Govt urged to use Buddhism to solve violence in deep South

TNA, Feb 21, 2005

BANGKOK, Thailand -- The Thai government has been urged to use Buddhist philosophy to solve the insurgency in the country?s southern border  provinces.

Forgiveness should be at the core of the government?s policies for solving the violent unrest in the three southern-most provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, prominent Buddhists and monks urged when gathering at Sanam Luang here yesterday for Buddhist events to mark Makha Pucha Day, which falls on 23 February.

Successive Thai governments have never succeeded in solving the insurgency
problems in the deep South with ?an eye-for-an-eye policy,? the Chairman of Parliament?s Buddhist Dharma Club, Amnuay Suwannakhiri, said.

The zoning policy announced by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was not a solution, he said.

The Buddhist belief of forgiveness should be the basis of any government policy or operation in the deep South, he stressed.

The government should humanely treat anyone who commits a crime, he said.

Meanwhile, the vice rector of the national Sangha university, Phra Thep Visuthi Kavee, urged the government to promote Buddhist approaches in trying to solve the Thai society?s social problems.

He urged the government to increase religious education for Thais, which would help them deal with their personal problems.

Thousands of Thais paid respect to Buddha?s relics on display at Salam Luang to mark the Makha Pucha Day, one of the Buddhist holy days.