Peace and Disarmament
SGI in Mexico, Bolivia and the Netherlands Sponsor Public Lectures on Timely Issues
Bolivia: On March 14, celebrating March 16, a commemorative SGI day, SGI-Bolivia sponsored a lecture by Nur University Professor Juan Martinez, a former education minister, at the SGI-Bolivia Culture Center in Santa Cruz City. Begun in July 2003 at Professor Martinez's suggestion, he has continued to speak on the history of the development of human civilization. Headquarters Young Women's Leader Ada Bello introduced the SGI, and Nur University students presented a paper on the theories of peace and happiness. SGI-Bolivia Vice Young Men's Division Chief Marcelo Oroza Montellano spoke on "Contributions of Buddhism and the Concept of Human Revolution from the Vantage Point of the SGI Peace Proposal." Professor Martinez stated that it is not politicians who will change society, but empowered, ordinary citizens. Each individual's efforts will contribute to positive reformation of world society. He asked the SGI-Bolivia youth to shoulder responsibility for Bolivia and the world, based on "human revolution," an inner-directed, positive reformation. Professor Martinez went on to remind the youth that the first three Soka Gakkai presidents dedicated their lives to teaching people that everything begins from the efforts of a single individual.
Mexico: Some 300 SGI-Mexico youth celebrated March 16 at various cities, including Guadalajara, Veracruz and Mexico City. At the gathering in Mexico City, a youth representative opened the meeting by reciting an ode President Ikeda dedicated to the youth in March 1988, "A Blue Deeper than the Blue of the Indigo Plant Itself." Robert Toledo and Izuel Hernandez, youth leaders for the young men and women, respectively, spoke. Guest lecturer, renowned Mexican economist Rodolfo Sosa, said he respected SGI President Ikeda for succeeding and realizing the human rights struggles of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. He expressed his hopes for the youth gathered to wholeheartedly pursue learning, develop their unique abilities and contribute to society. He called on SGI youth to unite and spearhead a worldwide movement for peace.
The Netherlands: SGI-Netherlands youth commemorated March 16 on March 12 at Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands. Some 260 youth gathered from throughout the country to discuss "My Role for Peace in a Society Infused with a Youthful Spirit." Speaking on "Youth and Peace," Dr. Leon Wecke, former director of the University of Nijmegen Peace Institute, stated that education means teaching youth about the importance of "contributing to others" and "having a global vision." He said we must transform society from one seeped in egotism to one in which people learn to put themselves into others' shoes and share in their suffering. He said the SGI's philosophy that places foremost priority on mutual respect is a key for unlocking the door to a world of peace. Dr. Wecke expressed his expectations for youth to harness their potential to spur a positive revolution and lead humanity toward a brighter future.