on the websites of the various parks of Study and Reflection, which as we have already said are presently located in 21 different countries.

For more information write to

[additional note on the Parks:]

Banawa Park (Philippines):

Khandaroli Park (India): (use general email address for the moment, or

Montecillo Park (Cochabamba, Bolivia): nivelacionparquemontecillo @

Carcarañá Park (Rosario, Argentina):

Parque Punta de Vacas (Mendoza, Argentina):

Park Chaco (Chaco, Argentina):

Parque La Reja (Buenos Aires, Argentina):

Park North Patagonia (Neuquén, Argentina):

Manantiales Park (Chile), through the website:

Piribebuy Park (Paraguay):

Caucaia Park (Brazil):

La Union Park (Colombia):

Red Bluff Park (United States) through the website:

Park Toledo (Spain):

Aloasí Park (Ecuador), through the website:

Attigliano Park (Italy):

Holit Park (Israel) through the website:

Marracuene Park (Mozambique), through the website:

La Belle Idee Parc (France):

Casa Giorgi Park (Italy):

Mikebuda Park (Hungary):

Pressenza, an international news agency dedicated to news about peace and nonviolence with offices in Milan, Rome, London, Paris, New York, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Santiago and Hong Kong. Find out who we are and get in touch with us.


The Humanist Association of Hong Kong

This article telling of the methodology of the Humanist Movement and thereby the Humanist Association of Hong Kong, appeared in the South China Morning Post column titled The Third Way.

Date: 23 May 2005

"Love the reality you build"

The above title is the slogan Bangladesh member Kasim incorporated into the clocks he had manufactured in Old Dhaka in his attempt to combine fund raising for his Humanist Movement activities while pushing our universalist humanism message in that handy format - the words come from the South America-born founder, pen-named Silo, from his early writing, The Inner Look.

We have an anti-System stance and for us the System is not just on the level of government, but capitalism generally, and the competitive struggle that pits everyone against everyone. What we are really against is the anti-humanism of the System. Of course there are good things there, those things that work and are useful including many good people involved. It’s a primary target though because we need to combat the hypnosis it provokes that sucks us in, that entrances what is human and free in us and curtails our open-ended heritage, our human future.

Our demand that core (structural) members are active and really do things means we get few takers. People want to come to meetings to talk, to express their precious opinions. Boring. Let’s take up an issue or launch a project. I will take a role, you take a role, and let’s do it with personal autonomy not waiting for instructions. We work with orientors not leaders. We give guidelines not orders. It’s no good for protractors or mere intellectuals - unless they want to break those forms of resistance and mechanicalness.

Going to Bangladesh to build a team was a revelation for me because there people took notice of our message: placement of the human being as the central value, non-discrimination, co-operative systems and processes, freedom and rejection of violence.

In Hong Kong it is as if everyone is content with their lot. Few takers. Is it the materialism or the high value given to pragmatism? Possibly the message just does not resonate.

In Bangladesh an early result was shown by another member, Rana, in the small town of Bagerhat. He studied in Hong Kong for a while and joined our Humanist Association in its Chung King Mansions dimension. On his return to Bangladesh he got his pals together and set up the Humanist Association of Bagerhat.

After I received his informative letter I journeyed across there and met ‘the gang’. They assembled in tea houses and certainly had plans. They asked for support money and I explained we are not a charity and not even an NGO as we are absolutely volunteers. In fact they had to pay one US dollar each six months to be a structural member.

Undeterred they launched their project. Today (just under ten years later) their established activities of their duly registered organisation is: Blood Donation Club, Rickshaw Project - 9 rickshaws so far given to families who pay-back the interest-free purchase cost SAP ***, a micro-credit Self Reliance project, Education Support for pupils by obtaining money from local businessmen, and now a small school is under construction for those who cannot afford schooling. In June 2004 our humanist executive committee member Milon won a seat in the local elections for the municipal ward of Saltala. They did all this themselves.

Though the Humanist Movement is not a political movement if a member goes into politics and abides by our principals, fine. That will humanize politics. In business it is the same despite that we are not a commercial organisation. Having a particular belief or dis-belief is not a barrier just don’t sell that at our meetings!

This planet really needs us. There are many very good organisations and we just want to make our contribution as well. We hit a different spot. It is not what we do but how we do it that is different. Humanize what is inside while humanizing the outside, our society, this is the way we work. We have a spiritual dimension. We seek personal liberation in this life. To be free as a human being. To seek our own immortality in whichever way you or I may see that.


Further note: The Rickshaw Project, where a new rickshaw is given to a family with the proviso that they pay back its purchase cost in as short a time as possible. This is done by the operator (usually the father) calling in to the HAB office regularly with a percentage of the week's or day's takings and usually takes one year. Then the money is used to buy another and the act repeated. Nine have so far been introduced into local society using this way of funding-payback.



Tony Henderson, Chairman, Humanist Association of Hong Kong

G/F, 49 Kau Tsuen, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 29840094


Web page:


above photo our friends at Khandroli Ashram 17 April 2010


The Universal Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific
- among friends of universal humanism Vol II, Number 29 - March 2010
Page 2 -  Present Stage - the works in the various Parks of Study and Reflection
Page 3 -  The Parks
Page 4 -  contact information
This is the first in a new series of these newsletters pertaining to Universalist Humanism. Here we narrow our focus and leave off from the political-social, and environmental as those avenues of activism can be followed on the lists of the respective Organisms: the Community, Humanist Party, Convergence of Cultures, World Without Wars, World Center of Humanist Studies, and the International Press Agency - Pressenza. See the link to the Humanist Movement below to get details of the Organisms.
Lantau Forum was established as a means of communications among those interested in Islands Affairs in an attempt to get people away from having exclusive groupings and limited circulation of news because that limits the dissemination of information and sense of community.  If one of our readers of the Lantau Forum wants to take over as administrator, just get in touch.
The Hong Kong Node of the Asia-Pacific Humanist Forum will cease, having achieved its purpose, and anyone can set up a like service according to their wish.
My distribution of information under the head of Humanize Asia will continue for a while on the Humanize Asia - Topica - channel.
I have a blog, but not sure to what extent I will be updating it, time will tell:
We continue to seek a place to use as a Centre of Work (for preliminary studies of Levelling that can lead to the option of the studies of Disciplines of School), a place of some seclusion and quiet, and a place to bring  together people interested in a deeper self-study. Some disused annex of a monastery is ideal and this will help to keep spiritual retreats available for so-inclined people instead of commercial firms buying up those places for use selling urn space at exorbitant prices. Any introductions welcome.
Note: the date for deciding to enter into the formalities of this study has been extended to 20 March 2010 and all you need do is turn up at one of the Parks of Study and Reflection - you can still email to:
but turning up will suffice.
The Levelling studies are being held in two Parks in Asia, one in the Philippines and one in India.
The development of an interest group concerned with achieving a world, a neighbourhood, and a consciousness of non-violence is a priority now among our immediate friends and anyone wishing to know more about this avenue of contact with our deeper more profound aspirations and feelings may go to the following website:
Peace, Force and Joy


the organisms of the Humanist Movement



The works in the various Parks of Study and Reflection

In the previous newsletters information was circulated that was quite formal but that is necessary because interpretations at this early stage can be troublesome. However, I now propose to speak about the Levelling and the Discipleship from my point of view, or, in a more general way as a more friendly introduction because, some people are new to these possibilities.
Mis-communication causes a lot of the problems in this world, always has done of course but today, with the general complexity and global interchanges, we have on the one hand great opportunities and on the other, problems of confrontations among cultures, ideologies and entire peoples.
How to start to work to overcome all that, and, personally, to stop all the mess penetrating to my life, the life of my family and friends, my community and the place where we live?
Self-knowledge has to be part of the way forward. At the same time, having an appreciation of, some understanding of, the world we live in is equally important. Studying oneself in the personal predicament of this life brings the two worlds of the internal and external into one, and that’s our reality.
If we can see clearly then we can handle this reality but if our seeing is clouded by prejudice, by bias, by a problematic biography, by daily economic pressures, by handicaps, by a lack of freedoms, then it’s not possible to see clearly, to feel clearly, to act cleanly.
Then the tendency is to compensate or to resort to mind-mood altering intakes to make it all go away and we know that does not solve the problem but it seems to lighten the load somewhat.
That’s ok on festival days or party days celebrating some special occasion but not on a daily basis when the various chores and responsibilities need attention. Sobriety is an amazing antidote when it comes to a reassessment and refurbishment of one’s life. At least to sort out priorities and directions.
Given the above, these works of Levelling are offered - the tools and techniques we use and offer to those who want to go deeper into what can only be termed the meaning of life, “what does it all mean?”
Levelling in our case is the effort to produce a body of people who have a common understanding of what constitutes themselves and that have a common manner of expressing themselves to grant clear exchanges among them - as we work in groups, not by ourselves on an individual basis. To work in a group we see as of paramount importance.
Following the Levelling, we can chose to enter a Discipline: in simple terms categorized as: Material, Energy, Mental, or Forms. From that nice, friendly, communicative level plateau we plan to launch ourselves into a deeper understanding of our universe and our place in our universe. This deepens our grasp on our reality and the transcendent reality - that which goes beyond our tiny significance.
Thus we enter the Discipline of choice. It’s a way of delving deeper. These are ancient ways revived, our ways as bequeathed by Silo and friends that explore the present complexity and that shows a way through. There are other Ways.
Active non-violence is fundamental to our Way, placing the human being as the central value is another core principle, as is non-discrimination, co-operation and freedom.

The Parks

The Parks of Study and Reflection are spaces dedicated to the study and reflection about the Human Being and their evolutionary possibilities toward a nonviolent world without discrimination of any kind. Here a new sensitivity and the best in ourselves is expressed.

Centre of Work
as a place for  retreats and personal works

Centre of Study
as a place in which the Works of  the School are developed, here the Masters and Disciples do their practices and studies.


Our latest news on the activity front is the Park at Banahaw in the Philippines which provides an opportunity to bring the studies and the work closer to all living in Asia. This Park is in addition to the Park at Kandhroli, near Mumbai.
These are places where like-intentioned individuals form into co-operating groups that further their own self-studies and initiate activities relevant to the Asia situation, at this time particularly addressing areas of conflict and contradiction. We do this with a light touch, keeping away from any severity or fanaticism and indeed allowing the essential joyousness of the free’d human being to flow into society as it should.
The new Postulants meetings at the Parks start at 8am and end at 8pm, only one day... a long way to travel? Putting it in context, there’s the excitement of planning a trip and chatting with friends new and old while deciding, arranging meeting places, means of travel, accommodation for the previous and following nights. All of that. It’s part of the fun and of the Way.
This little adventure can take you out of your usual context with all those daily demands and acts as an eye opener and refresher that lets light into the usual routine, bringing a larger world into one’s life. You meet other people and cultures - even those who travel within their own country, as, often as not, the various regions have their own languages and manners. We meet on the grounds of our common humanity and like-intentions.

