Thailand monks, activists: Stop the hatred and violence — Prominent monks and activists in Thailand on Wednesday called for an end to the hatred and violence on both sides of the political divide amid mounting concerns that the situation is spinning out of control.
Phra Phaisal Visalo, abbot of Wat Sukhato, said hatred and revenge have no place in bringing about a meaningful and noble solution to the ongoing conflict, according to reports.
“This loss of our compatriots over the past three months should strongly ignite within us the desire to strive for a peaceful solution,” Phra Phaisal said.
The death toll stands at 22, with over 700 injured, during the past three months of the political strife.
The abbot was joined by a dozen other activist monks for a spiritual rite at the October 14 Monument.
He prayed that negotiations between the caretaker government of Yingluck Shinawatra and anti-government protest groups would proceed quickly, said a Bangkok Post report.
“How many more children will be needed [killed] before we realise that talks are urgently needed?” said Phra Phaisal.
“Hopefully, conscience and mindfulness will prevail and quickly be restored,” said the abbot. He told Bangkok Post reporters that people must steer away from extremism and get back to moderation.
“There is no magic or charismatic person here to mediate, just two sides that need to get enlightened and change the negative pattern,” said the abbot.
The meeting of the Buddhist monks was followed by a thought-sharing session by members of various activist and faith groups.
Surichai Wun Gaeo, director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Chulalongkorn University, said it was sad that the opposing political groups were showing elation when the other side suffered losses.
He said he hoped members of society would emerge and provide a saner voice.