Monks and novices barred from joining the protest

The director of the National Office of Buddhism, Narong Song-ar-rom, said that the Sangha Supreme Council has issued urgent letters, to the temples around the country, barring monks and novices from partaking in any political activities. If they are found in violation of the order, the chief monk of that administrative division can just proceed to take disciplinary action.

Narong said, since there were images of monks and novices at the protests, both the National Office of Buddhism and the Sangha Supreme Council have sent letters to the local administrative bodies two to three times already.

Since some monks and novices still attending the protest last Sunday, the Sangha Supreme Council has to issue these 4 resolutions.

  • The National Office of Buddhism will notify the chief monk of that administrative division to take action against monks and novices who violate the order not to join any political activities, which is a rule established in 1995.
  • The Abbot of Traimit Wittayaram Woramahawiharn temple will draw up guidelines and long-term solutions, to prevent monks and novices from joining such protests.
  • A list of monks and novices who violate the order will be sent to their administrative division, to consider whether their actions violate the norm-discipline (Dharma-Vinaya).
  • The National Office of Buddhism will notify law enforcement to investigate the status of monks and novices who joined the protest, to prevent people from masquerading as monks from defaming Buddhism.

Whether the monks and novices who violate the rules will have to leave the monkhood is a decision for the local administrative division. The punishment can range from just a warning, to expulsion.

There were seven monks and novices seen at the protest on Sunday. The status of one monk and one novice have been verified, however, the status of the other five is still unclear.

 

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)