In all our activities it is quickly learned that a passive stance doesn’t work. Actively helping whatever-wherever brings an engaged energy flow, actually, a happiness, that somehow overcomes what would ordinarily be a nuisance-chore... It’s exciting. We say yes to life in its changes - and jump in!



Contact us:
Material from this newsletter may be freely reprinted with this attribution: Source: The Universal Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific - or the bylined writer.

TONY HENDERSON, editor/correspondent
My phone (852) 29840094
G/F, 49 Kau Tsuen, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
E-mail: tonyhen @
My personal Web page:



Walking Hong Kong to the Water
Tony Henderson
a Hong Kong humanist’s story
updated to 2010
download in PDF format from:


The Universal Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific
- among friends of universal humanism Vol II, Number 28 - February 2010

Page 2 -  An Important Message
Page 3 -  Notes regarding restructuring of the Humanist Movement
Page 4 -  Opening of School
Page 4 -  First Round of Levelling Works, for 2009
Page 4 -  Works of levelling for Postulants to the School
Page 5 -  THE SCHOOL
Page 6 -  Centers of Studies: for the Masters and the Disciplines
Page 6 -  Goodbye Silo - Hello Silo
Page 7 -  The process of the School in the present moment
Page 7 -  Massive Final Act of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence
Page 7 -  PRESSENZA - IPA, International News Press Agency
Page 9 -  E-zine contact information

This is the last in this series of newsletters and in the future the Topica email list will return to more active use and this will be ‘on my own bat' as the other lists pertaining to the Humanist Movement proper have gone their various ways according to the respective organism.
The Lantau Forum will take on a Greener Hue, besides attending to local Island affairs while the Hong Kong Node of the Asia-Pacific Humanist Forum will carry Hong Kong-Asia-Pacific information furthering the Humanize the Earth project. The Asia-Pacific Humanist Forum list will be placed ‘in Limbo' for the time being until the reconstituted Humanist organisations and affiliates are federated as per the general plan.
If any organisation or country list wants to link up here then simply email details.
It is hoped that we can add at least two Chinese persons to our executive committee of the Humanist Association of Hong Kong as early as possible in 2010. Please consider this role and become active - the more the merrier so do not hesitate.
We continue to seek a place to use as a Centre of Work, a place of some seclusion and quiet, a place where there can be separate facilities for the Masters and Disciples - two buildings or a large enough building that can be so allocated. Lantau would be ideal.
Those wanting to study a Discipline need to carry out the works of Levelling this year. The body of this newsletter will give a full account of what is intended in the endeavour and the final date of registration is: 28 February 2010 - email to:
The Levelling studies are being held in two places in Asia, Philippines and India, in our Parks of Study and Reflection.
If you have further questions or need some clarification about this matter, simply get in touch with me, and we can 'take a coffee'.
The development of a Community of the Message is a priority now among our immediate friends and anyone wishing to know more about this avenue of contact with our deeper more profound aspirations and feelings may go to the following website:

Peace, Force and Joy

An Important Message

The  Humanist Movement
(a circular regarding the Humanist Movement in the present moment)

... "What is the humanist movement today?  Is it perhaps a refuge in the face of the general crisis of the system in which we live? Is it a sustained critique of a world that is becoming more dehumanized day by day? Is it a new language and a new paradigm, a new interpretation of the world and a new landscape? Does it represent an ideological or political current, a new aesthetic, a new scale of values? Is it a new spirituality, destined to redeem subjectivity and diversity through concrete action? Is the Movement perhaps the expression of the struggle in support of the dispossessed, the abandoned, and the persecuted? Or is it a manifestation of those who feel the monstrosity inherent in human beings not having the same rights and the same opportunities?
The Movement is all that and much more. It is the practical expression of the ideal of humanizing the Earth and the aspiration of moving towards a Universal Human Nation. It is the seed of a new culture in this civilization that is becoming planetary, and which will have to change its course, accepting and valuing diversity and giving equal rights and identical opportunities to all human beings, because of the dignity that they deserve by the simple fact of their having been born.
The Humanist Movement (HM) is the external manifestation of the profound changes that are taking place in the interior of the human being and that are history itself: tragic, disconcerting, but always growing. It is a small voice, which foretells what is to come beyond the human being we have known. It is a poem and a rainbow of diverse colours. It is a David facing an insolent Goliath. It is the softness of water against the hardness of rock. It is the strength of the weak: a paradox and a Destiny.
My friends, even when we do not immediately achieve the results that we have hoped for, this seed exists already, and awaits the arrival of the times that are to come.
For all, from heart to heart, the fervent desire for this coming social change and the hope for this silent transformation which, beyond all compulsion, beyond all impatience, beyond all violent aspiration, beyond all guilt and all feelings of failure, is already nesting in the intimate depths of many humanists."
The Humanist Movement is a collection of people who participate in the proposals of New Humanism, also known as Universalist Humanism.  These proposals, in their broadest sense, can be found shaped in the Document of the Humanist Movement.
This current of thought that is presented in the works of Silo and in those of the diverse authors who are inspired by it also implies a sentiment and a way of living, taking shape in multiple fields of human endeavor, giving rise to diverse organisms and action fronts; all of them applied to their specific fields of activity with the common aim: to Humanize the Earth.  In themselves they have in common the methodology of Active Nonviolence and the proposal for personal change as a function of social transformation.
The HM appeared on the 4th of May, 1969 with a public presentation by its founder, Silo, known as the " Healing of Suffering", in a mountainous outpost in the Andes called Punta de Vacas, close to the border of Argentina and Chile.
The HM is not an institution even though it gives rise to numerous groups and organizations.
The  organisms that have emerged from the HM until now are the Humanist Party, the Community for Human Development, Convergence of Cultures, World without Wars and without Violence and the World Center for Humanist Studies.
Even if these organisms have specific organizational forms that allow them to carry out their activities, the HM itself has no type of organization and constitutes an ambit of convergence and interchange for members of the different organisms.
The activities that are developed by those who participate in the HM will depend on their free initiative.
Among the materials the HM counts on are:
-    Document of the Humanist Movement
-    Manual of Personal Development for members of the Humanist Movement. Center of Studies, Punta de Vacas Park, 2009 -    Collected Works, Silo, Volume I and II.
-    Psychology Notes
-    Humanism (extract of the audiovisual production "Silo's Commentaries" – 2008)

Notes regarding  restructuring of the Humanist Movement
(from Punta de Vacas)

We are not eliminating the Humanist Movement; we are restructuring it, as has occasionally happened throughout our process according to the needs of the moment.
The Movement in its conception includes everything (organisms and action fronts).
Every person who joins an organism, by this very fact, is part of the Movement. 
The Movement constitutes the ambit of convergence and interchange of the members of the different organisms. The Movement in itself does not count on any organizational forms: no councils, levels, functions (orientors, supports and administratives), financial collections or planned activities.  In this way any double organization will disappear, eliminating overlaps.
The activities carried out will depend solely on the free initiative of the people who participate in the HM.
Our interest is to encourage participation in all the organisms, but also someone who does not have a liking for any organism can participate just in the Movement. The most important thing is that those who participate in an organism have a real internal commitment to it.  It is good that those who do not participate in an organism do not try to influence it.
Some apparatuses acting from the Movement could remain, without participating in any organism, such as for example the Pressenza news agency, and publishing or video production teams, as well as those who look after the Movement's websites with links to the Organisms.  It's also recommended that until January [2010] the function carried out by the General Coordinator Delegate be maintained, as this function is the one coordinating the International Team of the World March.
With the interest of not affecting the activities of the World March, from September, a new international list of the WM will be created; open to all those interested, independently of which organism they are in.  In different countries similar lists could also be created.  These lists will fulfill, as a priority, the function of allowing all the information we are interested in to circulate.
This new list will allow the existing lists related to the previous organization of the HM to be replaced (councils, sectors, coordination bodies and assembly).  It is suggested not to eliminate any of the current lists until the lists of the organisms are functioning.  For that we will give ourselves a timescale of one month.
We also propose the creation of an international website that contains the basic documents of the HM in various languages with links to the International sites of each of the 5 organisms.
The Spokespersons will continue in their functions until the 2nd of January and their contact lists will be maintained to synchronize the declarations and opinions that are sent out regarding the World March.
With the aim of generating a good new condition of origin, it will be opportune that the Promotion Teams or Committees give themselves appropriate functions as soon as possible.  We are talking about the immediate implementation of the new stage.


From: Center of Studies Punta de Vacas November 2, 2008

Opening of the School

In this moment, the School's doors are open.

This opening is not only for those who applied before but also for new people who wish to apply to one of the four Disciplines.
Those interested may express their desire to participate to one of the Masters who will register their names so they can be contacted in case their application is accepted.
For this application, no prerequisites will apply other than being of legal age.
Applicants may come from the Movement, the Message, or any other ambit.

On behalf of the School,
Eduardo Gozalo


First Round of Levelling Works for 2009

Date received: December 2008
Dear friends, On January 24, 2009, from 8 am to 8 pm, the first meeting with all the Postulants to the works of the Disciplines will take place.
This meeting will held simultaneously in all the Parks for Study and Reflection - Punta de Vacas, Manantiales, La Reja, Red Bluff, Toledo, Attigliano and Kandharoli Ashram. Also in Dakar, Senegal and in San Jose, Costa Rica.
The Postulants can attend the meeting at any of these places.
We remind you that the deadline for Postulating to the Disciplines is January 17th and only those who have applied by then can attend.
A big hug,
On behalf of the School,
Tomy Hirsch


Works of  levelling for Postulants to the School

Vision of the  School
Since ancient times there have existed procedures capable of carrying people to exceptional states of consciousness in which the greatest amplitude and mental inspiration is juxtaposed with the dulling of the normal faculties. Those altered states have similarities with dreams, drunkenness, some forms of intoxication and dementia. Frequently the production of these anomalies was associated with personal and animal "entities" or perhaps natural "forces" that were manifested precisely in those special mental landscapes.
As the importance of those phenomena began to be understood, explanations and techniques were honed with the intention of giving direction to processes that, in principle, were out of control. Already in historical times mystical schools in diverse cultures (frequently in the shadow of religions) developed that practiced their particular ways of accessing the Profound. Even today, in the material culture, in myths, legends and literary productions, one can recognize fragments of conceptions, as well as group and individual practices, that were very advanced for the times in which these people lived.

