Co-chaired by Mr Stephen Pound MP & Lord Tarsem King of West Bromwich
As you may know, a very exceptional man, the former Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. L.M. Singhvi, who touched many hearts and minds, during his six years service in the UK, has passed away. It is a great loss to us all, but we are all fortunate to have known him in his lifetime. Among his many accomplishments and positions, is the fact that he was the President of Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in India, in his retirement years. Last May on Dr Singhvi held an event in the House of Lords, entitled, 'Inter-religious Initiatives for World Peace'. Lord Parekh gave the keynote address and the Indian High Commissioner, HE Mr Kamalesh Sharma and Dr Singhvi spoke. During this event Lord Khalid Hameed, was presented with an Ambassador for Peace award.
Through this visit we had the honour and privilege of getting to know Dr. Singhvi and Mrs Singhvi together with his friend and his deputy Ambassador K.V. Rajan and Mrs. Rajan. In consultation with some of his close friends, and with the blessing of Mrs. Singhvi, we at UPF have decided to dedicate an annual event to Dr. Singhvi’s memory, preferably in autumn. Through this event we would like to capture his spirit of bringing harmony and understanding among all people of God. The preferred venue for these annual events was chosen as the Houses of Parliament where as a past Parliamentarian in India, Dr Singhvi, felt very much at home.
For this year’s inaugural event, we would like to invite a number of people, including parliamentarians who knew him well, to speak about Dr Singhvi. Others may also be invited to share their feelings about the great man as long as time permits. In future years, we will invite speakers to offer a memorial lecture that reflects Dr Singhvi's interests and desire for harmony with special emphasis in the area of interfaith.
The Holy Land Medical Project is a partnership of Saving Lives, a Rotarian Medical Aid Agency, and the Universal Peace Federation’s Middle East Peace Initiative. It is following a successful model of collaborative health care in parts of India that furthered dialogue and reconciliation between two communities in tension. We will establish a Board of Trustees of the three faith leaders, Israeli and Palestinian Doctors and business managers from both communities to oversee proposed training health centres. With support from the Saving Lives network, UK volunteer Doctors and an international network of Ambassadors for Peace, medical training courses, telemedicine, exchange visits, and twinning of hospitals etc. are envisaged.
There was a high spirited UPF event at Lancaster Gate on Saturday November 17th entitled ‘Creating One Family Under God: Forward Looking Peace Making Efforts and Principles, Reform of the United Nations and the Achievement of Millennium Development Goals.’
The programme began with the call to prayer from Mohamed Aslam who was attending with Mayor Liquat Ali of the London Borough of Waltham Forest who gave greetings and an encouragement for Ambassadors for Peace to live for the sake of others.
‘Saving Lives’ joins hands with the ‘Middle East Peace Initiative’
In explaining the role the of a UK charity called ‘Saving Lives’ it’s Director, Peter Patel said, "In disaster areas of the world, many aid organisations tend to walk away prematurely and without building the capacity for victims to look after their own affairs and so we essentially do the post-disaster intermediate term work by providing advanced training to local medical personnel and monitoring their progress. Basically, we identify a project we want to deliver; we collect the money, find appropriate NGO partners, adopt that project, build it, deliver it, and oversee the rehabilitation period over two to three years."
Since 1992 Saving Lives has set up successful projects in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka following major cyclones, earthquakes and a tsunami. The organisation has built healthcare centres, rebuilt schools and provided clean drinking water and public health facilities.
Two Japanese wives based in the West Country have recently decided to take up an invitation to visit North Korea. Tomoko Harris and Keiko de Giles, who hold regular Universal Peace Federation meetings in Bristol, believe it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity not worth missing.Under the guidance of Bristol’s Reverend Palmer, supporters of the group organized a surprise farewell meeting for them. A number of friends, many of whom had received the Ambassador for Peace award, prepared a room with food, gifts and donations and expressed their appreciation of the work that Tomoko and Keiko were doing and wished them a safe time in North Korea. They also spoke of their gratitude in having become Ambassadors for Peace and how the status had enhanced their outlook.
The first steps towards the formation of a Birmingham Peace Council were taken this evening. Adopting a theme of ‘Religions Working Together’, some sixty people and Ambassadors for Peace gathered at Dr David and Patricia Earle’s Birmingham home for a presentation about some of the activities of the International and Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace and the International Peace Federation including examples from the United Nations.