A person is taking the world by storm after proclaiming “The Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War” for the first time in history on March 14, 2016. He is none other than Mr Man Hee Lee, the Chairman of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), the world’s largest peace NGO. Chairman Lee, who started his peace work in May 2013 by proclaiming the “The Declaration of World Peace”, which is a platform known for peace practices around the globe. Peace activist Man Hee Lee’s journey from the trenches of the Korean War to the halls of world power centres has been nothing less than intriguing. The 88-year-old, who is the founder and spiritual leader of a movement working towards achieving a peaceful reunification of the two Koreas, has fascinated and inspired many who have met him. Chairman, Man Hee Lee of HWPL h a s g o n e b e yo n d n a ti o n a l boundaries, race and religions. He did the work of proclaiming to the West what has been fulfilled in the East.
ManHee Lee is the descendant of a Korean royal family of the Joseon Dynasty, a house with 500 years of history Born in 1931 from a rural farming region, Man Hee Lee was given his name, meaning complete light, by his grandfather. ManHee Lee is a living witness to many of the historical events that occurred in Korea. He is also a man of merit as he fought in the frontline of battle during the Korean War.
In 2014, Lee was appointed the World’s first Romani (Gypsies) people’s ambassador at the Romani Assembly. His appointment was made possible by the previous world peace agreement signing between Mr. Lee and the Romani King, DorinCioabă. More than 150 Romani representatives, from over 40 countries, present at the National Assembly unanimously consented to Mr. Lee. In addition, he visited many places around the globe and proclaimed the cessation of wars and world peace. He received signed peace treaties from former and current presidents, chief justices, university chancellors, various organization leaders, and various religious leaders. Lee also made known through national broadcasting stations and other media outlets. He once said, “I advocated achieving peace and cessation of war and leaving it as a legacy to the future generations. I witnessed the world that has become anew. It was outstanding this time. Politicians, ministers, educational professionals, religious leaders and anyone else that I met even took the initiative in saying they would help (the work of peace) at the risk of their own lives”.
To his admirers he is a n inspirational peacemaker. In his native South Korea he can be found speaking in front of vast stadium crowds at rallies complete with stunning, carefully orchestrated displays.
Once discussing about his experience in Korean War he revealed, “I fought as a frontline combatant. Words cannot describe the horrors of war. Bullets poured down like rain. Sounds of fighter jets and bombs shook your heart. Only youths could have put up with that. After the war, half of the population was gone. In some villages, just a few survived. There were many students among the soldiers. Those young students died at the frontline. Some people blamed the government because young people went to war and those in authority did not. So many young people perished during the Korean War without getting the opportunity to blossom. How fair was that? We suffered much during the Japanese colonial period. Not long after we gained our independence, we declared war against each other. It could not be helped back then, no matter how much you cried”.
As a young man in the 1950s, Chairman Lee volunteered in the Korean War, a war that completely divided one people into two. The views of his comrades dying right by him affected him tremendously and taught him the disaster that a war is capable of creating. This experience influenced him to start this peace movement to end all wars. Although some wars are caused by political difference while others are caused due to various reasons. This is why the Chairman proposes few solutions. The enactment of an international law and the unification of all religion under one creator was a lifelong dedication of Chairman Lee that finally blossomed at this era and the world hopes to see many other peace movements under the visions of HWPL and Chairman Lee to happen in various places of the world.
HWPL has been doing the work of peace with definite solutions that can put an end to all wars around the world and leave a legacy of world peace to the future generations. Having the enactment of the International Convention on the Renunciation and Cessation of War and International Armed Conflicts and networking to build a strong alliance of religions are the two main solutions to bring about peace. To accomplish such initiatives, HWPL invited and appointed experts in international law as the HWPL International Law Peace Committee at the 1st Annual Commemoration of World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit.
In March 2018, HWPL, hosted the event with UN DPI and UN ECOSOC, for strengthening the solidarity of peace through a comprehensive cooperation of all sectors of society, as well as to establish legal binding international law necessary for peace building. At the occasion Mr. Man Hee Lee, Chairman of HWPL said, every individual in the global society is responsible for constructing global peace. He further said, “Rather than taking peace for granted, we are the ones to put an end to war to protect humanity and our globe and leave peace as a legacy for future generations”. Under the current global environment shaded by long-term violence around the world including terrorism and interethnic conflicts, the international society is seeking conflict resolution through a long-term approach to peace and stability. Every time we turn on the news we see violence, suffering and injustice happening on our planet. Sometimes we are silent; sometimes we speak out and take action.
But how we act and what we say is always guided by our thoughts and feelings, and that – our own state of mind – is the one area of the world that we each have the most influence over, the most responsibility for. It matters because we have an opportunity to break the cycles of violence, fear and hatred- to help one another to wake up. By keeping our hearts and minds open we model how not to walk blindly down paths that lead towards only more hate and revenge and this is what Man Hee Lee delivers and convey to the world.
Contributed by Erum Akbar
Author is Executive Editor of Mélange int’l Magazine and Secretary Information Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR).