Friends continue with their discussions.

Friend: I remember these friends in the picture.


Friend: What do you want to say to your

friends?


Friend: “Please be careful. You may be unwittingly helping the Military Junta.”

Friend: Are you serious? How?

Friend: Yes, in an indirect way.

Remember, in his birthday flyer, U Ayethaka bragged about donating a well, a dispensary, and a two story monastery in Mogok and Myingyan.

Friend: Not exactly, he was not the donor. He mainly organized 3 sponsoring families to do the donations.

Friend: Heard when the sponsoring families arrived for the ceremonies, he jacked up each donation-share of $ 10,000 a piece to $ 20,000 a piece, that is, from a total of $ 30,000 to a total of $ 60,000.

Friend: That’s bad! Scandalous! But what has that to do with helping the Junta?

Friend: You see, the Junta gives out big monk titles to monks who organize or do such donations with foreign moneys.

Friend: Did he get the big monk title?

Friend: Somehow, he didn’t. Heard he was upset about it and alleged that some trustees might have snitched on him.

Friend: He could try some more, couldn’t he? He may be nearly there, who knows? In this situation, I think there is every incentive to go for it.

Friend: For this, he might need some more money. Money talks!

Friend: Who doesn’t?

Friend: Maybe that’s one reason U Ayethaka won’t issue the Nibban Zay and many other money reports. In my opinion, he needs some diversions from these funds. Nobody will know if he uses some pretexts such as needing more Nawa Kama.

Friend: Didn’t he have separate Nawa Kama directly from donors already?

Friend: Yes, he did! Also, free lodging, free utilities, free insurance, … as always.

Friend: That’s “double dipping”! With no money reports, no transparency, that’s quite possible.

Friend: That’s what I like to tell my friends. If you want to help, ask the monk to publish the money reports. Let everybody, including yourselves, know where the money really went.

Friend: I see. Otherwise, the money might end up helping the Junta.

Friend: I would suggest this to your friends, “Why not ask U Ayethaka for some donations through you to help your causes. There are political prisoners’ families, Burmese refugees in the Thai border, and Dr Cynthia Maung’s clinic, and so on”

Friend: Never thought of that. Brilliant idea! After all, why help U Ayethaka go for a worthless paper? The real kuthos are for helping the poor, downtrodden, and the underprivileged.

Friend: I am sure your friends have many other brilliant ideas and many needy causes. Let U Ayethaka reciprocate your friends’ metta and support! Shouldn’t be a one-way street all the time!

A couple of years already.

Friend: I have one more suggestion. Tell your friends to find out which temple monk is going for those big monk titles.

Friend: Why do you say that?

Friend: I heard a monk “cashed out” on his Temple property’s equity. He took out a larger loan. With the larger loan proceeds, he purchased some land in Burma. He is going for a big monk title, too. Keep up with the Jones like U Ayethaka, as you know.

But then, he turned around and asked his donors for more donations to meet the larger monthly mortgage payment that he created. Isn’t that clever?

Friend: Aha! Too clever! Unethical, I must say. That’s highway robbery! Squeezing more money from the trusting sponsors.

Friend: Who knows which monk is doing what? Easier just to insist on the money reports.

Friend: Or, get an undertaking UPFRONT from the monk or monks that they won’t ever go for the Junta’s monk titles.

Friend: Otherwise, don’t help them at all. Are they deserving of your help and support? Are you being used?

You know the answer to that!

Friend: True or not, need to do some home work. Don’t want to look silly.

Friend: I think there is quite a strong element of truth in your line of thinking. U Ayethaka did, in fact, bragged about those things in his birthday flyer.

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