Collecting alms in the midst of police barricades, barbed wire, tents and vehicles is no easy task, a monk from famous Bangkok temple Wat Benchamabophit complains on Facebook.
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Wednesday morning update
Monks walk past police barricades set up to enforce the Internal Security Act (ISA). THANARK KHOONTON
Here is an update from Bangkok Post reporter Lamphai Intathep:
Police have agreed to reposition barricades outside Wat Benchamabopit after monks at the temple complained that Internal Security Act (ISA) measures were preventing daily almsgiving activities.
Phra Thepkittiweethee, deputy abbot of the temple, told the Bangkok Post that monks were suffering as a result of the tight security measures, since the barricades prevent them from going out to receive food offerings.
"I've already negotiated with the police and they've agreed to slightly move the barricades to make way for monks to collect alms and allow Buddhist laymen and tourists to enter the temple more conveniently," he said. "If not, we'll have to climb over the barricades."
The temple currently houses about 200 people, of which 109 are monks and novices.
The deputy abbot said police told him that they cannot lessen security further because of anti-government rallies in the area.
"Due to the security measures, we are collecting less alms and the number of Buddhists coming to make merit and tourists visiting the temple is decreasing," he said.
Despite this, Phra Thepkittiweethee said Buddhists who were aware of the issue had been coming to offer food at the temple, while the temple kitchen has been continuing to provide two meals a day for monks at a cost of 5,000 baht. He denied that some monks have been forced to cook for themselves, as had been claimed.
But the deputy abbot warned that the temple's problems with the ISA extended beyond almsgiving activities.
He said some police officers had been using areas within the temple compound to sit down or take a nap and were littering and even smoking inside. This is improper for a religious site and looks untidy to tourists, he said.
"Please do not forget that temples are a tourist attraction. People travel so far and pay a lot to come to Thailand including this temple."
On Tuesday, no officers were reported inside parts of the temple compound used for religious ceremonies.
Phra Thepkittiweethee said the police had listened to the monks' problems, which are gradually being solved through negotiations.
Monks at Wat Benchamabophit have to negotiate police barricades to accept alms offerings every morning. THANARAK KHOONTON
Monks irked by police blockades
Post online reporters
Police are trying to appease monks at Wat Benchamabophit by helping clean the temple after a monk posted a Facebook message complaining about Internal Security Act (ISA) blockades impeding their ability to collect alms.
After the message was posted online last week, riot police whose job it is to protect Government House and areas on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue from protesters have been undertaking voluntary work at the temple, including cleaning toilets and collecting rubbish.
Phra Maha Apichart Punnachantho, who posted the first Facebook message, took to social media again on Monday, thanking officers for their efforts but warning that they are still missing the point.
Problems with daily almsgiving will continue as long as barricades, barbed wire, tents and police vehicles are kept in the immediate vicinity of the temple, he said.
Bangkok's Wat Benchamabophit lies in the area covered by the Internal Security Act, so is subject to strict security measures. But monks are unimpressed. THANARAK KHOONTON
He said police checkpoints and barricades were essentially blocking people from giving alms to Wat Benchamabophit, known among tourists as the marble temple, which is situated in the area covered by the ISA.
He added that he was speaking out on behalf of other monks who are having to cook food for themselves as a result of the heightened security measures.
Deputy spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Bureau Pol Maj Gen Adul Narongsak on Monday ordered Pol Col Kanchalee Intararam, chief of Dusit police station, to talk with the temple's deputy abbot Phra Thepkittiweethee.
He said the pair should draw up a plan to set up alms-giving points outside the area sealed off by police, allowing people who want to offer food to the monks to do so with ease.
But Pol Maj Gen Adul dismissed Phra Maha Apichart Punnachantho's claim that all monks at the temple are suffering as a result of the ISA blockades. Other monks at Wat Benchamabophit have been unaffected and understand the duty of the police, he said.
