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Paṭisambhidā Jāla-Abaddha Paripanti Tipiṭaka Anvesanā ca Paricaya Nikhilavijjālaya ca ñātibhūta Pavatti Nissāya 
http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org anto 105 Seṭṭhaganthāyatta Bhāsā
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07/15/08
B Media 4 UR Own Idea to propagate the Path Shown by the Blessed, Noble, Awakened Mighty Great Mind !-In the right path shown by The Exalted, Blessed, Noble, Awakened Supreme Human Being with a Mighty Great Mind (TEBNASHBMGM), the notion of balance is central. The path to awakenment is never paved with absolutes, but with impermanence, which in policy terms means that reality is far too changeable to be guided by rules like those that have come to dominate these debates. True leadership means finding the balance we have lost. It may thus come down to this question: What would Buddha do?-Prakash Karat meets Mayawati
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:16 am



In the right
path shown by The Exalted, Blessed, Noble, Awakened Supreme Human Being with a
Mighty Great Mind (TEBNASHBMGM), the notion of balance is central. The path to
awakenment is never paved with absolutes, but with impermanence, which in
policy terms means that reality is far too changeable to be guided by rules
like those that have come to dominate these debates.


True leadership means finding the balance we have lost. It may thus come down
to this question: What would Buddha do?


Sufficiency
Economy as Part of the National Economic and Social Development Plan

Sufficiency Economy Continues to Be Highlighted in the
10thNational Economic and Social Development Plan
 

 

The 10th
National Economic and Social Development Plan still focuses on the “Sufficiency
Economy” philosophy as guidance for the development of Thailand in the next five years.
The main principle of this plan is to create balance and sustainability in all
areas of national development.

The Cabinet on 12 September 2006
approved the 10th National Development Plan, to be implemented from
the 2007 to 2011 fiscal years. Initiated by His Majesty the King, the
Sufficiency Economy philosophy means moderation, reasonableness, and having a
healthy “immune system” to protect each level of society against any impact
caused by external and internal changes. Thailand suffered a great deal from
the 1997 economic crisis and the bursting of the economy. In his address to
well-wishers in an audience on 4 December 1997, His Majesty insisted that
people’s approach to livelihood, trade, and consumption must be changed into a
sustainable type for people to have enough to live on and to be relatively
self-supporting. Even before the 1997 economic crisis, His Majesty began
promoting the Sufficiency Economy philosophy.

The philosophy points the way for
recovery and places emphasis on basic economic development to be carried out
step by step, based on appropriate conduct in every aspect of life, in order to
maintain sustainability. His Majesty’s vision of development has guided Thailand in a
sustainable direction. It serves as insurance against the volatility of the
world economy. At least, the weak and the vulnerable will have some protection,
as everyone is encouraged to live within their means without extravagance.

In the Ninth National Economic and
Social Development Plan, 2002 to 2006, the Sufficiency Economy philosophy was
adopted as the guideline for national development and administration, together
with the “people-centered approach.” According to a report prepared by the
Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, during the period
of the 10th National Development Plan, Thailand
is likely to face many changes in several contexts. So the country has to be
prepared for new challenges and impacts by strengthening its immune system.

The 10th National Development Plan also continues to emphasize
people as the center of development objectives, as stated in the eighth and
ninth development plans. The vision is that Thailand will strive to become a
“green and happiness society” under the democratic administration with His
Majesty the King as Head of State. In order to achieve this vision, guidelines
for the Sufficiency Economy philosophy will be adopted as the mission of the
plan.

The mission consists of four major principles. The first principle seeks to
develop people into quality citizens with both virtue and knowledge. In the
second guideline, the Thai economy will be strengthened to create more stability
and fairness. The third one seeks to maintain the country’s biodiversity, while
strengthening the natural resource base and enhancing environmental quality.
The fourth principle calls for good governance in national administration.


Five development strategies are included in the 10th National
Economic and Social Development Plan. The first strategy seeks to develop Thai
society into a knowledge-based society, and the potential of Thai people will
be enhanced to enable them to keep pace with the changing world. It focuses on
a peaceful society and maintaining the Thai identity. This strategy will also
prepare for demographic changes resulting from the growing number of older
persons.

In the second strategy, community empowerment will receive greater attention in
order to establish firm foundations for the country. Emphasis will also be
placed on social justice, while promoting processes of learning and maintaining
cultural diversity and Thai wisdom. Community economy will be stabilized and
poverty will be eased.

The third strategy calls for economic restructuring to create equilibrium and
competitiveness during this “Asian century.” In this regard, the Thai economy
will be strengthened, with less dependence on external factors. The country’s
infrastructure, logistics, and energy will be developed together with the
production sector.

In the fourth strategy, Thailand will
be developed on the basis of biodiversity. Communities will be allowed to play
a greater role in natural resource management. Environment-friendly production
and services will get a major boost.

