Big yellow-browed warbler migration on Texel island

This video says about itself:

Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)

Also known as Inornate Warbler. Filmed at Doi Ang Khang, Thailand, on 4th March 2013.

For information about the status and distribution of this species see the BirdLife International fact-sheet.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Last week at least a hundred were seen on Texel, in the dunes, in Oosterend, in Den Hoorn and Den Burg: yellow-browed warbler! This small songbird is spotted every year on the island during the fall migration, but never as many as this year, says Adriaan Dijksen of the Vogelwerkgroep Texel.

Thailand dictatorship banned Orwell’s 1984, now New York Times

King of Thailand in Bangkok hospital on 1 September 2015, while employees kneel for him, photo by EPA

After censorship, self-censorship …

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Thai edition of New York Times not published because of article about royal family

Today, 11:42

The publisher of The International New York Times in Thailand did not print today’s edition, because there was an article in it about the future of the Thai royal family. “The article is too sensitive to publish,” said the printer. In Thailand there are strict rules for public discussion about the royal family.

The article discussed the deteriorating health of the 87-year-old King Bhumibol and uncertainty about the survival of the monarchy. It says that the crown prince is known as a playboy and that it will be a chore for him to equal the prestige and status of his father. The newspaper writes that many Thai hope that the daughter of the king, who is much more popular among the population, will succeed the king, but that the law forbids women on the throne.

Lese majeste

Thai subscribers received an email from the newspaper stating that it was the decision of the local publisher to not let the newspaper appear today. “The decision is not supported by The New York Times,” the email says, and readers are refered to the online version of the newspaper.

Overt criticism of the royal family or the monarchy in Thailand can lead to imprisonment up to 15 years for treason. The number of convictions has increased considerably since a military junta in May last year has taken power in Thailand. According to human rights organizations this is part of a larger campaign to silence critics.

See also here.

Thirty years jail for insulting king of Thailand

This June 2014 video is called Thailand dictator watch.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

30 years in jail for insulting Thai king

Today, 12:36

In Thailand, a man has been convicted to thirty years in prison for lèse majesté. He insulted on Facebook among others King Bhumibol.

There are stiff penalties in Thailand for insulting the king, queen, heirs or regents. For each offense a person can receive a maximum sentence of fifteen years.


The court in Bangkok ruled that the 48-year-old Pongsak Sriboonpeng in six cases was guilty of insulting the monarchy. For each charge, he was sentenced to ten years, but because he pleaded guilty, his sentence was halved.

“This breaks a record,” said his lawyer. Because in Thailand there is a state of siege Sriboonpeng can not appeal against the verdict of the military court.


Since the military coup in May 2014 in the country, the number of convictions for lèse majesté has increased considerably. Before the coup took place there were two court cases, now there are at least 56, according to a local human rights organization.

In April, was a businessman was convicteed to 25 years in prison for insulting the monarchy. This week a man with mental problems was sentenced to five years in prison, because he had damaged a portrait of the king and the queen.

Critics think the draconic punishments are for silencing opponents of the monarchy and the military regime.

Thai military dictatorship jails students

This video is called Thailand, 9/11/14: Brutal and barbaric abuses by the Royal Thai Army, a testimony by a human rights lawyer.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thailand: UN calls on junta to free 14 arrested student protesters

Wednesday 1st July 2015

THE UN human rights office called on Thailand yesterday to release 14 student activists arrested for holding a demonstration.

The university students were detained on Friday on charges of sedition and violating the military government’s ban on political gatherings for holding the rally in Bangkok the previous day.

The military, which seized power last May when it overthrew a civilian government, has banned political gatherings of five people or more and ordered security-related offences to be handled by military courts.

The students were issued with arrest warrants for having conducted rallies in the capital and in the north-eastern province of Khon Kaen last month to mark the first anniversary of the coup.

Each student faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

Good tiger news from Thailand

This video from India says about itself:

Tiger (Panthera tigris) in water pool during hot dry summer

13 February 2013

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 3.3 metres (11 ft) and weighing up to 306 kg (670 lb). It is the third largest land carnivore (behind only the Polar bear and the Brown bear).

Its most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underside. It has exceptionally stout teeth, and the canines are the longest among living felids with a crown height of as much as 74.5 mm (2.93 in) or even 90 mm (3.5 in).

In zoos, tigers have lived for 20 to 26 years, which also seems to be their longevity in the wild. They are territorial and generally solitary but social animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey requirements. This, coupled with the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.

After bad tiger news from Thailand, some better news.


