Supreme Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Thich Pho Tue has called on Buddhist monks and followers worldwide to raise their voices against China’s illegal placement of a drilling rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The appeal was made during a ceremony held at Hanoi-based Quan Su Pagoda on May 13 to celebrate Lord Buddha’s 2,558th birthday.

In his message for peace in the East Sea, which was sent to Buddhist leaders and followers all over the world, including those in China, Thich Pho Tue said that China seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty as it has placed its Haiyang Shiyou-981 rig and ships in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, defying international laws.

He also underlined his approval of the Ninh Binh Statement at the United Nations Vesak Day 2014 on May 10, which called on political leaders to resolve disputes related to sovereignty, sovereign right, territorial integrity and jurisdiction over exclusive economic zones and continental shelves through negotiations and other peaceful means, in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS ).

China’s deed is going against the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) between China and the ASEAN member nations, he stressed.
During his speech at the ceremony, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Ba Trinh appealed for Buddhist followers nationwide and abroad to respond to the statement and the Patriarch’s message.

He also urged Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers to uphold the tradition of unity within the religion as well as with other religions and with non-religious people to denounce China’s acts and request the Chinese government immediately stop its violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction in the East Sea, as well as respect international laws, especially the UNCLOS, to ensure peace and stability in the region and the friendship between the two countries.-VNA