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Thread: Jackie Chan - Message to East Timor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Pittsburgh PA

    Jackie Chan - Message to East Timor

    Fight for good, Chan tells Timorese

    By Lucy Williamson
    BBC News, Jakarta

    The crowds in Dili's national stadium were excited. It is not every day you see Jackie Chan enjoying the show from the stalls.
    If you use martial arts to help somebody, you're the hero

    Jackie Chan

    Chan, actor and martial arts expert, is visiting East Timor this week, as a goodwill ambassador for the UN children's fund, Unicef, to talk to youth groups about peace.

    Fresh off a helicopter trip to meet young people from outside the capital, Chan led Dili's martial arts groups in a demonstration of his skills - a small figure in a bright blue T-shirt, surrounded by a crowd of young and curious Timorese.

    But he did not just come to show them some new moves - he also came to talk about the meaning and role of martial arts.

    And his message was very simple: "If you use martial arts to help somebody, you're the hero. If you use martial arts just on the street to fight somebody, even if you win you're not the hero - you're nobody."

    The assembled crowd cheered, but will his message get through to those members of East Timor's martial arts groups that were involved in the lethal violence here two years ago?

    Then, infighting among the security forces opened up ancient divisions between people from the east of the country and those from the west.

    Some martial arts groups were sucked into that violence, in which 37 people died and more than a tenth of the population were driven from their homes.

    'Spreading the message'

    I asked some of the young people gathered at the stadium whether they thought Jackie Chan's message would get through to the people it needed to.
    Chan may have an inspiring message, but much more is needed

    "They must listen," said one man, "because for so long they've been creating problems, people have suffered because of their actions and now we have someone very famous visiting us, spreading the message, they should listen."

    Another man agreed.

    "They need to listen so they can change and stop all the problems they've been creating - and Timorese can live in peace."

    Despite the optimistic mood inside East Timor's national stadium, tackling the problem of youth violence is going to take much more than a simple message of peace.

    It is going to mean the government tackling some difficult, long-term issues - like getting investment to kick-start the economy, and building infrastructure to attract it.

    Because the main reason young people join martial arts groups in the first place is boredom.

    More than 15,000 young people enter the job market here every year, according to the World Bank, and they are competing for about 400 jobs.

    If the government is looking for a silver bullet, it is employment.
    Bless you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    As a former Portuguese Colony, I had family there, much like I still have in Macao.
    Horrible situation, truly horrible, just recently they returned to Portugal.
    My cousin is a Silat guy and we are starting to chat via the net now, sort of getting to know each other.
    They lost so much over there, they had put so much into it, at one point running a business that was keeping 20 people employed.
    Sad when these things happen.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    another report on the same visit

    There's video on this other article.

    Jackie Chan's anti-violence message
    Updated 09.11 Wed Jun 25 2008

    Martial arts movie star Jackie Chan is in strife-torn East Timor on a mission to promote peace.

    The UNICEF goodwill ambassador is in the capital Dili for a three-day visit, focussed on schoolchildren and youth traumatised by violence

    In May last year, 37 people were killed in clashes in Dili between street gangs and rival martial art schools.

    Thousands fled and became refugees in their own country as homes were burned and people were savagely attacked with machetes, arrows and darts by gangs who used martial arts to strike fear among the populace.

    Chan visited a youth centre and school in Dili, where he urged young people to shun violence and instead use martial arts to promote peace and harmony.

    He later met with Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and the pair shadow boxed and showed off some martial arts moves.

    The movie star also presented a UNICEF t-shirt to Mr Gusmao, the guerilla leader who helped East Timor to independence and later became the country's first president.

    East Timor became the world's newest democracy in 2002 but is still struggling to achieve any form of political stability.
    I'll merge this with the Jackie's Charity work thread later.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Pittsburgh PA

    Happy News

    If you all still remember, earlier this year during the last ten days of June, I went to visit Timor-Leste and spread the message of discipline, respect, and unity to the local martial artists and young people.

    Today I received a letter from the United Nations Childrenís Fund (UNICEF) and they told me that since the last time I was there encouraging the young locals and the people who practiced martial arts, two of Timor-Lesteís largest opposing martial arts associations signed a peace agreement and they vowed not to fight or battle with each other anymore.

    Jackie in Timor-Leste, June 2008

    I honestly felt very happy when I received this piece of news; everything that Iíve done and the influence I have on other people actually had some effect! I was thinking that regardless of the fact that a person practices martial arts, is part of a guerilla army, or is an enemy of the opposition, why canít we all live together in peace? At the moment there are a lot of people who are working hard for the human race so that we can have better health and better living conditions. Researchers are looking for ways to cure cancer, people who are fighting against global warming and working to protect our environment; they only hope for humans to have a better tomorrow, so why are people still fighting and killing for advantages or benefits? Killing each other cannot alter the increasingly serious gap between the rich and the poor, and it cannot save the escalating pollution or parts of the Earth that are already destroyed. People must understand that if Earth did not have humans, Earth would continue to exist. But if humans did not have Earth, we would not survive. Please put aside your personal grudges and resentments, cast your views on the whole of the world, the entire planet. You will discover that we are all human beings and what we need is to help each other and unite with one another to fight against the unrestrained growth of disease and the increasingly deteriorating environmental pollution. If everyone could work in unity with one heart, love and be close to one another, then where would you find hatred, strife, or war?

    Text and photos Copyright 2008 The JC Group. All Rights Reserved.
    Bless you

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