ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) International Buddhist Conference on “Buddhist Social Work and Education in AEC”

Rational
In the year 2015 all ten ASEAN countries come together and join the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Besides the AEC cooperation in social, economic, educational and cultural aspects, we believe that the cooperation among Buddhists comprising the denominations of Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana will contribute to the peace and harmony in the AEC.

Objectives
1. To commemorate the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.
2. To strengthen the co-operation among Buddhist scholars in AEC and neighbouring countries and provide a platform for the sharing of academic ideas.
3. To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Than Hsiang Buddhist Welfare Association, Malaysia.

A Report on the Conference
The AEC International Buddhist Conference organized by IBC and sponsored by Than Hsiang Foundation with the co-operation of World Buddhist University was held at Than Hsiang Temple on July 26, 2015 with the theme "Buddhist Social Work and Education in AEC". This theme was chosen to focus on the Buddhist principles of compassion and wisdom which can be translated into positive actions. A total of 17 speakers from 7 ASEAN were invited to share their knowledge and experiences through presentations and Q&A sessions. Venerable Dr. Wei Wu in his opening speech touched on the aspects of Buddhist education and social work which were not covered by the paper presenters from Malaysia. This was followed by the keynote speech by Associate Professor Dr. Pataraporn, the Vice Rector of World Buddhist University on "The Cultivated Spirit of Buddhist Altruism Through Education." Then Mr Benny Liow and Ms Wong Ping Ling were introduced as the moderators for the Panels on Buddhist Social Work and Buddhist Education respectively. The audience enthusiastically divided into the 2 halls to follow the respective panel presentations. The format for the panel sessions was the presentation of papers by all the speakers first then followed by Q&A. After the 1st session there was an hour break for lunch and the 2nd session resumed followed by a short break and the 3rd session. When all the papers were delivered, the participants gathered back in the main hall for the summary by the moderators and the closing speech by Dr Tavivat Puntarigvivat, the WBU Director of Research and Development. In his closing speech Dr Tavivat announced that Ven Hak Sienghai has graciously agreed to host the next AEC Buddhist Conference in Cambodia. Tokens of appreciation were given to the speakers by Ven Wei Wu and WBU also presented tokens of appreciation to the organizers and speakers.
It was a successful conference with an interesting array of papers on the various aspects of Buddhist Social Work and Buddhist Education being presented by the speakers. The audience comprising of almost 100 participants were enthusiastic in questioning, sharing of experiences and giving constructive comments. The two moderators also did an expert job in summarizing the essence of the papers presented in their respective panels. The AEC International Buddhist Conference has thus achieved its objective of providing a platform for Buddhist Scholars of ASEAN to exchange ideas and to strengthen their fellowship and co-operation.

The presenters and their respective papers are as follows:

Panel on Buddhist Social Work
1. Dr. Tavivat Puntarigvivat (Thailand) – Women’s Rights in AEC: A Thai Theravada Buddhist Perspective
2. Dr Porntipha Bantomsin (Thailand) – Chinese Buddhist Missionary in Malay Peninsula
3. Mr. Handaka Vijjananda (Indonesia) – Serving Others, A Lost Tradition
4. Dr. Goh Pik Pin (Malaysia) – Compassion in Action from the Perspective of Kasih Hospice
5.Ms. Shwe Yee Oo (Myanmar) – Development by Love and Compassion
6. Ms. Soong Wei Yean (Malaysia) – Than Hsiang Temple: From Womb to Tomb
7. Dr. Soontaraporn Techapalokul (Thailand) – Towards Buddhist Social Work and Happiness
8. Ms Juliana Klinkert (Colombian from Thailand) - The Impact of Combining Coaching and Buddhist Ethics for Improving People’s Lives

Panel on Buddhist Education
1. Venerable Nget Sopheap (Cambodia) – Buddhist Educational Crisis in Cambodia
2. Mr Lye Voon Seong (Malaysia) – Buddhism and Education: The Phor Tay’s Experience
3. Dr. Nguyen Quy Hoang (Vietnam) – Higher Buddhist Education in Vietnam: Challenges and Solutions
4. Venerable Fa Xun (Singapore) – Mindfulness and Loving Kindness in Education
5. Ms. Swe Swe Mon (Myanmar) – Theory and Practice of Buddhist Monastic School in Myanmar
6.Dr. Khin Maung Kyi (Myanmar) – Buddhist Training for Children and Youths
7. Ms. Phyu Mar Lwin (Myanmar) – The Buddha’s Teaching: Pedagogy for Children in Poverty
8. Dr. Sauwalak Kittiprapas (Thailand) – Buddhist Happiness and Economics for Development and Work

All the papers are uploaded as First Draft of Conference Proceedings.

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