The fifth strategy calls for the
decentralization of administrative power and distribution of resources to the
regional areas of the country. It also focuses on creating a culture of democracy
and encouraging people to participate more in national development.

 

    A
Call for Applying His Majesty’s Concepts to National Development
 

 

His Majesty the King
has been advocating the “Sufficiency Economy” development concept for a long
time, as reflected in his speeches. The concept is gaining prominence, and
calls have been made for applying insights from His Majesty’s speeches to
national development and for promoting this concept seriously
.

President of the Privy Council and
Statesman General Prem Tinsulanonda urged all sides to pay greater attention to
His Majesty’s words, as they are useful in the solving of economic, political,
and social problems. General Prem made the call in his address at the seminar,
“The Creation of a Learning Society in Accordance with His Majesty’s
Initiatives and Sufficiency Economy Philosophy.” Organized by the Foundation
for International Human Resource Development, the seminar took place on 6 June
2006 at the Chulabhorn Research Institute in Bangkok.

In his address, General Prem quoted
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan as saying that His Majesty’s
development agenda and visionary thinking are an inspiration to his subjects
and to people everywhere. The Secretary-General paid a visit to Thailand in May
2006 to present the United Nations Development Program’s inaugural Human
Development Lifetime Achievement Award to His Majesty the King.

General Prem pointed out that what Mr.
Annan had said was proof that the Sufficiency Economy concept is a modern development
trend and that it is always appropriate. Everyone knows that one of the major
problems faced by Thailand
is poverty. He believes that the Sufficiency Economy philosophy is an effective
way to help ease the poverty problem. His Majesty’s speeches provide good
answers to all problems. They are full of wisdom and will be useful for Thais,
if put into action
.

In another statement, to the high-level
panel “His Majesty the King and Human Development,” at the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs in Bangkok
on 26 May 2006, General Prem said, “To me, therefore, the story of His
Majesty’s lifelong work is very much a story of promoting human development.
Sixty years ago, at His Majesty’s coronation in 1946, His Majesty articulated
his overriding goal: ‘We shall reign with righteousness for the benefit and
happiness of the Siamese people.’ Those words encapsulate the commitment of His
Majesty to placing the people of Thailand at the very heart of His
reign and at the center of his initiatives
.

“Throughout the six decades since then,
these words of commitment have been reflected in deeds. His Majesty has visited
every province of the Kingdom to learn first hand the challenges facing the
people and to help. I still recall the pioneering visit made by Their Majesties
the King and Queen of Thailand
to the impoverished Northeast in 1955. Over the course of 22 arduous days, the
Royal Couple visited villages and cities, talking to ordinary people and civil
servants, learning of their problems and concerns. Since then, such visits have
become a regular feature of his reign. Countless royal initiatives followed to
bring development to people in the most remote corners of the Kingdom. The
Chaipattana Foundation was established to provide initial financial support for
development projects. The Royal Project introduced crop substitution to the
tribal people living along Thailand’s
borders with Laos and Myanmar. His
Majesty’s development learning centers served as venues for experimentation
with new crops that would enable farmers to enjoy more productive crop yield.
In all of these initiatives, the focus has always been on what the people need.

In His Majesty’s words, ‘In working out
a program, to help people, it is necessary to know the people that you intend
to help.’ I wish to reflect on what I see are His Majesty’s key guiding
principles imparted to the Thai people in pursuing their lives and development.

“First, His
Majesty has always emphasized the importance of moderation in pursuing one’s
life. The ‘Middle Path,’ when practiced at the level of individuals, families,
and communities, as well as collectively in pursuing a balanced national
development strategy, will provide a firm foundation to face the challenges of
today’s globalized world. It is reflected in His Majesty’s ‘Sufficiency
Economy’ which, though practiced for a long time, gained prominence in the
aftermath of the 1997 financial crisis. Sufficiency Economy involves applying
moderation in all human endeavors. It lessens our appetite for wealth and
wasteful consumption. It does not advocate isolationism but facilitates
smoother integration into the global economy. And it helps strengthen the moral
fiber of the nation by promoting honesty and integrity
.

“Second, there
is a need for people to have perseverance to face hardships and suffering.
Whatever challenge to human security that an individual faces, it can be
overcome. But one needs to work hard. This applies to development. There is no
quick fix for any problem, no easy way to get at a solution. We need to rely on
ourselves first. Lord Buddha once taught over two millennia ago that ‘Thou art `thine
own refuge.’ That is why His Majesty’s royal initiatives have been oriented to
‘helping people to help themselves.

“Third, people should maintain their
individuality — in identifying problems and in choosing solutions. It
presupposes freedom of choice for the individual. But it also suggests that
choices be made wisely. This requires that people have a keen sense of
awareness. At the same time, people should be willing to make sacrifices to
help the community, village, or country, to contribute to the common good. We
can have both. His Majesty once said, ‘To act for the common good does not mean
that everyone must make sacrifice what can be sacrificed in order for the whole
to survive.’

