19 JAN 2005

Thursday January 20, 5:39 AM
Asian Political News

Buddhist practice saved lives in Myanmar's tsunamis

(Kyodo) Hundreds of Myanmar fishermen escaped the
deadly tsunamis by sticking to a Buddhist practice,
the official daily New Light of Myanmar reported

Myanmar fishermen did not go out for fishing in the
sea on Dec. 26 because that day, which is called
Na-daw, is considered an auspicious day for Buddhists
in Myanmar, the paper quoted Health Minister Kyaw
Myint as saying Tuesday.

Most people on that day try to avoid committing sins
such as killing other creatures.

"It was one of the reasons why Myanmar had only very
minimal damage caused by the Dec. 26 earthquake and
tsunamis," Kyaw Myint said.

The disaster has claimed the lives of an estimated
225,000 people in Asia.

Myanmar said only 59 people died and 45 were injured
in the disaster. International aid agencies in the
country said that up to 80 people lost their lives.