Sunday, February 5, 2012
What were the top brass doing in this temple?
What are the top brass, present and past,doing at this temple?
According to Matichon Weekly which ran the picture on its latest cover, the military officers were supposed to be attending a religious ceremony to mark the launching of the casting of a huge Buddha image, 108 metres tall and 32 metres wide, at the cost of Bt1,800 million at Wat Or-Noi, Amphoe Kampaengsan of Nakhon Pathom province under the famous abbot, Luang Pu Buddha Issara. The event took place on Jan 27.
The most striking part of the picture was the presence of so many leading army generals: the current army chief, Gen Prayudh Chan-O-cha; his immediate predecessor Gen Anupong Paochind, former Defence Minister Gen Pravit Wongsuwan; former Supreme Commander Gen Somthat Uttanant.
The ceremony became "talk of the town," according to Matichon, because their being together might spark speculation of some sort that could "scare the faint-hearted."
Besides, Matichon Weekly adds, Luang Pu Buddha Issra also has many other prominent followers, one of whom has just made public his call for the military to stage a coup.
I don't necessarily agree that they top brass were gathering there for a political purpose. But then, with Thai society living under a cloud of deep suspicion, any move by any group could be construed as a "plot" against somebody else.
And such a huge "gathering of the big guys in uniform" inevitably raised suspicion of both political and superstitious rumours.