Nay Pyi Taw February 15
A ceremony to donate heat resistant tiles by families of Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) for the platform of Inlay PhaungdawU Pagoda in Namhu Village, Inlay region, Nyaungshwe Township, Shan State (South), took place in conjunction with a merit-sharing ceremony at two-story Namhu Monastery this morning. First, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, accompanied by his wife Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Tin Aung San and wife, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief and their wives, Commander of Eastern Command Maj-Gen Lin Aung and members, left Hotel Zone jetty in Nyaungshwe Township by speedboat viewing the surroundings of Inlay region.
On arrival at the northern stairways of PhaungdawU Pagoda in Namhu Village, the Senior General and party were welcomed by members of the pagoda board of trustees, Inlay Literature and Culture Association, Intha Social Organization and boat associations, township level departmental officials, members of Inlay Region People’s Militia (Local) and local residents with an Inlay traditional drum troupe playing. Next, the Senior General and wife offered rice in an emerald bowl, flowers, water, fruit and gold foils to the Inlay PhaungdawU Buddha images. Then, the Senior General wrote in the visitors’ book saying that he is very glad to pay obeisance to Inlay PhaungdawU Pagoda, extending his wishes for the promotion and propagation of Buddha Sasana so long as the world exists. He made a cash donation. The officials received the donation and presented a replica of the PhaungdawU Pagoda to the Senior General. Then the heat resistant tile donation and merit-sharing ceremonies followed at the two-story Namhu Monastery. The Senior General and wife and congregation took the Five Precepts from Theintaung Pariyatti Monastery Sayadaw and members of the Sangha recited Parittas. Talking about the purpose of donating heat resistant tiles by families of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) for the platform of Inlay PhaungdawU Pagoda, the Senior General said Inlay Lake is famous both locally and internationally, while the PhaungdawU Buddha images are significantly religious heritages among the Buddhists. Another significance of Inlay region is leg rowing that attracts special attention of foreign tourists.
Socioeconomy of Inlay region is significantly improving thanks to the visits of local and international travellers. He said on behalf of monks and laypersons, he expressed his delight and thanks to those including Sayadaws in attendance for their long-term maintenance of the Inlay PhaungdawU Buddha images and the chamber they are kept in. In protecting the State and national races, the Tatmadaw is also trying for the propagation of race, language and religion. As part of the effort, special attention is paid to the Inlay PhaungdawU Buddha images and Inlay region. As not only local pilgrims but also globetrotters continuously pay visit to the pagoda, PhaungdawU Pagoda and its precinct are being decorated in glam-our with magnificence for convenience of foreign travellers and for catching their attention. The glass cover was donated on 13 April 2019 for Inlay PhaungdawU Buddha images with the aim of having safety and security, cleanliness and long term existence. At the donation ceremony, the Senior General recounted he saw heat resistant tiles on the platform of the pagoda were not resistant to heat of sunray without convenience of members of the Sangha and pilgrims. So he arranged to place heat resistant tiles on the platform for convenient moves of pilgrims.
As the placing of heat resistant tiles started on the platform with Ks-350 million contributed by families of Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) on 16 May 2019, a total of 81,260 square feet of platform was placed under new tiles and 4,778 square feet of tile area improved, totalling 86,038 on 28 September 2019. He expressed his pleasure for physical and mental well-being of all visitors in paying homage to the pagoda, adding he arranged completion of placing the tiles before Buddha Pujaniya festival. Today, he said the ceremony to share merits gained took place for placing of new tiles. The Senior General noted that national brethren need to join hands for persistently striving for perpetual existence of Buddhism in Inlay region where Buddha Sasana has been flourishing for many years, by seeking advice and guidance of venerable Sayadaws. She supplicated may Shan State including Inlay region as well as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar be peaceful and prosperous, be free from disturbances and more developed thanks to today’s meritorious deeds. All are responsible for carrying out long-term cleanliness and existence of the pagoda. He prayed that may venerable Sayadaws serve interest of the Sasana with longevity and healthiness and may the Sasana of the Lord Buddha be perpetually existent for many years with flourishing.
