Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Peace walkers told to take a truck

Peace walkers told to take a truck

16-march-Use.jpg
16-march-Use.jpg

LAURA MCGREW

Nuns pray during the March 12 to April 1 peace march through Takeo province, which coincided with the death of the march’s founder, Samdech Preah Maha Ghosananda, one year ago.

The 2008 Dhammayietra from March 12 to April 1 started with a ceremony for Samdech Preah Maha Ghosananda on the one-year anniversary of his death. Ghosananda, who founded Cambodia’s Peace Walk in 1992, died last year at the age of 83, after a life of service that had a profound impact on the long walk towards peace in Cambodia.

This year, for the first time since the Peace Walks began, authorities refused permission for the 18th Dhammayietra to walk through Takeo, citing the possibility that “bad elements” would disrupt the walk in the run up to the elections.

Several hundred participants who had planned to walk returned home, leaving 24 monks, eight nuns, lay temple leaders and the Dhammayietra organizers to attend, traveling from wat to wat by truck.

Nevertheless, in each temple, hundreds of supplicants came to attend the Ban Skoal (funeral ceremony) for Maha Ghosananda and the Tessna (teachings), which were held three to four times per day. The Dhammayietra was joined for portions by members of NGOs and other individuals, many of whom who had participated in previous years’ marches.

Each day the Dhammayietra visited two to three temples, covering eight districts in Takeo, and provided educational materials and teachings to the community.

The monks began their day at 5am, attending and leading ceremonies, giving water blessings, teaching children and planting trees.

The participants said they were disappointed they could not walk not only because they considered the act of walking as part of the meditative process but because it also allows thousands of people to receive blessings from the monks.

Although villagers were not able to have contact with monks along the walk, they were still thrilled to see the Dhammayietra and often remarked how happy they were to know about it.

Maha Ghosananda and the Coalition for Peace and Reconciliation organized the first Dhammayietra in 1992, bringing Cambodian refugees across the Thai border back to their homeland.

Many other Dhammayietras have walked into contested and war torn areas, bringing the message of peace, reconciliation and land mine awareness.

Dhammayietra organizer Oddom Van Sivorn said the purpose of this year’s walk included increasing awareness of alcohol abuse, environmental conservation, compassion for people living with HIV/AIDS, and bird flu.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Bodies of Cambodian peacekeepers returned to Kingdom

The bodies of four Cambodian peacekeepers killed by a Christian militia in Central African Republic were repatriated to the Kingdom and honoured in an airport ceremony on May 21.

Phnom Penh eats: Ptas Nak Battambang

As the name suggests, Ptsa Nak Battambang – which in English means Battambang's house – is the right place for those who want to try some of the province's typical dishes in Phnom Penh.

Military police stand guard outside a polling station that was allegedly prematurely closed to eligible voters during the 2013 general election in Kandal province. Photo supplied

The Ministry of Defence on Friday lashed out at civil society and election monitoring groups, claiming a

Opposition leader Kem Sokha uses his hat to gesture to supporters during a campaign rally yesterday in Siem Reap province. Facebook

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday threatened to unleash war on the opposition party if he loses patience with their campaign for the June 4 commune