Monks continue constitution fast

Bangkok Post, June 14, 2007

Bangkok, Thailand -- Senior Thai Buddhist monks who are leading a protest in front of Parliament House here vowed Wednesday that protesters would keep on rallying and they would continue their hunger strike until their demand to have Buddhism included in the new constitution as the national religion is met.

Undeterred by the hospitalisation of a fasting monk on Tuesday, Phra Maha Cho Tassaniyo of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya Buddhist University, one of the leading protesters, said the gathered monks would continue to protest at Parliament until the constitution writers insert the special role of Buddhism in the new charter as Thailand's national religion.

Meanwhile, the Monk's Hospital has dispatched ambulances and doctors to the rally site to assist the protesting monks.

A monk fainted from hunger on Tuesday evening. Officials at Monk's Hospital said he was expected to leave hospital Wednesday afternoon, but the fasting monk pledged to return to the rally after leaving hospital.

Sixteen Buddhist monks have been on a hunger strike since Friday.