*Excuse me. Can we arrange with the countries where they have the refugees there and join together, submit the proposal to the United Nations? ( : Yes.) Ask the United Nations to arrange with all the member countries. “How many people you can accept? You can accept 7, 10, 20, and what kind of people you can accept?” Because United Nations, they are in the position to do that, and also they have the power to do that. ( Yes.) Because according to the regulations of the human rights, they should do it. (I know.)
Definitely they have to do it. ( I know.) In that case… I suppose that's a right way because the United Nations, they arrange with ( Right.) all their member countries. It is very easy, much better than we can privately do.
Right. We asked the United Nations, “Please bless us with your support. Find a country for us and then we finance everything.” No answer.
*No, what I mean is, join a set of countries to send them an official proposal.
Fine, you go and talk to all these government heads because I don't have that many connections. Yes. Many human rights organizations have already requested the United Nations a similar suggestion as you have proposed.
*They send an official proposal to the United Nations?
I do, I do. I sent many times.
* But not privately join a set of countries, join together?
Well, if I know them, I will. These people who come from different countries today are mostly not governmental personnel. They came from their goodwill, from their own ideal, that they try to help, you see? To try to talk to 74 countries of the United Nations is a great task, and you will find that many doors are closed.
But in case United Nations, they don't take this job, it's all the members…
We can only try. I know. We can only try and try and try. And now there are many countries who don't belong to the United Nations. They have no obligation to United Nations, they have no obligation to the CPA program, so we hope that these countries just help the refugees. And I hope they do it with the heroic spirit - to do things that other people cannot do. But still it is a hope, you know? I think Formosa (Taiwan) accepting the Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees is the most convenient and appropriate because the Formosan (Taiwanese) people need a lot of workers also. And also, as you have heard that, from Legislator Ling, many Formosan (Taiwanese) emigrate to other countries. So if we accept refugees inside, it's a kind of balance.
There's no problem about that. Our land is not that small. There are so many places the people don't live there; so many islands also. We can give the Aulacese (Vietnamese) people the land that the Formosan (Taiwanese) do not want, something, and then they can develop that land into a useful place. They don't have to stay in Taipei and camp next to the presidential palace. They can go anywhere in Formosa (Taiwan).
*Thank you, Master. I don't know if this is a question, but I also feel very frustrated especially because I work at the United Nations and I see that instead of really helping world peace, which it was meant to, ( Yes.) people are caught up in the bureaucracy of paperwork, ( Right.) and internal rivalries and especially the High Commissioner is set up… Her purpose in just repatriating the Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees and they're set up in that and they are not really open to any suggestion ( Right.) coming from you or from any… And so…
Even self-funded, even self-funded. Yes.
*Right. So what is on our part to do? I mean, is it so bad for the Aulacese (Vietnamese) to return to Âu Lạc (Vietnam)? There is no chance in there? Because I see that they're set up and they will not… ( Turn around. Yes. Yes.)
*turn around and listen to your offers that are… You are not asking… You are not even asking for money. I mean, ( Right.) you are taking care of the whole situation. ( Yes.)
How is it that we can come about and surpass the bureaucracy of the United Nations? It's sort of stuck and enables us… So it's really not a question, but it's like, I just want to share my frustration, and I am deeply moved by the conference and the movie and all that, and you brought me to tears also, and so I just wanted you to know how I feel.
I understand that as a good human being you must feel very frustrated working in there, but you stay there. Better that there are some good person like you in the UN. Just stay there. Maybe your voice adds one more voice to the minimum voice, and maybe it works. Maybe some ears will listen one day.
* What I wanted to see is maybe if you have like an NGO organization - there's the world culture or something - that if they could come to the NGOs or… because at least my department, the Department of Humanitarian Affairs, twice a week invites NGOs to propose, and I would like to see if that could happen, you know.
Fine, fine. If you think it works, I consider to go there again. ( *Okay.) You see, your view is shared by many of the good United Nations personnel. Last month, within one week, some, like 10 UN personnel in Hong Kong resigned, because they do not agree with the policy of the UN in Hong Kong. Also they cannot stand by and watch the suffering of the refugees whom they are supposed to protect and whom they are paid by the whole world to protect. They're not working there for free.
They're paid to do their job, and they don't do it. So nearly 10 of them resigned within one week, after the bloody raid of the 7th of April, 1994. So you are not the only one that feels frustrated about your boss' policy. Nevertheless, you don't need to resign. You stay there and do what you can to awaken the conscience of the supposed-to-be very good organization. It's meant to be good, it's originated to be good.
As any organization, if it's going too long, people forget about their humanity, forget about their noble purpose. They just remember bureaucracy, they just remember power, and that is what's bad about any organization. That's why the United States have the president only four years.
After an organization is formed, and a lot of finance flows into it, and the people, who have only power and no wisdom, try to decide the fate of other human beings, things are about to go wrong. Therefore, the only solution for the United Nations is to practice meditation, to vow to help mankind, to eat vegetarian, to be a good person, etc., etc. Maybe then they will be wise and they can serve the world the way they would like to serve, the way they're meant to serve, okay? But as I'm saying it, I don't know if it will come true. It's very difficult to tell the highly positioned people.
