26 August 2009

Tragic Accident in Ladakh, India


26 August 2009, Wednesday

Tragic Accident in Ladakh, India
A great loss to Nalanda and the Malaysian Buddhist Community

Dear friends,

Yesterday, a tragic accident involving Malaysian devotees occurred in Ladakh, India. As of now, the authorities have confirmed the demise of three of our friends – Sis Julie Ang Ee Lee, the tour organizer, Sis Tan Guat Gnoh (GG Tan), and Sis Lee Ah Yem (Mrs. Teh). At the time of this report, one other friend – Sis Jennie Cheong – is still missing, while Sis Reena Lim Bee Hong is injured and is hospitalized.

The party is part of a group of Malaysian devotees visiting Ladakh from 21 – 31 August to provide aid to the Ladakhi people through the Ladakh Maha Bodhi Society headed by Ven. Sanghasena. Ladakh itself is a district in Kashmir, Northern India, nestled in the Himalayan Range. It borders Tibet to the East and Pakistan to the West. The region is very remote, hilly and rugged. The people there are among the poorest economically in India.

While traveling on a mountainous stretch of road out of Leh (the district capital and nearest town), the vehicle taken by the unfortunate party plunged into a deep ravine. The rest of the group, which consists of 40 participants, were traveling in other vehicles, and are confirmed safe. Nevertheless, we believe they must be traumatized by the whole incident.

This tragic accident has taken the lives of our close friends and devotees. Sis GG Tan was one of our most fervent supporters. She has helped in the organizing of many Dhamma propagation programmes, namely the printing of CDs and books, arranging talks, WACANA Conference, and fund-raising to help the poor in India and elsewhere. She was also a registered student of Nalanda Institute for all its courses so far, and has never in two years missed a single lesson. Sis Julie Ang is a tour organizer for Nalanda on many occasions, besides being the hostess for groups of visiting monks and nuns to Malaysia who are guests of the Institute. Mrs. Teh was a devout member of our community and is active in Sentul Temple and Maha Karuna Buddhist Society.

Nalanda Committee members are in constant contact with our friends in Delhi for the latest hourly news. We are also in contact with the families of the deceased to render any assistance as required. Bro.Tan Ho Soon, our advisor, has personally visited and spoken to all the families involved in the tragedy. Tonight at 8pm, close friends of the victims will gather at Nalanda for a special chanting and prayer session. After which, our members and devotees will meet to discuss plans to facilitate funerals for the deceased.

Further to that, Nalanda is organizing two days of Memorial Dana at the Centre on 30th and 31st August to commemorate and transfer merits to the deceased. We invite you to come on these occasions to remember and honour the good deeds of our friends who passed away.

This tragedy has come as a great shock to our Society and Institute, as all the victims are close friends of ours, especially Bro.Tan. Nalanda extends our deepest condolence to the families of the three deceased. May they have the strength to face this tragic and difficult period in their lives. For the family of Sis Jennie, we pray for her safety and for your patient endurance while the search for her is continuing in Ladakh. We also pray for the speedy recovery of Sis Reena Lim and for her family to remain strong.

We will update you with daily confirmed reports. Until then, kindly pray for all of them.

Anicca vata sankhara.

Sis Buddhini,
Assistant Secretary,
Nalanda Buddhist Society


pj pilgrim said...

Thank you Sis Buddhini, for keeping us informed. I'll be looking in regularly for updates. This is a tragic accident and a great loss for the Buddhist community. The deceased are our comrades, working for the Dhamma. In remembering them we should also emulate their devotion to our common cause. Our prayers also go to all in the entourage.

alison said...

thank you for the updating news, i am residising in singapore and home news is scarce, so grateful to be able to read the latest re ladakh accident. my heart pour out to the departed and their family.

fr alison

Bengchoo said...

My deepest condolences to the families involved. Let's rejoice in all the good that our sisters have done for the benefit of everyone! May they attain the final happiness of nibanna! Sadhu!3X

dance4rain said...

All Buddhists who are aware of the tragedy would be praying for the well being of all involved.
May we all find strength in The Buddha, The Dhamma and The Sangha.

madhurasa said...

Really sorry form the deepest of my heart, hope their good intention will bring them to the good brava. Hope the injure will get better soon. I am not Ladakhi people but used to visit the remote area, so I need to pay my greatful to all of them from my heart