Monday, March 30, 2009

Way of life

Never meet people who I don't want to
Never see people who I don't want to
Never look people who I don't want to
Never smile I am blind

But I am in the middle of them.
But I can avoid them
But I still see them

Even my eyes is blind, my mind is awake it make to think what they did to me.

I can not stand anymore destroy phone nothing different from a few minutes ago.

Night pass long, sleeplessness, nothing mean to me.

Oh hell, some time people suffering hell in the present life.

You have to build your mind up

Friday, March 27, 2009

BRIDGE to better learning

Southeast Asian educators discuss language of instruction in schools
Published: 24/03/2009 at 12:00 AM
Bangkok Post

The popular wooden bridge of the Mon community in Sangkhla Buri, Kanchanaburi province, stands as a symbol of the Mon peoples' aspiration to traverse the way to a better life and at the same time preserve their birthright.

Mon students enjoy their walk to school. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SEAMEO

Considered the longest wooden bridge in Thailand, the Mon Bridge, or Saphan Uttamanuson, is an enduring pathway that provides ease for Mon villagers to travel back and forth between the two ends of the Khao Laem lake as they go about their daily lives.

The same bridge serves about 1,200 Mon children who cross it every day to reach the Wat Wang Wiwekaram School, the only government institution of learning in the village.

Just like many other ethnic and linguistic minority people in Southeast Asia, the Mon often face barriers to quality basic education.

Oftentimes, Mon children have difficulty in schools because the language of instruction is different from what they speak at home.

In an attempt to facilitate teaching and learning among the Mon children, the school introduced the Mon-Thai Bilingual Programme, where the Mon language is used as the language of instruction when teaching younger children.

The approach allows teachers to use the native language of the children to introduce general learning and use it to bridge to the Thai language.

Only a year old, the learning innovation has made a big difference in the performances and attitudes of the children.

Their parents speak of the abundant benefits from the new manner of teaching introduced to their little ones.

Use of mother tongue

Persuaded by the nobility of the initiative, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (Seameo) Secretariat, which is based in Bangkok, visited the site and captured visual documentation of the school and its community.

The story found its way through the Seameo meeting of senior education officials from the Southeast Asian countries that was held from Feb 24 to 26 in Bangkok. Presented in cooperation with Thailand's Ministry of Education and the Foundation for Applied Linguistics, the implementation strategy and immediate outcomes of the Mon-Thai Bilingual Programme inspired educators from other Southeast Asian countries to adopt and adapt its basic principles to their own academic programmes.

The Mon Bridge or ‘Saphan Uttamanuson’.

Confronted with unique and diverse linguistic situations, Southeast Asian countries speak of the same need to provide access to quality basic education for all, including minority groups and the linguistically disadvantaged.

Country representatives shared good and functioning examples of using the first language or the mother tongue of the learner to connect to the learning of a second or national language. The examples reveal that a strong foundation in the first language and a good bridge to the second language builds successful, lifelong learners in both languages. At the same time, this preserves the people's culture and the language itself.


The meeting identified exemplars and assessed their usability. Among the many good practices shared at the meeting was the use of both Thai and Pattani Malay in teaching and learning in the southern provinces of Thailand, including Songkhla, Pattani, Narathiwat and Satun provinces.

Other good examples included the use of lingua franca, or the commonly spoken language in a region, such as in the Philippines, or the bilingual literacy programme for the Khmou minority in Laos, or the use of the Sudanese language in Indonesian classrooms.

The countries expressed enthusiasm to work further with Seameo in pursuing collaborative projects to implement the good practices shared at the meeting.

Organised by the Seameo Secretariat and with support from the World Bank, the meeting aimed at providing the opportunity to explore how Southeast Asian countries, through appropriate language policies, can achieve Education for All (EFA) by widening access, reducing repetition of grade levels and dropout rates, and improving learning outcomes.

Those who attended the meeting include senior education officials and representatives from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

Representatives from several international non-government organisations (NGOs) provided a wider dimension in the discussions at the meeting. The NGOs comprised Care Cambodia, International Cooperation Cambodia, Mahidol University, Save the Children, Unesco Bangkok, Unesco Hanoi, Unicef, the World Bank, Summer Institute of Linguistics (known as SIL) International, Seameo Regional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology, Seameo Regional Language Centre, and Seameo Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts.

"This is the very essence of this gathering. We have to showcase good and functioning examples of using the native language of the child at the beginning of schooling to usher him [or her] slowly to learn in a new language. This approach will greatly improve learning," explained Seameo Secretariat director Dr Ahamad bin Sipon.

Just like the expressions of satisfaction from the meeting's participants regarding their newly found knowledge, the voices of the Mon children echo through the village, giving voice to the joy of learning in school. And besides their old but unfailing wooden bridge, the Mon people have found a new bridge that will lead them to wider horizons.

