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The Union of Myanmar, Karen State Karen Literature and Culture Development Association Hpa-an Township, Karen State Christian Era: Sunday, December 25, 2011 Myanmar Era: 1373, the first waxing day of the full moon of Pyatho Karen National Era: 2751, the first waxing day of the full moon of Htaik-khauk-phoe

Karen New Year Message of the Venerable Sayadaw, Patron of the Karen Literature and Culture Development Association

Greetings To all Karen nationals, in all regions; both inside and outside the country: First of all, I would like to wish that all Karen families be healthy in body and have peace of mind, and be happy on this special Karen New Year Day. Introduction I would like to mention that Today, this moment of the Karen New Year Day, is a special day for the Karen people. This New Year Day is a symbol of a Nation which, throughout its history, has always loved peace and freedom. The Karen New Year Day was recognized by the British Parliament as the first waxing day of the full moon of Month Pyatho, Myanmar Era 1300 (21 December 1938 C.E.), with full qualifications of a national new year day. The World Today In the present age, the growth of human arts and sciences is changing our societies in various ways. Nevertheless, there are three basic elements that are always

essential to uphold our social life in this world. These are: (1) Justice (2) Freedom (3) Equality

Without these three elements, the country, the nation, and its organizations become chaotic. It can be seen that, when people are not afraid of doing evil, and cease to feel shame about doing evil things, human lives and society deteriorate, and finally collapse. Five Ethics In all human societies around the world, people respect and try to practice the five social ethics: (1) Non-violence (2) Telling the truth (3) No stealing (4) Practicing noble personal habits (5) Not exploiting others for self benefit All people must practice these five ethics if they want to maintain their peaceful life and to develop a shining human society for their nation. Four Desires People living together in society today have four universal desires. (1) Setting up a family (2) Keeping sufficient property (3) Living in a Just Society (4) Having Freedom In order to keep their right to peaceful lives, they recognize that they are responsible to protect the way of life that allows them to fulfill these legitimate desires. Sacrifice People emphasize freedom. They also respect fairness and equality. And they have sacrificed themselves for their nation in order to reach their goals. We see that they sacrifice themselves to insure peace for their country and for their ethnic nationalities.

As the results of their sacrifices, they are able to reduce the problems of: (1) bias (2) obsession (3) hatred (4) violence

In addition, their sacrifices significantly reduce the misuse by selfish people of: (1) the power to influence human actions (2) the power of money (3) the power of weapons (4) the power of material wealth (5) the power of authority These powers can be misused because of individuals' wrong thinking, wrong awareness, wrong beliefs, and wrong practices.

Helpful Participation Today, many people are trying to develop noble spiritual practices, in order to stop the terrible wars and violence in the world. On the other hand, they are also seeking to build up "grudge-free zones", to try to change the behavior of those who want to destroy unity.

The Way to Peace People today are building communication, sharing activities, and avoiding hatred and hostility. Thus they are discovering together the necessary criteria for social peace. Every human has to recognize and focus on peace, in order to avoid destructive competition among people, which causes poverty, crime, and other social ills.

New Year's Day in my Heart Although all Karen people know that today is a noble, pure, and special day, the New Year's Day of the Karen Nation, many Karen families still suffer miserably in different parts of the world, and they have no chance to rest in the bosom of peace. These Karen people suffer the loss of their human rights. This condition has been caused by political policies which do not respect human rights, which create violence, which discourage fairness and truth, which destroy the people's participation, and which disturb the peace. Living Together Peacefully Today, some countries with opposing social systems are ignoring the principles of living together in peace. These countries, and the people who follow these destructive policies, are not accepted by the rest of the world, by those who are trying to stay together peacefully. Therefore, our Karen nation must take care to abandon all bad behavior, such as: (1) war and international conflicts (2) ethnic conflicts (3) conflicts caused by selfish appropriation of public goods (4) conflicts caused by using weapons The "Five Peace Principles" which the Karen nation should bear in mind are: (1) To solve international conflicts by negotiations instead of by war; (2) To maintain trust between countries and nations, caring for others' wellbeing; (3) Not to interfere in other countries' domestic affairs, and to recognize the right of each country to solve its own problems, (4) To respect each country's authority and its territorial integrity, (5) To promote universal participation in economic and cultural affairs, based on the right to equal and fair opportunities and mutual benefit.

Conclusion Today, during this Karen New Year time, all Karen nationals who are migrating to other countries, or living within Myanmar, should keep the best relations with each other, especially by maintaining: (1) charity (2) strong moral principles (3) self-sacrifice (4) unbiased mind (5) kindness (6) frugality (7) no anger (8) non-violence (9) tolerance (10)non-contradiction Nevertheless, the best qualities of our nation have been besieged by many difficulties. Understanding that everything that is valuable is difficult to get, we must try to maintain the moral principles which have been preserved by our forefathers and mothers through times past. I conclude my message here on Karen New Year Day by wishing that we may overcome the enemies of our nation. May the entire Karen Nation be healthy and wealthy, and may all the Karen people be united!

Patron Sayadaw Karen Literature and Culture Development Association Hpa-an Township, Karen State Sunday, December 25, 2011