An interview with Senator Thach Setha, Executive Director of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community, KKC, born in Kampuchea Krom, on 1. Preparation for the 63rd Annual Kampuchea Krom Commemoration and the Offering Ceremony to 1,949 Buddhist monks, 2. Role of Buddhist monks, 3. Supreme Patriarch, mid-level ranking monk officials and police violatedly detained Ven. Loun Sovath against his will with no wrongdoing and 4. The arrest and imprisonment of the Boeng Kak villagers, land owners
Boeung Kak Lake residents watch as a construction crew demolishes their homes, Sept. 8, 2011. RFA
In a demonstration over a land dispute, a group of women turn to an extreme measure.
A group of women stripped off their clothes in front of Cambodia’s parliament Tuesday as part of a protest to draw attention to a controversial development project in Phnom Penh.
The 10 women who disrobed down to their underwear were among 100 protesters demanding land titles for residents evicted from the Boeung Kak Lake area, where a private developer granted a land concession is turning the area into a luxury residential project.
“As Cambodian women with dignity we don’t want to be naked, but because of too much suffering we have run out of patience,” said community representative Tep Vanny, who removed her skirt in the protest.
“The officials are working for the rich and powerful and they are leaving us with no choice. We have stripped ourselves to show our suffering,” she said.
The protest is part of a week-long campaign by the Boeng Kak community demanding the authorities drop charges against residents who have spoken out about the issue and award promised land titles to residents who have not received them.
Last year, a decree by President Hun Sen set aside 12.44 hectares (31 acres) of land for the relocation of 794 families whose homes were being demolished in Boeung Kak area, but residents say 94 of those families have not received their land titles.
Around 20,000 Boeung Kak residents have been evicted from their homes or are at risk of losing them since a Cambodian-Chinese company called Shukaku, owned by a politician from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, was granted a 99-year lease in the area in 2007.
Residents have staged high-profile protests since Shukaku suddenly began draining the lake in 2008.
Tep Vanny, who was briefly arrested along with three other women and charged with defamation and obstruction of public officials at a protest in November, said that the women had removed their clothes, breaking taboo in Cambodian society, as last resort to draw attention to the case.
“Cambodian women are gentle but now we have no patience. When we strip [in protest], it means that we are desperate.”
“We are not embarrassed about what we have done. Those who should feel ashamed are the government,” she said.
Cambodia’s land issues date from the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime, which banned private property and forced large-scale evacuations and relocations throughout the country.
An estimated 30,000 people a year in Cambodia are driven from farmland or urban areas to make way for real estate developments or mining and agricultural projects.
Elsewhere in Phnom Penh, protests by members of the Borei Keila community, who have opposed the demolition of their homes to make way for a commercial real estate project, culminated in a standoff in January, when riot police were called in to evict hundreds of residents.
In February, two women from Borei Keila removed their clothes in a protest in front of Phnom Penh’s city hall.
Reported by Mom Sophon and Samean Yun for RFA’s Khmer service. Translations by Samean Yun. Written in English by Rachel Vandenbrink
( Students For A Free Tibet via APTN / Associated Press ) - This image from video footage released by Students For A Free Tibet via APTN purports to show Buddhist nun Palden Choetso engulfed in flames in her self-immolation protest against Chinese rule on a street in Tawu, Tibetan Ganzi prefecture, in China’s Sichuan Province Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011.
BEIJING — A Tibetan rights group has released graphic video of what it says is a Buddhist nun engulfed in flames on a city street in one of several apparent self-immolation protests against Chinese rule.
The video, released Monday by Students for a Free Tibet, purports to show Palden Choetso, whose death on Nov. 3 in predominantly Tibetan Ganzi prefecture in Sichuan province had previously been reported.
The video shows a woman in nun’s robes standing on a street corner covered in bright red flames. She collapses to the ground after about 15 seconds.
Additional footage shows about 10,000 mourners gathering at a monastery for a candlelight vigil on Nov. 6 to pay their respects to the 35-year-old nun while about 1,000 monks and nuns hold prayers inside.
The video also shows Chinese security forces in riot gear shadowing monks and nuns taking part in a protest march, and a column of armored paramilitary police patrol vehicles traveling down a country road. The New York-based Students of a Free Tibet said it obtained the video from sources in the region.
China restricts journalists’ access to Tibetan areas of western China and to Tibet itself, and it is nearly impossible to verify statements about conditions there.
At least 11 monks, nuns, and former monks have self-immolated this year in what are seen as acts of desperation in the face of tightening controls over Tibetan life and Buddhist culture.
Most ignited the flames while calling for Tibetan freedom and the return of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who fled to India amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.
China claims Tibet has always been part of its territory, but many Tibetans say the Himalayan region was virtually independent for centuries.
Authorities routinely deny Tibetan claims of repression, although they have confirmed some cases of self-immolations and accused supporters of the Dalai Lama of encouraging such acts. The Dalai Lama and representatives of the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile in India say they oppose all violence.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Five Buddhist monks are demonstrating at a monastery in Mandalay to demand the immediate release of political prisoners (AFP)
MANDALAY, Myanmar — A rare protest by Buddhist monks in Myanmar entered a second day Wednesday, as Southeast Asian nations announced a plan to let the military-dominated country chair their regional bloc.
The five monks are demonstrating at a monastery in Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, to demand peace and the immediate release of political prisoners, and they have vowed to continue their action until Friday.
