Dear Templenews TV, Members of LHA family and friends,
Happy New Year! I wish you all the best in 2015!! This is the perfect time to think about the joys and achievements of the past year and to reflect and prepare for the year to come. It is certainly what we are doing at Life and Hope Association (LHA).
In that regard, I want to share some important news about our future plans. On a personal level, I have decided that the end of 2014 will also mark the end of my role as executive director of LHA. For many reasons, it is the right time to make this leadership transition. Our mission is clear, our staff is committed, and our financial position is healthy. And most important, the organization has produced a strong and capable leader who can take it to the next level of its development.
For all these reasons, I feel very comfortable about stepping aside to give the space and the opportunity for the Venerable Lorm Loeurm to become the second executive director of LHA’s history. Since Venerable Loeurm joined LHA in 2009, he has served in many different roles and positions, becoming a part of our senior leadership team in 2010. With his great compassion, good judgement, and strong leadership skills, he has earned the support of LHA’s board of directors, and my own strong belief that he will lead LHA to make great and long-lasting impacts on many more lives in the years to come.
But rest assured, the leadership change does not mean that I will disappear from this organization that means so much to me. I will remain very involved in an advisory and mentoring role, acting as a senior advisor and remaining as a member of board of directors. I am greatly looking forward to seeing some of the exciting development that is already being planned for LHA’s future. Let me share some of the plans that are in place for next year.
We have decided to grow the Program Advancing Girls Education (PAGE), and will soon begin construction to expand accommodation from 25 to at least 35 girls in 2015. The Sewing School will continue to expand its new social business enterprise to make last long impact on our girls through jobs and sustainability. Children’s Development Village (CDV) is also looking to its future as it explores new opportunities. The Sustainable Community Program (SCP) is dramatically expanding its micro-loan program in 2015. The Foreign Language School (FLS) continues its mission to teach English language to hundreds of students every day. And the Buddhism in Society Program (BSP) will continue its work impacting thousands of lives through community-oriented activities such as building peace-houses, hosting a radio show, offering scholarships for high potential monks and youth, and providing emergency relief.
When I started the Life and Hope Association on May 15, 2005, I committed to building an organization that would be of value to society. Although I am not sure if I have done the best job as the leader, I know that I have had an exceptional opportunity to learn and make a difference. It has been a life-blessing gift for me to see many lives’ change every day. I love LHA, I love the work, and I am committed to the organization. As the founder and true believer in LHA’s mission, values, and strategies, I will always do everything I can to ensure that the organization is true to its mission, and continues to have a positive impact.
As I step aside from my leadership executive role, I have many, many people to thank, especially you, your family, and your friends for all your trust and support. With your great help and support, it has been a great honor to be able to serve Cambodia’s neediest citizens and communities.
I send you my sincere thanks and happy New Year 2015—!!!a
Executive Director | Life and Hope Association | Wat Damnak | Siem Reap | Cambodia
Address: Wat Damnak (Damnak monastery), SangkatSalakomreuk, Siem Reap, Cambodia,
ព្រះសង្ឃដ៏ល្បីល្បាញបំផុតនៅកម្ពុជា សម្តេចព្រះសង្ឃរាជបណ្ឌិត មហាឃោសានន្ន ជាព្រះសង្ឃសន្តិភាព មហាត្មៈគន្ធី និង ត្បូងពេជ្រនៃកម្ពុជា
The Most Famous Buddhist Monk in Kampuchea (Cambodia), H.H. Dr. Maha Ghosananda, the Peaceful Buddhist Monk, Mahatma Gandhi and Gem of Cambodia
The Supreme Buddhist Patriarch, Buddhist monks, leaders and citizens of Cambodia ought to learn from the late and renowned His Holiness to achieve a long lasting peace.
To learn more about His Holiness Maha Ghosananda, visit this link.
Adhoc senior investigator Chan Soveth is greeted by supporters at Phnom Penh court in 2012. Heng Chivoan
Chan Soveth, one of Cambodia’s most respected human rights defenders, passed away suddenly in Phnom Penh yesterday. He was 51.
A senior investigator at local NGO Adhoc, Soveth spent almost two decades at the forefront of investigative human rights work in the Kingdom.
