S AMDECH Preah Maha Ghosananda does not need government help to defend this
year's peace marchers against violence or insecurity "because we have our own
(help)," he said, "we defend ourselves by using non-violence."
year's Dhamayietra - joining the international Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace
and Life which started in Auschwitz, Poland in December, through 13 other
countries to end in Hiroshima, Japan in August - will be the biggest
About 100 walkers will cross the Thai border at Poipet on Sunday
afternoon and there join 800 or more Cambodians on a 24-day walk to
Maha Ghosananda has led thousands of Cambodians in three
previous Dhamayietras, literally pilgrimages of truth, across war-torn provinces
Training sessions have been held in preparation for this
march. About 600 people have already undergone "training" - consisting of an
introduction to non-violence, philosophy and disciplines of the walk, and mine
This year's march will also include Kol Saroth, a
monk who was wounded in the leg on last year's Dhamayietra; his leg has still
not healed properly.
The 25 year-old monk told the Post that he was
willing to join the march from Poipet to Vietnam though his left leg was
"I don't fear anything would happen even though I was injured in
the last march," he said.
"Being enthusiastic for peace I don't hesitate
to devote everything."
He said he did not get upset or angry when his leg
was wounded at the last march. Instead, he asked to be allowed to join the next
He said he really wanted to walk because he expected the
Dhamyietra would bring Cambodians peace and relive people from starvation and
"Now there is nothing to fear because after the last
Dhamayietra the war decreased and some regions appeared to be
Maha Ghosananda was also present at the beginning of the walk in
Auschwitz. He said he and thousands of French-Cambodians joined the march from
Poland to France. He had to fly back to Cambodia to prepare the Cambodian
Dhamayietra and receive the marchers at Poipet. He said the march had begun very
The aims of this year's Dhamayietra are: to offer heartfelt prayers
for the victims of all wars; to make an honest resolve for peace and real
national unity for Cambodia; to ask and support the non-violent and peaceful
resolution of all local and regional disputes; to demand that mine production,
importation and laying be stopped and all land mines destroyed; and to plant
trees along the way as a symbol of ending logging.
Walkers would not be
allowed to use vehicles, drugs, alcohol, weapons or party banners and logos.
"The Dhamayietra does not serve any party," said Kim Leng, chief of Dhamayietra
She said the walkers would not be allowed to react even if
there was violence, death threats or propaganda. They must keep
The march would use yellow banner, representing
The Dhamayietra manager said walkers would find food along the
way at pagodas where they would stay at night.
He said some NGOs would
carry materials and water for the walkers.
A 57-year-old nun from
Battambang said she regretted that she did not join the last Dhamayietra, said
she would joing the march from the begining at Poipet till the end at Svay
Rieng. " I am willing to join this Dhamayietra because I want peace. I don't
fear anything will happen to me," she said.
Maha Ghosananda said the next
Dhamayietra would be held again on May 13 next year.
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