Red shirts, religious authorities fight

A scuffle broke out between the red shirts rallying in front of the Constitution Court and officials from the National Office of Buddhism who were trying to get four monks taking part in the protest to return to their temples. There were no reports of injuries.

  • Published: 29/04/2013 at 05:33 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

The authorities, accompanied by the ecclesiastical district governor of Don Muang-Laksi, Phra Kru Chai Sarasoonthorn, reportedly arrived at the scene on Monday afternoon and tried to talk the monks into returning to their monasteries. They told them it was improper conduct for clergy to attend such political gatherings, according to a report on Daily News website.     

The monks, however, refused to leave with them, causing the officials to try to pull them away and force them into a van. Some protesters who were upset by the incident tried to attack officers from the National Office of Buddhism which led to a brief fist fight. The situation appeared likely to escalate when angry red shirts were heard shouting that the visitors were sent from the Santi Asoke Buddhist sect, which has close affiliations with the yellow shirts. 

Police rushed in to escort the officials and the senior monk from the rally site. 

Reports said leaders of the rally and most red shirt protesters tried to stop some of their fellow red shirts from using violence. The situation returned to normal shortly after and no one was injured. 

The protest led by the "group of people's radio media for democracy" continued for the eighth day on Monday to demand that the nine charter court judges resign en masse.

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