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Thai authorities seek to defrock scandal-hit Buddhist abbot

by Oliver Holmes, The Guardian, 10 March 2017

Ruling junta has kept Dhammakaya temple under siege for nearly three weeks in bid to find monk wanted for money laundering
Bangkok, Thailand
-- Thailand’s highest religious body has begun a process that could defrock a Buddhist abbot wanted for money laundering, escalating a conflict between the military government and a hugely popular temple.

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Thai king strips fugitive Buddhist monk of his rank as followers continue to defy military government

South China Morning Post, 6 March, 2017

Phra Dhammachayo is accused of money laundering but has not turned himself in and police say his followers have hampered the search
Bangkok, Thailand
-- The former Buddhist abbot at the heart of a stand-off with authorities at Thailand’s biggest temple has been stripped of his monastic rank by the king, the military government said on Sunday.

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Making Thai Buddhism relevant again

by Sanitsuda Ekachai, Bangkok Post, March 2, 2017

Bangkok, Thailand -- So the Dhammakaya Temple is a cult. So its leader reportedly claims to be a doomsday saviour who takes rich donors on a tour to heaven to see the Buddha. So it teaches its followers to buy premium spaces in heaven by donating to the temple. So its doctrine on the permanence of self is against Buddhism. So what?

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Buddhist signs point wrong way

by ANDREW BIGGS, The Bangkok Post, 12 Feb 2017

Thought police are doing Thailand's religion no favours with their intrusive false advertising aimed at tourists
Bangkok, Thailand
-- The billboard rises, like a Buddhist temple, up ahead on the right-hand side of the airport highway.

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The politics of Thailand's Buddhist Supreme Patriarch

By Panu Wongcha-um, Channel NewsAsia, 12 Feb 2017

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand will soon welcome a new Supreme Patriarch. Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong, 89, was appointed last week by King Maha Vajiralongkorn and will be officially installed in a ceremony in Bangkok on Sunday (Feb 12).

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