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Buddhists protest at Chatuchak over commercialisation of Buddha images

The Thaiger

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Buddhists protest at Chatuchak over commercialisation of Buddha images | The Thaiger

TheIndonesian island of Bali is one of the largest producers and exporters of Buddha images around the world and, according to the Knowing Buddha Organisation, should stop commercialising Buddha’s image.

Yesterday at Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok, was the site of a massive gathering by Buddhists organised by the Knowing Buddha Organisation, educating and pleading to the world to stop selling and buying the image of Buddha and using it as decoration. Shoppers stopped to read signs and listened to KBO speakers explain why, in their opinion, it is wrong to use Buddha’s image for decoration in homes, gardens, hotels, bars, restaurants or spas.

“We had no idea that buying or using Buddha’s image was offensive to Buddhists or disrespectful to the Buddha” said many foreigners visiting the market.

Market vendors whose shelves were filled with images of Buddha for sale as decoration hid in their shops, as nearly 1000 marchers passed by their stores.

“The atmosphere was like a bright light shining through the market exposing the wrong and protecting our hero the Buddha” said Patt Pattana a spokesperson for the knowing Buddha Organisation.

Thai vendors, mostly Buddhists, know they are doing wrong by selling Buddha’s statues and images as Art to unsuspecting tourists. Today we could see the shame in their faces.

Earlier in the day the Knowing Buddha Organisation was invited to speak at Wat Arun Temple (the Temple of Dawn), to French television about the massive merchandising of Buddha around the world.

“The World is waking up to the Knowledge that it is a sin and bad Karma to use Buddha’s image” said Sucheewa Sangduen a member of the Knowing Buddha Organisation.

“As the world is being educated and reminded that Buddhism is a religion and the image of Buddha is not just a piece of art that should be used to bring calm to our homes or a business” said Sangduen.

The Abbot of Wat Arun praised the Knowing Buddha Organisation for it’s work with his temple and others around Thailand to educate tourists about proper attire and attitudes when visiting temples. The Abbot bemoaned how in the past visitors would arrive in shorts and tank tops and some women even posed with their shirts off in front of Buddha. The Knowing Buddha Organsation changed all this through signs and brochures teaching tourists how to behave and treat Buddha.

According to Pat Pattana it is all about education and teaching the world about this issue through kindness and compassion.

“We find that most foreigners had no idea that they were doing something wrong by decorating with the image of Buddha. And once we explain to them that this is wrong and bad karma, people are more than willing to fix their mistakes”.

The Knowing Buddha Organisation founded by Vipassana meditation master Acharavadee Wongsakon. Acharavadee who had visited the Buddha Bar in Paris a decade earlier, was devastated that the Buddha Bar had replicated a Thai temple and installed a dance floor and Bar. She returned to Thailand to set up an organisation to educate the world about respect and morality and the proper use of Buddha for worship.

The organisation’s website knowingbuddha.org explains the do’s and don’ts of using Buddha’s Images. The organisation can also be contacted to help individuals and commercial organisations learn how properly remove Buddha art from their homes or commercial venues.

One such a case was a resort in Bali which had large murals of Buddha carved in stone. The KBO organisation showed the owners how to re-carve the murals into angel heads. Other cases learned how to properly and respectfully dispose of unwanted Buddha decoration.

“Respect is common cense” is the motto of the Knowing Buddha Organisation.

PROVIDED BY: Knowing Buddha Organisation

(The Thaiger notes that nowhere in Buddha’s teachings does it demand people not to recreate or worship the image of the Buddha.)

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Bangkok

Foreign and Thai business partners cleared of human trafficking charges in Bangkok

May Taylor

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Foreign and Thai business partners cleared of human trafficking charges in Bangkok | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Daily News

“At the appeal hearing yesterday, the defendants had their convictions quashed after the court doubted testimony from one of the victims.”

A foreign man employed as a nightclub manager in Bangkok’s notorious party zone at Nana has been acquitted of charges of human trafficking and acquiring women for prostitution. ThaiVisa reports that Michael Pearl, a 47 year old Sudanese-Australian who also owned the Dream Disco on the fourth floor of the Zenith Hotel in Soi Nana, was cleared of all charges, along with four other defendants in the case.

The acquittal comes after Pearl was sentenced last year, along with the other four, to between 16 and 19 years’ imprisonment on charges of trafficking four women from Morocco between 2016 and 2017 for the purposes of prostitution.

During court proceedings at the time, it was claimed that Pearl had lured the women with false promises of dream jobs as well-paid waitresses. Instead, they had their passports confiscated and were put to work as prostitutes. Pearl was eventually arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport in August 2017 as he tried to escape the country.

