Donnerstag, 18. März 2010

Neuigkeiten aus Vietnam

Heute wurde ich auf einen Artikel in der Auslandsausgabe der Basler Zeitung aufmerksam gemacht, der hier online zu lesen ist. Die Affäre um die vietnamesische Plum-Village-Filiale schlug ja schon letztes Jahr recht hohe Wellen; sie scheint nun zu einem vorläufigen Abschluss gekommen zu sein. Als im Oktober letzten Jahres auf der internationalen buddhistischen Platform 'Buddhist Channel' Rev. Kobutsu Malone ein paar kritische, wenn auch in meiner Sicht etwas naive Fragen zur Bat Nha - Affäre stellte, versuchte ich über einen Leserbrief meinerseits in die Debatte einzugreifen. Zunächst einmal die entsprechenden Links zur Debatte:,8578,0,0,1,0,8592,0,0,1,0,8597,0,0,1,0,8610,0,0,1,0,8616,0,0,1,0
Insbesonders war die Chuzpe, mit der Visakha Kawasaki Vietnams bekanntesten buddhistischen Dissidenten, den Generalsekretär der verfolgten und unterdrückten Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam Thich Quang Do, an die Seite Thich Nhat Hanhs stellte, wo er nun wirklich nicht hingehört, Anlass meines Briefs. Zur Person Thich Quang Do vgl. hier.

HT Thích Quảng Độ
Übrigens - auch Thich Quang Do wurde schon für den Friedensnobelpreis vorgeschlagen, was in Bezug auf Thich Nhat Hanh ja immer wieder gerne erwähnt wird. Bislang neun Mal, hauptsächlich von internationalen Parlamentarier-Gruppen. Ich bitte, sich ein Bild von diesem Mann und seiner Glaubwürdigkeit zu machen.
Mein Leserbrief mit einer deutlich substanzielleren Analyse der Vorgänge als die Kobutsu Malones wurde nicht veröffentlicht – ohne Begründung. Mir wurde nicht einmal der Eingang bestätigt. Aufgrund dieses eigenartigen Schweigens habe ich mir die Freiheit genommen, meine eigenen Vermutungen über die Gründe dieser Zensur anzustellen und auch öffentlich auszusprechen. Ich vermute sie stark in der Tatsache, dass einer der fünf 'Internal Advisors' des Buddhist Channel, die die Inhalte der Webseite überwachen, Gary Gach ist – einer der wichtigsten Statthalter Thich Nhat Hanhs in den USA.
Wie schrieb Kobutsu Malone in seinem ersten Leserbrief? "It is obvious that the Thich Nhat Hanh people have a well-oiled propaganda machine going." In der Tat. Eben dies wird auch wieder in dem oben verlinkten Artikel der Basler Zeitung deutlich, der sehr viel mehr verschweigt, als er sagt. Hier der Wortlaut meines Leserbriefs an den Buddhist Channel:
Bhat Nha: a didactic play
Prefering facts to speculation as Visakha Kawasaki recommended in his last letter sure is advisable – but there is indeed a notable difference between questioning and speculation. Questions arise out of doubt – and as the Buddha put it: "It is good to be uncertain, it is good to doubt. Uncertainty arises towards something that is doubtful".
Thankfully Mr. Kawasaki points at something very crucial – namely the causes and conditions of the events at Bhat Nha. But I feel that in the picture he gives us some important parts are missing. So let’s recapitulate the situation when Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh was invited by the vietnamese government and he followed that invitation in 2005. In November 2003 the European Parliament had issued a resolution heavily criticising the suppression of religious freedom in Vietnam; in September 2004 the US Department of State declared Vietnam a "Country of Particular Concern" in terms of the International Religious Freedom Act, a self-commitment of the US adminstration to undertake measures including severe economic sanctions if there would be no correction in a given term. Since Vietnam wanted membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), something had to be done.
The regimes answer was – a huge propaganda campaign with Thich Nhat Hanh playing a major role in it. And it worked. In November 2006 the status "Country of Particular Concern" was cancelled, two months later Vietnam received status "Permanent Normal Trade Relations" (PNTR) and in January 2007 Vietnam became 150th member of the WTO. Obviously it’s time now to switch back to normal. Not that this 'normality' had ever really changed for the persecuted und suppressed Buddhists and Catholics in Vietnam. It’s just that Thich Nhat Hanh and his followers are not needed anymore. There is something good about that (please don’t take this as a cynical remark) – hopefully Thich Nhat Hanh’s popularity in the west will provide at least some attention to those Vietnamese Buddhists that are persecuted since over 25 years, not just since last year.
Thich Nhat Hanh should have known better. He could have known – if he had listened to those, who had better insight into the situation. For instance the outlawed and persecuted Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) who – via their bureau in Paris - strongly resented Thich Nhat Hanh’s visit as a wrong signal at the wrong time, a time when international pressure at last seemed to make an impression on Hanoi. Consequently the leaders of the UBCV refused to play their part in the staging of that charade of religious tolerance – a charade that now we have the chance to view as a didactic play. 87-year old Thich Huyen Quang, patriarch of the UBCV and under house arrest since 1982 as well as his successor and then deputy Thich Quang Do utterly refused to receive Thich Nhat Hanh and his entourage – not just his own followers, mind you, but also officials of the National Committee of Religious Affairs and the Vietnamese Buddhist Church (VBC) sponsored and surveyed by the Committee.
Ven. Duc Nghi, who invited the Plum Village Sangha to Bhat Nha, belongs to the VBC, not surprisingly. Speaking of naivety (naivety indeed is a central issue here) – it would be naïve to suppose that his invitation to Bhat Nha was not concerted with the National Committee of Religious Affairs. More likely, it was the Committee who took the initiative. The hand that gives, the hand that takes.
Nun - auch ich habe in diesem Leserbrief nicht alles gesagt - schließlich wollte ich, dass er auf Buddhist Channel veröffentlicht wird, wo er ein größeres Publikum gefunden hätte als hier. So habe ich verschwiegen, was Ven. Thich Quang Do am 28.02.2009 der Journalistin Penelope Faulkner in einem Interview für Radio Asia in Bezug auf Thich Nhat Hanh mitteilte:
"After a while, the authorities realized that their attempts to suppress the UBCV by force, imprisonment, even by house arrest and isolation were a failure. The UBCV was still active and alive. So they adopted a new strategy. They devised insidious, underhand methods of pitting Buddhists against Buddhists, in order to undermine our movement from within. Beginning in 2005, they used a number of monks from abroad, especially Thich Nhat Hanh, to launch a so-called “reconciliation” plan. They were convinced that Thich Nhat Hanh had the ability to make this plan succeed. “Reconciliation” meant merging the UBCV and the State-sponsored Vietnam Buddhist Church (VBF) together. For us, joining with the VBC meant accepting to become lackeys [of the Communist Party], so we refused. Thus, Thich Nhat Hanh’s first trip back to the homeland misfired.
Hanoi’s most recent project, and also its most ambitious one, was in 2008. If this plan had succeeded, it might well have annihilated the UBCV altogether. They covertly created a movement called “Back to one’s Roots”, using a number of UBCV monks based abroad, particularly in Europe, Australia-New Zealand and Canada who set up a so-called “Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam Overseas”. In fact, “back to one’s roots” meant going back to Vietnam to take part in the UN Day of the Vesak, hosted by the government in Hanoi. Thich Nhat Hanh went, along with a large number of monks from abroad. The plan was to formally announce their break-away from the UBCV during the Vesak festival. Once the UBCV had been publicly rejected [by its own members], it would be easy to destroy its name and reputation, and wipe out the UBCV once and for all. Fortunately, UBCV Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang issued Edict No. 9* to stop this movement from developing. Thanks to this, the UBCV escaped this danger."

