Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Council to name top monk; Nurses apologize; Naomi Campbell pales


Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Council to name top monk soon
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: BECAUSE of the position left vacant by the passing away on October 24 of the late Supreme Patriarch, His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, at the age of 100, the Sangha Supreme Council would soon nominate his successor, the director-general of the National Office of Buddhism Nopparat Benjawatananun told Matichon Online yesterday.

In accordance with the 1992 amendment to the Buddhist Order Act 1962, the council-endorsed nomination would be selected from the eligible most-senior monks in the hierarchy, based on the amount of time the monk has held the title “Somdet”.

The name would be forwarded to the prime minister, who would then submit it to His Majesty the King, he added.

The appointment of the new Supreme Patriarch will take place after the royal cremation of the former Supreme Patriarch, according to Nopparat.

The monk nominated could come from either of the country’s two Buddhist sects: Maha Nikaya or Dhammayutti Nikaya. “In the past, we have seen Supreme Patriarchs from both sects,” he said.

Seven possibilities

There are seven “Somdet-titled” monks, with various degrees of seniority, according to the Matichon news report. First among them is Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn, the 88-year-old abbot of Wat Pak Nam Phasi Charoen, who belongs to the Maha Nikaya sect. He is the most senior monk, as he received the title in 1995.

The other six monks are Somdet Phra Maha Wirawong, 96, abbot of Wat Samphantha-wong of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2001; Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong, 86, abbot of Wat Ratchabophit of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2009; Somdet Phra Wannarat, 77, acting abbot of Wat Bowon Niwet of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2009; Somdet Phra Buddha Kosacharn, 83, abbot of Wat Suthat Thepphawararam of the Maha Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2010; Somdet Phra Thirayarnmuni, 66, abbot of Wat Thep Sirin of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2010; and Somdet Phra Buddha Chinnawong, 72, abbot of Wat Pichaya Yatikaram of the Maha Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2011.

Keep checking the Phuket Gazette’s Thailand news pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter @PhuketGazette for the latest national news updates.

Nurses apologise for photo with slain officer
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Three nurses at Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Hospital yesterday apologised to the public for an inappropriate photograph taken in the hospital’s intensive-care unit.

Two of the nurses are seen flashing a “victory” sign in front of the body of Pol Sgt Nimit Deewong, who was killed along with two fellow bomb-squad officers in a blast in Narathiwat on Monday.

After the photo was circulated on social media from Tuesday night, the nurses’ action came in for heavy public criticism as being inappropriate, insensitive and unethical. Hospital director Chatchai Srinamwong confirmed that the photo was taken at the hospital and said an initial probe deemed the nurses’ action to have violated the patient’s rights.

Hence they were guilty of professional misconduct. Insisting that the hospital staff were committed to their work, he said the nurses’ action stemmed from a lack of awareness of the situation.

Nurse Patsaroh Rodomasae, whose face was captured, said she had no intention of offending anyone, while nurse Nosira Doloh, whose hand gesture was captured, said they meant no offence but were merely trying to signify that they would “fight” by continuing to work in the region. Another nurse, Norisa Jehlae, who took the photo, said she was sorry and asked for forgiveness.

Keep checking the Phuket Gazette’s Thailand news pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter @PhuketGazette for the latest national news updates.

Fans turn pale at sight of Thai magazine
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Staff at Vogue Thailand went for a tidal wave with a picture of supermodel Naomi Campbell that would be unremarkable except that she no longer looks – how shall we put this – quite as African-American.

The “whitening” of Naomi Campbell might have been cleverly explained away as a symbolic cleansing of her past public sins, but no such excuses were forthcoming as the furore spread around the world ahead of the November issue’s release today.

“Photoshop of Horrors: Vogue Thailand lightens Naomi Campbell’s skin and we’re not having it,” strongly objected. “We hardly recognised you, Naomi Campbell,” Huffington Post huffed. Closer to home, Khao Sod shed a few choice critical words. The social media, needless to say, went berserk.

One of the most common complaints addressed Naomi Campbell’s failure to look like Naomi Campbell. Her local fans tend to love the supermodel’s “lite” version just as much, but many more comments and posts condemned Thailand’s obsession with pale skin and some even suggested that racism might lurk behind the retouching.

“It’s such a shame that retouchers aren’t just over-Photoshopping, but are in fact lightening the skin tone,” someone called Cosmic Voices wrote in Fashion Spot’s iFS Forum.

“It’s hard not to see a racial side to this – they lightened her skin and eyes, for god’s sake,” The Gloss fumed. The Huffington Post ran the original photo of the “real world” Naomi side by side with the brighter “Vogue Thailand Naomi” and asked readers, “Tell us if you can pinpoint the difference.”

Calmer tones were heard at “The face is a bit airbrushed and she doesn’t need it that much, but otherwise I like it,” a Miss Dalloway said. “I like the 60s feeling,” agreed GlamorousBoy.

Vogue Thailand came up with a sort-of explanation on its Facebook page yesterday, posting a screenshot of an email from photographer Marcin Tysza, who shot the cover and the pictures of Naomi inside the magazine. “All my pictures have pastel tones – light, soft colours. That’s my style,” says the shutterbug (whose exposure settings nevertheless might need adjusting, we dare say). “If you see the rest of the story, all the pictures are like this – everything is light, including her skin.”

Evidently he wanted to recreate the Prada ’60s look, taking advantage of Campbell’s wrinkle-free complexion. He said Naomi and her agent had seen the pictures and loved them. So Tysza is sticking to those “pastel” tones and says he’ll be

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Thailand News

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