Title:THAILAND: Thai protesters say Buddha's image should not be used for commercial purposes
Date:1st July 2012
Story Text: More than 200 Buddhists marched through central Bangkok on Saturday (June 30) to protest against the use of Buddha's image commercially.
Holding banners reading 'Stop Disrespecting Buddha', the protesters marched through the Thai capital's famous Khao San road, where organisers said many bars, hotels and shops used Buddha's image for financial gain.
"The world has disrespected the image of Buddha for a long time now. It's both intentional and non-intentional, like using Buddha's image on furniture, using the name for a business, using Buddha's name as a dog's name, putting images on shoes, pants - all of those are examples of disrespect," said Acharavadee Wongsakon of the 'Knowing Buddha' group which organised the event.
Protesters said Buddha needed to be treated with the same respect as other religious figures.
"I feel sad, I feel sad, sometimes I cry. Sometimes I want to tell them you shouldn't, it's not right, you shouldn't use [the Buddha's image] on furniture," said Ampai Baolee.
During the march, protesters talked to local traders as well as tourists, many of whom said they had no idea that using the Buddha's image in such a way was disrespectful.
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