In his advice, the Sayadaw of Theintaung Pariyatti Mona-stery said donation of road is one of six donations for longevity. Collective donation of heat resistant tiles by families of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) for pilgrims means donation of road. As pilgrims and travellers use them daily, they always gain merits from the donation. The Sayadaw dispersed Metta for peace of all Tatmadaw members and for them to have persistent merits. The Senior General and wife, senior military officers and those present offered alms to members of the Sangha led by the Sayadaw of Theintaung Pariyatti Monastery. Dhamma Kathika Bahujana Hitadhara Bhaddanta Dhammavara of Inlya Mona-stery in Inlay region gave advice, saying that Inlay Lake and PhaungdawU Pagoda had lesser development before 1988. Development started there in the tenure of the Tatmadaw government which established the Inlay region development committee. He was delighted at efforts of present Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services to speed up development tasks. The Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services and Tatmadaw members of Army, Navy and Air donated the glass cover for ensuring security and long term existence of Inlay PhaungdawU Buddha images in April 2019. As the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services and families of Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) donated heat resistant tiles for convenient travelling of pilgrims on the platform, the Sayadaw prayed that may all Tatmadaw members and families be peaceful and tranquil with freedom of plights.
The Sayadaw then delivered a sermon, and the Senior General and congregation shared merits gained. Then, the Senior General and wife performed the rituals of golden and silver shower to mark the success of the ceremony. After the ceremony, the Senior General and wife, and senior military officers offered day time meal to Sayadaws. Afterwards, the Senior General met with town elders of Inlay Region, who reported requirements on education, health, preservation of Inntha literature and culture and regional development to the Senior General. At the meeting, the Senior General discussed regional development and said as in-come generation is important for regional development, it is necessary for the region to possess production and products to be sold. The region should promote small businesses like production of traditional costumes and other businesses. It is important to produce quality products that can penetrate into market. As production of quality products calls for experts, it is vital to nurture scientists and technicians that will contribute to regional development by promoting education. It is necessary to take increasing population in the region into consideration for the conservation and greening of the Inlay lake and to develop long term projects and urban plans. It is beneficial for the region to build a circular road and embankment round the lake for conservation of the lake.
Muds dredged up from the lake should be piled in outer areas of the road for earthwork of future residential urban plans. As it is important for the lake to be free from plastic, which should be disposed of properly even if one has to use it inevitably. Since plastic is abundant not only in the Inlay Lake but also in the sea, posing a damaging threat to animals and natural resources in the sea, it is necessary for local residents, authorities and business people to cooperate for the purpose. In conclusion, the Senior General said the Tatmadaw will fulfill the requirements reported by local residents as much as it can. Then, the Senior General and the Commander-in-Chief (Navy) presented foodstuff produced in factories of the Tatmadaw for local residents to officials. Afterward, the Senior Gene-ral and party were entertained by local residents with a boat rowing demonstration, in which local residents rowed four 46-person boats donated by families of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) including Bayintnaung, Inthagonyay, Inntawwin and Inlay Yadana.
The Senior General and party enjoyed the demonstration and then the Senior General presented souvenirs to member of the demonstration. Inntha Tradition Boat Race Organizing Committee Chairman U Tin Aung spoke words of thanks for donation of four 46-person boats including Bayintnaung, Inthagonyay, Inntawwin and Inlay Yadana by families of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air). He said the boats contributed to the regional development as they can be used for traditional boat races, demonstration of traditions to tourists and leaving traditions as legacy to new generation youths. After speaking words of thanks, he presented certificate of gratitude and souvenirs to the Senior General, who accepted them. Afterwards, the Senior General and party left the lake by local speedboat while local residents and members of boat race were seeing off the Senior General and party along the route with a traditional drum band and waving hands.