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The Asian Tsunami Disaster: One month on

Commentary, The Buddhist Channel, Jan 26, 2005

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- Impermanence. One of the three characteristics of life, an indelible truth in the Buddha's Four Noble Truths. One moment, a glorious day graced with bright sunshine and warm, embracing breeze. The next instant - dark, roaring, thunderous waves racing asunder onto shore and decimating everything on its path. Today marks a month from that fateful day on Dec 26, 2004, when deadly Tsunami waves took away close to 282,000 lives (as of today). Asia's 9/11. Impermanence, suffering, non-self - characteristics of life playing out right under our noses. Today, the warm sun and cool breezes beckons the devastated beaches again. Life for many are in ruin. How do we reconcile? Can we ever? The Buddhist Channel takes time off to mindfully reflect on nature's "shock and awe".

The Asian Tsunami Disaster: One month On

Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, offers prayers during a special prayer ceremony organised for the tsunami victims and world peace at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, 125 km (78 miles) from the eastern Indian city of Patna January 25, 2005. Picture taken January 25, 2005. The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959 after an abortive uprising, and Beijing remains sensitive to any sparks of Tibetan nationalism or separatism. REUTERS/Ravi. S. Sahani



A Sri Lankan man lights a candle in memory of tsunami victims during a prayer session in Colombo January 26, 2005. Hundreds of mourners dressed in traditional white gathered in Colombo's Independence Square to hold a brief, silent vigil at 0936, the time the waves struck Sri Lanka, killing 38,000 people. REUTERS/Arko Datta


Young Buddhist monks and villagers light oil lamps during a special offering to bless people affected by the Dec. 26 tsunami at Talpe, about 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005. On the eve of the one-month of the tsunami disaster, Sri Lankan officials Tuesday were still unable to reconcile a discrepancy of more than 7,000 people in reporting the death toll. Based on police reports, the Public Security Ministry reported last week that it has counted 38,195 bodies while the Social Services Ministry which gathers reports from regional bureaucrats says 30,957 are dead. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

A Buddhist monk recites prayers in the tsunami-damaged fishing village of Rawai on the Thai resort island of Phuket January 25, 2005. Scientists and officials from across Asia on Tuesday pledged to cooperate to better protect the region from natural disasters after last month's devastating tsunami. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad



A Thai Buddhist monk walks through the ruins of the devastated Bang Niang beach where rescuers are still in search of missing western tourists on the tsunami-hit Kaho Lak resort.(AFP/Saeed Khan)






Graffiti with the words, 'Help me, please!' is written in mud on a wall inside a Muslim school Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Aceh, the region hardest-hit by the massive Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 160,000 people across the Indian Ocean, is expected to receive the bulk of the global aid, already in the billions of dollars. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)


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