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Line sticker shock

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Cartoonish figures of the Lord Buddha have been dropped from the Line application sticker store here in Thailand after protests by Thai Buddhists, but they are still on sale elsewhere 

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A screenshot of the Line sticker shop where a set of "Buddha" stickers could be purchased and downloaded for 30 baht, before they were removed after protests by Thai Buddhists.

Line sticker shock

Online reporters

Line Thailand, which operates the country’s most-popular mobile-messaging app, Thursday pulled three sets of “stickers” portraying images of Lord Buddha in “inappropriate” poses following online complaints.

Thousands of Thai Buddhists regarded the stickers — used to illustrate text messages in smartphone and desktop-computer software — as disrespectful because they portrayed the holy figure in funny, cartoon-like positions.

Led by a group called the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth, about 40 Buddhist organisations worldwide launched an international protest campaign on to have the recently introduced "Buddha", "The Mask Revolution" and "Saint Young Men" sets removed. The "Stop Buddha Line Sticker" petition had garnered about 6,500 signatures as of Friday morning.

WFBY leader Pornchai Pinyapong said he was informed by Line Thailand's public relations department that the company had removed the contentious stickers from its Thailand "sticker shop". However the emoticons remain available for purchase and download elsewhere in the world.

A source at Line Thailand, who asked not to be named, told the Bangkok Post the decision to remove stickers is made by teams in each country.

Mr Pornchai said Line's stickers had never broached religious topics before, and he wondered why the company decided to launch Buddha stickers globally.

He called on all Buddhists living in other countries to launch a similar protest to have them banned worldwide.

An online protest campaign against the Buddha Line stickers on Thai website

In a statement to the media, the company said the stickers were made by one of the creators on the Line Creators Market.

"Line has no intention to disparage Buddhism but we feel deeply sorry for any inconveniences that may have been caused," the statement said.

Line was launched in 2011 by the Japanese unit of South Korean Internet service provider Naver Corp after the earthquake-tsunami tragedy damaged telephone systems nationwide, forcing staff to resort to Internet-based messaging to communicate.

The app now has more than 400 million registered users, mainly in Japan and Asia, and is growing fast in other parts of the world.

Thailand marks the fourth country with official Line offices, following Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. As of May, Thailand had the second-most Line users globally with 24 million, trailing Japan's 51 million.

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app: application; a program designed to do a particular job; a piece of software - โปรแกรมใช้งาน, โปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์

available: that you can get, use, find or buy - มีอยู่, หาได้

banned: officially not allowed to do something - ถูกห้าม

broach: to begin talking about a subject that is difficult to discuss, especially because it is embarrassing or because people disagree about it - ทาบทาม,แนะนำ,เริ่มเรื่อง

campaign: a series of actions intended to produce political or social change - การรณรงค์

complaint: when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory - การร้องเรียน

contentious: causing or likely to cause disagreement - ซึ่งโต้เถียงกัน, ซึ่งเป็นที่ถกเถียงกัน

creator: a person who has made or invented a particular thing - ผู้ออกแบบ, เจ้าตำรับ, ผู้ประดิษฐ์

disparage: to suggest that somebody/something is not important or valuable - ดูถูก, ดูหมิ่น, วิพากษ์วิจารณ์

disrespectful: showing a lack of respect for somebody/something - ที่ไม่เคารพ, ดูหมิ่น

emoticon: a short set of keyboard symbols or images that represents the expression on somebody's face, used in email, etc. to show the feelings of the person sending the message. For example :-) represents a smiling face (when you look at it sideways). - สัญรูปอารมณ์

fellowship: an organised group of people who share an interest, aim or belief - สัมพันธภาพ

garner: to obtain; to get - ได้รับ, รวบรวมได้

globally: throughout the world - ทั่วโลก

illustrate: to use pictures, photographs, diagrams, etc. in a book, etc - ใส่ภาพประกอบ

image: a photograph, painting, or other work of art that represents a person or thing - รูปภาพ

inappropriate: unsuitable - ซึ่งไม่เหมาะสม

inconvenience: an annoying problem or situation, especially one that forces you to make an extra effort to do something - ความไม่สะดวกสบาย  ความลำบาก

intention: a plan in your mind to do something - ความตั้งใจ เจตนา แผนการ

launch: to start something - เริ่มต้น, เปิดโครงการ, เริ่มทำ

mask: something that you wear to cover part or all of your face in order to hide who you are, for protection or for decoration - หน้ากาก, เครื่องปิดหน้า

media: radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ

operate: to carry out an activity like running a business - ดำเนินการ

petition: a document signed by a large number of people demanding or requesting some action from the government or another authority - การถวายฎีกา,การร้องเรียน

portray: to represent or describe someone or something in a painting, film, book or other artistic work - แสดง, พรรณนา

pose: to stay in a particular position - วางท่า

position: the way in which somebody is sitting or standing, or the way in which something is arranged - การวางตัว, ท่าทาง

protest: a strong complaint or disagreement - การประท้วง

public relations (PR): the activity of creating a good opinion among people about a person, product, company, or institution - งานประชาสัมพันธ์

purchase: to buy something - ซื้อ

regard: to consider or have an opinion about something or someone - เห็นว่า,ถือว่า

remove: to take something away - เอาออกจาก

resort to: to do something that you do not want to do because you cannot find any other way of achieving something - หันมาใช้

revolution: a great change in conditions, ways of working, beliefs, etc. that affects large numbers of people - การเปลี่ยนแปลงอย่างสิ้นเชิง

screenshot: a photo/picture taken from the screen of a computer; screengrab -

shock: a strong feeling of surprise as a result of something happening, especially something unpleasant; the event that causes this feeling - ช็อค, ความสะดุ้ง, อาการช็อค

signature: a person's name written in a special way by the person - ลายมือชื่อ

similar: like somebody/something but not exactly the same - คล้ายกัน

source: someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว

tragedy : a very sad situation, usually because it involves death or great suffering - โศกนาฎกรรม

wonder: to think about something because you want to know more facts or details about it - สงสัย

worldwide: throughout the world - ทั่วโลก

youth: young people considered as a group - เยาวชน, คนวัยหนุ่มสาว

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