“And fourth, people should cherish the
sense of being Thai. We are an old nation of rich cultural heritage and a
wealth of collective wisdom accumulated over many generations. The Thai people
should not only be proud of this — they should seek to make use of this local
knowledge in earning their living. Knowledge from the outside world is also
important. Nevertheless, His Majesty urges prudence in the application of
knowledge, from whatever source. We should be more selective in what we seek to
embrace.


“His Majesty has been called a Working Monarch by some, a Development King by
others. But in the center of his heart lies the people of Thailand. That
is why our beloved monarch, the Soul of the Nation, has always been and will
always be the leading force for human development in this country.”

 

    Following
in the Footstep of His Majesty on Simplicity and Self-Sufficiency
 

 

His Majesty the King
has adopted the principle of simplicity based on the laws of nature and a
self-supporting economy. His philosophy of “Sufficiency Economy” has become a
major inspiration, which provides the people with a proper way to lead their
lives and improve their livelihood.

Secretary-General of the Chaipattana
Foundation Dr. Sumet Tantivejkul said His Majesty had remarked that people
today consumed an excessive amount of natural resources. If this situation
continued, it would be difficult for future generations to survive. Dr. Sumet
quoted His Majesty as urging people not to destroy nature, as they would be
severely affected by natural destruction, as seen from frequent natural
disasters taking place in various parts of the world.

He said that simplicity and
self-sufficiency have been found in most projects initiated by His Majesty the
King. For example, in replanting forests, His Majesty instructed the growing of
three types of wood. The first one is hardwood for building houses and making
tools. The second type involves trees with edible fruit for food production.

The last one is fuel wood, which
includes mainly fast-growing trees. He has also encouraged the growing of
herbal plants.

According to Dr. Sumet, His Majesty the
King has suggested that Thai people turn to Sufficiency Economy to achieve
equitable and stable development, which is often referred to as sustainable
development. Sufficiency Economy means having enough to survive and to lead a
reasonably comfortable life without extravagance. This concept will help
improve the welfare of the people and their quality of life. In the past, the
United Nations measured the prosperity of a country in monetary terms, but
today emphasis is placed on the people’s quality of life.

Numerous speeches delivered by His
Majesty the King have urged the people to use wisdom in developing the country.
He once said that it was highly important to encourage and help people earn
their living and support themselves with adequate means, because those who were
gainfully employed and self-supporting would be capable of contributing
positively to higher levels of development.


Dr. Sumet also said that economic growth offers a good opportunity for only a
small group of people, if no emphasis is placed on income distribution. The
country’s early economic and social development plans followed foreign patterns
and focused mainly on gaining profits and bringing in earnings, without taking
into account income distribution for the nation as a whole.

It is time now for Thailand to
stand on its own feet and use His Majesty’s speeches as a guiding light in
their lives. He said that competition in development might lead to battles for
natural resources, such as a fight for energy or water. The darkness of
globalization would be evident and cause troubles, if people did not stop
taking excessively from others.

He added that the Sufficiency Economy
philosophy, initiated by His Majesty, should be an alternative development path
for Thai people, who must adopt it without the fear of falling off the global
train. He saw no use in catching a train that might take people to their own
destruction.


The Sufficiency Economy concept is connected with His Majesty’s “New Theory” in
agriculture. Its essence is efficient management in land use, aimed at
maximizing benefits for farmers from small plots of land, while supplying them
with enough water to last the entire year. The recommended method is for
farmers to divide their land into four different sections. Each would have
different purpose. The first 30 percent would be a pond to store seasonal rain.
The second 30 percent would be for rice growing to meet the family’s
consumption needs. The third 30 percent would be to grow other crops for
consumption and a source of income. The last 10 percent would be for building a
home, animal pens, and a rice barn.

His Majesty once said that he had
devised the New Theory so that people would be in a position of
self-sufficiency in agriculture. In 1989, he authorized the Chaipattana
Foundation to buy a plot of land surrounding Wat Mongkhol Chai Pattana in Saraburi Province to serve as a demonstration
center, where people could learn this theory and try it out.

In this regard, Her Royal Highness
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn explained that the origin of His Majesty the
King’s New Theory was another good example for conservation and management of biodiversity
and other available natural resources, to enhance food security. The
explanation was given in her address at the Food and Agriculture Organization
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific on 18
October 2004. She said that the main purpose of this theory is to help small
landholders to increase farm income and food production through the appropriate
division and utilization of land. In their farmland, these small landholders
are encouraged to grow a range of crops, such as rice and horticultural plants.
The New Theory also calls for the establishment of farm ponds for rainwater
harvesting for dry season crops and for fishery promotion.