*Yes. Master Ching Hai, as you know, we have you on our Radio for Peace International and have done some live interviews with you, ( Yes.) and we are working on a plan now to do something at least once a week which you will hear about. We're going to try to design a plan to have the program once a week, but not trying to create more work for you. My point, however, is in relationship to what this lady saying is, one of the things I don't think has been done enough of, if the story is getting out and repeating it over and over, I think, quite frankly, that some of these people can be embarrassed into action, if necessary, and that may be what we have to do.
We present them the facts over and over to the point where they cannot any longer deny it, and I think this is one tack that we may have to take. But to do this, we need the cooperation of every person in this room and the press to make sure the whole world hears and understands the problem, and what individual people can do about it. What do you think of this kind of thinking?
Yes. It's one of the important points. We could try that, of course, the mass media is very, very important, very important. They have helped to create kings and they have helped to drag down many lousy government heads. So I think they could help to remind those organizations and governments like United Nations to remember their foremost duty, what they are paid for, what they are expected to do. You can broadcast my tape without me having to run every day to Costa Rica, you know.
*We'd love for you to come to Costa Rica more often, but… ( I will come, one day.) The point is that, with mass communication, it's we either use it for our good or it's used against us. And I think that's a challenge to all of us. One of the things that occurs to me, with United Nations radio for example, since we, at Radio for Peace International, have the United Nations' news, we in fact can put programs on the United Nations' news ( Oh, really?) about this very subject from within, and the United Nations radio in New York will hear United Nations' news about this very subject. I think there may be little back doors that we have to search for, ( Doesn't matter what door.) and we need to be clever ( Yes.) and intuitive, I think.
As long as there's a door, open it, yes. Fine, thank you very much. It's very, very practical. Thank you. So we have so many radio chiefs, managers, you know, radio chief programmers here in this room, so I hope they will listen to your wise advice and do it - all right? - including your own. And any material you need from us, we can record it for you, from my own residence, and then send it to you, because I could not be anywhere at the same time - or my disciples say I could, but, I don't know about that. Yes, please, yes.
* Supreme Master, you have the three propositions, which are so generous, which are so humanitarian and, in a way, very vast because they encompass all the problems of the remaining 60,000 refugees. But, Master, you know better than anyone that when you ask for the departure or the establishment of those 60,000 refugees, when they easily have the status of refugees, but up until now, according to the CPA, the Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed by 72 nations, only those who have already received the status of refugee could…
I know, I know. I know well.
* Secondly, you see well how the UNHCR, with its 72 national signatories, already has legitimacy. Since its authority could not be damaged, if by chance, it denies, it refuses, what it has done to this day, then it would be hard, very hard on the prestige of the UNHCR and, at the same time, of the United Nations. It is in this context and with this thought, I believe that I would like to present to you a small solution that is the first step and that will, that is to say, support your propositions, and maybe soon it could complete your propositions.
*Master, when I had Mr. Flater on the phone, we can say that your action, your protest, in Hong Kong, that is to say, affected them a lot. He was very, very shaken by your protest.
*Except, before this assembly of 72 nations, he could not back away. That is the problem, Madame. It is in this context now that we should try to do something in Bangkok. That is to say, that the technical meeting in Bangkok should recognize that the selection is unfair and arbitrary. That's the first step. The second step, if injustice is recognized in the selection, well then, we have to re-examine the cases.
That's the second case, the second step. The third step, the last step, we would like to ask them either to re-examine all the cases of the remaining 60,000; but in this case, I think it's a little too difficult for them and it's a little unfeasible, Master, because they only have six months ahead of them.
But if it is asked for 300 people, it's unfair for the others, for the remaining Aulacese (Vietnamese).
*Yes, Supreme Master, you know...
We must ask for a lot and maybe they will give a little, that's it.
*Well, we had asked that, according to your advice, we asked just like you, Master, February 14th. Now they've granted us to come into the camps and choose a few victims. So they are going to reexamine in a way, that is, on behalf of the UNHCR only, with its discretionary power. And as long as there is the agreement on the recognition of injustice, we should re-examine the unfair cases.
That's good. You write all that you have told me and later I will reconsider what we will do.
*Here, Supreme Master, I already wrote this letter ( Good, good, good.) and I sent it to all the 28 members of the Directors Committee. And tonight, I ask you again, Master...
That's good, that's good, thank you.
*… to involve our mass media.
Thank you. I thank you.
Sorry, I cannot translate all this. He was telling me what approach to take in order to help the Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees more actively, with the United Nations. We have to influence the United Nations extra, because on the second of June, they will have a meeting again in Bangkok, and he believes that more violence will be used against the Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees who are not voluntarily repatriating to Âu Lạc (Vietnam). So I said to him I do not believe this will happen after we have voiced international opinion over the violence.
But he said… Because I heard that the 2nd June meeting in Bangkok was only to reconsider whether the Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees could be allowed to stay in Formosa (Taiwan) or not, therefore, we did not plan to protest; we planned to support, and I planned to go to Thailand to talk to the government if I can. I'm supposed to go and now I heard that their government has some little problem, so it's cancelled. It's always something, it's always something. I'm supposed to have an appointment with the Prime Minister of Thailand this week.