Đại Lão Hòa Thượng Thích Huyền Quang (1919-2008)
* On 8.9.2007, concerned by Hanoi’s increasing efforts to infiltrate and manipulate UBCV dignitaries overseas, the late Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang issued Edict No. 9 creating a new framework for the UBCV Overseas Office and appointing a new leadership team for its sections in the Europe, Canada, the USA and Australia. This new team is directly responsible to the UBCV leadership in Vietnam, and ensures links between the UBCV at home and its members overseas.
Das komplette Transkript des Interviews kann man hier nachlesen. Kurz nach Vesakh 2008 setzten dann die Repressalien gegen Bat Nha ein. Man brauchte Thich Nhat Hanh und seine Leute nicht mehr, man wollte sie loswerden. Thich Nhat Hanhs Projekt eines Wandels durch Kollaboration war gescheitert.


  1. Lieber Sogen,
    die vietn. Stasi freute sich sosehr dass ihrem "tödlich spanenden Theaterstück" mit dem Nhat Hanh, Huyen Quang, Quang Do...doch so viele Karten los zu haben, besonderst wenn Zuschauer hauptsächlich "intellektueller Westler" sind....

    Nhat Hanhs Theater Einlaß-Bedingung": Alle eigene Popkorn, Getränke sowie Kritik und Äußerungen, aber sammt Augen, Ohren und Gehirn müssen bei der Garderobe abgegeben werden.

    Für die Bekanntheit der Theatherstück sei allen "Ehrenamtliche Lautsprecher" wie Du zu bedanken.

    Damals war Nhu Dien, dann Thien Son, Tu Tri..., jetzt mach sich Nhat Hanhs bereits vor eurer Haustür breit.

    Deutsche Buddhisten! Gegen Nhat Hanhs "Opiums-Weihrauch-Nebel à la Zen", besorgt euch schon Jetzt für jeden ne Sauerstofflasche.

  2. so so so...
    die wahrhaft bruederlich lebende gemeinde, ist kein haar besser als das christenvolk. derselbe sumpf aus gier hass und wahn. kein deal ist zu dreckig als dass man ihn nicht machen wuerde, nur um ein bisschen mehr macht zu bekommen. keine luege zu krass um nicht nor ein par mehr schaefchen einzufangen..
    pfu deibel!