insurrection

Thailand Looks to Arrest Buddhist Monk for Insurrection

Protesting on the Streets of Bangkok. Photo courtesy Terence Lim via Flickr / RNS

Authorities in Thailand are preparing to arrest and possibly defrock a senior Buddhist monk on charges of insurrection and breach of Buddhist discipline for leading anti-government protests.

Police on Tuesday asked a criminal court to authorize the arrest of Luang Pu Buddha Issara for laying siege to government offices in Bangkok’s Lak Si district and obstructing voting during last week’s general elections, the National News Bureau of Thailand reports.

Issara, a 58-year-old monk from the Wat Or Noi temple in the central province of Nakhon Pathom, is a leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee that is seeking to topple the government.

Second Line


Blindfolded and gagged, tossed in the back
of a car—it's how they gather up young men
and after tire irons and chains, leave some

lying in the road like dirt, rained on all night.
Some are bundled-up, tossed off a bridge
into the river whose muddy swirls warn:

kick, fight, breathe, twist your arms free.
Some do. They rise, spit out the rags
stuffed in their mouths, limp back to town,

and one begins to sing—slow at first— Lord,
I want to be in that number
... Another moans
a low muted tone where words won't go.

And there's a bridge from verse to verse,
where bodies rise out of thicket and ditch,
out of jail cell, ravine and watery grave,

where gone, invisible hands seem to lift
like drum sticks, and soul sax blood brass
begin to flow, a band improvising

resurrection, until the dead
take to the streets, a spirit insurrection,
dripping river muck and frayed rope—

with crow-pecked eyes, burnt flesh, charred bone,
they rise, every flown soul finding its way
back through troubled air to swell that song.

Betsy Sholl, former poet laureate of Maine, lives in Portland. Her most recent poetry collection is Rough Cradle (Alice James Books).

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