Submitted on Thu, 2016-05-12 14:12
The military has gone to a new level by intimidating a pro-democracy Buddhist monk at his temple.
On Thursday, 12 May 2016, Phraiwan Wannabut revealed on Facebook and to Prachatai that the military had visited him at his temple more than five times and will come again this Saturday.
Each time, the military take photos of the monk and plead with the monk to stop all political activities, including writing articles and Facebook posts, and also offer him lunch. In Buddhist culture it is customary to offer lunch to a monk for the sake of good luck and to make merit. However, the military apparently takes it as a way to intimidate Phraiwan.
“A soldier told me that he wants to offer me lunch on the 14th of this month. Anyone want to join? Feel free to come. Lol,” Phraiwan posted on Facebook on Thursday morning.
The latest visit took place in April, Phraiwan told Prachatai.
“He said that I wrote political articles last year so he politely asked me to stop doing so, saying that politics was currently in chaos. He didn’t want me to create further trouble,” Phraiwan told Prachatai.
Phraiwan, aka Prahmaha Phraiwan, is a progressive Buddhist monk at a temple in the northern province of Sukhothai. He occasionally criticizes junta’s administration and deconstructs superstitious Buddhist belief via his facebook. He also participated in various political activities hosted by Resistant Citizen and New Democracy movement, the anti-junta groups.
Praiwan protesting the junta to free pro-democracy activists on 22 May 2015 (source: M Thai)