Tigers expanding? Conservationists discover big cats in Thai park

Jeremy Hance

June 04, 2015

For the first time conservationists have confirmed Indochinese tigers (Panthera tigris corbetti) in Thailand’s Chaloem Ratanakosin National Park. In January, camera traps used by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Thailand’s Department of National Parks took a photo of a tigress, confirming what had only been rumors. A couple months later the camera traps photographed a male tiger in the same park.

At 59 square kilometers, Chaloem Ratanakosin National Park is one of the smallest protected areas in the regions. But it is a part of Thailand’s vast and sprawling Western Forest Conservation Complex (WEFCOM), which is covers an area of 18,000 square kilometers—about the size of Fiji. WEFCOM is made up of 11 national parks and six wildlife refuges, and is considered one of the largest forests left in Southeast Asia.

The photos of tigers in Chaloem Ratanakosin National Park may be a sign that the species is expanding its range in the protected area complex.

“It’s great to have real evidence that tigers are found in a greater area of the WEFCOM than previously thought,” said Kittiwara Siripattaranukul, Tiger Project Manager at ZSL, based in Thailand. “Until now, there have only been unconfirmed reports of tigers in the area, but to capture photographs that prove their presence is really encouraging. We hope that the region will become a new territory for tigers.”

The IUCN estimates that there are only 202-352 Indochinese tigers left across possibly five countries: Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Thailand is believed to house the vast majority of these tigers with 185 to 200 individuals. Tigers have long persisted in the northern section of WEFCOM—with a population of 150-plus in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary—but this is one of the first documentations of the top predators in the south. Experts believe WEFCOM could one day house as many as 2,000 tigers.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, WEFCOM is also home to 150 mammals, 490 birds, 90 reptiles, 40 amphibians, and 108 fish species.

Classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List, tigers are down to only about 2,500 animals in the wild. Their populations have been relentlessly punished by deforestation, poaching for traditional medicine, human-wildlife conflict, and prey decline. But tigers have also been the recipients of some of the largest conservation funds—and efforts—ever from both wildlife NGOs and governments.

Sexually abused by a monk, a survivor speaks out

This video from the USA says about itself:

Zen Buddhism Sex Abuse Scandal

16 November 2013

Even Zen masters can be deviants. Inside the new book that unearths a disturbing pattern of affairs at the top of one of the largest Buddhist communities in the U.S…

Read more here.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

‘The monk patted me on my head, I was not used to that’

Today, 16:30

by Bas de Vries, NOS Net editor

He has never told the story to anyone. Even his wife does not know he has been abused by a Thai Buddhist monk in the second half of the 1970s when he was a 12-year-old in Waalwijk. “Or maybe I was even younger, I was in any case still in elementary school.” We will call him Huub, but that’s not his real name.

Huub did not like it at home. Therefore, he wandered about the streets. He became fascinated by the corner house a few hundred meters away. A temple where a large golden Buddha statue stood in the living room. Sometimes there were festivities and then the whole Talmastraat street was full of people in orange robes. Not exactly a commonplace spectacle for a little boy in Waalwijk of those years.

Bare feet

One day, one of those Thai men spoke to him. The monk was still relatively young. “At least not as old as those dirty old men you saw in the abuse cases in the Catholic Church.” The monk asked Huub if he wanted to come inside. He walked barefoot in slippers. Huub only now knows from the publicity of the past few days he was Mettavihari, the monk who – as far as is known now – in twenty years abused certainly dozens of young men and minors.

Huub was timid, but also very curious. So he went into that “strange-smelling” house. Huub got a cup of lemonade. To truly have a conversation with the five or six men there was not possible; he spoke no English. But that friendly smiling monk patted him on the head a few times. “And that did something with me. I experienced it as a form of love. I was not used to that at home. He seduced me completely.”

Fifteen minutes later he was outside again. With some brochures about Buddhism. Without pictures, just text. In this incomprehensible English.

A few times he went back. And still he got that lemonade again. Huub remembers that he thought: this house is built exactly in the same way as ours. A temple in a private house. The third or fourth time he had to go upstairs to the bedroom of the monk.

He starts crying uncontrollably when he tells what happened next. “I had to masturbate him. The expression is ‘as if transfixed to the ground’, but I was transfixed to the ground. Then I ran back down the stairs as fast as I could. Downstairs there were still the same five men.”

“I never went back. That temple a few years later moved to another street. I have very bad memories of that house. I live somewhere else now, but in my neighborhood there is a Buddhist center on a main street. If at all possible, I try not to drive along there.”


He never told police about this. Once he went to the police in Waalwijk because of ill-treatment by his stepfather. But the abuse by the monk, he did tell them then. It was too shameful. “I just did not dare.”

