Friday 27 February 2015

Conquering the Mountain in Kathmandu: A Mahjong Sojourn

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KATHMANDU Nepal, February 21st - When I first arrived in Kathmandu, the airport arrivals curb was busy and alive! The locals, noting a foreigner had arrived in their midst, surrounded me asking me all manner of questions as to the nature of my stay. Was I there to climb Mount Everest? Was I in need of a Sherpa guide? Did I have a ride to base camp at the foot of the mountain? Looking around at my fellow passangers, and the gear they were collecting from the terminal, there among them were backpack frames, ropes, cleated boots, and all manner of climbing paraphinalia. There was no doubt Kathmandu was the launching basin for brave expeditions to climb up the face of the tallest and most formidible mountain in the world. But I was in Kathmandu to conquer a mountain of a different sort; a mountan of tiles—Mahjong.

Scott D. Miller, MD of Mahjong News travels to Nepal to talk mahjong, learn new styles, and build new bonds in the basin city of Kathmandu, nestled in the shadows of the tallest mountain in the world.

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‘Mahjong killer’ dealt 12-year term

The court heard that victim Lee Wai-lan, 88, shared a flat in Fu Nga House on Tai Wo Hau Estate, Kwai Chung, with a friend. On October 11, 2010, Lee invited Luo and two others to play mahjong at her flat around 11.30am.
Luo arrived 2 hours ahead of the others and chit-chatted with Lee. Soon after, Lee felt tired and took a nap. While the old woman was asleep, Luo slipped into her bedroom to steal HK$2,000 in cash and a bag of jewelry.
But Lee woke up and screamed for help when she saw what was happening. In an attempt to silence the elderly woman, Luo wrapped her hands around her nose and mouth. 
The body of Lee was discovered by her flatmate when she arrived home around 10pm. She immediately called the daughter of the dead woman who notified police.
Luo told the court she did not realize she had killed Lee during her attempt to silence her. She later met her boyfriend for dinner at a restaurant. She said she sold the jewelry for HK$15,621 and sent the money to her daughter in the mainland to pay for medical treatment. Luo was arrested three days later at another flat on the same estate.

Responsible

In sentencing, Justice Clare-Marie Beeson said that although Luo may not have intended to kill Lee, she was nevertheless responsible for causing the injuries that led to her death. In addition, she had stolen property belonging to her mahjong partner.
The defense contended that Luo had no intention of causing bodily harm, as she did not possess a weapon. The forensic report showed Luo had used strong pressure, and scratches to her body suggested Lee had struggled to break free.
Justice Beeson also slammed Luo for not immediately calling an ambulance when she discovered that Lee was in difficulty.   She added that elderly people are weak and easily hurt and, as such, the case was not as trivial as the defense was trying to suggest.

(The Standard)



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