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Thai Buddhist monk vows to fight on even as protesters scale back

Published on Mar 1, 2014 8:12 PM
Buddhist monk and anti-government protest leader Luang Pu Buddha Issara addresses his supporters from the stage at a protest site north of Bangkok, March 1, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - A young Thai man and woman are on their knees, their palms pressed in supplication to the saffron-robed Buddhist monk, an anti-government protest leader, looming before them.

Accused of being pro-government spies they have been brought before the monk at a protest site in north of Bangkok by burly guards donning tinted sunglasses.

A 15-minute interrogation fails to convince the monk, Luang Pu Buddha Issara, of their innocence and he orders protest guards to keep them under close watch before striding on stage to tell supporters to fight against the "black-hearted" government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The monk's role in political protests that have gripped Thailand - a predominantly Buddhist country - for months, has divided Thais as much as the protest itself.

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