Buddha G-strings upset Thais

Reuters, May 29, 2007

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand will ask an American Web site advertising G-string underwear and T-shirts for dogs emblazoned with pictures of Buddha to withdraw the items, a government official said on Tuesday.

"Such products offend not only Thais, but Buddhists elsewhere in the world," Foreign Ministry spokesman Piriya Khempon said, adding that Thai diplomats in the United States would try to get California-based online store CafePress.com to comply.

The site sells more than 70 Buddha items, ranging from T-shirts to teddy bears to beer pitchers. Its Buddha thongs sell for $12.99 and dog t-shirts for $16.99.

About 90 percent of Thailand's 64 million people are Buddhist. Dogs are regarded as inferior to humans.

The mass-circulation Thai Rath tabloid, which splashed pictures of the offending items across its front page, demanded the Culture Ministry take action.

Top underwear designer Victoria's Secret withdraw bikinis emblazoned with Buddha images after similar protests in 2004.