President Oscar Arias Sanchez of Costa Rica - A country of Peace

Compiled from Supreme Master Television, Episode 212 2007.04.10

On April 10, Golden Year 4 (2007), the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association presented the Shining World Leadership award to President Oscar Arias Sanchez. The ceremony was held in the auditorium of the Presidential House, and recognized Costa Rica for abolishing its military, promoting peace and setting an honorable example for other governments. Presidential staff member, Ms. Salome Casorla, received the honors on behalf of President Arias, who was away in Mexico. Ms. Casorla relayed the President's powerful message as following:

Good afternoon members of the head table, staff of the Presidential House, special guests, and members of the press:

It is for me a great honor to receive, in the name of President of the Republic, Doctor Arias Sanchez, the plaque of Shining World Leadership Award in recognition of No Militarism, bestowed by the Supreme Master Ching Hai, represented in this act by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association.

This is a country of peace in the broadest sense. It is a country of peace by aspiration, by conviction and by inheritance. On December 1, 1948, ex-President Jose Figueres Ferrer destroyed the Bellavista Barracks with a sledge hammer. In this symbolic act, he declared the abolition of the Costa Rican army. We were the first country in the world to take this step, and upon doing so we became the voice for all who, in any corner of the planet, wish to declare themselves in favor of peace, in the pursuit of justice, human rights and the preservation of our species.

The destructive power of human beings has reached unimaginable limits. The only thing that separates us today from total destruction is, for the first time in history, our aspiration for peace. Because there is only one force in the world more powerful than atomic energy, bombers, tanks and grenades, and that is precisely, will.

The President of the Republic, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is an international symbol of the fight for demilitarization. This is not a marginal or chance event in our national feelings: it represents the essential will of the Costa Rican people, who want to demonstrate to the world that it is possible to live secure in a world without arms, and on the contrary, we will build a world more safe for everyone the day we are disarmed.

After receiving the award, Ms. Casorla unveiled a marble plaque of recognition from Master Ching Hai. At the bottom of the plaque it was inscribed in Spanish: "On December 1, 1948, Costa Rican President Jose Figueres Ferrer abolished the national army after victory in the country's civil war. From then on, the funds in the federal budget that were previously dedicated to the military could be used for education, health care and culture. In 1986, to commemorate this event, President Oscar Arias Sanchez declared December 1'Military Abolition Day' in Costa Rica."

The plaque will be displayed in San Jose City for all to see. In his letter to Supreme Master Ching Hai, President Arias wrote, "We hope that this Plaque of Recognition will be seen and seen again, its inscriptions repeated and repeated, so that even after time has worn down its physical form, its message of peace will not be lost to the wind."

May God bless such a beautiful and peaceful people of Costa Rica and may their ideal of peace be shared around the world.

Local television channels 7, 11, and 13 and newspapers Al Dia, Diario Costa Rica,
Tico Times, Diario Extra, etc. had coverage of this event.

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