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abbot: the head monk at a temple - เจ้าอาวาส
alms: food, money, and other items that are given to Buddhist monks; money, clothes and food that are given to poor people - ของทำบุญ ของบริจาค
appease: to say or do something in order to make someone feel less angry - ปลอบใจ หรือทำให้เป็นที่พอใจ
attraction: something that creates interest and brings people to see it - การดึงดูดความสนใจ
barbed wire: thick wire with a lot of sharp points sticking out of it, used for making fences - ลวดหนาม
barricade: a temporary structure built to prevent someone/something from getting past - แผงหรือแนวรั้วกั้น
blockade: an action that is intended to prevent people or goods from moving from one place to another - การกีดขวาง; การกีดขวางการจราจร
claim: saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา
claim: to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - อ้าง
complain: to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not satisfied about somebody/something - บ่น, ร้องทุกข์
compound: an area in which a group of buildings stands - บริเวณ
convenient: easy to do, or not causing problems or difficulties - สะดวก
currently: at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน
decrease: to become less - ลดลง, น้อยลง
deny: to say that something is not true - ปฏิเสธ
deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง
dismiss: to refuse to accept that something might be true or important - ไม่สนใจ,แย้งกลับ
draw up: to prepare a document, plan, statement, etc. - ร่าง
due to: because of - เนื่องจาก
duty: something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do - หน้าที่, ความรับผิดชอบ
ease: to make or become less severe, difficult, unpleasant, painful, etc - ทำให้ง่าย
enforce : to make sure laws are obeyed - บังคับให้ใช้, บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม
essentially: for the most part; mostly true, but not completely true - เป็นหลัก, อย่างตามความจริง
extend: to include something more; to make something longer - ขยายออกไป
gradually: slowly and in small stages or amounts - อย่างทีละน้อย
heightened: increased -
immediate: next to or very close to a particular place or time - ชิด
impede: to delay or stop the progress of something - กีดขวาง, กั้นขวาง
improper: not suited or appropriate to the situation - ไม่เหมาะสม ไม่สมควร
Internal Security Act (ISA): a special law which allows the country's top security agency, the Internal Security Operations Command, to impose curfews, operate checkpoints and restrict the movement of demonstrators Under the act, the military has the authority to search protesters for weapons and use force in case of any violence. - พรบ.ความมั่นคง
irk: to annoy someone - รบกวน,ทำให้รำคาญ
issue: a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น
layman: a person who is a member of a temple or a church but is not a priest or member of the clergy - สามัญชน
litter: to leave things in a place, making it look untidy ทิ้งของเรี่ยราด, ทิ้งขยะเกลื่อนกลาด - ทิ้งของเรี่ยราด, ทิ้งขยะเกลื่อนกลาด
make merit: to do good things according to religious beliefs - ทำบุญ
marble: a type of hard stone that is usually white and often has coloured lines in it. It can be polished and is used in building and for making statues, etc - หินอ่อน
measure: a firm action taken to solve a problem or stop a dangerous unpleasant situation - มาตราการ
metropolitan police: the police in responsible for a city - ตำรวจนครบาล
miss the point: to fail to understand the meaning or intent of something ไม่เข้าใจประเด็น - ไม่เข้าใจประเด็น
nap: a short sleep, usually during the day - การงีบ
negotiate: to successfully travel on a road or path that is difficult to travel on or through - ฝ่าไป
novice: someone who has entered a religious community but is not yet a full member - สามเณร
on behalf of: as a representative of - ในนามของ ในฐานะของ
pair: two people who are doing something together - คู่
protect: to make sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc - ป้องกัน,อารักขา,คุ้มกัน
protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
reposition: to relocate; to move something to a new place - ย้ายที่ใหม่
riot police: police who are trained to deal with violent groups of people - ตำรวจปราบจราจล
rubbish: waste material or things that are no longer wanted or needed - ขยะ
seal off: to prevent people from entering or leaving an area or building - ปิด ห้ามไม่ให้เข้า
security: protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย
site: a place where something is located - สถานที่
situated: located - ตั้งอยู่ที่
slightly: small in size or amount - เล็กน้อย
social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
solve: to successfully deal with a problem or difficult situation; to find out who is responsible for a crime - แก้ปัญหา, คลี่คลาย, หาคำตอบ
strict: very careful and exact - เข้มงวด
subject to: affected by - ภายใต้บังคับ (กฎหมาย)
suffer: to be badly affected by a very difficult or unpleasant situation - ประสบความลำบาก
undertake: to do - เข้าทำ, ดำเนินการ
unimpressed: not having a high opinion of or respect for someone or something - ไม่ประทับใจ
untidy: not neat or well arranged; in a state of confusion - ไม่เป็นระเบียบ,ไม่เรียบร้อย, เลอะเทอะ
vehicle: a machine that you travel in or on, especially one with an engine that travels on roads, e.g., a car, bus, van, truck, etc. - ยานพาหนะ
vicinity: an area near a particular place - บริเวณใกลเคียง
voluntary: an action that is done because you choose to do it and not because you have to - ด้วยความสมัครใจ
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