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 Home >> Share International magazine >> January/February 2005

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Share International magazine Jan/Feb 2005

Share Internaional magazineThis is an abridged version of
Share International magazine.
Through these electronic files, the magazine Share International makes available a compilation of its contents.
Permission is granted to reproduce these articles in magazine, newspaper or newsletter format, provided that credit is given to Share International and clippings are sent to: PO Box 41877, 1009 DB Amsterdam, Holland. Copyright (c) 2003 Share International. All rights reserved.
 
 

Master's article

Out of darkness

by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme

From time to time, the natural forces of the planet demonstrate their irresistible power in a way destructive and unwelcomed by men. Thus it was in the recent catastrophe in the Indian Ocean. The sad and sudden loss of thousands of lives, and the unprecedented damage to homes and other buildings, have shocked the world and evoked a remarkable response: for the first time, the nations, East and West, North and South, have come together in spontaneous aid. Governments are prodded by their people to give, and to cancel outstanding debts for the poorest countries. The wave of sympathy for the bereft has manifested also as a concern for the needy millions of all the developing world and is a sure sign that the peoples are ready for Maitreya. No clearer indication could be given that this is so. No one could doubt the sincerity of this concern; the tragedy of the tsunami has opened the hearts and inspired the voices of millions for the creation of justice and world transformation.

At last, these voices are being heard. At last, the beneficent energies of Maitreya are finding response in the hearts of many still unaware of His presence. At long last, the governments of the wealthy are responding to their people's call for justice and peace. They sense that their future, too, depends on listening to the voice of the people, rising with an ever clearer and powerful note.
Let the governments understand: the voice of the people is the voice of wisdom. It is a call for realism and truth, for the only action which will lead to a sane and better world. Those governments which fail to listen to that voice will founder, and lose authority and the trust of their people.

Judging
Maitreya, meanwhile, awaits the moment to emerge, judging finely the pros and cons. He welcomes the signs of men's readiness, and knows that the moment is not far off. He welcomes the opportunity to work openly for humanity and the Plan. In this way, His power and effectiveness are immeasurably increased.

Also, in this way, He can work directly with men, showing His concern for their welfare and comfort, His understanding of their needs and difficulties, His awareness of their problems and of how they can be solved. He wishes to be seen as a brother and friend, a wise father Whose counsel is beneficent and true, a help-mate and partner on the journey into the shining future which awaits all men.
Be patient, therefore, a little longer, and know that despite the problems and difficulties, the heartache of loss, the Plan for the transformation of the world and the salvation of men is on course for victory, and that all will be well.
(Read more articles by the Master)

2004 Transmission meditation conference keynote talk

The following article is an edited version of a talk given by Benjamin Creme at the Transmission Meditation Conference held near San Francisco, USA, in August 2004.
(full article published in Share International magazine January/February 2005 issue)

The Reappearance of the Christ
by Benjamin Creme

The Master —, through Benjamin Creme
“For several years, many people have awaited, with varying degrees of patience, the emergence of Maitreya into the arena of the world, to present Himself to the people as the World Teacher for Aquarius. Many have found it a tiresome wait indeed, while others have cheerfully worked to acquaint the world of His presence and plans, knowing that eventually their efforts would succeed. The day has dawned when all will see Him. Knowingly or not, all have called Him and He has kept His promise to return.” (‘The emergence of Maitreya’, an article by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme, Share International, April 1987)*
‘Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can. Seldom found in woman and never found in man.’
“Many have found it a tiresome wait indeed.”
If you knew Maitreya better than you in fact do, you would know that He believes that He has returned. He really believes that all this talk of when is He going to come out is a nonsense. He has already done it. When He visits groups — of course, not dressed or looking like Maitreya — they know Who He is because He has been confirmed by my Master to have been Maitreya. Then He comes again looking just like the same gentleman and they ask Him questions and He replies — and then they say: “But oh, it takes so long! What gets me is the state of the world, and it is so long a wait. How do I explain to people that it has to take time?” He says: “What are you talking about? You can be as anxious as you like, but it is foolish. There is nothing to be anxious about.”
“The world is fine, full of promise. Maitreya is here. He has returned. You do not have anything to wait for; it is done — the plan is working well.”

The world is in a state of change which we cannot even begin to see. So involved are we, naturally, in the events of the last few years: since 9/11, for instance, followed by the attack on Afghanistan, and the invasion of Iraq that is still going on — not to mention the possibilities of greater terror.

The decade before 9/11 was one of growing calm, growing change for the better. Extraordinary things happened: the end of the Cold War, for example, an extraordinary happening, the greatest event in the world since the end of World War II. It lifted from humanity the fear of sudden death — not just the possibility of it, almost the likelihood of a catastrophic end of everything. People stopped having children because they did not want to bring them into a world which was going to be destroyed. Now people have children, they look forward to it, and they know that their children are going to live and build a new civilization.

People experienced in the 10 to 12 years before 9/11 an extraordinary transformation of the world. For the people involved, some of these were tremendous, climactic: the changes that occurred in the Soviet Union, the collapse of the political system, the demands of millions of people for a better and easier lifestyle, and the rise into prominence of the now mega-rich oilmen of Russia; the Chinese experiment which has steadily brought a large section of the population into a material abundance which they have never known before. None of the people in China had experienced the quality of life or the material affluence that the eastern seaboard of China now does. Perhaps 20 million people can now experience the material well-being of the more affluent parts of Europe and America. This is altogether new and has alleviated elsewhere in China a tremendous amount of poverty. It is true that there are sections of China which are still poor, but as a whole China has come out of the agonizing poverty which it knew before. Likewise, most of the Russian people are finding life easier, if emptier.
People in the West — America, Europe — have found a growing interdependence, a recognition of the oneness of humanity and the necessity of seeing the world as one, and that real changes are possible only on a global scale.

One of the major events of the last few years, and for the first time in history, was that millions of people were allowed to be full and equal citizens and recognized owners of their own country. It was an extraordinary happening, the release of Nelson Mandela and the creation of the new South Africa. That was the direct work of Maitreya; He brought it about.

Likewise, His influence opened up the Soviet Union to glasnost, welcoming the Soviet Union into the community of nations, and hence the transformation of the old, angry nyet-sounding-bear into a friendly, co-operative federation of nations. It is a tremendous transformation.
There was also the unification of Germany, years ahead of anyone’s estimation of the possibility. Some, of course, those of the West, see it as a new responsibility which has lowered their standard of living (which was artificially high), but it has given a new stability to Europe which, as you know, was in a constantly warring state right up to the 1940s.

