Santi Asoke at it again


 

 

"Peaceful Monks" from the "Dharma Army"

 

It looks as though Major General Chamlong Srimuang is up to his old tricks again.  This delightful photo is courtesy of the Bangkok Post’s Monday May 31st, 2010 online edition.  Their caption reads:

While monks and activists staged a dhamma peace march past the burnt-out CentralWorld, parliament prepared to meet, with MPs bitterly divided over whether to screen video and photographs taken during the mayhem. (Photo by Kosol Nakachol)

I find it interesting and contemptible that the Post does not mention who these monks really are.  These are clearly Sonti Asoke monks who follow Major General Chamlong Srimuang, a key PAD leader.  Since 2007 Santi Asoke monks have dressed in brown robes because the Supreme Council of the Sangha will not allow them to wear the traditional saffron robes.

Santi Asoke is a very controversial sect of Thai Buddhism.  It is a far-right and ultra-conservative group.  They were founded by Phra Phothirak (Bodhirak), a former Thai rock star.  The Supreme Council of the Sangha decided, during the Chatichai administration, to defrock Phra Phothirak.  He conveniently dodged the defrocking by changing from saffron robes to white robes and no longer called himself a “monk”.

Some will say that Santi Asoke are socially engaged Buddhists, who walk a strict moral and ethical path.  Others condemn them as an outlaw sect that drags Thai Buddhism into the political realm where it doesn’t belong.  Major General Chamlong Srimuang has called them his “Dharma Army”. This is quite a militaristic name for a group that promotes peace and harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner Time at a Santi Asoke temple

 

 

 

 

http://www.warren-wilson.edu/~religion/thailand/santi_asoke.shtml

This is the link to the site that I checked to compare the garments prior to posting.  The monk to the left is wearing the same type of robe that Santi Asoke monks wear.  Go to the link and you will see it is a story about a man who visits a Santi Asoke temple.

Footwear issue, taken from – http://www.warren-wilson.edu/~religion/thailand/asoke_different.shtml

Footwear Most of us walk barefoot, yet some prefer not to, and others must wear sandals for health reason. Monks, novices, and aspirants must walk barefoot except for health or safety reasons. Neither the Buddha nor the monks and nuns practicing with him wore footwear. It’s unnecessary and there are good reason to walk barefoot. Going without is part of our frugal lifestyle, we massage our feet with each step (consider this to be incidental Foot Reflexology!), and we strengthen our resistance to disease this way. Plus, most shoes and many sandals are made for fashion,and are incompatible with following the seventh precept.

And some sexist remarks regarding women.

Female Novices Only in Asoke are women allowed to ordain in Thailand. They have been ordained by Asoke monks and follow ten precepts just like male novices, so they are called female novices. For various reasons the number of female novices is kept low. In general women have more defilements, so need more supervision than men. This ensures that only those who are really serious about the practice can ordain. There are many more women in Asoke than men and if all who want to ordain are allowed to, the discipline in the Sangha (order of monks and novices) will deteriorate. Buddhism will degenerate. The Buddha was very reluctant to ordain women and refused to do so for about twenty years. Like it or not, these are teachings of the Buddha. As of December, 2002 the ratio of female novices stood at about one to four. But now that there are over one hundred monks, one woman can ordain for every three men who ordain.

I am big enough to admit when I am wrong.  I was wrong about the “collapsible truncheons and batons”.  I still stand by the Santi Asoke label of these monks.  I checked their wardrobe against another site and had a Thai Buddhist look at the photo prior to posting.  The militaristic label is also accurate as Chamlong has said in previous statements that he has trained his monks how to physically fight and that he will raise an army to defend Thailand.  Also, this is a political gathering.  During an emergency decree no more than 5 people are allowed to form a group.  Clearly, this is another example of double standards.

Peace

Hawkeye

 

 

 

 

U.S. Department of State May 19th daily press briefing off camera or change you will never see


Gordon Duguid
Department Spokesman
Washington, D.C.

MR. DUGUID: I have maybe one or two things there, Matt.

I know that Assistant Secretary Campbell mentioned the ongoing violence in Thailand during his intervention just a moment ago. I would like to say that the United States deeply deplores the violence and loss of life that has resulted from clashes between security forces and protests from the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship. We call on both sides to show restraint and to work to resolve differences through Thailand’s democratic institutions.

