Thousands of monks once again ready to support southern brethren

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Two thousand monks will gather in front of Pattaya City Hall Nov. 27 to receive offerings on behalf of their counterparts in Thailand’s strife-ridden south.

The three-hour merit-making ceremony kicks off at 6 a.m. with locals bringing rice and dried goods to support a national drive by a million monks to support 226 Buddhist temples in four Muslim-dominated southern provinces.

A scene from last year’s event. A scene from last year’s event.

The Banglamung Morals and Environmental Revival Club is organizing the government-sponsored event, the third since 2008 aimed at reviving and supporting religion. It’s intended as a family activity meant to reinforce traditional values, as well as support the southern monks, who are often the targets of violence by Muslim separatists.

Jirawat Sukhonsap, head of Pattaya Municipality Police, announced that the city will close the south side of North Pattaya Road from the Petchtrakul intersection (opposite the Thai Garden Resort) to the Dolphin Circle on November 26 from 11 a.m. and the north side of North Pattaya Road (on the Fairtex Hotel side) will be closed from 5 p.m. to set up the stage for the event.

The whole of North Pattaya Road will be closed on the morning of November 27 from Pattaya City Hall to the Dolphin roundabout from 4 a.m. until 10 a.m. until the end of the religious ceremonies.

Parking will be provided at the Tesco-Lotus shopping mall. About 20,000 people are expected to attend.