So, a tremendous amount has been done, greatly influenced by Maitreya, which we tend to forget. In our anguish, concern for the future and lack of a sense of proportion, we tend to forget the great positive changes which have come about, mainly because of the powerful energies now pouring into the world, and the presence of a large group of extraordinary men, about 14 Masters, and the Master of all the Masters, Maitreya Himself.

“For years He, too, has awaited the invitation from men to emerge and speak for all. Now that, at last, this has been given, He has taken steps to ensure His recognition and acceptance. Not for nothing has He prepared many groups to acknowledge Him. Highly placed and influential, there are those in varied walks of life who know Him to be here, know His plans and priorities, have listened to His words and believe them to be true. From diverse backgrounds and many countries do these prepared ones come, alike in their desire to serve Maitreya and the world. With their detailed knowledge of His plans they will speak for Him, awakening their colleagues and citizens to the task ahead. In this fashion will He work through them, pointing the way to a better future.” (‘The emergence of Maitreya’, April 1987)
Despite His readiness for spontaneous action, everything that Maitreya does, as with all the Masters, is done with meticulous care. They spend years and tremendous amounts of directed energy to make sure that a plan works out by appearing to people all over the world: unimportant people, people who expect Him, who would recognize Him if they saw Him at lectures, and so on. It is not always easy to recognize Him because He appears in many different ways: as a woman, a man, an old woman with one tooth, perhaps appearing in beautiful clothes but wearing galoshes or carpet slippers, a little bit odd. That is the hint that is often given. I remember an account of a Master Who appeared dressed superbly in late 19th century clothes — long coat, cravat, and a top hat with a pile of wool and stuff coming out of the top.

Maitreya has created a huge body of men and women who have met Him, with whom He has spent time, outlined His priorities, and talked about the needs of the world; people in all walks of life, royalty, people of power and prestige, heads of government, the diplomatic corps all over the world, people who have influence with government, special envoys, and so on. Religious leaders, household names in industry and heads of corporations. There is now a huge group of people who are absolutely familiar with the thoughts, ideas and plans of Maitreya. When He becomes more open, when people actually see Him (although He will not be announced as Maitreya), these people will emerge and talk and agree that it is true: the great Teacher, a World Teacher, is here. They may not point to Him but will say: “He is here. I know. This is His idea.”

These people have among them individuals of great following, so that when they speak they will be believed by the masses who just follow a leader; for them they are leaders, of thought, of fashionable ideas, who write for newspapers and magazines, high level media people who have met Maitreya, who know His ideas, His thoughts, His analysis of the requirements for change and for peace. In this way He is building up a huge body of opinion on His side.
Then it will be the time for the masses of people to form a huge, broad, world public opinion which will sweep across the world and force governments to begin the process of change, to implement the teachings of Maitreya.

Some will see Him as the Christ. Some will see Him as perhaps a political/economic thinker who will inspire them and show that there is a possibility for change, that we do not have to follow Mr Bush or Mr Blair and go the old way; that the old methods of divide and rule are over, the old methods of governments who make policies and force them on their peoples are finished. Governments will come to realize, by dint of the manifested power of the people, that their job, their task, is to look after the needs of the people. This will happen in all countries because that is the role of government. Some governments do it to a tiny degree; others do it more. Some governments are more democratic, and there is more participation in the process, but some are extremely dictatorial and the people have little say. This will end.

“Shortly, His face will be seen by thousands around the world. Television has made it possible for the Avatar to enter the homes of countless people and with simple words to penetrate their hearts.” (‘The emergence of Maitreya’, April 1987)
One of the secrets of the power of Maitreya, which only a limited number of people have experienced so far (although that is a very large number, it is still limited compared with the population of the world), is the simplicity of His utterance. He speaks straight from the heart to the heart of the person. He is not trying to be clever. He is not trying to argue a case.

He is alerting people to the obvious, but it does not seem to be obvious to many of the governments in the world, although it is obvious to everyone that they need food, shelter, healthcare, education, stimulus, culture and variety in their lives. Everybody knows that, but governments do not on the whole provide these essential needs.

It is the responsibility of governments to do that, and when Maitreya speaks He utters these simple things that most Christians would not expect to hear from the Christ. They expect to hear talks about religion, about God or about one religion as against another, academic religion, religion in the way religionists talk about it or fight about it or worry about it.
He does not come as a religious teacher although He is awaited by all the religious groups under one name or another. And, of course, for the various religious groups it will be an extraordinary surprise, and with great difficulty for many people will He be recognized and followed.

“Soon will follow other such appearances until the whole world listens and responds.”
He has planned a whole series of appearances. The emergence of Maitreya is taking place literally, as we know, over years and in phases, each phase allowing more and more people to hear Him. He spent years going around the world appearing to people where He has created wells of healing water, charging the wells with cosmic energy from Aquarius. Eventually, I have been told, there will be 777 such sources of water.
He appeared to mainly religious groups and nearly every time a well or source of water was created. If you multiply the audiences by His 239 appearances (1988-2002) it adds up to a tremendous number of people who have heard Him speak, heard His concerns and His solutions to our problems.

“In this manner, the world will come to know that the Christ, Maitreya, is in our midst, ready to teach and lead, to serve and guide, to show the way back from the abyss and to inspire the creation of a new era for men.” (‘The emergence of Maitreya’, April 1987)
The Master again and again has used this phrase “to show the way back from the abyss”. From Their point of view the world is already saved, but humanity does not know this and has to act upon its best intentions and highest interest, and so draw away from the abyss, the precipice. The abyss, of course, would be war on a world scale. That would be nuclear and would destroy all life on Earth; the human experiment on Earth would cease.

The Masters are sure that Their work, Their gift to humanity of protection and teaching and guidance, will allow humanity, in time, to pull away from the abyss, to change direction. That is the last phase of the work of Maitreya.
When He is working openly in the world, even if not under the name of Maitreya, it will be to bring humanity to that point. When that is reached, when the people are themselves changing direction, He can reveal His true stature and purpose. The Masters see the present situation in Iraq, in America in general with the present administration, as a kind of hiccup in the process of change. They do not see it as a final end that will cause us to go over the abyss.

So for the Masters this is not the ‘end game’. The end game is in the minds of fundamentalists who think that there are ‘end times’, that we are near the end times and that maybe they are contributing. The US President is a fundamentalist Christian who believes God is directing him. I believe he is living in illusion, and I share that belief with millions of others in the USA and abroad. But the effect of it is that many people are, in their minds, and to some extent in their hearts, conditioned by the teachings of the fundamentalists to see these times as the ‘Divine Times’, the times foretold in their scriptures, and that they are right in line with the ‘pronouncements of God’ through the Christian scriptures. They are nothing of the kind, but that is what they believe, and they are millions strong.

