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Politics

"Buddhism under threat": Thai election gives platform to radicals

Updated : March 07, 2019 11:23 AM IST

Buddhism is one of the traditional pillars of Thai society and underpins many aspects of Thai life, but monks have little influence over the state compared to the monarchy and military. The emergence of the Pandin Dharma Party to contest the March 24 election points to the rise of a fringe of Thai society that is at odds with the royalist-military establishment over religion and expresses growing antipathy to Islam.

Korn Medee, 47, a former monk, who is the leader of the Pandin Dharma Party, talks to people at a temple in Sisaket in the northeastern Sisaket province, Thailand. (REUTERS/Panu Wongcha-um)
Korn Medee, 47, a former monk, who is the leader of the Pandin Dharma Party, talks to people at a temple in Sisaket in the northeastern Sisaket province, Thailand. (REUTERS/Panu Wongcha-um)
Party members of the Pandin Dharma Party talk to supporters during their campaign rally in Bangkok. (REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)
Party members of the Pandin Dharma Party talk to supporters during their campaign rally in Bangkok. (REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)
Sirima Sarakul, 36, a candidate for the Pandin Dharma Party talks to supporters during their campaign rally in Bangkok. (REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)
Sirima Sarakul, 36, a candidate for the Pandin Dharma Party talks to supporters during their campaign rally in Bangkok. (REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)
Sirima Sarakul talks to supporters during their campaign rally in Bangkok. (REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)
Sirima Sarakul talks to supporters during their campaign rally in Bangkok. (REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)
Sirima Sarakul talks to supporters during their campaign rally. (REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)
Sirima Sarakul talks to supporters during their campaign rally. (REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)
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