The Princess said that after the
successful establishment of the demonstration center at Wat Mongkhol Chai Pattana,
farmers in all parts of the country have adopted this technique and have shown
promising results. In all these tasks, His Majesty the King has promoted
environmentally friendly techniques and efficient management of local resources
to increase agricultural productivity and ensure food security.

 

    Members
of the Press Thanked for Publicizing the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy
 

 

Members of the press
have been thanked for helping publicize the “Sufficiency Economy” philosophy
more widely among the people. Director-General of the Bureau of the Crown
Property Chirayu Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya said that Sufficiency Economy had
received greater attention since 9 June 2006, which was considered one of the
most joyful days of the Sixtieth Anniversary Celebrations of His Majesty’ s
Accession to the Throne
.

Mr. Chirayu spoke about the Sufficiency
Economy concept in his keynote address on the topic “Following in His Majesty
the King’s Footsteps” at a seminar marking the ninth anniversary of the Press
Council of Thailand on 4 July 2006. He said that, with media reports, Thai
people knew that they had made His Majesty the King happy on June 9, when they
showed a deep sense of love and respect for him in one of the largest public
gatherings in Bangkok.
On that day, His Majesty appeared on the balcony of the Ananta Samakhom Throne
Hall to greet crowds of well-wishers outside.

Mr. Chirayu said that many people wanted
this deep feeling they shared during the celebrations to remain forever in
their hearts and minds. In order to keep this feeling, he suggested that Thai
people follow in the footsteps of His Majesty, who serves as a role model for
everyone. His Majesty is an inspiration to all, and if people respond to his
suggestions, Mr. Chirayu believes that Thai society will improve at all levels
.

He urged people to adopt the philosophy
of Sufficiency Economy in leading their life and developing the nation at the
macro level. Since 1999, this concept has been accepted widely, because the
Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB)
incorporated this philosophy into the Ninth National Economic and Social
Development Plan.

Because of the strong tide of
globalization, there is growing concern that the concept may be forgotten. So
in 2003, NESDB formed a subcommittee to promote Sufficiency Economy. The move
has broadened people’s understanding about it. Implementing the principles of
Sufficiency Economy means moderation, economizing, rationalization, and the
creation of “social immunity” for the people. Mr. Chirayu stressed that the
philosophy is an appropriate model for conduct in every aspect of life, and it
could also be applied at the individual and national levels.


He said it is hoped that by 5 December 2007, the Sufficiency Economy philosophy
will be translated into action on a wide scale, as a tribute to His Majesty the
King on the occasion of his 80th birthday anniversary. At the
international level, this concept has been well recognized by the United
Nations, as shown by the conferring of the UNDP Human Development Lifetime
Achievement Award on His Majesty on 26 May 2006 by United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

In his remarks
at the International Buddhist Conference in celebration of the United Nations
Day of Vesak at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok in May 2006,
Mr. Chirayu explained that the essence of the Sufficiency Economy philosophy
comprises three main elements, namely moderation, knowledge, and resilience
against uncertainties. “Practicing these three elements in your life, guided by
the Buddhist values of integrity, honesty, perseverance and sharing with your
community, can make your life become better step by step in a sustainable way,”
he said.

 

    Sufficiency Economy Based on the Principles of Buddhist Economics
 

 

The “Sufficiency Economy” philosophy advocated by His
Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is based on the Buddhist principles of
self-reliance, contentment, moderation, and the Middle Path. These are the
principles of Buddhist economics.


The Rector of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya
University, Professor
Phra Dharmakosajarn, wrote about Sufficiency Economy and Buddhist principles in
his article “Self-Sufficiency Economy as Advocated by His Majesty the King.”
The article is part of the book A Buddhist Worldview, comprising papers
written by Phra Dharmakosajarn on different occasions and for different
audiences.

It says that,
in order to fight against hunger and poverty, the Buddha gave a set of
teachings, which have become a guideline for Buddhist economics. Following the
Buddha’s teachings on economic issues, His Majesty the King delivered a royal
speech on the self-sufficiency economy to the entire nation in December 1997.
Since then, the principles of the self-sufficiency economy have been followed
by various agencies in Thailand
to rescue the country from the economic crisis.


His Majesty elaborated on the meaning of the word “self-sufficiency” by saying
that it means having enough to live on and to live for. He explained further by
contrasting his concept of self-sufficiency with the meaning of the word
“self-sufficiency” in English.

“Self-sufficiency
in English means that whatever we produce, we have enough for our own use. We
do not have to borrow from other people. We can rely on ourselves; as people
say, ‘we can stand on our own two legs.’ But self-sufficiency carries a broader
meaning. It means having enough and being satisfied with the situation. If
people are satisfied with their needs, they will be less greedy. With less
greed, they will cause less trouble to other people. If any country values this
idea — the idea of doing what is necessary just to have enough, being satisfied
at a moderate level, being honest, and not being greedy — its people will be
happy.

