10 September 2002
Versace whispers: Venerable Phra Sripariyatimolee, deputy dean of Mahachulalongkorn
Rajavitayalai, a Buddhist university, whispers to a protest organizer in
Versace. Later, the monk says, "Many people do not understand why monks
want there to be a Ministry of Buddhism. They think we are stuck on semantics.
But in this age of globalization, we need a specific body to host us and
give us a separate identity [distinct from other religions]. Otherwise,
Buddhism will gradually dissolve away from the Thai identity. There has
been a continuous attempt to restrict Buddhism like a potted bonzai plant.
If 200 senators can't find the courage [to stand up for the majority religion
as the official state religion], then there is no more hope for us Buddhists.