Authorities order chanting to ward off bad luck

Aug 21, 2008 (DVB), Authorities in Sagaing division’s Kathar township have ordered local residents to chant protective incantations to ward off bad luck during this rare month of two new moon days.

According to Burmese traditional beliefs, when there are two new moon days in the same month, which occurs rarely in the Buddhist calendar, it bodes ill for the rulers of the country.

Believers cite the example of King Thibaw, the last Burmese monarch, who was overthrown by the British during such a month.

Locals in Kathar said the township’s Sasana administration had directed the government-elected township monk leader to organise the chanting of incantations to prevent bad luck.

Although the authorities claimed that the chanting was for the protection of Kathar residents, a monk in Kathar said locals believed it was in fact intended to protect the SPDC leaders from bad luck.

"That particular script of the incantations they were asking people to chant was written to protect the king’s rule," the monk said.

"The authorities ordered that the chanting should be led by 10 monks and followed by 10 people from every ward in town and should last for ten days."

A resident of Kathar said the chanting which lasted for ten days was already done on the last full moon day.

"On the first few days we were chanting the incantation, we were not aware that it was a particular one to protect the rulers," said the resident.

"But over the next days we found out what it was and became uncomfortable chanting it," he said.

"While we were doing it we were praying in our minds that they would fall soon."

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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