THE SANGHA Supreme Council yesterday decided not to take further action against Phra Dhammachayo, the abbot of Dhammakaya Temple, after the late Supreme Patriarch commanded in 1999 he be defrocked over a number of incidents including him owning the temple
Phra Phrom Methi, the council’s spokesman, said Phra Dhammachayo seemed to act with no ill intent and the issue was old news, with the country now undergoing a reconciliation process.
“The disciplines of Buddhist monks according to the Tripitaka are based on actual intent,” he said.
Department of Special Investigation director-general Suwanna Suwannajutha said on Thursday that the DSI would summon Phra Dhammachayo if transaction details showed he received money from a key suspect in the Credit Union Khlong Chan embezzlement case.
The temple reportedly barred media members from entering its compound yesterday and refused to give interviews.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Thursday that the Office of National Buddhism was trying to determine whether Phra Dhammachayo’s monkhood had been invalidated or he had received money from the aforementioned key suspect.
The monk was indicted over the embezzlement of Bt959 million in assets donated to the temple nine years ago, but public prosecutors dropped this case after he pledged to return the assets to the temple.
Recent news reports stated that the Dhammakaya Temple had agreed to return Bt714 million “donated” to it by Credit Union Khlong Chan after the new post-coup DSI management took over the case from police, who had made little progress in the past few months despite a large number of petitions being filed by victims.