The convictions of all defendants have now been overturned after an appeal court raised doubts over the testimony of one of the victims. At a hearing at Bangkok Criminal Court yesterday, the court said there was no evidence to suggest the woman’s passport had been confiscated as she claimed, and that it appeared the victims were free to come and go from their employment, which contradicted their version of events.

The court also pointed out that none of the women had sought help from the police at any stage and that one of them had managed to take a trip to Phuket at the time she maintains she was being held against her will.

Based on these findings, the defendants were cleared of all charges.

SOURCE: Thai Visa | Daily News

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Bangkok

Live links to streaming coverage of the Royal Barge Procession in Bangkok

The Thaiger

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Live links to streaming coverage of the Royal Barge Procession in Bangkok | The Thaiger

Here’s a link to the official Facebook page including a livestream…

And a link to the official YouTube livestream as well…

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Bangkok

Transport and viewing locations for today’s Royal Barge Procession in Bangkok

The Thaiger

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Transport and viewing locations for today’s Royal Barge Procession in Bangkok | The Thaiger

This morning we wake to a perfect Bangkok day for today’s final act in the Royal Coronation – the Royal Barge Procession. Here’s some travel tips, free transport options and places to watch the procession. The processions starts at 3.30pm.

Travel will be free on all mass transit rail services and selected BMTA bus routes today (December 12), for the Royal Barge Procession on the Chao Phraya River. The rare and grand event will be presided over by His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn as the final act in this year’s auspicious coronation that took place between May 4-6.

And the weather looks perfect for the grand spectacle.

Transport and viewing locations for today's Royal Barge Procession in Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

Sixteen areas, on both banks of the Chao Phraya River, including six with stands, are being provided for spectators. Those attending are advised to dress appropriately for a Royal event, with yellow shirts for men and yellow dresses for women. Please note that black or bright shirts of other colours are prohibited.

Viewing locations on the eastern side of the river…
Wat Rachathiwat Pier, under Rama VIII Bridge, Sam Phraya Park, Santi Chai Prakan Public Park, Thammasat University Tha Prachan campus, under Phra Pinklao Bridge, along Maha Rat Road, and at Nagaphirom Park.

Viewing locations on the Thonburi (western) side of the river…
at the end of Soi Charan Sanitwong 52, Rama VIII Park near the bridge of the same name, Phra Pin Klao Bridge Pier, under Phra Pin Klao Bridge, Chaloem Phrakiat 72th Year Park, Siriraj Hospital, and Wat Rakhang Khositaram.
Grandstands are set up at Santi Chai Prakan Public Park, Thammasat, Nagaphirom Park, Rama VIII Park, Chaloem Phrakiat 72th Year Park, and Siriraj Hospital.
Transport and viewing locations for today's Royal Barge Procession in Bangkok | News by The Thaiger
To facilitate the Royal Barge Procession and the motorcade around the city by HM the King and HM the Queen, the Rama VIII and Pinklao bridges will be closed to all traffic from 3.30pm-5pm.

Eight roads will be closed to traffic from 4.30pm-6pm today. They are…

  • Rajinee Road from Pinklao Bridge to Pan Phipob intersection
  • Na Phra That Road
  • Chan Road
  • Na Phra Lan Road
  • Maharat Road
  • Thai Wang Road
  • Rajdamnoen Road
  • Sanam Chai Road from Pom Padet intersection to Ror Dor circle

The BTS skytrain, MRT including the Purple Line, Airport Rail Link and the bus rapid transit lane (BRT) operators have announced free rides all day to help people attend the historic event.

The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority said about 200 buses on 19 routes will also transport people without charge to locations by the river where people can enjoy the event.

The State Railway of Thailand will also run some free trains…

Train No.320 leaving Ayutthaya for Hua Lamphong at 9.30am and returning train No.321 leaving Bangkok at 8.15pm; train No.322 departing Nakhon Pathom for Thon Buri at 9.55am, and train No.333 leaving Thon Buri for the return at 8pm (information from Bangkok Post).

Train No.326 leaving Chachoengsao for Bangkok at 9.20am and return train No. 325 scheduled to leave Bangkok at 8.05pm; Train No. 4322 leaving Mahachai at 9.35am to Wong Wian Yai station, and the return trip, train No.4347, departing Wong Wian Yai at 8.10pm (information from Bangkok Post).

The royal barge procession is the last in a series of events to mark the coronation of HM the King. The processions starts at 3.30pm, leaving from Wasukree Pier to Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn), with HM the Queen and royal family members also attending the ceremony.

For security reasons, all spectators will need to pass through security checkpoints and show their ID cards or passports. There’s also a hotline about traffic arrangements available by dialling 1194 around the clock.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World

Transport and viewing locations for today's Royal Barge Procession in Bangkok | News by The Thaiger Transport and viewing locations for today's Royal Barge Procession in Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

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