The Period of Levelling
The interest of these works of Levelling, which will last six months, is focussed on attaining a basic uniformity of comprehension and language. We are speaking of preparatory works of the School. This period of Levelling does not imply any commitment. Those dedicated to these works are not undertaking any commitment and neither is the School.

The Form of Work
We wish to stress that there will not be individual follow up. Rather only general orientation will be given to those who are working alone or in small groups. Some may wish to hold retreats at the Centers of Work in the Parks, or in places where there are no parks. However, these activities will be done without instructors



The School is taking shape gradually, silently, with more presence felt in our activities. The School  is a group of people - replacing/raising the level of consciousness of the members, of humanity in general. There are different types of methods to do this, different disciplines, depending upon different criteria. Discipline is to go deep into the consciousness, to get in touch with oneself, through different practices to get  in touch with the profound. The main subjects of School are the activities that go in favour of overcoming pain and suffering.
Masters are prepared thorough  Discipline. A  Master means a process has been completed, and one becomes a Master of a Discipline when one has certain experience. In getting in touch with the profound, one has raised some level of consciousness and is in a position to steer someone else to complete a Discipline.
A Master of a Discipline is a Master only in that Discipline, who can guide others, to follow that Discipline and to complete it, as per certain guidelines/patterns/steps. He-she is not  a person with paranormal powers - not  levitating – not with supra-normal powers. This is never the case of Discipline Masters. A Master is not supposed to know Astral physics, or any such subjects or all subjects. A Master means some experience, exposure to the topics of a particular Discipline. In short a Master is not the Master of the world, of all knowledge, etc, but a Master, when in the Humanist Movement, is just one more member of the Humanist Movement. He-she is not entitled to orient the activities of the Humanist Movement by virtue of being a Master. In the Humanist Movement he-she is as per his-her level attained in the activities of the Humanist Movement or Community of Silo's message. Masters are not another level on top of the Humanist Movement.
Those who have postulated for the Disciplines will help one other in the levelling work for preparation to Discipline, will participate in an Organism of the Movement or The Community of Silo's Message.
The School will become a reference to the gaining of world peace and will work in the immediate future for the World March getting fully involved.
The primary concern of the School is the quality of the Masters. They will study and practice the internal work recommended and will participate in the activities of the Movement/Message.
The target  - 1000 masters in next few years, from different cultures/areas of the globe.
To accommodate 1000 Masters we need Centers of Study (COS) physical places where the School will met and carry out their specialized works that is good for human kind. Any Master can go to any COS (Now the Parks are renamed as COS).
Today, the COS is the main priority, where the specialized works, internal works, can  be done. All over the world the COS facilitates this, this is the priority, the Hall is next, the COS - where 12/14 people can stay and do their work. We can have the Hall, Fountain, Monolith etc later. Parks are not the only bridging point among all of us everywhere. There are official websites for all materials:
It is suggested that we visit this site regularly to see new things that are posted from time to time.
Warning to those who Postulated for Discipline: those who don't attend on 30 May one-day retreat will be out of Discipline. A special consideration was given to those who missed the 24th January retreat but there will be no consideration for the next one.
Each participant has to give a report: a file in writing (Typed) or electronically (CD-DVD).
For the Humanist Movement, at least for the next 1 year, the World March campaign is very important. All the points mentioned are very much current and are of utmost importance. It is a good opportunity (like that of 1981 mission), to do a global mobilization at this turning point and the World March is an opportunity. It is also very easy to reach people and to have them agree to our proposals.
We can reach millions easily, positively, and quickly and in this way our proposals will reached those millions - they all will agree - this is our opportunity to associate the Humanist Movement with one of the best causes that the human being can have - World Peace. We can positively effect with good media, reach many people otherwise out of our reach. It is bringing all of us, the different councils with different styles to a common point of doing things together – and this is a positive point for us.
In '80-'81 - The Mission of the 80s: we came together on a common activity, with common material, common ideas and we got the best results. It was a turning point for us and all those who participated. This campaign will be the same but on a much wider scale. Once we become influential with this campaign, we will have other messages. - So the World March will be a platform for contacting, building and  influencing, in the times to come.

Centers of Studies: for the Masters and the Disciplines

Parks are responsibilities of the School, Communities of Silo's Message, and Humanist Movement.
The retreats, the   Center of Works, and the Centers of Studies will be carried out at the Parks.
For the Centers of Work, Centers of Studies we require 3 rooms, 4 members per room, with attached baths, (2 or 3 tier beds) we can do things as per local suitability of our situation.
We now have Parks every where. We will have new parks as COS. This fits our overall process, not just the Humanist Movement but also the School, because the 1000 Masters will need places for their works in the near future.
People who want to take benefits from the likes of the Discipline, Message and the Movement should contribute towards their proposed activities. So also those who have postulated should contribute towards the Park, take functions regarding the Parks and the World March. Like this, all those who come forward, should be informed on what they can do for our action.
Those who want to be part of School, have to be involved in the actions/interests of School.


Goodbye Silo - Hello Silo

Dear friends,
I have just received through Claudie and Pau the works of the various commissions and groups that were formed in order to define the Re-structuration of the Humanist Movement and its five organisms: The Community for Human Development, the Humanist Party, the World Center of Humanist Studies, the Convergence of Cultures and World without Wars and without violence.
These works regarding the Movement and the Organisms, respond perfectly to what was sought for regarding the spirit and the form of the Re-structuration.
With these materials the proposed task is completed. From this moment the new stage begins to be put in order.
For my part, I believe I have fulfilled the function of orientation and, therefore, it is in this precise moment I leave my duties and entrust them to the founding committees and to the formations recommended in the Appendix of the Humanist Movement, to rapidly bring Universalist Humanism to a new scale in its historic process.
With an affectionate hug, to all of you I say goodbye.
Center of Studies, Punta de Vacas 
August 31, 2009


The   process of the School in the present moment

"Those who wish to pursue this process will register with the School before the 28th of February 2010. If they are accepted, they will begin their work with a first meeting on Saturday the 20th of March. They will continue with a second meeting on Saturday the 19th of June, concluding this stage of meetings on Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th of September. Those wishing to enter the School remain in a period of 'waiting and reflection'. If this proves to be the case they will need to choose a Discipline and begin their work as Apprentices with 2 hours of work every Saturday until their mentors consider them in conditions to participate as Disciples. When the Disciples successfully conclude their disciplinary process and the activities suggested by their mentors, they may present themselves for an 'examination of work'. With this, the 'second round' of 2010 will be completed."
On the 20th of March 2010 the second round of works of Levelling will begin.
Those interested in these works can register, as of now, and before February 28th.


With this round, the process, which has contemplated the work of two rounds, will close for a long time.
All of the works of School will be carried out in the Parks.


Massive  Final Act of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence
Pressenza IPA
Punta de Vacas, 2 January 2010
After travelling 200 thousand kilometres, the international team of the World March arrived today, January 2, at the Parks of Study and Reflection (Punta de Vacas) in Argentina. Close to 20,000 people heard the representatives of the World March from Chile, Argentina, India, Italy, the Philippines, Spain and England that circled the globe calling for nuclear disarmament.
The final destination of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence was the Parks of Study and Reflection (Punta de Vacas), located in the mountains on the border between Chile and Argentina.
This first World March has been "the largest manifestation for the Peace and Nonviolence in history and the first at a planetary scale," according to its coordinators. Those gathered for the event heard from the activists who have travelled the globe spreading the March`s message.
At 18 hours   Rafael de la Rubia, the international spokesperson for the initiative, began his testimony: "This March is a demonstration effect, building upon other great transformative actions of humanity." The event was held in the same place where the March was launched in November 2008, in the Symposium of the World Center of Humanist Studies.
Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in the March, as have more than three thousand organizations and a group of almost 100 marchers, forming different base teams that carried out four distinct routes: Intercontinental, Middle East, the Balkans, and Southeast Africa. In their trajectory they passed through more than 400 cities in 90 countries and have travelled close to 200 thousand kilometres during 93 days.
In their journey through these countries, the marchers have been received by the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, by Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, national presidents, parliamentarians, and hundreds of mayors. But the reception has also been popular; two examples were the 80,000 youth who greeted the international base team in a concert in Chile and 12,000 school children in the Philippines who formed a giant peace sign, among many other massive events.
Regarding the daily lives of the marchers, the accommodations were at times comfortable but other times austere: the marchers slept in Buddhist monasteries, makeshift homes, and even in a fallout shelter. There were threats of a tsunami, earthquakes, and typhoons, and they marched in temperatures ranging from 40 degrees to below zero.
During the tour, they encountered people made homeless by typhoons in the Philippines, Hibakushas, or survivors of the Hiroshima bomb, and millions of families torn apart by wars in Korea and Palestine. They visited memorials to the millions who died in wars in Europe and Asia, places where torture is still being carried out, and witnessed the border conflicts between India and Pakistan, Israel and Palestine, within the Balkans, and in Tijuana, at the border between the United States and Mexico.
They saw children working in Asia, Africa and America, and battered women worldwide. "On the journey, everything has happened to us, including moments of great meaning, where the demands of the past converged with the aspirations of the future. Moments of a connection with the people that allowed us to communicate with them, surpassing languages, cultures, races and beliefs," said de la Rubia, who is also coordinator of the international association World Without Wars and Without Violence, the convener of the March.
Gemma Suzara of the Philippines relayed her experience with the March: "It is one experience that I will remember for the rest of my life …the giant peace sign created by thousands of school children lead me to think that if we really work together as one body and we believe in ourselves, we can surpass any limit."
Bhairavi Sagar, from India, who travelled with the team through Europe, Africa and the Americas, explained in her testimony "Being born in the country of the Father of Nonviolence - Mahatma Gandhi – a man, who dedicated his life so that our country achieved freedom and because of whom I am standing here today as a free unchained human being. Now, it is my turn to give to the future generations – to put in my bit to leave a world for them worth living with dignity and happiness".
Tony Robinson from the UK who travelled through 30 countries spoke from the heart and said " Japan we met the Hibakushas, the survivors of the atomic bomb. One of them said to us: ‘Thank you, thank you. This is so important!' I was translating her words while I was trying not to break into tears because of the strong empathy I felt with the terrible suffering that this woman had lived through and with the feeling of not being worthy of her gratitude."
The speeches went on and   Giorgio Schultze, European spokesperson of the World March and member of the Middle East and the Balkans teams, said: "We crossed the wall that divides Israel from Palestine and now more than 200 social leaders, veterans of Al Fatah, are asking us to help them build a nonviolent army that might communicate and open the doors towards reconciliation and start a new history of peaceful coexistence between Palestinians and Jews". The event finished with the words of  Tomas Hirsch, Latin-American spokesperson of the World March, who mainly spoke about the future of the Humanist Movement, the organization that propelled the World March.
Shortly after 7:30 pm, when the sun had slipped behind the mountains of the Andes Range, the event finished with the greeting of, "Peace, Force and Joy" of all those present.


