Channel NewsAsia

Thai monk Buddha Issara wants state power returned to the king

As tension rises on the street of Thai capital Bangkok, a group of more radical anti-government protesters - led by a Buddhist monk Luang Pu Buddha Issara - are gearing up for confrontation and turmoil.

Nonthaburi province, Thailand: As tension rises on the street of Thai capital Bangkok, a group of more radical anti-government protesters - led by a Buddhist monk - are gearing up for confrontation and turmoil.

Anti-government protest leader and senior monk Luang Pu Buddha Issara is in good spirits, despite being hit by tear gas only a few days ago.

On Friday, he led protesters to lay siege on the government's administrative centre.

They were tear-gassed by the police as a result.

His supporters often find themselves in the middle of clashes.

Their protest camp on the outskirts of Bangkok has also been hit by frequent gun shots and grenade attacks, unlike others in the city centre.

Despite being vulnerable to attacks and clashes, Buddha Issara and his supporters are still as determined as ever for a long fight

Their goals and objectives are slightly different from the mainstream PDRC group, which make them quite a belligerent faction at the front line of this political conflict.

Buddha Issara's politics is quite radical: his solution to the ongoing conflict is simple - he wants to return all state power to King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

And this, he explained, is what makes his group a target of attacks.

Buddha Issara said: "There is only one person that all Thais trust and respect the most, and that person is the king. He could solve the country's problems.

"This time the conflict is more extreme than ever before. So I don't think there would be any other way to fix the problem. One side wants reforms, the other side wants elections and they don't see eye to eye."

Buddha Issara's ideals reflect his military background, which places a high value on defending the nation, religion and the monarchy.

Many PDRC supporters share this ideology that observers say is similar to Thai right-wing nationalist groups of the past.

Sinsawat Yodbangtoey, an artist and a political activist, said: "Overall, the Thai right emphasises on the importance of nation, religion, monarchy - which cannot be touched upon. This sentiment remains because of the social structure of Thailand."

Buddha Issara maintains his support for Suthep Thaugsuban's push for reform but the warrior monk has plans to march with his supporters to the king's palace in Hua Hin on May 18.

He wants to ask the king to take back his state power and help resolve the ongoing conflict.

Timeline: Thailand's Political Unrest



Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna