may all being be free of suffering

May Van be reborn in Dewachen and achieve Enlightenment

May all beings be free of suffering

Eh Ma Ho! In the center is the marvelous Buddha Amitabha of Boundless Light, On the right side is the Lord of Great Compassion (Chenrezig) And on the left is Vajrapani, the Lord of Powerful Means. All are surrounded by limitless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Immeasurable peace and happiness is the blissful pureland of Dewachen. As all beings pass from samsara, May they be born there without taking samsaric rebirth. May they have the blessing of meeting Amitabha face to face. By the power and blessings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions, May they attain this aspiration without hindrance. ............................Bodhicitta, the excellent and precious mind - Where it is unborn, may it arise; Where it is born, may it not decline, But ever increase higher and higher..................May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness; May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering; May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness that knows no suffering; May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from attachment and anger that hold some close and others distant........................"I wholeheartedly support an appeal to those countries who at present employ the death penalty to observe an unconditional moratorium. At the same time we should give more support to education and encourage a greater sense of universal responsibility. We need to explain the importance of the practice of love and compassion for our own survival and to try to minimize those conditions which foster murderous tendencies, such as the proliferation of weapons in our societies. These are things even private individuals can work towards" ...... HH Dalai Lama.................."Whatever little bit you know. You should put into practice. Little by little, it will accumulate. Just as tiny grains of sand can form a stupa. In time you will ultimately succeed."......... Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

Dedicated to Van Nguyen

May peace prevail on earth

We wish to express our sincere condolences and offer prayers for Van Nguyen, his mother and family.

PPlease Join the Amnesty International anti-Death Penalty network

May all beings everywhere,
Plagued by sufferings of body and mind,

Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy
By virtue of my merits

May no living creature suffer,
Commit evil or ever fall ill.
May no one be afraid or belittled,
With a mind weighed down by depression

May the blind see forms,
And the deaf hear sounds.
May those whose bodies are worn with toil
Be restored on finding repose.

May the naked find clothing,
The hungry find food.
May the thirsty find water
And delicious drinks.

May the poor find wealth,
Those weak with sorrow find joy.
May the forlorn find hope,
Constant happiness and prosperity

May there be timely rains
And bountiful harvests.
May all medicines be effective
And wholesome prayers bear fruit.

May all who are sick and ill
Quickly be freed from their ailments.
Whatever diseases there are in the world,
May they never occur again.

May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed.
May the powerless find power
And may people think of benefiting each other.




Dedication Prayer by HH Dalai Lama

2nd Dec 2005 Australian time

Sadly the Singapore Government, despite a huge outcry by Australia and other countries, executed a 25-year-old Australian on Friday 2nd December 2005 for drug trafficking.

As the deadline for the 25-year-old's execution passed at 9am, the Melbourne church where Nguyen went to school tolled its bell 25 times - once for every year of his life.

In Singapore and in cities across Australia, there were protest vigils to mark the first execution of an Australian since Michael McAuliffe in Malaysia in 1993.

Forty-five minutes before his execution, Nguyen's twin brother Khoa arrived alone in a taxi in the pre-dawn gloom to be close to where his twin was to die.

In another taxi behind him, close friends of the Melbourne man, Kelly Ng and Bronwyn Lew, arrived with his lawyer Julian McMahon.

Together they walked into the prison's visitor centre, where they were to wait for the execution to be carried out.

"They want to be as close to Van at this time as possible," McMahon said.

Nguyen's mother Kim would, at the time of execution, be praying at a Singapore chapel with well-wishers, he said.

Kim Nguyen and Khoa were yesterday allowed limited contact with Nguyen during their last visit, after officials ruled out a final embrace.

They were told they would be able only to hold hands with Nguyen, but it emerged Kim Nguyen was also able to touch her son's face and hair.

"There was a grille and they were able to hold each others hands. Kim was able at least for some time to touch his face," McMahon said outside Changi Prison this morning.

"She told me she was able to talk to him and touch his hair.

"That was a great comfort to her.

"She is obviously incredibly upset, but she is more prepared than she has been at any time previously."

Nguyen led to the gallows at precisely 6am today local time.

His lawyers said the 25-year-old would likely carry rosary beads, and walk without shackles from his cell to stand on the trapdoor of the gallows before his hanging.

It is understood that a hearse would be sent to Changi Prison to collect his body at about 11am local time (2pm AEDT).

McMahon said prison authorities would hold a coronial inquest. A death certificate would be issued and the body would be identified by Australian High Commission staff.

"The body will taken and prepared for burial in Australia," said McMahon.

As the time for execution came and went, there were emotional scenes outside the prison.

A small group of Singapore activists gathered, holding photos of Nguyen and chanting Indian incantations.

Human rights lawyer M. Ravi said: "What do we get out of this? What do we get out of this murder?"

He was accompanied by the distraught family of Shanmugam Murugesu, the Singapore drug trafficker who was hanged last May and who had become a friend of Nguyen.

Shanmugam's mother, Letchumi, wailed: "Who is going to help me?"

Earlier, in a cafe nearby, other Singaporean opponents of the death penalty also held a protest vigil.

The newly-formed Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Committee said in a statement they "utterly deplore and condemn" the hanging of Nguyen, as an "inhumane and barbaric punishment disproportionate to his crime".

Members of the group, including artists and professionals, gathered at a 24-hour sidewalk cafe near Changi Prison, lighting a candle atop an outdoor table on which pictures of Nguyen and messages of sympathy were displayed.

Candles were also left at the gates of the prison, where foreign and local journalists camped out next to a television transmission dish.

The vigil was held after Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said there would be no pardon for Nguyen, caught three years ago at Changi Airport carrying nearly 400 grams of heroin while in transit from Cambodia to Australia.

Candelight and prayer vigils were also held in major Australian cities to mark Nguyen's death and to protest against the death penalty.

In Melbourne, the bells of St Ignatius Catholic Church, Richmond - where Nguyen went to school as a child - rang 25 times to mark every year of his life.

Hundreds of supporters gathered at the church, including former Iraqi hostage Douglas Wood, who twice entered the church before driving away.

Also in Melbourne, more than a hundred lawyers gathered on the steps of Melbourne's County Court to observe a minute's silence.

Supporters of Nguyen gathered outside Singapore High Commission in Canberra, carrying banners reading "Singapore, how could you?", "Thou shalt not kill", and "The bell tolls and we are all diminished".

In Sydney, a vigil was under way in Sydney's Martin Place.

Nguyen's body will be returned to Melbourne at the weekend ahead of his funeral, expected next week

reported by AAP


2 December 2005

Amnesty International condemns cruel and senseless killing of Van Tuong Nguyen

Amnesty International condemns the execution of Van Tuong Nguyen in Singapore this morning.

“Today is an extremely sad day for his family, who are now victims of this horrendous punishment,” said Tim Goodwin, Amnesty International’s Anti-Death Penalty Coordinator.

“It is a particularly cruel twist that this execution will not protect Singapore against the drug trade. In capital cities and regional centres across the nation, thousands of people this morning paused to acknowledge the tragic killing of this young Australian.”

“They were united in their grief for Van Nguyen’s family and their determination to fight harder than ever to abolish the death penalty wherever it is used and whatever the nationality of those facing execution.”

Amnesty International Australia extends its deepest sympathy to the Nguyen family and pledged to continue its fight for a world without executions. Amnesty International also paid tribute to the Australian legal team, Lex Lasry QC and Julian McMahon who fought so hard to save the life of Van.

“Sadly all efforts across all sectors of the Australian community were defeated by the cruelty of Singapore’s mandatory death penalty laws. Amnesty International thanks the people of Australia who stood with us in solidarity – through writing the tens of thousands of appeal letters, tracing their hands and writing messages of support and attending events and vigils across the nation.”

“These efforts, which were joined by hundreds of thousands of people around the world have served to strengthen the global campaign to end the death penalty in all its forms and has given courage to those in Singapore who are taking great risks to speak out against their country’s inhuman and ineffective punishment.

Amnesty International Australia today reaffirmed its call on the Australian Government to take a clear, consistent and principled stand against the death penalty and to exercise leadership on the regional and international stage.

“Australia’s wavering stance on the death penalty in recent times has undermined Australia’s credibility and ability to argue for clemency for Van Tuong Nguyen, “ said Tim Goodwin.

Amnesty International encourages all Australians who wish to voice their opposition to Van’s execution to write letters of appeal to the Singapore High Commissioner and to join the human rights organisation’s Anti-Death Penalty Network.

For more information: To arrange interviews with Tim Goodwin, Amnesty International’s Anti-Death Penalty Network Coordinator please contact Karen Trentini on 0422 869 439.

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