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Monks form human shield to protect tents at Klong Luang market

Dhammakaya monks on Friday formed a human shield to prevent officials from the Department of Special Investigation to dismantle tents erected at Klong Luang market to house protesting monks and lay followers as their leaders vowed to protect the tents with their lives.

Phra Palad Seksant, one of the leading monks, said they heard that the DSI officials had put pressure on owners of the tents to dismantle the tents so they decided to form a human shield to prevent the DSI from pulling down the tents.

It was reported that some wealthy followers had offered to buy the tents from their owners who declined the offer, fearing that they might face legal actions from the authorities for abetting the protesters.

Phra Palad Seksant said the monks and the lay followers would continue praying at Klong Luang market even if the tents are to be pulled down by DSI officials.

Meanwhile on Friday, DSI officials and military personnel raided a warehouse in Klong Luang district of Pathum Thani province after they were alerted that the warehouse had been used to store materials to be used to expand the protest site to accommodate more protesters as the Klong Luang market is too small.

The officials found 14 rolls of green plastic nets which are used to erect shades to block off sunlight. Two monks and eight novices found in the warehouse were interrogated by DSI officials.

A summons was served to Mr Wutthisarn Panaree, a key Dhammakaya follower, by the DSI, demanding him to show up for interrogation at Region 1 Border Patrol Police base in Klong Luang district on March 7.

After acknowledging the acceptance of the summons, Wutthisarn said he would report himself as appointed.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)