See More on Facebook

Analysis

Thailand calls for dissolution of Buddhist temple’s foundations

Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation wants to dissolve a Buddhist sects’ charitable foundation citing irregularities.


Written by

Updated: November 30, 2018

Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is calling on public prosecutors to dissolve the Khun Yay Maha Ratana Upasika Chandra Khonnokyoong Foundation, a charitable foundation tied to the controversial Dhammakaya Temple.

The foundation was implicated in a embezzlement case involving a local credit union and was part of an apparatus that defrauded investors of hundreds of millions of Thai Baht.

The DSI also wants the prosecutors to ask the courts to confiscate the foundation’s Bt13-billion assets, DSI chief Pol Colonel Paisit Wongmuang said yesterday, according to the Nation Newspaper.

The foundation – established on July 30, 2004 – is under the patronage of Dhammakaya Temple’s ex-abbot Phra Dhammachayo, who faces an arrest warrant over money-laundering charges.

The elusive monk and his accomplices have been accused of accepting money from the ex-boss of a credit union who is in jail for stealing billions of baht from the cooperative.

The DSI had investigated Supachai and his accomplices over embezzlement charges, and then looked into Phra Dhammachayo and other people’s alleged role in money laundering and possession of stolen articles.

Since initial investigation uncovered transactions linked to the foundation – which was accused of constructing facilities for the temple using money that was allegedly swindled out of the credit union – the DSI launched another probe, results of which were made public on Thursday.

According to the findings of the report, investigators found the foundation and its board, led by billionaire telecom tycoon Boonchai Bencharongkul’s younger sister Wanna Chirakiti, guilty of conspiring to launder money and also violating the foundation’s objectives.

Hence, he said, the DSI is recommending that prosecutors disband the foundation and seize its assets, including the assets already confiscated by the Anti-Money Laundering Office.

The 2,000-rai Dhammakaya Temple situated in North Bangkok has drawn criticism and controversy over the past two decades. The temple is accused by critics of placing to great an emphasis on material wealth and for its elaborate and lavish religious ceremonies. The temple and its abbot has also sparked criticism for its close ties to politicians.

Thailand’s ruling military government has attempted to arrest the abbot several times over the past four years but have been stopped by protesters and monks at the temple gates.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis

Growing disaster risks exceed Asia-Pacific’‬s capacity to respond

This according to a UN Escap finding. The relentless sequence of natural disasters in Asia and the Pacific in the past two years was beyond what the region had previously experienced or was able to predict, and this is a sign of things to come in a new climate reality, according to the latest report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap)‭. The Disaster Riskscape across Asia-Pacific The ‭Asia-Pacific ‭ ‬Disaster ‭ ‬Report 2019‭ released in Bangkok on Thursday reveals that recent disasters, especially ‬‬those ‭‬triggered by ‭ ‬climate ‭‬change ‭‬and environmental ‭‬degradation, ‭‬have deviated from their usual tracks and are growing in intensity, frequency and complexity. It is now more difficult to determine which areas should


By The Nation (Thailand)
August 23, 2019

Analysis

West Papua and its troubled history with Indonesia

Recent riots and protests are just symptoms of long simmering ethnic tensions. Protests have broken out in the Indonesian province of West Papua with a local parliament being set alight and buildings torched in Sorong, the province’s largest city. The protests, involving hundreds of people, occurred throughout the province on Wednesday with buildings set on fire, including a prison where 250 inmates escaped, and rocks and projectiles thrown at security forces. The protests erupted, in part, because of the detention of ethnic Papuan students in the Indonesian city of Surabaya over accusations that they had desecrated the Indonesian flag on its national day. But long running ethnic tensions between the native West Papuans and the Indonesian central government have plagued the province since it was incorporated into Indonesia in the 1960s. A colonial legacy After the


By Cod Satrusayang
August 23, 2019

Analysis

Japan believes N. Korea has already developed nuclear warheads

All of Japan is within range of Pyongyang’s ballistic missiles. According to the original version of the Japanese government’s 2019 white paper on defense, North Korea is believed to have already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and the development of nuclear warheads, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. This is the first time such statements have been included in the report. Regarding South Korea, which is intensifying its confrontation with Japan, the report lowered that nation’s ranking from the previous year among the countries and regions that are promoting security cooperation with Japan. The Japanese government is making arrangements to approve the 2019 white paper at a Cabinet meeting in mid-September. On North Korea’s military moves, the paper again said they posed a “serious and imminent threat.” The 2018 version of the report said there was a “possi


By The Japan News
August 22, 2019

Analysis

The rise of the militant Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan

Is ISIS on the comeback and rising in Afghanistan. A suicide bombing at a wedding party in Kabul claimed by a local affiliate of the militant Islamic State (IS) group has renewed fears about the growing threat posed by its thousands of fighters, as well as their ability to plot global attacks from a stronghold in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan. The attack came as the Afghan Taliban appear to be nearing a deal with the United States to end nearly 18 years of fighting. Now Washington hopes the Afghan Taliban can help rein in IS fighters, even as some worry that Taliban fighters, disenchanted by a peace deal, could join IS. The US envoy in talks with the Afghan Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, says the peace process must be accelerated to put Afghanistan in a “much stronger position to defe


By Dawn
August 20, 2019

Analysis

Why did Karachi sink in the rain?

The city’s topography has been altered without any regard to the overall form of the megapolis. As per the Meteorological Department’s near accurate prediction, Karachi experienced torrential rain this month. 27 people died and many more were injured. The situation was compounded by Eidul Azha that was being celebrated at the same time. Scores of cattle markets were set up in different locations across the city in addition to the central outlet along the Super Highway. Poor animals and their hapless keepers had to face a tough ordeal. Prices fell down sharply as animals began to fall sick due to the downpour and the filth. The rain caused a complete breakdown of urban life. Poor design and management of roads, drainage, intersections, underground sewers and sidewalks caused unparalleled chaos and


By Dawn
August 16, 2019

Analysis

India gauges international response to its Kashmir decision

Delhi’s unilateral move has been met with varying response from the international community. India’s decided earlier this month to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state. The state will be bifurcated it into two union territories – Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh – which will be accountable directly to the federal government. Whether India likes it or not, its Kashmir decision has international ramifications and Modi’s government will be gauging them carefully. That is relatively good news for India’s Narendra Modi-led government which has staked much of its political capital on coming through on this long-promised move after winning a landslide second consecutive election in May. United States President Donald Trump said in a bland statement: “We are closely following the events in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. We take note of India’s a


By Ishan Joshi
August 15, 2019