International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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IVU Annual Report 2006

2nd Asian Vegetarian Congress

The 2nd Asian Vegetarian Congress with the motto: Vegetarianism for Health Environment and Peace was held in Bangkok, Thailand from 19th-21st March 2006.

Supporting organizations included The Asian Vegetarian Union, Thai Vegetarian Union, Arokya Federation, the Mahasarakham University, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, and the Ministry of Public Health.

The opening ceremony was formal. Dr. Pichai Tovivich, Chairman of the organizing committee, gave a report and welcome speech, while Pornthep Srinarula, President of the Thai Vegetarian Union, welcomed delegates. I gave the opening speech in the capacity as president of the Asian Vegetarian Union stating that we must aspire for higher values through vegetarianism and lead to satvik (pure) food and thought.

Pujya Shri Chitrabhanuji, President of The Vegetarian Society (Reverence for Life) delivered a keynote address, wherein he pointed out that vegetarianism is a basic step to harmony and peace throughout the world.

There were several other speakers including Dr. Art-ong Jumsai and Na Ayuthaya of Thailand, who explained how vegetarian food positively affects the children in the school started by them. Mr. Pornthep Srinarula of Thailand then gave a speech on Vegetarianism in Thailand and mentioned that during the Chinese New Year many people become vegetarian, which increases the vegetarian population by more than 40% during that time.

Again I spoke on vegetarianism for healthy life and vegetarian way of life.

Dr. Maitree Suttajit's papers were presented and read by his daughter Dr. Siritree Suttajit.

Joint sessions were conducted in the Thai language. There were many delegates from India, USA, Malaysia, Iran and Korea etc.

The following day, Mr. Pramodaji spoke on vegetarianism, while Mrs Gerry Coffey from the U.S. spoke on food and how it affects our mood. Mr. Andrew Butler from PETA Asian Pacific, spoke on vegetarian activism. Dr. Pishu Murli Hassaram from Malaysia spoke on tourism and vegetarianism is Malaysia. There were many other speakers and approximately 300 delegates.

Wednesday was an off day for sight seeing and some delegates went to Chiang Mai by train to attend the post congress tour from 23rd March to 25th March 2006.

I approached many delegates and requested them to attend the 37th IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa, India.

Dr. Pichai Tovivich led the closing ceremony with a cultural program at the end. All in all, the congress was really thought provoking.

- Jashu Shah,
President Asian Vegetarian Union, Gen. Secretary Vegetarian Society (Reverence for Life), Regional Coordinator of IVU, Fellow of IVU.