Many years ago I remember it was claimed that there were 40 million fundamentalist Christians in this country [USA] out of a population of 275 million people; a huge proportion. The fundamentalists are very strong among the religious groups here, whether they be Baptist or Roman Catholics. They each have their branch of fundamentalism and they add up to a huge proportion of the Christians in America.
Maitreya says: “Keep your eye on the prize and the prize is humanity.” Maitreya appeared on a march in London in February 2003, and was interviewed for video by a small group of students. Some of our group were nearby. He was Caribbean and He was wonderful. He said: “I am so glad. I am so glad to see all you young people marching for the truth, for peace, and for justice, it is so wonderful to see this.” And then He said: “Keep your eyes on the prize, and the prize is humanity!” Then a young man came up to Him, and they ‘touched hands’. That younger man was a disciple of one of the Masters. They went off together. So: “Keep your eyes on the prize and the prize is humanity!” (See Share International, April 2003.)

“That not all men, at first, will recognize Him, perhaps, needs to be said. Not all know the true background to His life and advent. But, more and more, they will see the wisdom of His words, feel the blessing of His presence, and know from within their hearts the truth that He utters.
“From within their hearts, too, will they respond, acknowledging Him as the Teacher for the Age. From them will He evoke the desire to share, to recreate a balanced and harmonious world. When men realize the urgency of the task, they will unleash upon the iniquities of the present a force for good unlike aught seen before. The transformation of the world will proceed apace and men will work together as brothers for the good of all. Thus will it be. Thus will the New Age be built by man himself under the guidance of Maitreya and His Group. The separation of the past will give place to co-operation and sharing; the selfishness and greed to a new sense of justice. From within man himself will come the urge for betterment, a testimony to the divinity inherent in us all. That divinity will Maitreya show to be the nature of man, and He the Agent of its manifestation.
“Already, the signs of His work are apparent to all. The old dogmas die; new brooms are sweeping away the debris of the past. The old men linger but a new force of truth beats on their embattled and crumbling walls. Not for long will they withstand this new force for righteousness and justice.”
(‘The emergence of Maitreya’, April 1987)
That is how the Masters see the effect of Maitreya when He starts to speak openly in the world. Not all will recognize Him. Some will call Him the Antichrist. They call me the forerunner of the Antichrist, the Antichrist’s ‘leg-man’. I have been called that for a long time.

“With each day that passes, the appearance before the world of the Great Lord grows ever closer. Very soon, now, humanity will know that there lives among them a man of most unusual attributes: a capacity for service conditioned only by the Karmic Law; a knowledge of that law unique even among His peers; a wisdom fashioned from the experience of millennia; from the depth of that experience, a vision of the Purpose embodied in the Plan of God …” (‘The voice of Maitreya’, July 1994)
That is the kind of man we are going to see. An extraordinary man, unlike anyone we have ever known before. No one in the world, except perhaps another Master, can speak with the knowledge, the wisdom, the ages-long experience, that Maitreya has. You have to be a Master and you have to know not only the world and all its problems, all it difficulties, all that is needed in the way of change, but also the world of meaning. You have to know the meaning and the purpose of life on Earth. You have to be able to give at least an inkling of that to the humanity of the time. It is one thing being the Christ or being a Master and speaking to humanity, but unless it is in terms that humanity can recognize then nothing would be communicated. So it is an understanding of the problems, and the solutions to the problems, presented to humanity in a way that makes them real, makes them touchable, that we recognize as our own problems and that the way out is a logical and believable answer to them.
[End of extract]

The following is a small sample of edited Questions and Answers from the Transmission Meditation Conferences in both the United States and Europe in 2004. For the full text please see Share International January/February 2005.

The timing of Maitreya’s emergence

Q. Isn’t this a difficult time for Maitreya to come forward? (Europe)
A. It is obvious that the choice of this theme, ‘the Reappearance of the Christ’, after all these years must mean that the time has now become ripe when Maitreya will come out and begin His task. We may think this is a terrible moment for Maitreya, and in some ways it is. To meet with people who are receptive and who can listen and put into practice what He is talking about is one thing, but to come on radio and television with sceptical interviewers, is something else again. Not that He is frightened by scepticism. Not at all. It could hardly be the case.

In the beginning it might be quite difficult even for someone like Maitreya Who not only knows the answers to all the questions that would be asked, but Who knows which questions to put into the mind of the person who is asking. So the interviewer might find himself asking questions that he had no intention of asking. He will have some questions written down but some other question might come out. So perhaps it might not be so difficult as all that.

Nevertheless, it is a huge world out there with very many different countries, different systems and ways of thinking even about the same things, different values placed on these things.
He will not be called Maitreya at first. So, if the interviewer is a wise person, he might think this is somebody extraordinary, especially when he finds himself asking questions that he did not intend to ask. (I just asked the Master if that would happen and He said: “Yes, regularly.”) So Maitreya knows the answers to His own questions.

People have often asked me how will it be? He has got to talk to the world about all these things and just how can He get it over? As the Master says, and I think it is very telling, these groups like yourselves who have been doing this work, somewhat, over the years may be disappointed; you will be somewhat surprised, anyway, at the quietness of His approach, the lack of emphasis or the loss of an opportunity — you might think — to bring in all the ‘big guns’.
Maitreya will be concerned with making His appearances as often as possible. In the beginning, of course, it is more difficult, but He has His ways and means. His appearances will become more and more frequent until He has a regular broadcast on television and radio around the world.

Q. Is Maitreya awaiting the best timing to go public even though He can come out today? What is holding Him back? (US)
A. Maitreya is awaiting the best timing to go public. He is waiting for the best opportunity, that is timing, in which there will be the best and quickest acceptance of what He has to say.
There is still an enormous body of people in the world who do not want anything to do with Maitreya or His ideas. All the religious groups have their own fundamentalists who together make a huge block. Think of the fundamentalist Christians, the fundamentalist Muslims, the fundamentalist Jews, Hindus now, even Buddhists to some extent. It is a huge number of people, and they have to come to grips with this reality. They will not see Him as the Christ or the Imam Mahdi, not at first.

The best timing is when the crumbling economic system is bringing the West to its knees economically, and bringing it into reality for the first time. We have lived in unreality for so long. We think, and our leaders think, that we can go on in the old ways, exactly as we have done — more competition, more greed, more of the same, and it will just go on, we will win. It is not so any longer; it does not work.
If two-thirds of the world’s population are living in poverty then the economic system does not work. If we think that they will go on without asking that it work for them, then we are sorely out of step with reality. Maitreya will make that clear.

