Burma’s most iconic Buddhist monument, Shwedagon Pagoda, has a fund of nearly 70 billion kyat (US$52 million) sitting in a bank account, earning yearly interest of up to 4bn kyat.
Thadingyut Festival marks the end of the Buddhist Lent with offerings of candles and other displays of light.
“There are still political prisoners behind bars despite the election of a civilian government,” said Ashin Sandar Thiri, a spokesman for the monks.
A man who made headlines two years ago when he launched a failed search for the Great Bell of Dhammazedi has announced plans to resume his quest.
Second only to Thingyan, Thadingyut is the most significant holiday in Buddhism, signifying the day that Buddha descended from the heavens.
Recent successes over two very distinct issues prove the hardline monks’ group has its own broad political agenda.