Peace talks

The Nation - Saturday, October 25, 2003

In a major contribution to the United Nations' "Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence", Thailand has been chosen to host "Bridges: Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace", which the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation is co-hosting between November 3 and April 24 next year.

The series' Thai advisory board will be chaired by former Thai prime minister Anand Panyarachun.

The series will begin with a keynote speech by Reverend Jesse Jackson at 2pm on November 6 in the Thammasat University auditorium. Jackson is one of America's foremost political figures, beginning his career as an assistant to Dr Martin Luther King Jr and, later, twice running for US president.

With 80 event days planned over six months, more than 100 lectures, seminars, workshops and public events will be held with Nobel Laureates for peace, physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and others in the fields of international politics, economy, science, culture and the media.

Throughout the event, Thailand will be promoted as a centre for dialogue and international understanding.

In addition, well-known performing artists will lend their voices for the promotion of peace and non-violence to inspire the general audience and the young generation.

On January 14, Professor Marcia Haydee, director of the Stuttgart Ballet and the Ballet of Santiago de Chile, and Ismael Ivo, one of the best-known contemporary African-Brazilian dancers, will perform with 25 Thai dancers at the Thailand Cultural Centre.

At the same venue, soprano Jessye Norman will make her first appearance in Thailand with a recital on April 24.

The series will take place in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Songkhla from November to April next year, and again from November 2004 to April 2005.