Kitthiwutthō Phikkhu

(b. 1936)

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(1936– ).

Thai monk, also known by his Pāli name Kittivuḍḍho Bhikkhu. Ordained in 1957 he began to speak out on political issues when Thailand was rocked by large student demonstrations between 1973 and 1976. In his speeches and writings he supported the current regime and criticized the Communists and other radical groups behind the demonstrations. He became linked to a right-wing political movement known as the Navaphala (New Power Movement) and founded a college for the study and propagation of Buddhism where he developed and promoted his ideas. He became notorious for a controversial speech delivered to government and religious leaders entitled ‘Killing Communists is Not Demeritorious’ in which he argued that killing Communists would not produce bad karma since they were opposed to the Buddha.the nation, and the king. He defended this unusual claim by arguing that, so long as the intention was to protect the nation, the act of killing was more akin to destroying moral impurities (kleśa) and like killing Māra.the devil. Kitthiwutthō's more liberal opponents accuse him of distorting Buddhist teachings and subverting the Dharma for political purposes.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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