Narong Khongkham, deputy director-general of the Social Development and Welfare Department, said the temple’s World Peace Valley Meditation Centre at Khao Yai has agreed to return the land after it failed to show legal land ownership documents. It only has receipts of local tax payments for the use of the land, he said.
Mr Narong said authorities will be sent to survey and demarcate the land for the self-help settlement project, adding there are still 4-5 living quarters for monks in the area that need to be demolished.
The World Peace Valley Meditation Centre came under scrutiny following accusations it encroached on Sor Por Kor agricultural reform land, which was allocated to poor and landless farmers for agricultural purposes.
Meanwhile, Khachornsak Phutthanuparp, a prosecutor from the Office of the Attorney-General, said the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has until tomorrow (Aug 11) to finish questioning five monks who are close aides to Phra Dhammajayo, the abbot of the temple, and forward the results to prosecutors handling a money-laundering case.
The summons relate to the case in which Phra Dhammajayo is charged with money laundering and receiving stolen property in connection with the multi-billion baht Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative embezzlement.
The monks summoned for questioning are Phra Thattachivo, Phra Thawalsak, Phra Maha Somchai, Phra Amnuaysak Munisko and Phra Sutham Suthammo.
Mr Khachornsak said Phra Thattachivo sought a postponement of his meeting with the DSI.
If the monks can’t be questioned by tomorrow’s deadline, prosecutors will consider if any of the monks that failed to show up for questioning are necessary for the investigation, he said.
Read original story here.