Posted: 15 Oct 2013 11:07 AM PDT
If we were to exclude the knowledge of the existence and details of legends and myths from our history books, then, not only would Greeks, Egyptians, Jews, Chinese, Indians and others be robbed of a rich heritage, so too would the world. Legends and myths are not based on mere conjecture and the dreams of the Homers, Vyasas, Valmikis and the like. Much of their stories are based on actual places and events, though embellished with fantastic feats and stories of the adventures of Gods, supermen and super evil-men and women and of heroes, heroines and villains. Many of these stories while exploring universal human values, behaviour and themes, also give us glimpses of the world as it was thousand of years ago. Who really knows what happened in the past, in pre-historic times?
Archaeologist Hans Schliemann (CLICK HERE) believed that the Iliad and Odyssey were based on actual historical events and staked his life on it. He went on to discover in the 1870's near what is now modern Turkey, Troy, the 3,000-years old city of fabulous treasures where the married Greek Queen Helen of Sparta, of 'the face that launched a thousand ships' fame, had been taken to by her lover, Paris, who had seduced and/or abducted her. This one act by Paris triggered off the Trojan Wars and the 10-year long siege of Troy, resulting in its eventual destruction by the Greeks. How the pulse quickens at the mention of Achilles, Hector, Odysseus, Priam, Paris, Helen, Cassandra and the Trojan Horse, and how to "beware of Greeks bearing gifts!"
The boy Arthur Evans's (CLICK HERE) imagination had been fired by the stories from the Iliad and the Odyssey. As an archaeologist, he discovered the remains of the Knossos Palace on the Greek island of Crete and proof of the existence of the ancient Minoan civilization. Underground tunnels directly beneath the palace gives credence to the old story of the youthful and brave hero Theseus who was said to have defeated the half man, half bull and man-eating beast called the Minotaur!
Many towns such as Dwaraka, Ayodhya and Kurushetra are mentioned in the 5,000-year old texts of the Ramayana and Mahabharatha. (CLICK HERE) (AND HERE). Two sites explored in the 19th century by Hirananda Shastri and DR Bhandarkar of the Archaeological Society of India were declared to be of no historical significance. Later expeditions in the 1920's, led by Sahni, Banerji, Bandhyopadhyay and John Marshall, established Harappa and Mohenjodaro (Mound of the Dead),(CLICK HERE) (AND HERE) both now located in modern Pakistan, as two of the world's earliest urban settlement. The 5,000-over year old Indus Valley Civilization is possibly even older than that of Babylon and China.
Closer to home, the 2nd century Indian Hindu-Buddhist Bujang Valley (and also the Kedah Annals or Merong Mahawangsa) was discovered in the 1860's by Colonel James Low, and explored in detail in 1937-38 by Quaritch Wales from London and Professor Nilakanta Shastri of India. Since then, has any local historian searched for gold chariots and treasures mentioned in the Kedah Annals in the hills surrounding the Bujang Valley?
Posted: 15 Oct 2013 10:19 AM PDT
Note: The following expose was emailed to us today with a brief that the scam might be perpetrated by high-powered people.
"Your garden will be made of corals and when you wake up in the morning, you'll have the pristine sea of Mabul Island and Celebes Sea in front of you!".
These were the exact words of Jean Marc Lafosse, Founder and CEO of Alorie Hospitality during an interview with Astro Awani's "In Reality" program on 11 April 2012, to promote the Alorie Lepa Lepa Resort which is located on the world-famous Mabul Island and some 20 kilometres away from Malaysia's 'crown jewel' diving resort – Sipadan Island.
During the said interview, Laffose also disclosed that the RM200 million five-star resort on Mabul Island that is being developed by Sabah-based Jewel of Mabul Development Sdn Bhd (Jewel of Mabul) was supposed to be completed in January 2014.
A project listed under the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's much-publicised Economic Transformation Program (ETP), it is among the other initiatives identified to serve as catalysts to establish Semporna as Borneo's Marine Paradise. The other initiaties are the Sipadan Mangrove Resort, and Mount Conner Tourism Hub.
Unfortunately, when a group of us (Sabah-based tour operators) visited the project site recently to check out the progress of the project whether it would be ready to carter for our guests during next year's Visit Malaysia Year, we were shocked by what we found there. The place was riddle with thousand of huge concrete piling columns protruding from the seabed out to the water surface, spanning about 1 kilometer long, from one end to another.
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