“I have always kept this nasty experience to myself, but when those Catholic church affairs began to become known, then it all came back. I saw the news on the NOS [about other Buddhist clerical abuse cases] and I thought: I have been there as well!

Buddhist clerical sexual abuse in the Netherlands

This video from Thailand, with English subtitles, says about itself:

2 March 2014

Protection of Children’s Rights Foundation (Thailand) produced this video to campaign for laws against possessing child sexual abuse material and raising awareness of foreigners arrested in Thailand for child sex abuse jumping bail.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Sexual abuse among Buddhists in Netherlands

Today, 15:56

By NOS-Net editor Bas de Vries

Buddhist monks and teachers in the Netherlands have been guilty in recent decades of sexual abuse of students, both men and women. In some cases the victims were minors. There are abuse scandals in, eg, Waalwijk, Middelburg and Makkinga (Friesland province).

People have been silent about the abuse for decades in some cases. But after the scandals in the Catholic Church now victims of abuse by Buddhist leaders are telling their stories.

Thai monk

In recent months, the NOS spoke together with Buddhism scholar Rob Hogendoorn, among others with three victims of a Thai monk who after his arrival in the Netherlands in the 1970s for at least twenty years abused young men or attempted to do so.

This Mettavihari, according to those involved, in the early 1980s had to leave his temple in Waalwijk. The reason is said to have been a message to the police about the molestation of a minor.

Earlier this month a number of Mettavihari’s former followers decided, after a silence of decades, to speak out about “repeated inappropriate behavior”. Their statement shows that they have already known this for decades. The reason to speak out now, according to them, is that their recent own research showed that the abuse was worse than they thought until now.


This affair of Mettavihari, deceased in 2007, does not stand alone. The NOS also investigated two other major scandals involving teachers abusing their dominant position with respect to often very vulnerable students. In both cases, the people involved went to the police, but ultimately did not lodge official complaints. Those issues were in various places.

– A Buddhist center in Middelburg, where ‘Kelsang Chöpel’ (the Austrian Gerhard Mattioli) was guilty in the period 2001-2008 of harassment and sexual abuse of female students. In minutes of the Buddhist Union of the Netherlands (BUN) the former president spoke of “a self-proclaimed lama (teacher) who in a horrible way has wreaked havoc.” The BUN sent several people to speak with the victims and gave no further publicity to the scandal.

– A monastery in the Frisian Makkinga. End of 2001, ‘Dhammawiranatha’ (then again Pierre Krul from Den Haag) resigned as a monk after he was confronted with the many sexual relationships he had entered with women. Also in this case the people involved appealed to the BUN. A board member noted: “The stories were truly staggering: brainwashing, instigation, ruining financially, sexual relationships with (usually mentally dependent) women, but also with very young, underage girls.” This issue is the only one which made it to the press. The website of his organization gives the impression that Krul in any case last year was still active as a teacher.

Also very recently, there were cases of abuse in Buddhist circles. The Buddhist teacher Frank Uyttebroeck reports that since 2010 at least five other people who were abused by five different teachers, have sought help from him. Two of them were so traumatized that he referred them to the medical community. He does not mention the names of these teachers, in his own words because he had pledged that to the victims.

Culture of silence

The victims who are willing to come out think the time is now to end the culture of silence, as has happened in the Catholic Church. They cite the example of the United States, where hundreds of Zen teachers last January published an open letter in which they offered their apologies for their “collective failure” in the fight against abuse.

Professor of practical theology Ruard Ganzevoort, specializing in religion and trauma, is not surprised that now among the Buddhists this problem is surfacing. “You can see in every religious tradition that if you bring vulnerable people in contact with people reputed to have much authority, with too little oversight, abuse will occur.”

Codes of conduct

Most Buddhist organizations in the Netherlands are now beginning to think about measures to stop sexual abuse in their own circles and to help victims better. After questions by the NOS about this the executive of the Buddhist Union in the Netherlands recently sent an appeal to the more than forty affiliated centers.

In it, the BUN, the contact point of the Dutch government for the 50,000 to 65,000 Buddhists in the Netherlands, poins out the importance of precautions. “For example, through confidants, codes of conduct or otherwise.” The administration warns individual Buddhists “to orientate well and think” before they join a particular organization or teacher.

“I want to particularly say this to make it clear that you should act immediately if something is wrong,” said Patrick Franssen, who was abused in the 1970s from his 19th year in his own words forty to fifty times by Mettavihari. “You have to stop it early, otherwise even worse things will happen. And do not be afraid of negative publicity. Buddhism can take criticism, it is much larger than these issues.”

The Dalai Lama and sexual abuse among Buddhists: here.