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Abbot in Buri Ram to face probe for lending temple money

Nov 09. 2017
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By The Nation

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The Buri Ram monastic chief will set up a committee to investigate an abbot following complaints by local Buddhists that he had provided loans to villagers.

Phra Mongkol Suttakij, secretary to the Buri Ram monastic chief, said on Thursday an investigatory committee would be established after his office receives a report from the Khu Muang monastic district and a letter from the Office of National Buddhism.

The secretary said his office had learned about the complaints against Phra Atikarn Sompong, the abbot of Wat Nong Khu Bon in Khu Mueang district, after about 100 villagers rallied for his removal.

The villagers said the abbot had behaved improperly by using temple money to provide Bt5,000 to Bt30,000 loans to villagers and collecting 3-per-cent interest per month. They said the monk’s actions lacked transparency in the management of the temple’s money.

Phra Mongkol said monastic rules did not prohibit monks from lending money but the abbot’s behaviour might have been inappropriate, affecting people’s faith and damaging the religion’s reputation.

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