(Here below is a brief translation of a headline story in today’s Thai Rath newspaper)
On May 28, the Culture Ministry received complaints about an American company which had been advertising products by the name ‘Philosophy’ on the Internet using the Buddha as their logo.
After a bit of investigation, the ministry agreed it was sacrilege to screen an image of the Buddha like this on to inappropriate clothing. The clothing included women’s knickers (similar to g-strings), men’s underpants, dog warmers and women’s spaghetti-style tops – all of which is sold under the guise of a Buddhist Gift Shop.
Many Buddhists, on coming across the website, have been very angry. They have asked the Culture Ministry to take immediate action. They are also confused to why such accounts of sacrilege like this happen so often. In Thailand recently, we have had strip-tease shows at temples and Coyote dancing at funerals etc.. – seems like we have no shame, just like foreigners. It is much wanted that foreigners realize that Buddhism is our national religion and that it is sacrilege to use images of the Buddha is such a way.
There really ought to be a clear law which states that such offenders be punished. We are tired of just hearing the same usual excuse of “Oh, I’m sorry” time and time again.
Our reporters decided to investigate the site for themselves and found that all the items on sale had images of the Buddha. Besides those things as mentioned above, we also found t-shirts, caps, vests, boxer shorts, belts, mugs and bags etc…
Mr Preecha of the Dept of Religion said that the matter will be forwarded to the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Thai Embassy in America etc etc….