The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior has an urgent letter to every provincial governor. Currently, there are still behaviors of individuals or groups that are risk factors for the spread of Coronavirus or COVID-19 regarding Requesting cooperation in commissioning and monitoring the performance of officials in relation to the prohibition of communities and peacekeeping measures according to the Resolutions of Sangha Supreme Council No. 8/2020 dated 20th March 2020 regarding the surveillance measures on Songkran festival activities related to the Buddhist rituals and Announcement of the Ministry of Culture on 7th April 2020 regarding strict guidelines for festivals and Songkran festival in the following conclusions:
1.To abide by the Sangha Supreme Council’s resolutions on the surveillance
measures to refrain from activities in monasteries during Songkran;
2.To explain guidelines for public practices;
3.To increase measures to patrol public areas; and
4.To increase the strict enforcement of the Emergency Decree which has a term of
imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding 40,000 baht or both.
Sangha Supreme Council’s resolutions are as follows:
RESOLUTIONS OF THE SANGHA SUPREME COUNCIL
Re: Songkran Day Activities
At the Sangha Supreme Council’s meeting No.8/2020 on 20th March 2020, the secretary-general of the Sangha Supreme Council proposed that the Cabinet has Resolution in the Meeting dated 17th March 2020 to postpone the Songkran holiday from 13-15th April 2020 first in accordance with the prevention measures of the disease in various places with high risk. The National Buddhism Office, with awareness and concern about the spread of the disease, has issued measures to monitor organizing activities on Songkran Day related to Buddhist religious ceremonies as follows:
1.Surveillance to prevent the spread of infection to participants in
Buddhist activities: Monasteries shall abstain from organizing activities of public gathering which may be causing or risky for the outbreak of the disease such as watering Buddhist monks, paying respects to elderly by watering, sand pagoda construction or other activities of public gathering etc.;
2.In case it is necessary to organize activities such as the
chanting of Buddha’s mantra, the monastery must lay down measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus according to the Notification of the Ministry of Public Health strictly such as siting in chanting Buddha’s mantra of monks, novices and participants must be about 1 meter apart, and the monastery has to provide hand sanitizers and sanitary masks for participants to protect the outbreak of the disease pandemic.
The National Buddhism Office agrees to propose the Sangha Supreme Council to consider.
The meeting considered and agreed to the proposal and let the National Buddhism Office inform Sangha provincial governors of both parties in order to notify monasteries under jurisdiction and comply with the Resolutions of the Sangha Supreme Council, including informing Thai monasteries in foreign countries and to proceed immediately without having to wait for the minutes of meeting certification.
Signature: Narong Song-arom
Director of National Buddhism Office
Secretary-General of the Sangha Supreme Council
Asst. Prof. Dr. Methaphan Phothitheerarot
Asst. Rector for Public Relations