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Buddhist law committee halts assets amendment ‘to avoid conflict’

The committee on legislation of Buddhist-related laws has halted consideration of an amendment in relation to management of assets of temples and monks to prevent possible conflict.

ACM Akom Kanchanahiran, the committee’s vice chairman, said the circulation of “false news” concerning the amendment of the Sangha law led Pol General Pichit Kuandechakupm, chairman of the committee, to suspend the law revision.
Arokom quoted Pichit as saying that the false reports could harm the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and provoke further conflict.
Despite the NLA’s legislative authority, Pichit decided that amendment was impossible without the approval of the government and the Council of State because it was a fiscal issue, Arkom said.
The NLA had assigned Pichit’s committee to look into the amendment of two clauses in the Civil and Commercial Code relating to management of assets of temples and monks, Arkom said. The committee had only convened twice and had not yet reached a conclusion, he added.
Arkom insisted that the amendment was unrelated to the issue of Wat Phra Dhammakaya, which has been under siege as authorities search for fugitive former abbot Phra Dhammachayo. 
He also denied the committee had received a complaint reportedly submitted by followers of the late senior monk Luangta Maha Bua which called for the NLA to drop consideration of the Sangha bill on the grounds that was disrespectful of Buddhist discipline and royal tradition.

Published : March 11, 2017

By : The Nation