By THE NATION
Pinyo Pongcharoen, chairman of the International Astrology Association, said he believed it was intended to protect the government at a time it was dealing with several headaches. Also certain key figures in power were ill-starred, he added.
For him, it was very rare for anyone to burn as many as 36 joss sticks at a time. In most cases, between one and 16 incense sticks are burnt as an act of homage, he noted.
The rest of the 36 burnt sticks were found placed on the lawn next to Thai Khufah Building, which houses Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s office.
The burnt sticks were removed by a gardener at the order of a Government House official after they drew attention from reporters and photographers.
According to a superstitious belief, the burning of 36 incense sticks outdoors – each representing a level of the 36-tier Three Worlds – is a way to ask for forgiveness from divine beings or gods for a better future and a life without obstacles.
Panuwat Phanvichartkul, a Chinese-style fortune-teller, said that the prime minister’s stars were still performing well although his deputy Prawit Wongsuwan had to be careful with his health.
“There are some obstacles for the government but they are not serious,” the fortune-teller said.
“Simply put, there’s nothing that can bring down this government, despite all the efforts to create disturbances. It’s because General Prayut’s stars are still good,” he added.
Yesterday’s burning of 36 incense sticks came just a day after an clay basin at Government House was run over and broken by a car, an incident that was viewed as a bad omen by superstitious people. The prime minister had reportedly bought the basin with his own money.
On the same day the basin was broken, the PM ordered Chinese-style red lanterns to be hung at Government House’s six gates, a rare sight for the premises. Critics viewed the move as an attempt to bring good luck and prosperity.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam yesterday dismissed a perception that the installation of red lanterns was a superstitious reaction to the “inauspicious” breakage of the PM’s basin.
Wissanu said it was part of Chinese New Year celebrations, even though this was the first time Government House had been decorated with red lanterns.