The following is the translation from the blog by Ma Ma written in Burmese. The original article can be found at On Shwedagon.
“…… I was quite inquisitive about everything. One day while I was going to Shwedagon as usual, I happened to know about the donation boxes in Shwedagon Pagoda. I was at Chanthargyi Shrine when I saw a young short thin guy carrying the locked donation boxes every night at around 9 PM. He carried all the donation boxes on Shwedagon, not a single night, but every night, and kept them all at the specific place. It was so strange. Even when we were young when the pagoda was open to the public all night long, I never saw or heard anybody kept these donation boxes in a safe place like this. Nowadays when the pagoda gates closes at 10 PM, only the guards are left on Shwedagon Pagoda. Carrying all donation boxes like this every night seemed to me like a punishment to this small boy. I was quite inquisitive, so I asked this young boy who gave him this kind of punishment. He looked very surprised. I asked again why and where he carried them away every night. He said he kept them in a safe place. I told him all these are the donations to Buddha Sasana, and nobody is going to steal them here. His answer that followed not only surprised me but also shocked me.
“No, miss, I am an employee and all these donation boxes are owned by my boss”
“What are you talking about? You are talking non-sense. If you don’t tell me the truth, I will go and inform the police.”
“No, miss, my boss get a contract to collect money from these donation boxes at 500 million kyats a year (US$ 500,000).”
I felt like the earth underneath collapsed. All my cousins were also speechless. After a few speechless seconds, I asked whether his boss is a Buddhist or not. No, he said. My cousins blamed me for asking such kind of stupid question, giving the reason that no Buddhist would do such kind of horrible thing. I said, “It is Buddhists who gave contract to that infidel”. My cousin explained, “It is not true. They are not considered Buddhists. They are just a group of corrupt people who ransom the whole Shwedagon Pagoda to infidels. We donate our money to Lord Buddha and Shwedagon Pagoda. In reality, all our donations go into the hands of the infidel!”
Since that day onwards, apart from offering flowers, water, candle light, incense and gold foils to the Buddha statue, we never put a single kyat into these donation boxes anymore. What about you?
Note: If this is not true, please explain to me. I would like to believe that it is not true. I asked one of my close acquaintances who is also a member of the Shwedagon Pagoda Committee, and he admitted it was true.”
Myanmar2day.com does not bear any responsibility for the accuracy of the original article. We are just translating from the original Burmese article.