Minister to forgive poster of his private phone number on the Internet

Justice Minister Suwaphan Tanyuwattana said he would forgive a person who posted his private mobile phone number on the social world, thus making him in trouble receiving numerous anonymous call cursing and threatening his life.

The minister is in charge of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) whuch is going to enforce tougher legal action to deal with defiant monks and followers now obstructing authorities to enter the Dhammakaya temple looking for their former abbot Phra Dhammachayo.

Mr Suwaphan said he would not take any action on a person, who posted his personal phone number online although it put him in trouble as many making annoying calls at night.

Regarding the search operation at the Dhammakaya temple, he insisted that officials strictly implemented the law, searching for the former abbot, Dhammachayo, who is wanted for several arrest warrants.

The stubborn monk is wanted for alleged money laundering and receiving ill-gotten assets in connection with the multi-billion-baht embezzlement of the Klongchan Credit Union Co-operative saving fund.

He said no timeframe was fixed to complete the mission but the officials target to arrest Dhammachayo and to turn the Dhammakaya temple into a normal Buddhist temple.

There is no need to renew a search warrant as the Section 44 has already authorized officials to work continuously, he said.

This morning they are blocking Gate 1 by Klong 3 canal with concrete blocks to reinforce the existing barricade after learning that the DSI will renew attempt to enter the temple after failing to convince them to open the blockade.

They blocked DSI authorities, police and soldiers to pass the barricades.

Meanwhile at Gate 5, a senior monk asked authorities to refrain from using force to enter the temple as this morning several monks and followers were injured when they tried to push back authorities trying to advance through their barricade.

Regarding a rumour that Phra Dhammachayo would turn himself in to the abbot of the Phitchayatikaram Worawiharn temple, Somdet Phraphuttachinnawong, chief of the monastic committee in the central region, the secretary of the senior monk and the director of the National Office of Buddhism denied the rumour.

Yesterday representatives of Ariya Group 272 submitted a letter to the Prime Minister through the Center of Public Service under the Prime Minister’s Office to review the Section 44 order to declare the Dhammakaya temple restricted area.

They said the order could lead to a clash between government officers and laymen at the temple. A representative of the government received the letter.

Meanwhile, at the Phuthumthani city hall, six local officials, including a mayor, a chairman of sub-district administrative organization and a village head reported themselves to the Phuthmthani governor for further investigation after intelligence reports said they supported groups of people to enter the Dhammakaya temple, which is now besieged by the authorities.

Yesterday seven monks started a hunger strike outside the Dhammakaya temple demanding the government to lift Section 44.

They said they came from the north and the northeast and vowed to stage the fast until Section 44 order is revoked.

They started the fast since 4.00 pm.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)