Following the conclusion of the World March at Punta de Vacas on 2 January 2010 there were the various meetings of the Parks Commissions and the Organisms - the Community, Humanist Party, Convergence of Cultures, World Without Wars, World Center of Humanist Studies. Also of Silo's Message, and Pressenza.


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Walking Hong Kong to the Water
Tony Henderson
a Hong Kong humanist’s story
updated to 2010
download in PDF format from:

Material from this newsletter may be freely reprinted with this attribution: Source: The Universal Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific - or the bylined writer.

TONY HENDERSON, editor/correspondent
My phone (852) 29840094
G/F, 49 Kau Tsuen, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
E-mail: tonyhen @

The Universal Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific
- among friends of universal humanism
Vol II, Number 27 - December 2009

Page 1 -    EDITORIAL
Page 1 -   World March for Peace and Non-Violence
Page 2 -   "Charter for a world without violence"
Page 5 -    HUMANIST PARTY (India) Promotion Team
Page 5 -    The Israel-Palestine Question - one humanist’s statement and proposal
Page 6 -    Nuclear Power
Page 7 -    Subscription to PRESSENZA - IPA, International News Press Agency
Page 8 -    Centre of Work
Page 9 -    Contact information

    The World March for Peace and Non Violence is drawing to its grand finale at Punta de Vacas in the great Aconcagua, or Andes, on the Chilean side of Argentina. Our hearts and thoughts with be with all our valiant friends who will be there celebrating with joy. The event is a triumphal climax for all the work Silo has accomplished over all these years. A marvelous work in the true meaning of the term. An extraordinary man who has done an extraordinary thing and the entirety is now launched into a more splendid future than any of us could have imagined. However, it’s done... and it’s a Work In Progress!
    The Humanist Movement has changed in terms of its structure and working relations. India has its Promotional Team established so let us see how that develops. The first in Asia under the new conditions.
    Here in Hong Kong we have our Humanist Association, as mentioned in the previous newsletter, founded in the same moment as the Humanist Parties worldwide, therefore want to join the federation of humanist parties under the International Humanist Party title. We held one meeting hoping to revamp our executive committee in concert with these changes but only two people came to the meeting so this is still a task. We need to develop the Chinese side, not just the international membership. Do consider becoming an active member of this committee.
    I myself am moving at a tangent to what went before in relation to the activities of the Universalist Humanists by moving my attention over to the efforts at establishing a local Park of Study and Reflection (Hong Kong). As this is a big and long term project, first efforts are going into establishing a Centre of Work, later to become a Centre of Studies. In relation to that endeavour I am applying for an apprenticeship in one of the Disciplines of School: Materials, Energetics, Mental, and Forms. See: for details. If you have an interest to start the levelling studies prior to following this same path then do get in touch. The final article of this newsletter tells about that activity.Tony Henderson
World March for Peace and Non-Violence
"So that the voices of millions who yearn for peace can be heard as they call for the end of war and all forms of violence."
Began in New Zealand October 2, 2009 and concluded in the South American Andes Mountains, January 2, 2010.
World Without Wars - and without violence
International co-ordinator Rafael de la Rubia -
"Charter for a world without violence"

The "Charter for a world without violence" is the result of several years of work by individuals and organizations that have won the Nobel Peace Prize. A first draft was presented to the 7th Summit of Nobel Prizes in 2006 and the final version was approved in the 8th Summit in December 2007 in Rome. Its viewpoints and proposals are very similar to those of the March.
    On November 11, 2009, during the 10th World Summit  to be held in Berlin, the Nobel Peace Laureates will present the Charter for a World without Violence to the promoters of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence who will act as emissaries of the document as part of its effort to raise the global consciousness about violence.  Silo, the founder of Universalist Humanism and the inspiration for the World March, will speak about the meaning of Peace and Nonviolence in the present moment.


    Violence is a preventable disease
    No state or individual can be secure in an insecure world. The values of nonviolence in intention, thought, and practice have grown from an option to a necessity. These values are expressed in their application between states, groups and individuals.
    We are convinced that adherence to the values of nonviolence will usher in a more peaceful, civilized world order in which more effective and fair governance, respectful of human dignity and the sanctity of life itself, may become a reality.
    Our cultures, our histories, and our individual lives are interconnected and our actions are interdependent. Especially today as never before, we believe, a truth lies before us: our destiny is a common destiny. That destiny will be defined by our intentions, decisions and actions today.
    We are further convinced that creating a culture of peace and nonviolence, while a difficult and long process, is both necessary and noble. Affirmation of the values contained in this Charter is a vital step to ensuring the survival and development of humanity and the achievement of a world without violence.
    We, Nobel Peace Laureates and Laureate Organizations,
    Reaffirming our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ;
    Moved by concern for the need to end the spread of violence at all levels of society and especially the threats posed on a global scale that jeopardize the very existence of humankind;
    Reaffirming that freedom of thought and expression is at the root of democracy and creativity;
    Recognizing that violence manifests in many ways, such as armed conflict, military occupation, poverty, economic exploitation, environmental destruction, corruption and prejudice based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation;
    Realizing that the glorification of violence as expressed through commercial entertainment can contribute to the acceptance of violence as a normal and acceptable condition;
    In the knowledge that those most harmed by violence are the weakest and vulnerable;
    Remembering that peace is not only the absence of violence but that it is the presence of justice and the well-being of people;
    Realizing that the failure of States to sufficiently accommodate ethnic, cultural and religious diversity is at the root of much of the violence in the world;
    Recognizing the urgent need to develop an alternative approach to collective security based on a system in which no country, or group of countries, relies on nuclear weapons for its security;
    Being aware that the world is in need of effective global mechanisms and approaches for nonviolent conflict prevention and resolution, and that they are most successful when applied at the earliest possible moment;
    Affirming that persons invested with power carry the greatest responsibility to end violence where it is occurring and to prevent violence whenever possible;
    Asserting that the values of nonviolence must triumph at all levels of society as well as in relations between States and peoples;
    Beseech the global community to advance the following principles:
    First: In an interdependent world, the prevention and cessation of armed conflict between and within States can require the collective action of the international community. The security of individual states can best be achieved by advancing global human security. This requires strengthening the implementation capacity of the UN system as well as regional cooperative organizations.
    Second: To achieve a world without violence, States must abide by the rule of law and honor their legal commitments at all times.
    Third: It is essential to move without further delay towards the universal and verifiable elimination of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. States possessing such weapons must take concrete steps towards disarmament, and a security system that does not rely on nuclear deterrence. At the same time, States must sustain their efforts to consolidate the nuclear non-proliferation regime, by taking such measures as strengthening multilateral verification, protecting nuclear material and advancing disarmament.
    Fourth: To help eliminate violence in society, the production and sale of small arms and light weapons must be reduced and strictly controlled at international, regional, state and local levels. In addition there should be full and universal enforcement of International disarmament agreements, such as the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and support for new efforts aimed at the eradication of the impact of victim-activated and indiscriminate weapons, such as cluster munitions. A comprehensive and effective Arms Trade Treaty needs to be enacted.
    Fifth: Terrorism can never be justified because violence begets violence and because no acts of terror against the civilian population of any country can be carried out in the name of any cause. The struggle against terrorism cannot, however, justify violation of human rights, international humanitarian law, civilized norms, and democracy.
    Sixth: Ending domestic and family violence requires unconditional respect for the equality, freedom, dignity, and rights of women, men and children by all individuals, institutions of the state, religion and civil society. Such protections must be embodied in laws and conventions at local and international levels.
    Seventh: Every individual and state shares responsibility to prevent violence against children and youth, our common future and most precious gift. All have a right to quality education, effective primary health care, personal safety, social protection, full participation in society and an enabling environment that reinforces non-violence as a way of life. Peace education, promoting non-violence and emphasizing the innate human quality of compassion, must be an essential part of the curriculum of educational institutions at all levels.
    Eighth: Preventing conflicts arising from the depletion of natural resources, in particolar sources of energy and water, requires States to affirmatively and, through creation of legal mechanisms and standards, provide for the protection of the environment and to encourage people to adjust their consumption on the basis of resource availability and real human needs.
    Ninth: We beseech the UN and its member states to promote appreciation of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity. The golden rule of a non-violent world: Treat others as you wish to be treated.
    Tenth: The principal political tools for bringing into being a non-violent world are functioning democratic institutions and dialogue based on dignity, knowledge, and compromise, conducted on the basis of balance between the interests of the parties involved, and, when appropriate, including concerns relating to the entirety of humanity and the natural environment.
    Eleventh: All states, institutions and individuals must support efforts to address the inequalities in the distribution of economic resources, and resolve gross inequities which create a fertile ground for violence. The imbalance in living conditions inevitably leads to lack of opportunity and, in many cases, loss of hope.
    Twelfth : Civil society, including human rights defenders, peace and environmental activists must be recognized and protected as essential to building a nonviolent world as all governments must serve the needs of their people, not the reverse. Conditions should be created to enable and encourage civil society participation, especially that of women, in political processes at the global , regional, national and local levels.
    Thirteenth: In implementing the principles of this Charter we call upon all to work together towards a just, killing-free world in which everyone has the right not to be killed and responsibility not to kill others.
    To address all forms of violence we encourage scientific research in the fields of human interaction and dialogue, and we invite participation from the academic, scientific and religious communities to aid us in the transition to non-violent, and non-killing societies.
    Nobel Signers:
•  Mairead Corrigan Maguire
•  His Holiness the Dalai Lama
•  Mikhail Gorbachev
•  Lech Walesa
•  Frederik Willem De Klerk
•  Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu
•  Jody Williams
•  Shirin Ebadi
•  Mohamed ElBaradei
•  John Hume
•  Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo
•  Betty Williams
•  Muhammad Yunus
•  Wangari Maathai
•  International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
•  Red Cross
•  International Atomic Energy Agency
•  American Friends Service Committee
• International Peace Bureau
    Supporters of the Charter:
• Mr. Walter Veltroni , Former Mayor of Rome
• Mr. Tadatoshi Akiba , Mayor of Hiroshima, President of Mayors for Peace
• Mr. Agazio Loiero , Governor of Calabria Region, Italy
• Prof. M. S. Swaminathan , Former President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Nobel Peace Laureate Organization
• David T. Ives ,Albert Schweitzer Institute
• George Clooney, actor
• Don Cheadle , actor
• Bob Geldof, singer
• Peace People – Belfast (Northern Ireland)
• Memoria Collettiva, Association
• Basque Governement
• Hokotehi Moriori Trust, New Zealand
• World without wars and without violence
• World Center for Humanist Studies (WCHS)
• The Community (for human development), International Federation
• Humanist Association of Hong Kong

