BANGKOK Thailand’s federal government is hoping to get a new abbot appointed to head the country’s major Buddhist temple, whose previous leader is desired for income laundering, an official reported on Thursday.
Law enforcement pulled back again from a three-7 days siege of the Dhammakaya temple this thirty day period soon after failing to come across Phra Dhammachayo in a look for that was pissed off by monks and devotees in 1 of the major challenges to Thailand’s junta because a 2014 coup.
Dhammachayo, 72, is desired for questioning for suspected income-laundering and on many charges of making on land with out authorization.
Thailand’s Nationwide Business office of Buddhism experienced proposed to religious authorities that a monk with no affiliation to the temple need to now be appointed to direct it, the head of the federal government business, Pongporn Pramsaneh, told Reuters.
This would assistance with an investigation into the temple’s belongings and in the approach of disrobing Dhammachayo, he reported.
“The monk in main need to be someone the culture can count on for unbiased action and judgment,” Pongporn reported.
The proposal on modifying the management was created to the most senior monk in the Pathum Thani province, the place the temple is situated.
The temple’s present-day performing abbot is Dhammachayo’s deputy, Phra Dattajivo, but law enforcement very last 7 days reported they had been investigating him for employing temple income in inventory dealing.
The temple reported the accusation was “pretend news” and that none of its income experienced long gone into stocks.
The Dhammayaka temple, just about ten moments the dimension of the Vatican Town, dwarfs Thailand’s other temples in prosperity as very well as dimension. It claims millions of followers, though even now a modest minority of Thai Buddhists.
Traditionalist Buddhists accuse the temple of commercialism, even though it states it is just as dedicated to Theravada Buddhism as them and its income is only to do great functions.
Pongporn reported the Buddhist governing system in Pathum Thani province would convene to examine the Dhammakaya temple’s monetary documents at the stop of the thirty day period.
(Additional reporting and creating by Patpicha Tanakasempipat Enhancing by Matthew Tostevin and Simon Cameron-Moore)