“Self-sufficiency does not restrict
people from having much, or from possessing luxurious items, but it implies
that one must not take advantage of others. Everything must be within its
limits. Saying what is necessary, acting just as needed, and working
adequately.”

His Majesty the
King’s advocacy of a self-sufficiency economy encourages the Buddhist
communities in Thailand to return to the main values of Buddhism and to realize
that economic recovery for the country is to be obtained through the study and
practice of the Buddha’s teachings on economic issues. By advocating a
self-sufficiency economy, His Majesty has shown to Buddhist communities that
Buddhism can be relevant to the world today. Moreover, His Majesty has done a
great service for the propagation of Buddhism by translating the Mahajanaka
Jataka into Thai and English, with some modifications to suit contemporary
society. The translation was completed in 1988 and published in 1996. The book
is a bestseller and has become very popular in Thailand.

In The Story
of Mahajanaka,
the Buddhist value of perseverance is emphasized. According
to the story, King Mahajanaka practices ultimate perseverance without the
desire for reward, which results in his gaining a throne and bringing
prosperity and wealth to his kingdom. The publication of The Story of
Mahajanaka
was timely, as it encouraged the Thai people to endure the
economic crisis and strive for the economic recovery through “pure
perseverance, sharp wisdom, and complete physical health.”

His Majesty’s advocacy of self-sufficiency
economy and his translation of The Story of Mahajanaka have indicated
that Buddhism can be relevant to the world today, if Buddhists study the basics
of the Buddha’s teachings and interpret them with modifications to suit
contemporary society. His Majesty has represented Buddhism as a form of
religious teaching and practice that provides a basis for social, political,
and economic life in the modern world.

 

    Sufficiency
Economy Model Villages
 

 

The Ministry of
Interior has carried out a project to establish “Sufficiency Economy” model
villages in 75 provinces to solve social and poverty problems in an integrated
manner.

The project is meant to honor His Majesty the King on the occasion of the 60th
anniversary of his accession to the throne. His Majesty’s Sufficiency Economy
concept has received increasing attention, not only in Thailand but
also in the international community. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi
Annan said in May 2006 that His Majesty’s Sufficiency Economy philosophy is of
great relevance to communities everywhere during these times of rapid
globalization.

His Majesty the King emphasized in his royal addresses and speeches on various
occasions development guidelines based on sufficiency, moderation, economizing,
rationalization, and the creation of “social immunity” for the people
.

In response to this concept, the Ministry of Interior has formed a committee to
select one village as a Sufficiency Economy model in each province. The
proposed village will show other villages how to translate the Sufficiency
Economy philosophy into action. The objective of the project is to enhance
community empowerment.

A target has been set to create 5,000 Sufficiency Economy model villages in
2006. A model village must be able to reduce expenses and increase income and
savings. Local people must set a good example in pursuing their lives,
preserving natural resources and the environment, and showing care for others.

Provincial governors have been
instructed to use the Sufficiency Economy model village as the center for
knowledge sharing among local people. The project is intended to lead
communities in Thailand
toward sustainable development. With the application of this concept at the
grassroots level, many farmers have found a new sense of empowerment, since
they have become more self-reliant and increased their ability to contribute to
sustainable development.

Ban Bang Saphan in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat is among the
Sufficiency Economy model villages, selected by the Department of Community
Development, Ministry of Interior. The head of this village said that Ban Bang
Saphan was very poor in recent years. Since their rice production was low
because their farms were affected by saltwater, many local villagers turned to
shrimp farming. But they suffered losses when shrimp prices fell, and, to make
matters worse, the quality of their soil had declined. Since applying the
Sufficiency Economy philosophy, however, villagers found that their living and
environmental conditions have improved. Local people have also shared knowledge
and assisted one another in ways that have improved the community and the
people
.

In another development, a number of learning centers for the Sufficiency
Economy philosophy have been established in all regions of the country. In the
southern border province of Pattani, a Sufficiency Economy center project was
launched at Ban Phru Chut, Khuan
Nori Subdistrict,
in Khok Pho District.

The local people joined hands in setting
up the Ban Phru Chut learning center as a peaceful community to handle the
southern unrest. The project is meant to show their love and unity and their
efforts to counter violence in southern border provinces, which, apart from
Pattani, also include Yala and Narathiwat.

Local government agencies are attaching
great importance to this center to help develop and empower the local
community. At the initial stage, the Southern Border Provinces Peace-Building
Command financed the setting up of the learning center, which consists of a
multi-purpose building. Later, the National Housing Authority constructed a
school building, a sport ground, and a plant-nursing structure for
demonstration.