The use of their very own Mon language in school will surely connect the young children to a greater world of learning through the Thai language. It will not only improve the learning outcomes of the Mon children, but will also help to keep the Mon legacy alive.

Abigail Cuales Lanceta is a programme officer in charge of information at the Seameo Secretariat in Bangkok. She has been a teacher and an education programme specialist working on various education development projects in the Philippines' Department of Education. Contact her at .

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Mon kingdoms

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Mon kingdoms ruled large sections of Burma from the 9th to the 11th, the 13th to the 16th, and again in the 18th centuries.

The first recorded kingdom that can undisputedly be attributed to the Mon people was Dvaravati, which prospered until around 1000 AD when their capital was sacked by the Khmer Empire and most of the inhabitants fled west to present-day Burma and eventually founded new kingdoms. These, too, eventually came under pressure from new ethnic groups arriving from the north.

About the same period, southward-migrating Burmans took over lands in central Myanmar once dominated by Pyu city-states and the Tai started trickling into South-East Asia. The Burman ( Bamar ) established the kingdom of Bagan. In 1057, Bagan defeated the Mon kingdom, capturing the Mon capital of Thaton and carrying off 30,000 Mon captives to Bagan.

After the fall of Bagan to the invading Mongols in 1287, the Mon, under Wareru an ethnic Tai, regained their independence and captured Martaban and Bago, thus virtually controlling their previously held territory.

A main body of ethnic Shan / Tai migration came in the 13th century after the fall of the Kingdom of Dali to the Mongol Empire and filled the void left by the fall of the Bagan kingdom in northern Burma forming a loose coalition of city-states . These successive waves of Bamar and Tai groups slowly eroded the Mon kingdoms, and the next 200 years witnessed incessant warfare between the Mon and the Burmese, but the Mon managed to retain their independence until 1539. The last independent Mon kingdom fell to the Burmese when Alaungpaya razed Bago in 1757. Many of the Mon were killed, while others fled to Thailand.



[edit] List of Mon monarchs

Mon monarchs ruled lower Burma from 1287 to 1539 with a brief revival during 1550-53.

Mon name Dates BE years Succession Death Burmese Pali Other names
Wareru 1287-96 649 19

Magadu, Wa Roe, Warow, Wariru
Hkun Law 1296-1310 668 4 brother murdered Hkun Law
Saw U 1310-24 672 13 nephew murdered Saw O
Saw Zein 1324-31 685 7 brother murdered

Zein Pun 1331

murderer murdered

Saw E Gan Gaung 1331


Banya E Law 1331-48 692 18 cousin
Binnya E Law

Binnya U 1348-83 710 37 son natural death Binnya U
Rajadhirat 1383-1421 747 39 son accident Razadarit
Binnya Nwe
Banya Dhamraja 1423-26 785 3 son murdered Binnyadammayaza

Binnya Ram I 1426-46 788 20 brother
Binnyaran Ramarajadhirat Binnya Rankit
Banyabarow 1446-50 808 4 nephew
Binnyawaru Jayaddisarajadhirat Banyabarvor,
Banya Ken Dau 1450-53 812 3 cousin

Dhammatrailokyanatha Banya Ken, Binya Keng, Banya Kyan
Mawdaw 1453 815

Baña Thau 1453-1472 815 7
abdicated Shin Sawbu Viharadevi
Dhammacedi 1472-92 822 31 son-in-law natural death Dammazedi Ramadhipati Dhammazedi, Damazedi, Dhammachedi, Dhammaceti
Binnya Ram II 1492-1526 853 35 son
Takayutpi 1526-39 888 14 son
Smim Sawhtut 1550

usurper murdered Smim Sawhtut
Smim Htaw 1551-53
2 usurper executed Smim Htaw

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  • Guillon, Emmanuel (tr. ed. James V. Di Crocco) (1999) The Mons: A civilization of Southeast Asia, Bangkok: The Siam Society.
  • Harvey, G.E. (1925) History of Burma: From the earliest times to 10 March 1824 the beginning of the English conquest, New York: Longmans, Green, and Co.
  • Phayre, Arthur Purves. History of Burma including Burma Proper, Pegu, Taungu,
  • Tenasserim, and Arakan: From the Earliest Time to the End of the First War With British India. London: Trübner & Company. 1883; Reprint: Bibliotheca Orientalism, Bangkok: Orchid Press, 1998.

[edit] Further reading

  • "The Mon-pa Revisited: In Search of Mon." François Pommaret. In: Sacred Spaces and Powerful Places In Tibetan Culture: A Collection of Essays. (1999) Edited by Toni Huber, pp. 52-73. The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, H.P., India. ISBN 81-86470-22-0.