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Permanent Peace

Letter to the Editor--New Zealand

The Christchurch Press
(New Zealand)

January 28, 2004



Introducing democracy to ethnically divided Iraq will lead to more bloodshed unless stress is reduced.

During the 90s, 70 nations changed to multi-party democracy. Thirty three nations had no war before or after, nine had civil war both before and after, 26 had no war prior but bloody conflict erupted after.

Only two had conflict before but peace afterwards -- Cambodia and Mozambique. They adopted consciousness-based educational programmes proposed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Since then, Cambodia and Mozambique, formerly the poorest nations in the world, have risen up the world scale of economic prosperity (Cambodia by 24 places and Mozambique by 15).

Maharishi has offered to train the leaders of nations to learn how to manage their nations peacefully from the silent level of their own inner being. Through his plan, peace will be enlivened by groups practising Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying in 3000 peace
palaces around the world.

Christchurch City
January 23


Copyright 2004 Financial Times Information
All rights reserved
Global News Wire
Copyright 2004 Independent Newspapers Limited 

Dr Lawrence Clarke
Maharishi Vedic Centre
481 Heidelberg Rd
Fairfield VIC 3078

Tel (03) 9482 1866




Dear AACF Supporters

Having just returned from a brief trip to Cambodia in January, I am pleased to be able to report to you on the progress of our sponsored university in Cambodia. MVU.

We also report on our fundraising activities and appeals.

With best wishes

Mike Thomson
Australian Aid for Cambodia Fund
19th February 2004


AACF February 2004 News Bulletin - Contents

1. AACF's inspection tour of Cambodia
  - Meeting with VIPs
  - Meeting with Indian Ambassador
  - MVU Students
  - The MVU Graduates

2. . AACF Fundraising Activities
  - Invitation to a Dinner Party
  - Fundraising Appeal


AACF's main aid program is providing a consciousness-based university education to rural youth who would not otherwise have access to higher education. In partnership with the Cambodian government, AACF has established Maharishi Vedic University (MVU), Cambodia's only rural university - in the eastern province of Prey Veng. Students come to MVU from all over Cambodia.

MVU currently has two faculties - Agriculture and Management  - priority areas for Cambodia's development - with the plan of developing two more faculties.

In addition AACF is helping the rural poor in Cambodia's eastern provinces to improve the their quality of life by using MVU as a base for local village development projects in skills training, agriculture, environmental protection, and health care

1. AACF's Inspection Tour of Cambodia January 2004
Members of the AACF Executive Management Committee Nigel Kirwan, Alan Florance, David Essex and myself visited Cambodia to inspect Maharishi Vedic University and monitor the progress of AACF's initiatives. We visited MVU's three campuses and met with the students, faculty and foreign volunteers. We also had meetings with senior Cambodian leaders and officials.

Meeting with Samdech Chea Sim
His Excellency Chea Sim, one of Cambodia's senior statemen since the end of the Khmer Rouge era and currently President of the Senate and Chairman of the Cambodian Peoples Party, has been a long term-supporter of MVU.  At the meeting with Chea Sim we explained our goal of creating an influence of coherence in collective consciousness.  AACF presented a large colour chart produced to celebrate MVU's 10th Anniversary which documents the positive changes in Cambodia over the last decade with comparisons to other countries in comparable situations. We advised him that with the strengthening of our 'coherence creating programs' at MVU we should expect to see a further increase in national coherence and harmony with ramifications in increased creativity, effectiveness and unity in government processes. Chea Sim  pledged to build another two-storey building at MVU adding to the two classroom blocks he has already constructed.

We also introduced AACF's plan for a self sustaining agricultural development to support 400 workers, and reported on the progress of MVU's 80 hectare Experimental Farm at Poppel village where agricultural field trials are taking place. Chea Sim offered  to donate 200 chickens, some goats and pigs to the farm, the goats to be used to clear undeveloped land on the site. Nigel Kirwan pledged to donate a milking cow and materials to demonstrate hand milking. AACF has designed a project to improve the quality of local cattle and is seeking A$12,000 funding for the project.

Chea Sim commented that when MVU first started many people doubted its longevity and utility and expected it to fail but that our students are now acknowledged all over Cambodia to be of the highest quality

Meeting other VIPs
We also met with other leaders with a long history of support for MVU. - His Excellency Ung Huot, formerly Foreign Minister and for a short time Prime Minister, and His Excellency Son Soubert, member of the Constutional Council and son of former Prime Minister Son Sann.

