Buddhist economics is a spiritual and philosophical approach to the study of economics. It examines the psychology of the human mind and the emotions that direct economic activity, in particular concepts such as anxiety and self-actualization principles. In the view of its proponents, Buddhist economics aims to clear the confusion about what is harmful and what is beneficial in the range of human activities involving the production and consumption of goods and services trying to make human beings ethically mature; the ideology's stated purpose is to "find a middle way between a purely mundane society and an immobile, conventional society."Sri Lankan economist Neville Karunatilake wrote that: "A Buddhist economic system has its foundations in the development of a co-operative and harmonious effort in group living. Selfishness and acquisitive pursuits have to be eliminated by developing man himself." Karunatilake sees Buddhist economic principles as exemplified in the rule of the Buddhist king Ashoka.
Bhutan's King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and its government have promoted the concept of "gross national happiness" since 1972, based on Buddhist spiritual values, as a counter to gauging a nation's development by gross domestic product. This represents a commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan's culture based on Buddhist spiritual values instead of material development, such as being gauged by only GDP. U. S. Economics professor Clair Brown sets up a Buddhist economics framework that integrates Amartya Sen's capability approach with shared prosperity and sustainability. In her Buddhist economics model, valuation of economic performance is based on how well the economy delivers a high quality of life to everyone while it protects the environment. In addition to domestic output, measuring economic performance includes equity and activities that create a meaningful life. A person’s well-being depends on cultivation of inner wealth more than outer wealth. Buddhist economics holds that rational decisions can only be made when we understand what creates irrationality.
When people understand what constitutes desire, they realize that all the wealth in the world cannot satisfy it. When people understand the universality of fear, they become more compassionate to all beings. Thus, this spiritual approach to economics doesn't rely on theories and models, but on the essential forces of acumen and restraint. From the perspective of a Buddhist and other streams of knowledge cannot be separated. Economics is a single component of a combined effort to fix the problems of humanity and Buddhist economics works with it to reach a common goal of societal and environmental sufficiency. Buddhist ethics was first applied to the running of a state's economy during the rule of the Indian Buddhist emperor Ashoka; the reign of Ashoka is famous for an extensive philanthropic and public works program, which built hospitals, hostels and nature preserves. The term "Buddhist economics" was coined by E. F. Schumacher in 1955, when he travelled to Burma as an economic consultant for Prime Minister U Nu.
The term was used in his essay named "Buddhist Economics", first published in 1966 in Asia: A Handbook, republished in his influential collection Small Is Beautiful. The term is used by followers of Schumacher and by Theravada Buddhist writers, such as Prayudh Payutto, Padmasiri De Silva, Luang Por Dattajivo; the 1st Conference of the Buddhist Economics Research Platform was held in Budapest, Hungary from 23–24 August 2007. The second conference was held at Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand from 9–11 April 2009. Unlike traditional economics, Buddhist economics considers stages after the consumption of a product, investigating how trends affect the three intertwined aspects of human existence: the individual and the environment. For example, if there were an increase in the consumption of cigarettes, Buddhist economists try to decipher how this increase affects the pollution levels in the environment, its impact on passive smokers and active smokers, the various health hazards that come along with smoking, thus taking into consideration the ethical side of economics.
The ethical aspect of it is judged by the outcomes it brings and by the qualities that lead to it. The Buddhist point of view ascribes to work three functions: to give man a chance to utilize and develop his aptitude. There are a number of differences between Buddhist economics. While traditional economics concentrates on self-interest, the Buddhist view challenges it by changing the concept of self to Anatta or no-self, it posits that all things perceived by one's senses are not "I" or "mine" and therefore, humans must detach themselves from this feeling. Buddhist Economists believe that the self-interest based, opportunistic approach to ethics will always fail. According to Buddhist Economists, generosity is a viable economic model of mutual reciprocity, because human beings are homines reciprocantes who tend to reciprocate to feelings by giving back more than what is given to them. Traditional economists emphasize importance to maximizing profits and individual gains, while the underlying principle of Buddhist economics is to minimize suffering for all living or non-living things.