An immediate collapse of the economic structures, a stock-exchange crash in Europe and America, would bring Maitreya forward right away. That would bring us into reality. That is one of the factors that He is waiting for, that sense of reality which it would bring about. We would see that it does not work. We thought it was working, it seemed to work for some of us, but through our complacency we did not even think of those for whom it does not work. One of Maitreya’s major tasks is to throw cold water on this complacency, make it very uncomfortable to be complacent.

I can remember people coming to a meeting of mine and saying: “I thought this was going to be a message of hope, but I feel awful. I feel so unhappy. I feel so guilty and horrible.” I said: “Jolly good. That is what we call love.”
You have to cut through that complacency. If people only want to be, “Ah, lovely”, it is not going to change the world. It is important that they know that the Christ is in the world and not alone, and that the world is ready for change and will change. But if they only want to be made to feel good, it is not going to help the world because they are not the people who are actually working in the world.

Q. Is Maitreya still waiting for the stock-market collapse? Will the Reappearance of Maitreya be affected if President Bush is somehow elected for another four years? (Europe)
A. Will the time factor be affected if Mr Bush has another term of office? No, it will not. Mr Bush is going to shout; he is going to shout about conquering world terrorism, doing the impossible. He is going to keep on talking about keeping on, doing what he started. He cannot cope with Iraq. I think they are beginning to understand that the invasion of Iraq was a terrible mistake. As my Master said, it is a monster out of control, they have lost control of Iraq. They will try like anything to get a semblance of order in Iraq before the November election, but I do not think they will succeed. The probability is even if he were to win the election he would put off for a long time the invasion of, say, Iran or Syria. Syria is more likely to be attacked because Iran is powerful, and they do not like to take on powerful opponents. They are also tremendously over-extended. They are more likely to leave Syria to the Israelis than to attack Syria openly, I think; they have not had enough of war, enough of conquering, but have enough problems for the time being. I do not think it would affect the coming out of Maitreya one way or the other.
Yes, He is still waiting for the stock-market crash, but if political events were sufficiently critical He would come out whether there was a stock-market crash or not — if He saw that His presence and what He has to say would have a powerful effect on the political situation.

Q. America is so diverse and big, we need to develop more active local participation. Would you please discuss the importance of local initiative and working as a group? (US)
A. Local participation is the number one need. That is democracy. Politicians talk about democracy, but there really is not much democracy. They are the ones who make the decisions, and they are the government. The Patriot Act, for example. In this way, your democracy is diminished.

Democracy is democracy not only through voting but through participation. The more participation there is, the more democracy is a reality. Until that pertains we can only say there is a move towards democracy, no real democracy in the world. If you want democracy, you have to participate. That means action. That does not mean leaving it to somebody else to participate — you have to do it. At a local level the more you do, the more effective you can become. If you participate as a group on a local level, your effect on a local level can be much more positive, actually more effective than it can be on the abstract level of national and international politics. It is very difficult for one person to change the actions of a government, but for one person to have a strong impact on a group at the local level is not impossible. This is happening all the time. People with something to say, with ideas that the community thinks are good and practical, are changing life in every country in the world. It is happening whether we are aware of it or not.

In every country, at local level a great change is happening; more and more people are making decisions about their own lives. They are doing this in the East, in countries that up till now never had any real representation, let alone participation. Here in the US you have representation but not very much participation, except in a very local sense. You want to make the best use of that. There are all sorts of groups who work in a participatory way in education, community life, sports, and so on.

Our subject is the Reappearance of the Christ, not sport or community work, although it might involve community work. If you work at community level, you might find many more supporters than you would think. You would be able to approach them one-to-one. There is nothing like one-to-one, face-to-face interaction in bringing the ideas of the Reappearance and all that it means in terms of world transformation to the consciousness of another person. They are more open when you are talking to them, and you are more persuasive when you do — provided you are persuasive without being invasive!
If you work with a group, you are more effective. Group work is the work of the future. The Aquarian energies can only be recognized, absorbed and used in group formation. You will find groups growing throughout the next hundreds of years. When you are a group, you potentize all the action that the individuals invest in the group. It is a very potent way to work.

It is no accident that whenever Hierarchy starts something, They create a group. They contact one person and give them a group, or give them the means of contacting a group, and then that group works together. That is why you get the Theosophical Society, the Arcane School, and our groups around the world who are working for the emergence of Maitreya and the Masters. Group work is the answer.

Questions & Answers

Q. Why didn’t the Masters warn all those innocent people about the tsunami? How can Maitreya’s predicted suffering of the people of the USA for re-electing Bush compare with that of the South Asian people in the wake of the tsunami?
A. The Masters saved many thousands from certain death. They are the Masters of Wisdom and the Lords of Compassion. They do what is possible for Them to do. Warnings were given to seismic authorities but in many cases were ignored to ‘protect the tourist industry’.
My Master, not Maitreya, made the predictions on the US election sequel. It is not a question of comparison. In each case the events are a result of the Law of Cause and Effect — the Law of Karma.

Q. (1) Was Maitreya able to stop the tsumani? (2) Will Maitreya go to the affected areas, and (3) please see that the women and children are not raped in the midst of this catastrophe.
A. (1) No. The forces of nature had to be released. (2) He did, indeed, go and saved many lives. (3) The Masters do all that is possible within the Law of Karma.

Q. Could the disaster which has devastated so many poor countries, and yet has also tragically affected tourists from so many rich countries as well, be viewed as a ‘wake up’ call for humanity?
A. Yes, in the sense that it shows that humanity is one family and should share as a family does. If that means expenditure on early warning systems of disaster in poor countries then all must share the cost.

Q. Could the immense outpouring of aid, not only from rich countries but even from the poorest countries, be seen as the world working as one in a way never achieved before?
A. Yes, yes, yes!

Q. Will the swift and generous response of people around the world to the devastation caused by the tsunami in Asia have any effect on hastening Maitreya’s emergence?
A. I do not think so but it does show Maitreya (as my Master writes in His article in this issue) that people are ready to share (and not only in an emergency) and are therefore ready for Maitreya’s teachings.

Q. Many people are asking if God exists, how can He allow the terrible Asian tsunami disaster, which has caused so much death and destruction?
A. The answer is that it was the result of the living forces of the Earth, the movement of the tectonic plates in the area and nothing directly to do with ‘God’. It is the nature of the planet to erupt through earthquakes and, if under the ocean, to produce tsunamis as a consequence. The Masters warned several seismic authorities of the danger. Unfortunately, the warnings were ignored for commercial, touristic reasons.
The Masters saved the lives of many thousands of people who otherwise would have perished in the tragedy. The Masters also warned of the 9/11 events in America but, once again, no action was taken.

Q. Was the Asian tsunami disaster caused by man’s interference such as bombardment in war, nuclear explosions or withdrawing oil from the seabed, etc?
A. No, it was a purely natural movement of the tectonic plates of the Earth which caused the very powerful earthquake which, in turn, caused the tsunami.

