|Burmese Buddhists pray at Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon on Buddha’s birthday, May 19. (Photo: Reuters)|
Myanmar starts National Mourning for the victims of Cyclone Nargis today. The three days mourning starts from 9 AM today until 22 May. Flags were lowered to half mast all over the country. In Yangon, shops are still open. Thousands of worshippers crowd Yangon’s holiest pagoda to pray for victims of the cyclone. Worshippers chanted prayers, burned incense and released birds around the grounds of the temple. The pagoda complex was closed for five days for repairs, but was open again on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Myanmar government has allowed the ASEAN led relief operation to do relief efforts in Irrawaddy delta region, during the summit in Simgapore. According to Myanmar foreign minister U Nyan Win, the loss due to Cyclone Nargis is estimated to be around ten billion US dollars.