Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Help on the way for monks doing without alms

May 28. 2020
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By THE NATION

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Thewan Liptapanlop said on Thursday (May 28) that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has assigned him the job of helping Buddhist temples nationwide that have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown measures.

“The National Office of Buddhism has submitted a list of about 40,000 temples across the country that have been affected by the outbreak and lockdown measures, which are preventing people from visiting temples to make donations and give alms,” he said. “Approximately 200,000 monks have been hit by a shortage of food and other necessities.”

Thewan said he will send the list across to the Finance Ministry to come up with an estimate of how much will be needed to solve the problem.

“We are also looking at the measure that was used in 2009, when Buddhist monks in the three southern border provinces [Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani] had to go without morning alms due to security reasons,” he said. “Back then the Cabinet approved a Bt100 per day handout to each monk so they could buy food and other necessities.

“If the plan is approved, we will possibly require Bt400 million to Bt500 million per month to help all affected temples. Money will be paid to each temple, which can then work out how it can be disbursed among the monks.”

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