Inside the center is an agricultural
demonstration plot for women and youth groups to learn about proper
cultivation. Major crops grown in this plot are rubber, watermelon, dugu (or
long-gong), and other kinds of fruit and vegetables. Bio-fertilizers have been
used, instead of chemicals, to increase productivity and for pest control. This
method of farming is expected to increase rubber output by twofold or threefold
in the future.

Similar projects have been launched in
several areas in the South, such as those in Raman District, Yala Province,
Saba Yoi District, Songkhla Province, and Mueang District, Narathiwat Province.

The Ministry of Agriculture and
Cooperatives and the Ministry of Defense are joining forces in promoting
Sufficiency Economy learning centers to spread proper knowledge to the people,
especially young ones, about His Majesty the King’s concept of Sufficiency
Economy. The demonstration plot at each center is based on the “New Theory,”
initiated by His Majesty. The New Theory puts high priority on human resource
development under the principle of people-centered development by means of
empowerment by and for the people. His Majesty explained that Sufficiency
Economy means having enough to live on and to live for. It would create “social
immunity” for the majority of Thais, who are in the farm sector.


Sufficiency Economy learning centers have become models for organizing various
learning activities to create unity among local people.

 

    Sufficiency
Economy and Private Businesses
 

 

Business management
based on His Majesty the King’s “Sufficiency Economy” philosophy will promote
cooperation among businesses for balanced and sustainable growth of the entire
economic system.

Sufficiency Economy is a major concept in the 10th National Economic
and Social Development Plan, 2007 to 2011. His Majesty the King had been
expressing the Sufficiency Economy philosophy as a guideline for Thai people to
lead their lives in speeches more than 25 years before the 1997 economic
crisis. Even after the crisis, he emphasized this way to get through it in
order to maintain a stable and durable existence.

Sufficiency Economy stresses the “Middle
Way
” in every aspect of life and applies to
conduct and way of life at all levels. But the question arises as to how much
the Sufficiency Economy philosophy can be applied to private businesses, which,
as everyone knows, focus on making as much profit as possible. In order to get
a clear answer to this question, the Subcommittee on the Sufficiency Economy Drive, under the
National Economic and Social Development Board, has conducted a study on the
application of this philosophy to four different private businesses.

These businesses include a community business, a small and medium-sized
enterprise (SME), a registered company, and a large industrial group. Results
of the study show that the Sufficiency Economy concept can be applied to
business operation and management. The objective is to gain profits in the long
term instead of the short term.

According to the study, a private company adopting this concept usually
emphasizes production for certain groups of customers, rather than for general
clients. It will accept orders for goods in accordance with its capacity, in
order to maintain the quality of products. This company makes profits on a
sharing basis and it does not exploit its customers. It places importance on
long-term partnerships to create confidence and trust and on prompt payment to
staff and suppliers. Part of its profits will be set aside for knowledge
development and social activities
.

The company will expand its business
step by step. When it has enough profits, it will no longer seek loans. This
type of company focuses on the field of business in which it has expertise and
maintains the balance of its debt and capital at an appropriate level. With
good understanding about its core competency and key success factors, this
company is flexible in presenting its products in response to the demands of
each group of customers in various periods of time. Moreover, a company based
on Sufficiency Economy uses materials in the production process with great
efficiency. It diversifies both products and markets to reduce risks and
increase savings. It is honest to customers and develops the quality of
products on a continual basis.

Sufficiency Economy will help businesses gain benefits in the long run and
protect them against adverse impacts and risks.

In other news, many countries are interested in His Majesty the King’s
Sufficiency Economy philosophy and have sought to observe development projects
based on this concept in Thailand.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of His Majesty’s accession
to the throne, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized two study tours for
senior officials from 29 countries to observe Sufficiency Economy as an
alternative development direction. Participating in the study tour from 16 to
20 June 2006 were officials from Afghanistan,
Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia,
China, Indonesia, Iran,
Kenya, South Korea, Madagascar,
the Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka,
Sudan, Tanzania, and Vietnam. The tour took them to the
Huai Hong Khrai Royal Development Study Center and the Royal Project in Doi
Inthanon in Chiang Mai, Kung Kraben Bay Royal Development Study Center in
Chanthaburi, and an organic farm in Chon Buri.

The second study tour took place from 24 to 28 July 2006, with participants
from Bhutan, Botswana, Burkina
Faso
, Djibouti,
the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Gambia,
Guatemala, Laos, Mali,
Nepal, Senegal, and
Timor-Leste. It took them to the Huai
Sai Royal
Development Study
Center in Phetchaburi,
Pasak Jolasid Dam in Lop Buri, and Wat Mongkhol Chai Pattana in Saraburi.

 

    Sufficiency
Economy to Be a Field of University Study
 

 

The philosophy of
“Sufficiency Economy,” advocated by His Majesty the King, will be a field of
study at the Faculty of Humanities, Ramkhamhaeng
University, in Bangkok.

