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Humorless MPs Tell Wise-Cracking Monks to Cut Livestream Humor 30%

Two popular, wise-cracking monks stand by House religions, arts and cultures committee members to accept their fate of being less funny.
Two popular, wise-cracking monks stand by House religions, arts and cultures committee members to accept their fate of being less funny.

Laughter may be the best medicine, but, in Thailand, it apparently has no place in religion.

So says conservative zealots on the House religions, arts and cultures committee who “suggested” to two well-known monks that they the humor on their Facebook livestream channel by a third.

The committee sent the message to Phra Maha Sompong Talaputto and Phra Maha Praiwan Worawano, who were convened to its meeting.

Suchart Usaha, chairman of the committee, later told reporters that the committee had no power to rule if the monks’ live streaming was right or wrong or whether the activity was proper or not. Concerned senior monks were in the position to decide, he said.

He also said that the House committee only exchanged information and representatives of the National Office of Buddhism were satisfied with the monks’ answers.

Phra Maha Sompong said the meeting participants agreed that Buddhism should form 70% of content in their live sessions and humor had a 30% share. However, he asked to have equal parts of Buddhism and wisecracks at the beginning of such sessions to attract audience.

The sessions could include advertisements through the display of products from sponsors but the monks were instructed not to mention them and the products on display must be relevant to Buddhism, Phra Maha Sompong said.