Nearly 300 scientists and researchers from academies and universities nationwide reviewed 50 years of the southern Buddhist movement at a workshop in southern Binh Duong province on June 11.

Over 50 reports touched upon the movement to revive Buddhism in the early 20 th century; historical context, role and lessons learnt from the movement in the southern region in 1963; and Buddhism’s presence in the nation and socialism in Vietnam’s renewal cause.

Addressing the event, Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang, Vice President of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Executive Board, stressed that the Buddhism movement peaked in 1963 with Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation in protest against the authoritarian regime led by Ngo Dinh Diem, who suppressed Buddhist followers by force.

It marked a milestone in contemporary Vietnamese history and affirmed the irreplaceable position of Buddhism in the country.

With new documents and approaches, domestic and foreign scholars rekindled a glorious period of Vietnamese Buddhism, highlighting the international community and the southern Buddhism movement, its fight against the US imperialists and impacts on US–Ngo Dinh Diem relations, and the role of the masses as well.

They shared the view that the 1963 southern movement weakened and toppled the Ngo Dinh Diem Administration before joining the southern national democratic revolution until the region was liberated and the whole country entered a new period.

Dr. Nguyen Cong Ly from the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities said the event indicates that Buddhism always accompanies the nation and socialism during the present national renewal and global integration.-VNA