BANGKOK: — Up to 20,000 Buddhist monks are reported to be preparing to join the mass red-shirt rally in Bangkok on March 12, threatening to mirror the “Saffron Revolution” in Burma in 2007.
Earlier today, Saturday March 6, Arisman Pongruangrong, a prominent member of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), said he expected up to 20,000 monks from temples such as Dhammakaya and Kaew Fah will join the rally to give moral support to the red shirts, at the same time reminding the government, police and army officials not to harm the protesters”.
Sean Boonpracong, international media spokesman for the UDD, was quoted saying there “is widespread support from monks throughout the country, who feel there is now a serious imbalance in Thai society.
“Whether 2,000 or 20,000 monks join the protest is yet to be seen, but the message the UDD leadership is receiving is that there is a genuine feeling of unhappiness amongst the monks at the way things stand in Thailand now”.
The report of large numbers of monks planning to join the red-shirt’s protest comes just one day after deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban said, “monks should not take part in the planned mass anti-government rally next weekend as it is not their affair”.