Warring Neighbours

Riuns in Ayuthaya


A stone stature of the seated Buddha, with its head and two lower arms severed off, was photographed in Wat Maha That, one of the many ruin temples in Ayutthaya, Thailand. About 240 years ago, the invading Burmese army, destroyed everything Thai in the city and many of the wreckages still remain today.

This picture of the Buddha, at the moment of enlightenment, with his right hand touching the earth and the left hand calling the earth to witness it, captures the mood and essence of the Wesak celebration, in May every year. This visualization, brings together, the time when Siddhartha Gautama became a Buddha, when he was born (563BC) and when he died (483 BC) and also his teachings about spiritual liberation and human insights.

Ayutthaya, in the 14th and 15th century, was the second Capital of Thailand after Sukhothai. It was the greatest inland port at that time but it was in constant war with invading neighbours, wanting to take over its power and wealth.

Some of the best Thai Buddhist art flourished during that time but in 1765 the invading army from Burma, over ran the city within two years, and in its wake, desecrated everything sacred to the Thais, including manuscripts, temples and sculptures.

The Mon people (Thais and Burmese), who were mostly Theravada Buddhist, were at war with each other constantly, in their history, and they are now still at war, not only with their neighbours, but also with their own people. This is true too of many parts of the world today; we are endlessly at war with each other, many of this conflicts are in the name of religion, race, power and greed (for oil and other limited natural resources).

When will we ever learn to live and share with our neighbours?

Malay Mail BlogSpot

Sheila Rahman, a consultant editor for the Malay Mail, a local newspaper, highlighted this blog in the paper, Wednesday 21 May, 2008. She is probably one of the few writers here who has a wider and broader experience and understanding of the political, social and cultural life of Malaysians. There will be a daily page in the Malaya Mail about other BlogSpot. Thank you Sheila.

Read more here.

Life & Death

Red Bougainvillea

A thin line

In the last few weeks, there has been a lot of news from all over the world, of countless deaths, due to natural or man made courses (famines, earthquakes, cyclones, droughts, starvations, floods, prisons, wars, massacres, revolutions, global warming etc.).

There is but a thin line, between life and death, and each of us crosses it and back, many times in our daily life. If we didn’t die today, we live for another day, and so on. But one of those day it will be our turn. This page is dedicated to all those of our distant blood brothers and sisters (related millions of years ago from the middle of Africa), young and old, near and far, all colours, cultures or creeds.

May you all find rest, some how, somewhere, sometime. Who knows, perhaps we’ll all meet in another form someday?

Bowled Over

Citi Hadijah, 25, from Johore, is one of the many tenpin bowlers competing for a medal in the 14th Paralympics in Kuala Lumpur (3 to 9 May). She is slow but she can sure swing the bowling ball over the pins. She has a personal style of holding the ball right up to her face, pause in concentration, before launching it.

The oldest bowler, Amaran B Bohri, 61, is from Kampong Paya Mebi, near Kuching, Sarawak. He is a veteran to this sport; he has won 3 gold medals and several other trophies, in individual and team events.

Amaran’s leg and back injuries were caused by an accident in his work place in 1995. That has not stop him from a happy family life and sports. He has six children and 20 grand children. Bowling is his favorite game.

Maizirah, 46, from Perak, is a first time bowler and she only started practicing two weeks before the games. She had just five bowling sessions at the Ipoh Parade Bowling Club before coming to this meet. She is a natural at the game and plays with a great deal of fun and enthusiasm.

She had a motor bike accident two weeks after her wedding and lost her right leg. At home she uses a pair of shoulder crutches to move about but she had to borrow a wheelchair to come to this venue. What she wishes for is a wheelchair so she can improve her mobility at home and at her sporting meets.

Maizirah’s contact no: 017 584 2639, (Please call her if you wish to donate a wheelchair).

Life and Cerebral Palsy

Goh Cheng Yoong with his mother Ho Lee Mei

Goh Cheng Yoong playing ball

Goh Cheng Yoong, 37, has cerebral palsy (CP), he is here from Penang, with his mother, Ho Lee Mei, to take part in the 14th Paralympics in Kuala Lumpur (3to9 May). His game is boccia, an indoor bowling game especially designed for the severely disabled person.

The player, depending on his or her ability, may take 5 to 15 minutes to play, throwing or kicking or picking with a pointer from a headgear, the ball. Some players can play by themselves others need help.

Cheng Yoong needs his mother to help him play this game, as you can see from the photo. His mother sits on his right with her back against the playing field and she has to take instruction from him as to the detail position to place the shoot that launches the ball. His mother is his ‘hands’ and ‘legs’.

This couple, mother and son, for the last 37 years, has been closely link in everything in their daily life. His mother said, with a smile, that she is so use to doing things with her son, all the pain and the pleasure, good and bad days, are all mixed into one, that’s life to her. She is happy that her son can join in with the other CPs, in Penang and while at the games, and have a community life of some sort.