HUMANIST PARTY (India) Promotion Team
Group promoter:


The Israel-Palestine Question - one humanist’s statement and proposal
By Tony Henderson
    As I noted, or came to understand while listening to Ahmadinejad in situ, in Tehran 2008 during a conference on Gaza, people are not listening clearly to his words. He is not denying the holocaust, he is saying the Zionists are overplaying it, harping on about it, thus justifying their ‘defensive’ occupation of Palestine.
    Ahmadinejad makes it clear that his stand is not against Jews or the Jewish faith, but against the Zionists, and that Zionism does not have any religious base. Regarding the words 'wiping out', the Parsee was mistranslated. The reference was 'off the map' meaning Israel should not exist at all and was an entity placed on top of, smothering, Palestine.
    This was done by a hegemonic western clique that happened to have the power to do so and ignored what would happen to already present Palestinians and what has happened and is continuing to happen - the strategic Suez Canal was a focus then, until oil took over, bringing in the West’s motive.
    Sadly, the Jewish peoples have suffered from repression as recorded from long ago for whatever reason to more recent times when they were banned from taking up crafts and trades in Europe - for example in the jewellery industry - and were thereby forced to become moneylenders. Economically herded like that they stuck to their own much as many do today in many countries and the term ghetto came into use.
    Even my mother would whisper, "He's a Jew," for her own reasons as our local watchmaker mused over the broken watch he was asked to mend. I only felt an odd bewilderment. Our Jewish family doctor was a well appreciated man and his son's were well spoken and cultured and I came to understand that is common among Jewish people - something interesting there.
    However, to view Ahmadinejad's statements as anti-Jewish confuses Zionism with being Jewish, the majority of Jews are not Zionists, just like the majority of British are not ardent nationalists, they are patriotic but not extremists or racists to think their culture is more worthy than that of others.
    Speaking of removing Israel from the map means there should be no such place and thus, the two-state solution was not welcomed by those taking a strong stand on Palestine. They say Palestine can stand on its own and can be a home to Moslems, Jews and Christians who can live together peacefully as they have done for generations - actually, until the Christian Crusaders arrived with their violent discriminatory religiosity.
    This is why the referendum by all the people of that region was called for by Iran's spokesman. Given there is an Islamic majority of course this will bring what this group favours into play but that is the way of democracy -  with the proviso that the minorities have their voice and be cared for as an integral part of the whole.
    Israel must leave the territories it unlawfully-illegally occupies, namely, those outside of Israel proper, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza strip.
    Although generally portrayed as a democracy, de facto discrimination of its minorities and its actions in the occupied territories is criticized by the international community and human rights groups inside and outside these territories.
    The UN has criticised Israel’s, 'excessive emphasis upon the State as a 'Jewish State'' adding it, ‘encourages discrimination and accords a second-class status to its non-Jewish citizens.' "This discriminatory attitude is apparent in the continuing lower standard of living of Israeli Arabs as a result, inter alia, of higher unemployment rates, restricted access to and participation in trade unions, lack of access to housing, water, electricity and health care and a lower level of education, despite State party's efforts to close the gap."
    Since the second Intifada began in September 2000, ordinary freedoms in the occupied territories have been constricted, making life impossible, mainly affecting the West Bank that is restricted by hundreds of checkpoints, roadblocks, barriers and the Separation Wall that has taken 10% of Palestinian territory on the pretext of security.
    Movement restrictions have split the West Bank into six geographic units - North, Centre, South, the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea, and East Jerusalem. Movement is severely restricted within and between them, with grave impacts on normal economic life - Palestinians are effectively prisoners in their own land.
    In the Gaza Strip, the Rafah crossing to Egypt, the only entry and exit point for the 1.5 million Palestinian residents, was kept completely or partially closed by Israeli authorities for most of the year. The passage of goods was similarly restricted with prolonged closures of the Karni merchandise crossing, the only one permitted.
    What is needed is trust between the parties so the process of reconciliation can start. That will entail a huge effort. However, when the other side (Iran) is saying something it is better that people listen clearly.
    Before I went to Tehran I was not open to these different angles, these different perspectives. Having sat through and participated to some degree and befriended such a wide variety of characters of the like not ordinarily encountered, from widely divergent cultures as Uganda, North Africa, Lebanon and Afghanistan - of course Iran itself, I have a new-found respect for the Islamic-Arab group of peoples - of course, that's why travel is such a good thing.
    We humanists need to call on all our friends: Jewish, Muslims and Christians and all those from the Middle East and Arabic speaking lands to promote the needed dialogue and positive interchanges with Israel to start building those roads that lead to peace.
    Further, most countries started off with a situation of grey-area legality as they were formed under pressures of war and colonising imperialistic actions and likewise Israel has a controversial birthright but it is likely that the situation cannot now be reversed so the reality today demands that a two-state solution be the goal. Confederation could be brought into play as part that solution.
    As for the historical appeal by some Zionists that the Palestinians in residence across the territory were descendants of the early Jewish predating the Common Era made by the protagonists of Zionism - such as David Ben-Gurion, who immigrated to Ottoman Palestine in 1906, shocked by the pogroms and anti-Semitism of life in Eastern Europe, there is no historical backing for such claim.
    To hark back to ancient times misses the point besides covering up the present reality which demands that people live in harmony and co-operate and settle matters without violence and indeed with compassion for those in dire straights - which is the situation of a lot of Palestinians and not a few among the Israeli people.
    Simply speaking, it would be easier if the demand for a Jewish state be dropped and a secular state of Israel be accepted, and, instead of carving Jerusalem into sectors of creed, make it an open city which doubles as the joint capitals of Palestine and Israel, with shared responsibilities.
    If anyone is unfamiliar with the close ties between Islam and Judaism at the time of the birth of Islam (as I was) Karen Armstrong’s fine book Muhammad - a western attempt to understand Islam is a worthy read. The two religions with their one God can easily live side-be-side despite being on different ‘sides of the hill’.

Letter to the Editor, South China Morning Post, published Sunday 6 December, 2009.
Re: Why power companies must clean up their act, by Andrew Brandler, CEO of Chine Light & Power Holdings who states: "...and have begun to build more nuclear and natural gas, alongside renewables, in Asia." (SCMP 24 November, 2009)
    We are not mentally ready for nuclear power and we are already abusing our access to today-cheap energy sources like coal, oil and nuclear energy, in the way these are costed today.
    The governments run everything, in all countries, and people have no choice nor do they have a say in their own affairs so power companies - for example - can do what they want and put to the media statements that are biassed and speak from a commercially-interested providers point of view only.
    Nuclear power is touted as cheap and clean. It is neither.
    No nuclear power - means no nuclear weapons.
We are dumping nuclear waste because we don't know what else to do with it. This is a nuclear time bomb dropped on future generations.
    If we had unlimited amounts of energy we would massively produce an even greater quantity of non-essential consumer products for the economically developed nations upper stratas which would pollute to an even greater extent our Earth.
    That drive for overt spending would further fuel the haves capability to consume in greater quantities the fruits of the Earth, causing even more depletion of the common flora and fauna, and deepen the problems of over-fishing and niche habitat depletions which is a problematic indicator of wholesale killing of entire species.
    Megacities need mega solutions thus the rise of agribusiness but it is these monstrosities and their insatiable demands that are at root of the major problems of food and water shortages today. We are ruining the countryside to sustain the unstustainable.
    Given that this argument about nuclear power has been ongoing for decades it is clear that big business tied into systematised government behaviour is unlikely to change, unless ordinary people come out in strong opposition.
    The way forward is to consume less, demand government transparency to achieve adequate and affordable medicare and housing, go the way of public transport systems, build regional co-operation in regard to energy supplies, ferment regional trade, de-centralised marketing and distribution where producers meet their own needs locally and then supply outside the territory, and scale down everything from irrigation dams to government control where a municipality decides for itself within the federated framework - and controls its own budget in entirety.

Dear Tony,
Your very good letter, for which I thank you, establishes a clear link between humanism and environmentalism, between mankind and the Earth as well as making the point that the likes of power companies and agrobusinesses are working in favour of neither.

