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    » 08/04/2012, 00.00

    THAILAND

    Thai Bishops: Church's social doctrine, for development of ASEAN community

    Weena Kovidhavanij

    By 2015 free trade and movement among member nations. Concerns about growing inequality, materialism and consumerism. To respond to the crisis, Catholics and Caritas promote the value of human dignity and individual, in a perspective of sustainable growth. Increased knowledge of ASEAN community and support for non-negotiable values.

    Bangkok (AsiaNews) - In a society a "slave"  to capitalism, materialism, the frantic search for money and success, the values ​​of the Church and a focus on the human being are essential for a true development of the nation. These elements are important and urgent, particularly in view of the path taken by Thailand within ASEAN - an Association that brings together 10 South-East Asian nations - which by 2015 hopes to reach free trade and movement among member states. The close collaboration between the bishops 'conference and individual dioceses is essential to the success of this goal, particularly in the fields of education, promoting awareness of the ASEAN Community and support for non-negotiable values: the dignity of human life and the person, rights and responsibilities within society.

    The road map endorsed by the ASEAN nations - Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Brunei, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia - will be implemented by 2015, allowing for free trade and movement, with the following objectives: elimination of the last tariff barriers, the standardization of customs procedures and criteria of designations of origin and investment, the liberalization of capital within the area; free movement of workers, opening-up the service sector, the strengthening of inter-regional infrastructure.

    In an increasingly stringent and consumerist market, in which rich poor divide is widening, the social doctrine of the Church becomes a point of reference for enhancement of the individual and global progress. For some time the bishops of Thailand have launched initiatives and meetings devoted to the subject, as was the case with the last synod of the local Caritas, scheduled for June 19 to 21 at the Camillians center in Bangkok. The event was joined Msgr. Philip Banchong Chaiyara, President of the Thai bishops Commission for Human Development in the Conference, 13 priests, 46 religious and 72 lay people, who debated the theme: "Challenges of the Church in human development, towards the creation of the ASEAN Community ".

    Inequality and exploitation increasingly characterize Asian societies in modern times, among the countries there are huge economic disparities and the problem of migrant workers emerges forcefully. This situation is due to human trafficking and drugs smuggling, spikes in crime, violations of the rights of individuals.

    In the agricultural sector more and more acres of land are torn from the hands of farmers, to promote the intensive cultivation in the capitalist mold, with disastrous consequences for the environment and food production. Added to these economic disasters there also human and social fractures that lead to an increase in cases of abortion, teenage pregnancy, violence and abuse in the family.

    For this reason Catholics must revive the principles of the social doctrine of the Church, for a development that takes account of economic progress but also the value and dignity of every person. By being a Church that is among the poor and marginalized, the faithful with the support of their pastors will encourage awareness of the ASEAN community and contribute to its development.

     

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    See also

    23/10/2009 THAILAND – ASEAN
    Economy, environment and human rights at the centre of ASEAN summit in Thailand
    Ten-member ASEAN summit opens with speech by Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva who is promoting the idea of an “ASEAN Community” to strengthen cooperation in the areas of economics and human rights. A special TV channel will follow proceedings and discussions live.

    25/05/2010 THAILAND
    Thai Buddhists celebrate Vesak and seek solutions to political and social crisis
    Thailand is still shaken from weeks of tension and violence that have sown death and destruction. The theme of 2010, organized in collaboration with the Japanese, focusing on Buddhist "prospects" in world economy. Prayers, meditations and torchlight processions for peace in the country.

    21/12/2013 THAILAND
    Bangkok, Catholic businessmen focus on Churches' social doctine
    In March 2014, the Thai capital will host a conference that will bring together the leaders in the world of business and finance. Not only business but also the ethical and social issues in focus. Also under discussion the new evangelization and pastoral challenges of the future “that affect every sector of human life"

    16/11/2011 THAILAND
    Flood situation improving in Bangkok as Caritas brings aid to victims
    Water levels continue to drop. In “two weeks”, main streets and communication links should be clean. Catholic Church shares aid with Buddhist communities affected by floods. PM Shinawatra meets UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    11/11/2011 THAILAND
    Bangkok still on flood alert, as class action is prepared against govt
    Almost 10 billion cubic metres of water could swamp Bangkok’s central districts by mid-November. Plans for funnelling out the water are being implemented. Lawyers prepare to file a lawsuit against the government. The prime minister dismisses calls for her resignation. Many now fear contamination of water supplies.



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