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Buddhist Monks, Troops Clash in Thailand

Buddhist monks take part in a protest against state interference in religious affairs at a temple in Nakhon Pathom province on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 15, 2016.
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Buddhist monks fought with troops in Thailand on Monday during a protest against government interference.

Television reports showed troops and monks clashing after the soldiers tried to stop them from entering a park in Nakhon Pathom province, west of Bangkok.

Some protestors held signs calling on the government to name Buddhism as the country’s national religion.

Most Thais are Buddhists. There is fighting over which monk will lead them. The top candidate is 90 years old and being investigated for financial crimes. Last year, Thai Buddhism’s ruling Sangha Supreme Council said the monk was not guilty of charges he had stolen millions of dollars.

Critics say Thai Buddhism has been hurt by leaders who have many luxuries, use illegal drugs and have improper sexual relations.

Buddha Issara is an activist monk. He says “we need to reform Thai Buddhism because it has become rotten…”

I’m Dorothy Gundy.

The Reuters news agency reported on this story. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted the report for VOA Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

luxury – n. something that is expensive and not necessary

rotten – adj. not morally good