Case 38-2018: Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn & Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
Dear Prosecutor, Public Defender, Ambassador, Secretary and Jury Members of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee (IBEC) and Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR), regarding Case 38-2017 against “Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn & Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha”, on February 4, 2018, is hereby recorded that the trial has been concluded to analyze the violation of Human Rights and Buddhist Ethics made by the accused. This case has been carried out as a result of “Myanmar Case” and the “Sulak Sivaraksa Case”.
After analyzing the presentation of the Case and the validation of proofs, the tribunal has proceeded with the voting of 7 members of the Jury, confirming that there was 1 (one) vote of “Innocent”, 1 (one) vote of “Insanity” and 5 votes of Responsible to “Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn & Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha” for the serious crimes of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, Violation of the International Human Rights Law and Violation of Buddhist Law. The Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights has been able to verify that “Thailand” and its leaders “King Maha Vajiralongkorn & Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha” destine billionaires economic resources to maintain an oppressive, dictatorial, tyrannical and despotic regime that violates civil and political rights of the entire Thai society and even from foreign activists, whose human right to freedom of expression is violated and they are subjected to illegal incarcerations violating the human right to justice with impunity. Instead of directing all possible resources toward the solution of the terrible problems and crimes that Thai society suffers, the government of Thailand prefers to focus its resources on making Illegal imprisonments to anyone who thinks differently than “King Maha Vajiralongkorn & Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha”. In this sense, because it is a systematic and widespread plan, Thailand is Responsible for carrying out Crimes against Humanity for acts of illegal incarcerations. In addition, Thailand is also responsible for committing Crimes against Humanity because thousands of government officials have been involved in perpetrating Extrajudicial Killings, Torture, Human Trafficking, Forced Labor, Sexual Slavery and Mass Forced Deportation. At the same time, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights has been able to verify that “Thailand” has participated in multiple acts of Genocide against the Rohingya People, not only for having carried out massacres of members of this group, as evidenced by the discovery of mass tombs, but also for carrying out serious attacks against the physical or mental integrity of members of this group, and for intentionally submitting them to conditions of existence leading to the partial destruction of the group, which is demonstrated by human trafficking and by the policy of expulsion of refugee boats into the ocean. Thus, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights has shown that “Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn & Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha” is Responsible for Violation of the International Human Rights Law. On the other hand, as a result that Thailand is a country where the old system of Buddhist Civilization reigned, as it happened in “Myanmar Case”, it is important to sentence that the acts of Genocide and crimes against humanity carried out in Thailand constitute a total Violation of Buddhist Law, breaking the main ethical precept of not killing living beings.
The Maitriyana Community offers this Ethical Judgment to the accused “Thailand” and its de facto leaders “King Maha Vajiralongkorn & Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha” as a teaching mode on how should a Buddhist Kingdom truly behave that adequately combat social ills such as murder, corruption, sexual abuse, deceit and drug trafficking. As long as a King or Queen is tolerant of these practices he will be totally violating Buddhist Law. This ethical teaching has been lost in the Kingdom of Thailand, which has ceased to be a Buddhist Kingdom to become a Tyrannical, Despotic, Oppressive and Criminal Kingdom.
The Maitriyana teaches that in order to maintain peace and justice in a country it is never necessary to resort to violence and oppression, but that it is only necessary to develop compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajña), especially to children, women and other minorities. Therefore, a true Buddhist Kingdom or dharmic government would never resort to using killings and tortures in the task of carrying out punishments and maintaining order, since the principle of non-violence (ahimsa) should be the horizon of every civilized society. Historically, the tradition of Buddhist Law bases its legal custom of ethical supervision on the complex relationship of mutual support between the King or Queen, the Spiritual Commune (Sangha) and the People, so that this tripartite relationship of mutual support is the very basis of Buddhist Civilization. This means that when the King/Queen or the People become criminals and violators of traditional ethical codes of conduct, then the Spiritual Commune (Sangha) has the duty and the mission to criticize and prescribe solutions to social ills. Although undoubtedly the Spiritual Commune (Sangha) does not have a coercive and binding power for most of States, its ethical supervisory function is even more important in history than the role played by the UN. In addition, the coercive power (danda) of the punishment of imprisonment or the punishment of financial penalties are not the only ways of doing justice that societies have developed, since they have also practiced another type of justice with restorative methods of conflict