Lankan monk takes lead to help Myanmar's cyclone hit
MYANMAR: A new modern village is to arise from the destruction
wrought by cyclone Nargis, thanks to the generosity of Buddhist
well-wishers coordinated by a religious advisor from Sri Lanka.
The first phase of the project, comprising 400 homes, is due to be
inaugurated by the Sri Lankan embassy in Yangon in December, in Yangon
"We've obtained permission to set up a village from the Government,
which has already granted 180 acres of land between Kamapar village and
Naung Gue village in Kungyangon township," Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima
Thera, an international religious and cultural adviser to President
Mahinda Rajapaksa told The Myanmar Times last month.
Each house will cost US$1250 to build, for a total construction cost
for the 400 homes of $500,000. This is exclusive of the cost of future
roads and other buildings such as a clinic, Ven. Dr Chandima Thera said.
The village is similar in design to a model village in Hambantota,
which was built after the destruction caused by the 2004 tsunami.
"We have not named the village yet. We will build not only houses but
also roads, schools, a mini-clinic, a community hall, a library, a
computer centre, a stadium, gardens and an administration office in the
village," said Ven. Dr Chandima Thera.
"This is the third time I have come here to help people affected by
Cyclone Nargis. Once I heard the tragic news of the cyclone, I came here
first in June at the request of our President to negotiate with the
Myanmar authorities, and to find out what was happening in detail," he
He and his followers decided to assist people in Yangon and its
environs affected by cyclone, especially in Kungyangon.
Chang Ho Chin, Deputy Secretary General of the Theravada Samadhi
Education Association, said Dr. Bodagama Chandima Thera and his
supporters from Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taiwan and other Asian countries
had contributed $225,000 worth of building materials, food, clothing and
medicine in August, and $500,000 in October.
"So far, we have contributed more than $720,000 worth of goods in
kind to cyclone victims," she said.
"We, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, have had a long traditional relationship
in terms of culture and religion since time immemorial. Most Myanmars
are Buddhists, and we share the same religion," said Dr. Bodagama
He said people in the affected area had no money or homes but they
had loving kindness because of Buddhism.
"So we came here to help, and we continue to help," he said.