Author Topic: Controversial monk at vanguard of Thai street protests  (Read 2245 times)

Offline Dharmakara

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Controversial monk at vanguard of Thai street protests
« on: January 30, 2014, 12:40:36 am »
A saffron-robed monk takes to the stage in the Thai capital and urges cheering protesters to fight a "black-hearted" government -- testing a taboo in the devout kingdom about clerics getting involved in politics.

Since opposition protests broke out in Bangkok three months ago, Luang Pu Buddha Issara has emerged as a key figure in the anti-government movement, organising prayers and addressing the crowds, with rally leader Suthep Thaugsuban sitting at his feet in a sign of respect.

He is even in charge of his own rally site, one of several set up around Bangkok by demonstrators seeking to force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office and to end the political dominance of her billionaire family.

The protest monk rails against the embattled premier and her brother Thaksin, who was deposed in a military coup in 2006 and lives in Dubai to avoid prison for a corruption conviction.

"The government, which is run by the Shinawatra family -- the brother and sister -- has no morality or ethics. They are corrupt and they allow corruption to happen. They lie everyday," said the 58-year-old, who has also been outspoken about scandals involving the bad behaviour and lavish lifestyles of some clerics.

"The religious domain has a duty to tell the secular domain what to do -- and what not to do," he told AFP, justifying his role at the vanguard of the protest movement.

But not everybody is happy with his activism.

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