resolution. Precisely, the Maitriyana demonstrates that tribal and indigenous societies have used other methodologies to do justice for thousands of years, and one of these methods is the group ethic challenge of conducts of an individual. In this sense, the Buddhist Law is a sophisticated method of communitarian tribal justice that ethically prosecutes those rulers who commit crimes against humanity and peace, this act of international challenge being one of the most powerful tools in the face of monarchical, tyrannical and despotic powers that seek to annul all kinds of criticism through violations of freedom of expression. The Maitriyana administers justice in an appropriate way, not resorting to physical or monetary punishments, but rather resorting to ethical and spiritual punishments, since pointing out publicly the faults and crimes of a King or Queen constitutes in itself one of the worst punishments that can exist: the annulment of moral status. Certainly, although traditional kings/queens are oppressive rulers for maintaining antidemocratic systems that do not promote the Liberation and Awakening of citizens, the Buddhist Law affirms that the presidents of contemporary democracies also tend to become transitory kings or queens by being blinded by Power. Therefore, whether in the form of monarchy or in the form of democracy, the Maitriyana only requires that governments do not behave like criminals who violate human rights with impunity, considering that Power must be divided and never concentrated in one hand. Thus, the Buddhist Law considers that the division of powers of the republican system —divided into executive, legislative and judicial power— has a profound similarity to the tripartite relationship that characterizes the system of the Buddhist Civilization of Ancient times, where the Power was divided into an interrelation and interdependence between the King/Queen, the People and the Spiritual Commune (Sangha). History shows that Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar were countries that have participated in this civilizational system, although the Maitriyana has discovered that the Buddhist Civilization of the past was much broader and included around two dozen countries. While kings/queens and rulers have the coercive power (danda) to administer state justice to protect society, the Buddhist Law system of the Spiritual Commune (Sangha) has the function of ethically validating the just rulers and simultaneously the function of protect the People from aggression and abuse of its intrinsic rights and freedoms on the part of unjust rulers, while in turn the People has the function of protecting the Spiritual Commune (Sangha). The Maitriyana’s ethical justice function precisely acts in accordance with the protection of the ethical precepts that the Spiritual Commune (Sangha) has historically made, making sure that the rulers and civil society do not commit acts of murder, sexual abuse, lying, slander and drug addiction. For the Buddhist Law, a dharmic ruler or Buddhist King or Queen is that one who not only does not incur in violations of ethical precepts, but also who governs with peace and justice, providing education and health to society. In short, the Supreme Purpose of the King or Queen (Rajadharma) must be to develop welfare and self-realization of the people. This requires practicing active contemplation, compassionate wisdom and humanitarian ethics, which are the three gems of Maitriyana. While governing implies the function of punishing, the act of punishing not necessarily implies the function of violence, since Buddhist Law and restorative justice demonstrate that there are other non-violent ways of punishing. The model of the Buddhist Kingdom or the model of the Universal Dharmic King or Queen (Cakravartin) is not, then, about idealistic models, but have been utopias carried out in the past, which obviously means that this model of ethical government can be implemented in the here and now, bringing harmony and stability to a world that is approaching a precipice, product of living with closed eyes to the Truth. No matter how the governments try to destroy Buddhist Spirituality through oppression, banalization or indifference, in any case the world will always need utopian practices tending to access the Truth, if humanity wants to survive and evolve. Nonetheless, if humanity turns its back on the Law, Truth and Purpose (Dharma) of existence protected by the Spiritual Commune (Sangha), if humanity decides to walk with closed eyes and not Waking up, then the world will sink into a violent and repetitive cycle (samsara) of suffering caused by war, injustice, ignorance and pollution. The Maitriyana, following the Utopian Path of the universal dharmic ruler (Cakravartin), will never allow the world to self-destruct, so that everyone who contributes to the world’s ills will be ethically and spiritually criticized. In this way, the mission of Free and Enlightened Beings (Arhats-Bodhisattvas) to liberate themselves in order to free all other sentient beings is nothing less than the heart of International Buddhist Law. Even though the Maitriyana may receive criticism of being a form of ethical fundamentalism, the spiritual master considers that it will always be more correct to be attached to ethical values than to be attached to complicity with genocidal acts. Therefore, violence and complicit silence are judged by the Buddhist Law as violations of ethics. However, because the Maitriyana follows the ethics of the Middle Way, it is considered that every criminal or offender can be forgiven and redeemed by means of a process that stops the repetition (karma) of immoral actions, initiates ethical and good actions, transforming and purifying him or herself spiritually to be able to access the Truth. This pathway of restorative justice of Buddhist Law opens the door to the reconciliation (maitri) between criminals and victims. Therefore, the Righteous King or Queen (Dharmaraja) proposed by the Maitriyana is distinctly different