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Petitioning UNESCO

Stop the destruction of Buddhist statues in Sri Lanka and around the world

For thousands of years the world’s enduring monuments have provided us with powerful symbols, reminders of the values different cultures have treasured most. Statues of Buddha remind us that peaceful minds lead to peaceful speech and peaceful actions. If the minds of living beings are at peace, the world will be at peace.

Buddhism teaches us how to overcome our problems and difficulties by understanding and preventing their causes. It teaches us to look inwards. Buddha showed how our feelings of dissatisfaction arise from negative states of mind - primarily anger, attachment, and ignorance - and offered methods to eliminate these by developing generosity, compassion, wisdom and other positive states of mind. Buddhists understand that without inner peace outer peace is impossible. We all wish for world peace, but world peace will never be achieved unless people first establish peace within their own minds. Only by creating peace within our own mind and helping others to do the same can we hope to achieve peace in this world.

Buddhist statues are sacred and should be protected. Buddha statues are not worshipped as an idol, or bowed to as an act of obeisance to a god. The Buddha was an historical figure who is admired and respected for his accomplishment, but is not regarded as a deity.

No matter what your beliefs, it's important to learn to respect other people and their religions. Faith and spirituality is a common tie across all of humanity, and we express that sense of wonder and awe in countless ways. Maintain an attitude of respect. Look for similarities not differences. No matter what, we're all human beings and are hoping and wishing and working for the same basic things in this life.

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