Buddhist rites to prevent foreign invasion!
Maungdaw, 2nd September 03: Burma’s ruling junta, State Peace and Development Council, began to conduct a Buddhist religious ceremony at the border town of Maungdaw on the Naaf River in the western part of the country on 27th August 03. Sources said that the ceremony began at 0441 hours local time and ended at (1745 hrs).
U Pandithara, the abbot of Alodawbreh Monastery, and fifteen other monks initiated the ceremony. For the first thirtyfive minutes they chanted the Upakathindhi Sutta while nine other groups of lay people continued to chant the same sutta.
The ceremony was conducted in a stage built so as to face
For the ceremony each of the quarters of the township had to bear the cost of nine sets of ritualistic offerings of mostly fruits. According to a Buddhist monk attending the function, the ceremony will be continued to be held at nine hours a day, nine times a month and nine months in a year. The monk said that the number nine so used shows that the entire ceremony is a practice of magic aimed at lengthening the rule of the junta.
In the township the people have been forced to take civil defence training, what the junta termed as preparation for defending the country from foreign invasion, that has greatly hampered the agricultural and other works for their own sustenance.
The ceremony has been conducted throughout
The junta believes that the sutta helped the ancient Burmese kings to prevent the war with