2,600 monks raise alms for embattled brethren

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Thousands of Buddhists turned out to give alms to 2,600 monks on a mission to help temples in Thailand’s troubled south during a huge merit-making event in front of Pattaya City Hall Nov. 15. Rice, dried food and necessities were donated to support a nationwide drive by a million monks to provide relief to 323 embattled Buddhist temples in Songkla, Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani provinces.

Thousands of Buddhists turned out to give alms to 2,600 monks on a mission to help temples in Thailand’s troubled south.

The huge merit-making event in front of Pattaya City Hall Nov. 15 saw the crowd, dressed predominantly in white, donate rice and dried goods to support a nationwide drive by a million monks to provide relief to 323 embattled Buddhist temples in Songkla, Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani provinces.

The sea of golden robes flowed along North Road from the Samsai intersection to the Dolphin Roundabout. The road was closed to traffic and thousands made their way to make merit with the monks.

Thousands of Buddhists turned out to give alms to 2,600 monks on a mission to help temples in Thailand’s troubled south during a huge merit-making event in front of Pattaya City Hall Nov. 15. Rice, dried food and necessities were donated to support a nationwide drive by a million monks to provide relief to 323 embattled Buddhist temples in Songkla, Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani provinces.  Thousands of Buddhists turned out to give alms to 2,600 monks on a mission to help temples in Thailand’s troubled south during a huge merit-making event in front of Pattaya City Hall Nov. 15. Rice, dried food and necessities were donated to support a nationwide drive by a million monks to provide relief to 323 embattled Buddhist temples in Songkla, Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani provinces.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and Phra Rachasithiwimoll, deputy chief of the Chonburi Ecclesiastical Office, presided over the event, leading the 2,600 monks from Chonburi and Chachoengsao to accept alms, rice, dried food and necessary items from Buddhists.

The Mediation to Develop World Peace Association, founded by Phathepyasana Mahamunee, abbot of Dhammakaya Temple, organized the government-sponsored service, its seventh annual event, aimed at reviving and supporting religion.

Thais and foreigners line the street in North Pattaya to give alms to monks that will be delivered 323 temples in 4 embattled southern provinces.Thais and foreigners line the street in North Pattaya to give alms to monks that will be delivered 323 temples in 4 embattled southern provinces.

The event was held in coordination with Kanlayamite in Chonburi and the Naval Rating School, Change The World Club, and Dharma Media Channel.

Organizers said the donations are necessary as Buddhist monks in the Muslim-dominated southern provinces are having difficulties collecting alms and, at some temples, monks have had to stop going out to receive alms due to separatist violence.

Therefore, Luang Pu Thammachaiyo, the abbot of Dhammakaya Temple and president of the Dhammakaya Foundation, initiated the project to help monks in 323 temples in the four provinces.