Officials to handle temple fund corruption case with sensitivity

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Deputy Prime Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikalya.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikalya.

Bangkok – Deputy Prime Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikalya, who oversees the National Office of Buddhism (NOB), has said he will act with sensitivity in the temple fund corruption case as per the wishes of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha, remarking that clarity in the matter will help Thai Buddhists return to confidence in the faith.

The NOB recently filed a third round of complaints, naming five senior members of the Buddhist clergy.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuwattana, who also oversees the NOB, stated that investigations in the matter must be based on evidence and the judicial process. He let on investigations are ongoing to clearly separate justice matters from matters concerning the clergy.

Abbot of Wat Sam Phraya Phraphromdilok, as head of the Bangkok clergy and a member of the Sangha Supreme Council, took part in a meeting of other high ranking Buddhist leaders on Thursday to collect opinions and suggestions on how to proceed. He declined to comment on the fact his own name is among the five filed by the NOB, stating he has yet to be briefed on the matter.

At the same time, Commander of the Counter Corruption Police Division Pol Maj Gen Kamol Rhienarcha made known that NOB Director Pol Lt Col Pongporn Phramsaneh has pushed out a scheduled meeting with investigators and has yet to schedule a new date.