THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Scholars urge Buddhism body to defrock ex-abbot

Scholars urge Buddhism body to defrock ex-abbot

BANGKOK: Buddhist scholars are calling on the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) to initiate a process to have Phra Dhammajayo defrocked after the fugitive monk was stripped of his monastic title.

crimecorruptionpolicelandreligion
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 7 March 2017, 09:05AM


Phra Dhammajayo. Photo: via Bangkok Post

Phra Dhammajayo. Photo: via Bangkok Post

According to a Royal Gazette article published on Sunday (Mar 5), His Majesty the King has agreed to the government’s request to demote Phra Dhammajayo for evading charges filed against him.

The step of removing the monastic title, which took effect on Saturday (Mar 4), comes after the former abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya repeatedly failed to appear before authorities to answer charges despite a two-week siege of the temple by thousands of state officials led by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI).

Defrocking the former abbot would see him lose all ecclesiastical status.

Buddhism lecturer Mano Laohavanich, also a former disciple of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, said the NOB should set in motion a defrocking process by asking the Sangha Supreme Council (SSC) to consider the issue.

The NOB, which serves as the secretariat to the SSC, should submit a letter written nearly 20 years ago by the late supreme patriarch who said Phra Dhammajayo should be defrocked for serious violations of the monastic code of conduct, said Mr Mano.

He said the late supreme patriarch’s letter which was written in 1999 would see Phra Dhammajayo defrocked without having to detain him.

The late supreme patriarch’s letter carried disapproving messages at the former abbot’s possessing expensive assets, and was interpreted widely as an indirect order to purge him from monkhood.

In a letter dated April 26, 1999, the late supreme patriarch wrote that plots of land and assets worth B900 million, held by Phra Dhammajayo, belonged to the temple, not the monk.

The land ownership case caught prosecutors’ attention and the former abbot later agreed to turn over the land and assets in 2006. Prosecutors withdrew lawsuits against him in August 2006.

According to Mr Mano, the government has done all it can and now the ball is in the SSC’s court.

“The prime minister has done his part, but the SSC has yet to. The defrocking must be carried out by the clergy so it can proceed without confrontation with the temple’s followers,” he said.

He said the measure will shake the temple to its core.

Mr Mano also said state authorities will have to disperse the crowds gathering near the temple as soon as possible while issuing warrants for the arrests of monks who disobey orders. They would then be able to thoroughly search the temple.

Santisuk Sophonsiri, a Buddhism scholar, said that in addition to initiating the defrocking process the authorities should freeze the assets of those in charge of the financial management of the temple and the foundation.

He said the freeze targets personal assets, not the temple’s assets which are considered the state’s.

“It isn’t the time to look for individuals because they’re moving assets. The monks who are put in charge of finances must be removed and their personal assets must be examined,” he said.

Lt Col Pongporn Pramsaneh, the NOB’s newly appointed director, said yesterday (Mar 6) that the SSC will be informed of the removal of the monastic title when it meets this Friday (Mar 10).

However, he declined to say if the NOB will initiate a process to have the monk defrocked, saying the matter will be handled in accordance with procedures.

Phra Dhammajayo, then known as Luang Por Dhammajayo, founded the Dhammakaya movement in 1970 with mae ji (nun) Chandra Khonnokyoong.

National Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda expressed confidence the removal of the monastic title would help the authorities do their job easily.

He also said the enforcement of Section 44 also facilitated their handling of Wat Phra Dhammakaya dispute while urging human rights activists who slammed the enforcement to be impartial.

“Those calling for the scrapping [of the Section 44 order] should review their call. The government has done the right thing,” he said.

Wat Phra Dhammakaya declined to comment on the removal of the ex-abbot’s monastic title while calling on the government to revoke Section 44.

Phra Maha Nopporn Poonyachayo, assistant director of the temple’s communications office, said the matter was highly sensitive.

“The government spent between B60-90 million on this operation to arrest Phra Dhammajayo whose charge carries a fine of B500,” he said.

Phra Palat Seksan Attathamo, a monk at Wat Phra Dhammakaya, said that the crowds gathering at Klong Luang central market near the temple appeared thinner yesterday but he could not say why that was exactly.

Read original story here.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Kurt | 07 March 2017 - 10:06:26

Slowly, but step by step.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Powerful motorcycles to face tougher regulations

What a joke !!! Try improving your stupid & what appear to non existent helmet laws in the first...(Read More)


Japan resumes commercial whaling for first time in 30 years

Long Live The Japanese Whaling Industry ! Greens Cost Jobs & The Only True Wilderness is Betwe...(Read More)


Police begin hunt for foreign man over attacking dog

Agree this is not on. The poor animal can't be blamed for doing what comes naturally. But the pu...(Read More)


Police begin hunt for foreign man over attacking dog

freaking out people running around angry with long knife or any other weapon should not be accepted....(Read More)


Police begin hunt for foreign man over attacking dog

I would like to volunteer,-giving this deranged POS exactly the same treatment !...(Read More)


Running Empty: Water officials to splash B277mn on private sources as reservoirs fail to fill

A lot of water contract talks ( including 30% arrangements?). However, that will not grand Phuket wa...(Read More)


Running Empty: Water officials to splash B277mn on private sources as reservoirs fail to fill

Bang Wad water reservoir is ready for making it a beginners drive for golf players. The grass just n...(Read More)


PHUKET XTRA: VIDEO: Second Phuket water crisis? ’Peace walk’ monk returns! Dangerously sweet! || July 12

No, not a second water crisis. Phuket still remains in it's 'first' water crisis, as not...(Read More)


Surin Beach’s temporary lifeguards on hold until further notice

This article shows plainly that as long Cherng Talay Tambon Administration not gets a good Chief/May...(Read More)


After Phuket student killed by electrocution, officials assure public park areas are safe

The PEA always insist that the neutral wire be earthed at the breaker, that way any leakage will tri...(Read More)