22 Sep 2016
Thai soap operas play a crucial social role in constructing political ideas of nationalism, Buddhism and morality. This mechanism, however, is not a stagnant process. The recent airing of a nationalistic soap has shown how Thai soaps adapt to changing political contexts.
5 Sep 2016
The recent disrobing of Venerable Sermsak Thammasaro or “Monk Ti” for his dwarfism has spurred discussion about Thai Buddhism and discrimination. According to liberal Buddhist monk Venerable Phramaha Paiwan Warawunno, Monk Ti was disrobed because ordination of the disabled is against the Buddhist Vinaya. According to well-known religious scholar Surapot Thaweesak, Thai Buddhism tends to rule in favour of the clergy, and under the power of the Sangha Supreme Council (SSC), does not allow other parties to pass judgement on cases or issues that crop up.
26 Aug 2016
To amend woes in the new constitution, the Thai junta premier has once again enacted absolute power to issue an order aimed at patronising and protecting Buddhism and other faiths. However, experts warn the order could be used by the authorities as a license to suppress rights and liberty.
19 Aug 2016
A senior Buddhist monk in eastern Thailand has disrobed a young monk for being too small. A secretary of the abbot of Thap Chang Temple in Soi Dao District of the eastern province of Chanthaburi performed a ritual on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 to disrobe Venerable Sermsak Thammasaro, a 21-year-old Buddhist monk of Phasuk Temple in the district, Khaosod news reported.
13 Jun 2016
Analysing the predominant faith of the majority of Thais, an academic has pointed out that the version of Buddhism patronised by the Thai state promotes Thai nationalism and teaches people to be docile and accept their socio-economic status.
31 May 2016
A pop music event organizer apologized for lampooning the controversial Buddhist sect Dhammakaya at a party Saturday night following threats of legal action by the group. Even as its headquarters were under siege by law enforcement officers, and its leader wanted on embezzlement charges, the Dhammakaya sect said it was preparing a defamation suit against party organizer Trasher for blasphemy.
12 Apr 2016
Academics and a female Buddhist monk conclude that the draft constitution is a step backward on freedom of religion.
29 Mar 2016
Pressured by Buddhist groups to enshrine Buddhism as a national religion, the constitution drafters have met the demands halfway by providing mechanisms in the new draft constitution to protect Buddhism. On Tuesday afternoon, 29 March 2016, the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) headed by Meechai Ruchuphan unveiled the finalised draft constitution. The fate of the draft will be decided by public referendum in August.
23 Mar 2016
A Buddhist network has submitted to the charter drafters a list of 100,000 supporters of a campaign to enshrine Buddhism as the state religion, saying it will help the draft constitution to pass the referendum.
16 Mar 2016
A controversial Thai temple has reportedly given an award to a radical anti-Muslim Burmese monk on his visit to Thailand while a group of Thai monks openly showed him support.
7 Mar 2016
Thai police stormed into a meeting of Buddhist monks discussing the Supreme Patriarch row and took two monks out of a temple. Matichon Online reported that 20 police officers at 10: 20 am on Monday, 7 March 2016, stormed into a meeting of Buddhist monks at Wat Sri Sudaram, Bang Khun Non Subdistrict, Bangkok Noi District, Bangkok.
16 Feb 2016
Buddhist hardliners and monks in the northern province of Chiang Mai have voiced opposition to a plan to establish a Halal food industrial zone, claiming that it will destroy the cultural heritage of the province. A Facebook page called Pokpong Sangkha Monthon (Protect the Buddhist County) on Tuesday, 16 February 2016, posted a letter signed by 12 organisations based in Chiang Mai.