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no-smokingBangkok, Thailand — A senior Buddhist preacher in Thailand has announced plans aimed at curbing the flamboyant behaviour of monks. The “good manners” curriculum – the country’s first – is being introduced in the northern province of Chiang Rai.

The senior monk told the BBC he was particularly concerned by effeminate activities among novices such as the wearing of make-up and tight robes. More than 90% of the Thai population are followers of Buddhism. It is customary for Thai men to enter the monkhood for some period of their life, for as briefly as three months. Tales of monks behaving badly are nothing new in Thailand. In recent years, they have been accused of abuses of their exalted position in society that range from having luxury cars, to running fake-amulet scams, to violating their vows of celibacy, according to BBC reporter Jonathan Head.

Senior monk Phra Vajiramedi told BBC that he would address issues like smoking, drinking alcohol, walking, and going to the toilet properly—all well prescribed in the traditional 227 precepts for monks. He was especially concerned, he said, by the flamboyant behaviour of gay and transgender monks, who can often be seen wearing revealingly tight robes, carrying pink purses, and having effeminately-shaped eyebrows.

source: BBC and The Buddhist Channel

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