Background: History & Congresses of Asia Pacific Vegetarian Union (APVU) (formally known as Asian Vegetarian Union, AVU)
The Asian Vegetarian Union (AVU) came into existence when the 33rd World Vegetarian Congress was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand in January 1999. At that time the European Vegetarian Union (EVU) and the Vegetarian Union of North America (VUNA) had already been established, however, there was no apex body for the Societies of Asia. Therefore, it was natural to form one in Asia.
The First AVU President elected was the late Mr Jashu Bhai Shah of India. He was the former Honorary Consul General of Austria and a successful businessman, a Philanthrophist and a passionate vegetarian activist who passed away on 9th May 2008. During his term, the following Congresses were held:
1st Asian Vegetarian Congress (AVC) was held 2001 in a beach resort town of Goa, India. There was a good response including dignitaries.
2nd AVC was held in the vibrant city of Bangkok, Thailand in 2006.
3rd AVC was held in the beautiful city of Koushing, Taiwan in 2007. There was a huge turnout for this Congress
Untimely demise of Mr Jashu Bhai Shah left the President’s seat vacant and the committee nominated Prof, Maitree Suttajit to be the next President.
The Second AVU President was Prof. Maitree Suttajit of Thailand. (2009-2012).
Currently, Professor Emeritus at the Chiang Mai University and a long time vegan activist in Thailand
4th AVC was held in the scenic island of Batam, Indonesia in 2009.
This congress was hosted by Bapak Bambang Sumantri, owner of the Royal Progressive International hospital in Jakarta, a fully vegetarian hospital.
5th AVC was held in a quiet and historical city of Hangzhou, China in 2011.
It was well attended by the locals and international delegates.
The committee nominated Prof Duo Li to be the next President of AVU.
The Third President was Prof. Duo Li of Hangzhou, China (2012-2013).
He is a research scientist at the Dept. of Food Science & Nutrition, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou. He has also worked in collaboration with Dr Colin Campbell. He has published more than 200 articles on nutrition and health.
6th AVC was held in a multicultural city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2013
It was well attended by all races here and multinationals. The AVC committee made a landmark change to include the Pacific islands like Australia, New Zealand. AVU was renamed as Asia Pacific Vegetarian Union (APVU).
Prof Duo Li, through APVU, had initiated an open access scientific journal to update knowledge and publish research papers on vegetarian diet and nutrition called Vegetarian Nutrition Journal (VNJ) since 2013. He is a strong advocate of Vegetarian diet.
Prof Duo Li resigned as the President of AVU and the committee nominated Dr Susianto Tseng as the next President of the new APVU.
The Fourth President was Dr Susianto Tseng of Indonesia (2013-2015). He is a popular vegan figure in Indonesia and Internationally. He is a Nutritionist, an Educator, a researcher and a successful businessman. He appears often in print media and TV interviews in Indonesia. He is the first in the world to produce tempeh in powder form and is marketed in Indonesia and other neighbouring countries.
7th APVC was held in a serene Dhurakij Pundit University (DPU), Bangkok, Thailand in 2015. It was well attended by public including monks and nuns and foreign delegates.
The committee nominated Dr P Vythilingam as the next President of APVU.
The Fifth President is Dr P Vythilingam of Malaysia. (2016-2017).
He is a Family Medical Practitioner based in Kuala Lumpur. He is a social worker and a vegetarian activist. He works closely with the Ministry of Health and Universities. And promoting Vegan diet to other vegetarian related NGOs.