Q. How would Maitreya advise those of us in America, who are horrified by the abuses of our government, to help the cause of peace, restoration of the environment and social justice? I want to be of help and a source of light but I am greatly dismayed and discouraged that so many Americans were duped into supporting a government that is so destructive. How do I engage others in meaningful dialogue when we seem so far apart and unable to communicate? Please advise.
A. Remember that you are not alone. Make contact (the internet is full of information) with individuals and groups who feel the same. You represent half the population of the USA. Talk about sharing and social justice for all peoples as the only way to peace.

Q. So terrible is the situation in Iraq with constant killings in the run up to elections, would partition, such as settled the conflict in Yugoslavia, be a better solution?
A. Partition may be the only solution to the problem, not as separate countries, like Yugoslavia, but as three (Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni) spheres of influence. The American/British coalition are finding that only the hated dictator, Saddam Hussein, could (to some extent), by an iron hand, unify the country.

Q. Sai Baba is asking his followers to organize public meetings to spread the word about him. This is new. Is he helping raise people’s consciousness to be open to Maitreya’s message?
A. Yes.

Q. What do you and your Master think of the banning of the wearing of religious symbols in France?
A. It is ridiculous and petty.

Q. How can we most effectively pray/ask for healing of a loved one who lives far away from us? My daughter has a serious illness that is advancing rapidly.
A. Invoke the help of Maitreya through His ‘handprint’.

Q. Has there been any change in humanity’s consciousness since your first US lecture that might let the Christ come forward more openly?
A. Yes, despite appearances, humanity is awakening to its problems and, to some extent, their solutions. From the point of view of Hierarchy, real progress has been made.

(More questions and answers)

Letters to the editor

Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. They also appear at Benjamin Creme's lectures and meditations, giving people in the audience the opportunity to intuitively recognise Them. Some people recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the encounters are authenticated by Benjamin Creme's Master, the letters are published. These experiences are given to inspire, to guide or teach, often to heal and uplift. Very often, too, the Masters draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance (for example against smoking or drinking). Many times They act as saving 'angels' in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. The following letters, previously published in Share International magazine, are examples of this means of communication by the Masters.

Plea to media

Dear Editor,
I am wondering if any comments will be posted on the Share International website regarding the Asian tsunami and the will to help and give to the people that have been struck by this event. In my country, Norway, so many people would like to help. Millions have been given and billions will be given. Looking at this from a bird’s eye view it is now a world challenge for all people in the rich countries to make this giving permanent; a shift in consciousness where giving and helping becomes one of the main focuses. In many places on the globe people need help daily. In Sudan children die faster than we can count, but the media coverage is not there. If media would spend half the time covering this event as they do in Asia, people would become aware.
Remy, Knarvik, Norway (e-mailed to Share International website)

Leading question

Dear Editor,
On 4 December 2004 I stood in Cuba Mall, handing out brochures and talking to anyone interested in the display of Share International back-cover photographs, when a man stood in front of me. He was past his first youth but not yet middle aged, a little tired-looking, but I felt a great sense of strength and purpose. For a fleeting moment I was anxious he was a fundamentalist as we had encountered a number of them that day. I talked to him but felt he was not greatly impressed, but he did not attempt to move on.

Somehow, the talk, guided by him, came round to whether I liked Maori (I do). He did not seem to need an answer. Then very directly he looked at me and said: “What about Chinese?” Now that very morning I had admitted to myself that we have about as many Chinese as Europeans in our street. I replied reluctantly that while I loathe racism, if you scratched the surface you would find it. I began to think that this was Maitreya or one of the Masters. I tried to think of something appropriate to say and came out with: “What do you think about what is happening in the world today and the energies that are flowing?” He said: “I know about energies.” The words were simple but the inference was strong. I was silenced and he began to move on. As he did so he turned his head and looked at me. At that moment I was totally certain that he knew that I knew who he was. My heart leapt. The rest of the time I spent on the stall was all joy.
Was he Maitreya or a Master?
BO, Wellington, New Zealand.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the visitor to the display was Maitreya.)

Closer than you think

Dear Editor,
We run an ad in a local bulletin board about angels and crosses of light. We ask interested readers to telephone and receive all manner of calls, including some from fundamentalist Christians.
One night last winter, a man called and we all talked over our speaker-phone for some time. He mentioned we often entertain angels unaware. However, we didn’t think anything about those words until after the conversation ended.
We felt he was a fundamentalist because he was so self-assured — not self-righteous, but speaking with a knowing tone in his voice. He asked about the exact meaning of our advertisement and our opinions. All the while we waited for him to begin quoting the Bible, explaining “God’s true meaning” as fundamentalist callers usually do. However he never did that.
We talked a few more minutes and he said: “Something big is about to happen. It’s as close as the end of your nose. Because it’s that close you can’t see it. And anything you can imagine for good will not come close to the way it is going to be.” He asked if we had other questions. The conversation’s turn shocked us, so we didn’t ask any.
Was this unusual man a Master?
B and G D, Montgomery, Alabama, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the caller was the Master Jesus.)

Imagine…

Dear Editor,
I met a member of the New York Transmission Meditation group at the March 2004 New York City peace march. She handed me some Share International flyers that I was supposed to bring with me from Boston. A man appeared out of the crowd, put his finger on the word ‘Imagine’ at the top of the flyer, gently but quickly took a copy from my hands, and held it up, saying: “Yes.” He made brief, but deep eye contact with me, then melted back into the crowd. He had long stringy hair and an unusual ‘hippie-like’ attire. Was that man a Master?
DM, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the man was Maitreya.)

Milk maid

Dear Editor,
Some time ago I read in Share International about the worldwide miracle of milk-drinking statues, in particular that of Ganesh. We have a Ganesh statue on a window-sill and it seemed a nice idea so my two-year-old daughter and I offered the statue some milk in a bowl placed in front of it. My daughter took a few drops on her finger tips and put them to Ganesh’s trunk. Unfortunately, absolutely nothing happened. After two days or so we gave up. My daughter said he wasn’t hungry and I wondered whether Ganesh doesn’t like soya milk — which is what we had offered.
A few days later my daughter pointed to a little Buddha statue we have and said: “Little Buddha also want milk.” We followed the same procedure and to my surprise the milk had disappeared the following morning. My daughter wasn’t in the least surprised. We offered him (soya) milk for some time after that and he ‘drank’ it.
Does our Buddha statue ‘drink’ milk? If so, Who ‘helps’ Him to ‘drink’it?
Since Christmas the Buddha has drunk no more milk.
CC, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the statue did not ‘drink’ the milk, but it was made to disappear, by Maitreya, like the milk-drinking statue miracles of September 1995.)