Rallies by monks are extremely unusual in Myanmar, and this is thought to be the first since mass protests led by clergy in 2007 — known as the “Saffron Revolution” — were brutally quashed, with the deaths of at least 31 people and the arrest of hundreds of clerics.
Ministers at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the Indonesian island of Bali were Wednesday set to endorse a plan to pass the rotating chairmanship to Myanmar in 2014.
Around 500 people, mostly monks, gathered at Masoeyein monastery to hear the protesters give a speech, an AFP reporter on the scene said.
“I support their demands,” said local resident Khin Maung Tun, 27, as he delivered food offerings at the compound, which is home to some 600 monks.
“So I came here to listen to their speech and show my support.”
The five demonstrators attracted around 500 onlookers when they began their protest on Tuesday, after an expected amnesty for political detainees failed to materialise.
They unfurled banners in English and Burmese reading: “Free all political prisoners” and “Stop civil war now” — a reference to the decades-long conflict between the army and ethnic minorities.
Their third demand is freedom of speech for monks, Ashin Sopaka, the leader of the five protesters, told AFP at the monastery.
“I think things are going well,” he said, but he admitted he feared a crackdown by the authorities. “We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.”
The monks originally started their protest at a different religious building in Mandalay, but following talks with senior clerics in the area agreed to move their protest to the Masoeyein monastery.
The release of all of the country’s political prisoners, whose exact numbers remain unclear, is one of the major demands of Western nations which have imposed sanctions on Myanmar.
Authorities had been expected to release some political detainees on Monday before President Thein Sein attends the ASEAN meeting later this week.
But officials said the move was put off at short notice for reasons that remain unclear.
Buddhist monks join the crowd listening to the monks' calls for the government to release political prisoners. Photo/Mandalay Breeze Facebook
Five Buddhist monks launched a protest at Maha Mya Muni Monastery in Mandalay on Tuesday, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of political activists who are being detained in prisons across the country, one of the protesters told The Irrawaddy.
The move came after Win Mra, the chairman of a government-appointed rights body, the National Human Rights Commission, called on President Thein Sein to grant another amnesty as a reflection of his magnanimity or to transfer political prisoners in remote prisons to facilities with easy access for their family members.
The Buddhist monks also urged the government to end armed hostilities in ethnic Kachin State in northern Burma and to hold peace talks with ethnic armed groups.
They held signs which read: “Peace Here Right Now!” “Free All Political Prisoners!” “We Want Freedom!” and “Stop the Civil War Now!” as they protested using loudspeakers. The monks began the vigil at 5 am and it was still continuing at 2pm.
The Buddhist monks have also demanded that the government allow monks to exercise their right of religion such as by being able to give religious speeches in public. The police did not intervene but instead questioned the monks, then stood by and monitored the demonstration, said the source.
One of the monks was identified as Ashin Sopoka who lived in exile in Germany until recently, and who runs Burmese book stores in Chiang Mai and Mae Sot in Thailand.
Another Buddhist monk, U Sawpaka, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is do hold a telephone conversation with the protesting monks in Mandalay. Electricity lines have been cut at the Maha Mya Muni Monastery where the protest is taking place.
Members of the public watch the protesting monks at Maha Mya Muni Monastery in Mandalay on Tuesday morning. Photo/Mandalay Breeze Facebook
Hundreds of residents have turned up to cheer the monks and have offered them food, drinking water and petrol to work a generator. Plain-clothed security was beefed up around the protest site, and both police and fire trucks were deployed nearby, said the monk.
* Later on Tuesday afternoon, the five monks moved from Maha Mya Muni monastery to Ma Soe Yein monastery in Mandalay and continued their protest. They said they will maintain their protest until the government accepts their demands.
They said they moved location after being persuaded to by senior monks at Ma Soe Yein monastery.
“Even though the government released some political prisoners, there remain many Buddhist monks and political activists in prison. We call for the government to immediately release them and end the civil war for the sake of peace in Burma,” one of the protesting monks told The Irrawaddy by telephone.
Nepal police stop a gathering of exile Tibetans who were shouting anti-China slogans in tribute to the Tibetans who died in the recent self-immolation, in Katmandu, Nepal, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011
Nepalese police detained more than 60 Tibetan refugees early Tuesday as they demonstrated in support of Buddhist monks who have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule in their homeland.
Police say the demonstrators were arrested after shouting anti-China slogans during a prayer service outside a monastery on the outskirts of the capital, Kathmandu. Nepalese authorities are increasingly cracking down on gatherings of exiled Tibetans.
On Monday, China’s military chief, General Chen Bingde, said Beijing approves of Nepal’s “firm stance on issues related to Tibet.”
Chen made his comments in Beijing during a visit by his Nepalese counterpart, General Chhatraman Singh Gurung, who reaffirmed his promise to never allow “anti-Chinese activities” to take place on Nepalese soil.
More than 20,000 Tibetan exiles are living in Nepal, after a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. Nepal has prohibited demonstrations by Tibetan exiles and cracked down on such gatherings in recent years as part of its “one-China” policy.
At least 10 Buddhist monks have set themselves on fire in southwest China in recent months to protest harsh Chinese rule of Tibet.
Posted on: November 1, 2011 8:42 am
MEDITATION DOCUMENTARY 2016
BUDDHIST MEDITATION CENTER
Videos and Photos of Vipassana classes at our Peace Meditation Center - Wat Kiryvongsa Bopharam in Leverett, Massachusetts, USA
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