We are encouraged by the actions of the Red Shirt leaders who have surrendered to law enforcement agencies and support their call to supporters to return home peacefully. However, we are deeply concerned that Red Shirt supporters have engaged in arson targeting the electricity infrastructure and media outlets and have attacked individual journalists. We condemn such behavior and call on UDD leaders and affiliated opposition politicians to urge their supporters to stop such acts. We remain very concerned about the situation in Thailand and we will continue to monitor those events closely.

With that, I’ll take your questions.

I have to say that this is a pathetic and lukewarm response to the tragedies that occurred in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday May 19th, 2010. Thailand suffered through a day of political upheaval that far exceeded anything in it’s recent history.Red Shirt supporters have engaged in arson targeting the electricity infrastructure and media outlets and have attacked individual journalists.

The U.S. government’s response is lukewarm at best and enabling at worst. Mr. Gordon Duguid’s attempt to balance the responsibilities of what happened is patently absurd. He mentions that Red Shirt supporters set fire to buildings but what he leaves out is the government’s use of live ammunition against largely unarmed protesters.  Mr. Duguid tries to lay the blame of international press shootings and killings at the feet of the Red Shirt protesters.  Common sense dictates that the Red Shirts would gain nothing from attacking the press.  The government had everything to gain by silencing witnesses to their actions.

Currently, the official death and causality toll has not been finalized. But what we do know is that many people were killed and injured during the government sanctioned crackdown.  It is hard not to notice that the Thai army used American made M-16s military and military transport vehicles.  President Barak Obama came to power pledging “change you can see”.  Obviously, this was an empty slogan.  The U.S. government will continue coddle violent right wing governments in it’s vain attempt to protect the status qou.

The Tehran Times has an interesting take on the events:

Massacre in Thailand: U.S.’s bloody hands
By Shamus Cooke

When the White House is quiet as protestors are butchered in the streets of Bangkok Thailand, suspicions are raised. Silence often equals complicacy. One can only imagine what the U.S.’s response would be to a Venezuelan government slaughter: the U.S. media and President Obama would loudly condemn such an act, in contrast to the muted response to Thailand’s blood bath.

The history of U.S.-Thailand relations explains why. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. used Thailand as one of the main “anti-communist” bulwarks in an area that included China, Vietnam, Burma, and other countries that were challenging capitalism.

Thailand was thus transformed into a U.S. client state and given money, guns, and U.S. government intelligence to battle Thailand’s “communists.” This relationship has equaled numerous Thai dictatorships that have a very bloody history, including the shooting of untold numbers of protestors that the Thai government named “communists,” or their modern equivalent, “terrorists.”

The U.S.-Thailand relationship began to sour when the recently deposed President Thaksin Shinawatra formed a closer relationship with China that included economic and military deals. The Asian Times summarizes the consequences:

“Thaksin’s willingness to promote defense ties with China came at the U.S.’s direct strategic expense and many observers believe that’s one reason Washington’s reaction to the September 2006 military coup that ousted a democratically elected government was so muted.” (November 7, 2008).

The U.S. government often overthrows “unfriendly governments” by bribing sections of their military, a fact discussed at length in Tim Weiner’s history of the CIA, Legacy of Ashes. When a U.S.-backed coup happens, the U.S. government and corporate media give tacit approval; whereas a howl of fury erupts when a coup happens against a U.S. puppet government.

The Asian Times confirms:

“Many of the (2006) coup-makers were known U.S. allies, including alleged masterminds and former CIA-trained spy chief Prasong Soonsiri and Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda. Prasong has openly acknowledged his role in the coup…”

The U.S. coup against Thai President Thaksin is at the root of the current crisis in Thailand. Large sections of the Thai working class and peasantry still identify Thaksin as their President and are demanding his return. They have resorted to extremely militant tactics to achieve their demands, which, if won, would amount to the restoration of democracy in Thailand. The New York Times adds:

Thailand is convulsed by a bitter struggle between the nation’s elite and its disenfranchised poor, played out in protests that have paralyzed Bangkok for weeks and now threaten to expand.” (May 15, 2010).

Peace

-Hawkeye


Prof. Suthachai, History Professor at Chulalongkorn University received arrest warrant.


Taken from Thailand Crisis

Prof. Suthachai, History Professor at Chulalongkorn University received arrest warrant.

(23 May 2010) According Phyathai Police Station, there are both house search warrant and arrest warrant according to the order of CRES of Prof. Suthachai Yimprasert, professor at Department of History, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University. The authorities explain the act is to prevent Mr. Suthachai and others from organizing terrorist act which violates the emergency decree.

