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Peace march to avoid Khmer Rouge zones

Peace march to avoid Khmer Rouge zones

MAHA Ghosananda's fourth Dhammayietra (peace march) through Cambodia will be

held in May as part of an international pilgrimage for peace.

The

Dhammayietra will begin in Poipet on May 8, traveling down Routes 5 and 2

through Phnom Penh and ending at the Vietnam border in Svey Rieng province on

May 31.

The march will not go through Khmer Rouge-occupied areas,

following last year's attempt to travel through Pailin and the deaths of a nun

and a monk in crossfire between government and rebel troops.

This year's

Dhammayietra is being held in conjunction with an inter-denominational

"Pilgrimage for Peace and Life" through 15 countries, including Bosnia, Israel,

Iraq and India.

About 80 people are taking part in the entire pilgrimage,

joined by about 1000 people in each of the countries.

Begun in Auschwitz,

Poland, in December, it will finish in Japan in August as part of commemorations

of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Ghosananda,

Cambodia's Buddhist spiritual leader, went to Poland for a week to take

part.

He said the project was to offer prayers for victims of wars all

over the world, not only in Cambodia.

Monks, nuns, NGO workers, students

and others are expected to take part in the Cambodia march, which follows the

three Dhammayietras held since 1992.

"We will walk and commit ourselves

until Cambodians have peace," Ghosananda said.

"Everyone should offer

loving and kindness to each other. Only this way will we make our country and

the world peaceful," he said.

Ghosananda said he agreed with attempts to

achieve national reconciliation by offering amnesty to KR guerrillas.

"We

want them to join our community. We should no longer have war against our own

people and nation. We should end the hatred and revenge which hasn't ever been

stopped."

A spokesman for Ghosananda said King Sihanouk had given his

blessing for the Dhammayietra and sent a message to the co-Prime Ministers

urging security be provided for the marchers.

Ghosananda, meanwhile,

visited the United States in January, where he called for international support

for human rights, women's rights, peace and national reconciliation in

Cambodia.

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