Studies conducted by Buddhist economists correlates that human beings show greater sensitivity to loss than to gains, concluded that people should concentrate more on reducing the former. There
Thaksin Shinawatra is a Thai businessman and visiting professor. He is now living in exile, he served in the Thai Police from 1973 to 1987, was the Prime Minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006. Thaksin founded the mobile phone operator Advanced Info Service and the IT and telecommunications conglomerate Shin Corporation in 1987 making him one of the richest people in Thailand, he founded the Thai Rak Thai Party in 1998 and, after a landslide electoral victory, became prime minister in 2001. He was the first democratically elected prime minister of Thailand to serve a full term and was re-elected in 2005 by an overwhelming majority. Thaksin declared a "war on drugs". Thaksin's government launched programs to reduce poverty, expand infrastructure, promote small and medium-sized enterprises, extend universal healthcare coverage. Thaksin took a strong-arm approach against the separatist insurgency in the Muslim southern provinces. After selling shares of his corporation for more than a billion tax-free dollars to foreign investors, considerable criticism resulted.
A citizens' movement against Thaksin, called People's Alliance for Democracy or "Yellow Shirts", launched mass protests, accusing him of corruption, abuse of power, autocratic tendencies. Thaksin called snap elections that were boycotted by the opposition and invalidated by the Constitutional Court. Thaksin was overthrown in a military coup on 19 September 2006, his party was outlawed and he was barred from political activity. Thaksin has since lived in self-imposed exile except for a brief visit to Thailand in 2008, he was sentenced in absentia to two years in jail for abuse of power. From abroad he has continued to influence Thai politics, through the People's Power Party that ruled in 2008, its successor organisation Pheu Thai Party, as well as the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship or "Red Shirt" movement, his younger sister Yingluck Shinawatra was the prime minister of Thailand from 2011 to 2014. Thaksin's great-grandfather, Seng Saekhu, was an immigrant from Meizhou, China, who arrived in Siam in the 1860s and settled in Chiang Mai in 1908.
His eldest son, Chiang Saekhu, was born in Chanthaburi in 1890 and married a Thai woman named Saeng Samana. Chiang's eldest son, adopted the Thai surname Shinawatra in 1938 because of the country's anti-Chinese movement, the rest of the family adopted it. Seng Saekhu had made his fortune through tax farming. Chiang Saekhu/Shinawatra founded Shinawatra Silks and moved into finance and property development. Thaksin's father, was born in Chiang Mai in 1919 and married Yindi Ramingwong. Yindi's father, Charoen Ramingwong, was a Hakka immigrant who married Princess Chanthip na Chiangmai, a minor member of the Lanna royalty. In 1968, Loet Shinawatra entered politics and became an MP for Chiang Mai and deputy leader of the now-defunct Liberal Party. Loet Shinawatra quit politics in 1976, he opened a coffee shop, grew oranges and flowers in Chiang Mai's San Kamphaeng District, opened two cinemas, a gas station, a car and motorcycle dealership. By the time Thaksin was born, the Shinawatra family was one of the richest and most influential families in Chiang Mai.
Thaksin was born in Chiang Mai Province. He is a Theravada Buddhist, he lived in the village of San Kamphaeng until he was 15 moved to Chiang Mai to study at Montfort College. At 16, he helped run one of his father's cinemas. Thaksin married Potjaman Damapong in July 1976, they have one son and two daughters and Peathongtarn. They divorced in 2008. Thaksin's youngest sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is said to have entered politics in 2011 at her brother's request as leader of the pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai Party, she was elected prime minister on 3 July 2011. Thaksin earned a doctorate in criminology at Sam Houston State University. Thaksin lectured at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of Mahidol University in 1979. Thaksin was a member of the 10th class of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School, was admitted to the Thai Police Cadet Academy. Graduating in 1973, he joined the Royal Thai Police, he received a master's degree in criminal justice from Eastern Kentucky University in the United States in 1975, three years was awarded a doctorate in criminal justice at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
Returning to Thailand, he reached the position of Deputy Superintendent of the Policy and Planning Sub-division, General Staff Division, Metropolitan Police Bureau, before resigning his commission in 1987 as a Police Lieutenant Colonel and leaving the police. His former wife, Potjaman Damapong, is the sister of Police General Priewpan Damapong and now uses her mother's maiden name, he is a former university lecturer at Royal Police Cadet Academy in 1975–1976. Thaksin's police lieutenant colonel rank was revoked in September 2015. Thaksin and his wife began several businesses while he was still in the police, including a silk shop, a cinema, an apartment building. All left him over 50 million baht in debt. In 1982, he established ICSI. Using his police contacts, he leased computers to government agencies with modest success; however ventures in security systems and public bus radio services all failed. In April 1986, he founded Advanced Info Service. In 1987 Thaksin resigned from the police, he marketed a romance drama called Baan Sai Thon
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Princess Sirindhorn Debaratanasuda Kitivadhanadulsobhak, is the second daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Her full ceremonial title is Somdech Phra Debaratanarajasuda Chao Fa Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Rathasimagunakornpiyajat Sayamboromrajakumari, bestowed upon her on 5 December 1977. Thais refer to her by reducing such title to "Phra Thep", meaning "princess angel", her title in Thai is the female equivalent of the title once held by her brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The Thai constitution was altered in 1974 to allow for female succession, thus making her eligible for the throne. Having been the eldest female child of the royal family, her position is comparable to a princess royal. Sirindhorn was born on 2 April 1955 at Dusit Palace; the third child of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit. As the royal couple has only one son, the Thai constitution was altered in 1974 to allow for female succession; this made Sirindhorn second-in-line to the throne until the birth of Princess Bajrakitiyabha in 1978.
