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Was the monk also at fault in clash with red shirts?

Ref: "Unprecedented savagery in plain view," Letters, March 29.

Vint Chavala cites the beatings he meekly accepted from monks in his schooldays to highlight what he sees as the appallingly different reaction from the demonstrators outside the NACC office. But are the two situations really comparable?

The monk who was assaulted has admitted he verbally abused the demonstrators and attacked them with his stick. Media reports indicate that he also threw a bottle of water at them.

Does that justify the violent reaction of the demonstrators? Were the monk's actions in accordance with behaviour expected of Buddhist clergy? Can monks physically assault members of the public - as opposed to schoolboys in their charge - with impunity?

I guess the answer to these questions is "no". Fault surely lies both with the monk and the demonstrators.

I can't speak for Muslim imams or Jewish rabbis, but I must admit that I am not aware of a Church of Scotland minister being attacked by members of the public.

However, I am also not aware of any incident involving a minister verbally abusing people on the street, throwing a water bottle at them and attacking them with his walking stick!

Comparisons truly are odious, as the old saying goes.

Robin Grant

Bangkok


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