Balancing act

Dear Editor,
On Thursday 16 December 2004 I was on my way home from helping a co-worker run an introductory session on Transmission Meditation at Watkin’s Esoteric Centre in London’s West End. I was thinking how much I had enjoyed the workshop — that it had really been good fun, and that I could easily handle more of this work alongside my daily work.
I came out of Shepherds Bush tube station around 11.30pm to find the north side of Shepherds Bush Green thronged with Christmas revellers staggering home. I had only gone a few yards when a figure swooped past on my left, arms outstretched. I saw only his back view as he lurched and swerved away along the pavement — a young man dressed head to toe in dark clothes and possibly wearing a hood or ‘beanie’ hat. Rigid with concentration, he wobbled purposefully through the hordes (none of whom seemed to pay him any attention) until the crowd and darkness blocked him from view.
The thing is, he was riding a circus unicycle, and holding stiffly out at arm’s length, of all things — a long, silver-bladed ice-hockey stick.
It was only a fleeting vision, but so comical — and so very odd. Could it possibly have been Maitreya or one of the Masters (or just a participant in some strange new esoteric sport)?
JG, London, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the unicycle rider was Maitreya. Only the writer saw Him.)

Signs of the time

Rescued from the tsunami

Eleven-year-old Sri Lankan Sylvia Lucas was swept away while playing on the beach at Pasikudha village. Rescue helicopters lifted others near her to safety, but failed to see her. She clung to a log for 24 hours, fending off a “large fish” which was circling her in the water and was eventually spotted by a rescue helicopter on the second day.
(Source: Sky News)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the girl was helped by Maitreya.)

When the tsunami struck an Indian Air Force base on India’s Nicobar island, Air Force squadron leader’s daughter Meghna Rajshekhar, 13, was swept away, along with many others. Rescuers failed to see her or hear her cries for help, and she spent two days far out to sea, floating on a wooden door which she had to share with sea snakes — none of which harmed her. She eventually floated to shore, where local people found her walking in a daze along the beach. (Source: ABC News, USA)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the girl was protected by an Indian Master, who also protected her from the sea snakes.)

A 20-day-old baby was found alive, floating on a mattress, in her parents’ destroyed restaurant in Penang, Malaysia. Her parents, A. Suppiah and his wife Annal Mary, were swept away by the tsunami but both were able to fight their way back to their ruined restaurant where they found their baby crying on a mattress floating in five feet of water. (Source: Aljazeera.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the baby was rescued by the Master Jesus.)

Holy images at Festival of Light

People in the Nickerie District of Suriname, could hardly believe their eyes when during Diwali (the Festival of Light) on 25 November 2004 miraculous images of the gods started appearing in the temples.
In the Ganga Mandir, images of Hindu gods, such as Shiva, Hanuman and Ganesha, appeared on temple walls near the altar. News of the phenomenon spread rapidly and began to attract people from as far away as Paramaribo, 230 kilometres away. A few days after the initial apparitions, similar images began to appear in other temples in Nickerie and Paramaribo. Reports were also received of altars in private homes displaying the same ‘divine spectacle’.
Television journalist Jyoti Lachman, visiting the country from the Netherlands, confirms that the miracles continue to occur in Suriname and have been reported by national media there. News of the events has spread to Hindu communities around the world.
(Source: OHM-radio, the Netherlands)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the images of the deities were manifested by Maitreya.)

Site of miracle healing discovered

Archaeologists working in Jerusalem’s Arab neighbourhood of Silwan, near the walled Old City, have uncovered the site of the Pool of Siloam where Jesus is reputed to have restored a blind man’s sight.
The excavations reveal a wide flight of steps leading down to a paved assembly area and a channel through the rocks which still carries water in from the Silwan spring. A stretch of stone road has also been unearthed which led to the Jewish Temple on Temple Mount. The 50-metre pool itself is still being dug out.

According to dig leader Roni Reich of Haifa University, it has been possible to date the construction accurately by coins found in the cement used to build the pool, the earliest of which date from the middle of the 1st century BC. The pool was used in Jewish rituals between about 50BC-AD70, the year in which the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem.
The New Testament of the Bible describes the Pool of Siloam as the place where a blind man who had come to the pool to bathe before going to the Temple had his eyes anointed with clay by Jesus, Who then told him to wash in the pool. On so doing, he found his sight restored. St John’s Gospel (Ch.9) records: “He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”

The pool has long been believed by Christians, Jews and Muslims to have healing powers. Biblical scholar Stephen Pean said its waters were considered so pure they could cure even leprosy.
The site, which lies in territory annexed illegally by Israel in the 1967 war, is currently owned by the Greek Orthodox Church. The Israeli Antiquities Authority are negotiating to allow the dig to continue. (Source: Reuters, UK; www.msnbc.com)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms this as the genuine site of the Pool of Siloam.)

Every child has the right to play

For the purposes of this website the following is a fragment of an interview for Share International with Johann Olav Koss. For the full interview please see Share International January/February 2005.

Interview with Johann Olav Koss
By Ana Swierstra Bie

“Look after yourself, look after one another” is the motto of the international, humanitarian, athlete-driven non-governmental organization, “Right To Play” (RTP). Right To Play evolved out of Olympic Aid, and is engaged in 20 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, working with vulnerable people affected by war, poverty or disease, among them refugees, orphans and former child-combatants.
The president and CEO of RTP is Johann Olav Koss, the four-times Olympic speed skating gold medallist, famous for winning three gold medals at the 1994 Lillehammer Games. He donated a large portion of his winnings to Olympic Aid, and challenged fellow athletes and the public to do the same. Since Lillehammer, Koss has dedicated himself to helping Right To Play grow into an internationally recognized NGO. Beside his work with RTP, Koss is active in a number of causes. He was declared “One of 100 Leaders of Tomorrow” by Time magazine and “One of 1,000 Global Leaders” by the World Economic Forum.
He was interviewed for Share International by Ana Swierstra Bie in Oslo, Norway.

Ana Swierstra Bie: You have committed yourself full-time to improving the lives of the most disadvantaged children and their communities. How did you get involved in this work?
Johann Olav Kloss: It started at the time of the Olympics in 1994. I was asked to be an ambassador for Olympic Aid in 1993 and went to Eritrea in East Africa. Earlier in my life my parents had taken me to disadvantaged areas around the world — some African countries, Egypt and India. I saw the slums and the poor people there and that taught me about the differences in the world.

