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Buddhist watchdog

Re: "Sex, money, and monkhood don't mix," (Opinion, May 12).

Needless to say, money has become a part of every religion. Siddhartha realised very early that attachment to material things is the root cause of our suffering. He taught us how to rid ourselves of worldly vices.

Instead of cultivating mindfulness, Thai monks keep busy collecting money using empty rituals, selling amulets, statues, and pictures of revered monks, blessed lotteries with lucky numbers, caged birds, and all kinds of other things. I have even seen money trees in Thai temples.

Sadly, many Thai monks also promote superstitions and rituals to please the spirits of the dead and promise their wealthy patrons a place in heaven. In addition, the top-down patronage system controlled by the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) and Thai elites also promotes corruption.

Yes, Ms Sanitsuda is 100% correct that the lack of education and proper training of monks is the main reason for the distortions of the teachings of the Lord Buddha and the reputation of Thailand as a Buddhist country.

Like many other places in the world, the temples should be run by a Group of B-7 (Buddhist-7) trust consisting of representatives from the local administration, monks, law enforcement agency personnel, an auditing firm, and community members.

Unless a watchdog is created, the monks and temples will remain rife with sex scandals and corruption.


Chaplinesque chase

Re: "Airport breach prompts security review," (BP, May 5).

We are encouraged to learn that "measures to improve security will be considered", according to Suvarnabhumi airport's director, Kittipong Kittikachorn. However, his assurance that the "airport maintains its internationally accepted standard of security" rings somewhat hollow in the eyes of all those who saw the CCTV footage of the security breach broadcast on national television, which is currently entertaining millions of TikTok viewers.

What we witnessed was a man on a motorcycle driving through an open security gate which led directly onto the airport apron full of parked planes. Then followed a Chaplinesque routine involving multiple airport staff and vehicles chasing the individual around the apron, unsuccessfully.

Only when the intruder attempted to enter the terminal was he finally apprehended.

If the motorcyclist had been a real terrorist intent on death and destruction, rather than the poor disturbed individual he turned out to be, this appalling security breach could have had a catastrophic ending.

One hopes the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will take the appropriate steps necessary to ensure the airport's security is brought up to international standards as soon as possible.

At the same time, the ICAO might advise the airport's management that their security staff should preferably refrain from beating a suspect to pulp once he has been apprehended and is lying motionless on the floor.


Guru games

Re: "Cops widen probe into cult bodies," (BP, May 11).

Tawee Nanra, a 75-year-old cult leader, was arrested by police, following complaints about a suspected cult that spread superstitious beliefs and offered non-scientific treatments of various illnesses. If Mr Nanra was arrested lawfully, then shouldn't the members of Thailand's cabinet who approved the use of fah talai jone (green chiretta or Andrographis paniculate) to treat asymptomatic cases of Covid-19, be arrested as well? In Mr Tawee's defense, faecal transplants are an approved medical practice. Science should be universally respected under the law, shouldn't it?


Vegan stoicism

Re: "Unliberal liberals," (PostBag, May 6).

Regular readers of PostBag will know from his countless letters that Eric Bahrt attributes his physical health to his vegan lifestyle. But we regular readers of his letters are becoming increasingly concerned at Eric's emotional and psychological health.

Today he writes that he is "emotionally devastated".

In other letters over recent months he has expressed his "anger" at what he sees as his critics distorting what he has written.

On April 14 he wrote that he was "upset" because the Bangkok Post had "refused to publish" one of his letters.

At Songkran he vented his "anger" at water throwers.

In another letter he accuses his critics of being liars.

In yet others he writes: "I'm literally sick to my stomach", and "It breaks my heart".

Eric, if it is not already part of your vegan diet, please sit down and enjoy a nice cup of chamomile tea. It has a wonderfully soothing effect on the psyche.

I also suggest you stop reading the Bangkok Post, which in recent letters you have said has no credibility, and your continued reading of it is only going to keep upsetting you.

Better yet, stop writing letters to PostBag and give us all a break.


Taking the mickey

Re: "Cops widen probe into cult bodies," (BP, May 11).

If a temple requires its members to drink urine … what does that say about religion?


Plugged in

Re: "Pulling the plug," (PostBag, May 10).

I think clarification is required after Chris's contribution. I believe he was referring to a plug for a drain (or stopper if you prefer) and an electric plug. Most people would assume the idiom refers to an electric plug, as in pulling the plug to bring something to an end (eg life support). However, the older version of the idiom refers to a plug in a cistern, which had to be removed to flush a toilet. So both have the same meaning, they just refer to different type of plugs.

I think Thanin's English friend may have got the wrong end of the stick on this occasion (no, I'm not explaining that one).


Hope in 'neutrality'?

Re: '"Sceptical' Asean vis-a-vis 'maverick' US," (Opinion, May 10).

Kavi Chongkittavorn alerts us that one, hope-giving, new element may be highlighted in the the joint statement resulting from the upcoming Washington Asean–US summit. This new element would be related to the maritime domain and could contain a US pledge "to promote the Asean members' ability to conserve, sustainably develop and effectively manage their maritime natural resources in accordance with international law". This sounds like good news if it would include bio-diversity and joint trusteeship applied to maritime and coastal eco-systems in light of the climate crisis, a dimension of Indo-Pacific strategy recognising the universal human right to a healthy environment.

We should be reminded that the US-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action, Nov 10, 2021, stated: "The two sides intend to establish a Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s, which will meet regularly to address the climate crisis and advance the multilateral process, focusing on enhancing concrete actions in this decade."

Asean could be a priority partner in advancing multilateral collaboration in this framework. So not exclusively with the US, but in tandem with China. This could create a strong synergy in terms of an Eco-Peace approach to global security, in line with the challenges of the UN High Level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Effective Multilateralism, recently appointed by S-G. Antonio Guterres. In this Advisory Board, Asean is represented through Singapore, while both China and the US are members.

The Advisory Board could offer a platform for articulating a meaningful eco-peace "neutrality" towards the Ukraine-Russia war, as well as effective multilateral collaboration to end the cruel oppression of the people of Myanmar.


Great jab!

With trepidation I set out for Bang Sue Grand Station Covid Centre.

On arrival the staff were efficient, helpful and friendly. Thirty minutes after arrival I was vaccinated and "observed" and on my way home. Well done everyone including my Thai friends. My thanks to all involved.


Mad about rugby

I'm assuming that the majority shareholding of the Bangkok Post is American, as the first sports page and often into two pages covers American sports.

Other than my first point, why is this?

Very few non Americans have any interest in any American sport, apart from ice hockey in Canada and maybe some interest in Thailand for basketball.

Any idea of the percentage of expats in Bangkok and other major destinations like Pattaya that are American? I don't know, but will guess it's low.

The last time I recall any article on rugby union was the 6 Nations.

Bearing in mind our geographical location, why are there no Super Rugby articles on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as games are usually played from Friday to Sunday?

In addition, as so many European and British/Irish expats live here, so why no European tournament, English Premiership, URC match articles?!

Most people outside the US hate American sports, whilst Rugby Union is international and played in both the US and Canada.



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