[Back] Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 12:11:49 +0800
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@msu.edu>
From: Lynn August Linse <linsela@ROBUSTDC.COM>
Subject: FWD: TH: Temple Dogs f Ugly Tourism

Temple dogs now go hungry as monks have less to give

From Reuter, in The Nation (Bangkok)
November 1997

AYUTTHAYA (Thailand) -- The old Thai saying "Temple dogs never starve to death" may no longer be true as a deepening economic crisis takes its toll on Buddhist temples, traditional sanctuaries for stray and abandoned dogs.

Phra Sunthorn Watanakorn, abbot of the Watklang Temple in the northern outskirts of Bangkok, said more Thais, unable to feed another mouth at home, were dropping off their pet dogs at temples.

But with more than 300 dogs in his care now, he said feeding was becoming expensive for the temple, which is also feeling the pinch from one of the country's worst economic slumps.

"I used to feed the dogs twice a day but these days we can only afford one meal a day for them," he told Reuters.

"One temple said that even its monks did not have enough food to eat and they could not feed their dogs. So they transferred over 50 dogs to my temple."

He added: "I love dogs and I will never turn them down if they are brought to my temple. But I want to appeal to people who leave their dogs with us to also bring food for them and share some of our burden."

Meanwhile, many Thais have been turning to illegal lotteries in an attempt to reverse their fortunes.

For many of them, according to The Nation, life is meaningful only on three days each month -- the 1st, 16th and 20th when the lotteries are held.

The underground lottery business is thriving under the flagging economy, with a growing number of people betting on "lucky numbers", the paper said.

Bookmakers claim that customer numbers are rising -- and so are the earnings from the sale of the lottery tickets.

-- Reuters.

Copyright =A9 1997 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
Best Regards;
Lynn August Linse, linsela@robustdc.com
Robust DataComm Pte Ltd, 221 Henderson Road #04-10
Singapore 159557, Ph(65)272-2340 Fx(65)272-0582

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