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Bhikkhunis petition NHRC for their recognition

A former member of the National Reform Assembly Mr Paiboon Nititawan on Monday asked the National Human Rights Commission to propose the government to amend the monastic act to allow women to be ordained as female Buddhist monks.

The plea was contained in a petition submitted by Mr Paiboon on behalf of a group of eight bhikkhunis. He said he had to act on their behalf because they could not submit the petition by themselves as that will go against the monastic regulation.

Mr Paiboon said he found the bhikkunis in Thailand were not properly treated, citing a recent incident when they were not allowed to pay respect to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the Grand Palace and the fact that they were not allowed to be ordained.

Citing Buddhism history, the former chair of a panel to protect Buddhism said he didn't think the ordination of female monks constituted a violation of monastic regulation or against the law.

He added that he wanted the NHRC to recommend the cabinet to amend the monastic law so that there would not be any problem regarding bhikkhunis.

A representative of the eight bhikkhunis said they merely wanted to ask for mercy. She added that they had learned Buddhism since their childhood and had been nun for more than 15 years before becoming bhikkhunis.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)