To: Leaders of The Communist Party of Vietnam
Leaders of The government of Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
You must have been well aware of the self-immolation on September 2, 2001 by the Buddhist Ho Tan Anh, Dharma name Hanh Minh, aged 61, to protest the policies towards Vietnamese Buddhism by the Communist Party of Vietnam and the government of Socialist Republic of Vietnam. That incident has moved the conscience of the entire mankind. Love for life and avoidance of death are intrinsic natures of all sentient beings. All voluntary deaths, from a profoundness which contain the most intimate meaning of mankind, clearly reflect societal reality. Therefore, being in a leadership role within Vietnamese Buddhism, I feel that I have a responsibility to remind the Communist Party of Vietnam and the government of Socialist Republic of Vietnam to be courageous and accept their own accountability for Buddhist Ho Tan Anh’s immolation to protect his principles. You should not avoid this responsibility by blaming on reasons that I am sure even you know that are deceptive.
The broadest cause is the policy to eliminate Vietnamese Buddhism, a boulder of traditional national values, by controlling all activities of Vietnamese Buddhism, by forging and willingly changing virtuous Buddha’s Dharma in order to replicate the so-called socialist orientation, and by converting Vietnam Buddhist Church into a political organization under the Fatherland Front’s control with a fiendish policy which is to exploit religions to collect and dominate people in order to serve the ruling power ambition of a minority over an absolute public majority. It is the corruption of traditional values and the suppression policy using proletariat’s violence the main reasons for many self-immolations by Vietnamese Monks, Nuns, and Buddhists in the past. Buddhism’s fundamental moral value is to respect life. The ideal of Buddhist followers is to elevate the quality of their own lives and of all sentient beings.
Therefore, the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam has been, and will be doing her very best so that Vietnamese Monks, Nuns, and Buddhists do not have to sacrifice their own lives just only because of the Communist Party’s short-sighted policies. However, if the Communist Party of Vietnam does not express self-repentance and not only change the policies towards the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam specifically but also the entire national governing policies, the situation will become very disastrous. Violence can only scare the cowards, but it is meaningless to the ones who know how to live and die worthily of human values. You know this very well. Therefore, I would like to sincerely remind you not to run away from the truth and avoid your own responsibility towards every citizen’s perilous circumstances, for the sake of your lunatic power ambition. For the people’s happiness, for priceless human’s life, I wish the Communist Party of Vietnam wakes up shortly so that no citizen will have to choose the path of self-immolation in order to preserve their honor and other sacred human values.
Buddhist Calendar Year 2545, September 04, 2001.
Advisor of the Institute for the Dissemination of Dharma
The Most Venerable Thich Duc Nhuan