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DSI: Dhammakaya stand-off to end in 5 days

PATHUM THANI: The stand-off between authorities and Wat Phra Dhammakaya followers will end by Monday Mar 13), the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) announced on yesterday (Mar 8).

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Bangkok Post

Thursday 9 March 2017, 08:50AM

A monk keeps a wary eye on a soldier on duty at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya followers’ rally site in a market just outside the temple in Khlong Luang district, Pathum Thani. Photo: Pongpat Wongyala
A monk keeps a wary eye on a soldier on duty at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya followers’ rally site in a market just outside the temple in Khlong Luang district, Pathum Thani. Photo: Pongpat Wongyala

An interrogation venue had already been prepared for its former abbot and sect founder, Phra Dhammajayo, DSI Deputy Director-General Songsak Raksaksakul said. He did not say how the two points were linked.

“Within the next week, or five days from now, the case of Wat Phra Dhammakaya must be concluded,” Col Songsak, the official spokesman, told the media at the Region 1 Border Patrol Police Bureau in Khlong Luang district.

The DSI’s time frame was revealed after temple followers dug moats at Wat Phra Dhammakaya to block access to its six-storey medical care building, Boon Raksa, which is well-guarded.

The latest search for Phra Dhammajayo began on Feb 16 when authorities entered the grounds of the temple, which sprawl over 2,300 rai. It has so far been unproductive and the whereabouts of the 72-year-old monk remains uncertain, although attention does seem to be focusing on the Boon Raksa building.

Col Songsak said the situation had been very prolonged, and the temple had time to mislead society into believing the attempt to arrest Phra Dhammajayo was damaging to Buddhism.

He did not elaborate on the venue he said had been prepared for Phra Dhammajayo. He did say some officials had proposed the defrocking of the former abbot, who has been removed from his position by royal decree.

The DSI spokesman denied authorities had totally failed to accomplish their mission at Wat Phra Dhammakaya. The matter was sensitive, he said, and authorities had to step carefully.

The DSI has summoned over a dozen monks and about 160 laymen supporters accused of defying the dictate of the National Council for Peace and Order making the temple and its vicinity an area under special control, to facilitate authorities’ attempts to arrest the wanted senior monk.

Phra Dhammajayo is wanted for alleged money laundering and receiving stolen property in connection with multi-billion-baht embezzlement at Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative, building code violations by buildings in Wat Dhammakaya’s compound and forest encroachment by branches of the temple in several provinces.

He has failed to answer any charge and ignored summonses and arrest warrants for about a year.

Read original story here.



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marcher | 20 March 2017 - 18:50:30

Jor 12. You have it all wrong. These are not your the monks you refer to but a sect breaking the law to protect their criminal leader. I am not sure how you can be a devout leader to these scum

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Jor12 | 11 March 2017 - 11:01:06

Marcher...clearly you are have little or no regard for Thailand and it's people and ignorant of it's culture. This an Asian nation and culture. You have no idea of the interaction between the state, Buddhism and its people, and clearly ignorant of its customs and traditions. Even the Japanese learnt their lesson the hard way during WW2, when 2 soldiers were killed by ordinary citizens. The...

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marcher | 09 March 2017 - 17:17:39

So 1 monk outwits 4,000+ officials. Pathetic, and a complete waste of time and money. Been better to have used the temple for recent Cobra Gold exercises. I'm sure they could have moved the monks out of the way. The namby pamby way they went about it they had no hope. They could have started taking into custody all monks obstructing the officials so as to clear the way for a proper search. Per...

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