The News Agency for Peace and Nonviolence
Ref:  Subscription to PRESSENZA - IPA International News Press Agency
    PRESSENZA IPA, an International Press Agency, specializes in news and information related to the subject of Peace and Non Violence.
PRESSENZA - INTERNATIONAL PRESS AGENCY seeks to provide a renewed atmosphere of human understanding and cooperation and expand the broadcasting space that focuses events, persons and initiatives who promote Peace and Non-Violence.
    We invite you to be our Partner, subscribing to our Agency and reproducing our material. Also suggesting material of your own, which could be useful from the optic of Peace, Disarmament and Non Violence.  This is an opportunity to help in building a new worldwide consciousness of peace and understanding, so necessary in this very delicate historical moment.
The entire contents of our news can be used by our subscribers for free, provided the source is mentioned.
    You will also find additional information about our Agency at
Please, do not hesitate to contact us, at
Sincerely, Mrs. Silvina Sotelo
On Behalf of the Department of International Relationships
Pressenza International Press Agency


Hong Kong
Centre of Work project, looking at a future
Small Hall -
of the network of
Parks for Study and Reflection -

Dear friends,
We have received the first memorandum from the 21st and 22nd of November gatherings at Punta de Vacas (Argentina) that had input from the commissions of the main Parks.
    This is just a further note to make sure people in any form of contact locally are kept up-to-date with the news.
    As mentioned we seek a quiet place where we can continue with the studies of School that have been initiated in the Regional Parks. We are reminded that the local centres are autonomous and not dependent on any other Park.
    Now we need first a Centre of Works, with a meeting room and lodging for a maximum of 12 people (for overnighting). Later this can be developed into a Centre of Studies. We need high-speed Internet connection.
    The Parks are used for leveling work, by the postulants of School that want to be accepted as apprentices, disciples and masters of School.
    They are also used to work with the Formative Manual for Members of the Humanist Movement, and, Manual of Silo’s Message, besides being open for meetings, gatherings, etc. of the Humanist Association of Hong Kong and Silo’s Message members. Use is coordinated under a booking calendar. Everyone to pay, no exemptions.
    Whereas I have been traveling to the Asia Region Park, the Khandaroli Ashram, outside Mumbai, with some regularity it is impractical economically to expect people to go so far and the idea is from now to do the studies locally, but for this we must have the proper conditions.
    March 20 is the next milestone when the works will be implemented in Hong Kong.
    This engagement is not a therapy, not a humanitarian-type effort nor a charity, it is revolutionary, it is a Way of Self Liberation, thus an ongoing process without limit.
    Please make yourself known if you want to participate.
Peace, Strength and Joy
Tony - 29840094


The Humanist Association of Hong Kong newsletter - Asia-Pacific.
Want to receive this newsletter among friends of the new universalist humanism regularly? Email: tonyhen @
Humanist Association of Hong Kong, membership fee HK$50 a year, due each January.
Material from this newsletter may be freely reprinted with this attribution: Source: The Universal Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific - or the bylined writer.

TONY HENDERSON, editor/correspondent
My phone (852) 29840094
G/F, 49 Kau Tsuen, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
E-mail: tonyhen @


The Universal Humanist Newsletter - Asia-Pacific

- among friends of universal humanism

Vol II, Number 26 - September 2009


Page 1 -    EDITORIAL

Page 1 -   World March for Peace and Non-Violence

Page 2 -   World March for Peace and Non-Violence programs in Oceania and Asia

Page 7 -   International film makers join hands to document peace march

Page 7 -   Important message to members of the Humanist Movement

Page 7 -   Humanist Association of Hong Kong - Elections to Executive Committee

Page 8 -   Contact details for the organisms of the Humanist Movement

Page 9 -   Overview of the Underpass - Silo and the Humanist Movement

Page 10 - Obama - UN security council summit

Page 12 - World March supports Obama suspending anti-missile shield

Page 13 - Burma - At least 110 political prisoners released

Page 14 - Subscription to PRESSENZA - IPA International News Press Agency

Page 14 - Contact information


    The World March for Peace and Non Violence is at the forefront of the activities of the Humanist Movement and its organisms. We provide links to the March's various Internet portals so you can have a quick meander among the sites and see for yourselves what is taking place - far too much to give in synthesis in this little newsletter. However, we do provide a rough guide to the various events that will spring up on the passage of the World March Base Team across Asia as the team leave Oceania.

    The Humanist Movement is undergoing a radical transformation and anyone wanting to join our ranks had better now proceed via one of the organisms, all details below.

    Here in Hong Kong we have our Humanist Association, founded in the same moment as the Humanist Parties worldwide, therefore we are committing to join the federation of humanist parties under the International Humanist Party title. We are revamping our executive committee as well in concert with these changes. Do consider becoming an active member of this committee, see below for details.

    Also included here is an accolade to Silo as he steps aside from any role directly influencing the Humanist Movement, where, in the past, he has played a pivotal role.

    The most recent speech by President Obama at the UN was significant and reflects our priorities as seen in the campaigns we are waging against nuclear weapons. For this reason we repeat his words here, as a reminder to all of us engaged in the efforts to achieve this urgent need.

Tony Henderson


World March for Peace and Non-Violence

"So that the voices of millions who yearn for peace can be heard as they call for the end of war and all forms of violence."

Begins in New Zealand October 2, 2009 and concludes in the South American Andes Mountains, January 2, 2010.

World Without Wars - and without violence

International co-ordinator Rafael de la Rubia -

World March for Peace and Non Violence

The world's first 93-day, six- continent peace march, has announced that Friday, Oct. 2, the

International Day of Nonviolence, is the start date for both its worldwide march and corresponding series of cultural, educational, and social events taking place in more than 100 countries to abolish nuclear weapons and reject violence of all kinds.

    The march begins in Wellington, New Zealand with an international team of 25 marchers who will cross through Asia, Europe, Africa, and North and South America before reaching Punta de Vacas, Argentina, on January 2, 2010.  The group will carry the Hiroshima Flame for the duration of the journey.

    Launched by the international organization, World Without Wars, the World March has been endorsed by the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and other Nobel Peace Prize winners, Noam Chomsky, seven presidents, hundreds of world leaders, including President Obama's Kenyan grandmother and celebrities like Yoko Ono, Cate Blanchett, Viggo Mortensen, thousands of organizations and more than a million citizens.

    Locally in Hong Kong endorsers so far include Elsie Tu, the prominent social activist, and former elected legislator; Ronnie Tong Ka-wah, the human rights legislator; and Earthwalker Paul Coleman, who walked all the way to Beijing from Hong Kong in a China Greening only to be denied access to the Olympic Games owing to bureaucratic excesses.



New Zealand

Complete details at:

September 26, 2009

International team arrives in Auckland

The International team i.e. those doing the entire World March, will arrive in Auckland along with a number of mayors, celebrities and others participating in the New Zealand section. Join us to welcome them to New Zealand.


September 27 2009

Auckland Peace Walk Launch

Join the international team and celebrities for the launch of the Auckland Peace Walk – a walking route through the city visiting historic and contemporary peace heritage sites and monuments, ending at St Matthew-in-the-City, where Auckland was declared a Peace City on 23 September 2007.

September 28 2009

Tourist activities for International Team

The International Team enjoys some typical Kiwi tourist activities including a visit to Te Puia Thermal Village, Huka Falls, Taupo natural hot springs, a bungy jump at Gravity Canyon and a visit to Lindale agricultural centre and farm.

September 29/30 2009

Blessing at Rekohu (Chatham Islands)

The international team travels east to Rekohu – the first point in New Zealand to see the morning sun. There they will hold the World March opening blessing ceremony hosted by the Hokotehi Moriori Trust and commemorating the 500 year-old Moriori Peace Covenant.

October 1 2009

Civic reception Wellington

The international team and other visiting guests are welcomed at the Mayoral Chambers of Wellington – a declared Peace Capital and nuclear-weapon-free zone.

October 2 2009

World Peace March Starts

World Peace March starts from the Gandhi statue in front of the Wellington railway station and continues through key peace heritage sites in Wellington before heading off around the world.




3rd October - 6pm Press Conference and Welcome Activity at Victoria Park, Broadway (next to the University of Sydney)


4th October - 11 am arrival Peace gathering and the formation of the word  "P E A C E" by participants on Bondi Beach (the south end), followed by a social gathering afterwards next to the Bondi Pavillion.

World March for Peace and Nonviolence Bondi Beach, Sydney, October 4, 11:00 am

Don't forget to change your clocks (daylight saving begins then)

5th October 10 AM -  Farewell of the international team at Kingsford Smith International Airport


    * Carlton Piazza/Argyle Square, Lygon Street, Carlton 2-4pm Saturday 3rd October

    * Unitarian Peace Memorial Church, 110 Grey Street, East Melbourne if wet weather prevails

    * Jonathon Welch's 150+ voice choir, speaker on meditation, and others (yet to be confirmed)

    * Speakers for all aspects of "Positive Steps to Peace for self, family, community and The World"

    * Longa Kanga Conga

    * Face painting for children

    * Bring a blanket to sit on and a lunch to munch on

The following are the speakers at Melbourne Event:

    * Marco Inglessis, world environmentalist

    * Francesca Izzo, international paediatrician

    * Dr. Bill Williams, Director Med Assoc Prevention of Wars

    * Susan Carew, international peace clown

    * Marisol Salinas, racial harmony and justice activist

    * Lilly Kitchen, meditation and peace practitioner

BUNDABERG, Queensland

A huge warm invitation to all who live in Bundaberg / Wide bay /Qld. An event is being organised for Oct 11.Further info & show of support in any shape way or form please contact:

Selina Williamson 0403 180 892

many blessings on our journey to peace


Castlemaine is 130 Km north west of Melbourne Victoria.

A Castlemaine March for Peace starting at Kaweka Park, entry in Hargraves Street where there are wattles planted by Japanese folk from Hiroshima - moving then to  the Market Place and spelling out peace - concluding then on Agitation

Hill at the new war memorial/peace garden to conclude. Some singing at either end.

Timetable - 10 a.m. start, 10.30 Market Place, 11.00 a.m. conclude at Agitation Hill. 3rd October!

Rev Ken Parker will lead the March and Mayor Philip Schier will speak. All welcome to join for this brief interlude to reflect on Peace in the world,in the home and in community.


Philippines - Manila

October 2: Mega Human Non Violence sign in Rizal High School.

5.10. Manila, Philippines

Arrival and social gathering with local World March team

6.10. Manila, Philippines - Activities in the metropolitan area of Manila:

8:00-10:00 Courtesy visit to Mayor of Pasig

10:30-12:00 Cultural event at Rizal Technological University

12:00-14:00 Symbolic March for Peace and Nonviolence

15:00-19:00 World March event at San Andres Sports Complex

16:00-20:00 Visit to the House of Representatives

7.10. The Philippines - Activities in other locations:

10:00-14:00 Events in Taguig

11:00-13:00 Events in Lucena City

Possibly participation in an event in Zamboanga City, Mindanao




6pm - 10pm

Street Festival at Jalan Bangkung with performances by Malaysian artists, exhibitions by NGOs, food stalls, and vendors.

8.30pm - 9pm

"Reclaiming the Night" Lantern Walk starting from Jalan Bangkung. Bring along your Lanterns/ Tanglungs and join us for this historic walk for peace and non violence!

9pm - 12am

Peace Dance at Leonardo's Wine Loft - Retro dance party. Come dressed in 60s and 70s style!



