Thailand: Make Makha Pucha as a day of Buddhist love

TNA, Feb 21, 2005

BANGKOK, Thailand -- The government has been urged to promote Buddhism to help create a peaceful and loving society. The Makha Pucha day should be promoted as a day of love in a Buddhist fashion to attract young Thais, the vice rector of the national Sangha university, Phra Thep Visuthi Kavee, told TNA.

"Prme Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has promised that the government will pay more attention to religious and social issues over the next four years. I hope he won't forget his promise," he said.

Thais interest in religious study had fallen, he said.

The number of Thais visiting temples regularly or other sacred Buddhist places has also declined.

It is the government?s responsibility to try to increase the Thai public awareness of Buddhist values and activities, he said.

Government officials should be given incentives to study Buddhist thought more rigorously.

For example they should be given time off -- 5 or 7 days -- to study the Buddhist scriptures or meditate at Buddhist temples, he suggested.

He urged Thais to attend the temple and listen to the monks preach on Buddhist Holy days.