In December 2012, Sirindhorn was hospitalised to remove calcium deposits. Sirindhorn attended Kindergarten and Secondary at Thailand's most exclusive school: The Chitralada School, established for the children of the Royal Family and Palace staff, she ranked first in the National School Examinations in primary level in 1967, in upper secondary level in 1972, fourth in the National University Entrance Examination in 1975. In 1975 she enrolled in the faculty of arts at Chulalongkorn University and graduated with a BA degree, first-class honours and a gold medal in history in 1976. From 1976 she continued her studies in two graduate programs concurrently, obtaining an MA in Oriental epigraphy in 1980 and archaeology from Silpakorn University and in 1980. From October 1977, she studied Sanskrit in Bangkok for two years under the tutelage of renowned Sanskrit scholar Satya Vrat Shastri. In 1978, she obtained an MA in Pali from Chulalongkorn University. In 1981 she enrolled in a doctoral program at Srinakharinwirot University, was awarded a PhD in developmental education in 1987.
In 1984 she earned a certificate from the Asian Regional Remote Sensing Training Centre at the Asian Institute of Technology where she studied for two months. In April 2001 she won a scholarship in Chinese culture at Peking University in China where she studied the course for a month. Aside from her passion for technology, she holds degrees in history and a doctorate in educational development, she teaches at the history department of the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, where she is the nominal head of the department. In addition to Thai, she speaks fluent English and Mandarin Chinese, is studying German and Latin, she translates Chinese literature into Thai. She is a skilled performer and avid promoter of Thai traditional music. Like her father Bhumibol Adulyadej, Princess Sirindhorn holds radio amateur with the call sign HS1D; the University of Liverpool introduced a prestigious new scholarship in honour of Sirindhorn. One full scholarship will be awarded annually to enable a Thai student to study at Liverpool to complete a one-year taught Masters programme.
The scholarship is open to all subjects. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be a Thai national and hold an offer to study a one-year taught Masters programme at the University of Liverpool. 2 April 1955 – 5 December 1977: Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn Debaratanasuda 5 December 1977 – present: Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, The Princess Royal of Thailand The Princess' style and title in full: Her Royal Highness Princess Somdech Phra Debaratanarajasuda Chao Fa Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Rathasimagunakornpiyajat Sayamboromrajakumari of Thailand. General and Air Chief Marshal Volunteer Defense Corps General Professor of Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy Professor of Srinakharinwirot University Thailand: Knight Grand Cordon with Chain of the Order of the Royal House of Chakri Thailand: Knight Grand Cordon with Chain of the Order of the Nine Gems Thailand: Knight Grand Cordon with Chain of the Order of Chula Chom Klao Thailand: Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of the White Elephant Thailand: Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of the Crown of Thailand Thailand: Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of the Direkgunabhorn Thailand: Recipient of the King Bhumibol Adulyadej Royal Medal Thailand: Recipient of the King Bhumibol Adulyadej Rajaruchi Royal Medal Thailand: Recipient of the Freemen Safeguarding Medal, First Class Thailand: Recipient of the Dushdi Mala Medal Thailand: Recipient of the Border Service Medal Thailand: Recipient of the Chakra Mala Medal Thailand: Recipient of the Boy Scout Citation Medal, First Class Thailand: Recipient of the Red Cross Medal of Appreciation, First Class Thailand: Recipient of the King Bhumbibhol Adulyadej Silver Jubilee Medal Thaila
Bhumibol Adulyadej, conferred with the title King Bhumibol the Great in 1987, was the ninth monarch of Thailand from the Chakri dynasty as Rama IX. Reigning since 9 June 1946, he was, at the time of his death, the world's longest-reigning head of state, the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history and the longest-reigning monarch having reigned only as an adult, reigning for 70 years, 126 days. During his reign, he was served by a total of 30 prime ministers beginning with Pridi Banomyong and ending with Prayut Chan-o-cha. Forbes estimated Bhumibol's fortune – including property and investments managed by the Crown Property Bureau, a unique body, neither private nor government-owned – to be US$30 billion in 2010, he headed the magazine's list of the "world's richest royals" from 2008 to 2013 despite the fact the same magazine estimated the worth of the British monarchy triple that of the Thai one. In May 2014, Bhumibol's wealth was once again listed as US$30 billion. After 2006, Bhumibol suffered declining health and spent extended periods at Siriraj Hospital, where he died on 13 October 2016.
