Posts Tagged ‘monk’

The aura of invincibility of Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order, a euphemism for what is in fact a junta, was somewhat shattered on May 24 when a firebrand monk, Phra Buddha Issara, the junta’s close ally, was arrested belatedly by police commandos from the Crime Suppression Division in the wee hours of the morning of May 24 and was subsequently defrocked.

This is a country where arrests of friends can have an ominous meaning. The monk is known for his notoriety in terrorizing and ‘shutting down’ Bangkok during 2013-2014 as a prelude to the military coup that brought down the Yingluck Shinawatra government and ushered in the current Prayuth model.

During Buddha Issara’s reign of terror, the Thai public was greeted by images and news coverage on television screens depicting the activist monk commanding a gun-wielding mob on a rampage in Bangkok, closing main highways, extorting money, torturing undercover police, obstructing elections and harassing government officials and the people who stood on his way.

Not surprisingly, the charges leveled against the monk are open-ended, some of which are extortion of money, stealing firearms and counterfeiting a royal emblem, which can carry a jail term of 20 years.

Continue reading: Asia Sentinel

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This was disclosed yesterday by spokesman for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Maj Gen Piyaphong Klinphan after Pol Lt-Col Pongporn Pramsaneh, the director of the National Office of Buddhism, filed a complaint with the National Anti-Corruption Commission against the five senior monks accusing them of corruption.

The five senior monks include three Sangha Council members namely Phra Promdilok, abbot of Wat Sam Phraya; Phra Prommethi, assistant abbot of Wat Samphanthawong; and Phra Promsit, abbot of Wat Saket; Phra Methisuthikorn, assistant abbot of Wat Saket; and Phra Vichitthammaporn, assistant abbot of Wat Saket.

The spokesman said that monitoring of the movement up to this point, there were no reports of unusual activities by the Buddhist fraternity or the disciples of the five senior monks accused of mismanaging monastic funds allocated for Phra Pariyati Dharma religious schools at three temples in Bangkok.

But he said in any event, the NCPO was not being complacent and was keeping a close eye on developments to maintain peace and order.

Source: Thai PBS

Two Thai fascists united, once again. 

An activist monk who helped lead street protests that paved way for the 2014 military coup was indicted on a charge of insurrection along with other activists Wednesday.

Buddha Issara and 13 others were accused of inciting unlawful rebellion against the government at the time with their protest campaign, which saw several state agencies occupied by protesters. The monk, whose real name is Suwit Thongprasert, denied the charges.

Continue reading: Khaosod English

Thailand, once again, confused partly by the purity of nationalist ideology and perhaps low self-esteem, is struggling with its own identity.

As reported by Aljazeera:

A Thai horror film about Buddhist monks has been banned over fears it could “destroy” the kingdom’s majority faith, authorities say.

The culture ministry on Tuesday objected to certain parts of the film Arbat, including a kissing scene and one where a monk is shown taking drugs.

The clergy have long been revered in overwhelmingly Buddhist Thailand but in recent years have been rocked by scandals, including gambling and prostitution, as well as corruption at the increasingly wealthy temples propped by donations from the faithful.

“The movie has some scenes that will destroy Buddhism. If it is shown, people’s faith in Buddhism will deteriorate,” Somchai Surachatri, spokesman for Thailand’s National Office of Buddhism, told AFP news agency.

Hmm, and what about the PDRC leader cum “monk” Buddha Issara who wrecked the streets of Bangkok with his ultra fundamentalism? Did the faith of Thai Buddhists deteriorate? Seems the institutions of Thailand are not interested to take action against him for shaming Thai Buddhism, or perhaps, due to his hardliner views, they fear his persona?

In the six weeks since then the behavior of 56-year-old Buddha Issara, abbot of Wat Or Noi in the central Thailand province of Nakhon Pathom, has sunk to increasingly depraved levels with photos of him interrogating undercover police who were caught intelligence gathering at his rally site and who were dragged before him after being beaten by his “guards” widely circulated.

Just days after this he led hundreds of his supporters and attempted to check into a hotel owned by the Shinawatra family where ten rooms had been booked in his name and a deposit of Bt4,200 (about US$129) paid. When the hotel refused to honour his booking fearful the affect the presence of protesters would have on their business he refused to leave until he was compensated for the inconvenience and what he claimed were costs incurred by farmers in getting to the hotel from up-country.

Surrounded by his “guards”, some wearing bulletproof vests, he received Bt120,000 ($3,680) compensation which he was photographed counting (The Vinaya-pitika, the disciplinary code laid down by the Buddha for monks and nuns, disallows monks from touching or handling money) and which he said would be paid to farmers for wasted diesel and other costs.

Source: The Establishment Post