YANGON, MYANMAR, March 26, 2015 (by Myint Thi, The Myanmar Times): An internal dispute has caused confusion among worshippers looking forward to the Sarimari Yaman Hindu Temple festival. The original dates fixed by the temple’s religious authority were March 20-29, but the All Myanmar Hindu Central Council wants it to run from March 27 to April 5, citing a one-day clash with matriculation exams. “I know the brahmin said the festival should start on March 20. But the God won’t punish us if we hold it a bit later,” said U Maung Shwe, president of the All Myanmar Hindu Central Council.”This is the matriculation exam period, and I’m worried there may be violence so I decided to postpone the festival,” he said, declining to elaborate as to why violence could be a concern.
Worshipers, however, say the council has no authority to reschedule the event. The temple’s rules, which have been in force since 1914, state the festival must be conducted.They dismissed the concern of violence, saying there had been no conflict during previous festivals. “I think they want to topple the current trustees. This is the only reason the council has interfered with the temple’s activities,” said temple patron SP Naathal. This year was to mark the 135th festival of the Sarimari Yaman, a Hindu temple for about 20,000 Tamil Hindu worshippers. It is now unclear when the festival will go ahead.