Going on this trip as an ambassador I was struck by this amazing power — the people really wanted to change their own country and destiny by themselves. They were very committed and just liberated from 30 years of war; they were hopeful about what they could do in the future. I was amazed by all this positive energy. I saw the impact that sport can have in this context — education, sport and health — how it is all so connected. Since they were so committed to developing the country, I wanted to help.
I watched some young kids looking at posters of the martyrs in Asmara — they were their heroes. The next minute a bunch of bike-riders came through the street, and the kids turned around, ran after them and cheered. You wonder what kind of heroes you want a country to have. I was proud that by being a sportsman I could also do things to help.
I got involved very quickly. I was motivated to do my best because they wanted to do their best in terms of their life and what they had. You never plan for something like this, for the commitment, it’s just something that comes, and develops over time. One thing leads to the next and all of a sudden you are in the middle of it, and it is exciting.

AS: How can sport and play help to promote development, health and peace?
JK: This is a brand new area of development, and it is getting more and more recognition. Sport, and particularly big sporting events, have been used for a long time as a promotional tool to disseminate certain messages. But sport has not really been used as a programme tool, which I think is a much better way to use it. You can actually look at it as building civil society. Look at the sport clubs, the teams, children’s leagues — all that is normal in our society — in many of the countries in the Third World this doesn’t exist.

Through sport we learn about rules, we learn about team play, fair play, commitment to one another. Sports can teach a child to follow the rules and respect authorities without being limited; they will expand and grow, but within the system. This is one of the crucial elements for building democracy. Sport has an impact on building democracy. On sport councils people discuss and interact and children in a team do the same — they see the principles.

Child development is another area; physical activity is important for their development, both physically and psychologically. In communities which did not previously have access to regular activities now we see that children are healthier, there is less conflict and they attend school. Physically they develop skills which give them positive self-reinforcement, improving their body image, their resilience. They learn respect for one another, particularly between boys and girls, which is one of the important elements in preventing HIV/AIDS. Especially in relation to HIV/AIDS and sexual behaviour, I believe it is extremely important to empower women. If you can empower women to have self-respect, they will also gain respect from the male, and can stand up to what is needed to protect themselves from the disease. They can create new rules of behaviour within society.

AS: How do you get all these ideas across?
JK: We have play activities that reinforce strong health messages called “live safe — play safe”, dealing with everything from prevention of infectious diseases, the importance of vaccinations, of washing your hands, to the whole concept of safe sex. The children will then hopefully break out of the old model of behaviour and learn something new.
We arrange sports festivals at health clinics in connection with vaccinations. Children without parental support, like street kids and orphans, also come along and play and get vaccinated. You can reach a whole new group of people. The children see a famous athlete promoting the same thing, and they want to be like him or her, so the vaccination rates are improved.

AS: Do you think sport can help in conflicts?
JK: Sport and play can teach children how to solve conflict, and so enhance peace. It is a tool for integrating people. We put people on the same team who have different ethnic or religious backgrounds. In the Middle East we have Israelis and Palestinians on the same team: they have to learn to be together, respect each other and play together. And do you know what they say? “We will win; we want to be part of this. We want to have fun!” They get to know each other and play, and this can build enormous bridges. The realization that there are more similarities than differences can lead to using those similarities to understand others and build communication tools. We have 160 different play activities for conflict-resolution, which makes a four-year course over 40 weeks a year with one activity per week.

AS: Surely, not every sport or play activity will have such results?
JK: I believe any sport or play activity can do it, but it is the way you do it. Sport can be misused, for instance, as a nationalistic tool to create differences in the society. It has created different classes, for example.
We have two guiding principles: inclusion and sustainability. Inclusion means that everybody should be able to participate, irrespective of background, physical ability, religion and gender. Then there is the ‘best values of sport’, which is everything from fair play and team work to respect. It is interesting that the concept of ‘best values of sport’ is respected around the world, only we do not talk enough about it or reinforce it. When sport goes wrong it is basically because we do not reinforce these values. For instance, if there is a conflict around the table and someone gets unreasonable, we say: “Well, where is the ‘best values of sport’ in this?” We use that as a point of reference for discussion, integration, action, participation.
How much better it is if you can let a child soldier have a physical outlet in a controlled environment through sport, and he can excel in that instead of being a soldier. We play mostly team sports, like football, basket ball, volley ball and so on.

For more information about Right To Play, visit: www.righttoplay.com

Wise words

UK Chancellor’s ‘Marshall Plan’

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown wants to use Britain’s 2005 G8 and EU presidencies as a chance to tackle world poverty, and implement a new Marshall Plan for the world’s poorest nations. Speaking to an audience of aid and development workers in Glasgow the Chancellor spelled out his aims for the presidencies, and outlined the three main commitments of his plan.
• Firstly, he wants to see the debt of the poorest countries, who owe $80 billion to the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, completely written off. “To insist on the payment of these debts is unjust — it offends human dignity. What is morally wrong cannot be economically right,” he said.
• Secondly, the Chancellor promised “the first world trade round in history that benefits the poorest countries”.
• Third, he committed to the establishing of a new international finance facility that would raise an additional $50 billion in one year from the international capital markets.

Mr Brown is optimistic that there is a new momentum in tackling these issues, both from government and voluntary groups and organizations — including the international ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign, launched on 1 January 2005.
In his passion for the debt relief issue, Gordon Brown has engaged with many non-governmental voluntary organizations which are widely supported by the public. In doing so he has identified a new form of politics, which he calls “progressive consensus”. In a recent interview in the UK’s The Independent newspaper, he explained: “We hear a wide range of voices coming together. What is exciting is that we have all found ways of talking to each other that point to a different form of politics.” He sees public support as vital in this consensus, citing British public support for the campaign for debt relief as an example, and the need for decision-making at local level. “Progress in this area depends on popular will. It cannot be done by governments or a political elite alone,” he said.

Following the December 2004 Asian tsunami disaster, Mr Brown has brokered a deal with the leaders of the richest nations to suspend the payment for at least a year on the £3 billion debt owed by the countries hit by the disaster. Speaking about the enormous global public response to the disaster, and the implications of such a response for tackling the wider problem of world poverty, the Chancellor told his Glasgow audience: “... the worldwide demonstration in the last few days not just of sympathy but of support shows that even if we are strangers, separated and dispersed by geography, even if diverse because of race, even if differentiated by wealth and income, even if divided by partisan beliefs and ideology — even as we are different, diverse and often divided — we are not and we cannot be moral strangers. We are one moral universe. And the shared moral sense common to us all makes us recognize our duty to others.” (Source: The Independent, The Guardian, BBC, UK)

World response to disaster unprecedented

Aid agencies believe the unprecedented worldwide response to the Asian tsunami disaster could be a breakthrough in tackling world poverty. It shows politicians that the public are genuinely concerned about poverty.
Anne Macdonald, campaigns director for Oxfam, said: “Millions of people have had TV images of how poor people live catapulted into their homes. We’ve had thousands and thousands of calls, and when you talk to people you realize they do understand how in a disaster like this, poverty makes everything worse. They see a real connection with people suffering on the other side of the world, and if enough of them are clamouring for their governments to act, we do have a real potential for substantial breakthroughs on major trade, debt and environmental issues that we haven’t had before.”

