Thai PM to act as presenter for Visakabucha celebrations

TNA, May 4, 2005

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is to demonstrate his Buddhist credentials when he leads the nation in religious worship to mark this year?s Visakabucha Day on 22 May.

<< Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra

With Thailand hosting this year?s celebrations on 22 May ? the day commemorating the Buddha?s birth, enlightenment and death ? a whole week of events has been scheduled to take place in Bangkok?s Sanam Luang from 16-22 May, under the slogan ?Visakabucha ? Day of World Peace?.

Yesterday the prime minister, who was visited before the cabinet's weekly meeting by an unlikely delegation of religious campaigners which included a former Miss Thailand, pop stars and one of the nation?s most famous nuns, confirmed that he would act as presenter for the main events on 22 May.

In part the celebrations will be in honour of His Majesty the King?s 80th birthday, due to fall in 2007.

Joining the prime minister will be two mascots ? a white one to symbolize goodness and a black one to symbolize wrongdoing.

Buddhists across the nation will be encouraged to pray for their own personal goodness, as well as to send prayers on pre-prepared postcards to the Prime Minister?s Office to mark His Majesty the King?s birthday.

Also being promoted this year as symbols of Visakabucha Day are lotus flowers, the profits from the sale of which will go towards the organization of the day?s events.