He was highly revered by the people in Thailand – many saw him as close to divine. Notable political activists and Thai citizens who criticized the king or the institution of monarchy were forced into exile or to suffer frequent imprisonments, yet many cases were dropped before being proceeded or were given royal pardon. His cremation was held on 26 October 2017 at the royal crematorium at Sanam Luang, his son, succeeded him as King. Bhumibol's U. S. birth certificate reads "Baby Songkla", as the parents had to consult his uncle, King Rama VII head of the House of Chakri, for an auspicious name. The king chose a name of Sanskrit origin, Bhumibol Adulyadej, a compound of Bhūmi, meaning "Land". Thus, Bhūmibala Atulyateja, or Bhumibol Adulyadej as it is transliterated in Thai means "Strength of the Land, Incomparable Power". Bhumibol was born at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States, on 5 December 1927, he was the youngest son of Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, the Prince of Songkla, his commoner wife Mom Sangwan.
His father was enrolled in the public health program at Harvard University, why Bhumibol was the only monarch to be born in the US. Bhumibol had an older sister, Princess Galyani Vadhana, an older brother, Prince Ananda Mahidol. Bhumibol came to Thailand in 1928, his father died of kidney failure in September 1929. He attended Mater Dei school in Bangkok, but in 1933 his mother took her family to Switzerland, where he continued his education at the École nouvelle de la Suisse romande in Lausanne. In 1934 Bhumibol was given his first camera; when Bhumibol's childless uncle Prajadhipok abdicated in 1935, his nine-year-old brother Ananda became the new King Rama VIII. However, the family remained in Switzerland and the affairs of the head of state were conducted by a regency council, they returned to Thailand for only two months in 1938. In 1942, Bhumibol became a jazz enthusiast, started to play the saxophone, a passion that he kept throughout his life, he received the baccalauréat des lettres from the Gymnase Classique Cantonal of Lausanne, by 1945 had begun studying sciences at the University of Lausanne, when World War II ended and the family was able to return to Thailand.
Bhumibol ascended the throne following the death by gunshot wound of his brother, King Ananda Mahidol, on 9 June 1946, under circumstances that remain unclear. While a first government statement stated that Ananda had accidentally shot himself, an investigation committee ruled this was impossible. Two palace aides were convicted of regicide and executed. A third possibility, that Bhumibol accidentally shot his brother while the brothers played with their pistols, was never considered. Bhumibol succeeded his brother, but returned to Switzerland before the end of the 100-day mourning period. Despite his interest in science and technology, he changed his major and enrolled in law and political science to prepare for his duties as head of state, his uncle, Prince of Chainat, was appointed Prince Regent. In Bhumibol's name, Prince Rangsit acknowledged a military coup that overthrew the government of Thamrongnawasawat in November 1947; the regent signed the 1949 constitution, which returned to the monarchy many of the powers it had lost by the 1932 Revolution.
In December 1946, the Siamese government allocated several hundred thousand dollars for the ceremonial cremation of the remains of the late King Ananda, a necessary preliminary to the coronation of Bhumibol, required by religious custom to light the funeral pyre. Unsettled conditions in 1947 following a coup d'état resulted in a postponement, court astrologers determined that 2 March 1949 was the most auspicious date. While doing his degree in Switzerland, Bhumibol visited Paris frequently, it was in Paris that he first met Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara, daughter of the Thai ambassador to France and a great-granddaughter
United Nations General Assembly
The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, the only one in which all member nations have equal representation, the main deliberative, policy-making, representative organ of the UN. Its powers are to oversee the budget of the UN, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, appoint the Secretary-General of the United Nations, receive reports from other parts of the UN, make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions, it has established numerous subsidiary organs. The General Assembly meets under its president or secretary-general in annual sessions at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City, the main part of which lasts from September to December and part of January until all issues are addressed, it can reconvene for special and emergency special sessions. Its composition, powers and procedures are set out in Chapter IV of the United Nations Charter; the first session was convened on 10 January 1946 in the Methodist Central Hall in London and included representatives of 51 nations.
Voting in the General Assembly on certain important questions, recommendations on peace and security, budgetary concerns, the election, suspension or expulsion of members is by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting. Other questions are decided by a straightforward majority; each member country has one vote. Apart from approval of budgetary matters, including adoption of a scale of assessment, Assembly resolutions are not binding on the members; the Assembly may make recommendations on any matters within the scope of the UN, except matters of peace and security under Security Council consideration. The one state, one vote power structure allows states comprising just five percent of the world population to pass a resolution by a two-thirds vote. During the 1980s, the Assembly became a forum for the "North-South dialogue:" the discussion of issues between industrialized nations and developing countries; these issues came to the fore because of the phenomenal growth and changing makeup of the UN membership.
In 1945, the UN had 51 members. It now has 193; because of their numbers, developing countries are able to determine the agenda of the Assembly, the character of its debates, the nature of its decisions. For many developing countries, the UN is the source of much of their diplomatic influence and the principal outlet for their foreign relations initiatives. Although the resolutions passed by the General Assembly do not have the binding forces over the member nations, pursuant to its Uniting for Peace resolution of November 1950, the Assembly may take action if the Security Council fails to act, owing to the negative vote of a permanent member, in a case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression; the Assembly can consider the matter with a view to making recommendations to Members for collective measures to maintain or restore international peace and security. The first session of the UN General Assembly was convened on 10 January 1946 in the Methodist Central Hall in London and included representatives of 51 nations.
The next few annual sessions were held in different cities: the second session in New York City, the third in Paris. It moved to the permanent Headquarters of the United Nations in New York City at the start of its seventh regular annual session, on 14 October 1952. In December 1988, in order to hear Yasser Arafat, the General Assembly organized its 29th session in the Palace of Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. All 193 members of the United Nations are members of the General Assembly, with the addition of Holy See and Palestine as observer states. Further, the United Nations General Assembly may grant observer status to an international organization or entity, which entitles the entity to participate in the work of the United Nations General Assembly, though with limitations; the agenda for each session is planned up to seven months in advance and begins with the release of a preliminary list of items to be included in the provisional agenda. This is refined into a provisional agenda 60 days before the opening of the session.
After the session begins, the final agenda is adopted in a plenary meeting which allocates the work to the various Main Committees, who submit reports back to the Assembly for adoption by consensus or by vote. Items on the agenda are numbered. Regular plenary sessions of the General Assembly in recent years have been scheduled to be held over the course of just three months; the scheduled portions of the sessions commence on "the Tuesday of the third week in September, counting from the first week that contains at least one working day", per the UN Rules of Procedure. The last two of these Regular sessions were scheduled to recess three months afterwards in early December, but were resumed in January and extended until just before the beginning of the following sessions; the General Assembly votes on many resolutions brought forth by sponsoring states. These are statements symbolizing the sense of the international community about an array of world issues. Most General Assembly resolutions are not enforceable as a legal or practical matter, because the General Assembly lacks enforcement powers with respect to most issues.
