Ms Chocaholic with lots of opinions and an attitude

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ANZAC Day commemoration in Australia

All photos courtesy:

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Anzac Day

Often my non-Australian friends have asked me what it is that I like so much about Australia..when you have spent time with the Australians you will understand there are many reasons for it, but I take the occasion of ANZAC Day to share with you one aspect of the Australian spirit. I can only hope that the memories of the casualties and cruelties of war will remind each of us on the need for us to continue to play a role in rejecting and condemning violence.

ANZAC Day commemorates the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops on the shores of Gallipoli at ANZAC cove on April 25, 1915. The Australian and New Zealand soldiers were part of a largely British force that contained troops from France, India and New Foundland. On April 25, the allies began an attack on the Ottomon Empire (now Turkey), which was fighting on Germany's side. Tens of thousands of soldiers lost their lives and many more were injured. The allied had to evacuate almost a year later, basically ending in a defeat for the allied force.

In Australia and New Zealand, the day their force landed on Gallipoli was picked as the day to commemorate and honour the lives of those that fought and died. It was not a day of victory that was chosen, but a day to honour the courage of those that fought and died during the campaign. Since then Australians recognise 25 April as an occasion of national commemoration, a day to remember all Australians who served and died in all wars and peace keeping operations.

And from Major General Bill Crews who puts it across much more clearly than I can:
"And yes, they (servicemen and women) fought for our nations, our flags, our people, and their families. But as noble as these ideals were, their commitment in combat, their raw courage, and their self-sacrifice in the face of often overwhelming odds, were driven largely by those physically closest to them – their mates. .........Mateship is at the heart of what we refer to as the ANZAC values: it drives loyalty, courage, endurance and sacrifice. It is a compelling reason for most acts of heroism, and the suffering so often experienced by our servicemen and women: for not letting down the team is a powerful motivator in our nation’s psyche."

So strong is the spirit of mateship and equality in Australian culture that the Roll of Honour that lists by surname and initials all those Australians who have died in war are shown without rank or any other distinguishing award, general and private soldier alike honoured in equal sacrifice.

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old age shall not weary them nor the years condemn at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them lest we forget.

Rest in peace

*Photos curtesy:

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Violence in South Thailand rises in past 6 months

ofcourse just my personal opinion based on what I see around town.......
plus ofcourse stories like the "Official inflame crisis in deep south' that one sees in newspapers would kinda confirm this feeling..... Excerpt from the story: Last Friday, a unit of 12 soldiers investigating arson attacks in Pattani's Ban Bana village shot and killed three unarmed teenagers who were playing tag near the weekly outdoor market. ........... April 9 shooting death of four Muslim youths in Yala's Tambon Kern Banglang in Bannang Sata district. There, a heated exchange of words between a group of village defence volunteers and about 20 Muslim youths returning from a funeral turned bloody when the government-backed outfit responded with gunfire. Four young Muslim men died, and six were injured.

so here are some photos of what Pattani and its surrounding districts look like these days....

checkpoints on the highways

now a common sighting around town

and heres a look at a police station

So from little known town of then, Pattani has grown from a place that many of my thai friends didnt even know exist, to today a place thats filled with international journalists. I much prefer my old unknown town.......

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A diversion?

So while I was 'reporting' about the small bomb that went off at "KaThaThong" restuarant on Sunday night, militants got busy setting fires to atleast 5 schools in the area. Some news I hear also said possibly 8 locations.
Ofcourse I wasnt the only one who got distracted......police, military, bomb squad were all gathered at the restuarant, combing the area for other possible bombs. Enough resources used to allow militants space to get on with what they want to do.
also havent seen news reports on any websites....but there were also reports of suspicious objects around town early this morning. fortunately nothing came of it, but again was enough to create a feeling of chaos around town. the town has been particularly quiet since the last 3-4 days.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another bomb goes off in Pattani

Some of you may know...since I spoke to some .....that I was in Malaysia today. Anyhow coming back I was thinking an update of this blog might be due...with perhaps some pics of my latest chocolate buys. So we get home, have a nice relaxing meal at home, drop off my Mom's friend back at her place, and slowly make our way back home.

Suddenly we hear sirens and honking behind us, giving way we see police cars, ambulances and rescue cars rushing past. Suddenly it occurs to us that these cars arent going all that far, and stops less than a 100 metres away.

Getting quite curious to find out, as the scene is so close to our place which is basically the city centre, we decide to follow to check out whats going on. Getting there a police tells me that a bomb had just gone off, injuring one person. They had the area blocked off, obviously worrying that another bomb might have been implanted. We drive back home, only to see a bomb squad heading to the scene. was the first time I had seen one of these vans, look pretty scary.
when we got back there for more photos, some journalist...a guy from Associated Press who was staying at the hotel almost next door, had arrived and was taking photos. He hadnt heard anything further either.....I guess there'll be more in the news later on.

It could be a business sabotage ploy? since the bomb went off at a busy restaurant....but then again it could be the result of unhappiness that the incident on Friday where teenagers were accidentally shot at by police didnt receive a lot of coverage in the news. obviously another tragic incident..........

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Thailand's websites fiasco

in recent months since the military has been in charge there has been lots of censoring of websites. The most controversial is ofcourse the infamous google video, resulting in google being blocked completely.
As with many other things that goes wrong in the country lately, again this is being linked with the pro-Thaksin group. But just to show how far fetched things can be...this is how a blogger Kittinun on tries to establish the link (which you will see really doesnt make sense!)
As per the news reported on Khom Chud Luek newspaper, the blogger accsued the pro-Thaksin faction run website of having ties to the person who uploaded inappropriate video clips of Thailand's King, simply by the fact that both websites (of the video uploader and of are registered through the domain provider a site that has close to 20Million client sites registered through them. Interestingly...the website I previously worked on for the Naumann Foundation Malaysia is also registered through GoDaddy. Does this also make us the culprit by association? not to mention the 19Million other sites. what a joke!!

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