Wednesday

Desperate people do desperate things

Ubud's Global healing conference, attended by more than 400 people from at least 25 countries came today to an end. "We are concerned that the world is now moving in the wrong direction, that man is increasingly out of balance and at war with the natural world and each other," conference co-organizer Wilford Welch said.

Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his nonviolent struggle against South Africa's apartheid regime was also on this last day the dominating speaker. Tutu explained, why Bali was selected as the venue of the gathering. The island and its people had devoted a lot of time and energy to be in balance with nature, fellow human beings and with God. The Balinese experienced a terrible shock two years ago when terrorists detonated powerful bombs at two packed nightclubs in the island's popular Kuta resort area. However, as Tutu noted, the Balinese had managed to respond to the tragedy in peaceful, spiritual ways instead of resorting to violence and militancy.
Bali is the best place to hold a conference on how to heal the world Desmond Tutu

Speakers noted that the U.S.-sponsored global war on terror had increasingly polarized the world into two potentially opposing camps -- the predominantly Muslim developing nations and the predominantly Christian developed ones -- and relations between religions was an important issue discussed during the conference.

"We use whatever reason to separate one human being from another. We use race, we demonize each other. We use religion in the same way. Religion is like a knife. You can use one to cut bread or you can stab someone. It can make us either good or awful people. It is what we do with religion that is important, not what religion is in itself," Tutu said in response to a question on whether organized religion was part of the problem or the solution.

On the war on terror, Tutu stated that unless a shift in attitude took place from one of violence to one of peace, it would be impossible for the world to win that war.

"We are not going to win the war against terror as long as there are conditions in various parts of the world that make people desperate. If someone is hungry or people live in poverty, they will get to the point where they will get desperate," he said. In order to win the war, people should deal with the root causes of terrorism. Social injustice, poverty and religious ignorance were some of those causes.
Article based on own impressions and on an article by I Wayan Juniartha for the Jakarta Post.

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