DSI vows to end temple standoff this week

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) strongly believes the defiant Phra Dhammachayo is still hiding inside the 3,000-rai Dhammakaya temple and vows to end everything within this week.

The DSI suspects the Boonraksa building in the temple which is used as a building for sick monks to stay to recover from sickness.

The building remains off-limit to authorities to search with monks and followers heavily protecting the entrance with earth fence, ditch, oil drums, and nets obstructing eye observation from outside.

DSI authorities suspected the defiant monk is hiding in this building.

DSI deputy director-general Pol Col Songsak Raksaksakul said the prolonged standoff between authorities and followers and monks was leading to spreading of distorted information that the attempt to arrest Phra Dhammachayo was to destroy religion and caused misunderstanding.

Further delay would not be good for authorities, he said, adding that the decision on the search operation would be made soon.

He vowed that progress would be seen within this week, but declined to disclose the operation as it is a sensitive issue.

He also said the idea to defrock Phra Dhammachayo despite his absence was proposed to his chief but it must be thoroughly considered.

A place has been prepared for his detention if he is arrested, he said without giving further details about the place.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)