The General Assembly has authority to make final decisions in some areas such
Maechi or Mae chee are Buddhist laywomen in Thailand who have dedicated their life to religion, vowing celibacy, living an ascetic life and taking the Eight or Ten Precepts. They occupy a position somewhere between that of an ordinary lay follower and an ordained monastic and similar to that of the sāmaṇerī, it is still illegal for women to take full ordination as a bhikkhuni in Thailand because of a 1928 law created by the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand. He based this on the fact that Gautama Buddha allowed senior bhikkhunis to initiate new women into the order. Citing the belief that the Theravada bhikkhuni sangha had died out centuries earlier, the patriarch commanded that any Thai bhikkhu who ordained a female "is said to conduct what the Buddha has not prescribed, to revoke what the Buddha has laid down, to be an enemy of the holy Religion...". The most recent case brought to the Supreme Court of Thailand is that of Phothirak, a former monk, ejected from the Thai sangha after being convicted of breaching the vinaya repeatedly.
Phothirak created his own sect of Buddhism, Santi Asoke, ordained about 80 bhikkhunis in 1998, leading to his imprisonment for 66 months on several successive counts of "causing schism amongst the religion". Maechis still are marginalized figures in Thai society. During the 20th century, new movements to improve the lot of maechis emerged, but the situation is still far from being acceptable under modern standards of human rights, with other Thai women the most vocally opposed to women wearing robes. The Thai bhikkhuni order has been revived by Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, who took ordination as a bhikkhuni without being imprisoned as a result, but opposition from high-ranking Thai monks seems to have discouraged maechis from joining her. Since 1971 there has been a Queen's Foundation for Thai Maechi; because of the belief that the bhikkhuni order was never established in Thailand, women have traditionally been denied the chance to become ordained members of the sangha. Instead, for several centuries Thai women have chosen to live as maechis, taking the eight precepts and living either in monasteries or in dedicated communities of female renunciants.
Temporary maechis, who do not shave their heads, are called chi phram. Like bhikkhus, maechis shave their heads and undertake precepts not observed by lay followers. Maechis most receive these precepts from a monk, but there is little in the way of a formal ordination ceremony. Maechis wear white robes in their daily lives, distinguishing them from both monks and other lay people. Maechi are not recognized as monastics by the Thai government and are not eligible for monastic benefits, but they are denied the rights of other lay citizens. While the recognized sangha has traditionally received considerable oversight and assistance from various government ministries, only in the 20th century did the Thai Sangha begin to take an organized role in providing for the needs of maechis. An institute now attempts to track the number of maechis in the country, provides funds that can be used for educational opportunities for maechis; the amount per person spent by the government on supporting maechis, is less than the amount spent on monks.
Maechis do not receive certain perks that are offered to monks. Yet, like monks, are forbidden from voting or standing for civil elections in Thailand. Maechis have traditionally not; because the maechis have no special position described in the Tipiṭaka or Pāli Canon, they are seen as laywomen and gifts given to maechis are not seen as bringing merit to the donor in the same manner that gifts given to a monk would. Most Thais are unfamiliar with the history of the Theravada bhikkhuni sangha and believe that Gautama Buddha never ordained women. Others believe that women become maechis because they can't find a husband or to escape personal and family problems. Most maechis live on temple grounds; the temple may provide daily meals and lodging but, in general, maechis are expected to provide for themselves through support from relatives and temples do not care for them as they do male monastics. Most maechis act as servants or staff for the temple and cleaning for monks and overseeing the sale of incense and other offerings to visitors to the temple.
Smaller numbers of maechis live in their own communities, which may or may not be associated with a local monastery. Women in these communities experience better conditions than those living in traditional monasteries; the separation of the male and female renunciants helps discourage the maechis being used as servants by monks and temple staff. The exact derivation of the term maechi is not known. Several possible etymologies have been suggested, relating maechi either to Sanskrit or Sinhalese terms for renunciants, morality, or other positive qualities; the word chi is used in the Thai language to refer either to Buddhist monks, or to ordained followers of other traditions, such as Hindu priests or Jain monastics. Little is known about the status and lives of maechis prior to Western contact with the kingdoms that preceded the modern state of Thailand. European observers in the 17th century reported seeing white-robed, shaven-headed women who lived on the grounds of Buddhist temples. Most of these women were reported to be advanced in years indicating that life as a maechi may have served as a sort of retirement plan for older women who did not have families to provide f
Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has been the King of Thailand since 2016. He is the only son of King Bhumibol Queen Sirikit. In 1972, at the age of 20, he was made crown prince by his father. After his father's death on 13 October 2016, he was expected to accede to the throne of Thailand but asked for time to mourn before taking the throne, he accepted the throne on the night of 1 December 2016. His father was cremated on 26 October 2017, his coronation is planned to be held on 4 to 6 May 2019. The Thai government retroactively declared his reign to have begun on 13 October 2016, upon his father's death; as the tenth monarch of the Chakri dynasty, he is styled as Rama X. Aged 64 at that time, Vajiralongkorn became the oldest Thai monarch to ascend to the throne. Maha Vajiralongkorn was born on 28 July 1952 at 17:45 in the Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall of the Dusit Palace in Bangkok; when the crown prince was one year old, Somdet Phra Sangkharat Chao Kromma Luang Wachirayanawong, the 13th Supreme Patriarch of Thailand of the Rattanakosin Era, gave the child his first name at birth, "Vajiralongkorn Borommachakkrayadisonsantatiwong Thewetthamrongsuboriban Aphikhunuprakanmahittaladunladet Phumiphonnaretwarangkun Kittisirisombunsawangkhawat Borommakhattiyaratchakuman".
