The Views of Thailand’s Leading Theravada Buddhist Monks on Human Rights


  • Panutat Yodkaew


Views, Thailand’s leading, Theravada Buddhist monks, Human rights


Regarding the views of Thailand’s leading Theravada Buddhist monks on human rights, Panutat Yodkaew analyses the perspectives from which Buddhadasa and Phra Promgunabhorn looked at the modern concept of human rights. Navigating through their famous pieces of writing, he portrays how Buddhadasa and Phra Promgunabhorn argued for elimination of avijja or ignorance as the root cause of so many problems regarding human rights violations, as well as explains why the modern concept of human rights hardly convinced Thailand’s leading Buddhist monks of its logical foundation and its practicality. However, both Buddhadasa and Phra Promgunabhorn did not negate the raison d’etre of the human rights regime operating in various regions. Rather, they warned against the danger of ignorance, partiality, hatred and prejudice inherent in our human nature as factors detrimental to the world’s peace and justice. Interestingly, Buddhadasa and Phra Promgunabhorn share a common view that overall modern education does not recognize the importance of ethics. As a result, modern men are still driven by greed, self-centeredness and self-interest.

Author Biography

Panutat Yodkaew

Diplomatic officer, The Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand



พระพุทธทาสภิกขุ. อตัมมยตาปริทัศน์. กรุงเทพฯ : สำนักพิมพ์สุขภาพใจ, ๒๕๕๖.

พระพุทธทาสภิกขุ. อตัมมยตาประยุกต์. กรุงเทพฯ : สำนักพิมพ์สุขภาพใจ, ๒๕๕๖.

พระพุทธทาสภิกขุ. คนถึงธรรม ธรรมถึงคน.กรุงเทพฯ: สำนักพิมพ์สุขภาพใจ, ๒๕๕๗.

พระพุทธทาสภิกขุ. แก่นพุทธศาสน์. กรุงเทพฯ : สถาบันบันลือธรรม, ๒๕๕๖.

พระพรหมคุณาภรณ์ (ป.อ.ปยุตโต) พจนานุกรมพุทธศาสน์. กรุงเทพฯ : ธรรมสภา, ๒๕๕๓.

พระพรหมคุณาภรณ์ (ป.อ.ปยุตโต) พุทธธรรม. กรุงเทพฯ : โรงพิมพ์เพิ่มทรัพย์การพิมพ์, ๒๕๕๓.

พระธรรมปิฎก (ป.อ.ปยุตโต.) สิทธิมนุษยชน สร้างสันติสุขหรือสลายสังคม.กรมองค์การระหว่างประเทศ, ๒๕๔๖.


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How to Cite

Yodkaew, P. (2023). The Views of Thailand’s Leading Theravada Buddhist Monks on Human Rights. Journal of Thai Studies, 12(1), 91–110. Retrieved from



Research article