By Tim Saunders on
Back in July, Look To The Stars reported on Jackie Chan's visit to East Timor to spread a message of non-violence to the country’s youth. As a direct result of the trip, two of Timor-Leste’s largest youth gangs have signed a peace agreement and vowed not to fight anymore.
The action star received a letter from UNICEF – who organized his visit – earlier this month thanking him for his participation and updating him on recent developments in the country.
“I honestly felt very happy when I received this piece of news,” said Chan “The influence I have on other people actually had some effect! Why can’t 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?”
Chan’s visit to East Timor aimed to curb a culture of “martial arts gangs” – groups of youths that have been involved in street fighting that led to an outbreak of violence that killed 37 people and caused thousands to flee their homes less than two years ago. During his trip, he met Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and led a choreographed martial arts display in front of over 5000 young people at Dili’s national stadium.
“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,” said the actor. “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.”
Chan is an enthusiastic supporter of charities including UNICEF, Operation Smile and his own Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation which he founded in 1988 to help young people in a variety of worthy causes, including medical services, aid to victims of natural disaster or illness, scholarships and youth activities.
Atul Khare, the UN secretary general’s special representative for Timor-Leste, recently told a forum in New York that criminal incidents in Timor this year dropped to 35 incidents per week from 55 per week last year – a direct result of Jackie Chan’s work to make the world a better place.
“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?”
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