Monk Suthep does his first round with alms bowl

Monk Suthep does his first round with alms bowl
Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban gestures during a meeting with his supporters at the Government House in Bangkok May 17, 2014.

Leader of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) Suthep Thaugsuban gave local residents a surprise when he joined monks from a local temple on their morning alms-collection round in Surat Thani.

It was Suthep's first day with an alms bowl after being ordained as a Buddhist monk at Wat Tha Sai in his home province of Surat Thani on Tuesday. Suthep accompanied two other monks from Wat Suan Mokkhabalaram on their morning alms round.

His arrival surprised local people who were waiting to give alms to the monks. Panaya Songsamorn, who was the first to offer alms to Suthep, said it was a daily practice for her to give alms to local monks every day. She said she did not know that Suthep was going on his morning alms round.

She said she was glad to be the first one to give alms to Suthep.

Suthep was ordained as a Buddhist monk at Wat Tha Sai in his home province of Surat Thani on Tuesday.

Suthep will be staying at the Suan Mokkh forest monastery in the same province. He has yet to reveal when he will leave monkhood.

The former Democrat Party secretary general, Suthep led a seven-month campaign to overthrow the elected government of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The PDRC's street protests and seizure of government offices, as well as violent retaliations using weapons of war that resulted in many deaths and injuries, were finally brought to an end when the military seized power on May 22.

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