On the other hand, Mr.Suthachai said that he does not know with what charge he is to be arrested. However, he will report himself at CRES tomorrow and prepare a lawyer.

This is astounding. A well respected university professor is going to be arrested to prevent him from committing some future crime. Suthep must have his crystal ball wired to some Minority Report type apparatus because this is beyond the pale of decency. They’re busy arresting people who they suspect of being Red Shirt sympathizers while they continue to delay and obfuscate their own complicity in PAD crimes and Democrat Party election violations. This is clearly the foreshadowing of some 1984 reality and the end of our own freedoms.
Peace
-Hawkeye

Thitinan on CNN: by tomorrow we may see armed resistance in the North and Northeast.


Thitinan on CNN: by tomorrow we may see armed
resistance in the North and Northeast.

Ratchaprasong New: Nattawut has not fled


Nattawut has come onto the stage, urging Reds to be calm and for small children to be sent to the temple. This is after ASTV managed to spread a rumour that he had fled.

Ratchaprasong News: Reports of 2 more protesters killed as troops fire and advance up Sarasin Rd.


Reports of 2 more protesters killed as troops fire and advance up Sarasin Rd.

AP news report


AP news report.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_thailand_politics;_ylt=ApZ7KyjX3RiVMwp4I4jRwoKs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsaHYwYzhzBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNTE5L2FzX3RoYWlsYW5kX3BvbGl0aWNzBGNjb2RlA21vc3Rwb3B1bGFyBGNwb3MDMgRwb3MDMTAEcHQDaG9tZV9jb2tlBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcnkEc2xrA3RoYWl0cm9vcHNmaQ–

Ratchaprasong News: Massive fire on Rama IV: http://tweetphoto.com/23016299


Massive fire on Rama IV: http://tweetphoto.com/23016299

Ratchaprasong News: Red Shirt has been shot dead at the Sarasin Intersection clash!


Red Shirt has been shot dead at the Sarasin Intersection clash!

If you come to this website please download all images and save them. The truth of what is happening needs to be recorded.


Information is power.

Ratchaprasong News: Live pic from Khlong Toei: http://twitpic.com/1p1438


Live pic from Khlong Toei: http://twitpic.com/1p1438

Ratchaprasong News: Soldier with same kind of weapon that killed Sae Daeng: http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/03lK7y30CUeN7/610x.jpg


Soldier with same kind of weapon that killed Sae Daeng: http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/03lK7y30CUeN7/610x.jpg

Ratchaprasong News: Thai Ambassador hits back at a “very sensitive” article that was published in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ambassador-letter-in-response.pdf


Thai Ambassador hits back at a “very sensitive” article that was published in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ambassador-letter-in-response.pdf

Ratchaprasong News:From ABC News. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/19/2903344.htm?section=justin


From ABC News.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/19/2903344.htm?section=justin

Multiple news from Bangkok-pundit.blog


UPDATE: 8:50: From Reuters live blog:

More news on the two people who were shot. Reuters witness said one was shot in the chest while trying to help a fellow protester. The demonstrators responded by firing at soldiers.

UPDATE: 8:30: From Reuters live blog:

Protesters at the main encampment remain defiant. “I have no plan to flee. I am here to fight for better Thailand. I don’t mind dying for my country,” said a 54-year-old protester Saman Niyakul from Ubon Ratchathani province as he prepared a homemade rocket to fire at troops. “There are too many double-standards and that’s what I cannot stand. We have to fight that.”

Ratchaprasong New:More commandos moving along BTS line: http://tweetphoto.com/23011023


More commandos moving along BTS line: http://tweetphoto.com/23011023

Ratchaprasong News: More APC’s arrive at Sala Daeng: http://yfrog.com/87ctnj


More APC’s arrive at Sala Daeng: http://yfrog.com/87ctnj

Nation TV reported that red-shirt protesters stormed in and seized Thai Com uplink station at Kaewrai, Nothaburi, at 8:58 am Wednesday. The station said no clash happened. The protesters were building up bunkers with rubber tyres. The Nation


Nation TV reported that red-shirt protesters stormed in and seized Thai Com uplink station at Kaewrai, Nothaburi, at 8:58 am Wednesday.

The station said no clash happened.

The protesters were building up bunkers with rubber tyres.

The Nation

Looks like this won’t be contained to Bangkok. The government has underestimated the number of Red supporters in and around bangkok