BANGKOK – Efforts to achieve national reconciliation have been focused upon in the road map of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). The road-map calls for the stepping up of these efforts in all areas, starting from families to the village, sub-district, district, and provincial levels.
In response to the road-map, the Office of National Buddhism has launched a project to promote national reconciliation through the adoption of Buddhist principles.
The project is being carried out from 2014 to 2017, in cooperation with Buddhist organizations, government agencies, private organizations, educational institutions, local administrative organizations, and communities.
Known as “Village of the Five Precepts,” the project seeks to encourage Buddhist Thais to adopt the Five Precepts of Buddhism as guidelines for leading their daily life. The Five Precepts are basic ethical guidelines taught by the Buddha for lay practitioners. They urge people to refrain from destroying life, from taking what is not given, from immoral sexual behavior, from false speech, and from taking intoxicating drinks.
The Five Precepts fall under the “right speech,” “right action” and “right livelihood” principles of the Eight-fold Path and are prerequisites for the cultivation of concentration and wisdom.
Apart from promoting reconciliation and harmonization, the project also aims to reduce conflicts and bring security and safety to the people. It is also intended to pay tribute to Their Majesties the King and Queen and encourage the people to be aware of the three national pillars – the Nation, Religion, and the Monarchy.
Toward this aim, various activities will be launched to urge people to use the principles of Buddhism in easing conflicts and divisions and develop the quality of life in their communities. The Sangha Supreme Council will be asked to urge all temples to join the project, managed by committees to be formed at all levels.
Under the project, training will be organized that will help people to lead their life based on the Five Precepts. They will be encouraged to join various activities on a voluntary basis. It is hoped that the adoption of the Buddhist principles will lead to changes for the better, in terms of behavior, mentality, social aspects, and the economy.
Various media channels will be used to spread the message of the Five Precepts. The project covers 7,255 subdistricts and 74,693 villages, with a population of 61.56 million, from 2014 to 2017. A target has been set for at least 90 percent of local people in the community join the project, and Buddhism networks will be created in all villages.
Temples, public forums, and educational institutions will be the venues for organizing activities, as part of the project. Among the activities are vocational training, discussions, and skill development. Individuals and communities that achieve the objectives of the project will be honored.