THAILAND: The big issue: Breach of common sense

Arbat means, literally, “breach”. In Buddhism it describes the un-holy acts committed by the monks of the original version of the movie now called Arpat and, of course, by many monks in real life. It must be said that for a ministry devoted to the national culture, the Ministry of Culture quite often seems to be more of a scold than a mediator, more Puritan than Buddhist, all idealistic and seldom realistic. The lack of self-awareness of the censors was clear. They seemed unaware of one of the country’s greatest cultural works, the epic tale of Khun Chang Khun Phaen. But this heroic tale is 200 years old, and perhaps the institutional memories and libraries at the culture ministry don’t go back that far.

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