9.10. Dhaka

00:15 Arrival of Base Team members

9.10. Dhaka, Bangladesh

11:00-12:00 Press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity

16:00-17:00 March on the streets, Press Club – TSC, Dhaka University

17:20-Cultural Event in TSC, Dhaka University

19:10-Coffee Meeting with different groups, University Teachers, NGO's and World March organizing people.

10.10. Departure of BT members


Nepal - Kathamandu

10.10. - 11.10.

Representative of the Foreign Ministry, Anjan Sakya, welcomes Base Team at Airport

Events in Kathmandu

Joseph Higher Secondary School Letters Competition topic Peace and Non violence in Kathmandu.

Activity with "Shanti Malika" a federation to 18 different organisations, including: "Jagaran Nepal", "Mahila Surikchya Dabab Samuha" "Gramin Swastha  sikchy sewa guthi", "A.B.C. Nepal" "Ihricon", "Dakxin Asia adabasi mahila manch", "Nagaric Awaz", "Mahila Kanun Bikash manch", "Sathi", "CIWIN Nepal","CAC Nepal","Mahila Margadarsan","Sap Nepal", "Didi Bahini", "Samanata","Insec", "Sancharica Samuha", and "Dalit Mahila Sangh".

Same in Panauti from Sarswati School.

Events in Nepalgunj


Hong Kong

2 October 2009 - Unitarian Universalists Hong Kong supports World March for Peace and Non-violence with a discussion on the topic: "Non Violence, the Legacy of Gandhi"

Time: 7:30pm - 9:00pm

Place: World Peace Cafe, 21-23 Tai Wong St, East Wanchai, Hong Kong Island

Language: English and Cantonese

Discussion materials:

Gandhi's Non-Violence

Application of Non-violence

Religion Vs. No Religion

Unitarian Universalists Hong Kong

World Peace Cafe

Dim-Sum Discussion

October 2, 9am, Mui Wo, Lantau Island

Dim-sum breakfast celebration at Silver Restaurant. Discussion about the World March for Peace and Non-violence - open invitation.



11.10.09 - Delhi: Arrival of WM Team From Dhaka & Kathmandu

Around 15 Members

12.10.09 - Prayer Meeting at Gandhiji's Smrithi Rajghat

By all Team

12.10.09 - March on the Streets From Rajghat to 30 Jan. Marg, New Delhi

By all Team

12.10.09 - Meeting with NGOs and Leaders at Gandhi Smrithi, New Delhi

By whole Team

12.10.09 - Classical Music Programe - Delhi

12.10.09 -  Press Meet, Delhi

The team will divide into four

13.10.09 - One team goes to Kerala

13.10.09 - Second team goes to Chennai with programme around Tamil Nadu

13.10.09 - Third team goes to Amritsar

13.10.09 - Reception of WM Team  & Prayer Meeting at Golden Temple & blessing of the SGPC, Amritsar

13.10.09 - Visit to  Border to hold joint Peace Ceremony and an Asking to end conflicts and for the establishment of permanent peace between the two Nations  - Waghah/Atari.

Fourth team goes to Mumbai

13.10.09 - 11am, visit place where Gandhiji stayed  - Manibhavan Mumbai

13.10.09 - 4pm, inauguration of Painting by Artist Francis Jhangir Art Gallery Mumbai

13.10.09 - 6pm get together at SP Jain Institute, Bhavans College, Andheri, Mumbai

14.10.09 - Meeting with College Students/NSS Kalina Campus, Mumbai

14.10.09 - Meeting with College Students/NSS University Campus, Churchgate, Mumbai.

14.10.09 - Meeting with College Students/NSS, Central Mumbai.

14.10.09 - 11am, get together with Cultural Leaders at Trichur Kerala

14.10.09 - 6pm Public Meeting, Trichur Kerala



8th Oct, 2009 World March Guests will be received from Wagha Border, Lahore.

9.00 PM Dinner with World March, Guests in Food Street, Purani Anarkali, Lahore (Informal discussion)

9th Oct, 2009: 10.00am, Dialogue with Students of University of the Punjab

02.00pm, Dialogues with NGOs/Political Parties/Groups

05.00pm, Press Conference

09.00pm, Football Match (Flood Light)

10th Oct, 2009 11.00am, Departure for India (Leave from Wagha Border)

Note 1: Tentative, a few changes might be made; note 2: If Najam Sheraz confirms participation, we can organize in Punjab Football Stadium, otherwise it will be in Model Town, Lahore.


16.10. South Korea

Peace Pilgrim at the Neutral Zone, Gangwha Island: Press conference, festival

Life Peace Forum in Seoul

October 17: Kobe, Japan, Frank Chase giving a talk on Space Weapons at Wantage Books.

17.10. South Korea and Japan

Seoul, South Korea:

Participatory events by organizations

Peace march for the children and youth at the conflict zone

Fukuoka, Japan:

11:00 Welcome exchanges and a short march with citizens

Hiroshima, Japan:

14:00 Entrustment Ceremony of Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol

18:00 Peace and Nonviolence appeal in Candle Message event

18.10. South Korea and Japan

Gangwon Province, South Korea:

Peace concert and events in the demilitarized zone

Kyoto, Japan:

15:00 Peace and Nonviolence appeal at an anti-war rally

19.10. South Korea and Japan

Seoul, South Korea:

Lunch meeting with the WM Korea committee

Confession and meditation for peace and reconciliation

Seoul Peace Statement

Tokyo, Japan:

17:00 Peace message and song exchanges with youth and citizens

20.10. Seoul, South Korea

Visit to the National Assembly

Peace Talk Forum


World March for Peace and Nonviolence:

International film makers join hands to document peace (video)

Courtesy of

On October 2, 2009 through January 2, 2010, filmmakers from several countries will join the World March for Peace and Nonviolence to document the march for peace across the world.

    The film documentary project intends to chronicle the World March as it passes through 98 countries in six continents.  It would be a documentary intended to account the impact of the march across borders, touching on stories from communities, highlighting cultural perspectives and community efforts towards attainment of global peace.  The three-month long endeavor will also document any cross-cultural encounters as well as the highs and lows of the marchers, the forums and celebrations along the way, capturing the messages of the people to the world.

    More countries could still step up to the challenge to film the World March as it progresses across their lands.   For now, here is the line-up of participating directors for this global project representing nine out of 98 countries.

    Gabor Dettre will film in Hungary as well as support the other European directors.

    Eduardo Gozalo will film the passing of the Middle East leg of the World March through Alexandria, Egypt and is forming a group of directors in Turkey.

    Maher al Sabbagh will film in Syria, touching on the Muslim vision of nonviolence with the same approach of filming from the perspective of the Hindu culture, as emphasized by Hitesh Gusani.

    Luis Mandoki will film in Mexico, Mario Pozzi-Escot in Peru, Fredrico Dueñas in Colombia, and Julia Vargas in Bolivia.

    The directors will create their own scripts focused on their particular interests.

    These documentaries will be combined in a sole documentary as a unified recording of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence which will be presented at international film festivals.


Humanist Association of Hong Kong - Elections to Executive Committee

Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Financial Secretary, Secretary General; Assistant Secretary plus Department Heads according to interests, for example:  Refugees & Migrant Workers, the Environment, Culture, Asia-Oceania Affairs, Press & Public Relations, etc - your choice.

All positions open.

Please inform this office before 8 October, 2009 of your intent to stand for an office. Voting in person by all interested persons 20 October, 2009, Open Air Café, rooftop, the Fringe, Central, Hong Kong. The list of candidates available at the table. In the new moment of our Association we would like to see a friendly informality that nurtures active participation in the affairs of Hong Kong. Aim: "Humanize Hong Kong"




Hello friends of the Humanist Movement.

Mailing list for the Humanist Movement:

    We would like to encourage every member of the Movement to subscribe to the mailing list

This list will be our main communication means till January 2010, when it will be closed. All the old mailing lists of the Assembly, Councils, Co-ordination Bodies, etc. belonging to the previous stage will be closed soon.

    All messages referred to the Movement and to the March will go through this list!

To subscribe, go to the website

and register your name, surname, country of residence, and your email address.

    A few minutes later you will receive an email to confirm your intention to subscribe to the mailing list and to confirm your email address.

    If you wish to confirm your subscription to the mailing list, you should reply to that email by pressing "reply" with or without writing a message of your own. Doing so, you will remain already subscribed. 

    If you do not receive the confirmation email, try the process again or else send your data to or , and they will help you to subscribe.

    This list will be operative till January 2010. During this period, the different mailing lists and email addresses of the organisms in formation will be made operative:

The Community mailing list:   stating name, surname, and country of residence, expressing your willingness to join that mailing list.


Website of materials:

Humanist Party International mailing list:

Exchange mailing list:

Registration: send an email to including name, surname and country of residence, expressing your willingness to participate in the mailing List.


World without Wars and without Violence mailing list:

General mailing list (for information) :

Registration:  through: or by sending a message to

Exchange mailing list (for promoters): write a message to in Spanish or to in English. You should state your name, surname, country  of residence and your email address.


Convergence of the Cultures mailing list:

Informative mailing list:

Registration:  Connect to: 

    On this page web enter your name, surname, country  of residence and your email address. After a few minutes you will receive an email to confirm your intention to subscribe to this list and to confirm your email address;  if you want to confirm your subscription to the list, you will answer to that message with a Reply without adding anything else. With this you will already be inscribed.

Contacts:  and

World Centre of Humanist Studies mailing list 

General list:

Registration:  web



Thank very much,


World March for Peace and Non-Violence

Participation in the mailing list of the "World March."

·         We also invite to this mailing list the supporters of the March who, while not belonging to the Movement, wish to support it actively so as to reach its maximum worldwide diffusion.

·          The mailing list will be operative in different languages, and its objective is information and coordination of the different activities and initiatives that are being carried out regarding this joint action.

·         To make the information of the March circulate through this mailing list will be made a priority.

·        We propose that similar mailing lists are created in every country. Thus, whoever wishes so may subscribe to this list as well as to his/her own country mailing list.

If you want to participate in this mailing list, you should subscribe as follows:

Get in touch through:

    In this website you should register your name, surname, country of residence, and your email address. A few minutes later you will receive an email to confirm your intention of subscribing to the mailing list and to confirm your email address. If you wish to confirm your subscription to the mailing list, you should reply to that email with a Reply. With it, you will remain already subscribed.

    If you do not receive the confirmation email, try the process again or else send your data to Muty ( or Marco ( ), and they will help you to subscribe.

