A Collaboration with University of Pittsburgh   

Thailand monks rally to give Buddhism constitutional status

[JURIST] Several hundred Thai monks rallied outside the parliament building in Bangkok Wednesday to demand that the new Thai constitution declare Buddhism the national religion. The ruling Council for National Security [official website; Wikipedia backgrounder], headed by the Muslim General Sonthi Boonyaratglin [BBC profile], appears to be open to the suggestion. Although conservative Buddhists have long sought to have their religion designated as the official state faith, liberal Buddhists and Thailand's Muslim minority have opposed the idea for fear it would lead to government-enforced discrimination. The current draft constitution [JURIST report], completed earlier this month, does not specify a state religion.

Thailand is presently governed by an interim constitution [JURIST report] imposed by the military leaders who seized power from former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [JURIST news archive] in a coup [JURIST report] last year. The Constitutional Drafting Council was established [JURIST report] in January and given a six-month deadline to prepare the new constitution. Military leaders have said that if this new draft constitution is not approved by the public, they will impose their own constitution. ABC Australia has more.

Support JURIST

We rely on our readers to keep JURIST running

 Donate now!

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.