The Australian Buddhist community was represented at the first Global Buddhist Congregation held in New Delhi by FABC President Mr Kim Hollow and Anna Markey (SABC). The FABC had been invited via Ven Thich Quang Ba of the Canberra based Sakyamuni Buddhist Temple. Ven Thich was mentioned in this news story from The Times of India:
India to host new world Buddhist body TNN | Dec 1, 2011, 01.39AM IST - The Times of India
NEW DELHI: In an important move that may provide a joint platform to Buddhist communities across the world and also impact geo-politics in Asia, the first Global Buddhist Congregation, which led to a diplomatic row between India and China, concluded here on Wednesday with a decision to set up a new international Buddhist organization in India.
The decision to form the organization that will "serve as a common platform for Buddhists worldwide" was the main point in the resolution that was adopted at the end of the four-day meeting of heads and representatives from Buddhist sanghas, national Buddhist federations, organizations and institutions from 46 countries.
"The Buddhists all over the world, represented by the delegates at the conference, feel the need to develop a common platform that will project a united voice and develop a common response based on the collective wisdom of all Buddhist traditions," said Thich Quang Ba, the abbot of Sakyamuni Buddhist Temple at Canberra, Australia.
"The new body will be called the International Buddhist Confederation and it will be based here as Buddhists all over the world recognize India as the home of Buddha," said the Vietnamese-born monk who drafted the resolution.
The congregation, during which more than 900 delegates from across the globe discussed issues such as environment, violence and conflict resolution, equality for women, etc. in addition to dharma matters, ended with a valedictory address by Tibetan spiritual leader the 14th Dalai Lama, whose presence at the conclave had triggered the diplomatic friction between India and China last Sunday.
"We must come together and learn from each other. We must be genuine followers of Buddha," said the Dalai Lama who restricted his 30-minute address to purely spiritual issues.
While leaving the venue, the Dalai Lama refused to talk about politics. "It is a political question. No comments," he told mediapersons when asked to comment on the Chinese accusation that India provided him a political platform at the conference.
Earlier, a press conference to be addressed by the Dalai Lama was called off at the last minute without any reasons being given. On Sunday, the President and Prime Minister had stayed away from the inauguration of the congregation presumably because of pressure from China. Though the congregation, organized by the Asoka Mission, became a source of latest friction between India and China, the organizers are quite upbeat about the response from participants.
"The whole Buddhist world is looking at India for leadership. For a long time, we have neglected this role. India enjoys a lot affection and respect in the Buddhist countries. We must join them in providing solutions to problems of violence, conflict and environment," said Lama Lobsang, the head of Asoka Mission, the Delhi-based organization which organized the first-of-its-kind congregation in India.