Representatives of the different schools of Tibetan Buddhist and Bon traditions represented at the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace (ABCP), recently held in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. Photo: Office of Tibet, Moscow

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Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia – The 11th Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace (ABCP) held at Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, witnessed the participation of a strong Tibetan Buddhist Delegation with representation from other major Buddhist traditions including Jonang and Bon traditions.

This was despite the absence of Kalon Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok of the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) Department of Religion and Culture, June 23, 2019. The Tibetan Buddhist delegation was led by Ven Thupten Ngodup, the medium of state Nechung Oracle. His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Honorary Representative Telo Tulku Rinpoche also joined and presented His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message to the conference on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the ABCP and spoke during the 2nd-day plenary session dedicated to “Preservation of Heritage and Values.”

The three-day Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace concluded with a resolution being passed after a three-day deliberation on the changes in its chapter, rules, and regulations.

The origins of the ABCP dates back to 1969 when three legendary monks of the 20th century, the most venerable Khambo Lama Samagiin Gombojav of Mongolia, the most venerable Khambo Lama Janbaldorj Gomboev of USSR and the most venerable Kushok Bakula Rinpoche from India met in the remote region of Siberia, Soviet Russia to discuss the prevailing situation of Buddhism in the region and to explore the possibility of setting up a Pan-Asia Buddhist Organization.

The momentum further grew when in July 1969, the most Ven Sumanatissa of Sri Lanka and the most Ven M. Wipulasara of India and Ven Amirtananda of Nepal visited Ulan Baatar at the invitation of Most Ven Khambo lama Gombojav. In the course of their meeting, they agreed to establish an International Buddhist Organization in Ulan Baatar.

Subsequently, on June 13, 1970, another meeting was held in Ulan Baatar. The meeting was attended by many dignitaries representing India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, USSR, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Mongolia.

The Conference principally began as a voluntary movement  of the Enlightened One Lord Buddha’s followers, both monks and laymen, striving to propagate and implement the teachings of the Lord Buddha on peace and harmony, compassion and kindness for all sentient beings on Earth. It aims at bringing together the efforts of Buddhists in disseminating the Buddhist culture, tradition and heritage and thus creating a sense of togetherness among the people of Asia by enhancing  their social, economic and cultural development.

The ABCP convened its first General Assembly in Ulan Baatar, Mongolia in 1970, the second in Kandy, Sri Lanka in 1972, the third in New Delhi, India in 1974, the fourth in Kyoto, Japan in 1976, the fifth in Ulan Baatar, Mongolia in 1979, the sixth in Ulan Baatar, Mongolia in 1982, the seventh in Vientiane, Laos 1986, the eigth in Ulan Baatar, Mongolia in 1990, the ninth in Ulan Baatar, Mongolia in 1998, followed by the tenth in Vientiane, Laos  in 2003 and the most recently convened eleventh in Ulan Baatar, Mongolia in 2019.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama participated in the third General Assembly in 1974 and became a member of ABCP and since then the Department of Religion and Culture has represented His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Central Tibetan Administration.

At the 11th ABCP conference that concluded on June 21, Telo Tulku Rinpoche spoke on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s four main principal commitments and emphasized on how closely linked His Holiness’ views of universal responsibility were in line with the principles of the ABCP.

On the last day of the conference, the board members met for many hours discussing the changes to be made in the chapter and held an election for new Vice Presidents and the General Secretary of ABCP. Once the resolution was unanimously adopted, a closing ceremony was also held followed by a dinner reception and an elaborate cultural performance held in the Battsagan Hall of Gandan Teckchenling Monastery.

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