And then now I cannot because they have some problem, political problem. It's unsafe or something, so it's cancelled, you see? But nevertheless, I thought they'd reconsider the Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees' problem. Well, at least I think they will consider the children. He said the children, the minors, children who have parents abroad already, or the separated couples; things like that. So I had said it's better than nothing; they've already improved in their humanitarian standard, and maybe they can improve further.
*My question is, suppose we have a country in the world, they welcome the Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees to come over to develop their country, and you have the financial ability to do that, and if the United Nations, they do not allow them go over there, ( Right.)
so what do we have to do? And do you think that all of us who have come here today, we can do something for that problem? And I want, I really want, to bring up this subject today because we come from different countries, different from the organization, and I think that is the main problem, because the place to go and the financial ability, I think you can do it. But another problem we have to face to is, in United Nations, they do not allow them go to over there. ( Yes.) So what do we have to do?
Hong Kong already has written to me in a letter saying that my program, trying to take the refugees out of Hong Kong, you know, the so-called “non-refugee immigrants”- they labeled them “economic,” but as you know already, 5,000 years nobody ran away from the country because of poverty. So now, I have written to the government. Many times they refused. For example, one time Bahamas wanted to accept the refugees - there is a letter from the Prime Minister of Bahamas - and then Hong Kong asked, at that time they, of course the bureaucracy takes a long time, and until Hong Kong considered it, that Prime Minister is out. So Hong Kong told us we have to go to the Bahamas, talk to the new Prime Minister and get a new letter.
Well, you know how difficult it is for us to have an interview with any prime minister at all as a private citizen and a small group, but nevertheless we did; we ran back again to the Bahamas, tried to find connection and so and so and so and so, and then found the Prime Minister. But then the Prime Minister at that time was pressured.
So, of course, the negotiation failed. That is one thing. And last month, I have written to Hong Kong government. I said, “Now I found a country…” I did not name it, “that wants to accept the refugees, so can you tell us how to proceed in order to take the refugees out of Hong Kong?” They wrote to me, they said, “This is out of the question. You cannot do it; it's against the CPA.” That means I cannot do it, whether there is a country or not, Hong Kong will not let people go.
So in these last few weeks I am thinking hard: what is the next step to do? Now that you ask me… I haven't found an answer yet, except raising international attention, asking for their signature to support the Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees, so that if a country accepts them, Hong Kong will let them go. That's the only thing I can do at the moment. Next step, I do not know yet. Besides, we can only do our best, you know what I mean?
I can only do my best according to my ability, my time, and my physical fitness. And whatever happens, well, this is up to our world people. They have to decide how to live with each other. They have to decide how to face their own conscience; the rest is not up to me, all right?
* You know, when we were in Paris, demonstrating, we have found out that the people, common people, are very responsive, ( Yes.) and they understand the situation; ( Right.) they feel touched. ( Yes.)
And we were very surprised, as a matter of fact, because when we talked to the media, many big medias, politicians, people in the ministries and so on, and including NGO, including people who are supposed to take care of this problem. We found out that these people are helpless. I mean, it's not possible to go ahead.
*So I think that maybe one positive thing also is that, in Europe, due to the war in Yugoslavia, and the way the United Nations, of dealing with this problem, and also in Rwanda also, it was a kind of wave of discontentment regarding the United Nations, and it becomes clear that they are not able to face their responsibilities. So maybe if we succeed in doing more demonstrations, more people in the streets on a regular basis, maybe we can change things a little bit.
But for that, we need coordination and we need a strong instruction from you, to coordinate, to get in touch with NGOs systematically; not only NGOs, but also associations, common associations, who are willing to support this cause. ( Yes.) What do you think?
Yes, yes, yes, we will get in touch and work with each other continuously, not only tonight, and whatever information we have, we will fax to you. And we always need your support, for sure. Thanks very much for coming such a long way, being not even my friends or my disciples or anything in the near. Thank you, the French people. All right. If you're all satisfied with our program and our answers, then you are free. You are liberated. ( *Thank you.) And please stay in touch, and support us in your spirit, until these unfortunate people find a home. Just pray for us, even, will do. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you everyone. Thank you, Honorable Congressman and National Assembly Member. I'm very grateful that you can stay until now. Today I'll pray to God in my meditation to help you two. Thank you! Thank you!
*I have no questions to ask you.
* We both come from Paris.
*…the city of human rights and freedom.
*First, I would like to thank you because during the few days that we stayed with you, you've taught us that God is not in Heaven, but on Earth.
* God is us, is...
*…you, it is each one of us. Each of us has a divine particle inside. I have no questions to ask you, Master. Here is what I propose: in 5 hours, live from Taipei, we will do a radio show on “Ici et Maintenant !” [ and if you'd like to come with us to talk to France, we will offer you 800,000 listeners.
But, of course.
But, of course. I also thank you; I thank you for your presence here and I thank you for your help all this time. You're very kind, like all the French people.