Source AP ©

Monks call for Buddhism to be Thai national religion

Hundreds of monks rallied in Thailand decided that a worsening Islamic insurgency in the Muslim south is a good reason to make Buddhism the national religion.

More than 2,000 people have died since 2004 in the country's three southernmost provinces along the Malaysian border in an insurgency fueled by concerns among Muslims that they have been discriminated against, especial in educational and job opportunities, in Buddhist-dominated Thailand.

The call from the monks revives a debate that dates back to 1997 when a campaign to make Buddhist the national religion was dropped amid concerns that it would divide the country.

The issue is heating up again as a new constitution is being drafted by a committee appointed by coup leaders who ousted elected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in September.

The coup leaders have promised to put a new constitution to voters in a referendum as early as September.

Along with holding a silent rally outside of Parliament, monks sent a representative Tuesday to meet with Prasong Sunsiri, the chairman of the constitutional drafting committee, to press their demands that Buddhism be included.

"It must be pointed out that this national religion campaign is taking place amid widespread paranoia within the clergy against Islam following the southern violence," Sanitsuda Ekachai, a columnist for the English daily Bangkok Post, wrote earlier this month. "There has also been wide distribution of leaflets alleging that Islam is a threat to Thai Buddhism."

More than 90 percent of Thailand's 64 million people are Buddhists, and the remainder are either Muslim or Christian.

Comments
Two Russian spies - Chepiga and Mishkin - create new bogus story for the West
Bill Clinton's Oval Office disgrace destroyed Yugoslavia
Two Russian spies - Chepiga and Mishkin - create new bogus story for the West
Russia builds her first-ever turbojet engine for civil aviation
Russia builds her first-ever turbojet engine for civil aviation
Is Putin guilty of the Kerch school massacre?
Russia to use all of her might to defend Belarus if need be
Two Russian spies - Chepiga and Mishkin - create new bogus story for the West
Two Russian spies - Chepiga and Mishkin - create new bogus story for the West
Russia to use all of her might to defend Belarus if need be
Two Russian spies - Chepiga and Mishkin - create new bogus story for the West
Two Russian spies - Chepiga and Mishkin - create new bogus story for the West
Edward Snowden does not feel safe in Russia
Edward Snowden does not feel safe in Russia
Russia to use all of her might to defend Belarus if need be
Is Putin guilty of the Kerch school massacre?
AIDS came to USSR as deadly disease of Western decay
Putin ready to discuss INF Treaty issues with John Bolton
Russian military men were paid before Russia reunited with Crimea
Is Putin guilty of the Kerch school massacre?
Russia to use all of her might to defend Belarus if need be