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Honoring a Legacy of Peace in Bangkok

Dr.Chung Sik Yong, Regional Chair of UPF Asia welcomes Imam Prasan Sricharoen, representative of Chularajmontri

Bangkok, Thailand - The Universal Peace Federation of Thailand hosted a Legacy of Peace program at the Swissotel Le Concorde on June 29, continuing series that began at the United Nations. The Legacy of Peace program commemorates and celebrates the life and work of notable Ambassadors for Peace and dignitaries whose lives were dedicated to peace.

Among those honored were international dignitaries: Hédi Annabi, Chief of the United Nations Stabilizing Mission to Haiti; H.E. Abdurahaman Wahid, President of Indonesia; Gen. Alexander Haig, Jr., US Army General, US Secretary of State, NATO Commander; H.E. Rodrigo Carazo, President of Costa Rica; and H.E. Kim Dae Jung, President of South Korea.

In addition, the moving ceremony paid tribute to nine prominent Thai individuals:

  • Sawad Sumalayasak, Chularajmontri, the highest ranking Muslim imam of Thailand
  • Prof. Emeritus Krisada Arunwong Na Ayutthaya, Bangkok Metropolitan Governor
  • Gen. Chinda Duangchinda, Director of the Public Security Police Office
  • Prof. Thammanoon Ladpli, Senator
  • Somjit Kanchanapokin, Director of Nurse Administration, Red Cross
  • Thamnao Vaseenonta, Founder of Human Relations Association of Thailand
  • Dr. Phenkhae Chanawongse, Founder of Bandit Asia University
  • Dr. Ronnarong Nophakhun, Ambassador of Thailand in Bern, Switzerland
  • Dr. Pornthep Pimolsathien, Pitchit Provincial Governor

The event started with an interfaith invocation from the representatives of four major religions in Thailand: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam led by Rev. Pasit Sirimalai, President of Tong-Il Gyo Thailand. Gen. Terdsak Marrome, Vice President of UPF-Thailand, opened the program and delivered welcome remarks.

Interfaith Invocation Group Photo: Dr. Chung Sik Yong together with Committee members of UPF Thailand, and Representatives from four major religions in Thailand

Dr. Lek Thaveetermsakul, Secretary General of UPF-Thailand, explained the meaning of the Legacy of Peace and the significance of ascension. This was followed by a PowerPoint presentation highlighting each person’s life and contributions to peace. The names of each person were called out one by one, and a family representative stepped forward to offer a bouquet of lilies and roses in front of a photograph and ceremonial candle. Dr. Lek asked the audience to stand for a moment of silence to pay respect to the honorees.

Imam Prasan Srichareon, the representative of Chularajmontri (the highest-ranking leader of Islam in Thailand) gave insights into the meaning of death and ascension in Islam: “Death does not mean a total end of one’s life but changing from one condition to another condition. We should not mourn over a person's death. Also, we should talk only the good deeds of that person while he or she was on earth since you cannot ask forgiveness from a person who is already dead.”

Prof. Dr. Krasae Chanawongse gives his reflection on Legacy of Peace Program

Dr. Krasae Chanawongse, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Former Minister of University Affairs, expressed his gratitude to UPF for honoring his wife, Dr. Penkhae Chanawongse. "Peace starts from the family," he said, "and I can testify that with my life together with my wife, who was my best adviser, supporter, and friend."

Gen. Saiyud Kerdphol, Former Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Army, talked about his experiences over the years with peace organizations founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, including the Summit Council for World Peace and the International Federation for Victory Over Communism.

Dr. Chung Sik Yong, Regional Chair of UPF-Asia, read Father Moon's message about the three stages of life in which he encouraged people to live for the sake of others, creating a legacy for the coming generations.

The two-hour program was televised on MCOT1 Channel on July 3.