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Bangladeshi students to work as peacemakers

Sumon Nongmin, Mymensingh

Sumon Nongmin, Mymensingh

Updated: December 07, 2010 05:37 AM GMT
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Bangladeshi students take an oath to promote justice and peace
Bangladeshi students take an oath to promote justice and peace
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Students at a recent interfaith justice and peace seminar in northeastern Bangladesh have vowed to solve social conflicts. “The lessons learned here inspire all irrespective of religion to work for peace of our society and country,” said Aminul Islam, 24, a Muslim philosophy student. About 100 Christian, Hindu and Muslim college and university students took part in the Dec. 2-4 youth forum organized by Shanti Mitra Sangha or SMS (Peace Allies Organization) in Mymensingh. Taize brothers founded the SMS in 2007 with 20 students and the program is now sponsored by the US-based Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). At the Mymensingh seminar, young people learned that religious tolerance, dialogue for communal harmony, equal respect for men and women, sacrifice, service and forgiveness are major tools for establishing a “kingdom of peace.” “Service, sacrifice, respect and forgiveness can ensure peace and justice in the society,” said Mercy Toma Mrong, 20, a Protestant. SMS member Parboti Hajong, 19, a Hindu and an English graduate student, described dialogue, social interaction and mutual sharing as “instruments of peace.” “Young students can easily press for justice and peace in their families, with classmates, in various forums and even in the media,” said Mofizul Islam, seminar trainer and MCC Peace Program officer. “But first they need to become aware of the issues they wish to work on,” he added. Seminar convenor and SMS founding director Taize Brother Eric said the organization was set up to fight social disputes and conflicts that destroy peace in the society. SMS also works to protect rights of street children, slum dwellers, and socially ostracized women including sex workers. Related reports Caritas binds NGOs to joint push for justice Interfaith forum pays tribute to Mother Teresa Indigenous young people promote development BA12358.1631

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