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"WFBY" meeting in Seoul not recognized by the World Fellowship of Buddhists

The Buddhist Channel, March 3, 2017

Bangkok, Thailand -- The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) has issued a statement which categorily rejects a meeting held by a rival "WFBY" in Seoul, South Korea some time in February, 2017.

In a press release issued yesterday, it states that "such person or group that held the meeting in the Republic of Korea on February B.E. 2560 (2017) are not the executives that the WFB have endorsed. Any actions incurred therewith has no relevance whatsoever and does not involve the WFB and the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth (WFBY)."

It further states that the rightful World Fellowhip of Buddhist Youth (WFBY) was constitutionally endorsed at the General Assembly held in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 29-30th September, 2016. The following members were elected into the Executive Board at that meeting:

Mr. Denphong Suwannachairop (Thailand) - President
Rev. Hakuga Murayama (Japan) - Deputy President
Mr. Mooi Chee Onn (Malaysia) - Vice President
Ms. Puthula Parami Sumathipala (Sri Lanka) - Vice President
Mr. Jeon Joon-ho (South Korea) - Vice President
Ms. Arnitara Bajracharya (Nepal) - Vice President
Mr. Tsewang Norbu Vivek (India) - Vice President
Ms. Lin Chien-hui (Taiwan) - Vice President
Mr. Noppakao Chaiyaburin (Thailand) - Vice President
Mr. Jirayu Kaewphanao - Treasurer General
Mr. Idanont Thaiarry - Secretary-General

The WFB also stated that a letter outlining the composition of the new WFBY Executive Council was sent to the Department of Religious Affairs (Thailand) and other related Royal Thai Government agencies.

In a separate statement issued on the same day (March 2), the World Fellowhip of Buddhist Youth (WFBY) states that "any individual or party, except the current Executive Board of the WFBY, cannot refer or apply the name of the WFBY on any activities that is not certified or approved by the Executive Board of the WFBY."

The statement deems the meeting held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea on February B.E. 2560 (2017) as "not certified".

The WFBY also declared its non involvement in activities carried out and publicised by the rival "WFBY" such as the application of (WFBY) name, usage of the WFBY logo, reference of persons or group as members of a specific regional centre of the WFBY to perform or act in the name of the WFBY, including the granting of awards and titles, or the fabrication of website and Facebook page.

The WFBY states that it has no involvement in such actions.

Rival "WFBY"

An online investigation has revealed that the rival "WFBY" has its own website, http://www.wfbytoday.org/. On its homepage, the latest event posted was on September 11, 2016.

On this website, the page on "Board of WFBY" indicates the President to be Dr. Pornchai Pinyapong (MD). Dr Pornchai was unanimously voted out by WFBY's Executive Committee in an emergency meeting held at it's headquarters in Bangkok, on April 4, 2016.

The full report on that meeting can be viewed here.

On its Facebook page, there is an image of a group showing support for the outlawed Thailand based Dhammakaya group. The Facebook page can be viewed here:


Rival "WFBY's" leader

On record, Dr Pornchai's removal as President of the (rightful) WFBY was not only due to his association with Dhammakaya. In June 2015, in his third term as President of the WFBY, he signed an agreement with the Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion, also known as "Ma Ba Tha"  to provide equipment and expertise for Myanmar's first Buddhist radio station.

This initiative was of great concern to mainstream Buddhists as Ma Ba Tha is seen as a nationalist movement whose chief concern is to conduct divisive and destructive attacks on Myanmar's Muslims.

The group has been implicated in every act of violence against Muslims in the past three years. That includes clashes involving Rohingya people in western Rakhine state, and against Myanmar Muslim communities in other parts of the country.

Ma Ba Tha is a prime backer of the movement for so-called "protection of religion" laws. It states clearly that Muslims deserve and should expect discrimination because they are "enemies of Buddhism".

A full report of this issue can be found here:

If you require more information, please visit WFB and WFBY official website and Facebook page here:

WFB website: http://wfbhq.org
WFBY Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/buddhistyouth/

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