“We are very sad. It’s International Human Rights Day and we have lost our human rights defender,” said Ee Sarom, executive director at urban rights NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT).
Soveth’s wife, Sopheap, said her husband had returned home from events held as part of the rights day complaining of chest pain. He passed away soon after.
“[Tuesday] evening, he was not feeling well and ate porridge, but today he ate nothing,” she said.
Tributes flowed in yesterday for a man known for being fearless in his fight for justice.
Soveth was remembered as a brave man who frequently spoke out against rights abuses and illegal activities, ranging from land grabbing and deforestation to torture and trafficking.
It was an unflinching approach, his friends and colleagues said, that attracted the wrath of authorities, but more than anything, earned Soveth a reputation as a strong voice for the downtrodden.
“Losing Chan Soveth is a great loss to our society; it will be difficult to find such a person like him again,” said Latt Ky, Adhoc’s chief land investigator. “He worked from hand to mouth. When he departed this life, he had nothing left.”
Adhoc president Thun Saray described Soveth as a “great human rights activist” who dared to speak out at significant risk to his own safety.
“It is a big loss for Adhoc, civil society and the Cambodian people,” he said.
Yi Soksan, senior investigator at Adhoc, said Soveth had been raised, along with his three sisters and one brother, by his aunt. He later became a soldier in Battambang, a period in which he was jailed in a “dark prison” for almost one year after two of his subordinates were accused of illegally selling weapons.
“After he was released, he asked permission to go home and abandoned the military. He worked as a teacher in 1993 and 1994,” Soksan said.
But it was through his rights work that Soveth would find his calling. He joined Adhoc in 1995 and became a familiar figure in local and international media, speaking out against injustices.
Soveth, however, was anything but an “armchair activist” and spent much of his time on the “front line” with the people, said Cambodian Center for Human Rights chairman Ou Virak.
“You need to have the passion to roll up your sleeves and go out to the field – Soveth did that,” he said. “He was one of the good guys.”
However, with such commitment came risks to his own freedom.
In 2012, Soveth was accused of assisting what the government called a “secessionist” movement in Kratie. Charges against him – which rights groups called “the decade’s most serious threat to human rights in Cambodia” – were eventually thrown out.
“I’m not involved in politics. They should respect humanitarian activities,” he said at the time.
Am Sam Ath, senior investigator at rights group Licadho, said Soveth had never let threats of legal action or threats on his life deter him.
“It is a bravery that cannot be forgotten,” he said.
Soveth leaves behind three children, Sovisal, 16, Sovuthy, 14, and Solika, 8.
The following are the five precepts (pañca-sikkhāpada) or five virtues (pañca-sīla) rendered in English and Pali:
1. I undertake the training rule to abstain from killing. Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
2. I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not given. Adinnādānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
3. I undertake the training rule to avoid sexual misconduct. Kāmesumicchācāra veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
4. I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech. Musāvādā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
5. I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness. Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
For more on the first precept, see ahimsa. In the fifth precept sura, meraya and majja are kinds of alcoholic beverages. In some modern translations, Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā, is rendered more broadly, variously, as, intoxicants, liquor and drugs, etc. Courtesy wikipedia
A Dhamma Talk on Vipassana and mindfulness meditation by Vipassana Gossalaya Jotannano Hong Keo, Vipassana Buddhist Master during a 10-Day Meditation & Vipassana Retreats at the Buddhist Meditation Center, Wat Kiryvongsa Bopharam on the 11th Waxing Moon – 7th Waning Moon of Jeṭṭha B.E.2560 equivalent to June 15 – 26, A.D.2016 in Leverett, Massachusetts, U.S.A. in 2016.
ក្រុងសាវត្ថី Sāvatthī or Śrāvastī
Vipassana chanting by Meditation Master Ketodhammo Som Bunthoeun. Footages from 2016 Vipassana classes at the Buddhist Meditation Center – Wat Kiryvongsa Bopharam in Leverett, Massachusetts, USA.
SAMDECH CHUON NATH
Khmer literature and Dhamma talk by His Holiness Jotannano Chuon Nath, the Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia Buddhism. His Holiness was born on March 11, 1883; passed away on September 25, 1969
MAHA GHOSANANDA SERVICES
Extraordinary Funeral and Memorial Services for His Holiness Samdech Dr. Maha Ghosananda