He is the second of the four children of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit. Vajiralongkorn began his education in 1956, when he entered kindergarten at the Chitralada School in Dusit Palace. After completing Mathayom 1, he was sent to be educated at independent schools in the United Kingdom, first at a prep school, King's Mead, Sussex, at Millfield School, in Somerset, where he completed his secondary education in July 1970. In August 1970, he attended a five-week military training course at The King's School, in Sydney, Australia. In 1972, the prince enrolled at Duntroon in Canberra, Australia, his education at Duntroon was divided into two parts, military training by the Australian Army and a bachelor's degree course under the auspices of the University of New South Wales. He graduated in 1976 as a newly commissioned lieutenant with a liberal arts degree. In 1982 he completed a second bachelor's degree in law with second-class honours at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University. Vajiralongkorn was proclaimed crown prince on 28 December 1972 at 12:23 in the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, making him the third crown prince of the Chakri dynasty.
An excerpt from the royal command to establish the title of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, reads: As stated in the bliss or the royal statutes of the country, when a Royal Prince, destined to be heir to the throne is mature, the King shall graciously bestow the rank upon him of Somdet Phra Yupharat Mongkutratchakuman. At this present time, all people including citizens of nations all over the world shall accept and acclaim that His Royal Highness Prince Vajiralongkorn shall to succeed to the throne of the Kingdom; when His Royal Highness Prince is mature, at the time that he shall be established as heir to the throne, tradition and a royal tradition Kattii ceremony should be observed, consistent with the citizens and all leaders of the country of all sides. Therefore, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej hereby decrees for His Royal Highness Prince Vajiralongkorn to be His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in accordance with the name written in the Supannabhat as: Somdet Phra Boromma-orasathirat Chao Fa Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun Sirikittayasombunsawangwat Worakhuttiyarajsantiwong Mahitalaphong Adulayadet Chakkrinaresyuppharajvisut Sayammakutratchakuman He had taken up his duties while serving in the Royal Thai Armed Forces, including frequent provincial tours and representing King Bhumibol at a wide variety of official functions and ceremonies before he ascended the throne.
On 6 November 1978, the prince was ordained as a monk at Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram, at age 26. As is traditional for royals, he stayed at Wat Bowonniwet Vihara for 15 days and under the monastic name "Vajiralongkornno". After completing his studies, Vajiralongkorn served as a career officer in the Royal Thai Army, he served as a staff officer in the Directorate of Army Intelligence and attended the Command and General Staff College in 1977. Vajiralongkorn trained for periods with the US, Australian armed services, studying unconventional warfare and advanced navigation, he is a qualified helicopter pilot. In 1978 he became head of the King's Own Bodyguard Battalion; that year he interrupted his military career to be ordained for a season as a Buddhist monk, as is customary for all Thai Buddhist men. Vajiralongkorn holds the ranks of Field Marshal in the Royal Thai Army, Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Thai Navy, Marshal of the Royal Thai Air Force in the Royal Thai Air Force, he is qualified to pilot the Northrop F-5 and many other aircraft, F-16, the Boeing 737-400.
His military role in recent years has become ceremonial. As his father grew older, Vajiralongkorn took a more prominent part in royal ceremonial and public appearances, he opened the 2007 Southeast Asian Games, held in Nakhon Ratchasima. The event occurred one day after the 80th birthday of his father. Vajiralongkorn established "Crown Prince Hospitals" through funds donated by the public to serve as medical