While there was no significant notice from official weather channel from the Burmese regime, Burmese people from the area concerned were already on the alert due to the information from the news of radio stations overseas. One of well-known Buddhist monk (Sayadaw) from Rakhine state was urging his followers to turn into praying and offering ritual at the religious places to avoid the worst of the storm. He was known among some Rakihne ethnic community that before Nargis hitting lower Burma, he also did offer this same advice to them. Nargis storm did not hit Rakhine back in 2008.
“Sayadaw is asking his followers to prepare the followings; on this Burmese New Year day (17th April 2009), at 6:00 PM, with 6 Thabyay braches, 6 cups of water, 6 Small religious flags representing 7 days of a week and with 6 fruits like apple or guava, we have to offer them to Pagoda or Buddha’s image at home or at any religious places. Then we have to recite wishing all 7 day born people be successful, happy, healthy and be free from any danger. We have to recite 6 times and keep the offering for 6 days at the alter table”
One of the audiences of MoeMaKa told what he heard of the advice of the monk.
He also pointed out that Burmese were used to follow the traditional way of celebrating New Year with water throwing festival, it would not be hard to follow the instruction of any religious ceremony or procession by Buddhist monks or the respectable Burmese elders.
“From the appearance, all of us are happily enjoying this Thingyan festival. But in reality, when such warning and weather threat came out, we found ourselves totally helpless and desperate. We all knew and realized that we could not reply on this regime”
Told one of Burmese to MoeMaKa.