Meeting with Indian Ambassador
Invited by AACF volunteer teacher Abhilash Puljal (from India), the Indian Ambassador to Cambodia  visited the MVU with his whole family and stayed the night on the main campus. The Ambassador was impressed with what is being achieved at MVU and intrigued that ancient Vedic knowledge such as meditation and Sanskrit is included in the MVU curriculum. He was well aware of Cambodia's historical link to Vedic knowledge and that Sanskrit  was the official language of the Angkorian civilisation which flourished in Cambodia 800 years ago.

The Ambassador offered on behalf of the Indian Government to donate 1000 textbooks from India for the MVU library, to arrange a teacher of Sanskrit from India to come to MVU, and to assist MVU students obtain scholarships for post graduate study in India.

Shortly after the visit he attended  a scholarly conference in the Cambodian city of Siam Reap (adjacent to Angkor Wat, the most famous of the ancient Angkorian monuments) and spoke enthusiastically about MVU, telling the conference participants that MVU students had iTeji  in their eyes (fire or "divine light") and a sincere desire or enthusiasm for knowledge that he had not seen elsewhere in Cambodia.

The MVU Students
There are now over 1000 students at MVU and every year applicants exceed the number accepted. The students are happy to be at MVU, are grateful for AACF's support, and wish AAACF to continue its support.  The MVU students were very supportive of AACF 's role and of MVU's consciousness-based approach to education. The students interviewed were all happy to be at MVU.

The MVU Graduates
MVU graduates are working in a wide range of sectors including the public sector, multi-national companies, local companies, international organisations, embassies, and community and non-profit organisations.On the basis of the graduates success AACF is achieving one of its primary goals of reducing rural poverty by giving rural youth access to an education and a better future for themselves and their families.

MVU Graduate Now MP
One of MVU's first graduates is now a member of Parliament with one of the opposition parties.

Graduates Clone MVU
The last five years have seen an explosion in private education in Cambodia with many new schools and universities starting up offering courses to fee paying students. Two enterprising MVU graduates have now started their own private universities employing other MVU graduates as teaching faculty. MVU graduate Mr  Hok Seoun established the Angkor City Institute with campuses in two provincial cities and over 400 students. MVU graduate Mr Tun Pheakdey's Institute of Management and Economics (IME) has over 1000 students at two campuses. During AACF's tour we met with the founders of these new Institutes to discuss future collaboration.

2. AACF Fundraising Activities

Cambodian Hammocks
We are selling luxurious Cambodian Hammocks a range of sizes, colours and styles, ranging in price from $60 to $90 available at our Melbourne office or by mail order. We also have sturdy, compact and portable stands to support a range of existing hammocks priced from $100 to $150. Please ring 03 9489 6240

Cambodian Sarongs for Sale
Colourful batik patterned sarongs, $10 each plus $2 postage.

Laptop and Digital Camera Needed
Do you have a laptop or a digital camera you no longer need? AACF needs a laptop to send to Cambodia to be used by the AACF volunteers in Cambodia for word processing and speadsheet work, and a digital camera for taking images for publications., promotion and for the website. Please contact AACF office.

Fundraising Appeal
AACF needs more financial assistance to support MVU students, faculty and volunteers. At MVU young Cambodians get a chance for an education through which they can gain employment and make a contribution to the development of their country. You can help now in several ways:

1. By sponsoring a student at Maharishi Vedic University (MVU) in Cambodia
You will be enabling a young Cambodian to gain an education and through that a better future. Payment can be made monthly at $A36 per month (US$25) or yearly at $432.

2. By making a one-off donation
* $50 will enable us to employ one local villager to work in the MVU orchard and vegetable gardens for one month
* $108 will enable us to support one MVU student for three months, or train one student in the TM- Sidhi program.
* $275 will enable us to support one of our Australian volunteer teachers at MVU for one month.

3. By supporting one of our priority projects for 2004
*  Purchase of a 10 KvA diesel generator to provide 24 hour power to the accommodation and office for AACF foreign volunteers:  A$2450

* Upgrading a wooden house on the MVU campus to be used as extra accommodation for the increasing numbers of foreign volunteers (includes roof repair, painting, & building of bathroom) A$1400

* Upgrading the MVU student meeting & recreation hall by installing a water evaporative cooling system:  A$1500

* Setting up an MVU website: A$900

* Building of a new 3 bedroom wooden faculty house for MVU faculty: A$9100 (full details of these and other projects available upon request)

Please send donations by cheque or credit card to:

P O Box 81


Postal address: PO Box 81 Bundoora 3083 or
481 Heidelberg Rd, Fairfield VIC 3078 AUSTRALIA
Phone 03 9489 6240 or 1300 303 108

For more information see


Dear Friends,

Greetings from AACF!

This is to thank all those who supported the recent TM-Sidhi course at MVU, to report on the course, and to invite further support for the next planned Sidhi course.

