Sunday, July 01, 2007

Thailand says no to making Buddhism 'official'

Despite the pressures mounted by a segment of its people, Thailand's Constitution Drafting Assembly voted 66 to 19 on 29 June (Friday) against the proposal to recognize Buddhism as the official religion. While the constitution of another Buddhist-majority country and center for learning of Buddhism since ancient time Sri Lanka (former Ceylon) defines itself as a "democratic, socialist" polity, the Republic of Indonesia, the country with the largest number of Muslims on earth, has also never officially been designated as an 'Islamic State'.

Wesak Day best wishes to friends, neighbours


Blogger Monsterball said...

I once worked in Thailand as an expatriate for a number of years, and my observation is Thailand is effectively an official Buddhist state, even if its not in name.

A number of annual Buddhist ceremonies are official state functions, with the King or royal representative, government ministers and Buddhist monks attending, and Buddhist prayers part of the official protocol. The few non-Buddhist government officials would likely feel out of place.
The King is effectively the head of the Buddhist religous hierarchy in Thailand, and senior religous appointments require his blessing.

Being a Buddhist myself, I blended easily with the Thai society.

But it was obvious to me Buddhism plays the same role in the Thai state structure as Islam does in Malaysia.

9:44 AM  

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