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Monk protest leader to face punishment

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With many trying to remove him from monkhood, this respected senior monk from Nakhon Pathom insists constitution gives him right to protest. 

Protest co-leader Luang Pu Buddha Issara has been leading the PDRC rally stage at the government complex on Chaeng Wattana Road. He agreed to relax blockades to ease the impact on state officials and motorists following a three-hour meeting with Tawatchai Thaikhaew, deputy permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry, and army representatives at the protest site on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakul


Buddha Issara accused of violating secular and religious rule


Lamphai Intathep

Protest co-leader Luang Pu Buddha Issara insists he has the right to protest.

Protest leader monk Luang Pu Buddha Issara is to face disciplinary action following the Laksi clashes on Feb 1, the National Office of Buddhism confirmed on Tuesday.

The office said the senior monk and People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader had violated Buddhist discipline by breaking the law. He is wanted by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) on charges of insurrection.

Director-general Nopparat Benjawatananun said the National Office of Buddhism had sent a letter to the Nakhon Pathom order, to which Buddha Issara belongs, summoning him for an official warning following the violent clash in Bangkok's Laksi area on Saturday involving unidentified attackers and PDRC protesters.

Buddha Issara has been leading the PDRC protest stage at the nearby government complex on Chaeng Wattana Road. Some government agencies, including the Justice Ministry, were allowed to get back to work on Tuesday, following negotiations with the senior monk.

Mr Nopparat said joining a protest is a breach of Buddhist discipline.

The National Office of Buddhism has contacted the Nakhon Pathom governor, also advising further action against the monk.

Having found Buddha Issara's behaviour inappropriate, other people had also filed complaints against him, Mr Nopparat said.

The order concluded that Buddha Issara had breached the discipline of the Sangha Supreme Council for joining protests and encouraging people to break the law.

Now that the Department of Special Investigation had summoned him to answer to a charge of insurrection, Buddha Issara had violated both secular and Buddhist law, he said.

A monk who has broken criminal law can be ejected from the monkhood after being arrested and denied bail, Mr Nopparat said.

Asked why Buddha Issara had not been arrested, Mr Nopparat said it was up to the police, who must act on evidence, including witness testimony.

The police filed an arrest warrant for the monk for obstructing the Jan 26 advance poll and Feb 2 general elections after he led protesters to surround Laksi district office.

His acts prevented voters from entering polling stations on Jan 26 and barred officials from distributing ballot boxes to election units on Feb 1, resulting in the elections being cancelled on both days, the police said.

But the monk shrugged off the National Office of Buddhism’s comments on Tuesday, saying the office has no mandate to defrock him.

Citing the constitutional right to assemble, he said the charter is the highest law of the land.

He also claimed that a Ratchaburi politician had placed a 20-million-baht bounty on him and that thugs were sent to discredit him and the PDRC rallies.

Buddha Issara is also the subject of a complaint by the Buddhist Association of Thailand, a non-government organisation (NGO). 

"Monks can have personal feelings but political expression is banned by Sangha regulations," said the association' s secretary Sathien Wipornmaha. He said Buddha Issara's involvement in anti-government protests "destroys the image of Buddhism".

The controversy surrounding Buddha Issara's activities has not dimmed his appeal to supporters, some of whom have followed him to Bangkok from Wat Or Noi in adjoining Nakhon Pathom province, where he is a respected senior monk.

"The secular domain is in trouble," 75-year-old devotee Mayurachat Manothai told AFP on Jan 29.

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accuse: to say that someone has done something wrong or committed a crime - กล่าวหา

act: to take action; to do something for a particular purpose or in order to deal with a situation - จัดการ, ดำเนินการ, ปฏิบัติ

adjoin: to be next to and connected to - มีเขตแดนติดกัน

advance: before the time that is expected; before something happens - ล่วงหน้า

advise: to tell somebody what you think they should do in a particular situation - แนะนำ, แจ้ง

agency: a government department that provides a particular service - หน่วยงานราชการ

appeal: a quality that causes someone to like or want something - ความดึงดูดใจ, ความน่าสนใจ, ความเย้ายวน

arrest: (of the police or, in this case, soldiers) to take someone under control because they are believed to have committed a crime - จับกุม

arrest warrant: a document signed by a judge allowing police to arrest someone - หมายจับ

association: an official group of people who have joined together for a particular purpose - สมาคม

bail: money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money  - เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว (deny bail (of a court) to refuse to allow someone to go free on bail ไม่ให้ประกันตัว)

ballot box: the containing into which voters put a marked ballot - หีบบัตรเลือกตั้ง

banned: officially not allowed to do something - ถูกห้าม

bar: to officially not allow someone to do something or go somewhere - ห้าม

behaviour: the way that someone acts or behaves - พฤติกรรม, การกระทำตัว

blockade: an action that is intended to prevent people or goods from moving from one place to another - การกีดขวาง; การกีดขวางการจราจร

bounty: money given as a reward, of for helping catch or kill a criminal - เงินรางวัล

breach: a failure to follow a law or rule - การละเมิดกฎหมาย

cancellation: a decision to stop something that has been arranged from taking place - การยกเลิก

charge: to accuse someone officially of committing a crime - ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา

claim: saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา

clash: a brief fight between two or more people - การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย

co-: done together with another -

comment: expressing an opinion - แสดงความคิดเห็น

complaint: when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory - การบ่น, ข้อที่ไม่พอใจ

complex: an area that has several parts - พื้นที่ประกอบด้วยส่วนต่าง ๆ

confirm: to state or show that something is definitely true or correct, especially by providing evidence - ยืนยัน

contact: having communication with someone - การติดต่อ การสัมผัส

controversy: a disagreement that a lot of people have strong feelings about - ความขัดแย้ง

defrock: to officially remove a monk priest from his job, because he has done something wrong - ทำให้สึกจากการเป็นพระ

deny bail: (of a court) to not to allow someone to go free on bail - ไม่ให้ประกันตัว

disciplinary action: punishment of people who do not obey the rules - การลงโทษเนื่องจากการฝ่าฝืนวินัย หรือระเบียบ

discipline: the practice of training people to obey rules and orders and punishing them if they do not; the controlled behaviour or situation that results from this training - ระเบียบวินัย  

discredit: to cause people to stop respecting someone or believing in an idea or person - ทำให้สูญเสียความเชื่อถือ,ทำให้เสื่อมเสียชื่อเสียง

distribute: to give something out to many different places - แจกจ่าย

domain: one part or area of a much larger area -

ease: to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious - บรรเทา

eject: to force someone to leave a place - ขับไล่, ดันออกมา

election (n): the process of choosing a person or a group of person for a position, especially by voting - การเลือกตั้ง

evidence: facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime - หลักฐาน

expression: things that people say, write or do in order to show their feelings, opinions and ideas - การแสดงความคิด, การแสดงออก

feeling: an emotional condition or state that a person is in such as anger or happiness - ความรู้สึก, อารมณ์

file: to take official action, in this case, to make an official complaint - ยื่นคำร้อง

file a complaint: to make an official statement that someone has done something wrong - ยื่นคำร้อง

get back to work: to start working again, after stopping for a time -

image: an opinion that people have about someone or something - ภาพลักษณ์

impact: an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ

inappropriate: unsuitable - ซึ่งไม่เหมาะสม

insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน

insurrection: an attempt by a large group of people to take control of their country by force - การกบฏ

involvement: the act or process of taking part in something - การเกี่ยวข้อง

it was up to: the decision to do something must be made by... -

mandate: the authority to do something mandate - การให้อำนาจ

monkhood: the fact of being a monk - ความเป็นพระ

motorist: a person driving a car or other motor vehicle - คนขับรถยนต์, ผู้ขับรถ

negotiations: formal discussion in which people or groups try to reach an agreement - การเจรจาต่อรอง

NGO: non-governmental organization (a charity, association, etc. that is independent of government and business) - เอ็นจีโอ, องค์การนอกภาครัฐ

obstruct: to make it difficult for something to happen or for someone or something to go somewhere - ขวางทาง

official: done by people in authority or decided by the government; announced publicly - เป็นทางการ

officials: people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

order: a monastic order, an organization of monks or nuns in some religion such as Theravadan Buddhism or Catholicism -

order: something that somebody is told to do by somebody in authority - คำสั่ง

permanent secretary: a government official, not a political appointee, in charge of a ministry - ปลัดกระทรวง

personal: your own; not belonging to or connected with anyone else - เป็นส่วนตัว

politician: a person whose job is concerned with politics, especially as an elected member of parliament, etc. - นักการเมือง

poll: an election - การเลือกตั้ง

polling station: the place where people vote in an election - หน่วยเลือกตั้ง

prevent: to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, กัน, กีดขวาง

protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง

protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง

rally: a continuous exchange of hits between players in tennis, squash or badminton - ตีลูกกลับ, ตีโต้

rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม

regulation: an official rule that controls the way that things are done - กฎระเบียบ

relax: to make rules, controls, conditions etc less strict -

religious: relating to religion, or to the beliefs and practices of a particular religion - เกี่ยวกับศาสนา

representative: someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them - ผู้แทน

respected: admired by many people for your qualities or achievements   - ที่เคารพ

result in: cause to happen -

right: a moral or legal claim to have or get something or to behave in a particular - สิทธิ

Sangha: ordained Buddhist monks or nuns - สงฆ์

secular: non-religious -

senior: with a high rank or position - อาวุโส

shrug off: to show that something does not worry or upset you - ไม่เอาใจใส่, ไม่สนใจ

stage: a raised area, usually in a theatre, etc. where actors, dancers, speakers etc. perform - เวที

state: government - รัฐบาล

summon: to officially order someone to come to a place - เรียกตัว

supporter: a person who helps and supports a person, organization or idea - ผู้สนับสนุน

testimony: a formal statement about something that you say, know or experienced, usually given to a court of law - คำให้การ

thug: a man who is violent, especially a criminal - นักเลง, อันธพาล

unidentified: not known (who someone is) - ซึ่งไม่สามารถระบุชื่อได้

unit: one office or building or group of people - หนึ่งหน่วย

violate: to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement - ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด

violent: involving or caused by physical force that is intended to hurt or kill somebody - รุนแรง, ร้ายแรง, สาหัส

warning: an action or statement telling someone of a possible problem or danger - การเตือน

witness: a person who sees something happen or knows about something - ผู้ที่เห็นเหตุการณ์, พยาน

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