The Vice Rector for Administrative Affairs, Associate Professor Kim
Chaisaensook, said that the Ramkhamhaeng University Council had recently
approved a liberal arts curriculum in the field of Sufficiency

Economy. Both short-term training and courses for bachelor’s, master’s, and
doctoral degrees in this field will be opened. The objective is to produce
graduates equipped with proper knowledge to help publicize guidelines for
leading a life of Sufficiency Economy among the people and various public and
private organizations.

This field of study will also be included as a compulsory course for all
students. The curriculum is being worked out by experts in this field,
especially those from the Office of the National Economic and Social
Development Board, the Thailand Development Research Institute, and the
Chaipattana Foundation under the patronage of His Majesty the King. When
completed, it will be submitted to His Majesty for granting permission for the
teaching of this curriculum.

According to Associate Professor Kim,
this field of study is in response to His Majesty’s initiative concerning
Sufficiency Economy, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of His
Majesty’s accession to the throne in 2006. It will also promote and support the
application of this philosophy for the benefit of all sectors of society.

He pointed out that many people do not have proper understanding about
Sufficiency Economy. Some think that the Sufficiency Economy philosophy means
going backwards and is involved only in farming. In fact, the concept is
related to conduct of every aspect of life, ranging from the family to the
government levels, and it can include the agricultural and industrial sectors.

The content of the Sufficiency Economy curriculum will focus on improving
knowledge about this concept, and ways that people of all professions and in
all walks of life can translate it into action. Associate Professor Kim said
that the Sufficiency Economy philosophy is the Eastern way of thinking. It is
prominent in its introduction of sustainable development, which can be applied
to various organizations at all levels.

This new course will be integrated with other fields of study, such as
political science, administration, and economics. In the initial stage, it will
be opened as a basic course for undergraduates and short-term training for
interested persons. Later, programs in this philosophy will be fully developed
and opened for a bachelor’s degree and at the graduate level.


American presidential
campaigns are always fraught with all kinds of nonsense, but this year’s takes
the cake. It’s got to be the longest on record. And I don’t know about you, but
I still haven’t recovered from that debacle of a debate in Philadelphia, where
mindless moderators switched back and forth from misinformation (remember
Gibson’s ridiculously claims that increasing the capital gains tax would hurt
the middle class)
to “gotcha” craziness.

One could be thankful, I guess, that most people probably aren’t paying much
attention yet. But soon they will be, and that’s worrisome in the following
sense. Over the Bush years, there has been damaging drift toward absolutism.
You’re with us or against us, diplomacy is appeasement, tax cuts forever, the
axis of evil, markets always work best (and government, worst)…all of these
have become mantras of the right, and McCain appears to be not only carrying
this mantel, but hoisting it even higher.

Certainly, after 9/11, it was hard not to see things in black and white. When
our nation was attacked, the instinct of the body politic was to strike back
hard and fast, without a lot a nuanced analysis. But that was almost seven
years ago, and if anything, our national disparagement of nuance or balance has
gotten to the point where it is clearly blocking our ability to address the
challenges we face, both internal and external.

Here is a brief survey, citing a few policy debates that have fallen prey to
this reductionist thinking, followed by a plea to return some balance to the
system.

Diplomacy Equals Appeasement: Under the Bush/McCain regime,
the ultimate goal of diplomacy is to draw a thick line in the sand between us
and our growing list of enemies, and tarnish–then politically bash–anyone who
considers crossing that line as an appeaser. You then cast such opponents as
naïve and soft, unable to protect us from the evil that lurks in the heart
of…Raul Castro.

Yes, there are some leaders you wrongly legitimize if you sit down with them.
But that list has become far too inclusive. Moreover, when the goal of
diplomacy becomes party politics, the nation is poorly, if not dangerously,
served. Obama and his foreign policy team understand this, and it’s one of the
main reasons we’ll be better off in the world if he’s elected.

All Markets, All the Time:
The unquestioning allegiance to
market forces has gotten us into all kinds of hot water, and unless we develop
a more balanced view, it’s going to keep boiling. Both the last recession and
the current downturn resulted from bursting bubbles born of deregulatory zeal
and ideologically-induced ignoring of failing market fundamentals.

With impunity, corporate banks kept their riskiest assets off their balance
sheets, so neither investors nor regulators could accurately assess or price
risk. They became dangerously overleveraged; mortgage underwriting became a
shell game, based on the premise that home prices could only move in one
direction.

This market adulation is deeply embedded in conservative health policy. The
goal of Bush’s health care plan–now adopted by McCain–is, in his words, to
get people shopping for health coverage on the open market as they would for tile or
insulation
. Yet, as every other advanced economy has recognized, the
provision and delivery of health care cannot be left wholly to unregulated
markets, because they will fail to control costs, under-provide health care to
some, over-provide it to others, and lack the mechanisms to do much about
either.

