Myanmar Events Have Silver Lining: Monk
Posted on Monday, October 01, 2007
by K.K. Cheow
The brutal crackdown in Myanmar may yield some benefit, a monk said at Bukit Gorblok Hawker Centre today.
“What’s happening in Myanmar is all very horrible now but it has an upside,” said Mr. Gimmee Sommani, a freelance monk from Thailand who specializes in ‘alms-acquisition’ in Singapore
. “I’ve been finding that Singaporeans have been much more generous with giving me their spare change since the crackdown. So there really is a silver lining to the dark clouds in Myanmar.”
Mr. Sommani says that his takings have even doubled when he changes his usual yellow robes for red ones.
“Last time, if I approach them at the hawker centre while they’re eating, people usually just wave me away or say, ‘Do’wan, do’wan’. But now, if I just mumble ‘Myanmar, Myanmar’, they toss me a buck or two,” he continued, while taking a break and sipping from a bottle of Tiger Beer. “It’s not like most people here know the difference between Burmese and Thai anyway. You know, meh?”
Mr. Sommani denied any exploitation of the situation. “Yah, it’s a real bummer for Burma, but I’m almost the same as my brothers in Yangon, what. They live under a regime who came to power under a military coup, and I live under a regime who came to power under a military coup. Potato, potahto. If you want to know about exploiting Burma, read this article in the Sydney Morning Herald
. Donno how true or not, but after reading this, I think that any money Singaporeans give to Burma is just compensation.”