A strong hug,

Dario Ergas

Humanist Movement


Overview of the Underpass - Silo and the Humanist Movement

By Tony Henderson

To speak of the Humanist Movement is to speak about a very open-ended urge from time past when people, us humans, started considering our core values as such, in an effort to understand more clearly what made us human as against another type of creature, horse for example, or whale.

    Humanists are concerned with the bringing about of a society fitting humans that is harmonious, happy, egalitarian, just and progressive.

    The term Movement points at a turning into the future of that investigation and effort and presumably a positive evolutionary development in the sense of better adaptation for humankind.

    The deeper thinkers associated with this movement, those thinkers pertinent to certain epochs, to certain lands, were later called humanists - as against whatever other current was influencing human societies.

    Harking back from today, in Europe, the most obvious humanist influences came at the time of the Renaissance, but further back in time, over in Arabia it was the likes of Abu-al-Ala al-Maarri (or Abu'l-'Ala al-Ma'arri) (973–1057), Arab writer and poet - see his "Quatrians..." who was noted as a humanist, distinguished by his hatred of injustice, hypocrisy, and superstition.

    Long before that the Buddha had exhorted people to be rational, to be sensible and reasonable. He advised people to not waste time over distant matters like the origin and the end of the world, existence of God and an unchanging soul and so on, but to first attend to the immediate task of removing human misery.

    The Chinese will reach back into their own history and will speak of Confucius, always the choice made when any thinking Chinese is asked for the first humanist of China. 

    It is this loosely knit humanist movement that was the target of the early Siloists in their endeavours to push, to nudge as it were, the set direction onto a course away from the abyss posited by the building of nuclear weapons, by the armies poised at the ready, by destructive and provocative invasions and annexed territories.

    This realignment - away from the abyss and towards a happy life - is being accomplished by those so-intending protagonists that on the one hand are attending to the internal state of the so-engaged humans, the members of the Humanist Movement as it began to be called in the 1980s - previously it was simply the Movement - who by study and reflection are taking responsibility for their own ‘internal bomb of violence'. This source of suffering was built-in as a matter of course, over time, living in what was considered a normal life in a competitive, materialistic and aggressive industrial society - where even farming was gradually losing its local connections. 

    Also, on the other hand, simultaneously, by engaging in programs of change in proximate society to bring about a better life for other people, seeing our common need for a decent healthy environment, housing, life-long welfare, employment opportunities, security and all the usual ancillaries to a balanced life.

    Fundamental to these latter efforts at transforming society, a doctrine was launched into the public domain, various aphorisms and seeds of ideas that are useful as references, ready for those moments when someone might want to get a better grasp on the situation ‘as is', in relation to ‘as could be'.

    Forty years or so have passed since the launch of Silo's theme on surpassing suffering and by today multitudes of friends have taken part and a wide array of action fronts have sprang into activity. Formal organizations engaging with political and social issues are established and others of a more cultural dimension. These continue to act in the dynamics of the never-still human ferment today.

    It is at this juncture that Silo has removed himself from that pivotal role of orientation of the entirety of the operation of our Humanist Movement, depositing Universalist Humanism, and leaving this flux of human life on planet Earth with the effects of that well-disposed nudge.

    We bid him farewell and good fortune in his new prospects and of course shower him with our grateful thanks.

    Meanwhile, the Humanist Movement careers on into the future at startling pace, the guidelines embedded in those who now take up the task of further nudging the avalanche-like progress of the human race, guiding it away from the darknesses, instinctively and intentionally bringing it toward the light.



Remarks by US President Obama at the UN Security Council on Nuclear Non-Proliferation & Nuclear Disarmament on September 24, 2009


Office of the Press Secretary





United Nations Headquarters

New York, New York

THE PRESIDENT: The 6191st meeting of the Security Council is called to order. The provisional agenda for this meeting is before the Council in document S/Agenda/6191, which reads, "Maintenance of international peace and security, nuclear proliferation, and nuclear disarmament." Unless I hear any objection, I shall consider the agenda adopted. Agenda is adopted.

    I wish to warmly welcome the distinguished heads of state and government, the General -- the Secretary General, the Director General of the IAEA, ministers and other distinguished representatives present in the Security Council chamber. Your presence is an affirmation of the importance of the subject matter to be discussed.

    The Security Council summit will now begin its consideration of item two of the agenda. Members of the Council have before them document S/2009/473, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council's prior consultations. I wish to draw Council members' attention to document S/2009/463 containing a letter dated 16 September 2009 from the United States of America, transmitting a concept paper on the item under consideration. In accordance with the understanding reached earlier among members, the Security Council will take action on the draft resolution before it prior to hearing statements from the Secretary General and Council members. Accordingly, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now. Will those in favor of the draft resolution contained in document S/2009/473 please raise their hand? The results of the voting is as follows: The draft resolution is received unanimously, 15 votes in favor. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as Resolution 1887 of 2009.

    I want to thank again everybody who is in attendance. I wish you all good morning. In the six-plus decades that this Security Council has been in existence, only four other meetings of this nature have been convened. I called for this one so that we may address at the highest level a fundamental threat to the security of all peoples and all nations: the spread and use of nuclear weapons.

    As I said yesterday, this very institution was founded at the dawn of the atomic age, in part because man's capacity to kill had to be contained. And although we averted a nuclear nightmare during the Cold War, we now face proliferation of a scope and complexity that demands new strategies and new approaches. Just one nuclear weapon exploded in a city -- be it New York or Moscow; Tokyo or Beijing; London or Paris -- could kill hundreds of thousands of people. And it would badly destabilize our security, our economies, and our very way of life.

    Once more, the United Nations has a pivotal role to play in preventing this crisis. The historic resolution we just adopted enshrines our shared commitment to the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. And it brings Security Council agreement on a broad framework for action to reduce nuclear dangers as we work toward that goal. It reflects the agenda I outlined in Prague, and builds on a consensus that all nations have the right to peaceful nuclear energy; that nations with nuclear weapons have the responsibility to move toward disarmament; and those without them have the responsibility to forsake them.

    Today, the Security Council endorsed a global effort to lock down all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years. The United States will host a summit next April to advance this goal and help all nations achieve it. This resolution will also help strengthen the institutions and initiatives that combat the smuggling, financing, and theft of proliferation-related materials. It calls on all states to freeze any financial assets that are being used for proliferation. And it calls for stronger safeguards to reduce the likelihood that peaceful nuclear weapons programs can be diverted to a weapons program -- that peaceful nuclear programs can be diverted to a weapons program.

    The resolution we passed today will also strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We have made it clear that the Security Council has both the authority and the responsibility to respond to violations to this treaty. We've made it clear that the Security Council has both the authority and responsibility to determine and respond as necessary when violations of this treaty threaten international peace and security.

    That includes full compliance with Security Council resolutions on Iran and North Korea. Let me be clear: This is not about singling out individual nations -- it is about standing up for the rights of all nations who do live up to their responsibilities. The world must stand together. And we must demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise, and that treaties will be enforced.

    The next 12 months will be absolutely critical in determining whether this resolution and our overall efforts to stop the spread and use of nuclear weapons are successful. And all nations must do their part to make this work. In America, I have promised that we will pursue a new agreement with Russia to substantially reduce our strategic warheads and launchers. We will move forward with the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and open the door to deeper cuts in our own arsenal. In January, we will call upon countries to begin negotiations on a treaty to end the production of fissile material for weapons. And the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May will strengthen that agreement.

    Now, we harbor no illusions about the difficulty of bringing about a world without nuclear weapons. We know there are plenty of cynics, and that there will be setbacks to prove their point. But there will also be days like today that push us forward -- days that tell a different story. It is the story of a world that understands that no difference or division is worth destroying all that we have built and all that we love. It is a recognition that can bring people of different nationalities and ethnicities and ideologies together. In my own country, it has brought Democrats and Republican leaders together -- leaders like George Shultz, Bill Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn, who are with us here today. And it was a Republican President, Ronald Reagan, who once articulated the goal we now seek in the starkest of terms. I quote:

    "A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. And no matter how great the obstacles may seem, we must never stop our efforts to reduce the weapons of war. We must never stop until all -- we must never stop at all until we see the day when nuclear arms have been banished from the face of the Earth."

    That is our task. That can be our destiny. And we will leave this meeting with a renewed determination to achieve this shared goal. Thank you.

    In accordance with the understanding reached among Council members, I wish to remind all speakers to limit their statements to no more than five minutes in order to enable the Council to carry on its work expeditiously. Delegations with lengthy statements are kindly requested to circulate the text in writing and to deliver a condensed version when speaking in the chamber.

    I shall now invite the distinguished Secretary General, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, to take the floor.




    Today, the 17th September 2009, with just a few days to go before the start of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, US President, Barack Obama, has announced the suspension of the anti-missile shield project in central Europe, better known as "star wars".

    It is a very important gesture of détente and peace by President Obama and we want to highlight it and applaud it around the world.  We support all efforts of the US President to advance towards global nuclear disarmament.

    We applaud the courage of the Czech people who have sustained the fight against the defence shield through recent years maintaining their opposition to the Defence project with protests, marches, hunger strikes and all forms of non-violent struggle.  We recall the denunciation by Jan Tamas, leader of the non-violent movement against the bases in the Czech Republic when he explained that this is not a defensive project but rather an offensive one because it would allow nuclear attacks to be launched leaving an enemy unable to respond, something that would oblige Russia to start an arms race.

    This gesture by President Obama shows that a great moral strength is being born to confront the violence of global economic powers and the power of the military-industrial complex that today operate out of the control of nation states.

    We celebrate this news and we invite Barack Obama to support the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, something that has already been done by almost 20 National Presidents and Governments of the World.

Rafael de la Rubia, International Spokesperson of the World March

President of World without Wars

Tel: +34 665827072


Burma - 20 September 2009

At least 110 political prisoners released - (Mae Sot – Thailand)

    The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPP) can confirm that so far 110 political prisoners have been released from 23 different prisons in Burma.

    The 110 released include 38 members of the National League for Democracy, including 3 MPs; 20 women; 11 former political prisoners; 4 monks; 4 journalists; 10 members of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters Network; 6 members of the 88 Generation Students; and 1 lawyer.

    On the evening of September 17, 2009 in Rangoon, state-run MRTV carried a news bulletin announcing that 7,114 prisoners were to be released "on humanitarian grounds."

Tate Naing, AAPP Secretary +66(0)89-899-7161

Bo Kyi, AAPP Joint-Secretary +66(0)81-324-8935

U Aung Myo Thein - Assistant Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)




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