Friday, October 02, 2009

I am the Academic Coordinator of a school being launched in January 2010. It is an initiative of The Center for Hindu Studies, Persatuan Kebajikan Arutperunjothi Maargam and The Peace Cafe. See for more information.

Sadhana Visionary Academy


The Vision of Sadhana Visionary Academy...

... is to give disadvantaged students a chance for a better future through an innovative post primary educational programme. SVA aims to develop graduates who are independent, dynamic and compassionate contributors to their community and the world at large.
The Peace Cafe has been having many productive months of late. The following are some highlights.

June: Wustrow and Berlin, Germany

I participated in the international training by Kurve Wustow on non-violence in siuations of armed conflict. There were wonderful partcipants from around the world including Serbia, Colombia, Palestine, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Germany. The picture above was at a peaceful demonstration in the streets to bring awareness to climate change.

August: Pretoria, South Africa

At the values education workshop conducted with UNESCO and the University of Pretoria at the Mpumalanga district school.


At the University of South Africa's Graduate School of Business where we gave a talk on Values in Social Innovations: A Business guide to Sustainability.

September: Aceh, Indonesia

In Aceh, we observed a mental health awareness program in Biruen which Azhaire will potentially find funding matches for. As the academic advisor, I also evaluated a business pitch for Azhaire which seeks to pioneer a poverty alleviation intervention through direct investments with individuals to launch their own businesses.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Peace Cafe has been ISBN-ed and published!


This Toolkit, appropriately titled First Steps, is the first of its kind
in Malaysia. It is a resource book to bring gender mainstreaming to
biodiversity management – a subject that is becoming increasingly
vital with the current emphasis on sustainable development.

This publication by Malaysian Environmental Non-Governmental
Organisations (MENGO) is a useful and handy guide to enable
implementers, project coordinators, community organisers and
facilitators to present workshops and conduct sessions on gender
mainstreaming in biodiversity management in Malaysia.

First Steps contains background materials, support modules and
simple activities that could be used by groups to build a heightened
awareness of gender. This reader-friendly book with a graphic-
design format includes materials on Values, Confict Resolution
and Biodiversity.
The Peace Cafe in the news!!!

Regional collaboration in mainstreaming gender and peace in biodiversity conservation promoted at Curtin-MENGO Symposium

Miri – 12 May, 2009 – Biodiversity experts from Malaysia and Australia who gathered for the Curtin-MENGO Symposium 2009 at Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) on 28 and 29 April 2009 have pledged to heighten regional collaboration in mainstreaming gender and peace in biodiversity conservation.

The symposium was co-organised by Curtin University’s Australian and Sarawak staff with Malaysian Environment NGOs (MENGO) and The Peace Café to develop a cross-cultural approach of peace that represents both female and male values in biodiversity conservation.

According to Beena Giridharan, Curtin Sarawak’s Dean of Foundation and Continuing Studies and on-campus coordinator of the symposium, the event brought together practitioners of diverse cultures and backgrounds including indigenous leaders, representatives of non-governmental organisations and university researchers.

MENGO Project Leader Dr Sundari Ramakrishna, meanwhile, said the event raised the importance of sharing knowledge through broad participation in planning and implementing management approaches.

The symposium was launched by Professor Joan Gribble, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of Curtin Sarawak, who highlighted the need to pay urgent attention to the global environmental situation, saying that it would require active participation by both women and men.

Peace ecologist Dr Ratna Malar Selvaratnam said the focus on peace helps people understand the different voices that need to work together to conserve our biodiversity heritage. She also outlined the importance of understanding the power of values in determining the success of biodiversity conservation. ... read more

Monday, April 06, 2009

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.

- Oscar Wilde

Monday, March 16, 2009

It doesn’t matter what the state of the world currently is- chaotic or calm, irrational or lucid, happy or sad. There is always a need to recreate our planet and ourselves to move onto a higher plane of existence. The key component to this is control over ourselves, and letting our external circumstances take their course. Peace seems to be a value we all seek, yet it is one of the most elusive states of the human mind.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Respect yourself and others will respect you.

- Confucius

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Best of Our Traditions

If we really look at the traditions we come from, they are all rooted in good. Whether religious, cultural or the more common synthesis of both, if we are able to pick up a book such as this and read, then chances are we have a background of contemplation that can be traced at least in part to our traditions. We can learn from our environment and circumstances. What does it mean to be you, with the traditional legacies of identity through race and religion? Take a few moments to think it through. There would probably be basics lessons and influences of respect, care and learning. The applications of these values to contexts of our lives may vary but the underlying concepts do not. If there indeed is nothing that you can uncover, then look for the best of what is available. The tradition of your own life as an individual would have values of saving grace, again, in the very fact that you are still alive.

Monday, February 16, 2009

"By creating, subsidizing, and providing training for jobs in childcare, early education, healthcare, eldercare, and other "caring industries," as well as supporting caring work in homes, we quickly stimulate the economy, help families, radically reduce poverty and violence, reward women's economic contributions, save billions in crime and prisons -- and develop the "high quality human capital" needed for our post-industrial economy.

Our economic crisis is an opportunity to lay foundations for a sustainable and equitable economic system instead of just trying to patch up an economy based on unsustainable consumerism, unsustainable consumer debt, and unsustainable environmental practices. The current economic meltdown is not due simply to the globalization of unregulated capitalism. The problem goes much deeper -- and so must the solutions.

The financial return on investment in caring jobs and home activities is huge -- and not accounted for in popular economic models circulating in Washington which, as shown by our economic crisis, encourage disastrous short-term market speculation. We need a new economics that really works -- both in the short and long term."

To find out more, visit

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.
- Dag Hammarskjold

Friday, January 30, 2009

One of the main criteria for any kind of transformation is reflection. In the religious sphere this may be referred to as meditation. At the end of the day, it is simply going back to the core of our creative, spiritual selves and being still. If new information comes our way, it is best processed by bringing it back to our own human-ness for it to make sense to us, and then translating this learning to others through sharing and application.

Within the context of learning and living creatively, we do not need to reply on any religious framework. It would however, be most effective to have some kind of ethical or value-based personal framework with which to engage in life. Without this, learning has no meaning, and may even take us farther away from the goal of internal and external peace which we naturally gravitate towards.

"What we're all striving for is authenticity, a spirit-to-spirit connection." - Oprah

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

2009 is upon us! Let us look at this time of transformation as a time to actualize Peace and Create bounty. The disintegration of all that we know, allows space for the unknown to be manifest.
The Peace Cafe's current projects are heavy on gender, ecology, and peace. I will update more as we go along...