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Supreme Sangha Council, National Office of Buddhism (NOB) speed up reforms in Buddhism using example of Dhammakaya Temple case

It has been declared following the Dhammakaya incident that Supreme Sangha council and National Office of Buddhism will speed up the reform process

Wat Phra Dhammakaya Temple, Thailand, Wikimedia

Thailand, March 10, 2017:  It will soon be proposed by the Cabinet that the Supreme Sangha Council and the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) speed up reforms in Buddhism using the example of the Dhammakaya Temple case; Justice Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana revealed on Thursday.

Three senior monks have already been assigned by the council to join a reform panel.

Suwaphan also added that the decision whether to disrobe the fugitive former abbot Phra Dhammachayo lies at the discretion of ecclesiastical administrators.

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Meanwhile, on Thursday, Dhammakaya communications officer, Phra Maha Nopporn Punyachayo, told a press conference that “it’s time to cancel the reckless laws that destroy Buddhism and kill monks”. He also urged authorities not to have monks disrobed if the allegations against them were yet to be finalized.

He also added that the prosecution of monks should be carried out as an inquiry where the judge has the authority to look for more facts and evidence besides those presented by the prosecutor and the defendant.

A Sangha Court should be established to handle such cases based on both layman laws and the Phra Dhamma Vinaya discipline. Such an inquiry, with the participation of monks, should take place at a temple to preserve the monks’ status, he said to The Nation.

Phra Maha Nopporn also suggested that Buddhist organisations from across the world should be invited to witness a major case like Phra Dhammachayo’s.

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Phra Channarong Uttamo, of the temple, said monk ordination was equal to a rebirth into Buddhism and the disrobing was similar to the killing of a monk. Calling Thai laws discriminatory and unfair towards monks he said it is because they would be defrocked if they were suspects in a criminal case, even if the case had not been finalised.

Suwaphan stated that he would not rush the search of the temple by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI). He said the monks and disciples seemed to have been incited to assume the officers would demolish or mishandle the temple and its properties and seize assets, which was untrue. He said those executing incitement activities should stop.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Kreangam said a complaint has already lodged by the NOB for senior monks to proceed with disciplinary action against Dhammachayo. He said the Sangha Supreme Council’s meeting tomorrow, which the NOB chief would be present in his capacity as the council secretary, might table the Dhammakaya case.

Even though the temple has been declared a special controlled area and Phra Dhammachayo’s monastic rank has been removed, the temple’s resistance continued. So it was necessary for the government to find more solutions, he added.

DSI spokesman Pol Colonel Songsak Raksaksakul said that future action regarding this matter will soon be decided by the agency and clear progress in the temple search can be expected this week.

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Out of the 14 Dhammakaya monks summoned by the DSI, six who had turned up are: Phra Khru Thawalsak Yatisako, Phra Maha Somchai Thanawutthito, Phra Maha Nopporn Punyachayo, Phra Saenpol Thepthepa, Phra Pasura Dantamano, and Phra Khru Sangkharak Sotathiko. The DSI will also summon another 70 individuals for alleged violation of the junta order.

Police deputy spokesman Pol Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said police was proceeding with 340 cases reported against Dhammakaya, 20 of which involved warrants which had been issued for suspects.

According to the report of “The Nation”, Dhammakaya communications chief Phra Sanitwong Chareonrattawong will surrender himself to the DSI today, after an arrest warrant was issued for him yesterday. The monk had been out of the public eye after the DSI’s threat to arrest him on sight for failing to respond to summons.

Dhammakaya monk Phra Palat Seksan Attathamo, who allegedly led crowds that gathered at the Klong Luang Central Market, was released yesterday on a bail of Bt200,000 after being brought to the Thanyaburi court to plead for a detention order. The bail was allowed on condition that he would stay away from making statements of incitement or grant interviews, and will not enter the controlled premise declared under a junta order.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang


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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

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Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)