The newspaper also included prominent people’s reactions to the tsunami disaster:
UK MP Tony Benn: “It may make people realize that the UN needs to be well-equipped and funded. If people diverted money from weapons and war, we have the technology and money to be able to help if we decide to do that.”
Kanya King, founder of Music of Black Origin awards: “No longer can we exist in isolation when we see lives and livelihoods being destroyed. All of us need to be pro-active to change things, but we have shown that public opinion and the media can influence government.”
Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of Muslim Parliament: “Compassion, care and concern for mankind joins each of us — whatever our faith or ethnicity. The tragedy has shown there is a formula on which all mankind can be united to help each other. Mankind has moved forward.” (Source: The Independent, UK)

Voice of the people

The peaceful ‘orange revolution’

For 17 days, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, wearing symbolic orange scarves, staged round-the-clock protests against the initial outcome of the 21 November 2004 presidential election in which the Russian-backed candidate Viktor Yanukovich claimed victory. Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko, of the People’s Strength Coalition, and his supporters, refused to accept the results of an election widely seen as fraudulent, citing inflation of voter lists on election day, multiple voting, and the illegal use of state resources.

The 10,000-strong youth movement Pora (It’s Time) helped organize demonstrations in major cities. Formed in March 2004, Pora expanded rapidly through its website and by volunteer canvassing. Its long-term aims were to encourage in Ukraine democracy, the rule of law and to ensure free and fair elections. BBC reporter Martin Morgan writes: “Pora eschewed a high-profile leadership and structured membership in favour of local initiatives and central co-ordinators, relying on veterans of the earlier protests to recruit like-minded people. Pora emphasized that it was not linked to any political movement and simply sought a fair election … Pora is energetic, well-motivated and at ease with information technology, as one might expect from a movement dominated by young urban professionals. But it certainly cannot be described as slick.”

Support and advice from abroad included the Serbian group Otpor (Resistance), now the Centre for Non-Violent Resistance, which was instrumental in the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic. Prior to the demonstrations, Pora’s 330 regional offices contacted local businesses requesting donations, and funds poured in. The tent camps provided the protestors with hot food, sanitation, first aid and clean clothes. Volunteers patrolled the camp borders in orange vests, each responsible for looking after about 150 tent-dwellers and keeping potential troublemakers out. During the protests schools were closed and businesses and government were paralyzed. Reports surfaced that the police, the army and even the SBU, the national security service, would not be willing to use force to quell the demonstrations.

Against this backdrop of ‘people power’, the Ukraine Supreme Court produced an unexpected ruling blocking the victory of Prime Minister Yanukovich and halting publication of election results until fraud charges could be reviewed. A few days later a new ruling by the Supreme Court overturned the disputed presidential election and called for a new runoff between the main candidates. In the past, the Supreme Court was considered susceptible to government pressure and lacking in independence and integrity, so this ruling was considered a milestone.

With news of the victory, the demonstrators celebrated what they considered a triumph for democracy. Long considered the “little brother” to the Soviet empire, the Ukrainians’ assertion of themselves politically and their unity against election fraud proved to be their “moment of truth”, said Leonid Polyakov of the Ukrainian Centre for Economic and Political Studies.

The presidential runoff was held again on 26 December 2004, with the opposition candidate Yushchenko easily winning an election that was widely believed to be fairly conducted. Yushchenko saluted those who participated in mass demonstrations in the Ukrainian capital Kiev: “We had not seen anything like that for the past 100 years,” he said. “I believe it would be appropriate to compare this to the fall of the Soviet Union or the fall of the Berlin Wall.” (Source: BBC, UK; The New York Times, Associated Press, USA; www.pora.org)

Trends

Make Poverty History campaign

Over 100 UK charities, trade unions and faith groups have joined with celebrities to launch a year-long campaign called Make Poverty History. The campaign demands that developed countries increase global aid and make it work better for the poor, cancel world debt, and change the rules of world trade so that they favour the interests of the poor.
Make Poverty History is part of a worldwide movement, The Global Call to Action against Poverty, committed to forcing world leaders to make a breakthrough in 2005 towards ending global poverty. The effort is being launched as the UK prepares to host the G8 summit and assume the presidency of the European Union in 2005. Make Poverty History challenges UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to address the problems of trade, aid and debt in developing countries.

“We have thrown down the gauntlet to Tony Blair,” said Kirsty McNeill from the Stop AIDS Campaign, on behalf of Make Poverty History. “But the challenge does not rest with the Prime Minister alone. Tony Blair and the world’s leaders will not act unless ordinary people demand change. In 2005 we want everyone in the UK to show their support; whether that be by wearing a white band, sending a postcard, email or text, or taking part in the demonstration before the G8 world leaders summit in July.”

The Make History report (‘Make History: a challenge to the British Prime Minister in 2005’) examines why 30,000 children die needlessly every day and how the combined impacts of inadequate aid, unfair trade, and debt are having a devastating affect on the world’s poorest people.
“This report spells out the gross injustices suffered by millions of people worldwide and explains what needs to be done to solve the situation. Unfair trade rules, the lack of good quality aid and crippling debts are costing lives. We know what the problems are but until now there has not been the political will to do something about them. We want 2005 to be remembered as the year that changed the world,” said Steve Tibbett from ActionAid on behalf of Make Poverty History.
In supporting the Make Poverty History coalition, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: “2005 is a year of great opportunity. We can really do something to change the world. The time has come to stop talking and start taking some action. If everyone who wants to see an end to poverty, hunger and suffering speaks out then the noise will be deafening. Politicians will have to listen.”
(Source: makepovertyhistory.org; Oxfam; tearfund.org; thecommonwealth.org)

Demands of the Make Poverty History coalition
Trade justice: the UK must fight to ensure that governments, particularly in poor countries, can choose the best solutions to end poverty and protect the environment; end export dumping that damages the livelihoods of poor communities around the world; and make laws that stop big business profiting at the expense of people and the planet.
Drop the debt: the unpayable debts of the world’s poorest countries should be cancelled in full, by fair and transparent means.
More and better aid: donors must now deliver at least $50 billion more in aid each year and set a binding timetable for spending 0.7 per cent of national income on aid. Aid must also be made to work more effectively for poor people. .


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First published April 1999,