Ann Norman blogging
So Prayut is seriously going to go to war with a gigantic temple of laypeople vowing to give up their lives for their abbot – so they can charge him with embezzlement? Of money that has already been returned? Why doesn’t the abbot just give himself up? Good question at this point, but a missing piece of the puzzle is that according to Thai law you can’t jail a monk without first defrocking him. So even if they decide to hold him until trial, he will be defrocked. This explains the big tug of war over whether he could be charged inside the temple. He was sure if he came out of the temple, he would be defrocked and he is reportedly very sick and wanted to die as a monk. So the followers view the charges and the current invasion as a way to harass and discredit their temple without even having to prove any wrongdoing and then they assume the government will probably steal their assets. This is why they are saying they are willing to die as human shields.
The government’s action is way out of proportion to the problem. It is reckless. As we already mentioned, according to pictures on social media, one girl was already accidentally run over by a military truck in this operation. Prayut by invoking Article 44 and invading a gigantic temple of devoted laypeople is risking catastrophe.