It is with great appreciation that we thank  the 74 donors from Australia and overseas whose generous support enabled the Sidhi course to happen.

The first course  - for 281 2nd and 3rd year MVU students - has now finished and was a great success with all 281 lifting off during the 2 week flying block in March.

This is a huge achievement for AACF and is the culmination of years of effort. 281sidhas is the largest group we have ever taught in Cambodia and will make a huge difference to peace and stability in Cambodia and the region. Considering the turbulent and dangerous world situation what could be more important right now than taking action to reduce stress and create peace?

The effect of the Sidhi course on Cambodian collective consciousness was immediate. Since the August 2003 general election Cambodia has lacked a government  - no one political party had won enough seats to form a government in their own right and the 3 main parties couldn't agree on forming  a coalition.  During the flying block  the political stalemate was resolved, and a coalition government will be formed once the King returns to Cambodia. Also one of the former leaders, keen TMer Ung Huot, who has not held a position in Government for four years, is expected to be back in the Cabinet.

Being such a big group of course participants we needed more help to run the course, so we invited TM teachers from Australia to go over to help as volunteers. Dorothy McKenzie responded immediately and arrived in time to help start the course, by coincidence on the same flight as the Indian TM Sidhi teachers. We hope others can go later. Dorothy is now supervising the girl student Sidhas and helping organise the next TM-Sidhi course.

After the course the students went home for the Khmer New Year celebrations - Cambodia's most important holiday - and will return in the last week of April. The TM-Sidhi teachers  had to return to India and a new team will come as soon as possible to start the 2nd course.

The course was not  without problems. During the course the generator failed and there was no power which did not stop the course but created difficulties. The generator, which weighs over a metric ton, was been taken to Phnom Penh for repair, which added to our costs.

We raised more than enough funds to run the course which was fortunate as due to the power problems the course was over budget. With the funds raised we were able to  buy extra foam mattresses. In the past there have been problems with the mattress cover sheets not faring well in the humidity, so this time our AACF rep Stuart Vernon purchased robust heavy-weight fitting sheets.

We now plan to hold a second course for 180 1st year MVU students which would bring our numbers up to 460, well over Cambodia's super-radiance number. Normally  the 1st year students learn TM,  yoga asanas and SCI, and learn the Sidhis in their 2nd year. Because of the urgency of creating as much coherence as possible for the region, visiting AACF Executive Management Committee member Alan Florance met with the Ministry of Education to get the course is approved so that 1st year students who have been meditating regularly for four months can do the Sidhis this year. Their course is scheduled start on 1 May. A third course, for meditating VIPs in Phnom Penh, was proposed but will not proceed due to insufficient numbers.

We need to raise funds for the 2nd MVU course and for upgrading the flying facilities and again invite your immediate help

For the last course we budgeted A$108 per student (US$75 at the exchange rate at that time), a highly cost effective amount to create a new yogic flyer, and over A$35,000 was raised. Based on our experience with the course this time we will budget A$120 per student., now equivalent to US$90. It will cost about US$16,200 in total to teach all 180 (this includes pre-Sidhis residence courses for the students, cost of Sidhis instruction, cost of bringing and looking after the TM-Sidhi Administrators from India, purchasing new foam mattresses ).

We have already raised US$3750 towards the course so will need to raise a further US$12,450.

In addition we will need to address the issue of group flying space. The existing large hall can only comfortably accommodate 250 - 300 flyers, and there is no other space available, so we will need to a build a new large flying hall. We have picked a suitable site for a vastu correct building in the north east corner of the campus. To build a dignified Maharishi Peace Palace would cost over $100,000 which we cannot afford at this stage. Instead we will raise funds to develop the site with land fill, build proper foundations and  concrete slab, onto which we will erect a cheap traditional style structure of bamboo with thatch walls and roof, and a water cooling system, at an estimated cost of US$12,000. This will enable us to provide a yogic flying facility quickly and cheaply and allow the possibility of building a better faculty on the site later on.  When complete all the male Sidhas will use the new facility for group program, the female Sidhas - being a smaller number - would use the old hall.

Our target is to raise US$28,200 by the end of April 2004 ($16,200 + $12,000) of which we have $3750, so we require US$24,450.

We seek three sponsors to each contribute $3750
Four to contribute $1500
Five to contribute $750
Ten to contribute $180, and
20 to contribute $90 each
If you can help that would be wonderful.

Thanks again for your wonderful support.

With very best wishes.

Jai Guru Dev

Mike Thomson

Postal address: 481 Heidelberg Rd, Fairfield VIC 3078
Phone 61 3 9489 6240 or 1300 303 108

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