from the modern kings or queens of the Age of Destruction (kaliyuga) who are obsessed with egoistic wealth and worldly power, so these contemporary rulers punish with violence and without empathy, such as the erudite Candrakirti has stated. In this way, ordinary kings or queens, intrinsically oppressive and despotic, are unacceptable from the supreme point of view of the ethical and empathetic leadership of Buddhist Law. Unlike ordinary presidents, kings or queens and dictators, the Buddhist King or Queen is not intoxicated with worldly power and always remains on the correct pathway for the Liberation of the whole society. In accordance with Candrakirti, the Maitriyana considers that contemporary rulers deviate from the mission of maintaining a just and adequate government that protects the entire society. In this way, for the Buddhist Law, the Righteous King or Queen (Dharmaraja) is the one who guides the society into an ethical lifestyle or ethical way to live. The Righteous King or Queen (Dharmaraja) must not only lack greed for wealth and greed for power, but he or she must also possess highly advanced intellectual and spiritual qualities in order to govern in harmony with ethical principles and with a Sense of Purpose (Dharma). The same is applicable to the idea of the universal dharmic ruler (Cakravartin) of which the Maitriyana is a follower, conquering the world through the force of righteousness. According to Buddhist Law, in addition to possessing ethical virtues, the Righteous King or Queen (Dharmaraja) must possess the virtues of charity (dana), self-sacrifice (paricagga), honesty (ajjava), kindness (maddava), austerity (tapa), tranquility (akkodha), non-violence (ahimsa), patience (khanti) and honorability (avirodhana). Obviously, these requirements that every Righteous King or Queen (Dharmaraja) must have, expressly prohibit kings/queens or rulers from committing violations of human rights, acts of impunity, crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes against peace. In fact, when kings/queens or rulers practice the ten virtues of royalty, as pointed out in the Bhikkaparampara Jataka, judicial courts are emptied as a result of a whole society that is pacified and rectified. Undoubtedly, kings/queens and rulers must punish acts of evil and injustice, although the Maitriyana makes clear that those punishments carried out by a Righteous King or Queen (Dharmaraja) must be wise and compassionate, never resorting to violence. This means that the Buddhist Law prescribes the abolition of penal system, which should be replaced by an ethical and restorative justice system. In the case of the worst criminals, as in the case of murderers, the Maitriyana considers that the advice of Master Nagarjuna about resorting to exile, banishment or expulsion from the territory would be one of the non-violent resources that are available to a Righteous King or Queen (Dharmaraja). Thus, both execution and torture of the criminal person will always be resources prohibited by Buddhist Law. However, just like the Bodhisattvabhumi text of the Yogacara school, the Maitriyana considers that the Free and Enlightened Beings (Arhats-Bodhisattvas) have the duty to criticize, judge and punish the criminals compassionately for their spiritual benefit, even criticizing the bad laws (mithyadharma) of the kings/queens and rulers, because it is considered that an ethical offense would be committed when impunity and complicit silence is maintained in such crimes. In this way, spiritual masters teach kings/queens and rulers to condemn transgressions with altruism, kindness and friendship, just like parents should do to their children, never sentencing the criminals with death penalty or torture, since it is sought to improve them, heal them and rehabilitate them, as the Bodhisattva-gocaropaya-visaya-vikurvana-nirdesa Sutra teaches. Only through the quest of ethical and spiritual purification the Purpose of a King or Queen (Rajadharma) will be able to reconcile with the Purpose of Liberation (Mokshadharma).
In conclusion, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights has the Purpose (Dharma) to correct governments through ethical and humanitarian supervision, which implies a direct criticism of human rights violations, especially genocides and crimes against humanity. Therefore, it is established that “Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn & Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha” has violated International Law through dictatorial and oppressive activities that produce a systematic and widespread pattern of human rights violations.
Undoubtedly, the high political officials of Thailand should be ethical leaders or wise and compassionate monarchs, never having to commit criminal acts that violate the sacredness of human life. The Buddhist Kingdom means guiding the society through active contemplation, compassionate wisdom and humanitarian ethics, never guiding society through greed, hatred and deceit. Therefore, the ethical sentence against “Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn & Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha” is a great teaching for the Kingdom of Thailand to become a dharmic government that ceases doing evil, begins to do the good and is spiritually purified.
Following Master Gautama, who developed a Path of Universal Dharmic Reign, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights supervises that governments, monarchies and dictatorships do not attempt against ethics and human rights, never betraying the model of the Buddhist Kingdom of Compassionate Wisdom, so that “Thailand, King Maha Vajiralongkorn & Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha” has been sentenced Responsible for Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, Violation of International Human Rights Law and Violation of Buddhist Law.
With spirit of reconciliation (maitri),
Master Maitreya Samyaksambuddha
President and Spiritual Judge of the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights