Following is the full letter addressed to the Burmese military junta head Than Shwe:
“On behalf of the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California, representing the Southern California Buddhist community, the Sri Lankan Sangha Council of America and Canada and other Buddhist communities in the U.S.A., we would like to make a plea for a peaceful resolution of the situation we have witnessed in Myanmar.
“We have closely observed with deep concern the current situation and the ongoing disturbing, brutal attacks in Myanmar. We all follow and practice the teachings of the Buddha which emphasize compassion and non-violence. Peace cannot be achieved through violence which arouses enmity.
“We feel that the ruling principles of Emperor Asoka should be kept in mind to help nurture peace. His first practice was to take care of every single person of his empire and to treat them as his own children.
“His second practice was to respect, honor and support all religions, even though he himself was a devout Buddhist.
“His third practice was to live a simple life, and to encourage his subjects to conserve their energies and resources, and expend them wisely.
“We appeal to you, to consider the practices that Emperor Asoka followed and negotiate peacefully to establish harmony in Myanmar.
“We unanimously request the release of the detained monks, asking you not to violate human rights and to establish a peaceful, stable state where all people can co-exist in a harmonious way. If we can be of any assistance, we would be happy to do so.”