Buddhism Office director fails in bid to get outsider appointed as Dhammakaya abbot
The National Buddhism Office director on Monday failed to either convince the chief monk of Pathum Thani province to punish two senior monks of Dhammakaya Temple or appoint an outsider to be abbot of the temple.
Pongporn Pramsaneh met with Phra Theprattana Suthee, abbot of Kienket Temple, who is the chief monk in Pathum Thani where Dhammakaya is located.
He said he followed up his earlier requests for Phra Theprattana Suthee to consider punishment for fugitive former abbot Phra Dhammachayo, who is wanted on criminal charges including money laundering.
The director quoted Phra Theprattana as saying that he already asked the acting abbot of Dhammakaya Temple about Phra Dhammachayo’s whereabouts and the monk responded that he could not locate him. Therefore, according to monastic rules, nothing could be done on the issue, as he would have to talk to Phra Dhammachayo in person.
Phra Theprattana also turned down the director’s recommendation that a monk with no affiliation to the temple should be appointed to lead it to help with an investigation into the temple’s assets.
The monk said appointment of an outsider could cause big conflicts in the temple, so he resorted to a softer approach by allowing the present acting abbot to continue working until his tenure finishes on December 5. Until then Phra Theprattana Sutee himself would help supervise the temple’s affairs.
After that, the chief monks in the province would consider the choice of a new abbot.