Tax Cuts Forever: Conservatives since Reagan have worked hard
to reduce the debate over fiscal policy–taxing and spending–to one policy:
tax cuts. Which means, of course, that there is no debate. The idea that you
might ever need or want to raise taxes to meet a social need or even pay for
current spending, like the war, is verboten. Instead, conservative pols show
their mettle one way, and one way only: but cutting taxes even further. McCain
used to reject such thoughtless reductionism. Not
anymore
.

As a commentator on CNBC, I hear this view regarding taxes incessantly in
debates with conservative policy types. The idea that the D’s would allow some
of the Bush tax cuts to sunset (a Republican idea, btw–they passed the cuts
that way to hide their real costs) is viewed as economic suicide, since we all
know how badly the economy did in the Clinton years, what with its budget
surplus instead of deficits, and much faster and more evenly shared job and
income growth.

What’s of course missing from the debate is any discussion of what taxes pay
for. A lot of us actually value the role that an amply funded government should
and could play in our lives, from reliable, public infrastructure to guaranteed
pensions and health care (Social Security, Medicare); from the environment, to
safety nets, to protection from the market failures noted above.

Even some
Democrats
fall into their own version of this non-debate, urging Clinton
and Obama to campaign on program cuts and deficit reduction instead of
rebuilding the government we need to meet the challenges we face.

Ending the National Stupor: This is merely a smattering of the
important debates that have been shut down by the absolutist agenda: free trade
is all good (or bad), the Iraq war will end either in victory or defeat, we
must support either the economy or the environment, the pressure of gas prices
can only be met by drilling for more oil, versus conserving what we have.

It’s easy to argue that nuance doesn’t play in America, especially at election
time. For years, we’ve been in a kind of national stupor, induced by assurances
that the world is simple: there are good guys and bad guys; good markets and
bad governments; good tax cuts and bad tax increases; lots more good oil but
for the bad environmentalists who would block us from drilling for it.

To maintain that view today misses the opportunity to tap a historically
unique, latent desire for balance in the way we guide our affairs. The very
tangible sentiment of Bush fatigue, from which McCain will fruitlessly try to
distance himself, grows in part out of an awareness that if we care at all
about the world our children are to inherit, the long, national stupor must
end.

In the right
path shown by The Exalted, Blessed, Noble, Awakened Supreme Human Being with a
Mighty Great Mind (TEBNASHBMGM), the notion of balance is central. The path to
awakenment is never paved with absolutes, but with impermanence, which in
policy terms means that reality is far too changeable to be guided by rules
like those that have come to dominate these debates.


True leadership means finding the balance we have lost. It may thus come down
to this question: What would Buddha do?

 


Prakash Karat meets Mayawati

Gargi Parsai
Join hands to take on the Congress-led UPA government on nuclear deal





— PHOTO: R.V. MOORTHY





new strategy: CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat
with Bahujan Samaj Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister
Mayawati after their meeting in New Delhi on Sunday.

NEW DELHI: Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary
Prakash Karat met Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati here on Sunday,
in a move to take on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance
government during the trust vote in the Lok Sabha on July 22.

The leaders discussed the India-U.S. nuclear agreement and the
coming confidence vote. Mr. Karat drove to the Uttar Pradesh Chief
Minister’s residence here for the meeting that lasted about 45 minutes.

“We wanted both parties to cooperate in the struggle against the
nuclear deal and on the trust vote in the Lok Sabha,” Mr. Karat said
after the meeting.

Ms. Mayawati reiterated her opposition to the deal. Mr. Karat
appreciated her stand and said the deal was ‘against the country’s
interests.’

“It was decided that there should be cooperation to stop the deal
and in the fight against the UPA government,” said a CPI(M) statement.

This was the first meeting between the leaders after Ms. Mayawati
withdrew her support to the UPA government on account of its ‘failure
to tame inflation,’ followed by the pullout by the Left parties on the
deal.


Assurance

Speaking at a press conference to announce a national campaign by
the Left parties against the deal and the “anti-people” policies of the
government, Communist Party of India leader A.B. Bardhan said he had
been in touch with Ms. Mayawati and she had assured him of her support
during the trust vote.


“Political tool”

He said the CBI had become a “political tool” in the hands of the
government and was being used to “switch on and switch off the
so-called investigations.”

“It is so obvious and the intention is so clear. We have told her
[Ms. Mayawati] that we condemn all such efforts,” Mr. Bardhan said.

Ms. Mayawati charged the government on Friday with “targeting her”
after the CBI filed a counter-affidavit in the Supreme Court in the
“disproportionate assets case” against her. At a press conference here,
she declined to divulge her strategy on the trust vote but made clear
her opposition to the deal.


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